poniedziałek, 9 października 2023

AWC 2023 - Liberec

Another AWC is over and I just wish I could relive it again. It was a stellar job from the organisers, the helpers were amazing - their respect for dogs and handlers' comfort was really remarkable and they created such friendly, relaxed atmosphere that again I just felt like home. 

I loved the courses - actually so much better when it comes to safety than last year! - and some of them were really masterpieces, for example Alex Beitl's medium team agility and Karel Havlicek medium individual agility, Petra Vyplelova's ballsy large individual agility with 2 dogwalks - those were all courses with multiple handling options and having great balance between speed and testing both dogs and handlers' skills! 

As usual the fun part was seeing friends from all over the world - sorry I couldn't have longer or more meaningful conversations with them, as I was half deaf because of ear infection, but it was awesome to meet them again anyway. We did the Pyrshep picture, which of course was crazy, because basically Pyrshep people are Pyrsheps themselves, so getting them to gather at one spot at one time and keeping them still long enough to take photos was not an easy task - we're easily distracted and not so good at following instructions as Barbara observed, so instead of taking it on Saturday in front of the hall we ended up doing it on Sunday in the large field behind and then we needed 4 takes, because more kept coming, but here it is: 

And here is Flaszek and his Japanese doppelganger Tono:

Now on to my runs - for the first time in my life I was running with three dogs in three different classes, Mojo both team and individual small, Pucek team medium and Brego team intermediate (and it was funny, because he was part of the winning team in large in 2017 and now he had to be measured at 10 years old for the new class, haha). It was quite emotional, because most probably it's Brego's last big competition and I'm just so grateful that we got to step on the green carpet together again, even if that time we were not as succesful.

Pucek did great and the only explanation I have that he knew both his first loving owner Frank and his daddy Evo were watching from whatever afterlife there is, because he really did his best and was brilliant and contributed to our medium team winning gold in team agility :D. That dog is both totally unpredictable and extremely great with his happiness and eagerness to run his heart out in whatever circumstances. What can I say, yellow doggies are the best and Pucek is my personal world champion.
Hugs to my best teammates Basia Członkowska and Dominika Klimkowska, you were the best team I could have hoped for! 

Mojo, as I said, is a large dog that happens to have a tiny wocker body, so we'd prefer a bit more spacious courses, but I feel like after corona break we're finally becoming the team and I can just hope we stil have time and more chances to prove it. She had two fantastic agility runs in both teams and individual, both placed in top 10, some silly mistakes from both of us in jumpings, but overall I'm very pleased with our runs. 

I loved every minute and every second of running each of them and I felt so privileged and grateful that it was possible. 

Big thanks to Roman for cheering and supporting and everything 💓, our team leader Michał Pieniak and his assistant Kara Zawistowska for ensuring we had everything we needed and could concentrate on our runs fully, Zuza Łada for the treatment of my leg on Friday (golden hands, as we got the gold after!) and all the warm messages and words of support I got last weeks (special mention to Kathrin, owner of Mojo's sister, who messaged me every day - I hope you know it mattered and made me smile each morning, thanks, sis!). 

And OMG, the beauty of agility will never cease to amaze me, how quickly things can change, how the mighty can fall and others rise to glory in a blink of an eye, how every split of a second and every step, every movement, every decision matters, I still feel the goosebumps just thinking of it. 

Huge congrats to all the winners - I'm so happy that I know many of you personally and I know you deserve it so much! Kjersti Jorgensen, Aneta Obrusnikova, Magdalena Gadomska, Gerda Zemaityte - I couldn't be happier for you all! 

As for a fly in the ointment, it's really time FCI ensures we get proper timers for the big events, seriously not every timer is equally reliable or accurate and seriously it's not something that you can construct in your garage, because every component of the system has to be top-notch, that's why in the other sports only certified equipment is being used and once you have some knowledge why, you can't unlearn it and accept something which is below these standards... ALL teams deserve to get their times measured with equal accuracy and with the same equipment. 

And since we're on technology topic, how about this video judging of the contacts? I don't want to blame the judges, it's huge pressure and huge responsibility on their shoulders and they have to make those decisions in a split of a second, knowing that it might make or break someone's dream, so why not make it easier and more fair to everybody?

Regarding the yearly discussion about people who don't reward their dog at the finish line - stop finding excuses for yourself and others, stop quoting iconic speeches that have no reference to this situation whatsoever because I don't suppose Theodore Roosevelt writing about "daring greatly" was thinking about making a blind after a straight 6-meters tunnel, stop being snowflakes about how people judge the relationship between dog and handler based on those couple of seconds seen on livestream - truly, noone is judging you as a human being or evaluating your whole relationship based on this, but if you ignore your dog after they did their job in a challenging environment - in THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT you are behaving like an ungrateful prick, so either ensure someone else gives your dog a freaking ball and a word of praise or, better, get your shit together and do it yourself before checking the scoreboard or falling into your teammates' arms. You can wait for your gratification a couple of seconds longer than a simple, loving and living in the moment animal. No, it won't ruin your whole relationship if you don't, but you'll spare your dog lots of confusion and disappointment and you'll also give good example to others, so just devote some of those 10K hours of training allegedly required to achieve mastery to drilling it into yourself to reward your dog first until it becomes a habit so ingrained that you'll never forget it again. 

(yes, I've made a meme, because 10K hours is like 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 5 years straight, so that's utterly ridiculous)