Thanksgiving Cluster

The three buildings of dog activities over five days that are the Thanksgiving Cluster take place the weekend before Thanksgiving. There’s agility, obedience, and breed. Breed is what one associates with Westminster – dogs prancing around the ring looking pretty (Oh, my friends who do breed, please don’t be offended). And some of the breed people make even the most indulgent agility trial-ers with their big class A motor homes look like small fries. Check out these rigs:

Check out this giant rig.

The aft section, where the door is open, is full of stacked dog crates.

And here's another.

And here’s another.

Yup, there’s some big money being spent in that part of the dog world.

Chico and I participated on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday there are still lots and lots of people and activity, Monday was much smaller.

It's a couple hundred feet to the pop-up tents over by the back wall.

Sunday afternoon. It’s a big arena, with four agility rings and a few hundred dogs and people.

Crates and dogs everywhere. You can hardly see the ring in the background.

Crates and dogs everywhere. You can hardly see rings 3 and 4 in the background.

For me and Chico, the challenge is not the courses, I look at the maps and know we could do them at Julie’s arena. It’s about tuning out the rest of the world and tuning in to each other. The bigger the show, the more distractions and the bigger the challenge. Though this is SO big that there’s actually a lot of room to wait with your dog and not feel crowded while you do.

I have no video, but right afterwards I could remember most of all five of the runs we had over two days. That’s a sign that I was present with my dog. We came home with our first qualifying run in Time to Beat (we had a refusal at the weave poles, but refusals don’t count in T2B, you just add time to your run), my class mates who watched our runs said we did a good job and looked nice. There were mistakes made, and no Masters level Qs were gotten, but if the overall message of our work was “Pretty nice” I’ll take that.

This weekend we’ll be doing a workshop with Anthony Clarke – he’s young, he’s quite the rage right now, he’s on tour in the States, and the Agility Club of NH has booked him for two days of seminars. Rumor has it that there’s a lot of running in his seminars. Sounds interesting.

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