Thursday, 31 July 2014

Bertie keeps things in perspective

"Oh look, isn't he cute. You don't see many wire-haired fox terriers doing agility".

So said a lady to her friend when she spotted me at the Granite City Dog Agility Show last weekend. It was towards the end of the second day of competition. Gail smiled and replied:

"Hmmm, there might be a good reason for that." Then, under her breath, and less smilingly, she muttered something about "a catalogue of disasters".

You know, I was hurt that Gail chose to regard my six straight eliminations, mostly a result of my wholly understandable reluctance to enter a dark tunnel with a soft flappy piece of material blocking the exit, as disastrous.

Much better to look on the bright side of life, is it not? I decided it was time to enumerate the many positives from the weekend so far:

1. It had been warm and sunny on both days and even better, Gail remembered her hat and her sun block so her pale and freckly skin did not turn lobster coloured, unlike that of one or two of the other humans present.
2. We were fortunate that fellow Deeside Dog Agility Club members Arlene, Kevin and Jo were on hand and happy to push the Mini out of the mud after the shady parking spot Gail so carefully selected turned out to be in the middle of a bog.
3. We were also lucky that Kevin has a sense of humour and did not mind everyone laughing when his face was spattered with mud when Gail finally managed to shift the car.
4. We were delighted to meet fellow blogger 'Vonnie' from Fife and see her talented Shelties fly round the ring.
5. We were very proud of DDAC member Jake, judging his first show, at age eighteen the youngest, and by a mile the smartest of the judges on duty over the weekend.
6. Once past the dreaded 'soft tunnel' I put in an impressively energetic and mostly accurate run on my sixth and final class, at a stage in the game when many other dogs were fading.

Well I could have gone on, but Gail still didn't seem convinced that the weekend had been a great success.

I then remembered that behind the agility field at Hazlehead Park lies a very special garden, and I decided to take Gail the short walk round there for a break.

Look here I am in the Piper Alpha Memorial Rose Garden.
The statue in the middle was built to commemorate the 167 men who died when a North Sea oil platform was engulfed by fire and collapsed, back in 1988.

What a tragic waste of lives. Now that was truly a disaster.
After a few minutes contemplating the roses, whose delicate fragrance was strong enough as to be detectable even by feeble human scent organs, Gail agreed to amend her evaluation of my agility performance from "disastrous" to "a minor hiatus in a soon-to-be glittering agility career".

And she gave me a big hug.


  1. I gotta remember dis whole perspective thing next time I get in trouble - just remind momma how much worse things could be!

  2. Think what could happened if Gail had been driving one of those huge recreational vans........

    Glad you got her looking on the bright side of life.

  3. "Always look on the bright side of life"

  4. Oh Bertie you are so right! Sometimes humans think the silliest little things are a big deal. We love your philosophy

    retro rover

  5. Bertie what a beautiful day ....such gorgeous skies and greeeeeeen grass. Bertie I'm with you I do not like tunnels either. I had one but mom finally gave it to our favorite cat rescue Second Chance. I commend you for continue to pawticipate in the agility...on the day of your choosing you will be the winner.
    Hugs madi your bfff

  6. Hari OM
    I could smell the roses from here Bertie... you've persuaded me at least. Gold will be yours. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx

  7. Looking on the bright side, at least it was not an all terrier obedience trial.


  8. We think you are right Bertie. Always look on the bright side of life. Anyway who wants to get stuck in a stupid plastic Tunnel? Not me. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  9. With such a bright and glorious day - who could blame you for not wanting to run into a dark and dismal tunnel - I mean to say - what if it hard turned out to be a tunnel to some other dimension or something?

  10. Aww we are glad to hear of Gail's softer final assessment! You do look like a model in front of those flowers. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts on Lacci.

  11. Well HECK..... we think Squirrels just STOLE our comment... and darn it... that was one of our more INSIGHTFUL ones, too.

  12. YEP.... we just checked... they stole it fur sure...
    SO here is what we think.... If Agilities are SOOOO fangtastic... WHY is it we never see PEEPS... running and jumping and bobbing and weaving and balancing and running through silly tunnels that have the end blocked with cloth? When we see PEEPS doing this stuffs... WE (YOU) will be willing to take the whole affair more seriously. RIGHT Bertie??????
    SEE???? we told you this was an INSIGHTFUL Comment.

  13. Bertie,
    Well done at the agility comp anyway, I am most impressed you even attempted to tackle that mysterious sounding tunnel - if the agility folk want you to be fast, why block the exit? I'm so jealous you got to meet Vonnie, her blog is a great read, and your superb photo certainly proves that the dogs are brilliant at agility! (Though not as sparkling as you!)
    I'm ashamed to say I (pippa) have never ventured up to Hazlehead, but eve says the last time she was there, the Piper Alfa garden was very bare, so it is lovely to see all those beautiful roses. We definitely do NOT think you are a disaster, Bertie!
    Pippa :)

  14. It's all about perspective! I think you're doing an amazing job.

  15. I remember the accident at the north sea, I had no clue how gigantic that platforms are till I saw one with my own eyes. It was great that you visited the memorial. Agility events are great even with some mischief, I think there is always a light on the end of a tunnel... even when it is a dark one :o)

  16. Bertie - All this agility work must be doing you good. You look very dapper.

  17. Bertie you are hilarious. When this woman attempted to train me in agility I wouldn't enter into the tunnel of doom either. Would she? No. I kept telling her to go first
    Lily & Edward

  18. What a beautiful day for an agility trial, Bertie. I personally do not run agility...though I do not mind the tunnel, I see no point in using so much energy to jump over a stick when I can easily run around it.
    Happy Thursday!

  19. That's what's so great about agility There's always next time! Just keep practicing and you will get better and better.

  20. Wait - we think "impressively energetic and mostly accurate" is totally worth a ribbon!

  21. You will sort that tunnel out next time Bertie, I'm sure of it :-)

  22. As far as we are concerned the best bit of the day was when Gail gave you a nice hug. Aaaw.

    Molly, Taffy, Monty and Winnie

  23. Crikey Bertie ..... our Lucy did agility too. Funny but she loved the tunnel. She hated the seesaw thingie. When Lucy was doing agility she was the only wire in Australia doing it so that lady was right (as far as Australia's concerned anyway). Mum said it was a challenge training her. I reckon it would be a challenge to train Mum. Sure sounds like you had a bit of a trying day. Glad you ended it in that beautiful garden.

  24. Glad you were able to enjoy the outdoors, even if agility isn't your sport!