Sunday, 9 December 2012

Agility or 'Strictly'?

You know I thought I was there at the Loanhead Equestrian Centre yesterday morning in order to enter my first ever contest, the Devanha Dogs Just for Fun Agility Show. But when, at the start of the day, I saw the humans 'walking the course', for a moment I wondered if I'd got it all wrong and Gail was taking part in a sequins-free version of 'Strictly Come Dancing'.

Well apparently that is all part of the proceedings. I also learned there's an awful lot of hanging around at agility events. And that unheated barns in December in Aberdeenshire are very cold.

Luckily, Gail had the foresight to bring Hamish's old coat along for me (and yes, I really did use the words 'luckily' and 'coat' in the same sentence).

I think Gail was was a bit envious of the more experienced handlers who wrapped themselves in sleeping bags whilst waiting their turn. If you are thinking that she looks chilled to the marrow in this next photo, you would be right.

Oh, you are in fact wondering how I performed in the agility ring?

Well frankly, I can't understand what happened.

I mean, I was so confident I was winning, but it seems that judges have strange and narrow-minded ideas about what constitutes a faultless round.

Lots of the dogs boringly restricted themselves to running and jumping over the obstacles, so I would have thought, having demonstrated that I too was perfectly capable of clearing a couple of medium sized hurdles, that my initiative in then going off-piste to inspect the far end of the barn before resuming the 'official' route should have earned me extra points, but the judges thought differently. Likewise, running straight along the 'dog walk' is just so dull when one can demonstrate one's agility - after all that's what it's all about isn't it - by jumping from left to right and back again, several times, across the lower end of the ramp. Oh yes and lastly, having heard Gail complaining about me not sitting patiently at the start on my first two goes, on my third and final event I decided to show her how well I could sit. And sit. And sit....

After all that carry on, it was eventually time to leave, and in the car going home Gail was saying some very odd things about how maybe it was good that my performance was so "erratic" as it doesn't always do to peak too soon and thus leave no scope for improvement next time around.

"Erratic"? Surely Gail at least should recognise my unique wire-haired fox terrier brand of perfection...


  1. Unfair assessment of your abilities. Even we can see how talented you are...and inventive...even from here.

    Hamish's coat looks like a perfect fit...luckily it didn't have legs.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  2. Bertie - Put it down to all that time spent in an unheated Aberdeenshire barn.

  3. Bertie, I am sure you and Gail were fabulous. If you think even the professionals are perfect, then take a look at this:
    I am sure that this will make Gail feel better.
    Sending lotsaluv to you
    Your friends in SA

    1. Love the video! In fact there were all sorts of misdemeanours that Bertie did NOT commit, and anyway, what would I blog about if he had been as perfect as he likes to think he is!
      Cheers, Gail.

  4. BRRRRRRR Bertie. We are sure you did well. Stay warm. Have a super Sunday.
    Best wishes Molly

  5. Judges are strange - they have no patience for an independent thinker - you are just too far advanced for them!!

    You look very handsome in Hamish's old coat - it fits you perfect.

    Lilly, Piper, Ivy and The Sweet Buglets

  6. Oh Bertie, what does the world expect of an dog with the blog title of Bouncing Bertie, after all you are a Terrier, and we know how Terriers Think. We bet you put on a show for all those other professional trained dogs. WOW, Gail, you made us cold gotta go a find a blankie now, bye!

    Your Pals
    Susie & Bites

  7. Peeps seem to be all ANAL about stuffs like this. Sad isn't it? We believe that there should be FREE STYLE agilities fur those of us who are CREATIVE. Well WE think you did a MARVELOUS job!!! BRAVO BUDDY

  8. It sounds like you did a grreat job! Those silly judges are so close-minded.

  9. Oh judges, bah! Mom once to rally o with Bob and he was afraid of some of the obstacles so the crazy trainer lady dragged him all aroudn the obstacle course even though he was very afraid. Mom felt awful. Later she took a much more positive course and Bob had fun but we have neve r competed.

    Free style agility sounds excellent to us! (Also we love that coat, but does it count as fancy dress?)

    urban hounds

  10. Oh Bertie, those humans sometime just don't know our capabilities. To us, it sounds that you really excelled. Running fast, zig-zagging and putting smiles on the crowd is what it SHOULD be all about!

    We commend you on your efforts.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  11. AHHHHHHH Bertie wrapped up in Hamish's coat now that is what I call a great big hug of approval.
    Red is your color too. Quite frankly, I'm sure your performance was much more entertaining... kind of like the child in the Christmas Program who decides to wave at all the folks they know in the audience!! Mom always finds that the best part of the show.

    Hugs your BFFF

  12. Hi Bertie,

    Don't let Gail tell you that you are erratic, as it all comes down to human errors. When I did agility, sometimes my human didn't make it clear what I was expeceted to do, so I had to interpret her waving arms and strange words with creative moves of my own! Of course I would BOL as I ran, as the sight of my human actually running was amusing without all the other stuff.

  13. Congratulations Bertie, I am sure you were the best of show and the other pals all envied your vision of excellence.

    Loveys Sasha

  14. Sounds as though you did a little of your signature Bouncing and showed up some of the ones more inclined to rule following!!! You go, Bertie ... way to raise the bar for the others next time!!

  15. Why Bertie you were just giving the rest of the dogs a show at how NOT to do the course. Next time you will show them perfection.
    Sweet William The Scot

  16. Bewtie
    I will nevew undewstand hoomans! No imaginashun ow initiative is what I see on theiw pawt. Honestly, not wecognising all the extwa and most entewtaining bits you inclooded in yoow pawfowmance is cwiminal. Espeshully aftew you had to weaw and coat as it was so fweezing and poow Gail almost tuwned into an icicle. I hope you awe bof snug in fwont of the fiwe now celebwating yoow mawveloos uniqueness. Bwavo!
    (I will come skate by yoow house showtly)
    Smoochie kisses

  17. I think the humans put on an excellent show. And you are a winner in our books every time out.

  18. Bertie-

    It's called Terrier Freestyle! And that's the way all the hip dogs do it....Gold Medal for you :D


  19. Take no notice mate, I am sure you were brilliant. BTW, have you thought that you have access to seatbelts in the back of your car...just sayin' ;-) Deccy x

  20. Howdy Bertie, first off, we had to laugh at your video cause we thought it was some sort of zombie movie hehehe. Secondly, some people just have no imagination do they. Those judges most certainy were fuddy duddies. They do realise your name is "Bouncing" Bertie don't they? We're sorry Gail nearly got frozen. If we could package some of our heat to you we would mate. See ya soon. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  21. Your mom looks chilled beyond the bone! And the "erratic" performance?! Really made me wag and feel like a kindred dog spirit. Those who follow all the rules miss all the fun. (Um, and the awards, but oh well.)

  22. Is Devanha Dogs just Dogsbuddy Aberdeen? I contacted them but their agility days aren't good enough for me!

  23. We're with Frankie: freestyle agility sounds like a lot more FUN, and wasn't FUN an operative word in the description of what you were doing? As long as you and Gail had fun, what else matters? And nice coat! Bet that would help make you visible on your pre-dawn walkies, along with your flashing bling on your collar.

  24. Apparently, in Abderdeen, Agility is Not for
    Sissies. You looked smart and handsome in Hamish's coat and I am sure whatever you did in the ring, *should* have been just swell, but labeling you erratic seems quite wrong to me. They could just have used the word "enthusiastic" and that might have taken care of it.