The next chapter...
Sheila usually runs him. She has another Pap, Smokey who took to Agility like a duck to water. Keeping up the poultry analogy, Blaze took to Agility like a turkey takes to Christmas! To make matters worse in Blazeís eyes, Smokey has won out to Grade 3, dragging the reluctant Blaze with him.
This is the tale of Blazeís triumphant run at C-Side recently.
Sheila and Blaze stepped up to the line. The trumpets trumpeted. The tannoy blared 'the next competitors are Sheila and Blaze. An expectant hush fell over the crowd.
Sheila gave Blaze a firm 'sit and stay.'
Sheila marched confidently to her mark to make a good recall. She turned and called 'come on, Blaze.'
In a higher pitch and with a little more enthusiasm, Sheila tried again, 'Come on, Blazeee!'
Blaze rose to his feet and started forward to the first jump which he peered over. Imagine if you will a horse looking over a stable door and you will have the picture.
Sheila shouted and jumped up and down a bit and eventually our lad hauled himself over the jump. He was on his way! He cantered for want of a better word over a few jumps and then, suddenly, lurched into full flight. He passed Sheila, galloped into a tunnel and completely ignored the weaves on the way out. With a screeching of brakes and a flurry of sand he was called back and at the second attempt completed the weaves correctly. He then lurched back into turbo boost and hurtled round the course.
But... isnít there always a but... in his fervour he then took off too early for a jump. Disaster! He hit the pole with his front legs when he was on his way down, and at that angle the pole stayed in place. Our hero bit the dust, literally. His little legs were tucked up under him and he landed on his nose. Ouch!
Sheila rushed over. The judge rushed over. The crown stood shocked. Blaze lay still.
'Poor Blaze,' the crowd cried. 'Is he injured?'
Blazey bravely attempted to stand. He took a tentative step. The pain was clear to see. He limped.
'Poor little thing has hurt himself.' declared the judge, with great sympathy.
'Yes,' agreed Sheila. 'I will take him out.' She gently led the ailing Blaze to the finish line. Poor old Blaze, with head and tail down and an anguished look on his face he bravely followed.
As soon as the clock was stopped, the tail came up, the head came up and the limp disappeared, and Blaze was jumping around looking for his reward. The little s*d had done it again!
Postscript: Blaze piddled in the ring at Just Minis!
It was not too long before they discovered that they might have made a grave mistake! The car was exchanged for a van. Their two dogs increased to five. The front garden gates were removed to allow for the caravan to come and go, and the families complained that they never saw them at weekends. Hey ho, have we hear this before?
Bandit, the original dog, is now 13 and retired this year, but Richard has a full time job training and controlling Murphy, the original Irish Twerphound. Somehow they have won through to Grade 2. Sheila has Smokey, a Papillon, and together they have reached Grade 3. She also runs (or is run by) Blaze.
Both Sheila and Richard are keen supporters of IMCA and PAWC. They both went to Holland in 2006, Richard went with a small team to Italy this year.
First published December 08