Friday, July 18, 2008

Dog sports and trials in Penang Isle

Prior to flexing our brawn at the PAA Agility and OB trials in Sungai Dua Penang, we popped by at Batu Ferringhi beach the day before for a quick dip and also to take in the sunset.

Check out the beach babes and hunks seen parading on the beach that weekend. Here’s Archer prancing as a Baywatch lifeguard … now who needs swimming trunks when you’ve got lots of fur to spare.
Lotus n Empress brought along their new life vests to try on and they looked really smart. Together with Russell, they had a go at swimming in the sea while Archer watched the waves breaking onto shore. Angel got into her usual herding mode and yet again mistook me for sheep. I was too preoccupied with my frisbee toy and got into a fight with Russell over it. Got punished and was sent to another part of the beach away from the rest, which suited me just fine as I could now play with my frisbee in peace. Meanwhile, Pacco took time to meet up with a couple of ‘long time’ pals of hers, the resident dogs of the beach.

The organizers, PAAPP are an energetic and ambitious band of dog lovers. Flyball races, gamblers and standard agility plus OB trials were scheduled over 2 full days. On the side, they also lined up a fancy dress competition, musical freestyle and protection dog demos.

First time that flyball races were being held in the country. As there were insufficient numbers to form relay teams, races were run in a 1-on-1 round robin format. Everyone was on the learning curve and there were naturally some confusion over the number of runs/ reruns/ heats/ races per dog. Most teams thought each race would be decided over the best of 3 runs. Appeared that each dog had to run 3x over 3 heats against each competitor, which meant up to 9 runs per race against each competing dog.

All this proved too much for most dogs and in humid conditions, many conceded midway. This soon became a test of which dog could last the longest over the never ending runs to and fro the flyball box. In the end, only Hannah the Malinos and I were left standing at the start/finish line. The rest were too tired or bored or got distracted. The number of designated runs will have to be revisited as it is way too testing on all of us (humans included) given our hot and humid weather conditions. Plus we were also slotted to take part in the agility events later on.

Nevertheless, the flyball races did prove exciting when 2 dogs were actually racing neck to neck, up and down the lanes and owners were yelling themselves hoarse to get their dogs into 5th gear across the finish line. There were a number of reruns, some came back without the ball, some missed a hurdle or two and some decided that the lane was greener on the other side. I had my fair share of reruns … being a 1 ball mutt, I kept spitting out the balls when they loaded the box with ones which weren’t my favourite. Mr Owner said I was being rude and difficult. I say, ‘Just gimme my ball. I only need 1!’

This time around, PetnYou Dog Squad scored big time and went home with car loads of trophies, medals, certificates and dog food. Congratulations to the winning teams!

My training mate, Kimi the JRT made his owner proud by coming in 3rd in OB PreNovice, 2nd in Jumpers Mini and 1st in Elementary Mini Agility, on the back of a clean run. Quite amazing, considering that he is barely a year old and this being his first time at proper Agility and OB trials. His big brother, Bank the GR, would have been pleased. Angel the BC also produced nice, clean qualifying runs to take top spots in Novice, Elementary and Gamblers Maxi Agility. She just about swept all the titles in agility for maxi dogs. Her owner decided to take the longer but safer routes on the agility courses, and this tactic worked well for them.
Despite my protests, Mr Owner had me up for OB Novice trials again and once again I produced my signature wave-like heeling pattern, somewhat like a snake sliding across the ring. Even funnier was that they left the pause table for agility in a corner of the OB ring and in the midst of the fast pace heeling exercise, I ran up and onto the pause table in anticipation of the start of agility trials. Mr Owner almost had a heart attack! Still, I did well in the rest of the stay and recall exercises and managed a creditable 4th placing in OB Novice with a qualifying score of 88, which was far better than expected. Received an OB qualifying medal for that which was nice.

Did considerably better in the running events, taking top spots in Flyball, Gamblers and Novice Mini Agility and registering clean qualifying runs as well. Been a long time since my last recorded clean run and my owners were delighted with my performance in all the dog sports being contested over the weekend.
All in all, the Dog Squad won 9 events, and came 2nd and 3rd in 4 other events, sweet! 1st spot came with huge 15kg bags of kibble and we would have struggled to fit 9 bags of that stuff into our car booths. Thankfully, the organisers have arranged so that we could collect our prizes from distribution outlets in KL.

In between events, Lotus n Empress’s owner even found time to visit an old folks home just next door to the trials venue. The home had a proper stage and audio equipment, so we gave a short, impromptu tricks and musical freestyle demo to entertain the senior citizens, cool.

Amber the GR and I also gave musical freestyle demos at the end of the day to entertain the trialers and audience. Chloe the GR also joined in for an impressive tricks routine with her sister, Amber. They certainly were a talented duo of retrievers.Following the Penang trials, Angel, Archer and I each need only 1 more clean run in Novice Agility to achieve the PAAPP Malaysian Agility Champion (MACH) title. Looking forward to their next trial in Ipoh.


Blogger Pacco de Mongrel said...

u are brilliant as usual.... hope u will add the MACH infront of your name during the next trip to penang..

10:00 PM  
Blogger Amber-Mae said...

Wow! You PetnYou Dog Squad are sooo cool! So lucky you're gonna be an Agility Champ soon. I wish to be one soon someday...Sure it was really hot in that hall eventho it was sheltered but we did have a pawsome time! Congrats to you guys!!!

Butt wiggles,
Solid Gold Dancer

2:35 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Beautiful pictures! Such a neat sport and pups!


8:00 AM  
Blogger Siew Har said...

is that our box?! all the way to penang!!!??Wow.. ha ha

5:44 PM  

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