• Watch Out For Charging Rhinos (Retford Review)

    A glorious day, partly sunny and partly overcast but generally warm greeted us for the Notts Supadogs tournament at Retford. The venue was excellent (and the location of the toilets helped the step count) and I have to say it was a very intimate show. With only 4 divs (including starters) i was a nice change from the frequent hustle and bustle of some of the larger shows.

    We had 2 teams in today, DogStar Sentinels made up of Prada, Jenna, Penny, Merlin, Bedevere and Nahkohe and DogStar Dark Knights with Domino, Arthur, Melora, Angel and Fidgit. We hadn't entered a starters team, but both Fern and Clyde were invited to join Alphas team so many thanks to them for allowing the interlopers in.

    In other news, Alex has been disowned but more on that later.

    It was a bit of an odd day. After a run of successful tournaments I think it's fair to say that things didn't particularly go well. Perhaps it was the run of barmy weather we've been having or an excess of Bob Marley coffee, but it was - actually a relaxed and quite amusing day that was thoroughly enjoyable despite the odd goings on in the ring. I had a nice day anyway and we all managed to chuckle at various points.

    I have to say I love racing outdoors. Don't get me wrong, all our dogs will race indoors, and during Winter when that's the only option it's good for keeping the old hand and eye in and is enjoyable, but nothing beats the smell of the grass, the warmth of the sun - even the rain - it doesnt matter, there's something very uplifting about being outside and the dogs just love it.

    Anyway, I'm waffling now, so let's get on with the rest of it and the racing.

    Sentinels were in first much to Domino's disgust when Jenna came out of the car and we all trouped over to the ring to kick off the days racing.

    Sentinels had a good start winning their first race in 3 legs. Unfortunately we lost the second race, although it was nice to see Penny getting more and more confident as the weeks go on.

    Race 3 was sadly a loss in 4 legs but even so there were some positive things to take out of it. The fourth race was a win for us in 3 legs followed by a loss in 5 so all in all not too bad, 2 wins but since this was a team with a couple of guest runners in the shape of Jenna and Penny we did okay and pushed most races to 4 or 5 when we lost.

    Sentinels meanwhile started strongly despite a 5 leg loss and then everything kind of went to hell. Races 2 and 3 we're all no time losses in every leg with dogs running out, fumbling, double false starts and distractions from the side of the ring that dogs went to investigate. In my dual role as Domino helper and Fidget runner I kind of lost the plot and ran full pelt down the wrong side of the lane to get into position, much to the surprise (horror?) or Julie and Liz. Suitably reprimanded by judge Andrew I made sure that didn't happen again. Sometimes your brain just falls out of your ass :-)

    Things did improve in race 4 in that we actually completed 3 times, but still lost. The final race was a consolation win in 4 legs though which was a nice way to end. It's also nice to see Fidgit concentrating in the ring and Lesleys patience paying off. I did get some quizical looks as I ran back up the lane screaming "Fiddddddgggggiiiiiiiittttt" like some demented banshee though.

    There were several other notable events during the course of the day :

    Domino running into Arthur and stopping his 'bulldozer' moments

    Teresa calling Domino back with his nickname 'Thugley' which was picked up by Andrew and commented on.

    Keith being unable to keep his balls in and us having to borrow Nunnies box for a couple of races. Thanks to them. I believe Keiths balls are now firmly staying put.

    Alex helping Commandos out with ball collecting. Andrew kindly let Alex pick up his rosette for him and sent him back with a nice 'nutritious' can of Carlsberg (although it was empty). Alex seemed to spend quite a bit of time with Commandos, and we have therefore decided to pack his room and ship him to Andrew ala Paddington.

    While we didn't have a starters team in, Alpha kindly let Fern and Clyde run with them. As anyone who knows us will atest Clyde isn't a natural born flyballer, but it's great to see him running for Hannah.

    The only bit of the day that was a bit of a concern was when Fern was bowled over by an opposing dog. She was very skittish after that, but from what Liz and Nev have said since should have recovered pretty well.

    It was a great tournament and very low key which was nice for a change. We have a great day and thanks to Notts Supadogs for laying it on.

    So onto the awards :

    The 'Thanks, one less mouth to feed award' goes to Andrew

    The 'What the hell?' award goes to DogStar Dark Knights

    The 'Competitive Spirit' award hgoes to Nunnies

    The 'Malfunctioning Balls' award goes to Keith


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