Club Report Winter 2003
OAD TRIP! Yep, six supposedly sane intelligent adults decided to drive to Toronto to watch the Nationals.
Mike Bauer and Shirley Habke drove to Thunder Bay from Winnipeg to join me, Bob, Lol and John for this memorable trip. We all piled into Bob’s big green van at 5AM and off we went. After driving for several minutes, we had to find the nearest Tim Horton’s and stock up on everyone’s favourite LARGE coffee for the trip. An hour later, you guessed it; we were desperately looking for a gas station with hopefully more than one washroom. OK, new rule, no more coffee or we’ll never get there.
We made the usual burger stops along the way, but let me interject a disclaimer here and now. Whatever they tell you about an onion never happened!
The weather was perfect for driving so we made Toronto in record time. Bob and Mike drive quite fast but when John took the wheel I had a few moments of trepidation. He told us he had never had a speeding ticket, and then proceeded to try his damndest to get one.
Obviously we arrived at our destination in one piece and considering we had to organize six people every morning, we actually made it out to the field on time.
Saturday night’s dinner and party were great. After the last shuttle had left, I looked around and there were still quite a few people left. I was the D.D. so I began gathering my group which ended up being everyone left in the place. Apparently, Bob just kept saying “no problem, you can get a ride with us”. Does the phrase “packed in like Sardines” ring a bell? It was great! A dozen or so people squeezed into the van in a tangle of arms and legs.
Ralph Gilbey was lucky enough to grab the front passenger seat. Some of the comments from way in the back were priceless. “Hey, whose hand is that?”----“I can’t feel my legs”----“I can, they feel gooood”----“OOOOH, Pillows”----“Those aren’t Pillows!” Ralph and I just thanked our lucky stars that we weren’t back there.
Congratulations to all those who made it on to Team Canada and great job in Italy.
The trip back to Thunder Bay was much more subdued with six very tired travelers. To those of you trying to sleep in the back of the van, serves you right for leaving the last bit of driving in the dark to me. I can’t help it if you banged your head every time I accelerated after realizing I was going way slower than the speed limit. Finally I admitted I could no longer drive and John (who does drive the speed limit at night) got us home safely.
Two weeks later, on September 11th to the 14th, The Canadian Police Canine Association Trials were held in Thunder Bay. Congratulation to Eric Luke and his Mal “Cinder” for placing 2nd overall. Cinder had the best grip of all the other canine competitors. Could it have anything to do with training with a Schtuzhund club? Watch for these two on a future episode of Dogs With Jobs. Our own John Carvalho was asked by the organizers to do some helper work for the speed trial. Excellent Catches John.
Claire decided to try for a BH with Cabre and I wanted to do one more SchH 3 before winter so off we went to Winnipeg on October 25th. Never a dull moment in the Windy City. At the handler meeting the majority voted to track after obedience and protection when the wind would be lighter. I was the last to go so finishing a track as the sun set was another new experience for me. It was cold too so we all trialed with hats and gloves on. Pity the poor teams who had to endure an AD in the snow on Sunday morning. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
Claire and Cabre did a great job and were successful in their first attempt at the BH. Me and my Aro passed our SchH 3 with a much improved protection routine.
Claire and I stayed with Liz and Eric Luke who catered to our every need. They had a house full of little girls. There was their adorable and very active daughter Katelyn and five 3 week old female puppies. Bob McGonigal will be taking one of the puppies home in December after losing his young dog Corrie to a sudden illness.
We are down to training on Saturdays only and even though the weather has been abnormally mild, we will soon be training indoors. Winter is a great time to work on all those little things that could get us a few more marks if we cleaned them up.
Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!