Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ložnica pri Žalcu, May 13

Ložnica is near the town of Žalec (pop. 5314). There are a lot of hop-growers in the surrounding region, whose harvest is used in the making of "liquid bread"--a product which is reputed to be very, very good for you. I consume a lot of it myself, and just look how healthy I am.

The grounds of the Pluton Kennel Club are quite close to the main highway between Ljubljana and Maribor, but give the impression of being in the middle of nowhere, surrounded as they are by crop-fields on one side and a small forest on the other, and reached by gravel road. The four representatives of the Ajdovščina team (and their border collies) traveled in one car (Monika and Oli stayed behind on this trip), with Lyra sharing the rumble seat squished between Aron and Aika (and emitting growls of displeasure from time to time) and Kena lying at Franc's feet in the front.

We finished the first run with five faults, which put us 11th of 25. On the second run we messed up multiple times on the slalom, and then on the second to last obstacle, a tire, Lyra jumped through the side, instead of through the middle, which resulted in disqualification. A little disappointing, since this competition was one of six which count towards the Eukanuba Cup, but there will be other opportunities, with the ranking at the end of the season based on the best four results of six.

And anyway I have reason to be proud of Lyra's performance that day, since there was also a team agility run, and Lyra had the best result of our four, despite being the least experienced. She was the only member of our team to have a clean run--Kena had five faults (knocking down a pole on the very last jump, aargh), Aron ten, Aika was disqualified. Lyra came 17th out of 61 competitiors total; our team was 8th of 16. This is actually the first (and so far only) time she has had a clean run on the agility portion (as opposed to jumping); it's ironic that it happened on a more difficult, A2 course. And yes, she did encounter the dreaded teeter-totter on this course, and negotiated it without any faults, just very, very slowly--which is why our time of 34.05 was a good ten seconds slower than that of the fastest dogs.

Since I didn't have my car with me, I used one of the wooden kennels on the site for stowing Lyra from time to time for periods of rest (in between competing, playing ball, and going for walks in the woods). And so I could watch in peace. I can't have her with me when I watch other competitors; she goes nuts whenever she sees other dogs on the course, and barks incessantly and uncontrollably. It's easiest just to put her somewhere out of visual range of the course. At Ložnica she got an extra large box with a soft blanket in it, in the shade of a large stand of pine trees. It looked so inviting I crawled in there with her for a time during the mid-afternoon heat, stretching out, snoozing and listening to the wind in the pines.

I took pity on her and asked for permission to have her with me in the back seat on the way back, instead of sardined with Aika and Aron. It was a little cramped, with Nuska and a bunch of luggage there too, but there was less growling.

And now it's time for a lunch break--I hear liquid bread is on the menu.


Post a Comment

<< Home