Maribor, June 3
Hm, competitions in eastern Slovenia that take place on rainy days and attract fewer competitors than usual that I run in hiking boots seem to be our recipe for success: we achieved another third-place finish. Over twenty dogs had been entered, but only twelve came on the day, likely due to the bad weather. We weren't brilliant--five faults in the first run for a missed contact zone, and Lyra needed lots of time (and courage) to negotiate the teeter-totter. On the second run she ran underneath the pole of a jump after a tight turn, so we went back and tried again. At the time I thought that was grounds for disqualification (shows how well I know the agility rules), but it's only five faults, and she was clean on everything else. And so we came home with a cup (and a bag of dog food!).
Oh, for those days of innocence, when I was thrilled to make it through even one run without being disqualified...I'm getting ambitious, and third place is getting old, especially in such a small field of competitors.
But the day was special in other ways, too: Olivia's breeders and their dogs and her brother Bryce and his owner Stefan came to watch: Maribor is only about 50 km from Bryce's home in Austria. It was great to see them. Olivia did not seem to remember her earliest caretakers, but gradually warmed up to them. After the competition we followed them over to the village of Eibiswald, Austria and had a delicious and much appreciated dinner at Stefan's. The next morning the sun made an appearance after nearly a week of dreary weather, and we went for a hike along the Slovenia-Austrian border at Radlpass. Oli played tag with her brother and cooled off by flopping in a mud puddle, which turned her from a blue merle into a blue merle with lots of tan.
Driving back home, I was struck yet again by how beautiful and green a land Slovenia is. And how yummy the the famous Trojane doughnuts are.