World Agility Open, go on Agility Team Scotland!

In 2012 Manouk and me were lucky to be part of the very first Agility Team Scotland that went to represent Scotland at the World Agility Open Championship. This year I will be returning to the event as the Canine Therapist for Team Scottish.

Last Sunday was the last team training. I thought it would feel extremely strange not to be there as a competitor and of course it was a little, but to be honest I just love my role in the team. It’s so much fun and so much challenge to take care of all the canine athletes!

I spent most of the training afternoon getting to know the Agility Team Scotland canine athletes before the big event in May and performed some pre-event warm up massages and muscular health checks. My aim was to earn the trust of the dogs I barely had time to actually watch any of the runs!

I also hope the team members will take back home my advice concerning warm up and cool down for their team mate and will spend a little bit of time developing a tailored routine. It is an aspect of the heath, performance and well-being of the canine athlete that is too often ignoredin agility.

I am so excited and can’t wait now for the event, less than two months to wait now! Go on Agility Team Scotland, let’s go and win some medals!

And I forgot to say….I was so proud of little Kelsy, I have been treating her now for a few months and she was absolutely flying!

Photos courtesy of Fiona Flood

Crufts 2016 – Good Luck to all the agility competitors

How time flies! A year ago I was getting ready for Crufts with Manouk to compete in the agility championship final on the Sunday, one of the most prestigious final of the UK.

Manouk  was just back from an injury, in fact I only had the go ahead to compete from Scott Rigg, his orthopaedist specialist, 5 days before the competition, so it was truly a magic event.  It also prove that with dedication, patience and the right Medical and rehabilitation team, miracle are possible!

No need to say I was just a little bit nervous (!) but I had a fab last minute groomer who stepped in: Lucy Osborne who helped me in the background to discuss the courses, calm me and take care of Manouk whilst I was walking the courses.  Agility is also that, a community of people who are supporting and helping each other’s, driven by the same passions: our dogs (they always come first) and agility!

Little I knew it would be his last final and his last time at Crufts: a couple of months later, during a follow up check-up, he was diagnosed with an unrelated condition, a lumbosacral disc degeneration, which forced us to stop agility, with 2 champ tickets and 3 reserves in our pockets. So close to the prestigious “agility champion” title. Gosh I miss running this boy, he is just a dream of a dog, no wonder why his nickname is Mr Perfect!

So today, I woud like to wish all the BEST OF LUCK TO ALL THE AGILITY COMPETITORS, I will obviously cheer for all my fellow Scottish competitors! With a special thought for Kelsy, Burns and Jess who will be competing at the young kennel club agility ring! Enjoy your time there!