There was a whole lot of excited barking going on just over the bank from where we were camping at Clareville Camp over the weekend. The Wairarapa Dog Agility Club were holding a two day competition and caravans, campers and tents started arriving, some towing trailers full of dogs. They set themselves up around the perimeter of the camping area, many adding a gazebo in front of their caravans and tents to give extra shade from the hot Wairarapa sun. Then the competition courses were arranged, with hurdles and tunnels put “just so”, ready for the competition to start.
We wandered down to have a look, and dogs all seemed to be having the time of their lives. The owners got to “walk the course” before each competition started, and we noticed them raising their arm at each hurdle, and swinging their arm when they came to a tunnel, perhaps to imprint the course in their minds before they take their turn. The border collies seemed to be the stars of the show, they rushed around the course as quick as a flash, jumping over the hurdles, and rushing headlong into the tunnels. The owners ran around the course too, shouting commands at the top of their voices. Some of the owners seemed to have a little trouble keeping up with these exuberant dogs and collapsed in a heap at the end of the course, while the dogs looked like they could easily go another round.
Over the hurdle
Walking back to our caravan we passed by a young woman and her Australian Koolie dogs who were having a bit of R&R between their competition classes. (As we had never come across this dog breed before we did a little research on our return home - read about them here). She confirmed that the dogs are entered by size in the competitions, micro, mini, middies and maxi. That’s what we thought, as we had earlier watched a whole lot of teeny tiny dogs put through their paces, although their small size didn’t seem to slow them down.
Muffy wasn’t too impressed that we had spent time away patting dogs when we could have been giving her our undivided attention. So she had a little outing and got to sniff the exciting rural smells of sheep, chickens and all those dogs being put through their paces for a while on our return.
The noise of the excited dogs didn’t worry us, but unfortunately we had a few problems during the weekend with ill mannered dog owners who kept coming over to our small camping area in front of our caravans to toilet their dogs. “But we always toilet the dogs here”, they told us. Our concern was that the dog people could well see that this particular camping area was occupied, and it was common courtesy to take the dogs elsewhere for toileting. We were also not happy with dogs running free around our caravans. We had a quiet word to A&P Chairman, who passed on our concerns to the President of the dog club, who was then to inform the competitors not to bring their dogs amongst other campers, but to use some of the other nearby areas. After all, with 65 acres available, there was no need to upset other paying customers in the adjacent camping area. Did it work? Not completely – but the dog traffic was much reduced.