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The Countdown Begins

Posted on 09/20/10 36 Comments

Well, we leave for Germany for the FCI championships in just 6 days. Our team flies out on Sunday evening from various airports across Canada and we all meet up in Frankfurt when we arrive Monday morning.

My dogs and I are ready to go. Last week we got the running orders for the event. The individual events start on Saturday. Encore will be somewhere around the 53rd dog in the ring (no way of knowing exactly as some dogs are posted in the running order that are actually running team only). Feature is in after Encore with about 40 dogs or so between the two.  From my best guess there are about 125 dogs running in large dog individual (give or take a couple). So after Feature runs in the 95th position there will still be dogs for me to watch at the end of the class.

Team is up before individual with the Jumpers and Standard course for the large dog running on Friday. Actually large dog team jumpers is the first class of the weekend with Canada drawing the number two spot in the running order.  Since I will be running both dogs on team for Canada I will be the 4th and 6th in the ring after the opening ceremonies on Friday morning.

Part of my preparations at home has been running the girls back to back on courses so that we all will be ready physically and mentally for Friday morning.  Physically I have to be prepared to run with only a minute or so between the two dogs (although we can always hope they give us more time:))  and mentally I have to ignore whatever my other dog is doing while she is being held waiting her turn as I focus only on the dog I am running.

I think I will be running Encore first  (unless our management has strong feelings another way). That means  Feature has to watch me run Encore and be ready to be at her best when called upon immediately after.  I know she is up to the task, but am prepared to run her first if others think that is the better way to go for the team.

I think what is critical at these events is to not fall in “love” with a certain way that things have to be done in order for you to do your best.  That is the most important part of getting ready for not just big events like this one but any event really. Don’t get caught up in things that are out of your control. Luckily for me and the rest of the Canadian team we have had some great mental prep coaching this year by John Cullen.

“It is what it is” is a great mantra to keep in mind when you want to do your best.

At this level of competition there are likely dozens of dog and handler teams that are equal to the task of winning it all. Making sure your mental game is in order is really the only thing that divides each of us from one another.

I actually don’t mind where I fall in a running order. There are pros and cons to running early or later. I will tell you what I think are the advantages of running early in team;

1. With our team up 2nd we get to relax and watch almost the entire class afterwards.

2. By running early we won’t be watching team after team struggling with a potential tough area on the course — an area which may not be at all tough area for my dogs — but one that you could make more difficult for yourself by obsessing about it if you see tons of handlers struggle.

3. Running early you have a much better idea about how long you have before you run.  With only one team ahead of us it will be easy to know when to have my pre-run snack, when to start my pre-run routine, when to warm up myself and the dogs up physically etc.

There is a positive spin to every situation. I live by the belief that God has a plan– and this year He has decided I will do my absolute best running early in the running order!

Rarely do I have time to do mindless-not-for-any-reason sort of activities. Lately with my back ailing I have been taking some down time to do that. One of the things I like to do for fun is to doodle. Here is a drawing I did of my gang-o-dogs.

I love how you can see each personality in the cartoon; Encore is making sure everyone is doing things correctly, Feature is trying to convince me it is time to train, DeCaff wants me to give her Feature’s frisbee and Buzzy is enjoying life on his on terms.

Here is what the four of them look like in real life, see if you don’t agree with me:).

Speaking of cartoons. This is a video clip I just love. Very talented lady with a beautiful look at two very important influences in my life.

Today I am grateful for Buzzy, it is his birthday, he is 14 years young. Although his body now pays the price for the rebel rousing lifestyle of his younger years, he really doesn’t show any signs of changing. He is just as enthusiastic about his life as he always has been and still brings a smile to the face of anyone that meets him.


  1. Helen King says:
    Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 12:23pm

    You are the BEST cartoon artist Susan! I LOVE your drawings so much! they always make me smile. 🙂


  2. Kelly St-Jacques says:
    Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8:29am

    Happy birthday (belated) to the inimitable Buzzy. What a guy he is!


    • Kelly St-Jacques says:
      Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8:30am

      And of course GOOD LUCK at the worlds — we’ll be cheering for you!


  3. Laurie Dana says:
    Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 12:39pm

    Best of luck to you and the “red girls” and have fun!!!!!



  4. veronica says:
    Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 5:21am

    Oh what a talent…truely.Is there anything you can’t do…oops! sorry don’t think that word is in your vocabulary.
    Susan ,you have an amazing ability to catch your dreams and a bring them into reality.
    I can’t wait to see what lessons we will learn next.
    Good luck in Germany.Bless you.
    I look forward to seeing you in Australia.
    Do look after your back.After all your only human.


  5. denise says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 8:54pm

    Happy Birthday Buzz!!! Hope you get extra spoilt today 🙂

    Love the cartoon, especially Feature…….her drawing is just brimming with personality!

    Hope everyone travelling to Germany has a safe trip. Looking forward to watching the live video streaming. I would love to watch in person but at least the internet exists to let me watch it all 🙂



  6. Bev says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 5:41pm

    Great cartoon look-alike Susan! Best of everything at the FCI Worlds and Buzz – looking fabulous at 14! Way to go!

    Looking foward to hearing about your clean run and how DO you handle the pressure?


  7. brittsdeux says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 3:54pm

    Very cool video Naomi!


  8. Naomi dh says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 3:09pm

    Hope it’s okay to post the link of this funny clip here (for some more smiling besides Susan dog gang pic) 😀



    • Karen M says:
      Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 10:53pm

      Cool video. Thanks for sharing, Naomi


  9. cecilia says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 7:43am

    Happy birthday Buzz!


  10. shirley holmes says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 3:37am

    Will be thinking of you at the comps..In Germany Wishing you the best of luck. Enjoy!!
    For Buzz, wish him a happy Birthday and lots of hugs and kisses.


  11. Heather McLeod says:
    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 12:29am

    Good Luck in Germany, you will do awesome as always…fantastic cartoon…perfect resemblances…needs to be your next cover! …and a Happy Birthday to Buzzy!

    Heather & The Furkids


  12. Wilma Riddell says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:58pm

    Feliz Cumpleano Buzzy. You don’t look 14.
    The Video made my evening. Thanks for
    sharing. Good luck in Germany, Susan.
    If you feel a sudden burst of energy, it is
    me cheering for you!
    Wilma Q. Riddell


  13. Marie-France Langlois says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:34pm

    I love you Buzzy! From afar and so Much!
    All of you a bunch of fun and pleasure over there in Germany!


  14. Chris McQ says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 7:33pm

    Happy 14th Birthday Buzz!! Your buddy Seamus sends along his best wishes for another happy and healthy year!


  15. Dianne says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 7:07pm

    Happy Birthday Buzz!


  16. Mary M says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:49pm

    Happy B-Day Buzzy!!!!


  17. Naomi dh says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 3:46pm

    happy bday buzz

    good luck Susan!


  18. Shelley says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 3:34pm

    Happy Happy birthday Buzz!!! Can never thankyou enough for inspiring ‘Shaping Success’ darlin boy.


  19. Mary Lou says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 2:36pm

    I absolutely loved that video! Thanks for sharing!

    Safe travels!

    I can’t wait to see your brilliant performances in Germany. I am already cheering!

    Mary Lou & gang


  20. Jennifer S says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 2:12pm

    Can’t wait to see the runs. Happy travels and have fun!


  21. Katie Oilschlager says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 12:39pm

    Happy Birthday Buzz! Love the drawing of the gang Susan. I am very excited for you and your girls at FCI Worlds..good luck!


  22. Michelle says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 12:03pm

    First Happy Birthyday Buzz boy, your a dog with great spirit, I always love watching your old videos.

    I got to see Fred and Lucie this weekend at Chomedy and can feel their excitement for the competition.

    Good luck to you all, you are a team to be reckoned with 🙂


  23. Trudie says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 11:19am

    It will be thrilling to see you and your dogs, both superstars, at the FCI championships !


  24. teyma says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 10:49am

    Good luck!! if you want the running order, order not by country but order by start numbers, here you have. May be you are not interest on it, but if we were on your shoes we will like to know it, beacuse is nice to know who goes before, etc.



    for lynda, small

    and if there is another medium who wants:



  25. Vicki says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:58am

    Happy Birthday to Buzz and best of luck to you and the girls in Germany!!


  26. Barrie Lynn says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:39am

    Run clean and fast in Germany and HAVE FUN! A very happy birthday to Buzz!!!!


  27. Diane says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:28am

    Great pic of the gang and you and good luck at the FCI championships! Enjoy your trip.


  28. Marsha Kingsley says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:26am

    Great video Susan!! Happy Birthday to Buzzy and great luck to you in Germany!!


  29. Jodi Altman says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 9:03am

    Excellent drawing of your gang, especially Missy E’s most feminine look. Yell Buzz a birthday wish from me.


  30. Helen KIng says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 8:54am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUZZ BOY!!! Have a great day BooBOo and a swim for the Hooligans.


  31. Karin Roelofsma says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 6:17am

    Good Luck in Germany, and a very happy birthday for Buzzy and what a good song and inspiration..
    have a very good day today, with a big smile 😉


  32. Fanny says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 5:46am

    Happy Birthday Buzzy! Good luck in Germany, I’ll see you there and cheer for you!


  33. Esther says:
    Monday, September 20, 2010 at 4:39am

    Thanks for this wonderful thought for today. God bless you!


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