02 July 2013

EO, preparing

OK, all set for Belgium travel - I've looked up this road sign which baffled me last year and discovered it means "yield to the person on your right", which perfectly explains why the guy on my left was waving and yelling at me ;)

Yesterday I made a few calls to make sure all was in order to get Strafe into Belgium and out again, and all seems well. We have our appointment to get a health certificate, then we have to send our paperwork to the government office for their stamp of approval, then we are set to go! I am looking forward to traveling with a Pet Passport this year - it should be much more easily recognizable by the customs people in Brussels!

We have a vet appointment tomorrow as well, just to check his foot to make sure everything is well. It seems to be healing more quickly the past few days, and the swelling on his toe webbing is slowly going down. He still wants to lick at it though, so we are still going to go to our vet appointment and check on it. We've been icing, lasering, and soaking in epsom salts at various times throughout the day. I also started loosely wrapping it at night so he can't lick it then.

We have also ramped up the conditioning a bit, getting up early to go for a nice walk (up a hill and down again), then doing some strengthening work with the Bosu ball or disc, some various strengthening work on the ground, and swimming 15-20 minutes in the creek every day that weather allows it.

Now that my whirlwind June is over, it is really, really sinking in just how quickly we leave for the EO. The list of participants is out, with our names on it! 

We are getting our hotel plans and sight seeing plans set, looking into rental cars, etc. I actually really enjoy the experience of driving a rental car across a new countryside. It's fun and exciting! We are hoping weather and time will permit us to see a bit of Germany along with maybe Amsterdam, and then Gent before flying back out of Brussels after the event. Ambitious, maybe, so we will keep a relaxed plan and wing it a little bit if we are extra tired or extra energetic!

Between now and when we leave, I have 2 AKC trials. I had entered Strafe originally, hoping to knock out some Q's, but when his shoulder was a little tight and then he whacked his foot at Practice, I decided not to run him. So I will just be focusing on making Strafe as fit and healthy as possible, and running only Kiba at the trials.

I have to say, I've had a very interesting run of international competitions. 2010 and 2011 I competed for IFCS and WAO with Drifter, both at the same location in England. 2012 I brought a brand new dog, Kiba, to WAO in Belgium. And now for 2013 I have yet a third dog, at a new-to-me competition EO, but at the exact same location as WAO last year in Belgium. Some things change but some stay the same, I guess! I'm pretty proud of myself, as a handler, for making 4 different "world teams" with 3 different dogs over 4 years. I would have been highly amused if I'd made WAO Team as that would've really been something - 3 years at the same event with 3 different dogs - but that was not to be. EO will be MORE fun, I'm sure! (I'll make sure it is, anyway!)

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