Tiny and agile cham­pion

The Glengarry News - - Sports In The Glens - News

BY TARA MAC­DON­ALD

Staff Ten-year-old Raven brought home a cham­pi­onship ti­tle from the Agility As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada’s (AAC)’s On­tario East Re­gional Cham­pi­onships last month in the vet­eran 16” di­vi­sion. The event was held in Har­row­smith and brought in roughly 125 com­peti­tors and 165 dogs.

The 18-inch tall, 38-pound Aus­tralian Shep­herd is no stranger to the ring, hav­ing been com­pet­ing since she was a pup. In 2011 and 2016, Raven won the Cana­dian Na­tional Aus­tralian Shep­herd Agility Award and placed eighth over­all at last year’s AAC Na­tional Agility Cham­pi­onships which was open to all breeds of dogs.

Raven’s han­dler, Bev Hurst, is well known in the dog agility world. A pro com­peti­tor with more than

50 obe­di­ence ti­tles un­der her belt, Ms. Hurst is also an ac­com­plished and ded­i­cated breeder, trainer and dog be­hav­iour spe­cial­ist.

In ad­di­tion, Ms. Hurst is one of the found­ing mem­bers and cur­rent Pres­i­dent of Hill­top K-9 Agility.

Es­tab­lished in the win­ter of 1990, Hill­top’s club and train­ing cen­tre was the sec­ond of its kind in Canada. Lo­cated off Beaver­brook Road in Mart­in­town, the club is ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing mem­bers and their dogs with safe, fun, and pro­fes­sional level agility train­ing.

“At the Hill­top club, we have peo­ple who are just get­ting started. They are build­ing a bond and you can see the ex­cite­ment grow as the dog starts to un­der­stand what you want him to do and once they start com­pre­hend­ing what you want, the dogs go faster and faster,” said Ms. Hurst.

“It’s an ad­dic­tive sport,” she said. “It takes a lot of train­ing and a lot of peo­ple aspire to greater heights where it be­comes more com­pet­i­tive,” she ex­plained, “but it’s all about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween dog and han­dler. You’re work­ing with the in­tel­li­gence in the dog and cre­at­ing a spe­cial bond be­cause when you do agility with a dog, it’s just you and the dog.”

Ms. Hurst started train­ing Raven when she was just four months old. Since then, Raven’s been train­ing about an hour and a half each week with 15 to 20 minute spurts ev­ery sec­ond day. “The train­ing is there now,” said Ms. Hurst. “It’s just a mat­ter of keep­ing it pol­ished.”

“You never train more than 15 min­utes at a time per dog be­cause they get tired. You want to keep the fo­cus, so it has to stay fun for them or else they get bored and lose the speed,” Ms. Hurst con­tin­ued. “This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant with an Aussie; they don’t like to re­peat things too of­ten be­cause they might get bored or think they might be do­ing some­thing wrong so they of­fer you some other be­hav­iour.”

“She’s a lit­tle bit crazy, just like me”

As a breeder, Ms. Hurst fo­cuses on en­sur­ing that her dogs are easy to get along with. “You want a dog that’s bid­dable, easy to train, and a good fam­ily dog,” she ex­plained. “You want them to want to train and work for you. Raven is a su­per-sweet dog. She’s very bonded to me and fol­lows me ev­ery­where,” said Ms. Hurst, “but she’s got a crazy side which is okay be­cause it suits my per­son­al­ity.”

“When we first started com­pet­ing with her she was a half crazy and a lit­tle bit cock­eyed,” the han­dler re­counted. “She would get into the ring, do four or five jumps and then just take off and start do­ing what­ever she wanted. I’d even­tu­ally have to stop her and lay her down on the field to have a chat. I’d tell her, ‘You need to get it to­gether girl and get things done!’ Then she would fin­ish the course like a lit­tle re­mote dog. Peo­ple would laugh at me be­cause they would see in the first year she was com­pet­ing that she would do this to me ev­ery once in awhile, then she’d go on to com­plete the tri­als like she’d been do­ing it all her life.”

Ev­ery dog has its day

Al­though Raven will not be at­tend­ing this year’s AAC Na­tional Cham­pi­onships held in In­n­is­fil, On­tario over the Au­gust 15-18 week­end, Ms. Hurst says they are work­ing to­wards their Life­time Achieve­ment Award of Ex­cel­lence. “But at 10 years old, she gets to choose,” said Ms. Hurst. “Raven’s favourite things are the games – jumpers, snook­ers, gam­blers and steeple­chase.”

Are you in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about dog agility? The next Hill­top agility tri­als take place at the Wil­liamstown Fair­grounds Au­gust 3 and 4. The event will also fea­ture Zakaly with Lure Cours­ing and OUT – an over, un­der, through obstacle course that will be open to the pub­lic and their dogs. Pro­ceeds will go to­wards the Hill­top club and Ron and Cher’s cat res­cue in Bainsville.

Hill­top will also be per­form­ing a demon­stra­tion at the Fair Satur­day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. be­hind the cat­tle barns.

About the tri­als

AAC Agility Tri­als are open to all dogs ca­pa­ble of demon­strat­ing agility and con­trol and the men­tal and physical abil­ity to carry out the re­quired tests while fo­cus­ing on good sports­man­ship and fun for both the dogs and their han­dlers.

Be­fore the com­pe­ti­tions take place, dogs are di­vided into cat­e­gories de­pend­ing on ex­pe­ri­ence, age and size. How­ever, un­like con­for­ma­tion events, the fo­cus is not on pedi­gree or breed stan­dards. Rather, agility events are geared to­wards pro­mot­ing in­clu­sive, com­pet­i­tive agility at a lo­cal, re­gional, na­tional, and in­ter­na­tional level wherein all dogs are wel­come to par­tic­i­pate re­gard­less of pedi­gree. Agility com­pe­ti­tions re­quire dogs to fol­low a course of sev­eral ob­sta­cles, in­clud­ing a mix of hur­dles, tun­nels, weave poles, A-frames, teeter-tot­ters and dog walks.

Dogs earn points for each obstacle com­pleted cor­rectly, but face penal­ties if they miss a pole or fail to step on a con­tact point, have a paw out of place or go too slow.

While there is no qual­i­fy­ing re­quire­ment to par­tic­i­pate at a re­gional event, dogs must be reg­is­tered as an AAC mem­ber and earn 350 points or more at the re­gional level be­fore mov­ing on to com­pete at the Na­tional events.

Bridge

Party Bridge July 22: 1) Stu­art Mac­Don­ald 2) Ber­nice Bar­low, 3) Mary Milne. Du­pli­cate Bridge July 23, Sec­tion A N/S: 1) Fred, Gisèle Le­feb­vre, 2) Judy Bradacs, Anna Mered­ith, tied for 3rd El­iz­a­beth Mar­jer­ri­son, Jim Campbell, Brenda Long, Mar­lene Crowhurst. Sec­tion A E/W: 1) Gail Wells, Ni­cole Tourangeau, 2) Don Dar­ling, Ber­nice Bar­low, 3) Gordon Snook, Norma Blain, 4) Pauline Tessier, Lisette Jes­mer.

Church

Aug. 4 St. An­drew’s United Wor­ship Ser­vice will be held at Chalmers United Church, Finch at 10 a.m. with Bar­bara Ja­cobs of­fi­ci­at­ing.

Bocce

Karen Paav­ila and Mark Mar­shall were the lead­ers in the Mart­in­town Good­timers week 9 Bocce Tour­na­ment, fol­lowed with three wins by Bar­bara Gale, Aden Buck­land, Jen­nifer Monk, Mary Moore, Sandy Campbell and Ge­orge Ur­saki. Bar­bara Gale won the jack­pot for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive week. The cur­rent lead­ers are Mary Milne at 23 wins, Herb Yel­lenik 22, Ge­orge Ur­saki and Rob Gale tied for 3rd, Jean Giroux 4th, and tied for 5th Sharon MacCul­lough, Mary Moore, Jean Giroux, Mark Mar­shall and Jim Ni­chols.

Mart­in­town Mill

Jim Bar­ton, a na­tive Mart­in­towner, whose fam­ily had been among pre­vi­ous own­ers of the Mill for a num­ber of years, will be at the Mill and will read his au­thors' chal­lenge story, “Lis­ten to the Si­lence of the Stones -- The Leg­end of Jacob.” Katalin Kennedy will also be at there and may read her story “Jacob and Ephraim” or ex­cerpts from one of her books.

Jenny Mac­don­ald, cre­ates works of art by cut­ting into and ma­nip­u­lat­ing leaves; Vic­to­ria Perry is a pho­tog­ra­pher of land­scapes and wildlife show­ing at the mill for the first time, and an­other na­tive of Mart­in­town, Lisa Mac­Don­ald, has had her art on dis­play at The Art Gallery of Hamil­ton and the Burling­ton Art Gallery, among other lo­ca­tions.

An old friend of the Mill, Caprize Se­gall, will be sell­ing her colour­ful bird­houses, signs, etc., out­side, and Ann Cadotte (veg­gies, fruit, jams, jel­lies, herbs, etc.,) and Somkid Delorme (spring rolls, Pad Thai, curry, etc.) will be in their usual spots.

Ron Beaudette is is­su­ing a chal­lenge to gui­tar play­ers to join him on­stage for the Sun­day morn­ing, and we en­cour­age those who wish to jam to show up.

Up­com­ing Events

Au­gust 17-18 is Doors Open for Corn­wall, Stor­mont, Dun­das, and Glen­garry, and the mill is host­ing as it is a build­ing of his­toric im­por­tance. Mem­bers of the Mart­in­town Mill Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety will talk about the his­tory of Mart­in­town and the Grist Mill. Satur­day and Sun­day, artists Su­san Irv­ing and Mar­garet Szlchcin­ska will be on site; Bobi Leutschaft Poitras will join them Sun­day. Leah Lin­de­man reads her story “Jacob” Satur­day, while Bobi Poitras, (“Jacob, Did You Jump?”) and Jen­nifer de Bruin (“The Tale of Jacob Mac­don­nell”) will read theirs Sun­day. Al­lan Mac­don­ald, ar­chiv­ist of the Glen­garry County Ar­chives, will share his ex­per­tise Sun­day.

Also Satur­day, the Mart­in­town Parks Com­mit­tee will be sell­ing ham­burg­ers, hot dogs, and other goodies as a fundraiser to sup­port chil­dren's ac­tiv­i­ties, and the Corn­wall Minia­ture Model­ers will be out­side to de­light kids and adults alike.

Au­gust 24, “The Phan­toms of Yore” will be host­ing “Jacob, a Para­nor­mal Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Ses­sion” at the mill.

Sept. 14, the Mill will host its An­nual Har­vest Din­ner, at The Grand Ho­tel from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This is a fundraiser for the Mill. A silent auc­tion is one of the night's most an­tic­i­pated events, fea­tur­ing works of artists and other goodies.

Corn around the cor­ner

As you may re­call, two young men from Dun­ve­gan, Zo­ran Pen­ner and Caleb Jal­bert, had a sweet corn stand on County Road 24 last year. Lo­cated at the en­trance to the farm for­merly owned by the Colquhouns, the pop-up corn bou­tique was only open for a few days, but the cobs were se­ri­ously good eat­ing. To my de­light, they were the all-yellow va­ri­ety, which are al­most im­pos­si­ble to find given the ‘peaches & cream’ con­spir­acy. When I spoke with Caleb last year, he was con­fi­dent he and his part­ner would be back this year, big­ger and bet­ter than ever.

I’ve been dy­ing of late for a taste of fresh corn-on-the-cob. So I thought the mat­ter war­ranted a quick call. I couldn’t find Caleb

Jal­bert’s num­ber, but was able to reach Zo­ran Pen­ner’s mom. She re­as­sured me that, while the seed went in the ground a bit later than ex­pected be­cause of our wet spring, things were pro­gress­ing nicely. “The boys have a big patch,” re­ported Mrs. Pen­ner, “and it’s look­ing good.”

I’m told that the first cobs of the sea­son will be ready in 14 days or so. How­ever, I’ve asked to be alerted when the har­vest is about to be­gin. This will al­low me to in­form you in the next avail­able col­umn when Dun­ve­gan’s very own sweet corn stand will be open for busi­ness.

“Turk­cock in the cards”

Steve Ka­luta, who lives a few farms east of us, emailed me to say that about three weeks ago he spot­ted Ju­nior the pea­cock at the south end of his gar­den… and a wild turkey at the north end. Steve ad­mits he’s not an ex­pert in the fa­cial ex­pres­sion of our feath­ered friends, but he’s pretty sure he saw amorous glances go­ing back and forth. “So, if some­one sees a strange hy­brid next spring,” wrote Steve, “well, you heard it all here first.”

Ju­nior was also the sub­ject of a sec­ond e-mail this week, this time from Al­lan Walker of Dun­ve­gan East. While on his morn­ing stroll, Al­lan heard a pea­cock’s dis­tinc­tive “pee-CAAAWK” mat­ing call. ”We're well past the mat­ing sea­son,” wrote Al­lan, “but Ju­nior must have been feel­ing a lit­tle randy.” The dis­tinc­tive cry im­me­di­ately took Al­lan back to his days at the univer­sity in Vic­to­ria and its im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of peafowl that lived a hun­dred yards or so from the in­sti­tu­tion’s ex­am­i­na­tion hall. As mat­ing sea­son for the avian show-offs co­in­cided with exam time, the stu­dents’ con­cen­tra­tion was of­ten shat­tered by the mas­cu­line birds’ cries of eter­nal de­vo­tion.

Did you know?

There was a time in the early 1980s that a book­mo­bile used to visit Dun­ve­gan once a week (or maybe it was ev­ery two weeks). The lit­tle li­brary-on-wheels was a great boon to young fam­i­lies and se­nior cit­i­zens and, for many, was one of the high­lights of the week. How­ever, it wasn’t too long be­fore the book­mo­bile ser­vice was axed, and the money ap­plied to much more ur­gent provin­cial mat­ters… like cor­po­rate wel­fare and MPP fact-find­ing tours to Europe and trop­i­cal climes.

So I was de­lighted to dis­cover on Satur­day’s visit to our lo­cal SD&G Li­brary branch in Alexan­dria that this amaz­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion is in the process of rein­vent­ing it­self with a num­ber of in­no­va­tive new of­fer­ings. In ad­di­tion to books, e-pub­li­ca­tions, videos and on-line com­puter ac­cess, you can now take home a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment, bring in doc­u­ments that re­quire wit­ness­ing or bor­row a por­ta­ble Wi-Fi hotspot unit.

Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of The Co-op­er­a­tors in­surance com­pany, you can now use your li­brary card to bor­row one of six acoustic gui­tars and take on­line mu­sic lessons. In ad­di­tion to an adult size sixstring acoustic gui­tar, the loan in­cludes a chord book, tuner and strap. Ukule­les and elec­tric pi­anos are also avail­able, as are mobile In­ter­net ‘hotspots.’ I’m not 100% cer­tain, but I be­lieve the lat­ter would al­low your group or event to of­fer free Wi-Fi… al­ways a big plus.

I was also amazed to dis­cover that

the SD&G Li­brary pro­vides the ser­vices of a Com­mis­sioner of Oaths dur­ing regular li­brary branch hours. A Com­mis­sioner of Oaths is some­one who is au­tho­rized by law to wit­ness sig­na­tures for doc­u­ments such as af­fi­davits and statu­tory dec­la­ra­tions. A par­tial list of forms they can han­dle in­cludes: res­i­dency doc­u­ments; con­sent let­ters for trav­el­ing with a child; Fed­eral gov­ern­ment per­ma­nent res­i­dency card ap­pli­ca­tions; and the Mu­nic­i­pal In­for­ma­tion Form re­quired for a liquor li­cence.

Please note though, this does not re­place the ser­vices of a No­tary Pub­lic. The Li­brary rec­om­mend that wills, liv­ing wills, power of at

tor­ney, di­vorce, sep­a­ra­tion, or cus­tody agree­ments are taken to a lawyer or no­tary, as an SD&G Li­brary Com­mis­sioner of Oaths is not al­lowed to sign these doc­u­ments. A com­pre­hen­sive list of the forms and doc­u­ments that a Com­mis­sioner of Oaths can sign can be found on the li­brary’s web site, to­gether with all the ‘fine print’ on us­ing the ser­vice.

What’s more, the above is only a sam­ple of what to­day’s SD&G Li­brary has in store for its pa­trons… from 3D print­ing and book club kits to meet­ing rooms and mu­seum passes. It isn’t a book­mo­bile, but it’s pretty im­pres­sive all the same.

TAR A MAC­DON­ALD PHOTO

WIN­NING TEAM: Bev Hurst and her much dec­o­rated Raven form a win­ning team.

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