Our camp in Lidzbark has been launched. Here is a brief report on today’s activities.
The first day – Saturday
14.30 – Organizational meeting
We introduced organizers, guests and instructors. We discussed the rules to be valid during the camp. Participants were given: bibs for dogs, T-shirts, badges and ID badges.
From 16.00 to 17.30 swimming lessons were held on the municipal beach and were conducted by WOJTEK ROZWADOWSKI. Unfortunately none of our ladies took part in the swimming classes because our lifeguard’s good looks resulted in a lack of concentration.
At the same time in our garden house there was held the first seminar devoted to dog therapy, conducted by HANNA WOJCIECHOWSKA-CIOĆ. The lecturer has a sound knowledge on the subject and ability of transferring it easily to other people. We learned about indispensable values in a dog therapists, about strict selection qualifying dogs to this kind of work, and about predispositions of separate breeds.
At 18.45 as a part of “Lidzbark’s Days” a parade of the camp participants was held. We were marching, being escorted by a fire brigade.
We aroused a great interest. The parade ended on the municipal beach where we were taking photographs.
In the evening we took part in the first ice-breaking bonfire. There was no end to the singing to the accompaniment of a guitar. We learned by heart the first stanza of the anthem and the Chairman invited tenders for next stanzas.
The second day – Sunday
After breakfast we started activities in the water. The most advanced group i.e. the red group (the dogs which had participated in the last year’s camp and continued activities individually with their handlers in the current season) set about training as the first ones. The training was conducted by DAISY and KOEN.
The first trials were quite successful. The dogs carried out all the tasks – they were fetching things from the water, from the people, they were carrying an object to a person in the water, they were towing a boat. Their handlers remembered what to do as well.
In the morning HANIA WOJCIECHOWSKA-CIOĆ from the Just Like That (WŁAŚNIE TAK) Foundation delivered the second part of her lecture on the dog therapy – revelation!!!!!
After dinner at 14.00 we went down to the beach where, in presence of several hundred people, the TERRANOVA ASSOCIATION organized dog shows for the citizens and guests of LIDZBARK. ANIA and ROBERT MAJEWSKI from Warsaw with their German Shephards – Sara, Larus and Aro – presented the dog training for obedience, starting with the young 6-month-old puppy and finishing with the adult bitch – vice-winner of Poland (IPOI). They also showed the training of a guard dog and a short PT (Obedience) show of Newfoundlands trained by them.
The next item on the programme was a show of our dogs’ skills. Several exercises were performed by: Hugo with Magda, Szaga with Agata, Bilks with Wojtek, and Joka with Ania.
The most spectacular were, of course, complicated tasks presented by the Belgians: KOEN with his Luna and Chico, and DAISY with her Rika and Balu. What their dogs can perform bewildered even those who have a sceptical attitude towards dogs. There also were such spectacular demonstrations as jumps from the motorboat or rescuing a person being under the overturned dinghy.
On the beach we opened a shop with ‘Niufki’s’ gadgets (Newfoundlands’gadgets).
We had classes with the veterinary doctor, MALWINA LISIECKA, the daughter of HERA and SHANTI’s mistress. We were taught how to give our four-legged friends first aid.
Mrs Wojciechowska-Cioć was to leave after supper but she could not part with us. There was an endless queue to HANIA because people were willing to have their dogs tested with regard to their usefulness to dog therapy. RENIA DRELISZAK placed various obstacles for the agility test – the interest exceeded our expectations. The queue to the exercises on the obstacle course – as it was in days of old.
In the evening the participants and guests summed up the day at a barrel of Belgian beer.
Lidzbark 2005 – the third day (Monday)
From morning, from 07.05 – the agility training with RENIA. The instructress thought that she would train with her own dogs since nobody would be willing to get up so early but to her surprise ther was a long queue again. So till breakfast time – slalom, tunnel, obstacle etc.
After breakfast activities in the water – in groups. The red group, for the second time – swimming and jumps from the dinghy, carrying a life ring to a drowning person, different kinds of towing a boat or a waterbed with a person on it or without anybody. Full concentration of dogs and handlers. ‘The most charming’ Balu dragged our helpers and the dinghy into the thick rushes and they had to clear the way back with their paddles like machetes. The blue group – easier exercises but for these dogs this is the first time in the water in their lives. In KOEN’s opinion there are great prospects. The dogs and people got everything very quickly and they know who is the most important in the water and what and when something should be done. At the same time the youngsters (in two groups) are training PT (Obedience) on the meadow.
After dinner – training in the water for beginners. The dogs are extremely eager and so are their owners. There were such cases that the dog did not want to go into the water but at the end it was towing a waterbed! Well, we can expect changes in groups!
At the same time – the training of older dogs in two groups: one group – the advanced dogs, the other one – the dogs with the basics. But it is the handlers who should present the basics!
A special training for Atma. We do not know why. Either she was too skilful or vice versa.
Now the dogs are sleeping but in a moment – the wake-up call and the agility training for keen dogs and people and integration meeting – we will be seeing films and photographs.
Lidzbark 2005 – Tuesday
In the morning and in the evening – PT (Obedience) training and exercising in the water for separate groups. The dogs are testing a new equipment and new exercises.
In the aternoon – lifesaving training and swimming lessons conducted by WOJTEK.
In the evening – grooming performed by Wojtek, Danusia and Agata and a crowd of helpers. Most of them were talking, taking photos and shooting training films. We were trimming Rika who had seen scissors about half a year before. We managed to make a beautiful Newfoundland of a big grizzly! The Rozwadkas showed us a certain way of cutting, cosmetics which they usually use and equipment necessary for prepring dogs to a show.
LIDZBARK 2005 – Wednesday
This morning we made two groups. Some dogs were exercising in the water.Training with the dinghy, dummy and other objects, with the lifesaver and buoys. Yesterday our guests selected candidates for instructors so today the new instructors made ther first step – they were learning how to teach.
And under the Rozwadkas’ tutelage some of the participants were canoeing along the river Wel. They covered 12 km of the river which at first was gentle and charming as an area of great tourist beauty but further it changed into the wild Amazon river. There were bloodthirsty beasts – spiders, leeches and ticks, and meetings with tangled roots and capsizing, reeds and great rocks. In general everybody was happy though bruised and tired. We damaged only one canoe.
In the afternoon the canoeing group in full gear came to the beach, ready for training with their dogs, others had the leisure.
As usual there were agility classes – the dogs are making a great progress in getting better of tunnel and waterbed. There will be a race against time! For those who want it – another swimming lesson with our lifeguard WOJTEK.
In the evening – A PARTY!!!!!
LIDZBARK 2005 – Thursday
Weather today exceptionally bad. It seemed in the morning that wind and rain will make all of us stay in the cabins. But NO! The handlers and dogs appeared on the beach on time, ready for training.
ROBERT had a seminar on obedience before noon.
We had general trials before tomorrow tests and competition. The dogs were training details and accuracy in fulfilling the tasks and the experienced dogs obeyed to commands from further distance.
The first signs of stress appeared in the owners.
PT (Obedience) and agility training were held as every day. In the evening there was a bonfire. We were eating sausages sponsored by the MORLIN CO.
LIDZBARK 2005 – Friday – Competition, tests and examination
From the very morning full motivation of dogs and handlers. Some owners are so nervous that they cannot eat anything. The dogs are sensing tension and stress accompanying the competition and working tests in the water.
At first the red group, i.e. the advanced group. All dogs, one by one, according to numbers drawn by them, have 4 tasks to be carried out. Taking the object out of the water and bringing it from a distance of 50 m, towing the dinghy by its rope from a distance of 50 m, bringing a dummy to the bank from a distance of 30 m, and swimming up to a living person and towing him/her to the bank from a distance of 30 m. The dogs are turning back, training more or less enthusiastically being accompanied by numerous audience.
A line was marked in the water to which they can walk in the water. It was the place where the dog can still walk – i.e. 5 m from the bank. If the handler crosses this line (marked with special stakes) he will fail his attempt.
Less advanced group was divided into subgroups and each dog had to carry out 3 tasks – bringing an object, taking a thing from a stranger in the water, and taking a thing from the waterbed – from a distance of about 30 m from the bank.
The judges are, of course, the guests from Belgium; none of us knows the rules of evaluation and scoring.
After the water job- an obedience competition. The older dogs do exercises from the PT (Obedience) programme, the younger ones are undergoing tests of the basic skills. The judges are ANIA and ROBERT.
After dinner – Agility Competition in 3 groups: dogs running off the lead, dogs on the lead and the biginners running along the shorter track. RENIA is judging.
In the evening summing up of a difficult and tiring day with participation of all our guests, judges and handlers. KOEN found our camp a very valuable experience and an important step made by all of us, particularly by the biginners. He stated that working so hard and being motivated so much, we will be able to represent Poland at International Competitions. The guests promised to help us and cooperate with us in the future. Initially we have planned that a similar camp will be organized in Lidzbark next year, so we are cordially inviting everybody to it!
RESULTS OF SEPARATE GROUPS IN WATER WORK ARE FOLLOWING:
ADVANCED GROUP – ‘Lidzbark Trophy’ Competition. 100 points possible to win.
1. JOKA led by Ania – 92 points
2. HUGO with Magda Dzido – 86 points
3. MIKA with Magda Wiśniewska and ATMA with Grzesiek – each 81 points
5. SZAGALA with Agata – 71 points
6. BILA with Wojtek – 62 points
7. MELA with Magda Wiśniewska – 60 points
BEGINNERS’ GROUP – test of usefulness for water work. They were evaluated descriptively. The dogs are listed alphabetically.
EXCELLENT MARK: Amanda, Amber,Atena, Aza, Chimera, Cremona, Goli,Jenis, Maja, Tabasco, Toffi, Tytoń
VERY GOOD MARK: Achti, Albert, Balbina, Bela, Bessy, Carmen, Carter, Max, Molly, Nakano, Szaman
In the Obedience Competition, in the advanced group, the best, unrivalled dog was TABASCO with Renia. He scored the maximum, i.e. 200 points.
The Agility Competition: after 3 run-offs in the advanced group, and we did not manage to determine a winner. Szagal with Agata and JOKA with Ania climbed the highest podium.
The winners got cups, medals and prizes funded by sponsors. The dogs got bones. Separate prizes were funded for the brown niufkis (Newfoundlands). Besides, CREMONA from Ogrody Ateny was selected by the Belgians as the best descendent of VITO Terra Atlantis who works in the water.
Unfortunately our guests had to leave Lidzbark and the evening party was held without them.
Moreover, unknown offenders painted Chairman’s car with the toothpaste. An inquiry had to be opened in connection with this offence!
Lidzbark 2005 – Saturday (A close-down)
Today is the last day of our camp.
At 7.05 beginnig of the agility training. Those ambitious were waving goodbye to DAISY who was leaving in the morning.
After breakfast – training on the beach: in the water under the watchful eye of AGATA and GRZEŚ, and on the land with RENIA and ANIA. The dogs are tired but still they have more strength than their handlers. Swimming lessons were also held.
We are sad because people and dogs are leaving one after the other.
Those who had taken part in the swimming marathon put most of their strength in the training today. Their task was to reach the other side of the lake and back. The dogs supported them from the bank.
In the evening a meeting in a narrow circle at the Rozwadkas’.
Some people are staying till Sunday.