Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

Miles and I just got back from the East Coast. We were visiting my mother and my Nana, who we hadn’t seen for nearly a year. When we left the West Coast, it was becoming fall. When we arrived only half a day later on the other side of the country, it was extremely hot with almost 100% humidity. We were both shocked and tired, but I wanted to visit my Nana right away!

Visiting Nana

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

My Nana is 94, and has Alzheimer’s and dementia. I knew on this visit, I would have to face the reality that she might not recognize me. When I opened the door, her face lit up, and she remembered Miles, too. Miles was so happy to see Nana. He showered her hand with little licks. Nana immediately wanted to show her neighbors all of Miles’ tricks. Miles was happy to oblige. Afterwards he was happy to sleep on Nana’s bed in the nice air-conditioned room.

We looked at the photo album my mom made for my Nana. Nana shows everyone who visits her and it brought back a lot of amazing memories. Here are some random ones.

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

My mother goofed around and pretended to sleep just like Miles.

My mom and I played a little game of badminton over Nana’s bed. Nana enjoyed the game and Miles was focused on catching the birdie. A good Welsh Terrier never misses the goal!

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

Every visit with Nana included a walk, lead by Miles around the grounds.

Arriving at the Lake House

45 minutes later, we arrived at my parent’s house on the lake. Miles and I visited the house twice last year, so he knows it well. He was ecstatic to be in the land of the Lake: full of bunnies, bugs, squirrels, opossums, and birds, including wild turkeys. He did the most crazy zoomies the first night (above). Such perfectly “curated” zoomies took years of training! Haha!

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

The first of two and a half weeks of glorious sunsets.

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

In the mornings, Miles’ routine is always the same at my parent’s house:

  1. yoga on the carpet in our guest bedroom
  2. trot down the stairs and to the back door to look out on the backyard and lake
  3. a chaperoned pee with yours truly (while secretly dreaming of chasing bunnies)
  4. check out the breakfast activity in the kitchen
  5. find the sunny patch on the couch and ENJOY

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win! Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

Miles loved sneaking in some sunbathing with my mom.

A “Back to Summer?” Haircut

The next order of business was a haircut for Miles. Oh boy Miles needed a haircut — it didn’t seem that pressing until we landed in the extreme heat and humidity — and then it was crucial! Miles was so hot in his wiry wool coat. While my mom worked on paperwork, I stripped Mr. Miles, and then we had a celebratory post-haircut game of fetch. The toy was gifted to us by our friend Denise — it is an Audubon cardinal.

Steeplechase “Run for Money!” Agility Trial

Our first weekend of the trip, my mom did something unbelievably special — she woke up early in the morning and drove us to an agility competition 2 hours away! I had read that there was a “run for money” Steeplechase trial happening while I’d be visiting and I mentioned it to my mother. I couldn’t believe it when she said she’d take us! The morning was very chilly, and for a little while, got colder! The weather however was perfect for Miles. He’d prefer to do agility almost freezing. What a Welshman.

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

The venue was so different than anywhere we’ve been. The footing was this interesting synthetic material. It was at a fully horse-y facility, full of horses and horse-y smells, so I wasn’t sure how Miles would react. He is in the top level of agility where you don’t warm up or test out the ring first — you go in and compete!

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

Miles isn’t a morning dog, with the exception of agility. He was so excited! And look at the interesting footing!

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

The trial was wonderfully well organized and our 4 runs were over in 3 hours! It was an all-Steeplechase trial. Steeplechase is a numbered agility course that is around 18-21 obstacles. It is mostly jumps, a few tunnels, and the A-Frame and weave poles. You either do the A-Frame twice and the Weaves once, or the Weaves twice and the A-Frame once. The rules of Steeplechase are specific: Wrong-courses (when the dog does an extra obstacle he isn’t supposed to) will eliminate you. But unlike other Masters-level courses, there are no faulted “refusals,” aka when the dog almost doesn’t do an obstacle and you then have to send them back to it, or if the dog messes up the weaves and you have to re-start the weaves again to get them right. If you dog knocks a jump bar, or hops early off of the A-Frame, 5 seconds are added to your time. Steeplechase is all about SPEED and accuracy. So you can mess up and fix it — but it will just cost you time. The dog with the fastest time wins. So it pays to do the course as accurately as possible!

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

Miles’ top 3 runs were great, and he won the little dog class! In agility it is very uncommon to win money, so we all laughed that the top 3 dogs were “buying their people dinner.”

Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

And of course, this resulted in more lakeside snoozing for Miles. It was only the beginning of our adventures in lake country. In the next post I’ll tell you about my uncle’s visit and our hikes at Point Pelee!

10 comments on Adventures in Lake Country: Visiting Family and a Agility Steeplechase Win!

  • Denise

    Congratulations, Miles and Emma on tour Steeplechase wins! So glad you had a nice visit with Nana and brought your lucky cardinal with you on the trip!! Love watching Miles’ enthusiasm for life inside and outside. XO

    • Emma (author)

      Thank you Denise, for the kind words and the cardinal. Miles adores him!

  • Susan Gottselig

    Enjoyed your beautiful post.

    • Emma (author)

      Thanks Susan! I heard it is really chilly where you are — hope you are doing well.

  • Mary Anne

    What a trip! Miles is about the luckiest Welshie alive!! You too!

    • Emma (author)

      Aww, that is so nice of you to say! We do enjoy each other and our adventures!

  • Darcy

    Emma,
    What a lovely trip. It was very hot and humid at Montgomery also… sweltering. So glad Nana got to see you all and Miles! Love the “Lake house” zoomies! How enthusiastically Miles showed his pleasure! His turn left, turn right pre~fetch trick is SO cute.. I love it❣️ Huge congratulations on your Steeplechase win.. that’s fab..well done… love love love your posts.
    XO, Darcy and Sally

    • Emma (author)

      Hi Darcy! Urgh the weather. I’m looking forward to hearing your stories about Montgomery! Miles’ lake house zoomies are my favorite part of the post too. I taught him left and right for agility, but it has ended up being more of a trick than a border-collie-esq ring maneuver. Hugs to you and let’s chat soon.

  • Danielle

    Wow! Such an awesome post. Your Nana and Miles are the cutest!! Maybe Miles can moonlight at playing Badminton! Loved the video of him having zoomies – zoomies enthusiasm is so contagious – I can’t be in a bad mood when any dog is so unbelievable happy!!
    I loved the photo of Miles all excited to do agility and the picture of him laying in the chair above his ribbons, like “No big deal.”
    That looks like a really awesome agility facility. Great job Miles (and Emma!)!!! Can’t wait to read more about your trip.

    • Emma (author)

      Danielle, Like you and Darcy, the zoomies are my favorite too! I felt so bad for him that he didn’t get the memo about the pothole — that is why the poor guy took a tumble. Its so funny to see a Welshie fall… They are so boxy they just flip! And by the time we did the ribbon photo, he’d done the trial AND a workout hike and it was getting hot out. We were both so tired.

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