Well the annual golden club picnic was this afternoon - not the turnout that I think we had expected - but it was humid and ninety degrees and we were twice interrupted with thunderstorms so I can't say I blame people for staying home - especially since most of the club would have traveled over an hour each way.
The best part of any gathering at Ruth's place is that she lives on 10 acres of pure golden retriever heaven - just heaven. A GIANT backyard that on one side slopes down into an immaculate agility field and on the other into a gorgeous man-made pond (apparently without turtles). While the turnout seemed small it is always impressive to me when you can let 15 dogs who have never met loose to run with each other (and 5-6 of those were intact males) and aside from a bitch reminding a rude boy to stop smelling her fanny everyone got along (and even the fanny reminder was nothing more than some noise - at which the rude offender backed off and left her alone).
There were plenty of tennis balls to play with and they all took turns stealing each others TBs, galloping around the yard and cooling off in the pond. All of the dogs stayed with their people, with the exception of one young lady prone to zoomies who went on a brief excursion and when mom didn't follow came trotting back looking a little embarassed that she had thought to go on an adventure by herself.
The usual club business - we actually made money on our agility trial this year - YAY! It seems like we agree on most things we want to change for next year and then a really deep divide about a couple of somewhat key points. As trial chair for this years trial and chairing two other trials this year I'm feeling "done" as far as trial chair work goes - I've done my share and it's time for someone else to step up and take some ownership. I would do it again of course but I won't repeat the same mistakes we made this year and until that matter is settled we are a trial without a chair....
Some cool things, as a club we've been somewhat dysfunctional - twice annual meetings, a large trial, a supported entry and a board that basically gets things done. Brilliant really - for such a small group we get a lot done, but we need more membership and we as a club need to do more together - or at least have something to offer members. At this point there isn't a benefit to being part of our club and that has to change to attract membership.
As always the discussion of breeder referral gets messy. Everyone has their own way of doing things I guess and while we have a code of ethics from our parent club not everyone agrees that those codes are enough - and not how they would do it...I don't think we'll ever all agree - though we all agree that each person believes they are doing the "right" thing - scientific data backing both sides - it's the old chicken and egg question isn't it....
More Action shots on pagesculptor: http://www.pagesculptor.com/gmgrc