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Welcome to Cani-Sports Edinburgh

Cani-Sports Edinburgh is a group of like minded friendly folk who like to get out and about with our dogs in and around Edinburgh and the Lothians. We have a variety of members who enjoy undertaking sports with our dogs from canicross, to bikejoring, to scootering to walking and hiking. (NB bikejoring and scootering are currently not permitted at official runs for insurance reasons.)  We welcome people of all capabilities and any breed of dog (provided they are fit and healthy).

Happy Cani-Sports!

Please scroll down for the latest club news…

Ruff Dugger & The Cani-Fit Experience

The weekends adventures were brought to you by Cani-Fit with the assistance of a whole load of mud, lots of giggles, smiley friendly people and happy and healthy dogs!

Day 1 - Ruff Dugger

By Sue Weeks and Rickyjim

 

Some of the Photos were kindly provided by Kenny Girvan  www.kennygirvanphotography.co.ukinfo@kennygirvanphotography.co.uk

Some of the photos have been borrowed from CSE’s very own Liz Taylor; a key support crew member at all canicross races and one of our unsung heros!! (sorry Liz, I didn’t ask, please forgive me –  Ali)

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Mud mud glorious mud nothing quite like it for cooling the blood ???   Well kinda sums up the first part of the course on Saturday @Boswells Coach House Auchinleck !!! 

I arrived @ the venue in Benny Bongo with my pack of 6 dogs and anxiously waited for the fun to unfold over the weekend !!! Being a Campervan virgin !!!!!! I knew it could only be fun and even more fun ??  It was!!!

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I went out looking for any of our group and managed to find Tina and Sergio and hairy dog !! I feel so bad cant remember your name …owner of the lovely hairy dog !!!!! Ruby GSD also arrived with Allison and Robin.There was still no sign of the Beagle brigade ..Wendy and Heather !!!!

I’d been told to bring Duck Tape and scissors with me to hold my trainers on !!!! Is it duck or duct tape I ask myself ???!!!!!   Never used it though !!!!! Maybe should’ve because the mud was up to your thighs !!! Honestly would I lie to you???

So all systems go and wee Rickyjim in his go fast orange harness and shoes tied on extra tight, we went to the start !!! RickyJim as usual hyper and barking frantically !!!!Off we shot across a field and then disaster happened ! My belt slipped down to my thighs and somebody shouted ………..You cant have lost so much weight ….youve only just started !!!!! Well pulled it up and ran on red faced but laughing !!!

Once into the wood , we hit the Mega Mud bath bit !!!! Oh boy was it deep ! People were floundering all around me ! Me too!!!! Rickyjim just tootled on top !!!! The more I laughed .the deeper i went in ! Heather and Wendy were ahead with their beagles and totally were in the thick of it !!Lots of super kind folk helped them I think!!

 Got through this Mud Bath only to be confronted with a muddy trench with steep sides ! No escape ! I ran through and wee Rickyjim ran on the side ! Smart dog ???

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I remember a gorge we ran through and lots of tree trunks to negotiate ! The little legs of wee Rickyjim struggled @ times but he kept going !!!  

Lots of water to cross or carried across if you’re small like Ricky and rocky bits and the odd hill or 2 !!!!

 When we got to the finish we were awarded a prize for being a super Muddy pair !!!! I absolutely loved it and it was better than I expected it to be !!!! Not sure about wee Rickyjim !!!!!! Chips and cheesy chips and burgers went down really well afterwards !!!!! 

I’m certain I’ll be back for the next one with my wee friend Rickyjim ??

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P.S  Forgot to say it’s a cold water hose pipe by the cow sheds for you to clean off the mud !!!! Rickyjim didn’t approve !!!! Baby wipes did come in very useful !!!!

Day 2 – Cani-Fit Experience

Ok, Sunday was the end of the first Scottish Canicross Championship Races !!!!! A big day for many as this was the last race in the championship series!! No pressure then ??!!!!

My lovely black greyhound Amelie and I had entered in the wee 3k race !!! It was Amelies first race and so we were both feeling scared !! I wondered if she would run or like @ Vogrie tootle along as if she had her high heels on !!!!


SORRY THERE ARE NO PICS OF AMELIE, SUFFICE TO SAY SHE IS VERY BEAUTIFUL!

Before we ran, it was the turn of the bikes and scooters to go and the 5k race folk !!! I’m soooo impressed with the bikers and scooter folk !!! Crazy to attach yourself to these and then go through rivers ?? Many had fun coming off and getting wet but got up laughing ! One lady had designer mud spattered all over her face like freckles !!!

Serious running in the 5k………Michelle Littlejohn was excited to be running both her beagles !!! John had slept in his newly acquired van with Junior and appeared to be refreshed and raring to go ? All in all, all were up for it!!!!!! 

When our turn came Amelie set off with her high heels on and tootled !!!! She drank from every puddle and was generally very relaxed and calm !!! She loves water so crossing a wide river meant PLAYTIME !!! She goofed around in it and generally had a ball !!!! She did have a final sprint at the end cheered on by the people at the finish line ! Its all about fun they say and Amelie proved this to all !!!  

It was a treat to have burgers and chips and salad rolls again !!! Coffee went down well to!  Always a time to chat and see how everyone found their race and the course !The cold hose pipe was still by the cow shed if you needed a clean up !!!! I did the trainers only on this day having learnt from yesterday how cold the water was !!!! 

The prize giving was well worth the wait !! Wee silver cups were given out to the Champions and the Podium was well used ! Well done Team Red for collecting so many prizes ! I’m glad I stayed to see you all collect your cups and trophy pictures !!!! Brilliant !!! 

Surprise of the day was Amelie and me got a 3rd for Newcomers class !!! Bless her !!!! even if she did insist on tootling along with her heels on!!! What a Diva !!!

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Journey home was the scenic route and rolling hills ! Exhausted all of us …….6 dogs and me slept oh so soundly after a good scrub in the shower !!!! Must do it all again soon ??? 

P.S  A big shout out to John who saved me when my Benny Bongos battery was flat !!! Luckily he had jump leads and got me up and running again !! Eternally grateful thanks !

Note from CSE committee, Sue Weeks joined us in September 2015 and since then she has added a ray of sunshine to the clubJ

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Nervous Maggie conquers her fear and loves Canicross!!

My name is Maggie and I’m a one year old Border Terrier…..and I get really nervous about everything!!! I can’t control my anxiety and show it by barking a lot!!! Woof Woof

canicross Maggie 1

I live with my humans and two big brothers Moss and Inness who have been doing Canicross for a while. It was my 1st Birthday in August so my human took me to Canicross at Dalkeith so I could have a go and I loved it…..so after a few practices we entered a race!

On the day of the race my human’s friend picked us up and I got to ride in a van with Meeko the Husky!! I didn’t know what to make of him so I barked at him a few times…Woof Woof!! We went to a place called Coalsnaughton where there were loads of other dogs and people….the most I have ever seen! Woof Woof

My human got me ready and put my special purple harness on.  Once Inness was ready my human took us to the start line. This was hard for me as there were so many other dogs and people and I made a lot of noise!

Then it was our turn to run and I was ready. Inness knows how to do Canicross so I followed him…..up to the start line…..3…2…1….GO! Woof Woof Woof! We were off running as fast as our paws could take us….we could go faster but we have to pull our human who only has two paws and is a bit slow!

Up the hill….down the hill….past the photographer….Woof Woof. I loved it!!! I just concentrated on running. Then another dog stopped for a drink in front of us, but it was ok cause my human told me to keep running so I did and it was easy! Before I knew it we were sprinting for the finish line…..hike hike hike!!

My human gave me a drink and told us we were amazing puppies and I felt really good, I managed the whole race without getting nervous and barking at other dogs and people.

After the race I got to meet some other dogs and even got a bit of bacon….Yum Yum. I did so well that my human brought me back the next day and I got to do it all again!! This time we went even faster!!!  We even won a rosette and a bag of treats as part of the winning female team for Cani-Sports Edinburgh!!

At the end of the weekend once a lot of people had gone home I went for a wee walk with my new Collie friends Jura, Tiree, Finn, Buddy and Bex!! I was so brave and by the end was running around playing chase with them all. Buddy kept me in line and brought me back to my human when I got too far away! Woof Woof! I can’t wait for the next race and I’ve told my human that she needs to keep practicing so we can go even faster!!

Canicross Maggie 2Serious Bit….

Maggie was rehomed after the family she was with could no longer look after her. She has developed an anxiety problem and is wary of all other dogs and a lot of people. She often hides behind her two older brothers and vocalises her fear by barking. She is relatively new to Canicross but it has helped her immensely over the last couple of weeks and hopefully this will continue.

The world of Canicross is full of tolerant understanding people who accommodate other dogs even with issues and offer assistance and advice so if you were thinking of coming along to a run or race and have a dog that has any problems please do come….it can make a world of difference!

 

Important Dates

 

Some of the CSE crew, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

Some of the CSE crew, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

NEW CSE MEMBERSHIP YEAR 2018/2019 – 1st May 2018 – 31st April 2019

From ABOUT 15th April 2018 Membership will open
Club membership for Cani-Sports Edinburgh 2018-2019 season will open on Entry Central. The prices will remain the same as previous membership years. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help the committee out by renewing your membership or signing up for the first time during these two weeks and BEFORE the 1st May 2018, this helps with administration enormously!

1st May 2018 marks the start of the new Membership year
This is the start of the new club season 2018 – 2019, anyone attending club runs who has not renewed their membership will be required to pay the £1 per run. But I’m sure you will all be extremely organised and have signed up already during the two week period in April as kindly requested.

NEW MEMBERSHIP CARDS WILL BE WITH YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND WILL BE RED!!! WOO HOO!

some of the CSE crew, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

some of the CSE crew, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

JUMP ON BOARD THE FUN BUS AND COME AND JOIN THE CSE COMMITTEE
More information to follow
Between 23rd May 2018 and 7th June 2018, all those wishing to put themselves forward for the committee for the 2018/2019 period are requested to e-mail the secretary Jane Irvine at canisportsedinburgh@gmail.com  and simply state that you intend to volunteer for the committee 2018/2019. Following on from the amendments made to the constitution there is no limit on committee member numbers, we ask that you check out the information on the website here (please scroll down to the bottom) and consider volunteering for this very rewarding role.

You may be new to CSE – you can still join the committee! You may be new to running – that is irrelevant. You just need to have an abundance of enthusiasm, love CSE and be passionate about canicross and dogs, it is also quite important that you like cake! 

canifit

CSE AGM 
Sunday 17th June 2018
More information to follow
All club members are invited to attend the AGM, which will be followed by a wee social, so stay for a beverage or two. Unfortunately , this is just for hoomans and not dogs 

Venue: Woodland Creatures, 260-262 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 5EL
Time: 4pm

During the AGM the 2018-2019 membership year will be reviewed and the new committee will be agreed and welcomed, if you plan to volunteer to be on the committee but cannot make the AGM, do not worry, you can be voted in in your absence. Following on from the amendments made to the constitution there is no limit on committee member numbers, we ask that you read the information and consider volunteering for this very rewarding role.

At this point some members will stand down from the committee :-(

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Cani-Fit Races are now open!

 Quick!  Enter here.

Cani-Fit currently have an early bird discount  for their races in March.   Just enter RDCF into the promo code section, this code expires at the end next week (mid December 2015).  

March 12th – Ruff Dugger

March 13th – Cani Fit Experience VI (Final Scottish Canicross Champion Series race).

Enter here.

The races are at the fabulous Bothwell Coach House, Auchinleck Estate, Ayrshire.

For more information see Cani-Fit

If you are a race organiser and would like your event to feature on our website, please e-mail us  info@canisportsedinburgh.co.uk.  Please also feel free to post any events to our facebook group or to our facebook page.  Thanks :-)

 

Enter here.

CSE Race Review – Take 1

CSE Foxlake Race Report, inspired by Junior and written by John McCausland

John and Junior, photo courtesy  of Yellow Dog Photography

John and Junior, photo courtesy of Yellow Dog Photography

After a week of storms, wind and heavy rain, I checked the weather forecast for Foxlake, East  Lothian one last time on Saturday evening. Heavy rain again from 9am! My overnight bag just tripled in size with the addition of spare socks, a change of clothes, waterproofs and a few towels for race day. Off we went to Dunbar for an overnight to get a good rest before an early start (for us!).

Sunday morning we arrived at John Muir Country Park greeted by three majestic Deer crossing the single track road towards part of the race course. That was Junior alert and ready to run! Arriving in good time, we got a warm welcome from Lan and Lisa and picked up our race number, followed by a slice of fantastic millionaires shortbread, which I got a few comments about! It’s a millionaire’s energy bar, right?! We said hello to all out CSE friends as well as other Beagle buddies and familiar faces including the ever mischievous Rogue Dog and Rogue Pup. But something was missing. No Rain! Somehow we had found virtually the only break in the weather for the whole

Then off to get kitted up and to the start line! I have to say that I was a little worried looking at the standard of four and two-legged athletes we were flanked by while lining up for the off. But when we approached the orange line and were given the count down, it was all about us: Junior and I running as a team, racing against ourselves… And the course!

The Course! What a joy! Starting with a boggy dip to a short incline, another quagmire of a field
before a sharp right through the woods and on to farm tracks for the next kilometre or so. Already covered in mud I knew this was going to be a fun race. And we were guided all the way impeccably by enthusiastic and encouraging marshals and some tactically placed hazard tape.

We managed to slowly overtake two (four) competitors before negotiating the sprout pickers and hitting what can only be described as perfect Canicross territory. Stunning pine woodland with its associated firm sandy grass trails, led us over ridges and bridges, a quick jog across a field, over another ridge with a tactically marked trip hazard and to the beach. The sight of the beach spurred Junior on – albeit in the wrong direction… although that might also been the site of Jane Jones from Just Dogs Shop (who were kind sponsors of the event) marshalling in the same direction. Junior always knows who to mooch from.

I was really feeling it at this point only the sight of Junior loving his run keeping me going. In the next few yards though we managed to catch up with another team from Fourth Valley and eventually overtake. What I heard at that point really embodied what Canicross is all about. As we passed our competitor from another club said to us “Well done! Good running.” Well that really spurred us on! What an incredible supportive gesture (although I’m probably 10 years his junior and had worked my socks off just to catch up, never mind overtake!) It spurred us on to our favourite part of the course. A twisty, turn-y woodland stretch where we could hear our Beagle teammate Naboo up ahead, but not see him. That gave us extra motivation to press on. But then the sound of the cheering crowd gave us another boost before we finally turned back into the field where it all started and back into the glorious mud and puddles, Junior pulling at a perfect pace.

The reception from the crowd was amazing as we crossed the line and were bombarded with medals, water, delicious fishy food for Junior and even human treats.

Junior running towards the finish, photo courtesy of Yellow Dog Photography

Junior running towards the finish, photo courtesy of Yellow Dog Photography

What really struck me about the whole day was not only the obvious extensive hard work and

preparation that had gone into making the races a success, but the friendly reception from all

involved in what was essentially a competitive meet. Junior and I are both quite introvert and can struggle with meeting others of our own kind. Being socially awkward is of little disadvantage on a day like this. Everyone was keen to talk to each other no matter what club, ability, breed, or any other factor was involved. What an incredible day at a superb facility with an awesome course. All shared with our favourite Canine buddies. This being our second race went so well that Junior and I have signed up for the long and short course and Muiravonside.   And we can’t wait!

Thank you to Yellow Dog Photography for letting me use her photos, please like her facebook page and check out her pics.

See you there!

John & Junior

 

Cani-Sports Edinburgh’s Fun and Friendly Canicross Races at Foxlake

You should all have received your briefing e-mail now, if not please see below:

“Hello Intrepid Foxlake Canicrossers, sponsors and photographers

Thank you for entering Cani-Sports Edinburgh’s fun and friendly canicross races and fun day.

WE ARE FULLER THAN A FULL THING! We jiggled and juggled and squeezed and pushed and we have managed to fit in as many people as we can, but we are full to bursting, this means your race day is going to be huge, with lots of fun and giggles! Race places are not transferable, there is no waiting list. Please be patient with us.

Please find your briefing document attached, there is both a word and a PDF version in case the links don’t work in the PDF version. Please also find the starting list links below, take a note of your lining up time category and be at the start line ready to go a few minutes before your time.

Long course racers, if you are numbered 1-29 please be ready to start at 10.00, if you are numbered 30-59 please be ready to start at 10.05, if you are numbered 60+ please be ready to start at 10.10.

Long course start list: http://www.racesplitter.com/races/314F621DE
Short course adult start list: http://www.racesplitter.com/races/DA18998C5
Short course kids and juniors start list: http://www.racesplitter.com/races/9A0228047

NEW this year – only those who have never raced in a canicross race before must attend the briefing at 9.30am. This briefing is optional for experienced canicross racers provided you watch the video briefing, this is over 15 minutes long, however it saves you standing around in the cold before your race to listen to it, so please grab a cuppa or a glass of wine and take in the race briefing in the comfort of your own home: https://youtu.be/8h1aBFqcnqM

Key times

Registration will open at 8.30am and close at 9.30am
Briefing will be at 9.30am
5k race will commence at 10.00am
2.5k adults race we hope to commence at 11.15am not 11.30am as per the briefing document and video.
2.5k kids and juniors race will commence ABOUT 12.15pm but please be ready earlier.

Prize giving will commence as soon as we are ready.

Foxlake are open for business on the day, they have special packages for segways, foxfall, ringos, wakeboarding …… plus they have warm showers for those participating in these activites!!! Why not contact them and book some activities whilst you are with us? 01620860657.

If you are camping please book with foxlake in advance so they know to leave toilets open for you.

Have a great day and remember to bring warm clothes and lots of pennies for the stalls and cafe.

Any questions please check the briefing document and video first and if your answer is not within, please e-mail us.

Please remember to check out our sponsors and supporters social media and websites and send them any pics of prizes. Big Bobble Hats, Just Dogs Shop, Braid Vets, Foxlake, Fish4Dogs, KONG, Yumove, Feelwells, Yellow Dog Photography and Bob Marshall Photography

Kind regards

Your Devoted Smiley Race Team

p.s don’t forget your donations for the dog charities we are supporting – all information in your briefing document”

Check out the briefing document here:  Briefing document 2015 PDF

CSE Needs you!

Ask not what you can do for Cani-Sports Edinburgh, but what Cani-Sports Edinburgh can do for you!!!! 

AGM – Sunday 14th June at 6pm @ Function room in the Stair Arms Hotel in Pathhead.

There are four vacancies for the committee for the four non office bearing members.

Cani-Sports Edinburgh would like to thank Viv and Jane Jones for their enormous contribution in not just the last year but also before we formally became a club. The club wouldn’t have had such a successful first year if it was for your time, effort, dedication and energy.

Next year the four office bearing committee member posts will be up for election; including the chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary. Please note, If you are interested in one of these three roles, they require one year’s experience of being on the committee, so you’ll need to be part of the committee this year to be eligible.

As a member of the CSE committee you will learn new skills and fine tune old ones. You will become part of something dynamic, fun, creative and energising. You will laugh and cry. You will feel valued and worthwhile, all whilst having fun and helping the running and growth of Cani-Sports Edinburgh.

So does the following sound like you? Then you are exactly what we’re looking for.

  • Love Canicross
  • Love dogs
  • Ability to see other people’s point of views
  • Not take things personally
  • Respectful
  • Enthusiastic
  • Able to complete tasks
  • Committed
  • Sense of humour
  • State the obvious ;)

What is the role of a committee member?

You along with the other 7 committee members will be expected to:

  • Contribute to organising and leading the 2 regular Club runs each week
  • Contribute to organising and leading regular adhoc runs
  • Encourage new members, support new and current members
  • Attend some of the quarterly committee meetings
  • Be an ambassador for Cani-Sports Edinburgh and promote the club where appropriate
  • Be an ambassador for Canisports and promote the sport where appropriate
  • Ensure that attendees to the club runs are adhering to the rules of the group
  • Ensure the Facebook group contains posts of relevance and provide relevant administration services on Facebook
  • Promote dog health and welfare
  • Utilise the club e-mails and carry out administration tasks

If you are interested in what the four office bearer roles are about you can read about them here.

What tasks do I have to do?

This will depend on what you want to do! There are a range of tasks that that are essential for the operation of the club in addition to the tasks mentioned above. There are also roles/projects that it would be nice if the club could carry out.

Exactly which committee member does which task will be decided at the first committee meeting.

Other Essential Tasks to the Club

  • Website and Facebook Director – keep these sites up to date such as the race schedule, spot news worthy stories and place them up on the website, keep the website fresh and relevant
  • Summer Schedule Organiser
  • Social Event and Course Organiser – organise days out and also workshops that would be of interest to the group
  • Deals and Discounts – contact new businesses to work as partners and obtain more discounts for club members
  • Quarterly Newsletter
  • Dalkeith Country Park liaison
  • Vogrie Country Park liaison
  • East Lothian Council liaison
  • Race Director
  • Race Team

Desirable Tasks for the Club

  • Dog Charities – increase our awareness with dog charities, draw up a list of appropriate dog charities to liaise with (some charities we wouldn’t want to be associated with – build on the group’s knowledge of charities to create a database), target their events and open days
  • Vet Awareness – increase Vets’ awareness of the benefits of Cani-Sports
  • Media – raise awareness of the sport with the media such as dog magazines, fitness magazines and disseminate media worthy stories in the local and national press
  • Event Attendance – there are a variety of events that would be good for CSE to have a stall at
  • Rogue Dog – continue to use Rogue Dog as a mascot and utilise his creativity for more PR projects
  • Any Other Suggestions

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a big time commitment?

There is will be eight people on the committee, so there’s plenty of people to share the workload. If everybody gives a little bit, we’ll have plenty of capacity. We are grateful for any time you wish to give and we understand that sometimes life takeover. Therefore it is understood if sometimes you can’t contribute to the committee. All that is asked, is that you take this into consideration when choosing what committee tasks you would like to do.

I’ve just joined Cani-Sports Edinburgh– I don’t feel like I’m part of the club enough to stand

As long as you’re going to be part of the club in the future (i.e. attend a few runs) and have the characteristics we’re looking for – that’s all the matters.

I don’t have any specific skills/ I’ve never been on a committee before

Neither do/have many of the current committee members! Training can be provided where necessary.

All that is wanted from you is the essential characteristics and also your perspective. It’s really good to have a range of views. CSE has benefitted from having people with an array of backgrounds, including experience in dog charities, with nervous dogs and also a wide range of fitness levels.

I’m worried as I’m not very fit/not very good at canicrossing

Again, neither are many of the current committee members. Some of the current committee have been injured; some of them happily come last in races whilst some of them are speedies. Some of the current committee prefer the long distances whilst some prefer short sprints. It takes all sorts – but the key common denominator is a common love and passion of canicrossing.

Having a range of perspectives in the committee is great.

I’m really keen to be on the committee, but I can’t make the AGM

This is not a problem, you can still be nominated and elected in your absence. Provided you send your “committee application” e-mail to the secretary, full details in Thursday’s post.

HOW TO APPLY

So now we’ve got you all keen and excited to be on the committee what happens next?

Well firstly take out membership! http://www.entrycentral.com/memberships

Secondly, please send a “committee application” e-mail containing your answers to the following questions (and keep to the word limit) to the secretary Jane Irvine. Please PM her furry sidekick Bradley Irvine on Facebook and ask for her email address.

  • What do you love about canicross? (50 words max)
  • What do you love about Cani-Sports Edinburgh? (50 words max)
  • Why do you want to be on the committee? (150 words max)
  • What will you bring to the committee (skills, perspective, character etc)? (150 words max)

The deadline is the 20th of May.

The next steps in the process will be for the secretary to circulate everybodys’ answer at the end of May and also just before the AGM to all members.

The AGM is on the 14th of June. The election process at the AGM is straightforward. An anonymous paper vote will thereafter be conducted where the attendees(club members) at the AGM will state their preferred four candidates in order of priority. The number of votes each candidate receives will be counted. The four candidates with the most votes will be committee members. If there is a tie, the number of first preferences for the tied candidates will be counted. If there is still a tie, the second preferences will be counted, then the third and then the four preferences. If there is still a tie then the chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary will vote on the tied members anonymously.

Proxy votes will be accepted. Please send them to the secretary.

CSS Coalsnaughton Canicross Race Report, by Linzi Melville

Coalsnaughton was our first race. I was quite nervous as Indie can be reactive with certain dogs and we have had to put a muzzle on her and go back to the very basics of training again.

Linzi & Indie, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

Linzi & Indie, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

We arrived early and I went to get our race number. There was a few folk around with their dogs so I decided to get Indie out and walk around with her. I was immediately much calmer as I soon realised we were around real doggie people, who are not scared to let their dogs be dogs. Indie was much calmer too because of this and was much more interested in the sheep poo than other dogs!

 
I popped her back in the car after 10/15 minutes and went for a walk around and chatted to lots of people and their dogs. Everyone was so encouraging and kind, wishing us good luck with our race. What was really surprising was that I was not the only person with a reactive dog. In fact it’s pretty common! I brought Indie out of the car again for another wander. She was calm. I was calm. Confidence up!

 
After another 10/15 minutes I put her back in the car and went to watch the start of the 5k race. The race start is staggered and is was really interesting watching everyone line up to start. the dogs were excited, some were jumping around, some barking, some calm but when it was their turn they knew what to do. People gave each other space, didn’t freak out if their dogs were told off by other dogs and wished each other good luck. There was loads of friendly banter too!
I then went to the finish line to watch them. There was some really fast times, lots of huge smiles and lots of tongues hanging out of (mostly dogs) mouths!

Our turn. Yikes. Nerves taking over. Warm-up. Lots of dogs in close proximaty. Is this wise? Can Indie cope with this? Oh…she’s eating sheep poo again and paying no attention to the dogs!  We’re next. Go!

Linzi & Indie, photo courtesy of Nlnja Laura

Linzi & Indie, photo courtesy of Nlnja Laura

Straight away Indie is super focused on running. First corner and we need to pass someone. She sees us coming and moves over and I say to Indie “on you go” in my super stern scary voice and she runs straight past the other dog. Confidence up again! More runners to pass. ‘On your right!’ I shout and then ‘on you go’ to Indie and she just keeps running, super focused and listening to every word I say.

 
We ran that race together (although she did pull me around!) but it had been a long time since we had connected like that and it was AWESOME! Indie was AWESOME!
The race was so well organised and the people that come are just lovely.

 
Having a reactive dog is really hard work. You think about every little detail that could go wrong and will go out of your way to avoid certain situations. Your walks can be stressful, boring, infuriating and a chore.

 
This weekend has opened my eyes to the fact that it doesn’t have to be this way. Training your dog (again) is hard work but totally worth it and this weekend showed me that we can and should still socialize our reactive dogs in a controlled manner and do this with people that know about dogs. Canicross is perfect for this and people are more than willing to help you and offer advice and tips and you get to keep yourself fit and your dog fit and engaged at the same time. Great bonding time!
Can’t wait for the next one:)

Linzi & Indie

Some of the CSE crew, photo courtesy of Hilary Little

Some of the CSE crew, photo courtesy of Hilary Little