It’s a little known fact that Boofuls and I are keen ballroom dancers.We’ve been dancing together for about 27 years.
Well, I say keen dancers, we used to be until Boofuls’ hips decided to give up the ghost. Now we just go along for a lesson once a fortnight but haven’t actually gone out dancing for quite some time. It’s never crossed my mind to find a new dance partner – until now, that is. A certain blonde haired young man called Douggie.
Move over Boofuls, Douggie Dancing Dog is here.
We actually made it to our club’s HTM competition last weekend and what a weekend it was. Even turning up was quite an achievement when you consider that of the four competitions we’ve entered, we missed one because of his epilepsy, we competed in one in May and gained a 6th and then a 7th place. Then we missed another competition because of his tummy upset, which he swiftly followed up with a major fit, that was a week from hell, that was. Over the last couple of weeks though all has been peaceful on the health front. I was quietly hoping that we might actually *whisper it* get to compete in our club’s competition. I kept my fingers and toes crossed and hoped for the best.
It’s not always been an easy ride this HTM lark. Douggie’s epilepsy quite often makes him tired so we have to go easy on the training with short bursts of as little as ten seconds several times a day. At the club we often sit out of the training out so he doesn’t get over tired. Other times he’s raring to go but he’s a sandwich short of a picnic and he forgets quite a lot so we have to go right back to basics. Sometimes we have a lovely time training and he amazes me with his skill and just occasionally he really can’t be bothered in which case we go and do something else instead.
It’s been challenging, frustrating, infuriating, joyful, character building, inspiring and downright blooming good fun. I know we’ll never get to Cruft’s but that has never been my intention, this is a just hobby and bonding time for me and my boy and we both love doing it.
On Thursday night, club night, he gets all excited while I get his treats ready and we make our way to training where he can see all his mates and have a great time.
I’d entered us into four rounds: starters heel work x 2 and starters freestyle x 2. I knew we’d have no chance in the heel work as we’d not even put a routine together, I just thought it would be good experience in the ring for him and we could use it as a training round and have a bit of fun with no pressure. Good job really, what a load of old cobblers we were in the first round. I don’t know about being a sandwich short of a picnic – the whole bloody picnic went AWOL. What a disaster. However, during his second attempt I thought I’d see it thorough to the end and we got 5th place! No one was more surprised than me.
The freestyle we’ve been working on for a while but it’s all a bit hit and miss. I think the technical term is an ‘on the the day dog’. We started the routine and he stayed with me but without much enthusiasm. I expected it all to fall apart at any moment and then – he decided he wanted to join in after all and guess what?
We won!! Both rounds! I’m so very proud of him that I could burst.
Here’s the routine on YouTube. Remember if you watch it, it’s starters HTM. Don’t be expecting Ashleigh and Pudsey. Hey, I was just thrilled when Douggie joined in about halfway through, up until that point I was just dancing round like a twonk!