That's the slogan for Gloucester County, the place that holds the fabled Dream Park that so many exhibitors in my area rave about. I finally got the chance to go there today with a friend of mine, to scope out the place and see whether or not it'd be a good fit for Marge.
As it turns out, I actually liked it quite a bit. It's very, very big on the inside - it almost doesn't feel like being indoors. Here's a video I shot (thanks to Amy who also sent me some videos of it last week):
I'm not quite sure where to start with it! The noise is, of course, my biggest concern with these kinds of places. But, there wasn't a whole lot of it going on - at least not as much as I expected. The teeter didn't bang very loudly, and there was no automated table (apparently there hasn't been at the last few trials down there - perhaps I will be able to find out if they'll be used in the Spring). The loud speaker was a bit startling when I first walked in, but, I think if she hears it a couple of times, Marge won't be bothered by it. The only noise that would really be trouble for us is the darn whistles - but, we have those outside, too, so that's got nothing to do with the site and everything to do with what kind of whistle the judges use.
The amount of people? It wasn't overwhelming. People would sort of bunch up and then disperse, but it was always easy to get around and there were plenty of lower-traffic places to escape to. This might have been slightly deceiving because of the people away at AKC Invitationals, but because I plan to arrive late in the day, after many people have left, I don't forsee this being a huge issue.
Other miscellaneous stuff... the rings were really nice and a pretty good setup for a dog like Marge, since activity is contained to only one side and the other three sides are essentially just walls with nothing there. I don't think she'll be weirded out by the surface, it was just dirt.. and, since grass at outdoor trials frequently turns to dirt, it honestly wasn't that much different than the trials I've been to!
One bad thing was the ring gating.. there were huge gaps for the entries and exits and lots of dogs took off out of the ring. That scares me a little bit, but fortunately, all judges seemed to be mindful of this and left lots of room after the last jump so people and dogs could collect themselves and leave properly.
I've got about a month until these shows open, but I'd really like to go and I'm confident enough to give it a try, so it's looking like I will be entering. I think a Saturday JWW run would be enough for our first time down here. Avoiding the stress that seems to come with our Standard runs is probably a good idea. But I'm still thinkin' about it.
On another note.. I RAN A COURSE!
Here is my partner. Notice the lack of black and the abundance of yellow!
I was expecting to run Spirit in Open FAST (Spirit's momma was the friend I came to the trial with), but as it turns out, she wasn't actually entered in FAST.. so, after a nice but non-qualifying run in Open JWW, her momma told me to run her in Excellent A Standard.
The course was awesome.. very flowy and lots of different handling options. Spirit's been having some trouble weaving, so she didn't really expect much out of her.
Well.. we qualified. Clean run, 1st place, 21 seconds under course time, and the only dog to qualify in the 24" height. It was her third leg. She earned her AX title. And I ran her.
Who woulda thunk it.. my first time in Excellent, MargeDog nowhere in sight, and I get a dog their freakin' title.
Talk about a good day.