[An article in a series about dogs that has made their presence felt on the European HTM scene – not necessarily by winning the big championships, but by making the spectators fall in love with them. Dogs that entertain us and make us smile, when we watch them perform.]
I thought Frodo was a fantastic dog already as a puppy and really wanted to train him. So, when he was two years old I started to work with him more frequently, at first we trained obedience which Frodo thought was great fun.
I also have a Border Collie bitch called Lexie that I was competing with in obedience and it was with her I discovered HTM and also participated in some HTM competitions. During one of our training sessions I decided to try out Frodo and both of us really enjoyed this type of training. My friends said that I had to put a routine together and we decided to use Fred Astaire’s tap-dance music that suits Frodo perfectly as he is very quick on his paws and soon we were on our way building our first routine.
We started to compete in HTM 2011 and moved quickly to the advanced class. In the autumn we had the pleasure of being chosen for the Swedish HTM team, travelling to Norway to compete in the Nordic Championship. We had a great weekend and Frodo was amazing qualifying for the individual final.
He is a wonderful dog to train and compete with. He enjoys having fun, has a big will to please and always does his best for me. He can however be a little distracted sometimes by the surrounding environment, but as soon he enters the ring it’s just him and me. And that’s what happened a few weeks later when we participated in the Swedish Championship in Stockholm. Frodo was outstanding and we ended up being the winner of the very first HTM Swedish Championship, a fantastic feeling.
The year after, 2012, we travelled to Salzburg Austria with the Swedish team and competed in the World Championship, another great experience as it is a real honour to represent one’s country. I unfortunately became ill at the end of the year and couldn’t compete anymore that season. Frodo however gives me a lot of energy through his cheerful appearance and he really helped me get back on my feet quite quickly after my operation and soon we were training again.
Next big adventure was the European Championship in Burgum Holland 2013. A fun and enjoyable competition where we experienced a real flow and I especially remember the cheering and applauds we received after our routine.
Sadly we had to skip the Swedish Championship that same year as I became ill once more but we were back for the Nordic Championship in Herning Denmark, where Frodo really did a good job but not quite reached the final.
Frodo is 10 years old this summer, hard to tell as he is as lively and happy as he always has been perhaps just a little greyer around his nose. Still, we have decided to not let him participate in any more championships. I will of course continue to train him and who knows maybe start in smaller competitions here in Sweden. The main thing is that he is happy, enjoying his life on our farm, helping me with the sheep and taking long walks in the forest with the other dogs. I am so grateful to Frodo, still learning a lot from our training and thanks to him I have had so much fun, meeting lovely people and dogs from all over the world.
Translated from Swedish by Katarina Rydholm