Andy, myself and all the pups went to a USDAA trial this past weekend.
I haven't trialed in what seems like FOREVER, and in reality...because it hasn't been over 0 degrees F for a month practically...the dogs were going to be a bit rusty. But why not right?
I went to the trial needing a GP and Steeplechase Q for each pup so they could play at the Regional in April. Due to my teaching schedule...I am gone somewhere each time there is a local trial, sadly...so we hit the road for Milwaukee :) Nothing like an almost 8 hour drive one way! LOL
This was my first time back in the ring with Miss Klink...who, for a long time we thought would never step foot back into the ring again...so it was a very special time for me.
It was great to get to catch up with everyone...
I was sitting on the sidelines, watching people compete, the good, the bad, the happiness...all of it...and I sighed a happy sigh. Contentment...
I missed trialing...haven't been able to say that. I missed running my 3 pack. It felt complete again. Klinky was with me again.
Team Crackhead was wonderful of course...lots of good runs, he is already all Q'd up for CA.
Klink was amazing...all weekend, she Q'd in everything except one Standard run...despite me being very late on some things LOL!!! I cried after her runs a lot...I'm sure that probably freaked some people out as I'm not normally a crying person! But, when my dogs, and those close to me are concerned...well, it happens. I missed the smile on her face, her bark, how she always has a rock solid stay, kissing her on the head before I lead out...all of it. I felt complete again, running my fuzzy loud mouthed girl. She picked up both tournament legs she needed for the Regional, 1 std, 2 gamblers, 1 snooker super Q, 1 jumpers...She was amazing, it felt so good to run her...have that connection again. Klink at home, and Klink at a trial are two completely different beasts. I missed my adrenaline rush :)
Gator was as usual his amazing self...he had some issues adjusting to the turf on Saturday, so a bar in the two jumpers classes...and wasn't collecting the best all weekend...but other than that, he just ticked along. Hard to believe he is 7 years old. He ended up getting all his Tournament Q's as well (can't remember placements), 1 Gamble Q, Got two Master Challenger Standard Q's with a 2nd and 4th. 2nd and 3rd in Standard, pairs Q's, Snooker Super Q...had a perfect day on Sunday. Whatta kid. He somehow popped a rib and a toe out on Saturday (thinking him falling on the turf and a bad DW load)...he was lame...I was worried...but a dear friend was able to figure out the issue, another friend lent me her laser, and he ran wonderfully on Sunday, Q'd in all classes in fact :) Grateful for good friends...people willing to help out :)
Miss Lynn...what can I say about my 19.5 inch little bugger...DW's?? CHECK! Straights and a hard turn that she nailed with all four feet! Jumping? Wonderful (she had to figure out the turf as well! But that's to be expected!). She won Standard both days...2nd place in Challenger Std even with a slip and fall on the turf!! Two Gambler Q's, a pairs Q, and a master Challenge jumpers run that was SMOKIN...one bar that she slipped right on take off. Sunday she ran perfectly...no bars, she had it all figured out :)
I had my three dogs back...it felt complete...trials haven't felt that complete in a long time. I was finally CONTENT again. It just didn't feel right just running Lynn and Gator. Klink LOVES agility...and she is sound, and healthy and her Lyme titers were LOVELY. I hope there isn't a relapse!
I feel so grateful that I have three dogs that feel like an old pair of shoes, we have trust, we have that connection, each dog is a little different, but each just as special. I wouldn't trade my dogs for ANY dogs, not a dog that could run faster, not a dog that could turn tighter, not a dog that is taller and has a bigger stride, not a dog with better anything. I love my dogs. I want to run MY dogs. I don't care if we win, I don't care if we place. I just am content running my 4 year old, 7 year old and 8.5 year old :) I am content knowing that Klink is running agility completely sound and at 16" because she can stay sound and healthy at that height. I am grateful that Gator is running so well with little to no injuries at 7 years old. I am grateful that Lynn enjoys the game, kicks some butt and is confident in her contacts that I don't even think about them anymore.
I could run these three dogs for the rest of my life...I really could. They may or may not be the best agility dogs ever, but as far as I am concerned...they are the best because they're perfect for me. We are connected, and they give me 200% even when I am a little rusty :)
I picked each of these dogs with my heart (actually ALL my dogs are picked with my heart)...I have always followed my gut with a puppy...if the connection isn't there, I don't get one. And I am happy with what I have found. I wouldn't personally pick a puppy JUST on structure (not saying those that do are bad people...that's just not my thing). Gator is a bit straight in the front end...yet he has the heart and is an amazing athlete. Lynn could use more back and also more angulation in her rear...but she is such a little dependable work horse. Klink is built pretty darn perfectly...but is hard on herself...and gets injured more than the other two combined! LOL But she never gives up.
It was a great weekend, filled with seeing friends, LOTS of laughing, lots of great courses (not easy--challenging but fun!), the judge was super laid back about things (nice nice nice!!!) and I had my pups :)
Content...that pretty much described my attitude this weekend. Nothing really mattered but just running the pups. This weekend I head off to Calgary to teach for a couple of days. I am excited!!! Then a weekend off, then another trial, then a weekend off, then another seminar in NC :) Makes the winters go by much quicker!! And I really enjoy working with all different people.
I hope everyone has a safe and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Here's to 2014!!! Lets hope it goes well for all of us!