Friday, April 6, 2012

Dally Takes on Nationals: Wrap-Up

Reno: The Biggest Little City in the World
Dally: The Biggest Little Corgi in the World
It's been a week since we ventured to Reno and competed in the AKC National Agility Championships. It started off very rocky because Wednesday, before I left for Reno, I was informed that my grandmother (my mom's mother, my last grandparent) had passed away. My mom reassured me that I needed to continue to compete at Nationals, and to know that my grandma would be very proud of me. She was very instrumental in the dog world--breeding, raising, and showing dogs and doing obedience and even dabbling in the beginnings of agility. It seemed rather apropos that life came full-circle with her youngest granddaughter to be competing in the AKC National Agility Championships.

It definitely was very worthwhile and something I will remember for a very long time. Did we win? No, but I knew that was going to be a long shot, but I just wanted to have a solid showing and prove that Dally was an agility dog. You see, because she wasn't necessarily bred, or even purchased, for agility, so she's not a natural. Yes, she's slow, yes she's the kind that she doesn't always go along with the plan, but she's smart and she's willing to do what I ask her because she loves me, and I love her. We've been through a lot together since I bought her in 2005, and she's definitely my heart dog. I wanted to show that you don't have to have a fast Border Collie to be competitive. I want to earn our PAX, and hopefully our PACH, and I want to do it while having fun. Not many have taken us seriously, but maybe now that we've qualified for Nationals, as well as moved onto the Challengers Round, I hope we are taken seriously.
Partners for life

The experience charged me up for the future possibilities. I want to qualify Dally again and improve upon our 8th place overall finish. I would love to qualify LaMesa because I see the dogs that are towards the top and I see LaMesa and her no-holds-bar attitude. I see so much potential in my little Vallhund that it drives me crazy! I have to remind myself that she's only 2 and we haven't even been competing in trials a year yet. But then I think about the future and wonder if our time is limited, especially when it comes to Dally (who will turn 7 in July) and my life and the flexibility I have with it right now. Will it still be flexible a year from now? Two? Even three?

Watching some of the top teams at Nationals showed that no matter what, it's all about having fun with your teammate. Kathy and Zinger, who were leading the 4-inches going into the Finals, made one little bobble in the Finals that knocked her from first to third. But she still has the most fun with her little tri-color Pembroke and she did her best to keep a positive outlook on everything. She cheered everyone on, after she took some time to herself. She is the ultimate agility competitor because she's about the fun and about her teammate. I have to be more like that, with both girls. This is fun--the dogs do it because you want them to, and they want to please you. Yes, you're paying a lot of money for the classes, seminars, trials, hotels, etc. So you do want to make the most of each run. But you have to live in the moment and be thankful that you can run with your dog.

So, I came away with memories, photos, a couple of ribbons, a new Max200 jump (yay!), and lots to work on. I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to go and compete. I hope every agility team has the same opportunity.

Hope to see you in Tulsa in 2013!!

Our entire AKC NAC Wrap-Up:

The future is endless for me and agility.

No comments:

Post a Comment