------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A New Season Begins

This weekend marks the beginning of the 2008 agility trial season for Tucker and I. It is at one of my favorite venues in Wrentham, Massachusetts. This will be our third season of agility, and he is only getting better (hopefully I'm improving some also!)

Tucker - Cape Cod 2006
It is such a great experience - the bond you create with your dog is just amazing. I thought we were pretty close before we even started agility. Now, our bond is even stronger and more special. To see skills that we work really hard on in training finally materialize at a trial after months and months of practice. It is truly amazing.
Tucker - 2007
This year, our goal is to qualify for the 2009 AKC National Agility Championships in North Carolina. In order to qualify, you need a certain number of double qualifying runs - meaning you need to be perfectly perfect for the entire day on both of your runs, as well as a certain number of speed points. Every second you come in under the standard allotted time for the course, you get one speed point. It's going to be a battle, but I think (and hope!) we can do it!
Tucker - Warwick 2006
It's really neat to see how far he has come. All of the frustrations and victories, the journey we have taken together. The amount we have both learned it pretty substantial. The logistics alone of traveling 4 hours to a 3 day trial and figuring out the things to bring, places to stay, eat and the maneuvering at the trial itself. Quite a feat. Now, it is all second nature, and I find myself helping out "newbies" at the trials.
Tucker - Stowe 07
I love spending an entire weekend outside with friends and the dogs. When the weather is nice, there is nothing better. When it's not so nice, Tucker and I spend lots of time together in the van listening to books on tape and chatting about how his runs went. Because agility, I have created a whole new circle of doggie friends. Wonderful people and wonderful dogs.
Tucker - Granby 2006

In digging out all my spring and summer agility gear this week (sun screen tarps, water buckets, lounge chairs, coolers, portable crates, treats, treats and more treats) memories came back to me of the seasons past. The fantastic runs as well as the not so great, milestones reached - by me and by my friends. I'm sure this year will hold just as many memories as we venture out onto the agility field once more.

In other doggie news, Ace and I want to congratulate his mom, Deuce. As of March 31st, she is the #1 Australian Shepherd in the country. You can check out stats on your favorite breeds here.