AKC Nationals Wrap-up

Not really sure where to start, not too much more to say. Except how much I love my little golden boy, that can’t be said enough. That dog impresses me so much, he deserves everything. I give him most of the credit in any success that we have. My job is easy, he does the hard work. He has such spirit, such heart, such happiness. He loves this game. Every picture that was taken of him last weekend, he has this huge smile on his face. Really great pictures, I can’t wait to buy some.

He is the best teammate I could ask for. Running agility with him isn’t a very conscious thing. I come out of the ring not remembering much about what we did, but watching the videos, it always (usually) looks picture perfect. We are in a such a groove theses days, I just want to conquer everything with him. He’s my world champion. He deserves success and that’s what kills me when I make a mistake.

He didn’t put a foot wrong this weekend. The only two mistakes that happened we’re not under his control. In T2B he slipped on the teeter and fell off the side. And well the finals, that is a mistake I will try to stop reliving.

Sunday morning we got to run Hybrid very, very early in morning. 5th dog on the line, finished by 7:45am. That was by far the most challenging looking course of the weekend. I was the most nervous of all the runs. I wanted to run clean. That was my only goal coming into this thing, 3 clear rounds. I was thankful for the nerves, it makes  me a little more aware. We did it, after only a slight change of plans before the aframe. 3 clear rounds!! Consistency is so hard for us, goals completed. Time to go home happy.

We sat for a while and watched lots of dogs fault. Checking the results early on we had moved up to 6th. But with still over 100 dogs to go, who knew what was going to happen. So I sat, more antsy than ever for the 20inch class to finish…hours later. Then it was time to check the results, trying to make sure they had everyone in there. Then there was my little Derby Derb with a finals “F” by his name! Whoa, whoa, whoa! Seriously!

I couldn’t believe it for real until I had that finals shirt in my hand!

My little GOLDEN dog gets to be a NAC 20″ FINALIST!!! What an unreal, incredible feeling. We get to go run with all those border collies and accomplished handlers in the FINALS!! REALLY?!! I really didn’t care what the outcome was, just running in the finals was like a dream come true…how  many people can say they’ve got to do that?!  I remember the rush that came from running in the Steeplechase Finals and how much fun we had. I really couldn’t wait to recreate that.

Derb ran the course perfectly. I was antsy. I felt myself pull away from the poles, watching him, almost in slow motion. I don’t know why I did. I didn’t really need to get a lead out, but it happened and like a good dog he came with me. Dang. He aced every other piece of the course. So easy to be proud of him and so easy to be irritated at myself,  but it happens. My head was in a weird place, I don’t think I was as nervous as I should have been. I knew we couldn’t win that class, so I don’t think I was trying as hard as I could. A stupid thing to do, something I’ll never do again. It was still a happy trip home, with the 15th place 20″ dog in the country :)))

You have to learn from your mistakes. And when you make a mistake with that high of stakes on the line, you can bet I learned that lesson really well! It’s my reminder to work his weaves better next time, SEE him do every pole before I move away. Or better yet, take my own advice of moving lateral from the beginning of the poles, not jolting away at the end. Ok, and just for a little humor, next time Derb,

It was great to be able to spend the whole weekend with so many friends and family, definitely made it so much more fun. Thankful to have good friends who cheered us on every run. Thankful my parents and boyfriend came ALL the way down to watch us. AKC ran a really, really great event. I’d love for them to come back to Reno some day (or um, Washington or Oregon :)). I hadn’t planned on going to Cynosport this year, but maybe just maybe. I’ve got the bug, I know Derby’s got it too :)

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