USDAA Nationals Day 4!

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Not sure how many times I can say it, but here it is again….Derby Rocks! He was Mr. Perfect this whole week, we’ve never performed this consistently well…ever. Nice time for it to happen :) He has taken me on such an amazing journey these past seven years. We have developed such a great partnership and relationship, just business time out on the course now :) Four nationals and three finals appearances. I am beyond proud of him, thanks bud!

The one error we had this week in PGP Quarters was my fault, he did his job perfectly every time (including covering for me a time or two ;).

My only goal going into these things is to make it into a final. Then we just do our best. It’s hard not to get nervous, especially with all the sitting around and waiting. A little nerves are good, to help me pay attention, but not too much that your hands are shaking when you go to check yourself in ;)
Just walking and hanging out with Derb made those nerves disappear. He is such a funny guy doing his tricks and instantly relaxed me. I’m actually glad he acts like a butt on the start line, barking and acting like he’s not gonna stay. It brings me down and keeps me in the moment. (And he did stay for every run, maybe not sitting, but staying ;).

He was perfect on course, and I thought he was moving the fastest he had all weekend. My favorite thing about watching the video is his footwork going into the weaves. How he knows to shift his feet around and get loaded in there at such a fast speed is incredible.
The whole thing happens so fast, I wish there was more left in my head than just flashes of it. No other feeling like it. Running clean in the finals. Addicting enough to keep me going all across the country (when is TN again?! ;)

I scared the poor boy at the end! I was so happy I slapped my hands and ran up behind him to hug him. He was looking the other way, not expecting that. Totally looked panicked until he realize I want going to trample him!

However Golden fast and clean only earns you a 6th place when you’re competing against a bunch of border collies ;) It just sucks because I feel like Derby deserves better. That all the “off” breed dogs deserve a better chance to compete against similar dogs. Not dogs consistently running times 3 – 4 seconds faster than every other performance dog. But oh well, that’s what it is.

But we won’t let that take away from a wonderful week. Our team climbed up and ended up in 20th place out of 130ish teams I think. Derby did end up the Top Individual P22 dog after the 4 team classes!!
We took 4th in standard this morning too! Perfect and placements in each team class! Really had to work hard to get all those ribbons and that giant trophy in my suitcase.

Loved the show site, we got to run all but one run on the turf. Which I definitely preferred over the grass. We get to explore some of Colorado tomorrow before we fly out at 8pm. Can’t wait to get home and see my other boys.

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