This past weekend left me with a lot to think about. Bolt earned QQ#4 and Q#20 towards AKC Nationals 2014! We’re still missing about 40 points, but a couple single qualifying scores will cover that & especially since we have until the end of November I’m confident that is achievable.
So…We’re going to Harrisburg!
This has been my goal since learning the nationals would be held in Pennsylvania and (finally!) be close enough to drive to. I didn’t entirely expect it to happen, though. I considered all of the factors going into the time frame for the qualification period. He began showing at the end of September 2012, and had made into the Masters level for both Standard and Jumpers by the middle of December. Even still, my previous experience with trying to qualify for the nationals proved to be a difficult endevour, even for a more seasoned team– something we’re not yet. When I was competing heavily with Nike several years ago we struggled to get the qualifying scores done and it took several years for us to get there. I was incredibly thrilled to go when we did, and was very pleased with our results. I understand though that I’m a different handler, and trainer with a different dog than I had in 2009-2010, so comparing the two results is not fair. Even still, I took this into account and didn’t want to set myself up for dissapointment if we weren’t able to make it.
|Bolt & his buddy SirPrize|
At the end of the weekend we had the scores I was most fixated on, the ones I thought might be more of a struggle. I’m incredibly thrilled that my two year old– my baby!– has come as far as he has. But what this weekend started me thinking on was what my next goal should be. Not in terms of competitions, titles, etc., but what else we could work on. I think ring criteria will definitely be what we focus on in the coming months when Harrisburg & World Team Tryouts begin to creep a little closer on the calendar (March/May 2014…I plan ahead, ok?). I’m really pleased with what I get from my young dog in the ring. I think in a lot of ways he is mature beyond his years, which is why when he sometimes does something a young dog will do I scratch my head and think, what was that? He’s spoiled me in a lot of ways, but I’m making a conscious effort to take the pressure off of him. To treat every run like practice becasue, essentially, that’s what these coming shows are for. To practice the skills we work on at home in a different environment in preparation for the bigger events. Let’s hope I can keep this mindset 😉
I’m happy to say that our contacts have really become solid in the show ring in the past month or so. He’s performing his criteria perfectly (something I could seriously dance around the room like an idiot over.. omg, contacts that work? They DO exist!!!)
The last piece is our start lines. I’m definitely going to work to make those rock solid too. As Paulette would say (and I’m sure she is saying) “make it black and white, there is no in between.” You got it, girl 😉
So here’s to the coming months & beginning our preparation for Nationals & Tryouts. To maintaining & sticking with our criteria. To keeping our dogs healthy & sound. To keeping our minds & bodies strong. To taking the time to enjoy this journey & all of the inevitable ups and downs that come with it. To, above all else, thank our teammates every day for all they do for us.
Thanks Bolt 🙂
Our QQ#4 runs:
Also, on a different yet still exciting note, I’ve started back into photography! I’m still looking to sell my current dSLR (hint, hint: someone please buy it) to upgrade, but in the meantime I’m happy to be back playing with photos. Looking forward to getting back into it & maybe finding a class at some point to learn more. If you’re bored please check out my page here (don’t judge the name, I was 13 when this thing was made, ok?) where most of my photos live. www.x0megster0x.deviantart.com
My last year of grad school at Emerson starts Thursday. Bittersweet. Better get going on that novel…