She did it! Actually, they both did it! Both Secret & Luke got the final Chances run they needed for their respective NATCH titles today! Originally I wasn't so sure I wanted them to get it on the same day because I thought Secret deserved a "special" day of her own, but let's admit it -- Getting a NATCH on two different dogs on the same day is pretty dang awesome!
Honestly, I did not have high hopes. In fact, my heart sunk quite a bit when it occurred to me that the set of courses we were running today was the very same set of courses we ran at the Minnesota Mixed Breed Club trial over Labor Day weekend. The reason this particular course was ingrained into my brain is because Kaiser had his NATCH on the line when we ran it. None of my dogs managed to Q on this course. Actually, I'm pretty sure that only two or three dogs in the entire Elite class Q'd on this course that day. Yeah... I wasn't too thrilled to see it again.
This course stuck with me so much that I brought it home and set it up to practice. We STILL could not get it and it caused me a great deal of frustration (the dogs, too, I'm sure). Look, I even did an entire blog posting about it with video! Honestly, I went into this more or less thinking we didn't stand a shot. You know what they say, though, sometimes those are the best because you take the pressure off yourself!
Secret absolutely nailed the course! Not a single foot out of place and zero hesitation! Hooray for the baby dog!
I've been wondering for a while if I'd do a victory lap with Secret when she got her NATCH. If I'm honest with myself, I know it's totally not her thing. When we finished the run today I started to celebrate and she continued to head for the door. I did get her to come back to me, but I knew that making her run around the ring would be anything but rewarding for her. So I sucked up my ego and we went back to the crate where she got loads and loads of chicken.
It's amazing to think that Secret took just two years to earn her NATCH! It took me four years to get the first one with Luke. It took three years to get the first one with Kaiser. Maybe I'm on some sort of a roll here? Or maybe experience just helps. :o)
I was a little bummed that they were out of NATCH bars this weekend. I don't feel it's such a huge deal for Luke, but it would have been nice to have one for Secret's first big title. Oh well, the ribbon bling is pretty darn awesome!
Considering that Luke had also struggled greatly with this course when last we saw it, I certainly didn't think that this would be a slam dunk for him, either. He is and always will be, though, a very good boy. And Luke DOES enjoy victory laps, so we took one and had heaps of fun celebrating his fourth NATCH!
I'm so proud of the big guy! At nine years old and living with Addison's Disease he is still ROCKING IT every single day of his life! I think the best part of his day was when we came home and played frisbee, though.
In addition to their Chances runs, both Luke & Secret only ran in Jumpers today. Thankfully it was the first class of the day, so they got to get their ya-ya's out right away. Luke took down two bars, which is unusual for him (the first was from hitting the standard). Secret had a lovely run, although it certainly wasn't her speediest ever. She did still manage to come in 2nd behind the world's fastest Aussie, though, which is pretty great! And I had fun and stuck in two blind crosses, so wee for me!
Kaiser did not have quite the stellar day that he did yesterday, but he's still awesome. I need to get a better handle on how many treats I give the little guy over the course of three days, and/or I need to make sure I pump him full of pumpkin. His belly was not a happy camper today, which I know makes it hard for him to concentrate like he needs to in his runs. I think I was pretty lucky that we didn't end up with a giant mess in the first round of Regular, as he kind of exploded outside between runs. I knew he had to go -- I had him outside with Luke before that Regular run and I could tell something was up, but I gave him forever and he still didn't go. He was fine the rest of the day, though, and thankfully he only had Tunnelers to wrap up his day. Tunnelers is always fun!
With that Tunnelers Q, Kaiser is now two Touch-n-Go and two Tunnelers Q's from his V-NATCH. I don't know how I let them get quite that far behind. My original intention was to get his NATCH and then finish up the Versatility right away... Because, you know, I didn't want to finish them on the same day. :o) Oh well, we'll get there. With our current trial schedule, though, the earliest he can get it is June!
As if today wasn't already one of the funnest most amazing days ever, it got even better! I got to run THREE dogs in addition to my own! Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy running other people's dogs. It is such an amazing learning experience, as every dog you run will teach you something!
Colleen let me run baby dog Jet again today in Novice Regular. We NQ'd again, but it was heaps of fun! The start is a little unconventional since we figured he'd for sure take the tunnel -- Jet gets a little excited for tunnels. :o) Colleen was mostly interested to see how Jet weaves when someone else runs him, and the takeaway from this weekend was that he did great! Colleen was thinking about pulling him from Regular for a while, but now thinks it might be better to let him keep doing it for experience (he did finish his Novice Regular title with his mom this weekend!). He's going to be such an amazing dog!
My next awesome opportunity came when I got to run Spice! Spice is a Keeshond that belongs to my agility buddy, Cynthia. Cynthia is an amazing trainer and I have admired her (and her dogs) since I began competing in 2007. Spice has come so amazingly far since Cynthia adopted her a few years ago. She used to be a little whirling dervish who would just spin and bark at you constantly, but Cynthia has done an amazing job at teaching her "go on" skills.
Spice is a fast little stinker! She also has a running dog walk, and how much fun is that?! Unfortunately there was an off course obstacle straight off the dog walk and we NQ'd there, but it was still just ever so fun to have the opportunity to run the little fluff ball.
My last treat of the day was to run Nim. I'm sure everyone has dogs they see at trials and they think to themselves, "Man, I'd really love to run that dog one day." Nim has been one of those dogs for me ever since I saw her run. She is FAST. So super ungodly fast. She's a little twitchy, but she is amazing. Except for the whole being a girl thing and being the wrong color, Nim is pretty much everything I want in my next border collie -- She's small, she's built like a little coyote and she is crazy toy obsessed. Tug! Tug! Tug! She will play with anyone!
Renee gave me the opportunity to run Nim on the Elite Weavers course at the trial today. What a gift! It was so much fun, even if I did totally fail to support a hoop between tunnels and caused an off course before I could blink. Dang, you have to react quickly with these dogs! lol
I don't have it on video, unfortunately (I guess Renee does, so I'll post it if I get it), but I also got the completely unforgettable experience of running Nim in Tunnelers. It was the last class of the weekend and it was OH SO MUCH FUN. We put in a mind-numbing 7.9 yps run for a Q/1st! Holy buckets. Our time was 17.something and the average (good) time in the class was in the 20/22 range (Kaiser was 22). I never imagined I'd get to feel what it was like to have that kind of run. Completely exhilarating and totally addicting!
Renee is going to Champs and will be required to enter Nim in the 16" Veteran dog class (apparently all dogs 7 years and up MUST run as Vets at Champs now?). That would put her in the same class as Luke, which only makes me further think about not running him in the Regular rounds. lol Oh, we'll see... I'd love to see her run at Champs, though, that's for sure. I think she'll place quite well, if she keeps her head on straight!
I think that wraps up my super awesome day -- Oh, except that I also won the worker raffle! Sweet!!! We drove through Dairy Queen and I shared my ice cream with the crew on the drive home. Let's just say that some of them are neater than others when it comes to eating off utensils. Next time I should ask for two spoons....
In other news, we are supposed to get 10" of snow tomorrow.....