12 March 2009

AKC Nationals, so soon!

In two weeks I will be done running the State Team ISC classes! I can't believe it's only 2 weeks away. At the same time, it's very surreal for me, like I still don't quite believe I'm going. Not that I am shocked I qualified or anything like that - I can do anything! - I think it's more tied into the idea that I'm used to the winter months being a time off from big events. Usually I have a big gap between USDAA Nationals (sorry, CYNOSPORT GAMES), and the SE Regional in Perry. That's a big gap - usually my winters/springs are just time spent prepping, fixing things that have slipped training-wise, and just garnering tournament Q's. This winter I've had to be much more serious, keeping the dogs in shape, going to the PT as regularly as I can afford (you try $50 per dog with 3 dogs and a person needing it!), and generally keeping handling and obstacle performances in tip top shape. The good news it that both smoothies are pretty solid on most of their handling and obstacles. They both have their minor issues, like Drifter's one bad weave entry (although he's 100% great on all but one exact tough entry which I know about so I compensate for it!), and Kiba's tendency to over-run me slightly on tight lead-outs (working on that). But my point is, we are ready. Drifter's dogwalk will probably continue to make me nervous till the day I retire him. It's not that I'm constantly retraining it so much as I'm constantly refining it, or even evolving it. Anyway, I'm psyched to go to AKC Nationals, I've never gone before, I just hope we can pull off the consistency necessary to do well. I feel that both of my dogs are now two of the fastest in the country, even little Kiba who I had sort of written off as a 2-year old. she's now posting ridiculous good times and winning grand prix's right and left.

So my goals are lofty, I'd like to at least put in a good showing in the ISC classes (I am going to Tryouts, after all!). But most of all I want to make Finals with both dogs. Kiba may have to get in through the first three rounds; I've heard the Challenger round can be insanely competitive, and while Kiba CAN rock the house, she's not always the fastest thing on certain courses and if I have to push her contacts she may miss. I'd much rather just run clean 3 times and know she'll get in the top 17 speedwise. Drifter is in the same situation except that with him i am more confident of his ability to win the Challenger round should that be the position we find ourselves in. He's fast:-)

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