Wed afternoon on a lovely hike at Fair Hill I found this:
I could almost hear the dogs saying "WTF?" just like I was thinking. No, I did not have the guts to open the mystery pot.
That evening I started to feel like the lymph nodes in my throat were swelling, and sure enough Thurs morning I woke up with a sore throat and a sort of allergy/cold feeling. Only mild nasal congestion and I don't feel too bad overall, but I took it easy anyway, canceling my tentative plans for a long morning hike in order to rest. I did go out and train Strafe on the USDAA aframe and the 21" weave poles a bit, and I did some indoor core/disc work and a few minutes of swimming with the dogs, but nothing too taxing for me so i can hopefully heal up completely and run Strafe tomorrow. Need to get those Starters legs!
I counted up my AKC points and I'm pretty sure both Strafe and Kiba need somewhere between 80 and 100 more points to qualify for Nationals. Not having multipliers has effected me more than I thought... anyway, I have 6 more days planned, so I will have to continue trying to Q in order to collect points.
Also the sad news that I debated about posting here - Ryze has grown again and is now 17" tall, give or take a smidge. He's 8 months old, so he might or might not be done, but the boy is too tall. Because I already have too many dogs, and I wanted a sheltie so I could compete in a lower jump height, I am going to rehome him (working with the breeder, of course). So if you or someone you know is interested in an oversize but otherwise really nice sheltie, feel free to contact me.
At this point, I am planning to wait till next year and re-evaluate how I feel - I may then try again to get a small dog, or if my dogs are holding up well physically I may just wait several more years and get another BC. I just don't really want to go through the puppy raising thing all over again so quickly, and the stress of wondering how tall the pup is going to be is a whole different factor from what I'm used to!
Yep, that's my head in the foreground, walking around Brussels. Now don't ever say I don't post pictures of myself;)
If i go to the EO next summer (which I'm strongly attempting to plan for), I will probably fly in to Amsterdam, since it's not much farther from the site than Brussels was, and I haven't been to Amsterdam yet so it would be another new place to go. And that's definitely something I enjoy along with the international competitions themselves - short sight-seeing trips to see new places, and I especially love OLD places, old buildings, old square, ruins, palaces, cathedrals, etc.
Today is my last day as a 20-something. Tomorrow is my 30th birthday. September is a big month for me, it's my 30th birthday, my 20th anniversary for starting agility training, Drifter's 10th birthday, and Strafe's 2nd birthday! Busy busy. i don't really celebrate any of that stuff, although i am planning to buy Strafe a nice big antler this weekend. But the fact that I've been doing agility for 20 of my 30 years is kind of mind boggling. In a good way. I'm happy with what I've achieved and I don't plan to stop anytime soon. I was never put off by being young - I made Grand Prix Finals at the age of 14 for the first time, my very first trip to Nationals! And in europe, there are quite a few youngsters competing, and they really have an advantage since the trend is towards big courses where athletic handling is key.
Anyway, bit of a ramble today, USDAA tomorrow, probably won't bother with video but it's all Starters runs anyway.