Tomorrow is Drifter's birthday. I will be traveling and therefore won't be able to post. I got Drifter when I was only 20 years old, I was already a pretty good handler in agility - I had earned a couple of ADCH's and made Grand Prix and DAM Team Finals several times already. But for Drifter I had to be more. More everything (that's my new motto). I had to be faster, stronger, firmer. I had to learn more about conditioning and collection and "cue and go", and running contacts. I learned more about start line stays (and lack thereof) and about dogs who won't lie down on the table. I learned about dogs that CAN jump 26" but maybe it's just a touch too hard for them to be comfortable... I learned to run aggressively.
Drifter turns 10 tomorrow, a couple weeks after I have turned 30. In my 20's, with Drifter, we went to 5 Grand Prix Finals, made the podium in 3 of them. We went to Steeplechase Finals only once, surprisingly, but we won that one. We went to AKC Nationals only 3 times total, went to Finals twice and won both of them. We won our way onto the USDAA IFCS World Team by collecting points throughout the year and then rocking it at USDAA Nationals to pull into 2nd place from 4th. We won our way onto the very first WAO Team, and then won the Biathlon World Championship. We got a MACH, an ADCH, and two NAC titles...
Because I don't trial a ton, and I actually didn't even do AKC for several years of his career, he does not yet have a MACH2, but we will finish that this fall and then he is retired for good. He has a mild heart murmur, a toe that doesn't work (long term result of a toe injury when he was 2 years old), and some very mild sore spots that pop up if he isn't kept super fit. But he's earned his retirement, I think. He is a pushy dog, but a good one. And I expect he'll stick around a while, digging through toy baskets and biting the grass and ignoring me when I tell him to lie down and stay.
So Here's to Drifter, the dog that helped me become "famous"!