I am just not a sappy person, I don't really do emotional "year's end" posts. But I will review briefly what 2012 brought me and what I am hoping to achieve in 2013.
in 2012 Strafe finished his NA, NAJ, OA, OAJ, AX, AXJ and qualified for AKC Nationals and Tryouts. He also got his AD in USDAA and qualified for and attended USDAA Nationals (Cynosport Games). There he won Team Snooker and Standard, came 3rd in Steeplechase Semi-finals and 2nd in Steeplechase Finals, was top Team dog individually in 26", his team came 4th in the Relay and 14th overall. We applied for WAO Team and despite strong application videos were not selected. We attended a seminar with Jenny Damm and had fun, attended a seminar with Jaakko Suoknuuti and Janita Leinonen and had fun. And we learned to be a good team with a hugely promising future.
in 2013 Strafe and I are attending our first AKC Nationals together, going to AKC Tryouts and hopefully the European Open. We are also planning on going to 2 USDAA Regional Events and Nationals in Tennessee in the fall. What we hope to accomplish? Well.... world domination basically! I would love to win the AKC-sponsored spot for the EO Team, but I am planning to go whether we do or not. And of course I'd love to make EO Finals and do well, but I won't hang my entire happiness on a goal like that!
Smaller goals for 2013 are to make Strafe stronger physically and braver about jumping - he needs to leave strides out here and there to continue to get faster, and while I feel that he is trying, he has a ways to go before he can do it consistently without knocking any bars.
Here's his best runs from the AKC trial this past weekend where he got QQ #9 and a few single Q's.
The little smidget Kiba had a pretty rockin' 2012 as well although I have a few handling regrets that are unusual. We attended AKC Nationals in Reno, winning 16" Time 2 Beat, JWW, and Hybrid rounds, with a 4th in Standard. In Finals I made a really stupid handling mistake that most likely cost us the win. I made the exact same mistake at the USDAA Regional, costing us a PGP bye. Kiba did place 2nd in Triathlon Final at the Regional which was an extremely great moment for her since I ran her in C22" where she struggles to keep up with the "big dogs" usually. We attended the World Agility Open, where another stupid miscommunication handed us a big fat off course in our very first run, although we came back to put in 3 solid Team runs, helping our team win Bronze and get Gold in the Relay. she also pulled off a 3rd in Gamblers, and a 2nd in one of the Ind Jumping classes which I was very proud of. Over the summer her jumping went a bit downhill and I have decided that she is now staying at 16" permanently in every venue. I elected not to bring Kiba to USDAA Nationals in Denver, the first time she's missed the event since she started attending in 2008. She qualified for AKC Nationals over the summer, although her Q rate is surprisingly lower than Strafe's. I discovered I can NOT get her to measure under the FCI Medium mark no matter how hard I try. And this fall she qualified for USDAA Nationals the same way she did last year - with 5 out of 5 Q's (2 PSJ, 2 PGP, and 1 PVP)
for 2013 Kiba is returning to AKC Nationals, where I hope to be better focused and maybe put that elusive NAC title to her name. She has no international plans any more, and will likely take the summer off after attending the USDAA Regionals in June and July. Then she goes with me to USDAA Nationals in TN, which will very likely be her last time attending since rumor has it that the event will be moving out "west" for 2014 and she hates to travel.
Here are Kiba's best runs from this past AKC Trial over New Year's. Due to a couple of knocked bars and a very strange weave pole fault, she did not get any QQ's, but she got 3 single Q's and 79 points towards qualifying for next year's Nationals.
ETA: I did not mean to exclude Drifter, somehow his bit got lost! He is going to finish his MACH2, hopefully in February, and then continue to enjoy retirement. He does not seem to miss traveling very much and has a grand time staying home and emptying my mother's toy box and chewing up dog beds and foam mats!
Seri's goal is to be the funny, goofy, happy dog that she is. If I find myself in a financially favorable spot I may enter her in a few trials just because she loves it, but I have no real competition goals for her. She is doing well though.
For me, I want to try to get a bit more fit than I am, including more hiking and running with the dogs, along with strengthening my bad shoulder. And I want to pressure myself to run harder and faster at every trial. I've been trying to do this already, just want to continue in the same vein. I also want to keep pushing myself to learn and handle in a more "european" style, getting as much speed as I can from my dogs while also clearly indicating the correct obstacle and not causing knocked bars. Non-agility goals include keeping tabs on any possible Strafe puppies that are born, and possibly bringing home a Strafe half-sibling as my next puppy.