I drove home last night from my last AKC trial held in Mt Vernon, WA. I went up with the goal of qualifying the 2018 AKC NAC to be held in Reno, NV with Speck and Meri. The plan was for me to run Speck and have Madison run Meri at NAC/PNAC. But it wasn’t in the cards. Meri missed it by 1 Fancy Standard and Speckie missed it by 2 Fancy Jumpers.
I *should* have started earlier in the year, but didn’t. I *should* have run my dogs better, but I didn’t. In fact, prior to this weekend I was trying to hard, and my dogs were not running like they should. They questioned everything that I was doing, they were worried. I *could* have prioritized AKC trials this year, but I didn’t. In fact, I generally avoid AKC trials, as I think that the courses are boring. I hadn’t taken anything to seriously, and it showed.
Nothing to show for doing those trials. What a waste of time.
Full stop. This is NOT why I run agility. I couldn’t continue like this. I have loved agility for so long and to think this way *would* kill me. I had to do something about this.
And so at the trial, I had an epiphany. I decided to take the courses seriously, and run. Did I make mistakes? Yep. Did Speckie and Meri make mistakes? Yep. BUT, I found the joy in running AKC courses again, and found the joy in just running Speckie and Meri. And they ran fast and mostly clean but hell, we were all having fun! Isn’t that what it’s all about. Really. Am I disappointed in not qualifying for NAC. Yep, but it’s not the end of the world to set a goal and NOT achieve it. I did learn things, and will apply them for next years goals (and those are some lofty ones 😉
So, as this year closes for Agility (Speckie and Meri are on a break), I am looking forward to next year, and running Gin, Meri, and Shine. Speckie will run a few times here and there, but he and I are going to switch over to herding for his retirement.
Next year will have new goals and will I make them all? Probably not, but I won’t stop trying. Will I do AKC Agility? Yep, and even going to apply to be a AKC Agility Judge.
Looking forward to next year, it’s *gonna* be a great one.