A look back at NAC 2016

March 22, 2016

Sometimes we look ahead in life with great anticipation of what we want to happen. This past weekend was one of those times. Strange how things workout.

 

I had pictured in my mind Viper and me running in the finals at NAC. The last two runs were to be Carol Schiefer's wonderful boy Schemer and then my Viper in the number one position. For now I will need to keep this thought in my mind for next year. Working ever so hard to make it happen. Thinking of what might have been. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I find no harm in dreaming. 


All of my dreaming and wants were not to be this year. It wasn't my time. It was a time for the agility world to see just how great my girls are. 

 

Viper and Barbara looked to the agility followers to be a well-seasoned team. Finishing Saturday in the number six position, no one would ever suspect they were anything but a team who had worked together for years. 

 

The truth is, I never let Barbara run my Viper. The only work they had done was stopped dog walk training (that worked great by the way!). Running courses is much more complicated than it looks to the outside world. Doing it at a national event makes it even that much harder.


Wow, my girls worked so well together! One miscommunication in 26" ISC Standards at the weaves, one knocked bar hybrid and one second out of making the finals in Challengers. 

 

For over thirty two years Barbara and I have been a team. Working together, we have accomplished pretty much all we had ever dreamed of doing. So when the time came that I

needed her help, she didn't hesitate. 

 

Together we discussed how to handle the courses. Me saying that I would do it this way and Barbara saying, "but I can't do what you do." Then we would come up with a plan that would work for both her and Viper. Barbara did what I think was a nearly impossible task. How she did it is truly amazing.

 

I can't thank her enough, although I'm sure she'll figure out a way. This year was a year for my girls. For the next 363 days I'll dream of what might happen. 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Few Tips

#1 

Have fun! This is unequivocally the most important tip to remember. If you and/or your dog are not having fun, it's time to take a pa(ws). 

#2

Set small goals! There is so much to learn in this sport and so much to remember while running a course at MACH speed. Focus on honing one specific skill at each practice or trial. 

 

#3

Hit the road! Really. You might be comfortable trialing locally, but it's important to get exposure: new courses, new environments, and new handlers (who are bound to have some helpful feedback for you and your dog).

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