Another National Championship has come and gone, it seems this year is just flying by! This year, the AAC National Championships were held in Barrie, Ontario. Consequently, this meant another long flight back East for Swift and me.
The 2011 Nationals was the 8th National Championships I`ve attended. My first was back in 2002 with my Sheltie which also happened to be in Ontario. It was an amazing learning experience 8 years ago and I can now look back and see how much I`ve grown as a person and competitor since then. I’m amazed at how easy it is for our dogs to adjust to situations so smoothly. Sure, “throw me on a 5 hour flight in the dark, let me out of the crate and I’m good to go!” How our dogs react to situations like this is rather mind boggling.
Ginger at the 2002 AAC Nationals in Ontario Swift at the 2011 Nationals in Ontario
I was slightly concerned about the weather situation this year. Ontario was in a massive heat wave leading up to Nationals and back in BC we were getting weeks and weeks of rain with below normal temperatures. But, as my favourite saying goes, “It is what it is”. Ontario did not disappoint and it was once again a blazing hot and humid event.
Swift cools off on her cooling bed at the Nationals
Fortunately, Swift does well in all conditions; I’m a very lucky person to be on this journey with her. At 8 years old, she managed to pull out a 4th place out of 122 of the best dogs in Canada with a very respectable finish.
I returned home from Nationals refreshed and energized. My young dog “Viper” is now old enough to enter agility trials and I look forward to the journey we both are about to take as well as continuing the “yellow brick road” Swift has taken me down.
So what exactly makes an amazing agility team? How is success defined ? Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog.
Tara LaBelle, Swift Dog Sports