25 October 2007

You are going to love this one, lovers of dog shows.

Next week is the REALLY BIG dog show called the Nationals. It's the USDAA Nationals. It's bigger than Nationals-it's actually a world event, with teams there from all over the world. We're not going. One reason is, we really don't want to go. You need to take a whole week off work-it's in Scottsdale, and it starts on Wednesday and goes through Sunday. So it's like a week long vacation except it's at a huge dog show where you are running once or twice a day against the best teams in the world. It is really expensive and nothing like being in Hawaii or Booneville or other places where vacations generally take place. Fun! Both dogs are actually qualified to go in Grand Prix, Ruby is also qualified in Steeplechase. Neither on Team since we never run Team since it's a 2 day thing. Those are the only things you can be qualified the year before to run in, and you try to also qualify in the regionals to get a bye into a higher round. We never did that since we weren't going and $$$ to run tournaments in those regionals.

It's like a tent city of dogs everywhere, you walk a course from like 7:02am til 7:12am, then have an estimated running time of 4:47pm or whatever. It's in a giant, Indio-like horseshow grounds with like 10 rings running at once. Your crate area is like a 20 minute walk from the ring. A water costs $8. It's sort of like an Indio (the really big 6 weeks of horseshows near Palm Springs. We used to go to that one.)

But the glory if you win. Ashley and Luka, Ruby's nemesis until she moved to Performance, have won the $10,000 Steeplechase there. (There was just no way to win against Luka. Period. Nobody can win against Luka. Unless Ashley messes up, which is rare. That's why I started taking lessons with Jim-Jim can you help me win against Luka? No. Ashley takes lessons with Jim too. He's super nice. He just wins by like 10 seconds no matter what. He is a True Agility Rockstar. Ashley please never move down to Performance where I can at least sometimes win.) Other people I know have placed in the big money classes. But you need to be Really, Really Good to make it into the finals.

Hobbes is going. Rob is taking all 3 of his dogs. I told Hobbes last night to win the Grand Prix. There are some really super fast dogs but Hobbes has the edge of accuracy in Grand Prix runs. I don't think he's fast enough to win that Steeplechase. He has a good team, so he could win at Team. I got Hobbes a good luck present. It's a horse rope to use for a leash and frisbee and some treats. Rob thinks I am crazy. Hobbes ran great last night, but actually not super duper fast. I think he is saving it up for next week.

So I have both dogs running a team event in December, trying to get a Q that could help send them to Nationals next year. Would I go? Most of the year, it sounds like what an expensive pain in the ass dog show to go to. The week before the Nationals, and during it, I always want to be there. We'll see. See if we get that team Q in December. Maybe someday. If you want to follow the Nationals all next week, because I know all of you LOVE following big dog agility events, I'll start putting in links to the results and play by play info you can get from the USDAA website.