Thursday, January 03, 2013

2012, and the world didn't end

2012 was another crazy year of Dog.  In my defence, the world was meant to end, so I wanted to squeeze every last, glorious moment out of it.

All three dogs competed in some sort of Nationals.  Wick and Rex each showed well at the AAC Nationals in Nanaimo, and Lou and I crossed off the Kingston Sheep Dog Trials (and CBCA championship) from our bucket list.

Wick also completed, after nearly a decade of futility, her ATChC.  In true Wick fashion, she made a liar of me, earning that final Q on a dreaded teeter gamble.  She even got a gamble at Nationals, and earned a 3rd place in one of the Jumpers runs.  This year, Wick is coming up 12 or perhaps a smidge older.  I thought that the 2012 AAC Nationals would be her last hurrah, but it seems that Nationals in 2013 is in Alberta.  So yes, for the THIRD time, I will say:  it will be her last Nationals.  And again, she will probably prove me a liar!

Lou, my good, faithful sheepdog, had some nice moments himself.  He certainly held up his end at the Stampede, while I let my end fall in a spectacular fashion.  He competed in a couple of field trials, and while he did ok, he seemed to be struggling a bit on the longer outruns in Alberta.  I probably won't run him on the big fields anymore, which hurts my heart.  Watching my big handsome dog thunder up a hill is one of my favourite sights of all time.  I won't have him struggle, though, as he is too good a dog to go out like that.  He's still got more than enough pep for smaller field trials and arena trials, so he's not going to be retiring completely!

Rex, my perpetual puppy... what can I say about Rex?  He is a brave, crazy, happy, silly dog who both delights and frustrates me.  He had a great agility year, qualifying for Nationals when I thought it impossible (did I mention my dogs like to make liars of me??), he got himself into all Masters classes by the summer, and he gave me 4 great runs at Nationals (and two horrific Gamblers runs but that's a handler thing).  On sheep, he showed signs of brilliance and signs of lunacy.  Still, he really tries his heart out for me on sheep, so I need to try harder to get him out on sheep more, to practice in a constructive and meaningful way, and to appreciate my dog for who he is, rather than resent him for what he is not.  This dog is a reflection of my soul - in 2013, I am going to like what I see!  Rex won't quit on me, and I won't quit on him.

We put a lot of kilometres on the truck, we took ferries, and planes, crossed bridges and climbed mountains, in pursuit of all things dog sport.  We made new friends, reconnected with old friends, spent  a lot of time laughing, we made memories to last a lifetime, and we're keen to do it all over again!  Here's a look back at the year that was, Collie Nation style.