2013 was a great year for the dogs and me. It was also a year of transition, as both of my older dogs eased their way into semi-retirement. In April, Lou ran his last field trial with me, and gave me two good runs. How I will miss running my big white dog! We will still putter in arena trials, but at 11, Lou doesn't have anything left to prove, and I chose to retire him from the big outruns while he still looked good. :-)
Wick ran at her last Nationals. At about 13 years of age, Wick really hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, and that's how I want to remember her - an ageless machine. At the AAC Nationals, she did lots of wonderful things, including two clean, fast Jumpers runs, and a massive opening in Gamblers 2. She, like Lou, isn't completely retired. I'll still run her a few times in a weekend, in events where she can run and bark a lot (like Jumpers and Team).
That means the heavy lifting falls on the shaggy shoulders of Rex D Dog. He had a breakthrough year, where we finally started to team up on the trial field. Thanks to a LOT of private lessons with the MacRaes, I think that we've turned the corner, and I'm confident that 2014 is going to be a good year for the poodle. In agility, Rex continues to be a delightful partner who runs with such joy, and such a lashing tail, that it really doesn't matter how we place. Still, despite having no expectations, he earned a Steeplechase bye to Cynosports, he was part of the Northwest Regional DAM Championship team, he completed several titles in both AAC and USDAA, he is qualified for 3 out of 4 events for Cynosports 2014, and he did well at some really fun seminars. We're for sure going to Cynosports in California, and we hope that we continue to amuse and entertain his fans.
As I am wont to do, I've made a video summary of The Year That Was. I am very worried that the 2014 year-end summary will be 6 minutes of Rex waving at the camera, so I have vowed to take more video of all three dogs just doing dog things. Really, no one wants to see 6 minutes of waving!