Finally! I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breath for the wondrous account of the Happy Thoughts Agility crew’s AKC national agility championship. For good reason! It was magical.
This blue headed gal had the time of her life with her perfect Panda Bear & her happy hobbit. Both boys managed to get prickles in their paws while hiking the day before the big event. Pan stoically hid all sign that anything was amiss. Then, there was Bilbo. He should’ve won an Oscar for his performance. He stepped on one of these pokey nuisances and his life flashed before his eyes. Hobbling around on three legs he began to cry and whimper like he’d stepped on a land mine. Of course I, being the soft hearted dog-mom that I am, dropped everything and in a panic try to figure out what had happened. Both boys were successfully de-prickled and no worse for the wear. Next time, Bilbo should take a lesson from ol Baloo & his Bare Necessities –
“Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don’t pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don’t need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue”
Also, fun fact – Bilbo is OBSESSED with hotel carpets. Every time we entered a hotel he feverishly snorted up as much carpet smell as he could while his tail wagged a mile a minute. Pan would just eye him with a look of disapproval and then claim his spot on the bed, the middle, and fall asleep before we could protest.
We picked up my mom from the airport on Thursday & she and David sported the Happy Thoughts Team shirts that I made them. Both had quotes from either Peter Pan or Lord of the Rings. I had the best cheering section, & it filled me with warm fuzzies to have them there supporting me.
On Friday, the games began! Bilbo and I competed in the ISC class to try for the top spot, which came with an automatic place on the European Open team. Talk about pressure. As I sat waiting for my turn, my hands were literally shaking I was so nervous. I let my nerves get to me. Those annoying little voices in my head were telling me I’m not good enough, we’re not fast enough, we’ll mess up, the AKC international tryout people are watching me… waiting for me to mess up, etc. When given the chance, my brain can come up with all sorts of awful stuff, and I gave it more heed than I should have. Needless to say, I let my nerves mess up an otherwise beautiful run. After the run, I took a deep breath. I played tug with my wonderful Bilbo; my angel dog. I had let those thoughts distract me from what I was there to do… have fun with my pups & run our hearts out. Those negative thoughts were neither true nor helped me be a good teammate to my dogs. I took another deep breath, and let them all go. While I still got a bit nervous, self-deprecation didn’t burden me for the remainder of nationals. Every run after that was fraught with excitement and happiness.
Pan was the PAN-tastic dog he always is and had a perfect weekend. This was only his second time at nationals and he actually sat at 7th place overall for a bit! I broke down crying from how proud I was of him after our third clean run on challenging courses. He is my heart-dog. My amazing boy that runs with me so effortlessly. I treasure every time I’m on course with him, and love how it often feels like we’re doing a beautiful dance… just the two of us.
The hobbit showed up and let himself be known! Before every run, Bilbo made sure to broadcast his eardrum bursting bark. I love the way he yells at me; the louder the better. It’s as if he’s screaming for me to hurry up and let the fun begin! He is my smile. He gives me so much courage to go out there and give it all I’ve got… I know he certainly is going to! Bilbo got 6th in Jumpers and 9th in standard. He blew me away with his awesomeness! This was his first ever nationals. Heck, this was his first ever big event! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and this amazing little dog that I’m so blessed with.
Funniest story from nationals – Right before Bilbo’s jumpers run, he decided he HAD to poop even though I had just taken him out to potty. We’d already been scanned in for our run, so we had to go in. It dribbled down his leg a bit and he had grass sticking out of his bum. “What do I do?” I asked the people around the entrance gate. Someone suggested, “Just pull out the poopy grass and go.” So, that’s what I did. I pulled poo out of my dog’s butt, put it somewhere to clean up after my run, went out on course and got 6th place… with poop all over my hand.
I will be doing analysis of our runs soon, and setting up the courses to figure out how to run them more effectively. But for now, these videos are up to appreciate what we accomplished. To smile at our spectacular runs as well as our silly mistakes. Thank you to all those who cheered us on. We got such an out-pouring of support, and I can’t express how much it meant to us.
*Think of the happiest things. It’s the same as having wings!*