Looking back at 2011, and forward to 2012

Well, 2011 was definitely a tough year for me and the Shelties.  It started out great–Trip was running well, Ticket began competing and also did well, moving pretty quickly into the Excellent classes.  The AKC Nationals were disappointing–it was not my favorite Nationals experience for many reasons–#1 the facility and its layout, but also the travel necessary for it and the location.  We JUST missed the Challenger round, which was also disappointing.  I didn’t even get to watch the Finals because an 8pm flight out apparently wasn’t late enough.

But the Nationals experience really pales compared to what I went through with Trip and Ticket later in the year.  Trip injured her neck, but returned quickly, only to apparently reinjure it this fall.  Ticket came up lame, and was eventually diagnosed with partial CCL tear, and was also out of commission.  It’s been tough to not have both girls out there training and competing, and admittedly frustrating at times.  I did learn a lot about rehab during Ticket’s recovery, and I think that will help me moving forward professionally.  And there were certainly some good things in 2011.  Trip earned her MACH3.  Ticket came out just like I expected and has all the potential in the world.  I gave my first agility seminar, have a new website, and am looking forward into doing more with agility from a teaching and business perspective.

Heading into 2012, Trip is still a question mark.  She’s currently receiving treatment (medication and acupuncture) for her neck, but only time will tell how long she will need to recover.  My only goal is to have her healthy and ready to go for AKC Nationals in Reno at the end of March.  All roads point there, and my goal is nothing less then the Finals.  But we’re a long way from there, and we’re taking it week to week.  The good news on that front is that I will be getting certified in acupuncture this year, with my first two sessions in February, and I hope to be able to use that to aid Trip’s recovery.  I am waiting for the day when I get to step to the line with my best girl, and know she’s 100% and ready to run.

Ticket will FINALLY be back, and our goal for the year is qualifying for 2013 AKC Nationals in Tulsa.  It will be tough–she’s still green, and Double Qs will be tough to come by.  All I can do is continue to focus on her strength and conditioning, train hard, and hope we start to “click” early on.  I know she’ll give me 150% everytime we step in the ring, but she’s a challenge for sure.  I’m looking forward to it, and the adrenaline rush that I get when I step in the ring with her.  It’s an amazing feeling to run her, and I can’t wait for our first trial back, no matter what the outcome is.  I also hope to qualify her for USDAA Nationals in Colorado, though I’m not sure we’ll be able to go yet.

So, big hopes in 2012.  But first and foremost, healthy dogs.  If I have that, then I can deal with everything else.  What are YOUR plans for 2012?  Wishing you happy, fast runs, and most importantly, an injury-free year for you and your pups. 🙂



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