Sunday, November 12, 2006

Nationals Photo Highlights

SUMMARY: Photos of most-direct Taj MuttHall interest, plus link for more.

I uploaded photos of my friends and teammates (200+ photos) on my smugmug site, including the following. But I have winnowed them down to these that are of most direct interest to Taj MuttHall.



Boost's sister Bette and her "mom," Mary, waiting in line for dock-dog diving. This was a popular activity (well--the diving, not the waiting in line) but I wasn't prepared to wait in line for half an hour for a couple of quick immersions.
Diana, who shared my car and hotel room, with one of her two Border Collies.
Bette demonstrates dock-dog style.
Bette removes all that heavy dock-dog water after her dive.
Jake hanging out with me, hoping for goodies.
Boost's sister Beck and her "mom," Linda.
Me at Scottsdale and, behind me, one of the agility fields and the impressive McDowell mountains. They rise dramatically above Scottsdale, formed from Precambrian basaltic rocks dating back about 2 billion years. The tallest, McDowell Peak, is about 1230 meters (4023 feet) above sea level; I'm standing at about 1500 feet at Westworld. Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West is at the foot of the McDowell Mountains.
Boost's "Uncle Greg," owner of her parents (Tala and Coty).
Boost's "Aunt Tammy," cobreeder with Greg, running one of her other dogs.
Boost's sister Beck and Linda again.
Boost's sister Gina, from L.A., with her "dad," Tim.
Boost's sister Gina, from L.A., with her "dad," Tim.
Boost's sister Gina showing an impressive teeter-totter.
Boost flying through the weave poles. (Photo by Dynamic Dog Photos. Ordering prints.)
Tika propelling herself out of the weaves without a moment to lose. (Photo by Dynamic Dog Photos. Ordering prints.)
Uncle Greg running Boost's dad, Coty.
My Booster baby! (not so baby any more--21 months and competing.)
Just one of many spectacular sunsets and sunrises during our stay in Scottsdale. Every night and every morning was like this! How do they do it? It's probably paid for by property taxes in this upscale tourist town.
Dang herding border collies! This is a game of "frisbee"--at least, it is for Brenn, who watches intently and waits for Carlene to toss the frisbee--and Bette who watches intently and waits for Brenn to move--and Boost, who watches intently and waits for Bette to move. They line up like this, all motionless and poised, every time.
Wednesday night was the annual awards banquet. Last year, Jake was in one of the Top Ten categories, but nothing for us this year, although several of our friends earned awards. Food was served buffet style, and the chocolate cake layout seemed appealing.
Sunrise the next morning. See what I mean?
Our crating area, between the two posts. Carlene and Mary and their 3 dogs were supposed to crate with us but set up somewhere else for most of the time. And my borrowed bicycle.
"Free" goodies from USDAA at check-in: Hat, t-shirt, pin, frisbee.
Here's Tika's team, "Three's a Charm." Ellen, Mary, Carlene.
The backs of our shirts, made by WendyWear.
Detail of shirts
In the hotel room, Boost loved wrestling with Diana's 8-month-old Border Collie, Cassidy. Aren't they just soooo cute?
Isn't-um snuggums wuggums cuteums puppywoodles?
Boost decided she wasn't willing to sleep in her crate. After struggling with getting her to settle all night the first night, after that I decided that if she'd settle quietly in the chair next to the bed and let me get my few measly hours of sleep, I wouldn't fight it. It worked out fine.
Dogs take over the sleeping area. Fortunately, there was still room for me, although I was so (pardonthe expression) dog-tired every night that I could've slept on a rock surrounded by 50 hyperactive wire-haired terriers. Seldom got to bed before midnight; almost always up before 6 a.m. Zzzzzzzzzz.
My teammates, Mary and Carlene, conspiring again. These guys always seemed to have plans. Fortunately they always worked out well for me, so I'm not complaining.
The competitors' hospitality tent had two large computer displays showing up-to-the-moment standings. Except for the finals, all the other events had so many entries that they ran all day. You could watch the detailed results scroll down the left side, but you could see who was currently in the lead in placements on the right. This was about 10:30 one morning, with Tika sitting in 3rd place in the 26" dogs in Team Gamblers, something I knew we wouldn't be able to maintain for 6 or 7 more hours, but it was so cool to see our name on the leader board for several hours. We endd up 12th of 130 dogs in this event, dropping below the 8 ribbon placements on the leader board. But then I got to watch Tika's name on the leader board again on Sunday for the Power and Speed, and that time we stayed 10th for an actual ribbon.
More leader-board fun. About 3pm on Saturday, with all of our team's runs done, we show up as 9th(!) of 208 teams, with only 1 to 2 hours of competition left. We're pretty sure at this point that we're going to make the top 30 and go to the finals, although I'm betting that we'll be in 22-23rd place. Actually end up seeded 26th at the end of the day, going into the next day's finals.
Boost's breeders, Tammy and Greg.
Here's "Three's a Charm" after our 22nd-place finish in the Team Finals. Wooohooo! Ellen and Tika, Mary and Skeeter (Cattle Dog), Carlene and Brenn (Border Collie).

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