SUMMARY: Why I am going to USDAA Nationals (excuse me, Cynosports World Games) . (Is there an echo in here?)
Is it for the hopes of WINNING A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP?
Tika's highest showing in a Grand Prix round, ever, at local or regional or nationals, was 2nd out of 22 dogs, last September, when 13 of the dogs Eed and another 5 had faults. That's at a small local trial. This won't happen out of 80 or so dogs in the Nationals Semifinals. And you know how often Tika runs clean in GP? Like, once a year.
After that, it drops to a couple of 5ths, then plummets wayy down. And she's usually 6-10 seconds behind the first place dog.
Highest placement with 40 or more dogs competing: 10th, two years ago. (Being 7 and a half is definitely a handicap in this sport.)
They take only a dozen or fewer in the finals. We have two chances of making the finals: Slim and None.
And Boost? Ha. Ha ha ha. HA HA HA HA HA! But I'm working on our flaws diligently, for a change.
Is it for the RIBBONS?
Here are Tika's top-25 finishes at the USDAA Nationals so far in the entire known Universe:
- Nov 2004: 15th of 59 dogs in the Time Gamble.
- Nov 2006: 11th of 144 dogs in Team Snooker. OK, I'm proud of that. But no ribbons.
- Nov 2006: 12th of 130 dogs in Team Gamblers. Proud of that. But no ribbon.
- Nov 2006: 10th of 130 dogs in Power and Speed. Proud of that, AND we got a ribbon.
- Nov 2006: 22nd of 208 DAM Teams. Top 30 were in the Finals. I'm very proud of that. But no ribbon and no shirt. (How come all the other events get shirts if you're in the finals AND ribbons just for making it there, even if you Eliminate? Crap. No shirts probably because all the teams wear their matching outfits in the finals, which is cool, too, but we have to pay for our own shirts instead of USDAA paying for finalist shirts. Trickeeee.)
- Nov 2007: Nuthin'. In Gamblers, had a nice run but tied in points for only 27th out of 148. Everything else was a comedy of small errors (although I wasn't laughing much). Tika didn't qualify in Steeplechase, and Boost didn't qualify in ANYTHING.
Plus, this year, they're giving ribbons only to the top 9 in each Team class in Tika's jump height (26"), and top 6 for the "European" classes.
So what I'm saying is, I'm not going for the ribbons.
Is it because BOOST IS A SUPER DARK HORSE DOG?
Boost has qualified only once in her whole life in Steeplechase (that's one Q out of 16 attempts, ladies and gentlemen). So unless a miracle occurs this weekend and she earns her 2nd Steeplechase Q, she won't even be competing in that.
She did scrape together three out of 10 attempts at Grand Prix Qs this year, placing 7 of 47, 9 of 40, and 11 of 46. So she will compete in the quarterfinals, and if we can hold it together, she COULD make it to the semifinals (top 50% go on). But our record isn't so hot.
And she has Qed in Team only once in her whole life, and that included no really noteworthy individual class placements.
So what I'm saying is, Boost is not the sleeper champion.
Is it because I LIKE TAKING PHOTOS OF MY FRIENDS?
Well, there is that.