Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Jake is Top Dog! --Almost--

While looking up something else, I went to the USDAA list of top 200 lifetime agility dogs. The qualifying scores over a lifetime ranged from 89 at the low end (yow! That's a lot of work! And a lot of success!) up to the seemingly unreachable 551.

I decided to find Jake's name on the list of ALL competitors and see how pitiably far behind he was. Much to my surprise--he was listed as having 86 qualifying scores! So I double-checked my own database: Yow! That's a lot of work! And a lot of success! And sure enough, he's got 86! (Is that enough ! for the moment?)

I searched for other dogs in the 88-86 range. He's one of only 4 dogs with 86 points, and there are andother 4 with 87 or 88 points--which means he's currently somewhere between 205th and 208th on the top lifetime achievement list. My heart has flip-flopped.

There are around 5,000 dogs on that list. But that's not all: Those 5,000 are merely the dogs who have made it to the master's level and have managed to earn at least one qualifying score at that level. That doesn't include the thousands of other dogs who never make it (or have not yet made it) past the novice and intermediate levels.

I never feel that successful or that skilled. This is a complete surprise to me and I'm just about crying with delight.

You can't imagine the pressure I feel when my friends, colleagues, classmates, and instructors just about own the top-10, top-lifetime, and top-200 list, and then I come home from a cruddy weekend with no--none--zilch--nada--qualifying scores. Not that I'm competitive--

I'm both very lucky and very challenged to be doing agility in the SF Bay area, where there are so many top-notch competitors and instructors.

Now I have a reason to live! Maybe I should throw myself at a few more USDAA trials, even if they are in SoCal, to try to make it officially onto that 200 list! It's very doable--not all of the dogs in that range are competiting any longer (sadly, one of the 89-Q handlers died just last week).

By comparison, Remington and I had accrued only 24.

By another comparison--Jim Basic's swift has 87 *Gamblers Qs alone*. Now THAT's a Yow.

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