- My DAM team: Tika qualified for the Nationals in the 3-dog-team Dog Agility Masters tournament by being on a team with our old friend Spike the Border Newf and a gentleman from southern California who needed a partner at the last minute after we lost ours (don't remember why). But Spike's not attending Nationals, and I waffled for a long time about what I was going to do about DAM, so the So-Cal guy wisely signed up for his own (I assume more So-Cal) team.
Instead, I'm teamed with another long-time friend Megan (photo), the aussie rescue who's gotten to be a pretty reliable although not super-fast performer, who just earned her USDAA Championship (Tika's a lonnnng way away from that), and who also qualified with a team with whom she's not running.
Our 3rd? This year, USDAA is allowing any qualified 2-dog group to include a 3rd dog who did not qualify on his own team. Actually Tika competed in the DAM at nationals last year by the grace of this rule, because her team didn't Q in the one attempt we made, and our friends Eric and Leslie allowed us to be on their team at Nationals. Well, this year, Eric has a newer, younger rescue dog who didn't Q in DAM but who is going to the nationals, so Megan and Tika asked Zac (oops, no photo available? a red and white border collie) to be on our team.
That's Tika, Megan, Zac—team name Run-TMZ!
- Team Uniforms:The wonderful woman who made our tie-dye team outfits for the second year in a row (Eric's wife--pays to be on the right team), reported cheerily today:
"I'll be there in spirit, my tie-dye worn by several of the best dressed teams. My dog will be running with Eric. Your team shirts are awesome - black with lightning bolts of aquamarine, purple and cobalt blue. There won't be anyone (other than your teammates) wearing anything like this!"
- Nationals isn't Nationals: we all call them the National Championships, because that's what they were for a long time. Also until 2002, the National Ch's for Grand Prix, Steeplechase, and DAM were held at different times of the year in different locations.
Then USDAA became grandiose.
We in fact will be attending the 2005 World Cynosport Games! We'll be competing in the USDAA Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championships, the $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase Jumping Championships, the Dog Agility Masters International Three-Dog Team Championship, and the, hmm, I think Veteran Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championships (with Jake). In addition to all the agility, there will be disc dog demos, flyball competitions, herding, terrier racing ("go-to-ground" competitions) and much more.
And lots and lots of cool dog-gear-related vendors.
- Truly International: There will be championship teams from at least a dozen other countries competing as well, probably with Byes into the Grand Prix semifinals or even finals, to ensure that the results will be truly international (although in previous years US teams have consistently beat out the teams from other countries. Don't know why we can't always do that overseas--but in part of course we've got a lot of US teams competing here, so the odds are good that SOMEONE will do really well).
- Postings: My hotel has free Internet hookup, so I'll be taking my Mac (which the repair guy has now to try to figure out why it intermittently won't power up) and attempting to post *some* kind of news daily while I'm there. If I'm not collapsed like an exhausted, melted lump of agility slag on my hotel bed.
- Transport: We might be taking my friend Jackie's van instead of mine. At least this year all the tires on my van should be good so we won't be stopped at midnight in rural AZ/CA changing a tire-- But her van is cool, ALL the doors are power! And not broked like my one pathetic power door. Did I mention that the dealer said it would be $1300 to repair the sucker?