First, you have to understand that I spearheaded getting CPE into The Bay Team. I attended the early first demo trials in CA held by other clubs, I researched it, I proposed it to the club, I volunteered to chair the first couple of trials, found a new agility site, and so on and so on. (Although we now do two CPEs a year instead of two NADACs, that was more NADAC's doing than mine. Once everyone had an alternative, almost everyone welcomed it with delight.)
No CPE this year worth mentioning
And yet--I'm thinking that I'm not going to be doing any CPE this year except for the two Bay Team ones and the VAST one in March that I've already committed to be chief ring steward for in exchange for free entries and maybe the Thanksgiving one at WAG, which is always a hoot. I'm really really really trying to cut back on the number of trials. Don't really WANT to, but money is a big factor--both in entry fees/hotel/gas and in time that I'm not putting in my max billable hours when I'm going off to agility for the weekend, and my finances show it. In 2005 and 2006 I vowed I'd cut back from 20-some-odd to only 10 a year. I managed to cut back to 20-some-odd. (Not one of my most successful goal-setting experiences.)
Many USDAA trials
I'd rather concentrate on USDAA, and I count 13 USDAA trials just within 2 hours of home this year, plus Scottsdale, and there we go, that uses up my maximum of 10 trials for the year. (Read: Ha! I'll never cut back to 10!) It's been really tough going for almost 4 months with no agility competitions because of my knee, but in some ways kind of nice. I'm horrified to see that there are 2 months during the summer when there's NOTHING (cpe or usdaa anyway) anywhere at all. (Read my personal online weekend calendar)
Free entries would of course help, but I also don't want to exhaust myself working chief ring steward every trial with 3 dogs to tend to. And I not everyone gives free entries for that, anyway. Score table's a little better but, again, not everyone gives freebies for that, and it does tie me down a lot although not so exhausting.
So I dunno. I hate to give up the opportunities to do stuff with Boost in CPE, or to eventually in some distant fantasy future earn Tika's CATE, but I just don't see how I'm going to swing it. And the lotto machine wouldn't take my dollar yesterday, so THAT plan won't work.
AND I'm going to do power paws camp this year with Boost, I've decided--I submitted my application today--we really need the intense time together and the learning experience, and there goes another weekend and my budget all blown to pieces. :-/ Sigh. Why couldn't I take up an inexpensive hobby like... like... I dunno, graffiti? (As long as you don't get caught.)
Take the summer off?
So back onto those 8 weeks in midsummer: I can't believe that there's nothing to do between the VAST USDAA June 2/3 and the Bay Team CPE July 21/22. (Read Karey's Famous Calendar for agility of interest to Bay Areans) That's 6 weekends in a row with no agility! Oh, sure, if you do that namby-pamby AKC stuff or can deal with NADAC so-called agility--or drive to Portland!?!?! for USDAA-- why can't some of these folks move their CPEs and USDAAs from the winter & spring out to the middle of summer? That's a great time for agility in the Central Valley! (Read about the central valley summer climate)
Argh! What will I do???
Qualifying for nationals
Plus it's scary having 3 months(!) from the VAST USDAA to the next USDAA at the end of August. I'm trying to not panic about national qualification, but since I missed a couple of chances in the fall due to my knee, I see only:
VAST: Grand Prix and steeplechase
CAT: stpl only
Haute TRACS combined trial: gp, stp, team (4-day trial, argh, that's where my knee first blew out last year)
SMART: probably stp, gp
Bay Team--No tournament at all??? When was the last time that we ever had no tournament at all? Is this overreaction to last year when Saturday was All-Team, All The Time, and no one came?
VAST: team, stp, gp (all in 2 days??)
then all of a sudden we've got 3 months off before the next set of 3 USDAAs in a row (last chances before nationals) and I'll be stewing like crazy if we haven't already Qed in everything for Scottsdale. This needing *2* each of BOTH Steeplechase and Grand Prix is nuts. Thank the gods that it requires only one team so far. My Q rate is just not that high that I think I can get 2 out of 3 with both dogs in both GP and stpl! Argh argh argh!
There are a couple in there in southern california, but driving 6 hours each way is REALLY exhausting. (I know, I know, I'm spoiled rotten.)
Life as an agility addict is full of difficult choices. And, I know, I'm supposed to be doing this for FUN. Which it is. And think how much time and money it will save me if my dogs don't qualify for nationals for a change!