SUMMARY: I'm out of excuses. Guess I'm going to Nationals. Besides, I want that shirt.
In her life, Tika has had 9 opportunities to earn a bye into the Grand Prix semifinals at the Nationals (and get a nifty "free" polo shirt to commemorate the occasion), which you can do either by placing in the top 50% in Round 2 of the regionals or the top 50% in the quarterfinals at the nationals:
- Regional 2003: Made it to Round 2 at her first-ever regionals. Still a green dog. The run was flawless--well, except the little detail of running between the tire and the upright instead of going through the tire
- Regional 2004: Made it to Round 2. Don't know what happened--we had 15 faults there.
- Nationals 2004 quarterfinals: 5 faults. Placed 36th, and 34 dogs went to the semis.
- Regionals 2005: Eed in round 1.
- Nationals 2005 quarters: 5 faults. Placed 50th, and 41 dogs went.
- Regional 2006: Made it to Round 2. Got called on the dogwalk up for 5 faults Placed 16th and 13 dogs got byes.
- Nationals 2006 quarterfinals: Clean up to the next to the last jump, where I got overexcited and caused a backjump.
- Regional 2007: Made it to Round 2. Fell off the dogwalk and Eed when I spent time making sure she was OK.
- Nationals 2007 quarterfinals: I just messed up and pulled her out of the weaves early trying to run aggressively. Clean otherwise.
- Regional 2008: Clean run and pretty fast for the Tika dog, and for her mom, too! (Although a full 6 seconds off the fastest dogs.) We did it! We did it! Taj MuttHall is just about overwhelmed with joy!
Who cares if no Taj MuttHall dogs Qed in dumb old Gamblers, Standard, or Steeplechase! Those Qs were probably all sour anyway.
The cost just to pick up the polo shirt that I've been wanting so badly for so long: A week off work, a drive to Arizona, a week in a hotel, massive entry fees for the Nationals, team shirts for the DAM teams... and all the incidental expenses, too. We're not adding up the cost to *earn* that polo shirt.
Another competitor was speculating that, if she earned that bye, maybe she could just send in her entry form and pay the entry fees, not bother making the trip, and just have someone pick up the shirt for her. Pricey for a polo shirt, but not as pricey as actually making the trip.
Boost and Tika celebrating their nationals qualifications with a little frisbee:
Scully, the Princess dog who never plays at trials, thinks that might actually look like fun:
Sparkle believes that there is evidence to be found, even if it's not yet clear about what:
There might be gophers here:
Ewww, what's this? Smells gross! Ewww! Guess I'd better roll in it!
Most of the judges getting their instructions from Leslie, who organizes workers:
Judge Scott 'splains what it's all about:
Taj MuttHall and Tie-Dye Superwoman pay no attention to the camera while working at the score table all weekend:
Our rideshare, Scully & Sparkle's mom, walks a course in her cool tie-dye.