SUMMARY: Interesting placement results from last weekend and pondering the value of blue.Last weekend, Tika took 1st in 6 of 13 classes. I already pointed out that there weren't many dogs in our height class this weekend, so the results could be very different on any other weekend.
Let's see--I don't know everyone's story very well, but they're all great dogs:
- Killy the Border Collie (only in Team; has had many of the same issues as Boost (but has a better handler who has gotten better results), wasn't even going to enter this team event to take a break, but the handler's wife's partner dropped out at the last minute, so they filled in)
- Kash the BC
- Brenn the BC (a little younger than Tika but has had joint arthritis starting at a young age)
- Chip the BC (who has been around for quite a long time but was only in a couple of our classes)
- Carson the BC (also only in Team; who is only 6 but has had physical problems, too, so no more jumping 26")
- Darby the Lab
- Fritz the Giant Schnauzer (who seemed to really like running in the rain but was also only in a couple of classes)
- And Tika the Craussie
What I find about myself is that--yes, I love getting blue ribbons--but not so much if it's a gimmee. OK, for example, in CPE I love going in part because my dogs can do very well because they're faster than many (not all) of the CPE dogs and I have a lot more handling experience than many (not all) of the CPE handlers. But then I also feel odd if I've done a couple of CPE trials and swept most of the blue ribbons. Because, conversely, I also know what it's like to not ever get blue ribbons, and am not so fond of competing when we just aren't ever going to get them. I've had 4 agility dogs now, and until Tika moved to Performance 2 years ago, in USDAA we almost never got those pretty blues, so, yes, I know what that's like.
So, in fact, I prefer competing with dogs with whom we have an even chance, with whom the scores are close.