a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Waiting for that Lifetime Platinum...

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Waiting for that Lifetime Platinum...

SUMMARY: It's tiny in the grand scheme of things, but still--

--I did so want to get there. Particularly now that I'm unlikely to compete again, ever, let alone enough to earn all those Qs with a single dog. [I'm not heartbroken about that not-competing thing. But, you know--yes, about that award. ]

  Tika was only a few short of the 500 required when her heart decided that she was done. 

Tika's LAA Bronze (150 Qs)

But then, in January 2020, USDAA announced:

With new crossover rules in effect, these qualifications [counts for Lifetime Achievement Awards] may come from either the Championship or Performance program, and are limited on a combined basis to no more than 3 qualifications per class (the number to earn a class title) for a maximum of 15 qualifications at each level (i.e., Starters and Advanced), for an overall maximum of 30. This is in keeping with the definition of “Lifetime” and recognizing performances from the beginning of a dog’s career to retirement. This change will be reflected at a later date, following implementation of other programming changes. (https://www.usdaa.com/regulations/upload/USDAAChanges01_10_2020_announcement_Update01_23_2020.pdf)

Translation: Starters and Advanced Qs that didn't used to count towards LAA awards now do. And they'll retroactively update the records and titles for all affected dogs... and Tika had 13 Starters  and 11 Advanced Qs!

Tika's LAA Silver, 250 Qs

And then--COVID hit. So, I waited.

A year after that announcement, I finally asked USDAA In January 2021:

Did this actually go into effect? Specifically, my dog Tika had to retire just 12 short of her LAA platinum, but I see that none of her Starters or Advanced Qs are applied to her award.  Is there any action that I need to take?

Tika's LAA Gold (350 Qs) 

The response was:

Thanks for your patience  - we are still completing the work to update the formulas from the January 2020 updates. The pandemic and cancellation of events nationwide required that we shift all programming energies to the USDAA@Home platform.

LAA awards formulas should reflect the change this quarter. Dogs that were competing and earned an LAA at the time of the change will be awarded their plaques automatically.  We are working on a case by case basis to recognize dogs that have earned these retroactively and are no longer with us. Certainly a great accomplishment in either case.

Last year was a rough year for everyone, I understand that. Her record is still not updated on their web site. I am still trying to be patient. Sigh. I wonder how very many dogs are in a similar place with their LAAs of all 4 levels? (oh--wait--now there are 2 levels even higher!)

She was an amazing dog and gave me just about everything I could've imagined in agility.  But, yes, I greedily want just that little tidbit more.


(See previous blah-blah-blah-agility-awards posts on the topic of Lifetime Achievement Awards)

Tika, 2006
Photo by Erika Maurer

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