A few weeks ago, Kili and I attended a trial for a single day. Unfortunately, although Kili ran pretty well, we had some pretty bad luck which resulted in not a single qualifying run all day. It was particularly frustrating because we had 2 classes where we just needed a single run to move up to the final level, Masters, but Kili made enough errors each time that we weren't able to qualify. Then in her final run, Snooker, she ran beautifully, and I somehow misread the course and put her off course resulting in an NQ. After a day of frustration, it was just a little too much and I ended up crying and suggesting that I quit agility. After all, it is a lot of time and money that you invest into the sport even when you are just running "for fun" and aren't intending to be super competitive. Of course, it is not all about the Q's and the ribbons and the titles - it's about having fun with your dog - but all of those other things are an indication of improvement and development as a team. You certainly don't need a Q or a title to have fun, but at the same time it does take away from the fun a little bit (for the human, the dog doesn't know or care) if you never have success. I think of it exactly like sports - it's not all about winning, but anyone who has been on a team that ALWAYS loses can attest to the fact that it's not QUITE as much fun.
This weekend we stepped back into the ring again for another go. I certainly felt a small amount of apprehension, because I really didn't want another trial like the last one but the weather conditions had negated my ability to give Kili a good run that morning. I expected Kili to come out of the gate absolutely wild... and she did, but in a relatively controlled, focused way. Which is absolutely perfect. I want fast, I just want it to go in the direction I ask!
Kili had a great day. She qualified in her first run, picking up her final Advanced Standard run and her Advanced Agility Dog of Canada (AADC) title. She then went on to almost qualify in her very first Masters run, just missing the entry on a very tough weave pole entrance.
Kili also qualified in her final run of the day which was Advanced Gamble, finishing her third and final leg. It was not the prettiest Gamble run we've ever had as it was at the end of the day when Kili tends to have more trouble working away from me. The same wildness that doesn't serve us well in most other classes is helpful in Gamble. When she gets a bit tired she tends to second guess and double check if where she is going is right. Comparatively, early on when she's a little wild her tendency is to just go and not worry about whether it's right or not!
The AADC is previously the highest agility title earned by a greyhound. Kili already made some history a few months ago by being the first greyhound to earn her Starter Games Dog of Canada (SGDC) title. Kili now just needs her 3 Advanced Snooker runs to have moved up to Masters in all classes, and to get her Advanced Games Dog of Canada (AGDC) title, another greyhound first. My goal for Kili is to get her Agility Trial Champion of Canada (ATChC) title. To earn this title she needs to complete all of her Master class titles: Master Agility Dog of Canada (MADC), Master Gamble Dog of Canada (MGDC), Master Jumpers Dog of Canada (MJDC), and Master Snooker Dog of Canada (MSDC). To do this she needs to earn 3 Standard legs and 4 legs in each of the games classes.