We love our dog. My husband (half-jokingly) calls Boomer his “Favourite Son” – he doesn’t cry or have poopy diapers, and we can trust him home alone if we want to go out. But we’ve (translation – I’ve) worked hard to help him be the wonderful dog he is. And part of that is to keep his mind and body occupied – with agility.
Boomer and I went back to classes when the boys were only two months old – we both needed to get out! But class alone isn’t enough – we needed to get back to trialing.
Before going on “agility mat-leave”, Boomer was awfully close to two titles. He was one Advanced Standard short of his AADC (Advanced Agility Dog of Canada). This is a class that has eluded us for years. We graduated to Advanced Standard from Starters Standard in February 2009, and it took 16 months before we got our first qualifying score (or Q – a run with no faults under the standard course time). We started out in the “5 fault club” – essentially making one mistake in an otherwise perfect run (usually my mistake!). I worked hard on my handling and we improved, but then Boomer decided not to lie down on the table any longer. He would run completely clean, but we would be over time because he would stand staring at me instead of lying down on the table like he was supposed to. Finally, at a trial in June 2010, he Q’d two Advanced Standards in a row – the curse was broken! And we needed just one more for our title!
We were also just one Q away from our first Masters title – MJDC (Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada). Once again, we were either clean but over time or speedy with 5 or 10 faults (1 or 2 mistakes). The closest we got was in February 2010 – a perfectly clean run 2 seconds over time. It was my fault – I made a late front cross near the end and Boomer got distracted:
We tried so hard to get these titles before I was too big to run him! I had high hopes at our last trial in July 2010, but was disappointed. They had recently aerated the grass, and Boomer was far too distracted by the divots lying around on the course to even start paying attention to agility. I left that trial crying, though pregnancy hormones may have had a lot to do with that!
Needless to say, returning to trialing this spring was a big deal. We’re starting small – just in the morning or the afternoon, so I’m not away from the boys for longer than one missed feed. I’m really not up to pumping at an agility trial! March 12th & 13th we made our way to the Cloverdale Agriplex bright and early, and ran two Advanced Standards on Saturday morning and two Masters Jumpers on Sunday morning. Saturday was fun and we came close, but no title. Sunday, we managed a Q in our second jumpers and Boomer is finally a Master Jumpers Dog of Canada!
We’re still trying for that Advanced Standard…. we did a trial in early April, and plan on a few more in May and June. It WILL happen!