It was one of those weekends!

Was it is a good weekend?  Yes!

Did I run?  No.

I’d like to say I felt even the tiniest bit guilty but at the moment I am still floating around on Cloud Nine.

Literally Cloud Nine – as in nine qualifying scores.  For those not indoctrinated into the world of dog sports, that is pretty freaking awesome.

Saturday Carol and I competed in earthdog where it is not uncommon for all but one or two dogs in a class of thirty to fail.  This is very different from other sports where all but one or two dogs will actually pass.  As a result, there is a special camaraderie amongst earthdog competitors that is born from the many different ways we and the dogs have managed to pass this or that test again.  When a dog passes, everyone celebrates.  When a dog fails for the tenth time, we are all quick to offer empathy because let’s face it, who hasn’t done a swan dive into the mud in hopes of capturing a terrier in the 90 second time limit only to realize you caught the dog in exactly 91 seconds?  It is a great community and we have a lot of fun together, pass or fail.  But this was a very strong weekend for my dogs:

Comet earned two (out of a possible two) qualifying scores in Masters (the high level offered at the trial) while Drew earned his first qualifying score in Seniors (which I was beyond thrilled about after our humiliating 15 minute recall in the morning) and Smokey finished his Junior Earthdog title.  The two newer girls, Eva and Riley both did fantastic and made huge progress.  Riley even managed to pass the Introduction to Quarry level.  So all in all, we earned 5 passing scores on Saturday (which was about half of the total passes for the day!).  See how excited I am about this?

From left to right: Comet, Riley (top), Drew and Smokey

Sunday we did lure coursing where the dogs chase a fake bunny (aka plastic grocery bags) on a fast moving string for almost half a mile.  Drew, Smokey and Eva all had exceptional runs (actual comments from the judge:  I wish I could award Best in Field to that dog or I wish we could use that dog to teach the sighthounds!  These are HUGE compliments!) and all passed with blazing fast times and flawless runs.  Emma, who is ancient and mostly blind, also qualified – using her ears to follow the lure instead of her eyes.  And the instant the lure stopped moving?  She found an actual squirrel to yell at.  It was really something to see and made me tear up a little because the old girl still has it!  Comet and Penelope both blew off the lure after a few hundred yards to pursue actual live gophers on the course.  Who can blame them?  Why would they chase a ridiculous plastic bag when the REAL THING was right there in front of them?  So no qualifying score but two less gophers in the park.  And then there was Riley – who we all thought would be slower than Drew, Smokey and Eva because of her smaller stature.  We were wrong and she DQ’d after attacking the line several times then getting thrown off it.  There is always next time!  But the end result was another four qualifying scores on Sunday.

So no, I didn’t run but I had a fantastic weekend with incredible dogs and a really great friend.  I am so proud of all of them!  Now I need some rest.  And a run on the treadmill tonight because it is actually snowing!

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