Now that 2008 is officially over and 2009 is here, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the year we just finished and think about some of our hopes for the new year.
Maggie in 2008
We entered in 8 AAC trials over the course of the year and this was our first full year of trialing. In those 8 trials, Maggie earned her SADC and SSGDC titles. She also has a couple of Advanced game 'Q's. For me, our most memorable runs were our Starters Snooker run at the Go!Dog!Go! trial and our Starters jumpers run at the fall Flashing Canines trial. They were both one of those runs where you really connect as a team and everything falls into place nicely.
We also entered 2 CKC trials where Maggie earned her AgNJS and AGnS titles.
We went to 3 rally obedience weekends this year. Maggie finished her Novice Rally title at the first weekend out. She then earned an Advanced Rally 'Q' in each of the next two Rally weekends.
It was my goal for 2008 to earn Maggie's CD title. We entered in one trial where she earned her first leg towards her title. I pulled her from all the other obedience trials she was entered in because she gets extremely stressed in the ring. I want the ring to be a fun place for her.
Our highlights of the year were earning our 2 AAC agility titles.
Bosley in 2008
Bosley was entered in 2 Rally obedience weekends this year. In those 2 weekends he earned his Novice Rally title and earned 2 legs towards his Advanced Rally title.
Bosley was entered in one Obedience weekend this year. I wasn't planning on entering him in Novice obedience at all this year (I didn't think he was ready), but since we travelled 9 hours to attend our National Specialty, I entered him anyway. He earned his CD title in that one weekend, much to my surprise and delight! At the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Canada sponsored trial, Bosley wowed me with a great performance, getting 1st place in his Novice A class and High Bernese in Specialty Trial.
I entered Bosley in one event at one agility trial. I knew he was not ready to compete, but I thought he would do well enough to at least have some fun out there. It was a good experience for both of us. He was goofy and a bit distracted, but overall did well.
Bosley and I won a cart at the Bernese Specialty, so Bosley officially began his draft dog training.
Both dogs got to try out herding this year, which is lots of fun.
My highlight of the year was attending the Bernese Specialty. It was my very first Specialty and it was so fun to see all those Berners around and watching them compete. I tried out my hand at Conformation by showing Bosley in the altered category, which was fun but very different from performance events.
Maggie - 2009 DreamsI hope that Maggie's broken toe will heal up with no more problems and that she will get through the year without any more injuries.
This year I hope to earn our AAC SAADC title. The AAC rules have changed for this year, making earning titles a bit more difficult. The Advanced Games title will be very difficult for us now, as you need 3 'Q's in each game to earn the title. Jumpers is always a struggle for us, so 3 jumpers 'Q's will be difficult. We will give it our best try though!
I would also like to compete in AAC Regionals this year. I have no realistic dreams (unrealistic ones, yes) of qualifying for Nationals. I just want to go out and at least show well. Maggie will most likely be the only Bernese at Regionals, so I want give good representation for the Berners.
I would also like to try to get out to a couple more CKC trials this year. There is so little CKC agility around here, but CKC is fun.
I would like to finish Maggie's Rally Advanced title and start on her Excellent title.
Ring nerves, Ring nerves, Ring nerves. This year I want to make the ring a happy place for Maggie. This means working on ring nerves - for both of us. I would still like to earn Maggie's CD this year, and if all goes well, maybe I will enter her in the fall trial here in Lethbridge. It is always less stressful when you get to stay at home for a trial.
I hope to begin competing with Bosley later this year. I will see how Bosley is once we start our outdoor training in the spring and see how ready he is to begin trialing. Bosley should be ready to start jumping at his full jump height now so we will need to work on more jumping exercises before we can trial.
This year I hope to finish Bosley's Advanced and Excellent titles. It is my dream that this year we can start earning 'Q's towards Bosley's RAE title. We still need to work on perfecting going from a heel position to a front position without me taking a step back. We also need to work on polishing our Moving Stand and Backwards Heeling.
Dumbbell work - that will be our focus for the year. I will begin working more on some of the other Open Obedience exercises, but the dumbbell is what will need the most work. I have a long term goal of competing in Open at the 2010 Bernese Specialty, so we have a lot to accomplish in the next year.
I am hoping that we will be ready to compete in the fall draft test. This is a big goal, but we are going to try. I have never even seen a draft test before, but I know all the rules and exercises and it is something that I really want to do. We will just have to train hard all year.
For 2009, I hope that everyone stays healthy and un-injured. Even if we don't meet all our goals for the year, as long as we are continuing to progress in our training and have fun, it will be a successful year. Success cannot always be measured by 'Q's or titles, but rather by how far you have come as a team.