I entered this weekend with alot of emotion. I knew this probably would be miller's last runs and I wanted them to be good and for him to have fun. I still had a small hope that we could get that last P3 gamblers Q and also finish up his P3 standard title. I have long since given up on super Qs because the lack of P22 in our area, and was glad I did because there were 2 of us there all weekend. Anyway, I had entered him in two classes a day and figured he would have a good time since it was on turf. Of course a day before we were scheduled to leave, he started licking his leg and a little old dog bump as i call it began to get irritated and bigger. I was worried, but it didn't seem to affect his running or jumping. I tried to keep him from licking because it seemed more just irritated than anything. He is an obssesive licker of legs anyway and always has been. I think he gets that from me, I am an obssesive finger nail chewer so he has to have the same flaw since he is my kid LOL! We thought for a while that he might have food allergies but the chinese med vet said it was just his element that made him do obssesive things like that. Surprisingly, he has never had any hot spots or lick granulomas with his obssesion.
We had gamblers and standard on saturday and gamblers was first. Miller has NEVER been a distance dog so I didn't have big hopes we would get it and it was a tough, tough gamble. The part about the run that bothered me wasn't that we didn't get the gamble, but he wasn't running like his normal self. He was ducking behind me, refusing jumps and just being overall weird. I was super worried and almost pulled him, but we stretched him out and massaged him and couldn't find anything wrong. I decided to go ahead and run him in standard and if that run was not good, I would pull him from the rest of the weekend. Of course, he ran like normal in standard, got a Q and a first and had a beautiful dog walk. I could tell he was a little slower but I am getting faster due to all of the running I do now and I think running baby-d also skews my perception of how fast miller runs. That finished up his P3 standard title so I was really happy, but more than that, he seemed back to normal. Sunday I had entered him in three runs accidently, snooker, standard and gamblers. Snooker would have been a good run with the 7 being a serpentine a, b, and c and the ones were all close by. He knocked the first bar in the first 7 so I knew we were toast as far as any hopes of a super Q (plus the fact that there were only two of us total in P22) so we just had a good time and ran. He missed his weave pole entrance in the closing which was the 6 but I didn't care. He ran and had fun and that was what mattered. We had gamblers next and it was a very doable gamble, jump, jump, teeter, jump. The problem was the dog walk was the 5 and I didn't want to chance him not getting it and us loosing time and points. I had that happen previously where we did two dog walks and he didn't get either and then he got the gamble but didn't have enough opening points. I also wanted to stay away from weaves just in case he was sore. So my option was two a-frames and tunnels and jumps. I had a good plan and he for once let me lead out (we have lost our lead out since I have been running with to get speed). We were in perfect position going into the gamble, but for whatever reason, he just refused the second jump and came in and barked at me. Typical miller man so we didn't get that last gamblers q we needed. I was bummed because that was our last chance. I don't think it is fair to him to not play in akc, not go to class and then expect him to jump 22 in USDAA in the fall. I have already pulled his summer entries from AKC and just plan on doing veterans in USDAA. Anyway, was a little emotional and had to go out and be a baby and cry. Mom wanted to come with me but I just needed some alone time with my mill man. Came back in after a brief few tears and someone said something to me about it just being a stupid title and I lost it. Yes, I was bummed about not getting the title, I am human and I am competitive, but I am most bummed about this being possibly our last time in the ring. He has given me so much, so much more than I could have ever asked for or expected of a dog that started out HATING agility. I really am going to miss running him:( Got it back together and cooled down and decided to go ahead and run him in standard one last time. He laid down a beautiful run with the PERFECT dog walk. What a way to end his career! After so many years of having a crappy dog walk contact, thanks to me and that being the sole reason why it took us so long to get a MACH and he gives me the most beautiful two on two off you have ever seen. I decided that was the run, the one to end it on. Did he Q, no, but he ran like I know he can run and we ended with lots of cookies, a massage and lots of butt rubs and cookies from his friends. He was wagging his nub and wiggling for everyone. I like ending on a good note. He will still go with us and I still hope to run him some in veterans at 16 inch in USDAA.
Thanks miller man for 7 years of agility giving it your all, making me laugh, making me cry, and making me a better handler. I love you and always will:) No one can bark as loud as you, can wiggle as hard as you, or can run an a-frame like you can. Still think it is funny that you ended your career with the perfect dog walk:)