Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going, Going... GONE!

We are outta here! A mere 8 hour journey ahead of us.  (Yes, I say mere. You weren’t in the RV/mobile prison during the trip to the Nationals for…*shudder*… 30 hours.)

And the best news is- no snow on the horizon! Kansas is expecting near 70 degree weather over the weekend. Even Iowa is begrudgingly throwing out temps in the 50s for us. THANKS IOWA! What you lack in professional sports teams and hills you make up for in your semi-agreeable nature.

This week I have had a terrifying amount of spare time on my hands. Loathsome of boredom as I am (only boring people get bored!) I set out into the vast expanse of Google to settle a few questions regarding the canine world that have been plaguing me lately. It has been exhausting trying to feign recognition and comprehension when these topics arise and catch me off guard. (“Oh! Yes! THAT thing.  It is, um… bad? What? Oh, by bad I mean, GOOD of course...” nuts.) Just in case anyone else out there is as woefully and embarrassingly behind the times on these trendy topics, I am going to help you and share what I didn’t know and now am a genius regarding! (Ha!)
1.)     This is the most embarrassing one. I know of course (I don't live under a rock), that USDAA and AKC each send teams to compete in world events. What I can never keep straight- who sends to which one? EASY. AKC will send a team to the FCI World Agility Championships and USDAA will send teams to the IFCS World Agility Championship. (Is it any wonder I was confused? All those Fs, Is and Cs!) AKC/FCI does not accept mixed breeds at the WAC, however the USDAA/IFCS WAC does. This event occurs once every 2 years (next up… USA!), whereas the FCI WAC takes place every year.  
2.)     In line with this… what the HECK is the World Agility Open then? This one sounds pretty awesome. It’s a ‘non-denominational’ (What, who says agility isn’t a religion??) world event, where countries represent as a whole, rather than by the organizations within the country. This means that everyone has to play nice together! It’s sort of like an invitational for the best of the best- winners of major events at the FCI and IFCS get automatic entry, everyone else has to meet the selection criteria for their country. The USA’s criteria is on the site, and I am impressed by the equal consideration given to competitors from both AKC and USDAA:

3.)   Silas Boogk- why haven’t I heard of this person? And WHAT is that little dog he runs? Well, he seems to be a bit of an international phenom- very high end competitor. He was in town recently for a seminar. He does blind crosses (which is why he was off my radar) like they are in short supply, but from videos (which are extremely exciting- he is all over the place and yet…not?), it seems to really work for him and his dogs. Speaking of, the little dog… is a Sheltie. A shaved Sheltie. You had me until this, Silas.  
4.)    Lastly. Schutzhund. (Dog says Gesundheit?) No, Schutzhund! I kept hearing that word and finally had to know- what is it? Do I need one? Well, turns out it’s not really an “it” but another dog sport.  It has three parts: obedience, tracking and protection. I guess it was originally made to be a breed test for German Shepherds, but then everyone wanted a piece of it since it looks fun, so now it is a sport, with Nationals and Worlds (under the FCI) and all that.  Cool! Here is a site that I found that does it much more justice than I did.
Hm… Go Dog = future Schutzhund star? Maybe! She is pretty good in obedience, likes to sniff the carpet by where we eat to find noms, and barks savagely at the neighbors kids (from the safety of our house, of course).  

I feel better now, having shared, and regained my status as genius (again, ha!). Now I don’t have to worry about being socially awkward and unaware... until the next new topic comes up. Curse you, trends!

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