Fact: Trips to Michigan require more recovery time than Vegas Vacations.
Rather, trips to Michigan for Regionals that end up having unholy 14 hour days of agility in a sauna when your foot hurts and then you have to drive home in one shot to make it to work Monday require more recovery time than Vegas Vacations.
Yeah, that makes more sense.
After chewing over the Regional itself for a few days, I'm still not sure what to say. I've experienced four separate regionals recently; three have been expertly run, enjoyable, large events. Take what you will from that. I intend to send some comments to the club and prefer not to be inflammatory in this space, but if anyone else who attended has any constructive criticism, I urge you to share as well.
I will say, for what we were all dealt this weekend, my dogs were MARVELOUS.
For starters, my little Pup. This was her first ever big event, only her second two day trial, second weekend in championship, and first time running more than three classes in a day. Because of the changes, she had to run most of her entered classes on Saturday. Hard courses, games she has never run, new environment... so many things thrown at her in rapid succession over an incredibly long day.
Was it perfect? Heck no. But dang, some brilliance in every run. She held every start line, stayed on task, made good choices, and had some fun. Her contacts were spectacular. She did a great job in Team Gamblers and Snookers. Not even a Starters Snookers leg to her name, and we ran a perfect three seven plan- she got her first LAA Q with that one and placed too! Her Jumpers run was fun (for 9pm at night)- I lost her in an off course tunnel, but was actually thrilled to see her run with that much drive. Good thing my teamies were AWESOME and supportive of happy off courses...
Her best moment of the day was a great comeback after I mismanaged her in Standard. I'd felt so bad for my handling and couldn't believe what she gave me following that: the Regional GP Round 1 course was fast and fun and she ran clean, placed 3rd, and made the finals. As for the finals, well, I blame a tasty looking black blob for teasing her while she was trying to weave. Other than that teeny lapse, she lived up to her name. It was a great run. Proud doesn't even begin to describe it.
My little Dog... Sadly, she ended up even more brain fried by Sunday than the Pup. After Steeple Finals, the last class, I just had to hug her. She is not a dog with endless endurance; she has her limits. Most of what she does in agility is for ME. I am very thankful for every little bit she gives.
So even though there were some low points, they were balanced with highs. Isn't that just like life? In the end, I had brilliant dogs, a great time with my teamies all around, loved playing with Great Nephew Puppy Boy (I'll work on his moniker), and had a bitchin' time checking out awesome eateries and local brews with my travel mate. Hmmm. The non agility parts were so fun, I reckon I can count this as a vacation!
Moral of the story- roll with the punches. Enjoy the little things. Take a detour. And there is ALWAYS a take 2. Ours is coming in August!