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Monday, March 10, 2014

I got it!!! Just call me ADCH YoYo!

We're still on cloud 9, even after a week and a day!

A week ago Sunday, March 2nd, I got that last Super Q for my ADCH!

Can you believe it? This almost 10 year old dog not only got 54 points in his Snooker run, but got more points than all the dogs in the championship class, all heights. DOG, was I feeling good on that run!

Mum, Gracie and I headed out for three days of glorious agility last weekend. I was entered in Snooker all three days and Gracie was entered in Gamblers on Friday, and Standard and Gamblers on Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Mum and I had a good plan for our Snooker run and I was running great, and right on target to get 48 points with three reds. But Mum got a little ahead of me and didn't support me on a jump before the frame and we got eliminated at 35 points.

This was the first time that 16" dogs and 18" dogs would be combined for calculating Super Q's, rather than previous years when we've been combined with 12's and other 16's.. So we had amazing competition. That 48 points wouldn't have gotten us a SQ anyway as the top dog got I believe 51 points with four reds. So we planned for the next day.

On Saturday, Mum obsessed about the course, it was a toughie to get high points for us as the reds were all in the front. We had a plan, but Mum never felt very good about our chances, and wouldn't you know, I took a red and immediately took an unplanned 2 and it all went to heck after that.

So on Sunday, we got up early at 4:45 and made our way to the trial in Gainesville at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center for the final day of the Southeastern Agility Trial. It was a beautiful day, finally nice and warmer, and sunny!

It got so warm that Mum had to take us out of crating in the car and put us ringside. Gracie ran two runs and then it was time for my final Snooker run of the weekend. Mum had made a great plan before her walk thru including two frames, which are my absolute favorite obstacle. When she started her walk thru and got a chance to really plan out the course, she liked her plan even better. Love it when your plan works better on the course than on paper!

All the time she walked the course, she thought to herself...."I love this course!" So we were ready. Mum didn't obsess, stuck to her plan and didn't even watch any of the other dogs run. We stuck by ourselves, until the very second before our run. When the other dog before us was eliminated we ran into the ring and Mum set me up in front of the first red. Here's the course so you can play along!

We started with the red on the right in the front. Mum ran with me from the start and sent me to the frame. I barreled up from about 10-15 or so feet from Mum, so she hung back and treated it a little like a gamble. Then she front crossed after my frame and sent me to the other red on the left in the front.

This was the trickiest part of our plan, to get me back up the left side of the frame without me taking the 2 jump or the tunnel. She fronted after the red jump, then fronted again in front of the tunnel, called frame and I sailed up it again. 

Our plan was for Mum to rear cross the red on the upper right, but she quickly saw that this wasn't going to work, so she blind crossed the bottom of the frame and I took the out right red very smoothly. And that set me up perfectly to the 6B tunnel, taking it from about 6 feet away. So Mum hung back in front of the 6A jump and did a front cross to the final red just to the right of the tunnel. 

She did a nice backy-uppy and then sent me to the 7A jump, around to the 7 B and we were off to the two through 7. Mum knew at this point we were going to have to hustle it up. So she quickly sent me to the 2, into the tunnel and ran quickly to do a front cross to lead me to the 4A jump. She was doing that front cross after the tunnel and I almost ran into her....'get out of my way, Mum!' But it worked and she led me around to the 4B and then front crossed again, again in my way, and up the frame I went.

Then she really had to hustle to lead me over the 6A and into the 6B tunnel, then she waited a bit and when she thought I'd be coming out of the tunnel, she sent me over 7A and around 7B to the finish jump.

Just as I was going over the 7B the buzzer started to go off....and Mum didn't think that we got that last 7, but she was sooooo proud of me! And I of her. We celebrated with some boiled chicken, then went to the crate area, picked up Gracie and took a little end of day celebratory walk around the grounds.

The entire time, Mum was telling us how proud she was of both of us, and how much fun she had with us all weekend. 

After our walk, we passed the concession stand and saw someone we know. She stopped us and said, 'nice run!' Mum said...'thanks! Too bad we didn't get that last 7.' Our friend said, 'you got that last 7, I heard him call it!' Whoa, what? We got it! Wow, that meant that we got 54 points. And depending upon what the other 16's and 18's got, we could have a shot. 

Our friend said we needed to go look at the results, but Mum just couldn't. It had been so long and so many times getting second place, that at this point, she just didn't want to know. So our friend went to look and we saw her walking back after looking at the results and she gave us a huge thumbs up!

What?!? We got it, OMD! That means, we got our ADCH!!!! We were so excited! And really at this point just couldn't believe it. How awesome!!!

We went to look at the result ourselves, and she was right, we got it! So Mum put Gracie up, got our ribbon and pole, the camera and headed to get some photo ops with Marty Gadsby the Masters ring judge.

Now this is interesting....we've run under Marty a lot in our agility career. He would come to the USDAA trials in Indiana when we lived there, nearly every trial, and either judge or work the trial. We reminded Marty who we were at this trial and he remembered us from Indiana. He couldn't believe that I was still running at nearly 10 years old. He remarked how great I looked too on Friday and during our SQ run. It was fun to get our ADCH with Marty and appreciate his super fun courses over the weekend, and throughout my career.

On top of that. We saw the judge that was working Gracie's ring and at first glance thought, 'hey, we know her!' It was one of our fellow classmates at some of my first agility classes up in Indiana. She's a judge now, and the neat thing is that she also couldn't believe that I was still running. It just so happened that when I was running that SQ run, she looked up and saw us running. She got to see our Snooker run, too!

It was like old Indiana home week for us. 

For those of you who don't know what's involved in achieving an ADCH (Agility Dog Champion) title in USDAA you need:

5 Tournament Q's including at least: 
  1 Steeplechase Q's
  1 Grand Prix Q's
  1 DAM Team Q
And once you make it through the Starters and Advanced Levels you also need:
5 Master Standard Q's
5 Master Gamblers Q's
5 Master Snooker Q's (3 of them Super Q's)
5 Master Relay Q's
5 Master Jumpers Q's

Not only did I get my ADCH this past weekend, but I also got my Snooker Master, Snooker Champion and Snooker Bronze title (that's at least 15 Snooker Q's with 3 SQ's). 

Over the years we've been really, really close, getting a lot of 2nd places in Snooker running against many World Team dogs in IN, TN and GA. I got my first SQ in TN 10-29-2010 with 52 pts, my second in GA on 4-13-2012 with 49 pts, and then this last one on 3-2-2014 with 54 pts. Getting a SQ is tough business, so we are super glad that I got to check one off my bucket list with such a fun, fast and one of the best runs of my career, run.

What a fun weekend! Check back to my blog for more about the weekend and Gracie's runs!


  1. Congratulations to both of you! We are so proud of you! Great job!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  2. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear this great news! I have been following your ADCH quest for awhile and I know how close you had been so many times. Super huge congrats to you and your Mom!!

    Pam and the Cairns and Mutts in So Florida

  3. You are awesome YoYo. We're so proud of you!
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco


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