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Old 12-04-2012, 03:16 AM   #1
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Default Asher Qualified for Agility World Team Tryouts!!!!

About 8 years ago, Aslan, my little sheltie, was doing really well in agility. Not only were we qualifying at a high rate, but he was running extremely fast. Indeed - fast enough to have a yards per second time exceeding what was needed to qualify to try out to represent the USA at Agility Worlds. As in all sports, agility has a National level competition and a World level competition. Every year, only the very fastest teams get to compete at World Team Tryouts (WTTO) to represent the USA. At the AKC Agility Nationals, about 8 percent of the competing teams get qualified to go. However, only about 0.8 percent of teams get qualified for WTTO.

Aslan was on track for this exciting achievement, and I was over the moon about the possibility. However, before he could get qualified, I tore both of my interior carotid arteries, causing me to have to leave the sport for a year. Aslan continued to compete on occasion with a friend handling him. When I returned to the sport, I couldn't run as well as before. Then, I also went into kidney failure, further impeding my running abilities. After a kidney transplant, I was feeling much better, but still unable to run well at all. And then, I broke my ankle and tore a tendon in it.

During this eight year stretch, Aslan slowed down to accommodate my own inabilities to run. His yards per second had fallen well below what was needed for WTTO. I decided that this dream was over for me, and I put it away. After all, only really fast handlers seem to qualify for WTTO, and I am not a fast handler. Now, I do what is called "distance style handling" and my dogs work away from me. It's much harder to train, but there is no other option as I cannot run well.

Fast forward to this last May. I was wondering if my new dog, Asher, had increased his speed recently and so I decided to do a comparison of his yards per second from a few years ago to the present time. When I started calculating his yps, I realized he was really going fast. I went to the WTTO website and was stunned to see he was running well over what was needed to qualify for the WTTO. I was floored, as I had given any thoughts of qualifying for the tryouts.

I'm proud to say that this last weekend, Asher earned his last qualifying score to qualify for the 2013 World Team Tryouts!!! A dream has come true for me!!! He qualified by earning eight Master Standard qualifying runs over a certain yards per second benchmark and eight Jumpers With Weaves qualifying runs over a certain benchmark. He also earned four "double Qs" out of the Masters class.

The tryouts are in May, and I'm not sure we will actually attend. There is a huge difference in difficulty between local agility and international agility, and while we are preparing for the International style agility, we may not be prepared by May. If we don't go this year, perhaps we will qualify next year and go then. Regardless, we did qualify, proving to myself and others that even people with mobility issues can compete at the highest levels of this sport.

I am very proud of my dog who has had to learn so much more than the average agility dog to work the distance we have together. I know I don't post much here anymore, but I wanted to share our brag with those here who remember us.

Here is a video of Asher and I doing agility. The runs in these clips are some of those we racked up to qualify both for WTTO and for Nationals:

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:31 AM   #2
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Such wonderful news, I'm so happy for you and Asher. The moment I start watching your video, I start smiling.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:34 AM   #3
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Thank you, Little Lucy. Asher loves, loves, loves his agility. He takes competition VERY seriously and practice he takes MUCH less seriously. He knows when we are "showing off" his skills, and he's all about it then. I'm very blessed to have such an incredible agility teammate and such a wonderful dog about the house as well.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:42 AM   #4
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Wooo go Asher!!! And congrats to you! He's certainly a zippy little dog watching the videos

I'm semi-inspired to sign up for the next agility class with Tigger. With all you've been through, you put my issues that prevent me from sticking my neck out there in the agility world to shame LOL. Especially when I have a perfect dog. I wish I could take a class with you, that would make me feel much better!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:45 AM   #5
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I wish you could take classes with me too!!! Jump in there. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. The whole idea is to have fun with your dog, and border collies LOVE agility. Also, agility is a sport best done when young - when you can run FAST with your dog. Although anyone can do it. People in wheelchairs do it!! It is a sport for everyone.

As Nike says - Just Do It!!!
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:14 AM   #6
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Aww Congratulations and you know what I wouldn't be surprised if you will be able to pull it off.. You have put so much into him and you as a team! Already from the getgo you two have been success after success...

Im gonna keep fingers hard core crossed and I wanna see the video from there when you guys do it
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agilityk9trainer View Post
I wish you could take classes with me too!!! Jump in there. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. The whole idea is to have fun with your dog, and border collies LOVE agility. Also, agility is a sport best done when young - when you can run FAST with your dog. Although anyone can do it. People in wheelchairs do it!! It is a sport for everyone.

As Nike says - Just Do It!!!
I'm pretty sure this dog is TOO fast I'm emailing the instructor just to see what her training philosophy is, if/how she incorporates a clicker, what her class atmosphere is like etc.

I'd still need to get him a crate or "x pen". I'm thinking an x pen would be better, I have a feeling my drama dog would freak out if I put him in a crate and feel abandoned.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #8
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Congratulations on Qualifying. You have been an inspiration to me from the start. Getting into Agility at my age has been a struggle but nothing compared to what you have gone through. I have been so happy to be able to start my new pup, Lucy, off the right way and taking handling classes with Remmy has given him a new outlook as it made me realize what a great little dog he has been to even get as far as we have with not a lot of help from me.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #9
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I can find no words to describe how much I admire you. Congrats to Asher to.
Your greatest admirer.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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Monkey: Thank you!!! If we go, I'll upload a video for proof.

Sugardog: Look into the DVD "Crate Games." This DVD would be great for a high drive BC, and it teaches the dogs to LOVE their crates. It uses the clicker to teach dogs to "play" games with and in their crates.

Kyllo: Thank you so much!!! You and Remmy and Lucy have it rough because you haven't had formal instruction. You've done amazingly doing this on your own. Now with some instruction, you will grow and improve beyond your expectations!!!

Techie: Thank you so very much!!!! That is extremely sweet of you. It's wonderful to have an admirer!!
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MACH4 PACH Aslan MXF, TQX, MXB2, MJS2, MXP2, MJP3, XFP, T2BP, MXPB, MJPS, PAX, RAE, EAC, EJC, OCC, WV-O, TN-N, CD, TG-N, RS-N, JS-N, R2-CL, CGC, TDI, FFX-AG (11 year old sheltie)
Jericho CDX, RAE, NAP, NJP, OA, NAJ, CD, OJS, NAS, R1-MCL, CGC, FFX-AP (9 year old hard of hearing sheltie)
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