Catching Up

I am home for Thanksgiving break. Eh, that I am becoming well acquainted with my car is probably more accurate. Ping-ponging from Gainesville after seeing Bill Nye speak in person, to Tampa to catch the Catching Fire premiere, to Orlando (home) for a dog show for a day, to Tampa again for a Macklemore concert, and back to Orlando to meet up with my dad and head to West Virginia.

But for the moment we are at rest, Rev and I. So sitting here around the fire with the family, I’ll pick away at catching up.

Cynosport was a big thing. Power Paws Camp was a big thing. Other big things, disguised as small things, have happened too. Cynosport (and I love that I continue to make this remark about our large agility events) was our best big event yet. We started the weekend (week) flunking out of Grand Prix Quarters with the second to last bar. Oops. But on to day two.

Jumpers and Snooker kicked off the team events. They are my favorite. Revie aced them. We earned our first ever eagle trophy from Snooker — the only team to collect 58 points, out of any height. Retrospectively, not the best plan to go for a six and three sevens. The time was super tight, and not getting through seven in the close would drop our score significantly. But I have this horrible gambling addiction when it comes to Snooker; there was no way I wasn’t going to go for it.

We went for it in Jumpers too and picked up a second place that I was positively tickled with. My second or third favorite run of the weekend I think. Later in the weekend we were solid in both Gamblers and Standard; Revie actually took the title of top 26″ team dog, cumulatively.

Friday we got through Steeplechase Semis to make the finals, our team also went into DAM team finals seeded first, and went on to win. Snazzy trophy, snazzy ribbon, weirdest team name ever. There’s a story. Ask me about it sometime.

My second favorite run of the weekend, Steeplechase Finals, has a funny story too. First of all, I reached my favorite head space ever going into that final. Ever ever ever ever. We ran all of that course as one, with the biggest smile in our hearts. So that was pretty damn great. Then we were clean. SO great. I checked our time right as we finished and knew it wasn’t faster than the current leading time; smiled down at that girly and scruffed her up a bit for a job well done. A couple of dogs left to run, followed by a run off that I assumed was for third and fourth place, and I knew Pace and Feature went one-two. Aha! Fifth. We got fifth then.

Waiting, waiting, laughing and waiting some more in line with the other finalists to go through and pick up our ribbons. They geared up to call fifth and I was about to enter the ring when our name was not called. Fourth? What? No? I caught Susan’s confused eye and she informed me Rev and I took third.

PODIUM. Alright, happiest third place in the world. Talk about an electric moment.

Guys we didn’t train one bit before this event. Not one bit. Rev was out on injury and then coming back slowly. I was not about to risk reinjury just to gear up for this event. I think she jumped a couple of jumps in our back yard. Yes, that did happen one or two times. I am in AWE. One bar the entire marathon of a weekend from that girly, winning DAM team, several placements, top 26″ dog cumulatively… WHAT. Revie. Oh, Revie.

Did you know there’s a giant trophy with champion names from ALL of the tournament events on it?? Yeah me either. How freaking incredible is this. (Pretty freaking incredible, let me tell you. I almost started crying.)

I entered the weekend with a light in my eyes. My mom told me that. She said there was a light in my eyes. (Yes, yes.) I enjoyed all of the weekend. The Grand Prix bar, the placements, the wins, the scattered Masters Challenge. All of the weekend. Those are just the best weekends, don’t you think?

A week later I flew to California for Power Paws Camp, leaving Rev with my roommate for the weekend — the first time she’s stayed with anyone but my parents! Scary, but I have some pretty excellent roommates. I flew out of Gaiensville’s airport, which is the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen.

Camp was phenomenal. I’ve never had so much fun teaching, actually, and I have a lot of fun teaching. I got to teach blind crosses. Yes, at Power Paws Camp. hehe.

“And this is how you break ALL the rules.”

The participants were such fun to work with. Always enthusiastic, even when I asked them to do things that weren’t the most comfortable. Really great handlers, really great dogs, really great instructors.

Lots of college-y things going on too. I’m overflowing a bit with gratitude this Thanksgiving. Absolutely overflowing. Grateful for 3 am talks with my aunt, early Thanksgivings, real Thanksgivings, midnight frozen yogurt trips, smashing pumpkins, fire pit goodness, long talks, more long talks, snow.

There was also this thing I did and the universe rewarded me with a shooting star and it was kind of really great.

That’s all I’ve got. Lots of good, to sum it up.

Also IT’S SNOWING. Magic.


  1. Susan Foster says

    I am so glad (again) that you are our new generation. Thanks for continuing to make me adore who you are. I can’t believe you got to see Macklemore. Love their messages as well. Great update from my terrific young friend.

  2. Nancy says

    Nice post, fun to read your Cynosport memories, and fun to see the camp photos. Ya know…. what happens in Turlock, stays in Turlock! Great job teaching again this year, everyone loved you of course and can’t wait for you to come back next year. Have a wonderful T-Day with your family!

    just one of your fans from California

  3. Jodi Altman says

    Glad to hear us Canadians have made an impression on you, eh? Congrats on your Cynosport runs, being in your group allowed me to see every one of those subtle, quiet and outstanding runs from of the two of you.

  4. Stacie says

    I do hope people ask you the story behind your DAM team name because it is slightly amusing :) Also, Rev + snow. I think I’m obsessed

  5. Leila Nelson says

    As always, you are an inspiration!! Your joy for life is contagious – thanks so much for sharing it with all of us!! I wasn’t able to get to PP this year but I’m getting some of your awesome session from one of my trainers (and VERY good friends). If the universe sees camp next year in our plans, then we will be there!! Happy Thanksgiving Tori!!

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