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Sunday, December 5, 2021

No place like home

Back home, and back to reality. It was a wonderful vacation in Florida, but the underlying stresses of my regular life were creeping in more and more each day. Mark goes in to the hospital a few days before Christmas for another surgery on his leg - replacing the screws and rod, and doing a bone graft on the tibia and fibula that are still completely broken and have not shown any signs of healing since his accident in March. It's really bringing me down, because it just seems never-ending. I hate that he has to go through another surgery, and another long recovery, and our "normal" lives are just that much further away again.

I tell myself we will get through this! We have each other, we have LIFE, and that is what matters most. This will make us stronger, more capable, and better than we were before. Tragedy and hardship can make or break you...and breaking is NOT an option!

Meanwhile, I unpack...and I get organized for the next few weeks. In my own typical fashion I crammed everything I could possibly cram into the next few weeks before the surgery - a hunt test, a couple agility trials, lots and lots of training. I am allowing myself to look ahead and plan. I am so weird, because nothing makes me happier than making plans and making goals

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If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.

Slowing down? Me? Never! However, I am taking a step back, evaluating everything I am doing, and spending more time enjoying the moment. Too much time is spent working and worrying about what I am trying to achieve in the future, and I am missing the daily moments that make life so special. My goal is to focus more on today and what I do have, and not solely on what I am trying to achieve. Goals can be a wonderful thing, but they can quickly turn to poison if left unchecked.

"You are not what you’ve done. You are what you keep doing."

Monday, December 6, 2021

Hit the ground running, or stumbling, but going forward

I had to share a couple of the gorgeous photos I took of Dolphin down in Florida. One of my favorite things to do is take stack photos by the edge of the water. I think the blue water sets off the Weimaraner grey coat beautifully. I look at these photos and can't believe this is my crazy doofus boy - he looks so serious and grown up! The photos do lie a little...these were a couple split seconds when he actually stood still. He's not the easiest dog to stack and hold still, he has too much "go" to him...and I love it!

I did a little field training with Noodle today. I thought she would be feral after me being gone the past week and a half, but she went out there and hunted fantastically. She had a beautiful solid point, I flushed the bird but we weren't able to get a shot. The second bid she found we shot in the big deep cover, and she went out and searched her heart out until she found it...topped off with a beautiful retrieve. Her honoring/backing needs a little work - when she sees the other dog on point she will either slam on her brakes and stop or she will turn her head and try to pretend she didn't see him so she can keep hunting. Sometimes I think she is too smart for her own good!

This bond I have created with Noodle from all of this high-level training (in agility and field) is unlike any other bond. I mean, I have a strong bond with all of my dogs, but this one is something really special. I just can't describe it. After all we have been through in training, all of the issues we have worked through together, it is just amazing to me how we can communicate without a word or even a motion. If you would have asked me a few years ago, I would have told you this would NEVER be possible. It gives me a lot of hope that I can do this with my other dogs, in their own way, and in their own time. Oh Noodle, you have taught me SO much!

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Monday-Tuesday, December 6-7, 2021

Hitting the field

It got home from Florida Sunday evening and hit the ground running on Monday with a couple days of intense field training to get ready for the last hunt test of the season this coming weekend. Noodle is the only one entered, she needs 2 more passes to earn her Master Hunter title. I don't really think she will get both passes this weekend, but I would like to knock off one and then head into the winter months looking for a test down south to get that last pass.

Monday, Noodle was stellar. She did a beautiful long retrieve in heavy cover, and did some really nice backing. On Tuesday we worked some more on backing. The biggest problem I am having is that occasionally Noodle will be so deep into hunting that she doesn't want to back, so she deliberately looks the other way when another dog is on point. She is evilly smart - pretending she doesn't see the other dog so she can continue hunting. Brat!

ON Tuesday I brought Pizza out for some training. She did a beautiful job, is so steady on point. She made one mistake in jumping out of her backing when the other dog went for the retrieve, but that was minor. Our biggest issue is her own retrieve - it starts off enthusiastic, but she doesn't like to bring the bird all the way back to me. Today she put it down several times, and then picked it up and went a little closer to me, but it took forever and it wasn't a very nice retrieve. This is an area where I need a lot of help, and I am not sure what to do. I know she is soft, and I don't want to de-motivate her from retrieving altogether. I need to do some research and come up with a training plan this winter. The two things holding us back from Master Hunter right now are her retrieve and her heeling. The heeling part we are working on a little bit every day and it is getting better. Its OK - it's not a race (I keep telling myself!).

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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Baby steps and Giant steps

The morning started off with agility - Dolphin had his puppy group first. He hasn't done any agility since the trial in Florida, and man it showed. He had zero focus.He spent a lot of time racing around with the semi-zoomies. Ugh...frustrating. Pizza was better in her class, but she lacked a little focus and had a lot of trouble with her tunnel bypass command. Dolphin's biggest issue was coming at the weaves with speed and not collecting, and blowing right by them instead.

Noodle and I trained in the field today for the third day in a row. I must be crazy. It's been in the 20's and low 30's all week, and today we had a dusting of snow. I don't like outdoor sports in the winter, never had any interest in skiing or snowboarding, but for some reason this hunting sport has me hooked enough that I will gladly tolerate bitter cold temps just to train. Crazy? Yep.

I can't say much about Noodle today other than she was steady steady, and also she was overreacting to every whiff of bird scent she was getting - stopping to point feathers and old scent. This gets a little frustrating when she gets all dramatic on point for a pile of feathers. I am getting a little better at reading her body language, because when it is a live bird she slams to a point and is rock solid still. I watch that tail of hers - if there is any movement then I know she really isn't on a bird yet.

Today Dolphin came out to play. Man oh man we have a long way to go before he is ready for Senior Hunter! I kept him on a check cord so I could steady his point, and he did pretty good. The best thing about today was that when he saw his bracemate on point both times, he instinctively stopped (and the second time he actually pointed his bracemate!). Of course, after he stopped, then he wanted to move and keep hunting so i had to take a hold of the check cord and have him stand still and watch the other dog. I don't think he really understands that his bracemate has found a bird. Once he gets to see another dog actually work a bird, I am sure his interest will be captured enough to watch.

I think I need to spend a lot of time this winter by ourselves just hunting and getting steady on birds. Repetition is the best way for him to learn.

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Better better!

Noodle was fantastic in agility class this morning. Her focus was spot on. It's kind of interesting how I am seeing improvements in her - the field training is really helping her agility focus (working around other high energy dogs) and her agility training is really helping her field focus (paying attention to me and my subtle cues for motion or stopping). We got our brace orders for the hunt test this weekend and I am braced with a very tough breed both days - a Bracco Italiano. This breed doesn't do a big stylish point like most pointing breeds, so it is sometimes hard for your dog to know that the other dog is on point in order to honor. In Master Hunter, Noodle has to honor on her own without any cue or command from me, so this might be tricky for us. That, plus the weather looks miserable. However, she has been training awesomely and I have worked hard, I wouldn't possibly be any more prepared for this than I am. Bring it on!

To keep my morning going good, Dolphin was also fantastic in his agility class today. What a huge difference from yesterday! He was way more focused, and made big progress in several areas. After losing him over and over again yesterday, today he stayed with me the entire hour. I will chalk that up as puppy brain and leave it at that.

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Saturday, December 11, 2021

Four down, one to go!

I knew coming in to today that the weather would be an issue. It thunderstormed all morning, and I woke up to very high winds (wind gusts at 40 mph!). Perfect day for a hunt test...NOT! On the plus side, it was around 60 degrees, so at least we didn't freeze on top of all that rain and wind.

Noodle was pretty wired up today, as she didn't get a chance to get out and run yesterday. The closer we got to the bird field, the farther she ranged and the faster she ran. When she is wired like this, she can either be spectacular, or spectacularly bad. Oh boy...

Noodle's bracemate went on point first, and before his handler could get to him and before Noodle could even back, the bird flushed on it's own. Noodle went on point next, and the bird also flushed on it's own. Both dogs did a great job of standing still for the wild flush. The birds were popping up like popcorn due to the high winds!

Noodle went on point again, and when I flushed the bird, it flew backwards over the judges and the gallery, so the gunners could not take a shot. Noodle stood beautifully, but I could tell she was starting to get more wired. The judges called for another bird to be planted, and Noodle's bracemate went on point. Noodle came in for her honor, and stood through the shot and retrieve. So far so good!

Next, they planted a bird for Noodle. She went on point, and when i flushed the bird it only flew about 3 feet off the ground, and landed about 20 feet away. The judges told me I should relocate her, but I knew that would be a very bad idea as Noodle saw that bird land and was now thinking she was going to retrieve next. I knew if I tried to let her move, she would go and attempt to retrieve. I opted to leave her on point and walk the 20 feet forward and picked up the bird myself, brought it back to her, and then threw it so the gunners could shoot it. They got a good shot, the bird fell, and Noodle waited for the command to retrieve, and then retrieved perfectly right to hand. Whew!!! The high winds made it so tough, but we managed to hold it together long enough for a pass with straight 8's as our score. YES!!!

Suddenly I feel the pressure. Noodle needs ONE more pass for her Master Hunter title. There is ONE more hunt test left in the year, and that's tomorrow. Weather forecast is 30 degrees, low winds, and dry. I could actually finish her title tomorrow, and that weighs on me like a lead balloon for some reason. I never ever ever ever thought I could even come close to finishing her master hunter title this year, especially after the rocky start we had in October. Look how far we have come! I tell myself that whatever happens tomorrow, I have already accomplished way more than I had hoped, so this year will finish as a win regardless. But still....it would be nice.... Stay tuned!

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Sunday, December 12, 2021



The day was cold, but sunny, and little to no wind - big change from yesterday. Noodle and I were in the third master brace in the morning. The second brace was picked up after about only 5 minutes, which meant I was NOT ready and had to rush back to the van to get my stuff and get Noodle. I don't know if that was the reason, or because it was the second day, but Noodle was wired! She took off from the start like a bullet, and it was hard to keep up with her. I hoped to safely get through the woods in the backfield because that is where the second brace blew up. We got through the woods, but before I could get to the clearing Noodle was gone...off to the bird field. I lost sight of her for about 5-6 minutes. When I got up the hill and neared the birdfield I could see the gunners and bird planters standing there looking at the far corner, and there was Noodle, standing on point this whole time! I guess she ran straight for the corner and hit a point and stayed there. Amazing! I had to wait a while for the judges to catch up. I flushed the bird, and the gunners missed. Ugh! Noodle held nicely, so I heeled her away and off we went.

It didn't take long before Noodle was on point again, and it was the same scenario - I flushed the bird, gunners took a shot, and both missed. A few minutes later, Noodle was on point again! I flushed the bird, gunners shot and missed AGAIN, and another bird flew out (there were TWO there!), gunners missed. At this point Noodle was vibrating out of her skin, she was so excited. I was so worried how she would handle going forward. The judges had me get a dead bird from the gunner and throw it while he shot, and then send Noodle for the retrieve. She retrieved perfectly...whew!

All that was left was the honor. Her bracemate was on point, and we headed over to that part of the field. I could see Noodle was trying to NOT look at her bracemate. She knew the game, and she was overly excited and didn't want to stop hunting. I was really worried this would fail us as she was running back and forth and deliberately keeping her head turned and not looking at him, when finally she looked and stopped on her own. I caught up to her and we stood for the shot and retrieve. She was really jumpy, and I was so thankful this was the END of the brace and she managed to hold it together just long enough for a pass!

It was an emotional walk back from the bird field. Yep, of course I cried a little. Thinking back at how I struggled with Noodle, how hard we worked, and how far we have come just in the past 2 months, it is amazing. I can't describe how proud I am - handling my own dog from start to finish to her Master Hunter title, that is HUGE for me! This MH title also gives her a VX2 title with the WCA (versatile excellent 2), which will give her a spot on the WCA website records pages. Long after she is gone, she will be remembered. She so deserves this, and I am so happy!

Walking back from the bird field
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Sunday, December 12, 2021 - later that day...

One step at a time

Because I am just that crazy, I entered Dolphin in an agility trial this afternoon. I knew I would get done with my hunt test early, and the novice stuff was scheduled for the afternoon at this trial. So I got home, changed clothes, switched dogs, and off to the trial we went!

Dolphin's first run was Novice FAST, and he did awesome - got the send bonus, and all his points other than went around one jump. I was the idiot and thought I needed one more point, so instead of going right to the exit jump I swung him around to take one more jump. The buzzer went off, and then I took the exit jump, and was 3 seconds over time, so that left us with 49 points (we need 50 to qualify). If I had done the math I would have known that I didn't need that single jump he missed, and I would have gone straight on out and qualified. Oh well...anything that requires math is always a disaster with me!

Our next two runs were novice standard and jumpers. He did SO well, but knocked one bar in standard and two in jumpers, mainly because he wasn't paying attention. He nailed every single contact, got his weaves, and had some beautiful rear crosses on the flat (which we had been working on this week). Dolphin had wonderful focus on me also - which is HUGE! So although it was three failed runs, the three runs were actually great building blocks for future runs. Lots of hope ahead for him.

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

Taking advantage of every opportunity

The past few days were full of agility...and more agility. This morning started off with Noodle's class. She was doing well until the moment I put her on the start line for our run, someone knocked on the metal door in the agility ring. Well, you know how dogs get when someone knocks on a door! The bad Noodle rose to the top for a brief moment, and I had to get after her. I real training moment, and it was good since we haven't had to have one of those in a long time. Always good for a refresher, I guess. But it just goes to show that as soon as you get supremely confident, you get knocked down. I have been SO confident in Noodle's good behavior and the focus and control I have with her for the past several months...but this was a wake-up call to remember that nothing is ever truly "perfect" or "fixed".

Dolphin's class was tough - we did some tough sequences that were a little over his head. I like that, though...that's how we grow.

There was a class opening in the evening so I grabbed it for Pizza, since I think she needs the most work. It was a really good lesson. Right away when she made a mistake, she stressed and went over to someone in the ring and obsessively sniffed them. The new plan that was suggested to me was to immediately ask her to do something simple (like sit or down) after she makes a mistake (BEFORE I lose her) and then praise and reward her for that simple task...breaking her obsession over her mistake and re-directing her back to me. I think this is a good plan to try. There is no need to over-correct her mistakes, she is smart and knows when she does something wrong. Of course, we are talking about training mistakes, like knocking a bar or taking the wrong obstacle and not behavior mistakes that she consciously chooses. Man, dog training is like getting a master's degree in psychology!

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Saturday, December 18, 2021

Agility Trial - Dayton, OH

Today was all about Dolphin. We headed to an agility trial in Dayton, OH. This would be Dolphin's first agility trial doing 24" away from home. One thing I love about this boy is how easy-going he is. Yes, he is a worrier (just like daddy), but he trusts me and instead of getting upset, he stays quiet and observes.

Our first class was Novice FAST. The send bonus was really simple -tunnel to jump. Dolphin was so quiet and sedate when warming up and waiting, and even when I put him at the start line. But when I released him, I unleashed the wild beast! He knocked the first jump, and started running around like crazy. I got him back to me and started the Send bonus, which he got, but knocked the jump in the send (jumps after tunnels are our nemesis!). At that point I knew it was an NQ, so I worked on getting him to calm down and focus on me. He knocked another jump in his wildness, so I brought him to me and made him stop and stand still so I could calm him down. We then finished out well. Learning experience, for sure!

Next was Novice Standard. He took off from the start like a bullet and I had to hang back to get him to make that turn for the second jump, which put me behind for the tunnel...so he went in the wrong end of the tunnel. I brought him out and re-did the tunnel correctly, and went on. We did have 2 refusals where he was running so fast he couldn't collect up enough to jump, so he went around. Both of those were fixed quickly. He got all of his contacts, and his weaves (on the second try). It should have been a Q, but the scribe wrote down 2 wrong courses and 1 refusal, which was wrong. Unfortunately, without video there is no way to have it corrected, so we took our NQ quietly. Oh well...his run was greatly improved over our first one so for me that was a bigger win.

Our last class was Novice Jumpers. Jumpers is so hard because it is fast without any places to slow down (i.e. contacts and table). We had 2 refusals for the same reason as standard - he was moving too fast to turn to the jump. However we had a beautiful rear cross, a really tough turn out of the weaves that he got (barely!), and ended up finishing with out first 24" novice qualifying run...in jumpers, of all things! Throughout the day, Dolphin was quiet, easy-going, and pleasant...what a joy to take to a strange trial and have so little stress!

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Monday, December 20, 2021

Week from Hell, day #1

The week of Christmas should be merry and bright, right? My 2021 Christmas is as dark as it can be. I am missing my mom terribly right now, this is the first Christmas season in probably 50 years that I didn't make Christmas cookies with her. And then, there is the rest of the week...tomorrow is a colonoscopy for me since my test found something "suspicious"...you know that is bad, but you also know that the day before prep is horrendous. Then after I survive tomorrow, Wednesday is Mark's surgery and bone graft on his broken leg that hasn't healed. He will spend a few days in the hospital, probably being released Christmas Eve. Of course, this means I can't even head north to spend Christmas with the family I have left. I am pretty down this week, I have been dreading this week for a long time. Merry Christmas.

However, I did get to start the week on a high note. A friend of mine invited me to head out and do a little field training with her. I debated over going, it's a 2 hour drive which means getting up at 5:30am, and it's hard since I have to take care of all the dogs in the morning and make sure everything is OK. Oh hell, you know me...no way was I passing up a chance to do something FUN this week. So I threw Pizza in the Jeep and off we went.

Pizza was stellar on her hunting...rock solid in her pointing and holding through the flush and shot (we had a gunner with us today!). The gunner missed the first 3 birds, but was able to get a good shot on the last bird for Pizza with a retrieve that wasn't a terrible distance. Her retrieve is still wishy-washy. She puts the bird down a lot and picks it back up, and I found that once again I had to get angry and use my stern voice before she would bring the bird all the way back to me. I am not sure why, or what to do about this. She is so unmotivated to retrieve if there isn't another dog out putting pressure on her. She needs the competition to give me a good retrieve, I guess...I think? When we play retrieve with toys at home in the house, she only retrieves if I do a little with Dolphin first and then put him out of the room...she sees him carrying on through the screen door, and then she retrieves wonderfully. I guess I will just keep building on these moments and see if I can develop a good habit of retrieving.

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

All agility, all day

Today was a good day. Mark came home from the hospital, surgery went well (yay!), and I had three agility classes today. Perfect day!

Noodle had her class first thing in the morning. She was really really good. I probably sound like a broken record when I talk about her agility classes, but it's a record I took great joy in breaking - she has been so consistently good for a while now. I am really going to buckle down and focus on her agility this winter in hopes of making more progress towards her MACH title.

Dolphin's class went pretty good. He was a little all over the place, but my last run I broke out the tug toy and he turned on another gear! I swear sometimes he acts like a herding dog - he works much more enthusiastically for a toy than he does for food. Weird! The toy can sometimes send him over the top, so i only use it in special circumstances where I feel he needs the additional motivation.

Pizza got to do a drop in class in the evening. She still has problems running off and sniffing or checking out the bar setters after any mistake she makes, but today I saw a tiny sliver of improvement as she did come back to me a few times. I am trying to be 100% positive when i train her in agility, in hopes that her stress level will go down and she won't be so afraid to make a mistake.

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Friday, December 24, 2021

A different Christmas Eve

Well, this is a Christmas Eve like no other. Mark is unable to travel, so we are not heading north to spend the day with family. It's hard enough not having my mom around anymore, I woke up in tears and pretty much stayed that way all morning.

I got a text that completely turned my day around - my field trainer invited me to come out and work the dogs today since she was home all day. Well, I never say no to some field training! I loaded the three crazies in the van and off we went.

It was completely soul-rejuvenating for me. The day was cloudy, but in the mid-50's with a nice breeze...perfect hunting weather. Since Pizza now takes the priority #1 spot to prepare for Master Hunter, she got to work first. She was a complete rockstar for me. Super solid on her points, and her honoring...WHOA! I was walking along and she was ranging out nicely ahead of me when I saw her slam on her brakes in the middle of the path. Then I saw way off in the distance, her bracemate was on point. Beautiful natural back from her! Later on, it happened again, she was out hunting and her bracemate went on point, and from a nice distance from both the dog and from me, she put the brakes on. I am so excited about her. If I can get her retrieve cleaned up, she is going to be SO ready for Master Hunter this winter! I am always so shocked at how quickly this dog progresses when she learns.

Dolphin got to go next. We worked him by himself, in a highly controlled way with the birds in cages or tied down, and Dolphin on a check cord. He went on point on every bird, and I cautioned him and held the check cord to make sure he didn't give in to temptation to jump the bird. By the last bird, we removed the check cord and he was holding beautifully on his own! The key is to never let him jump or catch a bird in this stage of training. I am taking things extra slow with him as he is a bit "softer" and really wants to be good (as long as he knows what "good" is!).

Noodle got worked last, with a bracemate. My main goal with her is just to keep her skills tuned up so we can go on to test for Master Hunter Advanced this winter. Even though she hasn't been worked in a few weeks, she was stellar as usual. Her honoring isn't nearly as automatic as Pizza's is becoming, and that will always be the thing I have to work the most on with her. Noodle has a lot of "try" in her, so I know that she will just keep getting better and better at it the more we train. All in all, what started off as a really sad, rough day turned out pretty darn good!

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Monday, December 27, 2021

Geeking out on agility

I did some agility training with all 3 dogs today, and put together some interesting comparison videos to see how my dogs all differ in their weaving and jumping styles. It's this geeky agility stuff that really grabs my interest!

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Tuesday-Wednesday, December 28-29, 2021

Agility, agility, and more agility

I managed to sock in a TON og agility over two days. Tuesday, Noodle had an hour long private lesson. It was awesome, she was excellent. We worked a lot on blind crosses because I never do them with her, and because of this she has a hard time reading them. This is a skill I need to start using with her since I trust her (kinda!) more now.

Later Tuesday afternoon I brought Dolphin and Pizza over for some run-throughs. The atmosphere was loud and chaotic and very trial-like, which was perfect. Dolphin was amped up but VERY under control! He missed a few obstacles, knocked a couple bars, but stayed with me the entire time on every single run. You have no idea how huge

Wednesday Dolphin got to participate in his first ever agility seminar. It was only 2 hours, but he was really good all the way up til the end. We worked on our collection recalls, and also setting up a line of 3 jumps and varying the distance of the middle jump, forcing him to judge the distance each time. This is valuable for him, because it is a skill he lacks right now. We also worked on turning 180 degrees into the weaves.

After the seminar, Pizza had her own 1 hour lesson. She is in season now, it came on slightly last night and by this morning she was definitely "in". Ugh! However, unlike Noodle she manages her hormones well and it really didn't affect her work at all. We worked on a lot of different skills, just working on advancing her education, and mine. Unfortunately it looks like she will have to be pulled from the trial next weekend since she is in season, and I suspect Noodle isn't far behind. That's the joy of having intact girls...

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Friday, December 31, 2021

Agility trial in Zanesville, OH

What better way to spend the last day of the year than at an agility trial? Dolphin was the only one entered as I knew Pizza (and soon Noodle) would be in season this weekend. This was the first time for Dolphin to run agility in a big 2 ring venue like Zanesville. I was SO happy with him, he walked into that crazy atmosphere and wasn't bothered by a thing! I was especially thrilled with his focus, this is something that I have high on my priority list and he came through in a BIG way!

We started off the morning with FAST, and Dolphin nailed the send bonus and basically ran the course exactly how I had planned (and when does THAT ever happen???). He did knock a bar, but ended up with 61 points and in time (he only needed 50) so it was no problemo!

Next was Novice Jumpers, and it was a nice straightforward sweeping course with a pinwheel in the corner. I was worried about him knocking a bar in the pinwheel as it was kind of tight, but he ended up knocking a bar on the 3rd jump of a straight sequence because he gained a lot of speed and flattened out. No Q, but otherwise he was pretty darn good in that class.

Last was Novice Standard, and he went out there and nailed every contact and stayed with me almost every step of the way. He went past a jump because I moved a little too much laterally (he isn' ready for that yet), but I circled him around and got it, so we only had one runout. He needed a second try at getting his weave entrance, and the same thing happened in Jumpers. In Novice he is allowed 3 tries at the weaves without penalty. I need to work on him getting his weave entrance on the first try...something to put on my training list for the new year. Overall, it was a fantastic day!

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Friday, December 31, 2021


Happy New Year's Eve...it' GOAL TIME! Here are my goals I set on January 1st, and how I did this year:

2021 GOALS
Short Term Goals
1. Put Amateur HUS points on Cadence Nope, didn't happen, not even close
2. Finish Pizza's Open Agility titles YES! Got 'er done in November!
3. Qualify Pizza for NOHS Top 10 YEP! We opted not to attend, but we qualified.
4. Get a futurity placement OH BOY DID WE EVER! Not only did my dogs place 2nd and 3rd in the field futurity, but Pizza placed 3rd in the show futurity and Dolphin won BEST DOG IN FUTURITY...something I never dreamed we could accomplish!
5. Finish Noodle's Excellent Standard Agility title Yes!
6. Finish Noodle's Senior Hunter title YESSSSSS! Not only that, but finished her MASTER HUNTER title also!!!
7. Get Dolphin's Junior Hunter title Yes!
8. Get a scentwork title on Pretzel Yes! Got it done in one trial in September!
9. Get Noodle's Rally Intermediate title So close, we have two legs, but I only showed her twice this year in Rally so I didn't even give her a fair shot at her title
10. Get an NSD or NRD on Pizza Yes to both! (and we even got her SD!)
11. Get an NSD or NRD on Dolphin Yes to both!
12. Get Dolphin's CGC Yes!

Long Term Goals
1. Earn another top 10 at Congress I was close as a finalist, but maybe we can get it done in 2022
2. Get a senior hunter title on Pizza Yes!
3. Win a Futurity Holy cow YES! Never expected this would happen to me!
4. Earn a MACH Well, Noodle has a whopping TWO double Q's so we have a way to go yet
5. Earn a Master Hunter title YESYESYESYESYESYESYES!
6. Get Pizza's Grand Champion Bronze Not yet
7. Get a top 5 at Congress Not even close LOL!
8. Earn Dolphin's grand championship YES! Got it done in September.

Holy cow, for such a rotten year, I managed to smash some goals to pieces...even some goals that I thought would take years or a lifetime. I truly am blessed, and this list here just reminds me of that fact. I really looked at 2021 as a bummer year, with Mark's accident, losing my mom, among other things. Those were tragedies, but I am proud that I kept my head together enough to keep working towards my goals. Now I have tonight to come up with my new goal list for tomorrow. This is the one thing that I like about New Year's Eve. Otherwise, this is kind of a bummer holiday for me. 2021 has taught me that I can lift myself up even when I feel hopeless, and how important every moment in life is.

ON TO 2022!

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