Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Don't Stop Believin'

One year ago, after a miserably failed attempt to attend CPE Nationals in New York, I accepted with some sadness the fact that Django and I had probably competed in our last major agility event.  He is definitely in the double digits now (we assume about 11), and though he has had no issues, I know that eventually he will be nearing the end of his agility days.  I had decided to not even try to qualify for 2013, but continued to run him in the trials we entered with Maebe as she worked towards getting her necessary Q's.  Suddenly in December I realized that a) he was still running well, and b) he was getting close to qualifying.  So, we entered a flurry of end-of-the-year trials, during which he even unexpectedly got his CATCH-3 title, and in March, I decided to fill out a second entry form with his name on it.

A few months later, we were on our way to our fifth CPE National event in Springfield, Ohio, and I couldn't have been more grateful.  We spent three days playing together, and every run was like a joyful dance with a dear loved one.  I could talk about Q rates, course times, etc. but all I cared about every time we stepped to the line was his happy face.

I had concerns about running him for three days, but he only improved with each and every run.  I don't know that Django is one of those dogs that loves agility.  He likes it fine, but I know he loves me and is happy to do anything I ask.  He asks for so little, and having three days that were just about him and me was a great gift for both of us.

As we walked our final Snooker course, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" was playing on the stereo in the neighboring ring.  The song continued to ring through my head as we ran the course - his best run of the entire weekend - and when we ran to the table to end the course, I took a second to kiss my teammate with tears in my eyes.

Maybe this was our last Nationals.  Time has to catch up eventually.  But I've thought that for about four years now.  Who knows.  What I know is we were given another chance to let go, celebrate, and enjoy the dance, which is what we did - what Django always does.

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