Show Quality German Shepherds for Family Protection, Personal Security, Schutzhund, Search & Rescue, Guard Dogs, Seeing Eye Dogs, Professional Dog Training, Stud Service and Pet Quality K-9 friends from Montana at affordable prices.

Adventures on the Ranch
NADAC Championships !
.....I got into agility 2 years ago and have become hopelessly addicted to it! There really isn't anything that compares to it in my mind. You get a bond with your dog that is beyond anything else I have done with dogs. You go out there as a team – and both work to do your best. Sometimes it comes together great – sometimes not. But all in all your a team.
When I got into agility I hoped someday to make it to Nationals (or Championships). Little did I know – only 2 years later with my first real competition dog I would make it there.
The end of November 2006 I entered my first NADAC Trial ( I had been competing AKC prior to that). I had to start at Novice since it was a new association even though Rhett was in excellent in AKC. I loved the new association and decided to push and try to qualify both Rhett and Zeus for NADAC's Championships in 2007 since they would be in Gillette, WY and I could drive to them. (for more on qualifying read previous article Agility Championships Here We Come)
.....Finally, September 17 came and it was time to leave! The competition didn't start till September 19 but I wanted to have a day in between to just relax. Traci – who is one of my best agility friends and traveling buddies went with me. She runs Molli – a 16 inch Border Collie. We loaded the last minute things early in the morning and were off. It should be about a 9 hour drive with the trailer. We arrived in Gillette about 7 PM. Got our assigned parking spot, settled in a little bit and went to get something to eat. We came back – finished setting up the trailer and x pens for the dogs, etc. And then it was bed time!
.....The next day Traci wanted to climb Devils Tower – so about 7:30 I dropped her off at Enterprise and she drove down there. I came back to the trailer, took the dogs for a walk and then made breakfast. I was sitting there listening to the radio when I smelled something. UH OH! Rhett, Zeus and Molli would never dream of going to the bathroom in the trailer..... but there in the middle of the carpet was horrible diarrhea. I didn't have anything to really clean it up or cut the smell other than soap because they never go inside. Poor Rhett definitely had some intestinal upset and he felt so bad about it. He had been pacing before that but we just came back from a walk so I didn't even think about him having to go to the bathroom. Now he was in the bedroom just laying there looking very sad. It was raining and very cold outside – but the smell in the trailer was awful ! So I found fans and faced them to blow air out of the window on one side and fresh air in on the other. It helped – sort of! I kept them going for the day and by the time Traci returned it wasn't to bad anymore. I was very worried about Rhett though because what caused that. It wasn't stress – he is SOOO used to traveling after this summer he spent as much time on the road as at home. It wasn't water because he was drinking home water. But I knew if it didn't clear up there was no way he could run like that. Luckily it did clear up and by evening that day he was fine and never had a bout of trouble the rest of the trial. I still don't know what caused it unless he picked something up and ate it the night before that I didn't see because we took them for a walk in the dark.
Come Noon they opened up the crating area for us so I got our crates set up, they also had a meeting and general briefing that I attended.
.....I was surprised that even though this event was HUGE there were so many people I knew from trials over the summer. Before arriving there I figured I wouldn't know many people. But there were so many people I knew that I spent most of the rest of the afternoon talking and hanging out with them which was a nice surprise!
.....Thursday we had to be at the arena about 6:30 for the morning briefing. So I was over there at about 6:15. Everyone was lined up in the crating area waiting for the main arena to open. Finally, they opened the door to the arena and everyone piled in and found a seat in the grand stands. It was amazing to see such a HUGE arena, set up with 2 rings and all these little “stations” that they send you through prior to competing. When they are about 5 dogs out they call your name – and you go to station 1, and then they have people at each station moving you through. It's actually a very good system and keeps everyone moving along and the event going as quickly as possible. This was the longest meeting of the event, obviously, to get everyone lined out. They sang the National Anthem and a dog agility song. The atmosphere was amazing – huge – scary and super exciting all at once.
.....Jumpers was the first class of the day – but it would be a little while till I ran because they didn't start with my dogs jump height. Finally, they called my name over the loud speakers to head to “station 1” with Rhett and off I went, through the stations – Rhett seemed pretty excited. I am sure he was picking up on my nerves. He took the first line of jumps awesome and then he did something Rhett has never done before – he got the zoomies! He started taking jumps around the whole edge of the ring, making up his own course and not paying any attention to me!! After a little bit he came back to me and I got him to finish the course. I knew he was just picking up on my nervousness and so I figured I might as well use my time out there to see the arena and wear us both down a bit! Luckily – that was the worst class of the whole event and he just got better and better every time we went out. Zeus was next, he had a decent run and definitely stayed with me better than Rhett ! Zeus doesn't get bothered so much by my nerves – he is pretty much always there to have a good time!
.....Rhett ran a very nice run in Weavers and Touch N Go but didn't qualify, and ran an outstanding run in Tunnelers and Qualified – first qualified run of the Championships for us!! Today Zeus also ran in Tunnelers but ran in an extra tunnel and didn't qualify. It was a long day but a very successful first day! The classes were so huge on several of them we had to walk the course but wouldn't run it for about 4 hours! Which means we had to remember the courses for a long time ! Plus they were a little longer than your average weekend course. We didn't get back to the trailer till about 10:00. Fed the dogs, ate dinner and went to sleep !
Thursday started when the alarm went off at 5:30. I put the “boys” out to do their business in the x-pen outside the trailer and ate breakfast and got dressed.
.....We ran the same classes as yesterday, Rhett had beautiful runs in Weavers and Tunnelers and qualified in both of them! He had a great run in Touch N Go but missed one contact (out of about 4 or 5) and didn't qualify because of that and he had a very good run in Jumpers but didn't qualify. Zeus also did very well and Qualified in Tunnelers !
.....This was the last day of “games” classes and tomorrow we started Regular. At this point I didn't care what happened in Regular – both dogs were running great. They were getting Qualifying runs at a National Level !!!! Against National Level Dogs, National Level Judges AND National Level courses. We were fitting in and we were standing out in a good way – anytime you run German Shepherds against hundreds of Border Collies your going to stand out! I was glad we stood out in a good way and they both looked like they belonged at that level.
.....So Friday and Saturday were very long days – each dog ran 2 courses of Regular. Friday the course were much longer than a normal weekend and each course was run separate. Saturday – each course was about 22 obsticales BUT we had the option to put it all together for one long run – but it was still scored separately (so they could get a Q on one course even if they messed up the other one). I decided to put it all together for a course that was 45 or 50 obsticales long..... but to me it was nice to get it done. Once they were out on the course and had their heads focused it was nice to just run! I knew both the dogs and I could handle the endurance part of it – but could my memory handle it! Especially having to remember it for several hours first. We would find out!
It worked beautifully – Rhett ran first and Qualified! I was very out of breath when I finished the last jump but was so thrilled with Rhett. He was awesome and he knew it – he was just as excited as I was! I only had about 10 minutes before Zeus was up – just enough time to catch my breath – and warm him up but I was ready to do it again! Zeus too had 2 awesome runs and qualified. I had so many compliments on my runs and on my decision to put them together – there was only 1 other person that ran in my class that did that. It was so much harder to do it that way – but so much more of a thrill as well!
.....I also entered “Team” with Rhett. Traci and Molli and Lark and Derby were my team mates. Both round 1 and 2 were put together and run all as one course but scored separate. Rhett ran flawlessly on both rounds! Molli took one extra tunnel in round 1 so we placed 9th in round 1. We won round 2! Round 3 was called batters up – Traci had to bat a ball through a hole in a board and take off running with Molli through an M shaped tunnelers course. As soon as she was done Lark had to throw the ball through the same hole to me – I had to catch it and take off running with Rhett. I missed the first ball because it landed just out of my reach (there is a line you can't cross) but caught the second one. I was planning on keeping the ball and running with it because I was afraid if I dropped the ball Rhett would try to get the ball (he LOVES balls) and we would get disqualified. Well, in the heat of the moment I forgot I was going to keep the ball and tossed it to the side and took off running! Rhett did look at the ball but decided the tunnels looked more fun and immediately took off with me. He ran great. As soon as I got in “the box” Lark took off with Derby – ran a great course and we were done. We placed 2nd in round 3. And our team “ Zoom Zoom Zoom” placed 2nd overall !
.....Sunday, we had one more round of Regular. Rhett ran a great course and qualified. Zeus ran an excellent run but took a few extra jumps at one point and so we didn't qualify.
Sunday night there was a big awards ceremony. Then we got out professional pictures taken, cleaned up our crates and got some stuff ready to leave in tomorrow morning. By the time we got our crates in the trailer we still had to eat dinner and it was close to 11:00. The weather for most of the trial was pretty nice. We had one very bad thunder storm with extremely strong winds. But Sunday night was windy and cold – there was supposed to be a storm moving in. So it was a good time to head home!
.....Monday morning we finished loading up the trailer and I hooked up. We were headed home. It was a week long journey. Such an incredible experience and I am so glad I was able to go. There are no words to describe it really. It was just amazing. There are no words to describe how proud of Rhett and Zeus I am. They have both come so far – in such a short time. They are both such young dogs but have always stepped up and given their all. Even when I ask the almost impossible of getting 250 points in 8 short months. They never quit, they never burned out. Our first trials on this journey were 20 F below 0. Some of our last trials hit 100 F. They just kept going for me.
.....They are the best dogs!
...Till Next Time,
...Leah and Everyone at Omega Shepherds
Click Here to see a video of Rhett at Championships

Click Here to see a video of Zeus at Championships
(Video of Zeus coming soon!)

For Additional Information on Omega Shepherds call Julie or Leah at (406) 443-0477 or click below:

[index page] [studs] [foundation females] [puppies] [young adults][about Omega Shepherds]

[teen page][trained adults] [references] [upcoming litters] [horses]

Copyright © 2008 Omega Shepherds