Nationals were fantastic!

This was probably one of my best-photographed trips/ experiences, and probably by far one of the best. (yayyyy over two thousand pictures later… here are some decent ones ;)) I mean, two thousand not including the out of focus ones I didn’t particularly like and deleted… so, my friends… I present to you, the 2012 AKC National Agility Championship.
I woke up this morning, thinking this last weekend was a dream. It didn’t feel real. Hanging out with people I’d only dreamed/ wished to meet. Seeing dogs I’d never thought I’d see in person… it was all so surreal. I think, reality hit when I realized I was wearing my World Team Supporter Shirt (have you gotten yours?!!) and seeing all of the goods I’d brought home with me. My suitcase, still packed, lay next to my bed… on my nightstand lay the AKC Nationals leash that I couldn’t convince myself not to buy… it had to be real, right? I glanced at my phone. It was littered with texts from Olga, Tori, Kathleen and Megan. It was real… though it honestly felt like a really amazing dream.
We left Friday, getting to Reno by noon-ish, Megan, Mrs. Miller and I checked in at the volunteer area… I was tweeting Sarah and Tori like crazy trying to figure out where they were. At last, we found them. I think Sarah recognized me first but I’m not entirely sure. Next thing I knew,  I had also met Laura (with Kep) and Karen (with Sizzle, running Ice, who seemed to think I didn’t know who she was… of course I did!) Not long after, Megan and Mrs. Miller  had to work, so I walked with them to their rings… all the while watching some amazing dogs run in T2B.

I also was texting Olga this whole time (well, since Thursday night when she drove up!) and finally met her!  We ended up hanging out ring-side, taking photos even when our feet were asleep. It was all good fun, we continued talking and a girl about our age walked by with a sheltie. We kind of went out on a limb and half-guessed that it was Kathleen, because there wasn’t anyone else really our-age-looking there with a sheltie… and luckily it was (and we weren’t randomly calling Kathleen at some random girl haaa that would have been weird.. ) After meeting Kathleen, we went over towards ring three, where Megan was volunteering (ring crew) and hung out there, mostly chatting small talk.  Later I found Tori again and got to introduce Olga to her!  We ended up eating at Whole Foods for dinner that night, which was delicious (like usual ;) however, whole foods in Reno is more expensive than our local whole foods… hmm ) my usual burrito for me!

On Saturday morning, we arrived at Nationals at eight o’clock. and rushed to volunteer. I leash-ran for twenty inch dogs (about two hundred of them, yeeesh! fun stuff!) Needless to say, there were some interesting leashes in the mix, and about half the dogs had chewed off the scanner card so that was interesting… I also got to take some photos of some of my favorite dogs running! not to mention, I got some nice photos of Rev who sported an adorable blue coat that matched Tori’s.

after that, the whole lot of us, Megan, Mrs. Miller, Sarah, Tori, Shelby, Megan (who runs Roxy), Shelby (who runs Swift), Shelby’s mom and Kelsey (who runs Ace) all went out to dinner at Olive Garden which was a blast!!

Olga made friends with this Papillon, who was also a finalist! … speaking of finals.. challengers and finals were Sunday, bright and early, just after hybrid! I really liked the hybrid course, recognizing parts of it from 2007 World’s JWW, I’m pretty sure… I know it was in a world’s course because I had wanted to try it. Finals were especially nerve wrecking to watch.  By the time Tori’s run came about I felt pretty sick hah… Olga and I snuck down ringside to snap a few photos…

soon after finals had ended, we’d left, all too soon. I never actually got to say good bye to anyone… but I enjoyed meeting you guys, and hopefully we’ll see you again! … that really was an amazing weekend!

this post would not be complete without Java & Sarah.

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