Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Return to UKI Agility

Work has been consuming my life of late and I don't want to neglect blogging about special things in the midst of all of that.   On Saturday Molly and I broke our 2+ year UKI hiatus to attend the "Team It's For the Dogs" annual canine cancer fundraising trial.   All proceeds donated towards canine cancer research with many mini fundraisers present at the trial (including sale of some really cool tie dye paw t-shirts, Molly is posing with the one that I purchased.)   

I usually avoid trial briefings because I find them to be redundant and it makes me feel like I am in church or elementary school.   But the briefing on Saturday morning was one that I wanted to be a part of.   It was respect and love, remembering the founders of The Team's dogs lost to cancer.   Dogs who lived with them and ran with them in the agility ring before having their lives stolen by the Big C.   I could not help but choke up with tears, especially considering that the first quarter of mine and Molly's year was a big question mark of vet visits and testing.

I like UKI just fine, but back in 2015 when we last trialed in UKI Molly's weave pole issues were unresolved and we simply could not make time.   We did some training runs here and there (usually coupled with a CPE trial at the same location), but as her weaves improved I did not have much desire to attend trials simply for training runs.   It's just where our journey led us.   But I saw a link on Facebook for this UKI trial and I felt so honored to take my dog who is still alive, who is not just alive but thriving...to take my dog and run her at a special trial devoted to helping dogs who have cancer.   After all, everything that led to Molly's diagnosis and the expertise of our oncologist in knowing that Molly did not need chemotherapy - all of that science was thanks to research and the funds that made it possible.   

We are in Beginners, still.   I entered Molly in "Select" so she can jump 16".   I was on call for work in the afternoon so we only did the first two classes of the day, two rounds of Jumping.   The first course started with a bit of a power line that curved into a discrimination between straight tunnel and weaves.   You can guess what my first-run-of-the-day wild child picked!   We just kept running and skipped the weaves and ran the rest of the course until she took another bonus tunnel and then picked up again where we left off.   Round 2 was more successful and we qualified more than 10 seconds under time (despite some slow but accurate weaves.) - Molly even did a great job collecting for a threadle.   That is something we haven't seen at a trial in a while!   I enjoyed the courses that we ran and the challenges presented to us at Beginner level.   

What an honor it was to run with my Molly instead of simply running in her memory.   I can never take that for granted, can never take her for granted.   We still get to hop into the Honda Fit and have grand adventures together.   Five years of that, and many bumps in our road and we pick ourselves up and just keep on playing.   This photo is a candid taken at last weekend's CPE trial.   We are standing ringside around other dogs.   I have cheese.   Molly is focused on me and the cheese.   Her head is raised up towards me, if you look closely enough you can see the scar from where they took her lymph node.   And you can see the bond and mutual love and between these two friends.   Forever, Molly...I want forever with you.

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