I am going through the most difficult time in life - my 16 year relationship is ending - everything I knew in my life is just not the same. Just like that.
I've experienced more loss in the last 18 months than I ever imagined. First Jane - the first time I ever really grieved, one year later Kaleb - unexpectedly and now the loss of a relationship I was hoping to be in forever. But if I've learned anything in the past 2 years that is to expect the unexpected. And it really is true - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Over the last 6 weeks Gyp wouldn't work for me at the field consistently. And with Nationals coming up - that's not good. The only time I could get her to work was if her besties were there barking and being excited. Otherwise - nope - she would get skiddish, run away, or slink to the ground. And at home, well she would run away from the jumps. Seriously. It was not physical, it was mental. She was completely freaked out by my stress, I've been stressed before, but this was different my life is nothing like it was 2 months ago. Kathy Keats was here at the end of June and she gave me one of the best pep talks and chunks of advice I've ever had in my life. It worked over the last month I've proved to myself that YES I can be there for my dog, and YES this is that important to me. We ran at a small one day trial. She rocked, because I did. I took a few days to go train at my friends place out of town to prep for Nationals - and it was awesome. Nothing bugged us and we were in sync. it felt great, you know that connection, you just can't explain?
I went into Nationals last weekend calm, happy and excited. A weekend with my best girl, good friends was very welcome. While there is the stress and excitement of competing there - it was refreshing to focus on something I loved, rather than just being stressed out because of my "real life". My focus was never been sharper. We were a team all weekend. It's amazing how much mental strength I have when I put my mind to it. I was bound and determined not to let her down. It's helping me heal knowing that I can focus and persevere despite my circumstances. We freaking did it.
She had the most amazing weekend - and I would not have been able to live with myself if I had let her down, because I couldn't get my shit together. I have THE MOST AMAZING friends, family and support group ever. And this Nationals - I ran it for Kaleb. I know we made him proud!!!
So Gyp ran a perfect Nationals - 6 clean runs. 3 1sts, 2 2nds (1 point behind in each gamble), and a 3rd. Didn't miss a beat. We took risks, we ran our freaking hearts out, and it payed off.
I am so proud and I swear, she tried even harder for me this weekend because she knew I was trying that much harder for her. Have I mentioned how much I love my little dog?
Gyp had a great 2013 ... She is the 2013 10"DD Vet National Champion, won her 4th Regional Championship, and received the St John Therapy Dog Outstanding Volunteer Award and a National Win ...