I haven't posted in a while for a couple reasons. Firstly, we've had a lot of rain and it has made training pretty difficult. Also, it's hard for me to come home and train the dogs at all since it's dark by the time I walk in.
Secondly, I've had a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head and I haven't been sure the best way to share them.
I guess I'll start by saying that we've decided to put all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak. I've had multiple top-level agility competitors and instructors tell me that Lexi has incredible potential. By incredible I mean that they've told me that with continued instruction she has a good chance at placing at nationals. I've always known that my little girl is very special, but hearing it from multiple people whose opinion I respect is incredibly inspiring.
When we went to Louisville to watch USDAA Nationals I was struck by the fact that my girl is faster than most of the dogs out there. Of course, speed isn't everything, but she has shown such improvement just in the 6 months that we have been in Ohio that I can only hope that she continues to improve thus allowing her to be competitive at the highest level.
My husband and I had previously decided that we would likely get a third dog some time in the next year. The thought was that agility is just a past time for Bentley, and hopefully a lifestyle for both Lexi and the new puppy.
But I've come to the conclusion (or perhaps I'm just allowing myself to say it out loud) that Lexi is my once in a lifetime dog. I would hate to look back on our relationship (both on and off course) and think that we hadn't helped Lexi reach her full potential. So, adding a third dog to our family wouldn't be fair to her (at least not right now).
That may sound like I am putting a lot of pressure on her (and us) to be successful, but I would not be disappointed if we never truly competed at a national level. I would only be disappointed if I felt like we didn't do all that we could to improve and enjoy ourselves every day as a team.
On the other hand, I think this knowledge is why I often get frustrated with our performance. I know what kind of performance dog she can be, and I can get frustrated when we don't always do our very best. I think that comes from me being very competitive (I've always been that way). So it's something that I need to keep in mind every day, and just enjoy the ride and my amazing little girl that wants to play with me as often as I let her! My goal is to be more like her. She is always happy to play with me, and no matter what the outcome she plays her heart out!