Last weekend was the end of the AKC invitational qualification period for me and Apollo. The 'official' end is June 30th, so there is technically one weekend left, but I opted to go to the Canby regional instead of another weekend of AKC. The only reason I took that option is because Apollo is pretty solidly in 1st place for invitationals (and they take 5). Last year I also opted to go to the Canby regional instead of an AKC trial and Apollo ended up #6 on the invitatioanl list. #6 by TWELVE POINTS. That's one run! ONE RUN and we would have been there! It was a sad and painful experience that took me a long time to get over. Well this year I was sure that I didn't want to end up in the same position so I really pushed Apollo. We had some awesome trials, which is the reason we made it to #1, but we also had some really unlucky/crappy trials. For example, at the December Rancho trial he was hurt and I had to pull him. At the new years trial he got pneumonia and I had to pull him. At the Del Monte trial we had an 0/4 weekend with explosive diarrhea in the ring for one run (oops!) and then last weekend, at our last trial to get invitationals points, which I entered JUST for Apollo since I don't really like the site (although they have really improved it since I last trialed there) and with temperatures in the 100's, he got hurt again and only got to do his first run (where he totally crashed through a bar). I had Wendy adjust him after the run and do accupuncture and apparently he was 'pretty messed up'. Poor guy! I've been resting and massaging him this week for Canby regionals, but if he doesn't seem ok I just won't run him. It's not like we're going to be winning the pGP anyway! On the bright side, I didn't bother entering him in team so at least he has fewer runs.
But there were some highlights during our AKC invitational qualification as well, like the Pahrump trial we went to last November, which catapulted us from solidly within the pack of 5 boxers to the top. Then in January we travelled to Portland for the Rose City Cluster and Polly had perfect weekend going 8/8! In January at a trial down in City of Industry, Apollo got QQ #20 for his MACH (the next run after getting QQ #19! I'm so lucky that it happened that way since we can often go months and MONTHS without a qq!). And then our final happy time was at the Terv trial in Palo Alto where he had another perfect trial going 4/4 under Lisa Miller and Dan Selthofer. Boy do I ever love their courses!
I don't think I'll ever 'campaign' Apollo for invitationals again, although it's so easy to get bit by that bug when you see yourself in the top 5 list. After Invitationals in december this year, I think I will start ramping down his agility, but we'll see what happens.
To summarize, invitatioanls suck.
So tomorrow morning I'm off to Canby for the NW Regionals. I'm very nervous about it and was dreading it for the last week or so but I'm finally starting to look forward to it. The competition will be fierce, but Icon and I will just do our best and hopefully will get a bye to the semi-finals for both GP and SC.