Yep. Life steamrolled me. Again.
So, here’s a scattered dump to bring you up to speed.
How long has it been? Two years… ugh….
Dogs. So much with the dogs. New titles in Barn Hunt, Weight Pull, Rally Obediene, Conformation, and progress made on more.
Ranger won the NALC B-Bay Top Ten Day of Trial buckle in 2016. This was a huge pick me up because the year before he disqualified on his Top Ten run (though Halo had his back and ended up with 2nd place in the Top Ten trial).
Ranger and Halo had their babies in August 2016. I haven’t mentioned that here. There’s a lot of madness, proud moments, and serious heartbreak involved with that and I’ll tell those stories as I am ready.
One of those babies is staying here. He’s called Trekker (for Ranger, and a great-grand sire, Rambler). He’s super sweet and a little soft tempered, like Halo, but looks like a copy of Ranger. It’s funny how that worked out. He is eager to learn and happy to please. He just got his UKC Grand Show Champion title along with some Group placements along the way.
One of the puppies, Drama, came back to me due to some circumstances changing. The hope was to send her to my mentor to go be a working dog in the fall, but she’s doing really well here, so if I can convince Eric there’s room for a fourth dog she’ll stay and be a performance dog. She also recently earned her UKC Grand Show Champion title along with Group placements, a Best in Show, and a Reserve Best in Multi Breed Show. That still hasn’t sunk in. Like Trek, she has a nice medium between Ranger and Halo’s temperaments. Not too soft and not too distracted.
Jobs. Got a new one. As much as I loved training dogs, the pay just wasn’t what I needed to maintain my vehicle, buy dog food, buy groceries, etc. The new job: I’m okay at it, I like it well enough, and it pays the bills. I get to work a lot of overtime, which is helping me catch up on things that I let slide while I was working part time, but that also means less trail time (it’s a double-edged sword).
I started hiking the Laurel Highlands Trail in Pennsylvania. That was my first real backcountry trip after Halo’s snake bite. It got cut short because I got sick on the trail. I want to go back and finish it. Thankfully it’s only about a 5 hour drive from home, so on a long weekend I can knock out a few sections. I may not be able to thru-hike it (because, seriously, 4 dogs is crazy for logistics on something like this), as originally planned, but I can finish it nonetheless.
I completed the North Country Trail Hike 100 Challenge for 2016 and am working on it for 2017.
My grandmother died in October 2016. It’s something I need to talk about as she’s the one who taught me a lot of skills that have helped me in the outdoors. She never took me camping outside of an RV style lot, but she taught me lots about growing and preserving food, fixing things, sewing, knitting, and more. Oh yeah, and she walked part of the Natchez Trace many, many years ago. Unfortunately no one has any documentation on it. I didn’t find out until well after she was unable to tell me more.
So, that’s the short, short version of a whirlwind. I have a list of DIY projects to complete and share, some training ideas, and a few other things that have been on the back burner for far too long.
I’ll write again soon.