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There are so many things coming to ahead in the coming month.  Been building and building for some time.  And I’m getting so beyond excited!  And anxious to be honest.

First off the major remodel of our bedroom is to commence.  So hopeful this will solve a number of problems.  Primarily the ones related to my challenges with SPD and sleep.  The main, ok entire, goals of the bedroom remodel are to decrease the traffic noise, increase darkness, and increase efficient use of space.  I’ve been mulling over the best ways to do that in this particular room of our house for years.  Years!  And we are now at a point where we can put those ideas and plans into action.  I’m so hopeful.  So fingers beyond crossed hopeful this project goes as planned and has the desired results.  We have a great contractor who we’ve used before so I know he’ll give it his best effort.

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Zora flying down the a-frame in a competition

Second is we are going to NADAC Championships!!!!!!!!!!  I’m super super super (did I mention super?!) excited about this.  The last time I had a dog to compete with at Championships was in 2000 or 2001, when I had Regal.  NADAC Championships is an international event with competitors from all over the US and Canada coming together for nearly a week of awesome dog agility.  It is held once a year, in the fall, and the years alternate between ‘east coast’ and ‘west coast’.  This is an ‘east coast’ year and it’s being held in Ohio.

The championship competition itself is comprised of 8 runs over 4 days.  7 of the runs all competitors compete in for placements and standings, then the 8th run is the finals where scores from the 7 previous runs are calculated and only the top 30% from each group compete in the final 8th run working to win the event.

Groupings are based on your dog’s height (so small dogs compete against small dogs and large dogs compete against large dogs), age and experience level (so veteran dogs over age 7 are grouped together by height, and Elite dogs are grouped together by height, etc), this helps things truly be competitive as you are always competing in a group that is a fairly level playing field.

In order to be invited to compete in Championships you and your dog have to accumulate a certain number of points in a certain number of varying classes throughout the previous year.  Point accumulation for Championships counts points you’ve earned from August to July each year.  Zora and I qualified to compete as an Elite Standard Small Dog.  Meaning she earned enough qualifying points in all Elite (highest level) classes, she is under age 7 (so in the Standard group), and she’s short (under 11″ at the shoulder) so a Small Dog.

Before the event begins there are 2 days of agility at the facility site to help give teams a chance to warm up and acclimate to the venue before the big event.  So all told there are 6 full days of agility with some of the top handlers and dogs from all over North America.  I am so excited!

When Zora qualified, hubby and I discussed it back and forth whether to go or not.  I get stressed about the idea of spending money on trips, somewhere in my brain I learned vacations should be cheap or otherwise inexpensive (maybe it was a childhood of all vacations including staying with various relatives?) and ones that require me to spend money feel like I won’t enjoy them as much.  Which hasn’t really proved true, I did really enjoy our Maine honeymoon (though it did take us having an envelope with a set amount of cash in and me being repeatedly reminded the trip was a failure if there was still cash left in the envelope at the end of it).  I also get stressed about the sensory aspect of staying in hotels, and travel (which my body has a history of handling rather poorly).

Thankfully, hubby knows that about me.  (he thinks I’m silly, a lot, especially when my neurotic money habits come into play).  And he simply asked, “Honey, do you want to go?”  Yes.  “Ok then, we’re going.”  Simple as that.  All of my worries and but, but, buts were silenced.  “Honey, do you want to go?  Ok then, we’re going.”  Every single time.  One of the many reasons I love this person.  Cuts through my anxiety, and puts it in black and white.

So we’re going!

I’m so excited to reconnect with people I haven’t seen in years.  I’m so excited to be surrounded by such amazing dogs and handlers.  I’m so excited to participate.  I’m so excited to have such an amazing teammate in Zora, and such an amazing support team in my husband and Tom.  I’m just plain so excited.

After much further discussion, we decided to drive instead of fly.  A decision I still have some anxiety about, but less anxiety about than I was having when we discussed flying.  Flying itself would have been less stressful than the drive, shorter length of time, but the idea of trusting another person who was driving to bring the various dog stuff we’d need to get through the week like their crates, x-pens, chairs, and the like was stressing me way out.  As was renting a car and all of that.  I have a hard time letting go of control (gee, shocking, right?), and I have an amazing partner who is willing to drive 12hrs to Ohio.  As such, we’re driving.

We have plans in place to give me a good chunk of travel recovery time so that I will hopefully be in a fairly sensory stable state to compete.  I have a friend who is willing to keep an eye on the house and the ducks, so I don’t have to worry about that stuff. I’ve been jotting down things to do and not forget to bring for weeks.

Most importantly, I think, we are treating it as a vacation in our heads.  So going to have fun, as low stress as possible, enjoy the time with the dogs, and let the excitement of such a large event carry through.

And trust me, I don’t think that will be very difficult, I am currently so very, very, VERY excited!!

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