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My older girl is coming up on 11 years. I trained her in all kinds of sports, from herding to agility, obedience, and dabbled in conformation. Her attitude toward competition was apathetic at best, and her performances ranged from very good to nonexistent, depending on her mood and the venue.

Intelligence was never lacking, she learns things very quickly, but I realized years ago that we were not going to have a career of ribbons and accomplishments. I love her anyway.

This summer I was debating on whether or not to bring her to the National in Colorado, where I'd be running my other dog in several venues. Tica is getting up there in years, her cataracts are getting worse, and she has lost a lot of strength in her rear. She has always been a spectacular road tripper though.... she loves traveling. So I started her in Nosework, at home.

In August, I entered her in a local trial, four novice searches. I decided if she could get one out of four, I'd take her to Colorado and enter her. She happily nailed 3 out of 4, so I mailed in her entry form and hauled her up to the Rockies, along with Ayla (4) and Nile (11 weeks).

The first day (2 searches) she did well, went 2 for 2, 4th place and 6th place Novice B. The second day was almost poetic.... We were in a different building, and the floor was glossy and reflective, air vents all over. Out of all the Novice B dogs, she was the only one who qualified in Interiors. She isn't fast or flashy, but she has never worried about her surroundings, glass floors or otherwise. As the sole qualifier in her class, she got a blue ribbon, a lovely trophy bowl, and she also earned her first (and perhaps last) title, ever. Because she is her difficult self, on her 4th and final search, she climbed up onto a pallet and grinned stupidly at me. There was no odor on the pallet, she apparently just felt like standing there. She hasn't changed.

I skipped out on that evening's social events and drove her up to RMNP for a celebratory hike and some photos. My younger dog had a spectacular week with placements and new titles, but I think the biggest and best part of this year's National belongs to the old lady. Don't give up on the difficult ones.
 

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I love this! Congrats to that old girl.
 
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Congrats to you,Tica,and Ayla!Tica sounds like a very cool girl.Her standing on the pallet cracked me up:)
 
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Congrats to all of you. Love her picture.
 
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Always beneficial to keep the mind sharp and learning new things any age or species. Congrats! That is a great photo she looks like she know she is hot stuff. Beautiful dog.
 

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That is so awesome - go Tica! :wub:
 
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Congrats to you,Tica,and Ayla!Tica sounds like a very cool girl.Her standing on the pallet cracked me up:)
A few years ago, the defiant (or lazy, who even knows) pallet move in front of judges and friends would have made me feel either embarrassed or stressed or irritated. But at this point in the game, it’s just funny. :)
 
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