On Last Week’s Episode…
Thank you to everyone who emailed their thoughts about USDAA and UKI here in the United States. Generally, people felt that there are various reasons (management, responsiveness, availability, course design, jump heights) that have combined to decrease participation in USDAA, especially at Cynosport.
Meanwhile, most people cite the course design and user-friendly nature of UKI as key reasons for its growing success. Competitors also note that the US Open has been held on the East Coast (in Florida) for a few years now and growth in that half of the US may be related to that. Perhaps in response, UKI created the West Coast Open, which could fuel new growth in that half of the country.
For a sense of UKI’s growth over the years, in 2011, 47 people brought 56 dogs to the US Open. The largest class had just 51 entries. This year, 601 people competed with 996 dogs, and the largest class had 921 entries!
Canine Christmas Movie Stars
Looking for a Christmas movie with a dog in it? Thank you to reader Margaret W. who recommended “The Noel Diary” on Netflix. In addition to a pair of highly likable humans, this holiday movie stars Australian Shepherd Skye, a gorgeous agility dog who has some nice scenes. Sarah and I are about two-thirds of the way through the movie and looking forward to the dramatic conclusion…
World Cup Soccer
The Final will take place on Sunday at 8 am local time for us and I question my ability to wake up early enough to watch the game. France, the defending champion, will battle Argentina who is led by arguably the greatest soccer player of his era, Lionel Messi. He has never won the World Cup, but has already declared that this will be his final game. This is high drama. I’ll set an alarm.
The Journey of a Lifetime
School lets out this Friday, and this year, our first kid is a high school senior. Isaac grew up around Texas dog shows, and he’s “walked” more courses than he can remember while strapped to Sarah. Many of you remember him from the jokes he used to tell at the end of the podcast, and there’s a rumor he’s coming back to the podcast to pass the torch to the next generation of agility kids.
Isaac is at the front of our minds as early decisions for college happen this week for hundreds of colleges in the US. We’ll keep you posted as we know that some of you old timers will be interested to know where he ends up.
Happy holidays and safe travels to everyone! A special good luck to everyone who will be competing, spectating, or working at the AKC Invitational this weekend! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments, questions, especially if you have a kid that you’re shipping off to college next year! We’d love to hear from you and we read every email.