European Open, RUN!

Kaitlyn Renay Dreese, Karli (Border Collie, USA). European Open 2015, Rieden, Germany. Photo © Jukka Pätynen / Koirakuvat.fi

I’m leaving again, something my dogs really don’t understand. I can’t expect them to, I leave for a few days, come back every weekend and once a week. I really don’t like it that way but for some reason there’s a bias against students with four dogs living in an apartment. Who’s crazy enough to try and do that? I am.

College starts soon and all I can do is reflect on the nine days I lived in Germany. That’s really what happened. My mom, Karli, and I adventured through Germany (more accurately the airport) and lived. It is now one of the best trips I have ever been on, which is why I called it living. There was no down time, it wasn’t a vacation, I lived (how everyone should really be living life).

Kaitlyn Renay Dreese, Karli (Border Collie, USA). European Open 2015, Rieden, Germany. Photo © Jukka Pätynen / Koirakuvat.fi

It was miserably hot and usually I don’t tan very well, but I did get a really nice tan, so that great. The competitors were awesome, that was even better than the tan. I LOVED catching up with friends I’d met on previous trips and met some new ones. I am not a very outgoing person but I love the way agility brings people together (or maybe everyone bonded over how hot it was). It’s incredible to be able to see some of agility’s greatest competitors work through the process of how they want to handle a course and then be able to see them actually do it on course. That makes the trip worth it for me.

This year was different. This year, Karli and I got to run in team finals which was a huge milestone for me. That’s something I’ve only ever dreamed about. Standing at the perspective of a competitor, looking out into the crowd, everyone’s watching you and everyone’s cheering for you, even the other competitors. Everyone is cheering for everyone else to run the best runs they’ve ever had because whoever wins wants to be the best of the best, that cliche itself implies that everyone is doing their best. That’s exactly what Karli and I did, we ran our best, and it was AWESOME! Everyone was high-fiving and yelling and jumping up and down. It was incredible.

Kaitlyn Renay Dreese, Karli (Border Collie, 029 USA 1). European Open 2015, Rieden, Germany. Photo © Jukka Pätynen / Koirakuvat.fi

I am super proud of Karli. Who would’ve thought that my littlest, most vicious toothless pup would be the dog that showed the world how fierce she is. I mean, come on, how cool is it that I suddenly discovered that I can use a new handling technique in the team final (also, it’s was probably a little freaky, like what is she doing with her arms right now???). It was the summer of the airplane arms. Running all out and pushing it.

That’s what I’d like to call it, but in reality I’m totally trained to run for the Q. Oops. So now, I have to start training myself to run, hard, and not worry about whether or not I run clean and get those cushion points. So that’s what I’m striving for next. Rather doing what I always do and running to Q, I’m going to push myself to run full out and break out the airplane arms a little more often.

Here’s to the future, run fast and live fearless.

Kaitlyn Renay Dreese, Karli (Border Collie, 029 USA 1). European Open 2015, Rieden, Germany. Photo © Jukka Pätynen / Koirakuvat.fi

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2 Replies to “European Open, RUN!”

  1. Love the perspective!
    Could only dream of a) me getting to go to the EO one day and b) taking my dog (Australian quarantine rules means it would be weeks in quarantine on return from anywhere).
    Good luck with college.

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