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The Terrier Tattler
Hello friends & fans –
This has been the most exciting month in my life!! Hear all about it in my feature article this month: Bianca's Big Adventure. My assistant Tracy took me to California to compete in the AKC Agility Invitational Tournament. Holy cow, talk about a great time with lots of friends!
December will of course continue to be fun since we'll be going to Iowa to visit the rest of the Wilson family for the holidays. Iowa's almost as much fun as California, but I'm sure it won't be as warm as sunny southern Cal!
Best wishes to all of you for a very happy holiday season! May you get lots of good treats and plenty of critters to chase (or whatever you like to do!). -Bianca
Bianca's Big Adventure!
This year the AKC (American Kennel Club) held a national AKC Agility Invitational tournament, in conjunction with the AKC Eukanuba National Championship (you may have seen it advertised on TV late Nov/early Dec).
The AKC Agility Invitational is an annual event to showcase the top AKC Agility performers in ALL AKC dog breeds. While the border collies and shelties are certainly star athletes on the agility course, there are many breeds (such as Westies!) that compete. This prestigious event allows ALL top performers in each breed to be recognized. The top FIVE AKC Agility dogs for each breed were invited to compete. I was very fortunate to be the #4 Westie for the year, so I received an invitation to the competition which was held December 2 & 3 in Long Beach, California!
The trip to California
I was so thrilled when Tracy said she would take me. I've never been to such a big event and it was a pretty special trip - I was going to go on my first plane ride! Tracy borrowed a special bag rom my buddy Murray, so I could ride on the plane with her - just by her feet. It all began with a drive to O'Hare Airport in Chicago. Here we are waiting in line at the ticket counter - I was so excited, it was all I could do not to pee!!!
We went through the security screening with flying colors - I was so good - walked right through the metal detector with Tracy on a special lead that Dr. G gave me (it didn't have ANY metal on it!).
I've overheard people complain about spending time in O'Hare, but I've got to tell you, it's pretty darn exciting! Lots of people to watch, stuff to try to eat off the floor and some great places to play. While we were waiting for our plane I had lots of people come up to say HI. One flight attendant even gave ME a KISS and I had lipstick on my nose the rest of the day! I couldn't believe how nice everyone was.
The flight to LA was pretty cool - I licked peanut butter out of my kong, chewed on my tennis ball and napped - a pretty good way to pass the time! Oh yeah, since I got to fly FIRST CLASS (none of that Coach stuff for me!) I had plenty of room!
Being a Southern California Princess
Dogs that live in Southern California are so lucky!!! Life there is awesome! I stayed at a fabulous hotel - it was very different from the hotels we usually get to stay at! Look at this incredible bed I had - they called it the Heavenly Bed and boy oh boy were they right. It was truly heaven - with plenty of room for Tracy too. I slept like royalty!
And check out this view! I had huge windows that I could look out right across from the convention center and I could watch other dogs below me coming and going from my hotel (and I could see some of them pottying!).
Of course, no trip to California would be complete for me without a trip to the beach! The Pacific Ocean was much colder than the Florida beaches I'm used to swimming in - but it was still cool to see it and at least get my toes wet! My buddy Cricket went with me to the beach. Actually Miss Cricket and I got to spend quite a bit of time together. Here we are at the hotel with our assistants (Tracy and Mary Lou). The hotel was so happy to have me there - they had a special sign welcoming me (and the rest of my dog friends!).
The activity at the Long Beach Convention Center was overwhelming. There was the Eukanuba National Championship (for the 'pretty' dogs), the AKC Obedience Invitiational (for the 'well behaved' dogs) and the AKC Agility Invitational (for us dog athletes!). All this was going on under one roof and there were tons of vendors and of course, all my fans - most of whom I have never even met before. I'm sorry to say that there were so many of my fans there, I could only spend time with a few of them. My #1 fans, Ryan, Sonny and Grace came and got to see both of my perfect runs on Saturday! I was so glad they got the chance to spend a little time with me!
Many dogs get stressed from all the activity, loud sounds, crowds, dogs that are so constant in an event like this, but I LOVE IT! The more people that can see me the better! I ran my very best agility for them. On Saturday I had 2 Q's (perfect runs) and on Sunday, I would have had 2 more, if it weren't for my assistant Tracy. She screwed up in one of my runs and I went to the wrong obstacle. But she was back on track for our fourth and final run and we finished with another perfect Q! Out of all the 99 12" dogs competing, I finished 38th (even after Tracy's mess up!). Actually, all the Westies competing (there were 4 of us there) ran really well. It was so cool to see our breed so well represented.
Since my handler Tracy isn't perfect, I didn't get to run in the event Finals, but my buddy Charlie the Minature Pinscher did! Here's Charlie with his assistant Tom. It was so very cool to know one of the finalists! I've been in classes with Charlie and he's awesome - fast as lightening and his legs are so long for a little dog, you should see him jump. Big congrats to Charlie and Tom for representing Illinois so well.
Time to Return Home
It was such an incredible adventure, but on Monday it was time to board another plane and head back to Chicago. Again, Tracy took me onto an American Airlines flight but this plane was extra special. I got to meet the nicest, prettiest flight attendant. She works on the plane, which I think sounds pretty darn cool, and guess what - she had a Westie for 16 years!!! It was so sad, her Wesite had recently passed away after a very happy, long life, and she was so happy to see another Westie (especially since it was me!). I got to spend a little time with Pam, and she made my trip home so special. I hope I get to see her next time I fly!
John was there to meet me at O'Hare. He was so thrilled to see me and I must admit, I was pretty darn happy to see him too (he does give pretty good belly rubs!).
The whole trip was such an incredible adventure. I hope I get to do something like it again and it was extra cool to get to share it with my frirend Cricket.
It's Winter in Chicago!
Winter came suddenly to Chicago while I was enjoying the sunshine in California. But Winter can be a lot of fun for dog too. Just look at my buddy Pacey and the fun he was having after the recent snow storm!
Absolutely Fabulous Canine Accomplishments!
Please send your accomplishments to Bianca@2westies.com.
GRACH Shadow is GREAT!
My buddy Shadow the black lab got his UKC GRACH title at the end of November at Paw Powers in Indiana.
Now that is something to be THANKFUL for - it was a great Thanksgiving present for Michele!!!
Here's hoping you aren't caught being Naughty this Holiday season!!!
Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful New Year 2007!!