A day has come that I never thought was possible. We are exactly one week away from December 14th, when Iggy will compete at the North America Diving Dogs (NADD) Championship in Orlando, Florida. We’ve never competed in a national competition in anything before, and never thought it was something we’d be able to do. When we adopted both of our dogs from local rescues, we never imagined that this is the journey we would embark on. However, what I’ve learned is that dogs (not just ours) are incredible learners, and we are very fortunate that we have dogs that love to work and love to please. We still have a long way to go as trainers, but the future is bright, and we hope that this will be just one of many National Championship invites.
Enough with the sappy stuff though, I’ll leave that to the Netflix rom coms. We’re going to Orlando! Next Wednesday we’ll be driving about 1,500 miles with a final destination of the Orange County Convention Center, where the NADD Championship will be held. This event is held in conjunction with the AKC National Championship, which includes events such as conformation, obedience, rally, agility, and of course, dock diving. Eukanuba will serve as the sponsor for all but conformation.
Iggy will complete his two official jumps on Saturday. He is competing in the Open class, Senior division (jumps of distances between 15’0” and 19’11”). “Open” simply indicates that he is taller than 16” at the withers- if he was not he would be in the “Lap” class. Iggy has jumped consistently in the Senior division for the past couple of seasons. Last year he was jumping lower in the division, but this year he actually broke the 20’0” mark (a Master division qualifying distance) with one of his jumps!
There are a number of ways to qualify for the North America Diving Dogs Championship- here’s a link to the complete list: https://northamericadivingdogs.com/content/view/cmsid/25/Championship_Invite_Criteria. Iggy qualified this year because he earned his Dock Senior Advanced (DSA) title, with 25 qualifying jumps in the Senior division. A dog automatically earns an invite to the National Championship if they achieve an Advanced or Excellent title in the season, as long as they also have completed a minimum of 15 jumps in that season.
So, long story short, we’re headed to Orlando for our first National Championship next week! We’ll post updates as we make our way south-wish us luck!