In 2017, Miles and I had such a stellar year in AAC agility. Maybe I am a bit of a terrier myself, because success just made me want a new adventure, rather than staying where I was starting to feel comfortable! In 2018, Miles and I started to compete more regularly in AKC Agility. Mid-year we got into the Master’s level, and began earning Championship & Nationals qualification points. We qualified for AKC Nationals and attended this spring! Miles just earned his AKC Agility Preferred Champion title and is a top pick going into AKC Invitationals this winter.
AKC Agility wasn’t an easy path for us to pursue. I am living across the border in Canada, and at first it proved to be a bit of a impediment, comfort-wise. Trying to enter a new community was intimidating! Just figuring out how to sign up for trials requires help. Early on, I asked a trial secretary a simple question, and she said slowly, “This is America…” to me — not realizing I am American…? Next, Miles had to jump a different height and different kinds of jumps than he’s jumped his whole life! Last but not least, EVERY AKC trial we’ve done has been away from home, away from our own bed at night. It seemed pretty unlikely at first that we’d get into it.
It took a lot of courage to try AKC Agility, and it wasn’t until I met Cathy Aragon that I got hooked. Cathy ran her Welsh Terrier Ziba in AKC Agility with great success (MACH9), and was still running with Ziba when we first met. Cathy and I instantly hit it off. It took a little while before I accepted her invitation to stay at her home. I am a fairly anxiously-polite person, and the idea of staying at a new friends house AND competing was scary for me. I can’t thank Cathy enough for changing how I felt, because our adventures to visit her have been life-changing in many ways outside of agility. One of my fondest memories of 2019 is the weekend Miles and I took the Amtrak to Cathy’s, and the next day we all had to stay in a hotel near the competition venue because the rare snowstorm in Seattle was so bad. The next morning, we got lost in the short drive from the hotel to the venue, but we still managed laugh the whole way.
When your dog gets an AKC Agility Champion title, it is tradition to receive a very big ribbon, and to have everyone sign a jump bar!
The Magical Moment
In AKC, there are 6 possible runs in one day, and only two of them count for the Champion title. Standard is all of the obstacles, and Jumpers is Jumps, sometimes tunnels, and a set of 12 weaves. To earn the AKC Agility Champion title, your dog must accumulate 750 points (seconds under course time — speed!) and 20 double Qs (accuracy!). Double Qs are where your dog runs clean in both Jumpers and Standard on the same day.
The last time Miles and I competed in AKC Agility in June, we needed only 1 QQ for Miles’ Champion title. We hadn’t gotten down south in over a month. The weekend after AAC Agility Regionals, Miles and I hopped on the Amtrak train (the Cascades line accepts small dogs!) and headed to Washington State for an AKC Agility Trial. We were signed up for the whole weekend, but and Miles eared his PACH right away on the Friday! In AKC Agility, you tell the event organizers that you are close to your Champion title, and they wait with baited breath as you run the course you need. If you run clean, the second you clear the last obstacle, everyone breaks out into cheers! The organizers then bring you your ribbon and you get to do a victory lap around the ring with your dog. It is such a celebration, as you can see in the video! ❤️
It was a moment I had fantasized about, and the run and celebration were everything I had dreamed of. Cathy was at the sidelines, I think you can even hear her in the video! As I stepped onto the line, I wasn’t nervous. I was actually probably the least nervous I have EVER been near a big title in Miles and my agility career. I felt so loved, and I felt the sum of so much hard work and brave travel, from both Miles and I, all rolled up into a condensed little ball that made up our team. I felt ready. The moment Miles and I achieved his AKC Agility Champion title, it was so nice to celebrate our hard work with a community of wonderful friends.
Gravy to the weekend? Miles won High in Trial Terrier! (Miles was the fastest and most accurate Terrier at the competition).
If you want to see how ridiculous Miles’ official name is now, go to our About page. All that we have accomplished together is just a bonus to what we have together. ☺️
Milesy, the Sponsored Canine Athlete!
With this exciting agility news, I am also proud to announce that Miles has an agility food sponsor! Miles is fuelled by Natural Instincts Specialty Raw Food (special thanks to Korna Natural Pet). I can safely speak for Miles and say he is VERY excited about this fantastic reward for being such a good canine athlete.
O.M.G. CONGRATULATIONS to you both!!! What a stunning achievement! YAAY! And so great to hear that the experience was rewarding in all ways.
P.S. — All the pics are just wonderful, but the one where he gazes lovingly up at you — no words!
Thank you Didi! SO much! I appreciate your support! We will be near you at Nationals if you want to visit the site on the weekend! But if not that, I hope to see you when I visit. Miss you so much.
Love the update! Congratulations. We try to feed raw food to our boys so will have to see if I can find this.
Yay! Stay tuned for lots of raw food updates about how I feed Miles. I have been feeding raw a long time and am happy there is so much good raw available now. I truly believe it has changed Miles’ life and performance so much. Nice to hear from you Jackie!
You two are ROCKSTARS! Congratulations, I am so proud of you both!!
Thank you Mary Anne! We feel like it now between ourselves like a private little rock concert, out there rocking the courses together! Hehe!
SPECTACULAR! Congratulations, Em & M!! ?You both rock!!! PS: we love all your photos and videos, but Miles in the freezer endorsing the product is adorable ? WOW
Thank you our lovely wonderful cheering section! Miles loved the freezer shoot — I think he thought that it smelled like the place to be. I was fully prepared to let him say “no” to the idea, but he not only obliged but wasn’t hasty to get out but I rushed him!
What a fantastic story. Congratulations to you both.
You are a true example of determination. I am also amazed with the story behind the WTRH and how you and your sister designed the beauty crest. What a creative family.
Hi Jean, thank you so much! We appreciate the cheering and support. I can’t wait to help you start training for agility!
Ah Emma yours and Miles accomplishments make my head spin and my heart burst with pride! You are Wonder Woman and he Wonder Welsh Terrier! What you and he have accomplished is nothing less than magical (read extraordinary hard work and endless resilience). As usual I am in awe of you both and only wished I could have been on the sidelines yelling my head off. You both inspire and humble me. Saying congratulations doesn’t begin to express how happy I am for you both!
I am pretty sure Pippin will quite honestly be yelling her head off from the sidelines supporting us — I am laughing so hard right now!!! Thank you thank you thank you for the kind words, they mean so much to me. So much!
Congratulations to the two of you! Well done!
Thank you so much for your long-term support of us!! Hugs!
Wow! This is fantastic Emma! Thanks for sharing the video of your momentous accomplishments! I’ve said it probably 1000 times now, but we’re so proud of you! That ribbon and the signed jump bar are super cool – what do you plan to do with the bar? I LOVE the photos you’ve included – the one where he’s giving you a High-10 is my favorite – it’s the like the cherry on top of your incredible teamwork!!!
Aww well you always say it in such a special, unique, and absolutely special way. It is the same for your greeting cards, you know how to make common sentiments (Happy Birthday, Congratulations) so artistic, interesting, and meaningful. You are truly talented. I am lucky to have you as a friend. Yes the bar! I am taking it with me tomorrow to be signed by friends who weren’t at that little trial, and then, I think it will live on my work studio mantle. Miles loved the hi-five photo too!
PS maybe I should change the caption of that photo too — I think if Miles had his choice he’d have had everyone sign a tunnel… I am laughing so much right now!
Congratulations to you both. Such a achievement. I am so proud of you both.??? Climb every mountain, Ford every stream, follow every rainbow, until you reach your dreams….Love you Emma
Dear Sharon, thank you thank you, for your kind words, support, and for providing me with the love of my life in furry toothy doggie form. Miles is everything to me and I am thankful to you every day. Thank you!
Such a great accomplishment, and I really want to thank you again for such an articulate account of the journey and all that it involves. And the photos? Miles in the freezer is beyond cute, and your celebratory high-5 is really special. It captures all you have described about your partnership. Well done, Miles and Emma!
Thank you to our biggest supporter!!
Fabulous!!! The photos make my day!!! I know that Miles knows about the team’s success. I love that! You and Miles are truly a team. All the very best.
Miles definitely knows! And when I am not “on” he barks at me to remind me to pay attention! 🙂
You guys are the best, most amazing team. The celebration in the video is so special! Miles looks so proud, and happy he did you proud! I personally think no ribbon would be big enough until it’s the kind you see in movies when kids get cars for their 16th, but that one’s pretty good 😉
That is too funny!!! You are so right! Although by agility standards this is as big as they come so I can’t complain! Hehe!
Congratulations to you both. So happy that you have pursued your dreams and worked as hard as you have. Is Miles breeder Keith Bailey? He looks like my girl Sadie, also from Keith.
Thank you for your kind words Kim! Miles’ breeders are Sharon Abmeyer and Keith Bailey. ❤️
Emma, We feed Robbie a raw diet he has so many allergies. He just has gotten to the point of not eating the food he was eating for 2 years. What raw food do you recommend? He is allergic to turkey, chicken, pork, salmon, lentils these are the worse ones. I read dog food labels more than human food.
Hi Jackie! I’ve sent you an email!