Merlin.. my love

Merlin was my first APDT/WCRL Rally dog.. Everyone had tried AKC but I gave then APDT Rally a try in March of 2008 with Merlin. He did well his first trial, got his level 1 and I had a lot of fun. It was one of those “and I never looked back” moments. Today he completed his ARCHMX5 for those not in the know. there are 4 championship levels in WCRL Rally ARCH ( 5 double q’s and points from a and b) ARCHX 5 double q’s above 195, ARCHEX , 5 double q’s in levels 2 and 3 195 or better and ARCHMX, the only one you can earn multiples, 10 triple q’s level 1, 2, 3 195 or better at the same trial. Kestrel did this quite handily, ARCHMX6, she got an ARCH and an ARCHX one weekend in maine, she was solid and consistent. Merlin, well, Merlin is Merlin, he’s had times in his life where rally wasn’t his thing, or obedience wasn’t his thing (agility until recently has ALWAYS been his thing, that and the rats in barn hunt) He’s 11 1/2 now, has 133 titles covering all his venues… he’s titled in 5 venues of agility, 3 venues of obedience, 3 venues of rally… He loves to compete, he loves to go on the road on the weekends… However what I will say about Merlin, even if he’s tired, and he’s not really into it, he’ll give it a go because I want to. He’s a GOOD BOY, he always has been. He sleeps in heel position (no kidding, the dog is on my left leg in bed every single night).

Today he retires from upper levels of rally. He slogged through an RAE2 in AKC because I wanted to go to nationals. He finished his ARCHMX5 today because I like to leave no stone unturned. I’m sure when he got up this morning he didn’t say, wow, I would like a really nice ribbon today.. Nope he got up and said, she’s loading the truck and I better be on board!!!! She better not go somewhere without me. He will still have trials to do, veterans, some CDSP obedience, lots of nosework, some barn hunt and perhaps an agility run here and there. He will always “be on the truck”. I partially retire dogs but never retire them because I believe that if they’ve competed all their life, they retire and die. So I find sports that work better for their aging bodies, classes that suit their aging bodies. (and no worries about Merlin’s health, recent blood work shows him in perfect health, he’s just slowing down)

Merlin will still be seen in WCRL Veteran’s (and the occasional level 1 run because its good to heel on leash).. He’s the #1 Veteran for 2016 and may 2017 bring the same…. and if you are at a trial I am at, come say hi to Merlin, he’ll still be “on the truck”

ALCH UCD URO3 ARCHMX5 CT-ATCH Grampian Raptor Mystique, CD, GN, BN, RAE2,NAP,NJP,NFP,RATS,WC,CDX-C,CD-CCH, SPJ,CTL3, CSL2, GV-N, TDI,THDN,CGCA, CC – what a guy!!!!

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