Taking a break...
I guess it's official. Tripp has delved into the realm of semi-retirement. Not that he doesn't deserve a break after all that he's done and accomplished so far in his six years.
I had every intention of focusing on going further in Obedience this year. Unfortunately I've had neither the time nor, frankly, the motivation to commit to enough training to give us a fair shake in the upper levels. I've just had bigger priorities, on top of a slammed work schedule. What can I say? Life happens!
Oh, I tried to half-ass it as we often do in the ring, but that just doesn't cut it in Utility. After a few miserable failures, and several (serendipitous?) missed entry dates, I have finally given up. This just isn't our year. There are one or two trials I may enter later in the fall (at least to finish his UCDX), but I think it's best we take a break from Utility until I can find more practice time to get us to a more competent level. Hopefully things will turn around in 2016 so Tripp can get a few more brags under his belt before he has to really retire! ;-) If not, well... we had a good run.
However I really don't foresee complete abandonment of dog sports for Tripp or myself. Even if we fizzle out in Obedience before reaching that championship dream, there are other less demanding events we can get into (or return to). Just a matter of finding the time and opportunity. And if I do eventually get that next show dog (still a ways away, folks!) I will obviously remain active in one ring or another. Until then, Tripp's still got plenty of juice left in him. :-)