I've come to realize that I've made a huge mistake with my dogs. Without going into great detail on my life, my dogs lives and all that... Things other than agility have become more important to me. I've realized that I have pushed my dogs into an agility life when that's not exactly what they want and in some cases, what they need.
Psyche gets stressed at agility trials. She does amazing when she's not stressed. But when she's stressed she's clearly not having any fun. And when I am forcing my dog to be doing something that's not any fun to her it breaks my heart. She gives me her everything. This dog thinks the sun rises and sets by my hand. She is 100% devoted to me and I couldn't ask for a better dog. She loves agility at home, at the training field, even a few fun matches... so why do I push for more? When did it become so important to me that we trial over having fun? What happened to me? Psyche is a superstar. I know this. I have almost all of the equipment at home and a large training field. In the price of two trials I could likely have all of the equipment I need. Why haven't I put more effort into making her 'fun' time at home better (more equipment, better fencing, etc.) and put all this effort into making her trial, even when there were times she was telling me very clearly that she didn't want to trial?
As for Simi, again, without going into detail, I have pushed too hard for agility and lacked severely on other aspects of life. I have wronged my dog. Neglected her, in a sense. I pushed for agility at a young age with her. She was my sports dog. I got her as a puppy, had in my head from the start that she was going to be amazing and I pushed her to be that amazing puppy. But I forgot some very important things in the process. I let agility, being awesome, making people reconsider a GSD for the sport... all of that, cloud my vision. When in reality, Simi has been trying to tell me for ages what she needed... and it was not agility.
So now maybe it's the change in my life, maybe it's timing, maturity, or just a stroke of luck that I finally realized it... but now agility isn't so important to me. Sport isn't so important. What really matters to me right now? Loving my dogs. Giving them what they deserve. And making up for all the messing up I've done up until now, and making sure I do right by them in the future.
2013 isn't a year of Qs and competitions for me... it's a year of loving my dogs for who they are, not trying to change them, and apologizing. And 2013 isn't a year of competitions for my dogs... it's a year of being treated right and accepted for what they can and cannot do. Maybe we will compete again... maybe even later this year... but to be honest with you all, and myself, it doesn't matter to me when that next trial may be.
So if you don't hear about a lot of trials, don't worry. We're all happy, without the competitions... and you'll hear lots of tales of the fun we're having, just being who we all are.