If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that. -Brian Andrea’s Story People

Little Kate. Big woods.

Busy Busy Busy. I have no idea how time can possibly go so fast. Everytime I sit down to write, which I am so desperate to do, I can think of 284582574658263 other things that need to be done first.


Kate and Java and occasionally Trin have done some shows, it’s too long past now to recount specific details. Trin is getting to the point where even the jumpers runs aren’t really fun for her anymore. I guess at almost 11, I am ready to really retire her. I’m not sad about that anymore, if I ever was, she was a great teacher to me, and I’m grateful for our time as partners.


Who's the naughtiest runaway? #trinity #aussie #seniorcitizen Some dogs never grow out of running away... #baddog

I’ve been working hard on Java’s gamble skills in training, and we’ve had a lot of *almost* which can be frustrating but I know they will come in time, and this past weekend, we earned TWO so now we just need two more for her ADCH and a Pairs, which I might save.

That time Java Bean went to Princeton. #tbt

Kate’s been to three USDAA since the season started back up, we’ve picked up a STP, killer run, a GP, second place to her littermate, only one “fancy” class but we gave it our best and had a bar. We needed 2 more Jumpers for her ADCH, got one on the first show in Jax, but at DOI unfortunately a bar. I didn’t even bother to show up for Sunday DOI since I figured might as well save it for the third show under our friend, Judy.


That was just this past weekend, tons of fun in the sun. It was warm and the grass was soft enough for barefeet. Kate earned her ADCH on the last run of the weekend with a first place. I’m happy it’s done. Titles aren’t really why I compete, but they are fun to have as a milestone.

ADCH Kate!

I also entered “one more” AKC show, I needed 58 points, which would require three Q’s and I only entered two days. I knew it was a long shot but figured that was the minimal amount of effort I was willing to put forth. Stunned, we walked away with a 2Q on the first day. JWW the next morning, simple course, but Kate decided that coming in on my line was just way too challenging for her and even though I fought hard, I just couldn’t get her over the jump. Alas. One run left, and it wasn’t super pretty, as Kate could feel my pressure, but we got through it, like only AKC can prepare you for. So we qualified for Nationals… I think. If my calculations are correct we earned 508 points in 10 shows.

I’m still not sure I’m going to go, but pretty sure. It will help me achieve my goals of getting Kate to more high energy events, and it’s East coast so…

by Steven Donahue

That being said, I’m not going to try for 2015 AKC NAC. Even though it’s directly connected with the Italian FCI year, my goal since Kate was a baby, I just can’t justify torturing myself with all that ACK. And I’ve kind of decided that “the” world team might not be for me at this point in my life.

Had a nice visit to our home away from home. #hike #Chattahoochee

Instead, I made the crazy decision to start my own company and begin hosting UKI agility trials!

How do you find your path? she said & I shrugged. Mine has a lot of chocolate on it, I said, otherwise, I’d be as lost as everyone else. -Brian Andrea’s Story People

It’s crazy, really and truly, when I look at how much money I’ve already spent on this venture, on the other hand I’m really, really excited. Excited to have real equipment, excited to make an impact on the sport… I’m excited to help UKI get off the ground here. I have three main reasons why I like it better than what we’ve currently got going on:

1. Bitches in Season. Oh yes. Let’s not beat a dead horse.

2. Online Entries. Why haven’t we had this already!?

3. Training in the Ring. I know it takes a lot of time but I absolutely love that if something happens I don’t have to feel sneaky about fixing it. I love that if I need to blow off a run to bring a toy and train, I can! Also it’s great for young dogs that are just starting in the sport.

UKI reminds me of my old CPE days. I’m already nostalgic for my shows, laid back, friendly, but competitive atmosphere. Let’s be honest, reason #4, European style course design is not only allowed, but encouraged.

by Steven Donahue

The best part about hosting shows so far? Picking out toys for the bin! So excited to get ALL the toys! I am a little floored at how popular my show is, we are almost full after having been open for a week. I could not have made this thing happen without Mary Ellen and George, they are seriously awesome. Even more exciting Honest Kitchen is partnering with me for this first event and sending me give-aways. I’ve been loving using their product, but even more great is a company that gives back to the sport.


Want to hear something even more crazy? I’m teaching classes. (I know) I had some serious doubts about doing it, even waited until about 48 hours before my first class to even TELL anyone I was doing it. But people showed up, and it wasn’t terrible, in fact I think I actually may have been helpful to the students. Huh. 😉 Kate is an excellent instructor, what a patient girl, quiet and at the ready to demo.


The classes are mostly just a way for me to get used to the site where I am hosting my first show. In addition, it was requested that I teach the UKI games so that people could be more familiar for the trial. I added a puppy class so that Gary and Peat could get working around other dogs. Admittedly, I realized I love teaching puppy class. Something about that whole tabula rasa thing. Seeing the light bulb come on.

Everyone loves to suck up to Kate.

Teaching is hard for me. I have this strong desire to tell every one of the students (I can’t even write “my students”) to be their own instructor, to figure it out, to make mistakes, and learn as much as they can by watching videos and playing around in the yard. There are no cookie-cutter answers, but if we allow ourselves to just think, we know our own dogs better than any instructor. (Despite what your instructor might say.) 😉

by Steven Donahue

But I can design some challenging stuff, as I’ve been doing it for myself for a long time now. And I do know it’s nice to not have to think for yourself sometimes. I also know we can learn immensely from others (it’s why I am spending $400 to learn from one of the best next week). I found myself saying things that I had heard from my instructors over the years, meshing ideas from many of the greats into one message. It was pretty cool, and for that, I did like it. I could help the dogs, by helping their handlers. That’s pretty special… who knew?

Anyway, not sure I have a career in handler teaching in my future, but for now it’s fun and kind of cool. Plus it gets me working my dogs, which is a good thing. And it helps me make back a little money that I’ve spent on my show.

Time is going to continue to fly until my show, and I’m already planning the second show, and I’ll tell you blog readers a secret, I’ve booked the US Open judge for that one. 🙂

Next time, I owe you all a Peat post… his new nickname is Maniac. What a crazy monkey he is.

The day has come. Peat is bigger than Kate. #bigpuppy #grownup

8 responses to “Milestones

  1. Congratulations on Kate’s ADCh. Fun to earn under Judge Judy. And best of luck with your UKI show. Ask for help when you need it. You’ll find that people will step up.

  2. Sounds wonderful ! I’m not sure why you would be surprised people would come to your classes. First you’re nice and easy to talk to. Next your dog has awesome skills which people would love to learn. I wish I lived closer!

  3. Those are some fun changes! Congrats on taking those big plunges! You are going to do awesome. And yes, you do owe us a Peat update! 😉

    • I know. George is SO ahead of the curve with this stuff. And thanks, I found myself quoting you and it made me chuckle. Ah, the lessons this white dog has brought me. ❤

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