Libby and Ziva’s trip to the GSDCA Nationals – Getting there

On the way to the nationals, where Ziva was to receive her Performance Award of Merit (PAM), we started with 2 detours, 1 planned, 1 not planned.  Ziva was able to get into a VST (variable surface tracking) test in Illinois, so we made a change in our plans and missed the first 2 days of agility.  Tracking tests are decided by a lottery, so when you get the chance you take it.

Before I got 2 miles down the road my car broke down 🙁  Fortunately we were able to unload and put everything into my husbands vehicle and we were on our way.




Libby taking the welcome center in PA at it’s word. I think she was waiting to be served.













First stop was Ohio on the way to Illinois.  Not quite sure where they think I am supposed to sleep since they have OBVIOUSLY claimed the bed.












Finally made it to Lincolnshire, IL for the test.  They seem to like the accommodations.  Libby stayed at the hotel while poor Ziva had to go to work (I think she ordered room service, but she’s not talking).













We drew track # 6 of 8.  Filming of the tests is not allowed.  She went to the start and she quickly determined which way the track went and did the 1st 600 or so yards without a hitch.  She had a perfect moment of truth turn in the parking lot, then lost the track in a big gust of swirling wind.  She came back over the track and indicated she thought she knew where it was, but did not have the confidence to commit.  At one point during her search I looked up and could see the final article ahead, we were a about 100 feet from the last article!  She started to stress about making a decision, so I watered her, gave her some encouragement and tried restarting her.  She went a few yards more, indicating the track, but would not commit that she knew where the track went.  Her stress was ramping up, so I called the test.  It was not worth pushing her and ruining her love tracking when she was showing me she felt over-faced.   We were so close,  I could taste the final article and see the CT title in front of her official name.  The track-layer was great-she had some goodies on her and she re-walked the last 50 feet of the track, laying down rewards.  I restarted her and she easily went to the final article, with plenty of encouragement and when she indicated the article we had a party, so it ended on a very positive note for Ziva.  I was very pleased with her, she worked her little nose off for me.  There were 2 passes of 8 dogs and she was the only dog other than the ones that passed that made it beyond the start line to the track.  We will train on some hard surface challenges to build her confidence and hope the tracking Gods smile on us at our next test.

After the test we stopped at Half Day Park for a nice relaxing hike.













Now were are ready to be on our way!
























We have arrived!














Some pictures taken by Andrea at the GSDCA National

We were very excited to find a flash drive from Andrea in the mail yesterday. On the flash drive were pictures of Aiden that she took at the GSDCA National of all the performance events that he was entered in. Andrea was able to capture many wonderful action shots.

Aiden in Agility





Aiden in Coursing



Aiden in Utility Obedience





Aiden at Dock Diving



The Performance Award of Merit, Parade of Greats

I wanted Aiden to gait into the ring but….. he could sense how happy we all were with him so he decided he would gallop into the ring like the happy, happy boy he isaiden-pam-award-1



These are just a few of the many pictures Andrea took. Thank you Andrea for being there to help us celebrate and for taking these pictures.


Me and Jack with Aiden and Zeta



Aiden’s big day at the GSDCA National

On November 21, 2015 when Aiden earned his Agility Excellent Title (AX) he met the requirements for the GSDCA Performance Award of Merit (PAM) making him the first Alta-Tollhaus dog to achieve this prestigious award. This award is given in recognition to those dogs who are competing in multiple performance events, showing the incredible versatility and intelligence of the German Shepherd Dog.

Each year at the GSDCA National there is a “Parade of Greats” where individual dogs are recognized for high achievements in either conformation, performance, search and rescue, or service dogs.

Tonight Aiden was recognized as a 2016 Performance Award of Merit recipient.

Each dog is announced individually along with their achievements. This video is of Aiden and me being introduced and receiving Aiden’s PAM ribbon. I don’t know who was more excited me or this crazy, happy dog you see galloping into the ring!

At the end of the individual presentations all of the recipients did a victory lap!



Close up view of the ribbon and plaqueimg_0658-4

This is a picture of Aiden’s page in the GSDCA National Catalogue. Special thanks to Carole for putting the beautiful collage together for Aiden.



V, U-CH, PAM Alta-Tollhaus Aiden


(BSZS V10 Ypsilon vom Lärchenhain SchH3 x V Maikali vom Kirschental SchH2)

Jack and I are so very proud of this wonderful dog.