On Sept 12, 2010, at the Tail
Blazers Agility Club trial at Dream Park in Swedesboro NJ, Soren
grabbed another piece of French Bulldog history for himself. A beautiful
run on a fun Scott Stock course earned him the distinction of
becoming the first French Bulldog ever to earn a MACH2.
Click here to see a slideshow tribute to Soren with photos and video from the year leading up to our MACH2
(this is the original and best quality, but a large file that takes
a little bit to buffer). If you have trouble with this link,
you can also watch on YouTube below (it is better viewed Full
This past year has been one of many
challenges, and many times it was Soren's special camaraderie and sense of fun
that kept me plugging through some difficult times.
There are really no
words that can fully describe how I feel about this little dog -- his courage
and determination, his "can do" attitude, his intense devotion, and of course
his passion for agility, and for rising to whatever I ask of him.
It tickled me as we stepped to the line
on that Sunday morning. I was reminded of our MACH run just over a year
before when Soren refused to sit at the start line. He was adamant about
it then, and this time again he was having none of it. He looked at me as
if to say, "C'mon ... it's time and I'm ready. Let's just get it done."
And he did.
Of course to add a little drama, the
ending of the course was one that has been our nemesis lately ... dog walk to
the finish jump, and from a tunnel no less.
We've been struggling with launches off the dog walk when
it is the last obstacle before the finish jump -- Soren just loves the finish,
as it's when the party begins. So I told myself to just trust Soren and run like I would in practice, and he hit the yellow with a vengeance
... no doubt on the contact at all ... and over the final triple jump. I turned back
to check the clock, and we had the points we needed with a few to spare.
There was much cheering for the victory lap, and at one point Soren was so
charged up from all the excitement, he almost ran out of the ring via the entrance, but we
managed to get him back with our Q intact.
Not sure who our scribe was, but
certainly appreciated the cheerful message on our scribe sheet :o) One for
And of course what is a MACH2 without a
MACH2 Party. And what is a MACH2 Party without Soren's very favorite thing
-- MACH CAKE!!!.
The MACH2 Cake -- Soren's favorite part of the
MACH (you can't really tell from the picture, but this cake is HUGE and should
have come with one of those Home Depot "Lift with your knees" warning stickers)
Of course in life you have to take
the good with the bad. Along with the MACH cake sometimes comes the
dreaded "party hats."
Soren in his MACH2 Party Hat -- Not every dog
can pull off a hot pink leopard print
party hat, but Soren makes it work -- "I'm wearing the ridiculous hat like a
Now PLEASE can we eat the cake??"
The MACH2 Party :o) -- "Umm -- Still in the
hat, and still no cake"
And so our MACH2 journey comes to
an end. Despite a few difficulties along the way that slowed us down last
spring, we managed to persevere, and the challenges we overcame made it all the
sweeter to reach our goal.
As with our MACH journey, the friends new and old who
shared our ups and downs along the way made it extra special. I am always
touched by how many people love Soren.
Friends Andrea and Patrick Kelly (front) and
Deb Rabuck (back)
with Soren and Audra reluctantly sporting their party hats.
And we could not have done it without the
support of Ron and Suzanne Readmond, and of course our fearless instructor Barb
Miller, whose insightful guidance is behind every accomplishment and whose
friendship and support have meant so much.
Certainly where this road has taken us is
the wildest dreams I had back
when we first set out on our adventure. Two MACHs, the cover of Clean Run,
Invitationals, Nationals, All Stars ... words just don't seem enough.
See that Sor-baby ... I told you Dream
Park is "where dreams come true :o)"
I am SO very proud of you Soren!!! You are a precious wonder and I am so
grateful to have you as my friend and my agility partner. Every run with
you is a treasure.
OTHER 2010 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
was our big goal for 2010, but we had some other fun accomplishments that are
noteworthy, including a number of new breed firsts ...
Soren's an All Star!!
Soren places 4th in All Star Agility 12" Division
Individual competition, and 4th in Agility Team Competition, to
become the first Frenchie All Star Top 10 in Agility
On July 30, 2010, Soren
finishes his Rally Advanced Excellent 2 (RAE2) title in AKC Rally.
Soren is the first Frenchie to earn an RAE2 title! See
Soren's Ad in
In USDAA, Soren finished his
Performance Snooker I (PK1) title,
Performance 2 Standard (PS2) title, and his
Performance Dog 2 (PD2) versatility title.
All are firsts for the breed in USDAA.
On Feb 20, 2010, Soren
became the first Frenchie to earn an Excellent FAST title (XF)
Finishing the year with over
150 MXJ and over 140 MX legs, Soren will receive retroactive
lifetime achievement titles ... 11 of them!! ... through his
Silver 2 in Jumpers, and his Bronze 2