Thanks for the replies, both on the blog and otherwise, on yesterday's post!:0) I actually feel a bit more positive about taking the dogs and am 90% sure that I will be entering them both. It helps that we had a REALLY good working session this morning. Heffner is sooooo much fun to do heeling patterns with when he's with me, which he basically was the entire time. When we click, it's the best feeling! Bess is definitely still improving and I feel more positive about possibly having her close to ready to compete by the national now that I've got a mental game plan of what I need to do and where I want her to be by what time. I'm going to be shooting for a fair amount of matches to really work on things, but I think that as long as I stay dedicated and positive about the outcome, things will come together. I already feel so much better about the direction that we're headed in!
I also realized today that I left off two important pros for entering the dogs at the national. A biggy is that they have very cheap echo cardiograms and I really want to get both dogs tested. It's mostly for my own piece of mind, but I believe very strongly in health testing. Even those dogs who aren't intended for breeding stock. They still share genetics with other dogs who are and it's so incredibly beneficial to have as much information out there for anyone planning a litter and wanting to do a little research on what the rest of the family is like.
The other biggy is that I REALLY want to support the performance entry at the national. As you can imagine, great danes are not considered traditional obedience or agility breeds. As such, the entries for these classes aren't terribly large. It's important to get as many entries as possible so that these sports continue to be offered. The performance sports will always be the ugly step child to conformation unless we really plump up the entries and show the parent club that it is worth the time, money, and effort to host these events.
Anywho, so I'm at 90% sure right now. I just really need to research the planned travel route and make sure that it will be okay for us. Exciting stuff!