Why we love agility March 21, 2019 17:25
Cards on the table. I am not sporty. I have been known to run but only literally to save my life (okay, so it was only a sleeping grass snake but it might have leapt up and attacked, you never know). The idea of doing agility didn’t appeal, but it came as part of the obedience-training package, so I signed up.
Even though I go home most weeks with mud up to my knees and a strong desire to sleep for a week, I would not miss it. The people are all there for exactly the same reasons. They want to have a better behaved dog, they want to be a better owner, they want to talk to like minded owners, they want to be in company where it is OK to admit out loud that your dog has been a monster all week, it’s probably your fault and the kitchen floor smells of poo.
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I love it. There is no judgement here, just real talk and plenty of laughs, especially when other people’s pooches run off when they should be sit/staying for five minutes but a breeze blows fifteen miles away so they can’t be bothered and have to go investigate. We laugh WITH them obviously, not AT them, seeing as at any one time, someone’s dog is definitely not doing as they are told.
The first few agility runs, are always on the lead because the little legs and big legs courses run parallel to each other and our Ripley likes nothing better than doing half the course then veering off to plough through the Labs, the Boxers and the Retrievers to cause havoc. She is ever so good at it. The A frame is excellent because it gives Ripley an even bigger vantage point to find her favourite friend Alfie the German Shepherd.
Then there is the tunnel. Her favourite game currently is to pretend she is going through, wait for me to run to the end, then duck out and run around the tunnel instead. This can happen many times and the thing is she looks so darn proud of herself I can’t help but laugh.
Over the weeks we have both improved, all but slowly and with some total memory lapses on the difference between left and right. The biggest win is that she and I have bonded. It needed to happen. We lost our beloved Gizmo when he was just seven to cancer. He was golden in everyway. Ripley looks like him and reminds us of him daily and I that was tough. She made me think so much about the boy we lost. And now? We have both grown together. She is her own girl, very much loved and we have a fabulous relationship.
You might not see us over jumps at Crufts, but on a Saturday you may well catch us doing a quick high five after completing our run. Yes we have a few diversions and the weave remains a mystery but we are in it together, we are a team.
p.s. Our old girls stay at home on training days, but Bella and Hattie would love you to take a look at the Vintage collection in our shop: