Category Archives: agility

Delightful Combacks

At my last advanced agility class I had two dogs that came back after some time away from training. One of them had been absent for a few weeks and the other one for at least 3 months. It was great to have them back, and there where several things that made me really happy and grateful that I get to “work” doing something I love and enjoy so much.
The first thing I noticed was that the dogs were THRILLED to be back! They had such a huge smile on their faces while they ran it made me smile. I love the fact that my teaching system allows the dog to have fun learning.
The other thing I noticed was that the dogs remembered everything and the handlers were the ones that were rusty! This is funny because handlers coming back from a long break never fail to tell me, “I hope my dog has not forgotten his training” and I always respond: “I guarantee he remembers everything, it will be you who needs the refresher.” They always think I am lying but so far, the dogs have never proven me wrong!
The other thing I enjoyed watching was the camaraderie between the handlers that had not seen each other in a long time!

Agility is such a wonderful sport, it brings dogs and people together, we support and help each other while our dogs prove to us over and over again what wonderful, smart and loving creatures they are!

We did it!

We did it! Sabrina and I finally got our long awaited CATCH (CPE Agility Trial Championship).

For those of you who are not that familiar with the Agility jargon, a CATCH involves getting at least 94 qualifying runs in at least 3 different levels (ascending in difficulty) in 7 different classes. When you get your CATCH, you are awarded a humongous rosette and a bar. Yes a PVC bar just like the ones that are used on the jumps. You run a victory lap around the ring holding your bar and afterwards all your friends sign it. I know, it sounds silly but it is a huge thrill!

Since Sabrina celebrated her 10th Birthday last September, she was experiencing the normal slowing down and “creaky” joints; so for the past year we had been doing limited showing just competing in one or two classes instead of the usual five per day that are the norm at CPE agility trials (CPE stands for Canine Performance Events, one of several organizations that offers agility trials).

As would be expected, the closer we came to earning our title, the more elusive it became! I lost track of how many “almost perfect” runs we had where one little mistake, usually my fault, would cost us the coveted “Q” as we call a Qualifying run. I must admit that some days I just wanted to throw my arms up in desperation and quit. To add on to the stress, Sabrina started being lame on and off because of a cronic injury that I think is related to her jumping a gate to get to the store and steal samples of dog food. Typical Sabrina…We keep several different samples in baskets under a table and she just picks the Pheasant and Brown Rice! So now we are adding quiropractic adjustments, accupunture, Chinese herbs, massage, supplements, icing, you name it we have tried it!

Now for Sabrina, it was a different story. She could not care less how many “Q’s” we were missing or if we got that big rossette or not. I don’t think she even cared if she had pain or not. After watching me run with the other dogs and loudly voicing her objections, she was so happy to be let our of her crate… it was finally HER turn. Probably the fondest memory that I have of competing with her is how many times people I don’t even knew came up to me and said: “She looks SO HAPPY running out there with you.”

So when the thrill of the win is over and the photo and rosette have faded, my heart will still be joyful for the happy runs we had together. Sabrina, you are the BEST!

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