Two years ago, when many members of the agility community were out earning their ADCHs or MACHs or C-ATCHs or ATCHs or some other form of alphabet soup, I did not know that the sport of agility even existed. Two and a half years ago, when breedings were being planned for the current wave of rising agility superstars, I had never even owned a dog. And now here I am: crazy dog lady. My free time is now spent looking at course maps online and thinking about where I would put in a front cross or a rear cross or whether I would hold a start line stay or which snooker opening sequence I would take. That is, when I'm not working with The Murr.
So how did that happen?
When we decided that we wanted a dog, we decided that we wanted a dog that we could do therapy work with. We fell in love with Murray through a Petfinder ad, met him at an adoption event and took him home for a home trial. Within about ten minutes of leaving the adoption event, we knew he was our dog.
But a therapy dog he is not. So we looked for other fun outlets.
|I may be many things, but a therapy dog I am not.|
After a few comments about "oh he would be good at agility" (mostly because he likes to jump a lot and climb on things... just like every other dog out there) we decided to look into dog agility. It took us a while to get into a class but after about 8 months a local class opened and away we went.
We first started in a group class and that was fun. We kept going to classes once a week, Murray being the one little dog and then many much larger dogs, climbing apparatus in a public park. Then we found out that we could set up jumps nearby before our class and so we did that. Then we found out about show-n-gos so we started going to those. And before I knew it we were hooked.
|The Murr in the Park|
As I started going to the show-n-gos I started looking at handling. Before then we'd do maybe a three or five obstacle sequence, all on one side, or maybe with a front cross thrown in there for good measure. But because we were in a beginner class, and the class before ours was an advanced beginner class, I never got to see the final product. I remember asking a slightly more experienced handler in my class about competitions. How were they judged? Did all dogs jump the same height? Did speed matter? I laugh now at just how little I knew!
At the show-n-gos I saw people walking through courses, thinking about angles, alternating by types of crosses and running fast dogs. Then I started watching various agility events on You Tube and reading blogs and...
yeah, I went down that slippery slope head first!