We call ourselves “Obedience to Agility”, since we all want better companion dogs and dearly love agility.
That brought us together. But in our first meeting we all realized how much we just wanted engaged & happy dogs, fun experiences with them, and, for those of us with our gerontology canines, more of a relationship with our older dogs. In our discussion times, we scan through books of doggie activities. Then we take the regulation elements and reconfigure them to play with the challenge of the obstacle, keep their canine brains engaged, and also get exercise that will help them stretch, bend, move and gain endurance. We scour the local Goodwill stores and use all kinds of crazy items (crates, boards, exercise noodles, ladders, doors, etc.) to make them think about accomplishing a task.
In Cache Valley, where temps can easily dip into the minus double digits, we have faithfully met since December on each Tuesday and Thursday morning. For Brio, he KNOWS the weekly dates and when he gets to go to class. He simply loves the group, being with the other dogs and people, and plays with each of the elements in his own way. You should see how he prances with the younger dogs. When he runs the course with me, or is on a long recall fetch, he throws out his front feet in the most gorgeous prancing. His tail never stops. The best part is just seeing how happy he is. Needless to say, he is brighter at home and more engaged with simple daily tasks. He behaves beautifully on a leash for our 2 mile morning walk, is calm and settled at home, and loves to sit on his agility ‘table’ in the backyard.
This picture is last weeks first March class. We still have about a foot of snow, ice, and plenty of sun. Most importantly, the temps are warming, the birds are singing and our first Sandhill cranes have begun their migration back north.