Our agility class has grown over the last year to seven dogs. That’s a pretty big class. It’s not an enormous space. The instructor has combated this potential problem by creating a kind of practice room separate from the main area. Each week she sets up different pieces, like a wobble board or a ramp, and while she runs sequences with the central group, each dog and handler takes turns in the practice area. It’s up to the handler what he or she works on. It’s smart as it gives us a chance to work on different things with the distraction of the dogs working in the background. Well, for most dogs, that is.
When it’s our turn in the practice area Shiva is the one who tends to be the distraction. For example, this is how last Saturday went:
Thump, rattle, fwomp!
Shiva runs underneath the jump, nearly toppling the equipment in the process.
The patient instructor: Is everyone alive over there?
Me: Um, yes, for now! Hehehe.
Me: (after re-positioning Shiva) Go!
Bang, crash, bang, slam!
At least she went through the tire this time. That’s improvement.
Instructor who is wishing she never answered my email: Is your husband going to have to build me a new tire jump?
Me: Heh. Probably!
Me: Stay. Good! Go!
Rumble, clang, tick, tick, tick, crash!
Off the makeshift table, through the tire, and around both sets of weaves. I’d call that success!
Instructor who has given up on teaching the rest of the class: Is the building going to be intact after you’re done?
Me: No promises!
Thunder, rattle, thwack, BOOM!
Shiva decides the current sequence is boring and tries to jump over the top of the tire, squirms her way out and then runs directly into the weaves, skidding into the wall. The wall then shakes and collapses.
After the dust clears, all that is visible is a spotted dog standing on a piece of concrete. Her two front paws are on the ground and she is repeatedly touching her nose to the ground, waiting for a treat to appear.
So this is all to say that if you don’t hear from me, it’s because I am currently hiding from the former doggy day care’s insurance providers.