It’s Hard to Believe

After an afternoon of fetch and agility practice, it’s hard to believe we managed so long without a private backyard. While I imagined it would be pretty great, I never expected something as innocuous as lawn space would make such a difference in our lives. Talk about worlds opening!

The space may not be huge but there is still plenty enough room for Shiva to dive and leap after her favourite toy of the moment. No more dangerous stairs or sickening crunches of canine bones against walls. We can even fit more than two sets of weave poles. Maybe we’ll even be able to get in a sequence of more than two obstacles at a time! We’re gonna need some more equipment. It’s like a whole new phase of our lives!

It’s not that I now suddenly feel a yard is necessary, I just had no idea how easier it makes everything. I see now how so many people can get away without walking their dogs 576967 times a day. In fact, I can even see myself maybe cutting back to only one a day, with a lot of playing in the yard to make up the difference. Chasing a stick outside for twenty minutes seems to tire the Shiva out just as much as an hour long walk. Who knew?

It couldn’t have come at a better time either. I don’t know if the backyard was the last push I needed but on Friday I filled out my very first agility trial entry form. I even screwed up the courage to put a stamp on the envelope. If all goes well,  in less than a month Shiva and I will be entering the big leagues. It ain’t no fun match this time. Ready or not, we’re putting ourselves out there to be judged.

I won’t lie. My knees quiver at the thought.

I need to get it over with sometime, right? The longer I wait, the harder it’s going to be. There are no expectations for a first trial other than to show up. At least, that’s the way I am approaching it. If I don’t bail out at the last minute, I am going to consider it a win.

But I am sure I will stress about it all for you to read later, closer to the date. For now I am going to enjoy my tired dog on this lazy Sunday evening. I will leave you with a video of the new sport my PH and Shiva invented. Who says dogs can’t play hockey? It’s sure to be the latest trend.

24 thoughts on “It’s Hard to Believe

  1. A fenced yard is the best! Shiva is a lucky girl, and I know she will be a crowd favorite at the agility trial.

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  2. Your first agility match! So excited for you and Shiva. I bet you will do great. 🙂

    We always find that fetching beats walking for tiring our dogs out. I think they enjoy it more too.

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  3. That’s awesome!! Mu and I will do our best to come out and cheer you on. Hopefully we’ll be joining the showing ranks in a month or two, but I’m sure you and Shiva will blow everyone away (one way or another)!

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  4. Rio just finished his first trial weekend and it was FANTASTIC…. i was so nervous but our venue was super fun and really laid back and all the people were so friendly!

    It was awesome to have friends with me who were also dog people and/or agility people… gerat to have some support!

    can’t wait to see how it goes w/ Shiva!

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  5. We live on four acres but in order to adopt two rescue dogs from a local service, we had to have a fenced in yard. It was the best investment we ever made. Our dogs gain access to their year via the front door which also leads to an enclosed deck. They have sun and shade, grass and hard wood under their feet.
    Playing is also much easier. I can stand on the deck and throw a ball into the yard. The dogs need to run down and up the stairs adding another level of cardio to their work out.
    Marie

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  6. The Other Half dreams of moving to a place with a paddock so he can just open the back door in the morning and let Georgia go walkabout on her own. As if that would ever happen.

    Congrats on stamping the envelope! x

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  7. Love this! Shiva looks so happy back there, and she’s quite the little retriever. I also come from a family of hockey players, so I imagine that they will LOVE this backyard hockey routine with the dog…

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  8. I am so very happy for you both! Yeah, play time in the yard is a very big exercise help, and setting up equipment to train on is a bonus too! Glad you’ve found a yard of your own. I guess I’m a little spoiled, because I can’t imagine life without it.

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  9. The great lesson here is that you don’t need a big yard to make a difference. I’ve counseled lots of people who think they need lots of acres for their dogs (acres they can’t afford). But, if you’re out there playing with your dog, it doesn’t take much.

    Looks like you have a great new way to keep the PH and the puppy in good shape.

    Really excited about your upcoming agility trial. I know you’ll both do great. Shiva was looking so fast on the last video you showed and I was really impressed at how well you two are learning to work together.

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  10. Cute video! I love Shiva’s intensity. She’s such a cool dog!

    I could never live anywhere without a yard. It takes quite a bit of pressure off the need to walk.

    I’m so glad you are enjoying your new. How exciting-your first trial.

    YOU GO GIRLS!!

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  11. Our yard is too hilly to play in. Besides neither of my dogs are big ‘players.’ I’m glad PH and Shiva found something fun to do, maybe Shiva is ready for Treibbal?

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  12. I LOVED that video! Watching Shiva hop so she could be where the stick was just made me laugh. I have to admit I also started to wonder if I was too boring for Jasper. It never occurred to me to use a hockey stick before. What a novel idea!

    I can completely relate to the awesomeness of having a backyard. There is just something so freeing about knowing your dog can go out and do their business without having to walk them each and every time, especially in winter.

    I am really excited for you and your pursuit of the big leagues. I know it’s a big step, but look how much you and Shiva have already done together. This is just an extension of what you have already accomplished as a team. I am so proud of you for taking the leap.

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  13. I’m shocked you made it as long as you did without a yard. I can’t imagine a world where every time Stella and Oly need to go to the bathroom I have to put on shoes. Ick!

    Now that you’ve been spoiled by the yard you’ll never go back. You’ve officially become yard spoiled!

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  14. How wonderful for all of you! Being able to have a little of her own space to run around must be a blast for Shiva. And if there’s space to work on some of her agility training, that’s even better!

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  15. Shiva is soooo adorable! Love the video – and the game! Congrats on signing up for your first trial. While certain you’re nervous, you must be excited as well. Good luck!

    And most of all, congrats on the new yard and realizing how much it means for you and Shiva. Life will, indeed, be easier for you now. Enjoy it. 🙂

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  16. Yards are awesome. It truly does help take off the pressure to walk twenty times a day! So glad you guys were able to find a house with one. It’s part of why I take Dante to my parents’ house so often, although being a greyhound he’s not nearly as zoomy as the Shivster. 🙂

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