Given how much yammering I have done on the subject, I know I should write a ginormous, detailed post about Shiva’s first agility trial. Strangely, I don’t feel like I really have much to say about it. We showed up! And, um, that’s pretty much it.
It was a very, very long day. Before now, I didn’t realize just how long these things go on. But with four courses and three classes in each, the setting up takes forever and the actual running of each dog takes even longer. We arrived on the site around seven in the morning and didn’t leave until after four. That’s a full day’s work for a dog with focus problems.
Every participant is required to volunteer so I was kept pretty busy most of the time. Remembering where to set the bars for each jump height took up quite a few brain cells! Dog agility, it’s not for the slow-witted. Luckily, my PH was on hand to keep the Shiva happily occupied with treats and toys. She is definitely a two person dog. I don’t know how people do this alone.
I took almost no decent photos. It was either raining or I was too busy looking for leashes for the Masters-level dogs to even think about grabbing my camera. Most of the ones I am showing here were taken by a friend who has a fantastic camera and was kind enough to share them.
Considering this was my first trial experience in anything and my expectations were non-existent, I guess I am satisfied. I am glad we went, at any rate. It was fun to cheer on our friends and watch the other dogs with their unique quirks. Shiva didn’t have a single moment of reactivity and she was in an environment that would ordinarily cause her anxiety. All that waiting around usually makes a very stressed out puppy. But she was all smiles and wagging tails even by the end. That was a lovely surprise.
I am not sure when we will sign up for another. There is a fun match in September that we’ll probably attend but after that remains uncertain. There is no rush, as far as I am concerned. Shiva isn’t running out of energy any time soon! Now that I know what to expect I can be a lot more strategic about training and planning.
We are never going to be a team who hits up every event in the province. Agility is a fun hobby for me, not a career. If we never do more than one jump a few times a year, I can learn to be okay with that.
Thanks again to everyone for their encouragement and support. We may not have done anything noteworthy out there but we’ve worked hard to get even this far. I wouldn’t have shown up without you. Special thanks to the photographer for capturing a wicked shot of Shiva jumping and to Mufaasa for his post-run hugs.