I saw an article about the Carolina Piedmont Agility competition this weekend in Morrisville and immediately thought of Zoe. I think about her every day, but more the past couple of weeks as the anniversary of her death came and went. Zoe would have excelled in an agility competition. She was quite athletic and loved to run. She was also a very social dog and loved people and other animals equally so the festive environment of a competition would have been right up her alley.
Zoe used to rip around the back yard like a greyhound on a track. She would run 6-8 laps every time she went into the yard just for the sheer exhilaration of it and cut a very nice path around the yard. She cornered like she was on rails, with just a hair’s breadth of daylight between her and the ground. Her long legs gave her tremendous speed and I think she would have had great fun learning to run through different obstacle courses. It also would have provided a more productive outlet for whatever it was that motivated her to chew those first few years I had her.
Agility training provides a unique bonding experience between a human and her dog. The best part of agility contests is any dog can participate. It’s not a beauty contest like all of those other competitions limited to purebreds. There are no treats tossed to the dog competing in an agility contest (unlike the aforementioned beauty pageants). It is a contest where the dog completes an obstacle based on direction from the handler. Dogs are judged on speed, accuracy and how well they follow the direction of their handler. Zoe would have been great on speed and accuracy, but she didn’t always follow my directions and that was probably my fault. By all accounts, it is great exercise for both dog and handler. Agility training is something you might consider if you have a young dog full of energy.
If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them. ~Phil Pastoret