The friends that I was at Glen Highland with this year both enjoy photography, and so we all planned to take photos of our dogs doing agility. The problem was that both Molly and Perri were in no mood for agility, because they both skinned their paw pads pretty badly due to running around like lunatics.
Just for fun, I took Ein off of the tether and brought him out on the course.
Some history: I took Ein to agility classes from January 2012 to roughly October 2012. We quit because, while he had plenty of sparky moments, it was plain that he was not into agility. He was painfully slow at times, frightened of certain obstacles (teeter, I'm lookin' at you!), and I felt very much that he was only doing agility out of love for ME, not for the sport.
Imagine my surprise when Ein rocketed around GHF's agility equpiment multiple times. He was a joy to handle, I couldn't believe it! He needed some reminding about the tire, and I only jumped him at 4 inches, but he was genuinely enjoying himself.
But even before that, I asked my friend to take some shots of Ein and I heeling. Ein may lag due to trial anxiety, but he is truly a beautiful heeler more often than not. Observe...
|Focus Focus Focus!|
|About Turn, No Lagging!|
And then some AGILITY! I just want to say again that I was floored, jaw-dropping shocked that Ein ran with as much positive attitude and drive. All of these photos were taken when Ein was in a 100% confident and happy mood. The dog that he CAN be is an amazing dog. I love him even when he is anxious, of course - but seeing him do so well and fearless can make those anxious times a little more heart breaking.
|Up the DogWalk!|
|I am obviously a lunatic. But at least I only have ONE hand pointing and not both.|
|Through the Tire!|
|Over the Jump! Stretch that body out!|
|More Focus Focus!|
|Scared of Tunnels? NOT ME!|
(thank you for the video, David D!)
|I'm a fool for this dog.|
|Corgis. You don't need any other breed.|
In summary. Endless thanks to my friend Michelle for these photos - they mean the world to me.
And since I am painfully impulsive, there is an envelope currently on its way to CPE Agility requesting an ID number for Ein. Why not enter him in some Level 1 courses? I will jump him at 4", I will not have lofty expectations, and I will keep him in Level 1 (no teeter, no weave poles.) If Ein has fun doing this, then why not do it with him on a regular basis?
If the agility trial environment is too frightening for him, perhaps we will go to some Open Gyms or play around at home.
Having three dogs all in sports is overwhelming sometimes - but I am more and more finding a balance. No one sport "belongs" to one dog over another. Rally-O is not Ein's. Agility is not Molly's. Obedience is not Perri's.
We will not rise to the top, we are just trying to have some fun and win some ribbons. I am feeling my way through what my dogs enjoy the most, one day at a time. An open mind and fearlessness to try crazy over-my-head things doesn't hurt, either.