Not Shine’s Finest Hour

In agility, it is always fun and special to go into the agility ring those first few times with your dog – whether it is your first dog and first time around – or several dogs later and first time with this particular dog. Each dog is special and different. You never know – no matter how much you have prepared – how that little critter is going to perform. You may know that they are solid at home, or at least pretty solid – but you don’t know for sure how they are going to react to the environment and excitement of the real show. Sometimes you get an incredible run that will define who they are going to become. You might see greatness in the making. Sometimes…not so much…

Here is one of Shine’s first runs. Shine is still very “green” but she can do pretty well – especially in Jumpers with Weaves (minus the weaves). Notice I said Shine “can” do pretty well, because in this run, Shine decided to play around a bit. Shine, as you may have guessed by now, is a bit of a ham. She has learned to play the crowd. It is very hard to not crack up with laughter – and I did so on several occasions. This run has very little agility happening. Oh, she got a few of the jumps – and even a rear cross – but there were many more jumps that didn’t happen.

This is not a run that will define Shine’s agility career – at least I hope not!!!! But it is a run that shows a little terrier having a good time – and enjoying being out on the course. She was not distracted or sniffing the ground. She was staying right with me – on her own terms. Watching Shine enjoying her time in the limelight reminds me that agiltiy is suppose to be fun. It isn’t all about Qs perfect timing or the latest handling moves. It is about running beside your team mate (or in Shine’s case around her team mate) and enjoying those precious moments together. Shine’s video is one I will treasure much more than if she had a perfect run. It will make a wonderful video to show at her MACH party and make us all laugh once again. I also so enjoyed the comments of friends who were taping and standing close watching. I think there is an “Oh dear!” here and there as well as a few chuckles! All day people were coming up and saying they had seen Shine’s run and she certainly was having fun… Which was a polite way to not point out that as agility runs go – it was kind of a disaster. Also, I’ve been saying that Shine got more value for her entry fee than probably any other dog. While they may have run the course straight through and in the correct order – they may have run only 140 yards. Shine’s run was probably more like 750 yards when you count all the circles. That is pretty good value for my $25.

No, hopefully, this run will not define Shine’s agility career – but it certainly does define Shine as she is: a fun loving, free spirited, spontaneous and joyful little girl. We will have many opportunities for Qs and hopefully many years to run together. I hope I never lose the ability to laugh at her – or myself – and never take this sport too serious. It is way too easy, when you have a little success – to let that take you over. So, I hope you enjoy this calamity of an agility run. When I wrote this – I was thinking this was not Shine’s finest hour – but in thinking about it – and the reasons I enjoy her so much – maybe it is!