A few of my facebook friends are writing about why they do agility. I thought I'd give it a try. For me, the question is more, why do I keep doing agility when I've had not much "traditional success."
My first two agility dogs were Rocky and Maddie. Rocks and Mads are now 10 and don't usually accompany me to trials... they hang out at home with dad or auntie Trish.
Maddie's big achievement is she actually got one leg toward her novice agility title. One leg. Maddie would walk into an agility ring and stop at the first obstacle and wag her tail. Many times I would drive home wondering whether I should just give up.
Rocky and Maddie were trained together. Although I suspect I had it in me at the time, I wasn't a real consistent trainer. Rocky has issues with other dogs. I was so worried about his issues, it was hard for me to focus on the trial. The first trial I ever took him to, he ran out of the ring, to my camp area and hid in his crate. For two years I tried unsuccessfully to trial with Rocks. He did get a few titles, but his conformation and attitude and my lack of understanding stood in the way of traditional success.
I ask myself many times, what kept me going. I think a sense of hope, excitement, and my friends.
Next I found Tazz. He was such a cute sweet puppy. He ran around the yard and was fast He cuddles like no other dog I have. Unfortunately it is a fatal attraction. Tazz actually is trained and can do agility. He just doesn't LOVE it. He'll run around the obstacles cause I ask and he has some really good moments. He is more interested in whether the dogs around him have something that should be "his" and sometimes doesn't focus on the task at hand.
He is a beautiful dog that if you asked him what he'd like to do, he'd probably say either herding, swimming, or sitting in my lap while I feed him food.
Why do I keep going with Tazz. Every time I walk on to an agility field, I feel a sense of wonder, excitement, and joy. It is like Disneyland to me. Even though I have not had the successes that some might consider true success, I've had moments and being with my pups is for me, a great joy. Now I am lucky enough to have Fin. I'm ready for her now (at least I hope I am). If you ask her what she'd like to do, agility would be one of those things.
Do I do agility because I have a wonderful dog in Fin? It certainly makes for more exciting runs, but nope, I do agility because it is a sport that helps me focus on fitness, allows me to hang out with some super great people, gives me a sense of excitement, and mostly cause it is something to do with my dogs.