Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Going on a Lion Hunt ...

No not literally - it's a line from an old camp song

gotta go under it
gotta go through it
gotta go over it

are all other bits of the song ....

sometimes you just gotta go outside the ring to refocus and figure stuff out... BLOGGER DAY today - YAY! Click there or here if you prefer to get lots of links to lots of people's blogs on the subject.

Any long term reader of this blog will know my life works in this pattern - play, play play  whoops I mean train, train,  compete, have the wheels on the competing bus fall off (illness in family, self, canine partner, build a house, run a farm, get a new job and so on and so on) and repeat cycle ... multiple times over the last 8 years in fact. Now I live where trials are all over 2 hours away and I can't easily be gone from home for more than five hours. Challenging.

I spend way way more time outside the ring playing working really hard than we do competing. There are some super cool benefits to this which I would encourage anybody who wants to maximize the opportunities outside the ring to take advantage of

The dogs are fit.  Not just ring fit but truly well conditioned  athletes - our playground means they swim, go up and over, under and through on a daily basis. They work their wind and muscles at least briefly every day.
Blind and deaf Brody still believes daily exercise is a key component in a happy life.

The dogs are keen. Sally and Thea got to play agility last week when we had guests. It's been at least a full year maybe a little more since Thea has seen a dog walk. More than that since a teeter. Two visits to the agility field and BOOM Thea was begging to do more. Ended up putting a teeter back on the girl. Crazy.
Sally is always keen. I likely would not be embarrassed to run her (running me is another matter) at a trial tomorrow. Yes some of her skills have faded a little. I had to actually move with her the first time I sent her to the aframe from 30 feet ...I didn't need to move the next time tho. Just a tiny bit of practice and she's ready to rock and roll. Sally and her brother Duncan waiting their turn for something or other:

The young ones are always keen to learn more, more, more. Short bouts of infrequent play have them begging to be the chosen one for just about anything.

The dogs love trying new stuff. Scenting, my pathetic efforts at heeling, going for car rides, playing crate games or recall games - whatever.

It sounds trite but, for me anyhow, the joy in life is the journey. Getting outside the ring and focusing on having fit, happy, healthy teams is critical to me being able to enjoy the competitions I can get to. Yah it's lovely having titles adn yah I am very proud of the work the dogs do (see all the Saving Dinah, or nationals or regionals posts if you doubt that) but if I am proud of anything personally (and I'm not much given to pride) it's that the dogs are all around athletes leading as happy a life as I can provide. Being able to build a house at the worlds biggest dog park and do all kinds of very dog directed things here (fenced yard, dog wash, flooring choices, location of house choice etc) has been very exciting and rewarding.

The ring will call me again soon - she's exerting a siren pull of late - but it likely won't be a long relationship til something else bounces up to distract me for awhile. In the meantime the dogs and I will continue having fun.

(On a slightly divergent note I'm setting up a general dog sport club - how's "The Ribbon Factory" sound?)

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