Saturday, 3 November 2007

Agility Training Part One

This, by the way, is not any of the dogs this morning, as Himself forgot the camera. Not only that, but having told me that he knew EXACTLY where he was going, Himself got lost at the Redruth roundabout. Then he took the wrong turning. When we finally got there, that's when he realised that he’d forgotten the camera.

But we'd started arguing before we even got there, when I said I thought Moll should have a run before the training to run off a bit of her excess energy.

‘You’re not taking her anywhere wet or muddy, Pop,’ said Himself, getting dressed this morning. ‘I want her pristine and brushed when she gets there.’

I looked at him, wondering this husband of mine appeared to have lost any brain cells that he had when I met him (must have been the birthday that killed off the few remaining ones).

‘She’s going to be in a field,’ I said. ‘Outside.’ In case he hadn’t got the message. ‘She’ll be filthy and wet in a minute.’

Himself frowned as he pulled on his Birthday Jumper. ‘I don’t care,’ he said. ‘I want her clean when we get there.’

Sometimes you wonder, don't you?

Anyway, we finally got there without killing each other and split into two groups; in our group was another Jack called Sally, and two collies, both young and very bouncy. The first training we did was on one of those long walkway things and greedy Moll took to it brilliantly – specially the bit of sausage at the bottom, whereas the collies didn’t like the feel of the rough wood on their paws at all.

Next was the tunnel which again Mollie shot down. I was the other end with a ball on a rope and she came galloping towards me with a broad grin. So much for Himself’s gloomy protestations of her hating it.

The next thing was learning basic handling techniques which meant walking with your dog clockwise and anti-clockwise, then to the left and right, ie with the dog on the inside and then outside. The idea is to keep your dog’s interest so they look at you and watch your body language the whole time. It’s a non stop lesson in communication.

And the last exercise was in weaving – another fast technique that they all seemed to enjoy.

I hadn’t realised till we got back in the car how much concentration was needed – for both dogs and owners. Despite being full of treats, Moll is now exhausted and sleeping peacefully on the sofa.

Thinking back on this morning’s activity, it occurred to me that it’s very easy to get stuck in our own relationships – with husbands/partners, with our friends, with work.

I can’t help thinking this sort of thing would be brilliant for us humans and our relationships. Not running through tunnels and weaving, of course, but going back to basics, looking at our nearest and dearests and remembering what attracted us to them in the first place. Remembering the basic art of communication and body language. And most important of all, having FUN in the process.

Just a thought.


laurie said...

i think you're right, flowerpot. that kind of back-to-basics, let's do it right this time, can be rejuvenating--as long as both parties enter into it with the same great attitude, as you and molly did.

and what fun you had with her! i've been thinking that riley would take to something like that. he has energy to burn.

but he's part coonhound, and coonhouds are very easily distracted outdoors--by any other animal. (they are inveterate hunters.) would hate to have him suddenly dash off through the crowd after a chipmunk.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

..and a very good thought at that.

Flowerpot said...

laurie - these first fwe sessions everything is done on a lead until they get the hang of it, so tehre's no chance of anyone dashing off - I think they all would have done yesterday!

aoj - thanks!

Akelamalu said...

A good thought!

Sound like you both had a lot of fun!

Flowerpot said...

ak - yes it was great fun but hard work!

Lane Mathias said...

Sounds like a great thing to do.
And agree re. fun. Sometimes it takes dogs to remind us doesn't it!

Flowerpot said...

lane - yes I think it's so important. Children and dogs are good for that!