Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On people who compete with their dogs

<---- How my dogs compete

My fantasy used to be doing some competitive activity with my dogs, showing the world their skill and strength and agility. They would win ribbons upon ribbons; I would have an entire room devoted to their winnings. Visitors would hear their escapades, riveting tales of weekend trips to anywhere but here and great heroic feats performed by Mina and, later, Celeste. It would be Epic.

Then I learned this was all a lot of hard work. You had to take a lot of classes. I mean, a lot. Like three or four times a week, I would be dragging my dog(s) to training and rally and agility classes. There would be classes on hand signals and clickers and classes on how to move left and move right appropriately. After a hard day at work, I would spend another four hours working on weaves and stands and other such important stuff. Um. No thanks.

Even taking my dogs to training classes proved, how do I put this without sounding whiney, boring. I liked them, especially the pit ed classes for Mina (because she was a hit and was sassy). The one for Celeste proved far below her skills, considering I had already ingrained in her stuff like sit, watch, down, stay, stand, shake, come, heel.

I admire folks who spend any amount of time getting their dogs to compete. Mina is anti-competitions because she believes she is #1 so why bother with all the hoop-la? Celeste would probably excel at something or other but mostly she just wants to chase things (I have yet to find a lure coursing club who accepts nondescript mixed breeds with blue eyes). When I have more money, I am going to be the person on the block with her own continuous loop lure system. It will be a big hit and I will have children see if they can keep up with Celeste.

And that will be the extent of my dogs' competitive streak - a $1,200 pulley system.

Wait. $1,200? Perhaps Celeste will just continue on her love affair with the flirt pole.


happypitbull said...

LOL. I know how you feel. I'm out there in 100 degree heat making Star practice weave poles. I'm starting to think maybe I should put off agility training until it's a little cooler (in Texas, that's December thru February... but that's when we have rainstorms instead).

My last two dogs weren't cut out for agility. Felanie did great at first, but she had hip problems and anxiety in public, and Dozer... well, they didn't call him the "Tunnel-Buster" for nothing.

But Star was a careful, conscious choice when I prowled the shelter hallways--I wanted a dog for agility. The last two dogs may not have been champs, but I'm gonna see it through this time! I swear!! My halls will be lined with blue ribbons and trophies!!

Rinalia said...

A hallway of blue ribbons and trophies, I will be duly jealous!

Celeste would probably excel at agility or rally or obedience or anything really. She's that kind of dog. I'm finding out that I'm just not that kind of person. *is woeful*

Anonymous said...

That's a gorgeous photo of Mina, but why is there a kangaroo in the frame?

Rinalia said...

zebrallama - you are the FIRST PERSON TO NOTICE THAT! Celeste was trying to be a kangaroo and I think she succeeded.