Archive for March, 2010

Why do you play Agility?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by Darlene Barnes

I wasn’t sure how to answer that question, at first,  but I have been hooked on agility since I started.
It is very gratifying, fun and something I can do with my dog. JoJo is an amazing dog and has been since the day I brought her home from her original owner, when she was 8 months old. She has some issues, but we worked them out together and She has changed me and how I relate to my dogs.
I have had many, many, hours of fun with her and I really enjoy it.

Over the last 3-4 years that we have been playing agility, I have been asked “Why do you do it” & “What’s so fun about that“. I would think “I guess you have to play agility to understand”.
The other night I was reading an past  issue of “Clean Run Magazine“,
from December 2009.
After reading the “Editorializing….” article, “The Journey” written by Elizabeth Dott, it all became so clear on how to explain “WHY”.  She said it so perfectly, when she explained what the letters at the end of her dog’s name meant.
So let me see if I can put it into words like Elizabeth Dott did in her article.

…So why do I play agility, why do I spend all that money…

I realize now that it’s because of the Journey…..
I began training Jo when she was 4, but Our Journey really began when I switched trainers & I meet Chris Parker of SPEEDOGGIE PERFORMANCE
She helped me learn the sport. She helped me understand to concept behind training my dog. She helped me understand how a dog learns to play aglity. She helped me develop such a passion for the sport. Thanks Chris.
After a year of training with Chris, it began. I started competing.
Our journey…… Our Journey began the first time I entered the ring. I still remember the day, it was 2 day show at Willingboro, NJ. It was the hottest day in June, around 99 degrees. I had coolers of cold water to keep Jo cool.
We ran Novice Standard and Novice Jumpers. We received “Qs” and first places in both classes. I was hooked.
Jo was a superstar.
It is because we got our Novice titles with ease, and had fun doing it.
It even was when we were having trouble while getting our open titles, when Jo was trying to tell me that I was trying too hard and I was  too emotional and it was affecting her.
It was when we got our Open title  in Jumpers.
It was when we got our final Q in Open Standard after working through all our issues together.
It’s because of  the people I have meet along the way, that share the same excitement with me.
It’s because of the excitement when I can share my success with my agility friends, who know were I’m coming from.
It’s because of the way I fell about my dog, my lil’ girl, who I adore for always giving it her all to please me.
It is because I REALLY ENJOY when some comes up to me and says “I can’t believe you can get a Jack Russell to do that, and do it so well” and “I can’t believe you have a Jack Russell that is so focused on you”.
It’s because of the look in her eye when I tell her “We are going to play”
It’s because she is my Jo and I love her and I love to spend time with her.
It’s because of the Journey. The one we started together as a novice,  and have grown and excelled together as a team now competing in excellent to get our ultimate goal a  MACH.
It is because it’s the journey together that makes us happy, not the destination.
It is because even though it will be sad, but the day will come when the journey will end and Jo wont be able to continue to play, even though that little Jack brain will want to. I will know that we had the journey together.
It is because I will begin that same journey with Haley, my newest addition to my family.
I would not trade this journey for anything, it is a bond that only a few will know, &
We are lucky, we have experienced the journey.

I’m not sure if I covered all the reasons WHY, but it should help understand WHY.

I thank you Elizabeth Dott for helping me with explaining it.

Our Progress

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by Darlene Barnes

Well our Agility Journey has been slow these last few months. Jo is still injured and making very slow progress healing. It’s been really hard on me with Jo’s injury. I have to keep her on limited play to help the injury heal and she is not happy about that. That little Jack brain wants to go go go.
I’m really itching to compete again. The trials have already started after the winter break and well, I’m missing being there. Right now my main concern is to get Jo’s injury to heal.
I have been working with the puppy a bit. She is so smart, I am very excited, Haley picks up on things super fast. Can’t wait to really get training with her. We have already learned sit & down, working on come. We are also working on her targets, walking on a leash, walking along side of me,  balance on the bosu ball, Crate training, etc.  Also she is super fast. I will have to relearn how to run courses with a fast dog, since Jo is my velcro dog and isn’t super fast on the courses. Should be fun.
The girls have been getting along well, and it’s been a fun ride with the new additions to the family. Haley has figured out how to get on the couch, Jo isn’t safe anymore, Well she still has the bed. Haley isn’t big enough to get on the bed by herself yet. So Jo still have one place to go.
Jo’s favorite place to lay is on the top of the couch in the window, well it’s now Haley’s favorite place too.

Ain’t they just the cutest pair.

Haley has come at the best time. I can’t help to say it again, I am having a lot of fun with her. Too Cute!