On the occasion of having now completed Spenser's first year of agility trials and embarking on the second - and the first for Sassy, I want to express my thanks.
Thanks to the clubs and the organizations that do all the work to put on agility trials. Thejudges, the trial secretaries, the club committees, the volunteers. They do it for the love of the dogs and of the sport. I have always tried to be respectful and patient when I needed either direction or information from you. For those times, it may have appeared that I did not succeed in my attempt, I apologize. I will try harder to remember that you are usually dealing with fifteen other things - some of which might be more important than me at that moment.
Thanks to the other competitors. As a newbie, I'm sure in my ignorance that I made mistakes. Some of which may have irritated you. For those times, I apologize. For those of you who took the time to clarify things for me and explain things and tell me where to stand and where to go and what I needed to be doing - all while you were trying to get yourself ready to compete - I am grateful. And for those of you who talked with me on walk-throughs and at the edge of the ring and discussed running strategy with me - and acted as if I knew what I was talking about - I am especially grateful. I intend to try to pass it on.
Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me in our attempts at this sport. I am not an athlete. I am not an especially good dog trainer. However, this sport is one of the most wonderful, absolutely most fun things I have ever attempted in my life. That would not be true if not for all the friendly, helpful people I meet and talk with at every single trial we attend. DH made the comment that when you start with a group of people who are spending the day sitting around a field with their dogs - just for the opportunity to run an agility course with them - that you're starting with a pretty good base of people.
It is incredibly challenging. Every single new thing I learn makes me realize that I know less than I thought I did yesterday.

~~Judy
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It is incredibly challenging. Every single new thing I learn makes me realize that I know less than I thought I did yesterday.

What a lovely post. People like you are what makes the sport super.

As for your last comment, I don't think people who don't do agility realize just how challenging it really is. It looks easy, and the basics are fairly easy to master. But if you want to do well, if you want to make your team the best it can be, the work and effort and knowledge needed just never ends.
As for your last comment, I don't think people who don't do agility realize just how challenging it really is. ... want to make your team the best it can be, the work and effort and knowledge needed just never ends.

Which is what has hooked DH. He started out just going along to spend time with us. Then he got really watching and wanted to be doing it. Then* he got doing it and realized that there was a LOT to it. And then when you learn something and it *works and you feel that connection with the dog, it becomes addictive.
He's a little more drawn to the challenging part of it than I am. I wouldn't mind if it were a little bit easier. But I also don't want it to be too easy.
Of course, a Q here and there would be nice too.
~~Judy
What a lovely post. People like you are what makes the sport super.

Thanks but I just felt like I'd been doing a lot of complaing about what other people do that bugs me at trials. And I'm pretty sure that I've done some things in the past year that bugged other people just as much.

I really am glad that Spenser and I found agility. It has added a lot to my life. Not to get into a whole bunch of stuff nobody else cares about, but I really needed that.
And the fact that DH has also found it just as fascinating is completely amazing to me. Not that he shouldn't but it's been pretty rare in our 33 years together that we find something recreational that both of us are so enthused about.
~~Judy
And the fact that DH has also found it just as fascinating is completely amazing to me. Not that he shouldn't but it's been pretty rare in our 33 years together that we find something recreational that both of us are so enthused about.

I think that sometimes guys have an instinctive aversion to trying anything that seems to be female dominated it may smack of unmanly or something. But there are a fair number of guys in agility, including some of the top competitors in the world (Guy Blanke, Steve Frick, Jim Basic, etc.) And I think that the men who do actually try the sport do get hung into it because it's endlessly engaging and you're never done exploring everything there is to explore. Though I don't do golf and don't even care for it, I bet there are similarities in mental and physical preparedness for both sports.
I really am glad that Spenser and I found agility. It has added a lot tomy life. Not to get into a whole bunch of stuff nobody else cares about, butI really needed that.

This is the way I feel about dog sports in general. No children and a husband that works long shifts, I needed something to do with my time. Getting to spend time with my dogs AND meet people with similar interests has been a fabulous way for me to get out of the house.
And the fact that DH has also found it just as fascinating is completely amazing to me. Not that he shouldn't but it's been pretty rare in our33 years together that we find something recreational that both of us are so enthused about.

I do wish my husband would take a bit of interest, I think he'd actually enjoy at least watching agility if he'd give it a chance, and herding as well.
Participating is an entirely different realm, but I think he'd like to watch "his boys" do fun stuff. But, he takes the time while I'm at dog events to do his own "fun stuff" (he loves to trail ride on his ATV w/ friends), so I don't complain much (it also frees up my own time).

He went, of his own suggestion, to a local breed show with me last summer (I was having Bodhi CERF'd &thought I could use an extra hand). He actually got into watching the Herding Group ring, and I kept things simple for him, so it was nice. Maybe this year I can talk him into going to that show again, this year we're entered in Obedience.
Shelly & The Boys
I do wish my husband would take a bit of interest, Participating is an entirely different realm, but I think ... having Bodhi CERF'd &thought I could use an extra hand). He actually got into watching the Herding Group ring,

I think you're on the right track - if it's going to happen, it will in time.
When I got started with agility classes, DH went some of the time and when he had stuff that was more interesting (to him) he didn't. The more he went, the more he talked with the people there (and fortunately, there were a couple of other guys there for the classes) and the more he enjoyed going. Just to watch.
Then I started competing and he went along to watch - and talk to the other people as much as be with me. He was there to help with the tent and to hold Spenser while I did stuff.
It was a slow process. And not one that I had planned. He got to see how much fun I was having - and enjoyed watching me having fun. Then he started thinking that he could also have fun. And that it included dogs - which has always been one of our real bonds - probably helped a lot.

It probably also helped that we were at a point in lives where we had a little more time. When we were both working full-out, recreational time was at a real premium and he probably wouldn't have been so open to giving his up to go watch me play.
~~Judy
I think that sometimes guys have an instinctive aversion to trying anything that seems to be female dominated it may smack of unmanly or something.

I can imagine feeling that way about some things, but agility doesn't seem to me to be an inherently "girly" activity, regardless of the proportion of men to women in it.
Plus, well, I like women!
I don't feel as much of a need to be competitive around women than I do men, and doing canine sports is a good way to for a married guy to enjoy meeting lots of people without worrying about appearing creepy or acting like I'm coming on to someone.
I can talk to anyone about dogs, it's always cool.

Stafford A. Rau
Plus, well, I like women!

I knew a teenaged boy in California who felt that prominent among the good things about horse sports was that it was a great way to meet teenaged girls.

Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis - (Email Removed)

Of the $65 million given out for Bush's "faith-based" charities, not one penny has gone directly to Jewish or Muslim groups
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