Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Team Frenchie

I mentioned that agility has become quite the addition for me.  It's not just about getting exercise for me & my dogs anymore, it really is a passion for me, and I truly believe that the Frenchies enjoy it as well!  You can't look at this photo and NOT see that Brutus & I share something special:

Last minute instructions before we run

Although I am a competitive person by nature and enjoy all the goal-setting and title-getting aspects of the sport, that's not the only reason we spend so much time doing agility.  All the training time has fostered an incredible bond between me & Brutus (and more & more so with Carmen as she matures) - I think that is pretty evident to anyone who knows me.  I love my unusual little partners - who I affectionately refer to as Team Frenchie - and the strange little niche we've carved out for ourselves in the local (and recently even the national) agility scene!  

Picture-perfect form through the tire!

If I had a dollar for every time someone passed by us at a trial and said "Hey Brutus!  How you doin' today, buddy?" and not even acknowledged I was on the other end of the leash... think we'd have enough to pay for all our trial entries & then some!!  On the rare occasion that we're at a trial & I don't have Brutus (or Carmen) at my side, I swear people don't have the slightest idea who I am half the time!  Oddly enough it only makes me smile :)  I've said it before and I'll say it again - I've never been so popular in my whole life as when there is a Frenchie on the other end of the leash (or on the course with me)!!

We've had lots of wonderful support and encouragement over the two years we've been competing.  Family (who I couldn't do it without), friends (both old & new), trainers, agility co-competitors, judges, and even people we've never actually met - like all of you out there in blogland!  It so warms my heart to hear the burst of applause after a successful run with Brutus or Carmen.  We've run into a few naysayers - that feel Frenchies shouldn't be doing agility, or that you shouldn't bother to train anything other than the "ideal" agility dog - but thankfully they are few & far between.  In the end, all that matters is that we are doing it for the right reasons - meaning both the dogs and I find what we do rewarding!

Carmen mid-course, on the pause table. "Can we just hurry up & go, mom?"
 (that's judge Lavonda Herring in the background)

So here are some new videos, see for yourself :)  They are from just a few weekends ago, both the Standard and Jumpers runs from a trial at one of our favorite venues.  You can really get a sense of how differently the two dogs run, as they are both running exactly the same courses in the videos.

First, here are Brutus' efforts.  He might not be fast, but he sure is consistent. Because of the way I can handle him from in front (I call it front-wheel drive), we can usually negotiate the trickiest, trappy-est courses without a problem.  This day he double Q's, earning us a bunch of points towards our MACH (Masters' Agility Champion, the ultimate AKC agility title).

Now compare that with Carmen.  She is about an inch shorter than Brutus, but looks WAY smaller.  Those little legs move so fast, and she jumps like she has springs in her legs!  You could find flashier dogs out there running for sure - but I dare you to find one that runs with more joy or more heart!

I know not everyone who reads the blog is that interested in agility, but it's become so much a part of who we are that not sharing it would be giving an incomplete picture of what goes on around here.  Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of what we are doing out there these days!!  

Here's our "parting shot" for the post:

That's all, folks!!


dw said...

I never knew much about agility before you started posting about it. To me, it was something for 'show' type dogs, not normal everyday 'sit-on-the-couch' type dogs. And I had followed your blog for a while with the Big Earl adventures, all the cute pictures of Brutus and Mason and of course the Flat Brutus tour to know your dogs were regular dogs. To see Brutus and now Carmen flying around the agility course is amazing - in part because they're 'regular' dogs and in part because they're bulldogs! From your basement training center to the videos like these, I'm enjoying watching the fun you and Team Frenchie are having! Of course the everyday pictures are cute too!

Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

"Ideal agility dog"?!? Seriously?!? Seems to me, the ideal agility dog is one who loves it, and body shape (or leg length) is inconsequential! As for people not knowing who you are, I know how that goes. When we race cars, we frequently know (and are known) by what we drive, not our names. ("Oh, YOU'RE the blue Corvette! We're the silver Miata!" Yeah... Welcome to "Oh, YOU'RE Brutus and Carmen's mom"!)


Love the videos! I think we'll stay backyard agilitiers, but we always love seeing videos of the kids tearing it up!

-Dr. Liz (and the girls, of course! I'm the woman with the crazy Goldendoodles! *grin*)

pugsx4 said...

You guys are amazing. The dogs look like they are having so much fun.
Good for you.
Just played your videos and the dogs won't stop barking, they want to play.

Brutus, Ellie, Pippa and Otto said...

Just love the videos! Those Frenchies sure can fly!!

Mom & Dad have been thinking about doing agility with Ellie because of reading about Team Frenchie.

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda, Brutus & Ellie

Two French Bulldogs said...

we are so proud of you guys... Awesome..You look so natural
Benny & Lily

Malissa said...

I don't know how anyone could say that your lovely frenchies don't enjoy every second running the courses! I think Brutus loves spending time with you and that Carmen loves being a lighting bolt. Always enjoy photos and videos. There is no such thing as an "ideal" dog for anything, and shame on people for saying such a thing to you and the babies.

Coco Bean - The Princess said...

OMD your amazing! mommy always wanted to put my sister Truffle into agility, but Truffle's anxiety held her back :( would your mommy be willing to share with my mommy how she got you started?

I wanted to let you know about a special book review and contest that I just posted about. I sure would love you to participate and would also hope that you would spread the word!

Tail Wiggles & Puppy Kisses,

Coco The Princess, Lady Godiva, Truffle!

Oreo said...

That was really interesting and way cool!! You both are terrific and love the jumps through the hoop thingy!! WTG Brutus and carmen


Anonymous said...

Those movies sure did make my heart happy! And I know they make all sorts of hearts happy everywhere they go. You must be so proud of them and I hope you're super proud of yourself, too!

Wiggles & Wags,

World of Animals, Inc said...

We are s happy to see these action agility photo shots. The videos are just the best. You really get some high jumps in. Thanks for the share. Have a wonderful upcoming weekend.
World of Animals