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!!|