Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On Substitute Handlers

It can be both a thrill and a tough thing, to watch someone else run your dog on an agility course.  You've put weeks/months/years of training into your pupster, and then someone else comes along and takes her for a spin....          How does it feel? 

If you've been careful about who gets to play with your dog, and if the reason you're not running is because you're lame, it's a thrill.  Your dog gets to play!!  After all that time off, all those walking/practice drills, and six-obstacle segments (the only way your lameness wants to get around on a field) your dog finally gets to run a full course.  It doesn't even matter if your dog earns a Q or not.  Just being able to watch your gorgeous dog perform - in person - not on a video....is terrific.  

'Course I wish I'd taken a video.   

My older dog wouldn't run with other people, although I have asked a couple of my friends to try.  I just wanted to watch her run - in person - not on a video.  But she didn't want to.    Now that Riff is in her life, and she's basically retired from agility, she's a bit more willing.  Which is to say, she's gone over a few jumps with my husband handling her.  (I'm trying to get him more interested in agility!  Think it will work??)  But I doubt Keeps would run for anybody else, except perhaps LP. 

Riff would probably run with just about anybody.  His has a very different personality than Keeper's.  But he can be a shy dog, too...and can turn very skittish in a heartbeat, so I've only asked two people to run him.  He loves those two great handlers, and has known them all of his young life.  We're so lucky!  They're both cracker-jack, top-drawer handlers. 

All that said....I can't wait to get back in shape enough to run Riff myself.   We've been working on distance, and sending...but if I could do more running, it sure would help. 

Wait.  Did you hear that?  I think it's my exercise bike calling....

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