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COVID-19 Chronicles

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The Big Questions - Like the what, when, how and why of dog agility...
What do Agility folk do when faced with adversity? The answer, for many people, is to use humour to laugh at themselves. There are many people who are anxious and worried about the COVID-19 virus and how it is going to affect them, their family and friends and, of course, their dogs. Here is Alan Waddington's attempt to make you smile.
Coronovirus Agility Picture Gallery
It's only Week1 of lockdown and the agility community is learning to live with social distancing and self-isolation - words that up until a few weeks ago we did not even know existed. It's not been easy. Just ask the dogs. Thank you for sharing your images and stay safe.
Diary of a Self Isolator ... with apologies to Samuel Pepys
Penny Heal is in the self-isolating age category and, like all of us, is having difficulty adapting to a way of life with none of her usual activities which include PAT visiting, Agility and Obedience training and competing in both, garden visiting and other hobby social groups. She works at home as a proof reader and is very grateful to be able to walk Orla, her 14-year-old retired Patterdale X and Zorro, her 4-year-old collie. But she's finding it harder than she thought it would be.

#Barkaway Agility
Since the Coronavirus lockdown began on 23rd March 2020, Ian Smith and the members of Barkaway Agility have made a real effort to stay in touch with each and every single member of the club, either by email, text, phone or Zoom chats so that no one feels alone. Ian asked members to contribute their lockdown experience for this article, and these are just some of their stories which illustrate why this club is more than just a dog training group.

Home Alone without Agility Equipment
In these unprecedented COVID-19 times of social distancing and self isolation, many people would like to be able to train at home but don't feel they because they don't have equipment. Long term you may want to invest in proper equipment but for now, you may be able to renew some old jumps or knock up something cheap and cheerful, using things you find around the house or caravan. Di Whiting and Mike Jackson have done just that.

Homeschooling in an Agility Household
Since the Coronavirus lockdown, agility has become an even more important part of many people's daily lives, and Jane Bradley has found it really helpful as a way of breaking up the monotony of home education. She believes that the fact that the children want to keep their dogs happy, fit and ready for whenever shows start again has meant they are dealing with everything in a positive and proactive way. It gives them a focus beyond school work and the four walls of the house and unlike many other hobbies, there is quite a lot you can achieve with a couple of wings in a small garden! Her daughter Elsie wanted to share some of her thoughts about how agility is helping her to get through this difficult time.

How to Self Isolate at Shows
Having spent most of his Dog Agility life first scribing, then scriming, scoring and enjoying bacon butties, Alan Waddington feels he is well placed to make a plea on behalf of the lonely long distance scrimer. For many of you out there in Agility-land, what happens to the scrimer is not high on the list of your dog agility priorities. Compared to learning new handling techniques and the highs and lows of success and failure, what happens to the person sitting in front of the timer, watching the judge, is unlikely to pop up on your radar. Alan Waddington would like you to spare a thought for the person who has selflessly given up their time to record your round.
Surviving COVID-19 - Things to do during lockdown
In these unprecedented times, not being able to do agility doesn't seem significant compared to the health and wealth of our nation, but realistically it is hard to adjust to not being able to go out to dog training and shows. So we asked people to send in some suggestions about what to do during lockdown. It isn't going to be easy but our houses will never be cleaner nor our gardens never greener. So spend some time with your family and tick off another box on your 'to do' list.


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