From here to agility...
Flynn is a rescue collie who had a very bad start in life. Agility has given him a sense of purpose and helped him bond with his Guv'nor Rob White. While he might never get out of Starters, his rosettes actually outnumber the scars from the earlier part of his life. Like most collies, he has a wicked sense of humour...
Whoops! I think Iím in trouble. Thing is - Iíve annoyed the boss. As bosses go, the Guvnor isnít bad. We donít have to work too hard, and Iíve got equal opportunities with the female. Recreation facilities are great. We have our own rest rooms, free medical care, free pedicures, free hairdressing, plenty of free time, plenty of fresh air and exercise and (nearly forgot) two helpings of Fromm Senior Gold a day.
A few years ago he got into this Dog Agility. (If youíve seen him run, youíll know why itís not called human agility). He roped me in too. To be honest, I enjoy it - I mean itís a bit of a hoot. I meet up each week with my mates for training. We have a quick chat, decide whoís going to play up this week and then have a quiet chuckle at the unfortunate owner who gets the blame by the trainer for our bit of the fun. We call it 'fault of the week.'
Then we have shows to go to where we meet other chums from other clubs. It wasnít ítil I got chatting that I realised how many clubs there are. Apparently all their owners do this training thing in the evenings, too. And they are just the same as us! Just imagine, any evening of the week, there must be hundreds and hundreds of us chortling at fault of the week. Mind you, at a Show you are not supposed to indulge in Ďfault of the week,í although some of my more mischievous friends do it regularly. Me, I prefer the peaceful life. I know if I trot round carefully and behave myself, heíll get a rosette and Iíll get a bit of extra Fromm when we get home. Or at any rate, something nearly as nice, like a sausage or a pigís ear. Talking of pigsí ears reminds me. Iím in trouble.
Order of the Bath
It wasnít long before my first run. There I was, standing in a short queue, waiting for my turn, and trying to look important. There was a very nice bitch behind me who gave me a bit of encouragement - nothing to do with agility, you understand - and I fell in love for the fifth time that day. There was a mangy looking dog two ahead of me and it gives me no pleasure to report, ladies and gentlemen, that he broke the golden rule. For some unknown reason he stopped in the pipe tunnel and cocked his leg. Pooh!
In like Flynn
The Guvnor said: 'Gosh, he looks really keen. Perhaps heís going to run well.'
I glanced behind at the pretty bitch who by now was looking a bit disdainful. I felt upset by this. The humans were being helpful, sloshing water about, spreading the scent a bit wider.
It was soon my turn. I raced over the jumps, through the weaves, round a couple of bends. Then, bingo! I was at the mouth of the tunnel. My goodness, the stench was awful. Instantly, I thought of the pretty bitch. Sheíd think Iíd done it! I can assure you I smell much sweeter. So, I stopped in the tunnel.
'Whereís that dog gone?' I heard someone cry.
The answer was obvious. Iíd gone in the tunnel... Well, what else could I do?
It was a pride thing. She understood. Trouble is, the Guvnor didnít.
He started Agility the following Spring ('97) although he effectively missed two seasons due to a broken ankle (the Guvnor's) and FMD.
Agility has given him as an activity where he could feel he was achieving success and bond with his owner in the process. While he will never get out of Starters, he has now collected over 30 rosettes (which may astonish some of his trainers!) and recently managed a second place in the Agility section final of the Three Counties League (which astonished the Guv'!). He is what his agility club Tuffley AC describes as a 'good team dog'.
He is probably around eight or nine years old quite and a fussy eater. He had started to creak at the joints so his owners put him on Fromm Family Nutritional Senior Gold, having been attracted by the Glucosamine Hydrochloride content. He happily empties his bowl now and after several months, he has rediscovered free movement and is able to keep pace with a new arrival in the household. An added bonus has been the clear improvement in his coat which is now as glossy as fresh paint.
Flynn lives in Gloucestershire and oh yes, is owned by Rob White, Chair of Tuffley AC.
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