Training in the Tropics
1998 was the year agility arrived for a bunch of dog mad enthusiasts who wanted to do something different - something more fun and active - and to enjoy their time with their dogs. Many of them had read about agility and that set them to thinking, 'Why don't we try that and see?' Little did they know that once they started, agility would soon consume their weekends and their lives. Sue and Adrienne explain about training in a country where it's hot and wet throughout the year.
Fortunately, an Australian friend of ours, Russell was already experienced in demonstration agility and soon built some jumps for us. Well, to put it simply, it looked so easy when we saw agility on video, but guess what, we now realise how much training has to go into it to make it look oh so smooth. So began months of patient training which was not always easy.
Why you ask
Why you ask
Unfortunately, the owners now want it back and we have to move on to another venue. The only problem now is our container with our equipment. Oh when will it end?! We're looking high and low and hope that someone will be kindhearted and help us out soon.
It isn't easy to get sponsorship here in Malaysia as it mostly goes for the conformation shows. Canine activity in Malaysia is rather limited in comparison to Europe or The States but we try. We managed to come to an arrangement with Petworld magazine, the premier pet magazine in Asia who help us with sponsoring some jumps and with publicity.
We had learnt enough by that time to start up as Petworld Superdogs doing public agility demonstrations. As you can guess, we all had butterflies in our tummies on the night of our first demo, but wow (!) was it great or what when the crowd showed their appreciation. After that we were hooked and started doing lots more demos etc. We were so inspired that we started to do some therapy dog work with charities such as orphanages, handicap centres etc.
At present, we don't have any official qualified instructors although we are working on that. We learn from books, videos, people on the internet etc. Whatever we can lay our paws on. It has not been easy, and sometimes it is a little trial and error, but it has turned out really well so far. We have now got proper equipment built to international standards and it's looking good. All we have left to master now are the weaving poles.
Lastly, we had to cope with a lot of petty jealousies from certain quarters that did not want to see us succeed. WHY? You ask me. Maybe it's because they never expected us to do so well in our debut year, and they wanted to do it themselves but could not see past the red tape. The problem is that we don't have an official organisation to manage agility in Malaysia but not to worry, that will be changing very soon and we'll keep you posted.
We've had heaps of new converts such as Joanne and Adrian with their silky terrier, Prince, Brian and Ashley with their glamorous Irish setter Jessie, Allan and family with their Maltese and Husky and lots more.
Wish us luck.
Sue owns a Standard Poodle (Adwin) and a Afghan Hound (Marco) who changed her life. She changed her car because of them. She renovated her house because of them. She even bought a web site because of them!
Adwin is probably the only registered Standard Poodle in Malaysia. His full name is Asian/Malaysian Grand Champion Teliqua Adwin of Rightroyale's (awaiting MKA confirmation). Marco's full name is Calahorra Simply Superior of Rightroyale's. He has just started his show career. Both of them were imported from Australia
Sue is Malaysian of Chinese origin. She lives with her Mum and sister and works full-time as a senior consultant for a company specialising in quality management.
Adreinne runs three dogs including a GSD and a Miniature Schnauzer. Luckily her husband Peter has decided to run the female GSD so it's getting easier now.
As Penang is an island, they have a beach house where they usually take the dogs swimming, which is just the perfect antidote to winter.