You are never given the dog you want, but the dog you need.


Those three words bring so much to mind about the agility runs that Disney and I ran together. Or rather, the ones where I simply tried to keep up and hope that my footwork would stay clean enough to send him through the course. That little terrier definitely kept me on my toes, never doubt that! I’ll never forget one run in particular. While I may not recall exactly what year it was (maybe 2006? 2007?), I will never forget the end of this run. We had nearly run a perfect, clean and quick run. It’s at this point that I should have been worried. Little did I know, the judge and the audience were about to get a laugh that would be unparalleled for the rest of the fair that year.

I had just gotten the signal to release Diz from the pause table and finish out the remainder of the course, so I sent him on his way (getting a head start of course!). We breezed through the tunnel and the next four jumps, and over the teeter he went, patiently pausing in the middle to wait for it to tip and then waiting the split second at the contact before leaping after me. All that remained was a final jump and the chute. With a sweep of my arm, I sent him over the jump and pointed him towards the chute. His black head popped out the end of the chute as I caught up and as I went to run over the finish line with him, a sudden change in plans occurred.

As I crossed the line, my partner veered off abruptly. Tucking his tail down and taking his odd bunny hop leaps, he took off running around the ring. Silence descended on the ring. I watched on with a mixture of horror and amusement as my boy went racing around the course, growling a little as he finally stretched out his little legs. The judge looked at me with a confused expression and all I could do was lift my hands and shake my head helplessly as I tried to restrain a smile and laugh. The audience, judge and I watched Diz bound around the ring with an enthusiasm that belied his 8 years of age, leaping over jumps and charging through the tunnel. By this time, the kids in the audience has started giggling and their parents had started as well. Vainly, I tried to get his attention, but to no avail. After another moment, he slowed his headlong sprint and realized I was waiting for him. He came bouncing over, tongue lolling out of his mouth in a happy smile and all I could do was smile.

“Ready now?” I asked him, and swept my arm towards the finish line once more. “Let’s go!” We crossed the line with a time of 2:30, over a minute and a half after we should have. But what can you do with a terrier who has it in his mind that this new open space would be the perfect place to stretch his legs after 3 days at fair? Luckily, that was only our first run and we had one more go through before the final score was decided. The judge took the leash with a smile the second time and shook her head a little before nodding at us to start. All the wiggles out finally, we ran a perfectly clean, and complete, course this time. And wouldn’t you know? We ended up taking Grand Champion together with a time of 0:45:22.

To any of my readers who are unfamiliar with agility, I’ll work on doing a follow up for tomorrow that will cover the basics of it and give a nice little introduction to one of my favorite dog sports!

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