Clean Run - September 2011 - (Page 63)

B Ca y Kate rignan Riding up to Charleston this weekend I had a long four and a half hour trip to think. While staring out the window at a lot of nothing, I started thinking about agility and what it is all about for me. Get ready. Here comes a glimpse of a very near and dear part of me. It is all about the travel. It’s about sunrises over North Carolina mountains and sunsets over Florida beaches. It’s about a few cold days in north Alabama and three very hot ones in Columbus. It’s about the ponds at Perry and the fields of Charleston. It’s about the many places I’ve been and the many I’ve yet to visit. It is all about the food. It’s about German sausage in Huntsville, Alabama. It’s about the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, even if we were in jail. It’s about pot de crème, the only French dish I could pronounce on the menu. It’s about a bowl of peanuts in a LoSeptember 11 | Clean Run gan’s Steakhouse in Gulfport, Mississippi. It’s also about the angry cleanup crew that had to pick up all those peanut shells after we left. It’s about one-of-a-kind local restaurants that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s about all the awesome meals with friends I’ll always remember. It is all about the training. It’s about the satisfaction of learning a new skill. It’s about the determination to learn a skill you can’t quite grasp. It’s about the tediousness of shaping a behavior. It’s about finding out that your dog knows a trick you never taught him. It’s about all the time, sweat, and tears that are put into making an amazing agility dog. It is all about my incredible instructors. It’s about the instructor who let me play with her dog, Blitz, the first night I visited Sirius. It’s about the instructor who taught me about clicker training; the one who still supports me to this day. It’s about the instructor we “voted off the island,” but the one I still respect very much as a dog trainer. It’s about the instructor who has been there since day one. The one who is helping me train my current baby dog. The one who has been there through thick and thin with me and never faltered. The one who is quickly becoming one of my best friends. It is about the instructor who has one of the top dogs in the world, winner of the 2007 USDAA Grand Prix Finals, but who is still the most humble person I know. It’s about the instructor who was claimed by cancer a few months after I finished training under her (rest in peace Betty). It’s about the instructor who has brought me so far. The one who has critiqued my handling without end, but who has made me the handler I am today. She’s the one who has made me better at this game we play, the one whose praise means so much, one of many I aim to please 63

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - September 2011

Clean Run - September 2011
Editorializing: When a “Lifetime” Only Means Five Years
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Backyard Dogs
Who’s Premack and What Does He Have to Do with My Start Lines?
Power Paws Drills: Front Side, Back Side
Improving Your Sports Vision, Part 1
Choosing the Most Efficient Path for Your Dog: Decision Making
Dylan’s Story
Teaching FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 5
Ready, Set, Trial! Should You Move Up?
Agility Bloopers
Training to Your Weakness: Exercises for Dogs with a Straight Front
Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 6
Great Expectations
Agility Games to Play with Puppies
Challenges for Rising Stars: Snooker Expanded
Agility Defined by Me

Clean Run - September 2011