Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another reason to love agility

Of course I love spending time with my dog and the competition of racing against other teams and against the clock. But among competitive sports, both in the dog world and out, I don't know of another sport with better comaraderie and sportsmanship. When one of our fellow handlers enjoys a big success, we all celebrate with them, even though they may be our competition. I suppose that in some circles the competition creates jealousy and ruins the fun, but frankly, I've never seen it in my group of friends/competitors. When someone we know has a success, whether that success is hitting the contacts after a long period of blown contacts, or the biggest success of all, the Master Agility Championship (MACH), we all celebrate with them without reservation. Though they may be the team that you try your hardest to beat, the ones you think about when you train, the ones who's times you keep track of in your head, when they celebrate, you are genuinely happy for their success.

In the last few weeks, we've seen a number of big successes. Debbie and Forest earned their MACH a few weeks ago and were the first team that I've trained with and know personally to get a MACH. I cried when I saw Debbie first hug Forest and then lift that bar for their victory run. Two weeks ago, Mark and Viper were awarded their first MACH and we are all so happy about it that we have been having "congratualations" cakes a couple of times a week! Mark and Viper have (unwittingly) set a goal for Maggie and I to reach. They are a wonderful team with almost flawless runs and fast times- just running in the same class as them is a point we never thought we'd acheive and every trial we try to get a little bit closer to their times. So even though they are "sort of" our competition, we couldn't be happier.

Finally, today, our friends John and Remy got to take that victory run with their MACH bar and we celebrated again. This time with silly string...

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