I cleaned out my car a couple of nights ago after an agility event. Among all the purse miscellanea and coffee cups that miraculously appear all over the place was all the detritus of a week spent carting the dogs around: biscuit crumbs, a few mortified liver treats, a muddy towel, and the desiccated pickles from a McDonalds hamburger (which Bean always manages to shove under the passenger front seat after she’s eaten the rest of her weekly after-agility burger). Life with dogs, I tell you.
Last Friday, Sarah Babcock (of Richmond SPCA fame) graciously invited Bean and I out to her gorgeous farm in Richmond to do a recall/off-leash test. And I’m totally not kidding, her farm is beautiful, and any dog’s dream home. Huge pastures, a pond, lots of grass, agility equipment for days… A human’s dream home too, it must be said, especially with this huge old house built in the late 1700’s, just breathtaking architecture, especially at sunset… I digress. Bean did pretty well with the off-leash test. I’ve never exactly had her off-leash because I am sometimes a helicopter dog-parent and am paranoid of her running off, but she did marvelously and stuck around which is what I wanted to see. Bean had a lovely time sniffing all kinds of new things and rolling in the grass like the wild dog she is, as an added bonus. Naturally, I forgot to bring my camera, so I have no photographic evidence of her acting like a crazy beast, you’ll just have to take my word.
Sarah also hosted an open agility event at the SPCA on Tuesday, called an ‘agility play night’. I had wanted to go to one for some time now, but either my schedule or the weather have been uncooperative so it was my first time on Tuesday. It was a ‘tunnelers’ night, with a bunch of tunnels set up around the course. There was a nested, easier course and a more difficult course for more advanced students. I wasn’t at all sure Bean would be thrilled to be doing agility for the second day in a row, so I chose the easier course.
I was totally wrong. Bean LOVES tunnels. Loves them. Probably would have done the course all by herself. I have no idea why she loves tunnels, but she does. Our first run, she kicked it way up into overdrive, apparently just to get my heart going. She did a perfect run, and then a second, taking directions like a pro. She was all “Mom, I got this,” running the course. We’ve had issues with agility in the past – her not wanting to take jumps so much (don’t worry, I’ve had her thoroughly checked by the vet and he just said, ‘It’s probably just easier for her to run around them, right?’) and longer courses that stressed her out – so having this dog taking perfect direction and running flat-out was kind of like someone handing you the keys to a Corvette after you’ve driven a Honda Civic all your life. It was a-mazing. I don’t think I could keep the grin off my face if I tried.