Let the Games Begin

Last week I finally filled out the premium, wrote the check (and signed it), took the BIG leap and mailed in our first agility trial entry.

This important step on the rocky road to qualifications (Qs) is the culmination of frustration, procrastination, and finally, exhilaration. Often followed by lack of respiration and the need for medication, namely naproxen or ibuprofen. And a large raspberry-mango Cooler from Culver’s.

It is all worth it to see the joy on Jethro’s face as he runs the course. Naturally, he rarely makes mistakes, any of those being mostly handler error. He is so patient with me. He will gleefully refuse to let Terry or Leo show me something with him. “NO! Mom has to do it until SHE gets it right!” Smarty pants.

I have seen many variations on a theme expressed by people at the trials via their T-shirts. “great agility dog, too bad about the handler”.

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By watching and listening to others, I am learning that the challenges of this sport are never-ending. That the opportunities to bond with our dogs through each tunnel and chute are limitless if we just allow ourselves to be like our dogs, absolutely in the moment and filled with the exuberance and sheer joy of just BEING. My journey to this point has been filled with many mistakes and Jethro has survived all of them. The miracle is that he still loves me unconditionally, no matter what.

So, I am in Kroger tonight already making a mental, really mental, list of what to bring to our first adventure. Not a bad plan since the trial is not until the middle of October. One thing is for certain, my t-shirt will look some thing like this:

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Dogs will fill you with joy and gratitude. They will fill the spaces in your heart you did not know were empty. Dogs will also keep you humble.