Monday, May 12, 2014

A Joyful Bark

A Bearded Collie Enjoying the Course

My daughter wishes we had a dog, but we have two cats and I know how much care a dog requires (having had them before), so - we have two cats and that's where we stop. But - she got a great "dog fix" on May 4, when we watched an AKC All Breed Agility Trial at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto. The public will soon have a chance to view more agility trials at Cubberley. I will give you the information at the end of this blog.

An agility trial is a demonstration of teamwork between the dog handler and the dog. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), "agility demonstrates teamwork through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, and weave poles." I would also add that it showcases the dogs great happiness as they run the course. Many of them give great joyful barks as they are led to the start. One young Australian Shepherd was so excited, he continually barked throughout his race, even jumping and barking mid-air!

So Happy!

There were two rings set up on the day we went. One was a "Standard," with a teeter, A-Frame and agility obstacles; the other was for "Jumpers," consisting of jumps, tunnels and weave poles. You can read more about these obstacles here.

Who Wouldn't Want to Run through these Candy Cane Poles?

The dog owners were all very nice, answering questions and letting my daughter pet their dogs (she always asked first). We made sure not to bother anyone when they were just heading to or coming from the ring. Also, we learned that you should stand about two feet back from the obstacle course fence, so you don't disturb the dogs.

My Daughter with a Beautiful Border Collie

 My friend Lisa Spector, co-founder and pianist on the canine calming music series Through a Dog's Ear, competed with her beautiful black lab - Gina. At one point during their run, Lisa actually fell but was able to signal to her dog to complete the jump. Lisa then got up and they finished the course. You can see a video of her "epic save," right here. Lisa and Gina got the whole crowd cheering!

Lisa Spector and Gina
There were all sizes of dogs, from very large . .

Actually a "smaller" Great Dane

 . . to very small.

I Think this is a Norfolk Terrier

Cubberley Community Center will be the venue for two upcoming agility trials:

The Bay Team is hosting the USDAA (United States Dog Agility of America) Trials, which will be held on May 31 and June 1 with a starting time of 8AM.

The RBTF (Redwood Belgian Tervuren Fanciers) will host the AKC All Breed Licensed Agility Trial on June 7 and 8, also starting at 8AM.

If you go: the dog trials at the Cubberley Community Center take place outside, on the green recreation fields. Don't forget to wear sunscreen, you might want to bring a hat, blanket or chair, food and definitely water. Oh yes - these are free events! Can't beat that for budget.

Cubberley Community address:
4000 Middlefield Drive, Palo Alto, CA
Phone: 650-329-2418

Have fun and give a joyful bark!


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