Hard Work Pays Off
By: Stefanie Rainer
writing my last article about how I got started in agility, I have
accomplished quite a lot. I am almost twelve years old and my Papillon,
Storm, is four. Our bond continues to grow as we train and compete
in agility. We both love agility so much and we put a lot of time
and effort in to being the best we can be.
My mother (with her two Australian Shepherds) and I take two agility
classes a week with our trainers, Dianne, Louise and Marcy. Between
my trainers and my mother (the dog trainer) I have learned everything
I know from basic obedience commands to advanced techniques like a
simple roll of the shoulder and proper position of my feet to direct
the dog. Besides going to agility class, I have all the equipment
in my backyard so I make the time every day to go out to train. Every
day I set one goal when training. For example, one day I will work
on contacts and another I will work the weaves. After an agility trial
if Storm and I had trouble with a part of the course we will go home
and set that part of the course up in our backyard and practice it.
During the fall and spring my mother and I attend agility trials almost
every weekend. Not only do I enjoy the time I spend with my dog and
mother, but we also enjoy the time we spend with the many friends
we have made at agility trials. I enjoy the many challenges that the
judges design their excellent B level courses. It is important that
my verbal commands and my body cues are in sync for us to be successful
because my dog is so fast.
past year has been very exciting. Last fall we qualified for the 2005
AKC Nationals. At the moment Storm and I are working very hard on
our MACH. Most of all we hope to qualify to attend the 2006 AKC Nationals.
On June 25, 2005 we competed in the junior agility division at the
Purina Incredible Dog Challenge and came in first place and took home
the gold medal. This is an invitation only event that will be on television
some time in the future.
Storm and I were also invited to participate in a segment on the Late
Show with David Letterman. We were one of only three teams to make
it on the show and I was interviewed by David Letterman. It was an
honor to receive all that attention and to be on national TV. Storm
was a hit with the crowd and Mr. Letterman was very funny.
Although Storm and I may not always qualify in trials, I still come
home with my best friend every time.