|Training for AKC Events
By Stefanie Rainer
I would like to dedicate this article to my Papillon Storm. Although he has passed, he will remain in my heart forever. We were best friends and went through everything together. As a team we achieved some very high honors such as MACH 2, NATCH, qualifying for 4-consecutive AKC national events, winning the gold at the Jr. Purina Incredible Dog Challenge, and appearing on the David Letterman Show. I miss and love Storm very much.
I have been training and competing in the sport of agility since I was7 years old, first with my Papillion Storm and now with my two Border Collies, Gin and Spree. I also handle a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owned by Janet York who has given me the opportunity to learn what it is like to handle another breed. Agility has been a huge part of my life for the last 8 years. If I am not at school or hanging out with my friends then you can always find me spending time with my dogs.
I train almost every day and compete in trials nearly every weekend. Competing in agility trials is such a thrill. I love the high I get when running a course with my dog. Succeeding in the ring is simply icing on the cake. Even when we don’t qualify, I know I am going home with my best friend. If we have trouble with a part of the course that weekend, I like to go home and set up in my yard and practice overcoming the difficulty we encountered that weekend to better prepare ourselves for the following weekend.
Competing in agility has taught me a lot about life and has made me a better person. It has given me the responsibility for caring for other living beings, taught me how to organize and prioritize my schedule, and has made me a more competitive person. These are all characteristics that will help me in every aspect of my life.