23 August 2016

Bringing up Banksy :: Part 1 of 9.

I'm pretty good at agility.

On a one-to-ten scale, one being spiders and ten being Led Zeppelin, pretty good's the squishy center somewhere in the middle. Pretty good means my dog can make it into the USDAA top ten for little dogs, but also may park herself on top of the a-frame, barking her head off as she plots a totally inappropriate sniper divebomb on the judge waiting to watch the down contact. If she even comes down. Pretty good means my dog might make it into Steeplechase finals at an exciting Regional event, but dash straight out of the ring mid-course when he sees someone feeding their dog delicious meaty bones out of a little cooler and then get scared of a butterfly. Or that I might be having a so far fast and clean run with my dog, until I slam straight into an innocent, unsuspecting judge because I'm watching my dog run far away into that tunnel over there. Way over there.

So that's the kind of pretty good at agility I am. I don't totally suck. But there's a lot of room for improvement.

All of my questionable agility history has been made with my three small dogs. All were rescues, none of them were puppies when I got them. Each came with their own set of dog baggage, and I love all of them even more than I love pie. Every single flavor of pie there is. Ruby was a feral terrier, better suited for jungle survival than living in a suburban home. Her joy in running through an innocuous, gateway baby tunnel in a questionable obedience class started our tumble down this lifestyle path in the first place. Otterpop came from the side of the road, and had a volatile personality that was unpleasant and rancid at best. But boy, did she play ball good, for a hoodlum. Most adorable and huggable yet quirky beyond belief little guy Gustavo hitchhiked up from Juarez, Mexico as an adult dog with a major congenital liver disorder. We all trained and practiced, and competed, and all of them achieved some level of success in competitive agility.

Definitely, we were all pretty good. If you say that using a pause, squinch up your eyes, tilt your head, and start with an Um.

"Um…pretty good." Emphasis on the Um. And Pretty. But not necessarily the Good.

However. I was now ready for the Next Step. Slouching towards championdom. Podium standing, medal winning, Dog Agility with capital letters. No, even better. All Cap DOG AGILITY. I was ready for a puppy, a future superstar that would be trained from scratch by me, pretty good trainer of dogs and quite averagely mediocre agility competitor. On a quest towards becoming Somewhat Better Than Pretty Good.

Champions. Hells yeah. That's how I was going to bring up my puppy. All excellent and bright and shiny.

Bring it on, sparkly rainbow unicorn puppy of my future.

to be continued...

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