Today, I added the initials AXJ to my dog’s name. Gina earned a new agility tilte (with a first place ribbon) and is now officially Georgina AX, AXJ, NF, CGC (Agility Excellent, Agility Excellent Jumper, Novice Fast, Canine Good Citizen). Her name has more initials after it than mine — and most humans I know.
Dog agility is a team sport and Gina is my partner. In a race against the clock, I direct her to run through an obstacle course with tunnels, jumps, weave poles, teeter-tawters, A-frames, and dog walks, all designed to challenge my training skills. I have learned more about dogs and their behavior from agility than anything I have ever read in a book or online. They are constantly watching us and everything about our body language has meaning to them. It still amazes me that moving my foot, hips, or shoulder just an inch or two will make the difference to them of which obstacle to take.
It’s hard to explain to friends why I set my alarm clock for 5 am on weekends to drive hours to an agility trial. Other times, I’m not even sure why I do it. But, this weekend, I remembered. The feeling of running an agility course with Gina – in sync, rhythm, communication, and partnership – is truly unmatchable. I know that I have made her life better because of this sport, and she has truly made me into a better person, one that is always striving to understand dogs and improve their lives. And I take pride in having a dog who is an athlete in great shape. You can watch the JWW (jumpers with weaves) agility video here, and a recent UKI standard run here.
The following explanation is written by Sandra Mowery. She sums up why to title a dog so beautifully.
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