It wasn’t until I was watching the agility at Crufts last weekend that I realised I do miss agility. Guinness and I have been retired for over a year now and although I help at the Dig It Shows here and there I’ve not missed it at all. I’ve been happy to be at the side and help other people to have the agility experience without itching to have a go myself. I think it’s because I know it’s in Guinness’ best interest that we don’t and he is fit, healthy and happy.
However, seeing the thrill and excitement and the impressive handling of the world’s best at Crufts last weekend has got me feeling nostalgic. Although my dream isn’t to compete at Crufts I do miss the training and the thrill of running Guinness, at what feels like break neck speed.
And I’ve realised I don’t want to do agility with another dog, I just miss doing it with Guinness. I’m sad that my training and running with Guinness specifically has ended. He had such a rush for it. I know lots of people say “my dogs love agility” but Guinness really did. He would be in a good state of arousal and adrenaline at agility. All spunk and go go go. He still shows that level of excitement around the ring and the training hall and I know he’d do it all day if I let him, but it’s not going to do him any good.
I don’t want a new dog to train with, I’d feel sad to leave Guinness in the car or at home while I went off with a new dog. Guinness is my agility dog. We learnt the sport together and while I made a load of mistakes and wish I could start all over again with him as a puppy, it was a pleasure to have that journey with him.
I know he’s not going to be with me forever but I’m not ready to start looking forward yet. Perhaps when he starts showing his age and slowing down then I will be ready to give him the back seat that he wants, but at the moment he wants to be up there in first place leading the race and I’m having to hold him back for his own good. But there’s plenty of ways I can enjoy life with him and put that get-up-and-go in the right, safe direction. We enjoy some flat work and low jump training and there’s plenty of fitness and trick training for us to enjoy, so it’s not all gloom and doom.
So do I miss agility… yes in a way I do… I miss agility with Guinness.