What a wonderful experience it is to have a rapport with your dog! When that rapport goes beyond a ‘master and servant’ type of relationship into an activity that is shared it is magical, one might even say – spiritual. The relationship between animal and human is obvious to us all when we see, for example, Mountain Rescue dogs or a Guide Dog for the Blind. When it is for the sheer joy of sharing an activity that is pure fun it is taken lightly, simply because it is, enjoyable!

Working a dog on an agility course has all the elements of the skills and building rapport as the ones used to train the examples given above. Such relationships have been built between Anita and the dogs who have come into her life, but especially, with her beloved Collie dogs.

It may sound frivolous to put working dogs and having fun together but take that a step further and you realise that frivolity has benefits in that agility is an educational tool to socialise, teach good manners (obedience) and share the exercise of the body and the brain.

Since she was 13 years old Anita has worked with Collie Dogs and as she says, “Agility is in her blood”. She loves the Collie breed with a passion and knows that they are very clever. For Anita, agility is a fun game, “It’s you and your dog and a set of tasks!”

When in the UK Anita and Peter were members of many organisations. For many years Anita was Secretary and Peter was the Chairman of the Mid-Downs Agility Club. They were at the forefront of the first Agility Competitions held at Crufts and, in fact, Peter made equipment that was used at the earliest events.

Coming to France for this animal loving couple meant that building up a business to earn a living and creating a charity to rescue the animals took precedence over Agility Competitions. Thus for 10 years this activity was put on hold.

In Anita’s words she has, “always been fortunate to have the kit, as Peter makes it!” The agility equipment is used to help the rescued dogs who come into their care. The dogs are given focus and the chance to stretch their legs, gain rewards for their effort and focus, use their brains and receive positive attention. In this way the troubled animals are rehabilitated and develop into happy well mannered pets.

Finnegan was the first dog Anita trained to compete in Agility events in France. There are many tests and rules in French Agility which were new for Anita and along with Finnegan she learned the ropes and the pair won many rosettes and accolades. Finnegan has now hung up his boots and it is Kodie’s turn to race around the circuits and fly the flag for Grande Daze. You can read about Kodie in Dear Kodie!

See the latest Agility Competition Results –The Agility Team Results – 17th July and JERSEY AGILITY FESTIVAL 8th – 11th September, 2022

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