The Agility Partners – Pip and Me ( Denise)
Pip is a Shih Tzu now aged almost 11 years. She has just retired from the agility circuit after competing in the French National Agility Finals; something I never imagined in my wildest dreams could ever happen to us!
This spirited little dog came in to my life 10 years ago after the end of an agility lesson with one of my other dogs. I had an aging Shih Tzu and I love the breed, so, wanted to re-home another. Within hours of a chat with Anita about the possibility of such an adoption, my phone rang. A couple had contacted Anita to ask for help as they couldn’t keep their young Shih Tzu named ‘Gucci Bling Bling’. Less than 24 hours later ‘Gucci Bling Bling’ came home with me. This serendipitous event was sealed as I had decided on the name of Pip long before I met her and it fits her perfectly.
We started our agility partnership when she had settled into her new life and was old enough to train; she took to it like a duck to water. We have regularly competed in the UK agility competitions and we advanced through the levels to UKA Senior Level. Our greatest achievement, in my eyes, was winning all 3 steeplechase classes in one weekend – I was so proud of her! Pip just adores racing around a course as fast as she can, clearing every obstacle. She knows when we are off to a competition and can’t wait to get on the van! Over the years we have had a few disagreements between us as to how a course should be followed. She has been known to stop and look to check before moving on to the next obstacle!
At home Pip is my constant companion. She has her place next to me and moves away any of her 4 mates who dare to take her place! The same eager, strong spirit that drives her in the agility ring is evident in her home life; she is bossy, very vocal and takes over as leader of the pack when I’m not there.
Not everyone in their later years is privileged to take up a new hobby. Pip has given me that honour and I love her even more for it. We are both grateful to Anita and Peter for all the help they have given us.
Without the help of Anita and Peter, Pip and I would not have made the grade. The time spent at Grande Daze being coached and encouraged has been invaluable and we have had so many happy times.
I will miss competition training with Pip, she will still do agility but for fun. Training at Grade Daze will continue with Fleur, my youngest rescue, taking up the baton to enjoy next year’s full calendar of competitions starting in February.
Never mind, ‘Gucci Bling Bling’ we wish ‘Princess Pip’ a long and happy retirement. Lots of hugs and kisses – thank you Pip from Denise.