A few months ago, Maverick started his agility journey. With Abbey handling him, he had two qualifying runs in his first two trial weekends. Things were going great. It felt like the sky was the limit for Maverick.
Then Abbey went back to school. I took over handling duties. It was up to me to keep the momentum going.
Well, it took almost three months and five trial weekends, but we did it. Maverick finally got his third qualifying run in Novice Jumpers With Weaves (JWW). With the third qualifying run, he got his first agility title.
Doing agility trials with Maverick the last few months has been quite the journey. I’ve learned a lot about doing agility and working with animals. Here’s a few of the lessons I’ve learned.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The pet store clerk looked me dead in the eyes and matter-of-factly stated, “You had better find that dog a job.”
Maverick was barely 6 months old at the time and dragging me around the pet store. In other words, he was being his typical energetic self. I told her that he was a Labrador Retriever – Queensland Heeler mix. I kind of laughed off the suggestion, but little did I know at the time how valuable the advice would be.
It took another year and a half, November 2020, before Abbey and I started taking him to agility class. He was a quick study and appeared to enjoy negotiating all the obstacles (well, almost all the obstacles – we’ll talk about the weave poles and the A-frame mishap some other time). More importantly, he was exhausted both physically and mentally after class. That’s when we knew we were on to something. We had found Maverick’s calling, his occupation, his job.
If I had a category for it, I’d file this post under ‘What was I thinking.’ We did it. Last November, we brought home a puppy.
It’s possible both Lisa and I may not have been thinking straight. We had just driven back from Las Vegas that evening and were feeling pretty out of it. I could also pin this on Abbey. She’s been persistent about wanting us to get another dog. When she gets to the point of really wanting something, she’s relentless and wears you down. So maybe that was it.
No matter the case, nearly a year after the loss of Blake, our one and only, the original family dog, we’ve added another one to the mix. Maverick has become a permanent addition in our house.