In an effort to reduce my debt, I was considering moving competing in dog agility to my “not to do” list. Yet, I had two more commitments to fulfill for the Teacup Dog Agility Association before I would be free and clear: presenting an agility workshop in Vacaville, CA, and judging a trial in Salem, OR.
This past weekend, three of my agility judge friends from Oregon and I drove down to Vacaville to present the workshop. I had been dreading the trip, the heat, and the work of putting on a trial. But as good friends often do, they distracted me from my negative thoughts, and I instead enjoyed visiting and spending time with them! Over dinner, we planned the workshop – laughed, ate, and made a creative plan for getting others involved with the sport of teacup agility.
We arrived early at the trial site Saturday morning and began building courses. This was the first time Teacup Agility has been demonstrated in California. As the exhibitors and their dogs arrived, we heard these comments, “Oh Look how cute that little equipment is! My dog is going to love this! This is going to be fun!” Amidst that enthusiasm, it’s impossible not to catch the excitement. This was the first time in California history for these handlers to run their short-legged dogs on equipment that is built specifically for short-legged dogs.
After two days of standing in the sun, judging dogs, and building courses, in the hot still California air, I found out that I was not ready to let agility go. I remembered that what I really love about judging Teacup agility is the watching and cheering for each canine athlete! Although, I was burnt to a crisp, I was invigorated by the sport and rededicated to strengthening my bond with my favorite teammate – Brindle Anne. Last October, I semi-retired my 9 year old Brindle because I was worried about her getting hurt in competition. One of the little competitors this weekend was a 14-year-old pooch named, Lucky. Lucky was so happy to be running with her human partner and running the smaller courses. It reminded me that we are only as old as we think we are. Lucky obviously still felt like a spry spring puppy!
(My very best agility partner, Brindle Anne)
I was also reminded that even though I am simplifying my life and trying to cut down on my expenses, there are some things that money can’t buy: friendships with people who share your passions and a friendship and exclusive bond with your canine partner. These things I will not let go from my life. Although there is a monetary expense with competing in agility, it provides an experience that is irreplaceable. “New studies of consumption and happiness show, for instance, that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects….” According to a recent article Will it Make you Happy? published in the New York Times. After all isn’t this life about the journey and the friends and experiences we make along the way?
If you are in Winters, CA visit the Putah Creek Café for a relaxing and delicious dining experience. www.putahcreekcafe.com
If you want to learn more about Teacup Agility, visit www.k9tdaa.com