Features May 2009 Issue

A Few Sports You Can Enjoy Playing With Your Dog

A new series on sports you can learn and enjoy with your dog.

Disc dog. Flyball. Agility. Earthdog. Musical freestyle. Lure coursing. Splash dogs and Dock dogs. Weight pulling. Obedience. Rally. Schutzhund. Lucky dogs . . . the list of sports for canines goes on and on. Just watch a flyball tournament; you’ll see human and canine faces alight with the exhilaration of the race for the ball against another team barely six feet away. Witness the connection between dance partners in a musical freestyle routine and try not to get misty-eyed. Marvel at the dog whose natural sense of smell has been channeled into a game of “find it!” – and share in the joy of both handler and dog as he correctly locates the hidden source of the odor. Gawk at the agility team that has just mastered a challenging obstacle course, recognizing how much training – and love – made that run possible. Looking at these competitors’ faces, would you guess there is any other place they would rather be? Unlikely! They are in “the zone.” They are like the top-seeded tennis phenom, or the enraptured concert pianist, completely absorbed in their art. The most amazing thing about dog sports is that our partner is not a little white ball, or a grand piano, but a living, breathing friend who also warms our feet at night. How amazing is that?

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