During the weekend on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, the closing event for the Rruff Diamonds Dog Agility Club 2021 season was held in the infield at Tommy Forrest Ball Park.
Dogs from small to large came out on Saturday morning and ran the run until around 2 p.m. and did it all over again the following day.
The Dog Agility Club starts practicing and training the dogs at the beginning of the season in May. Gay Kennedy, the president and a trainer for the Rruff Diamonds Dog Agility Club said, “we usually have six or seven beginner classes that start in May.”
This meet had some dogs who never competed before and other dogs with a little more experience. “All dogs, they have to start somewhere and so they learn by giving it a whirl,” Kennedy said.
Two of the fastest dogs at the meet on Aug. 29, were both labs, a chocolate lab, Reo, and a black lab, Timber.
Franz Zuiba has been training Reo and Timber for five years. “It’s something to do with the dogs and they seem to enjoy it,” Zuiba said. “I think they like socializing with other dogs and go practicing a couple times a week. This is the final thing of the season, these are really fun these competitions because it’s a little bit serious.”
“We get to do this so rarely, we try to take each one as serious as we can,” Zuiba said.
Kevin Mckie and his husky, Kili, competed in their first meet on Aug. 29. “It was just a fun thing to do, I like to do things with her and this was more interesting than running or walking.”
Eva Walker completed the course for the first time with her dog, Milo, a 13-year-old English setter. She said Milo has been in dog sports for a long time but is brand new to agility. “He [Milo] loves to play and loved to agility and loves to jump.”
Training the dogs to get them ready to jump over the fences and through the tunnels and what they call positive reinforcement, said Walker. “So lots of treats, lots of fun.”
She added, “it’s just teaching them that this is a really fun game.”