Dog agility competitors say it’s all about the fun

Published: Feb. 20, 2022 at 5:28 PM EST
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ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - It may be the Virginia Horse Center, but Sunday was all about dogs.

“There’s a lot of energy,” said Bill Watson of the Star City Canine Training Club. “There’s a lot of dog energy around here.”

At the dog agility trials, where you could see everything from experienced top competitors to the very most basic novices.

“This is our third, here,” said Cathy Bellamy from Grottoes, Va.

Bellamy and her dog, Noell, are just getting started.

“Noell loves it,” Bellamy said. “And she just can’t wait to do it. It’s exercise for her and fun, and many shepherds need a job to do, and this is perfect.”

“It’s fun. I love it,” said Katie Mitchell of Rocky Mount. “It’s been on my bucket list.”

Mitchell and her Corgi, Oreo, are also new to agility.

“It’s fun,” she said. “If you don’t win, you can still give them treats and talk to them and try to focus on another run.”

“It’s just fun to do this. It’s fun to train. It’s fun to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English, or human,” explained Watson. “I have to learn how to speak dog, and my dog has to learn how to speak human, and that’s the fun and the challenge and what the journey is all about for us that are really addicted to the sport.”

Although sometimes the communication, especially at what they call the poles, isn’t what everyone had in mind.

“They give you three tries, so he did good on the second try,” Mitchell said of Oreo’s run.

But perfection isn’t really what it’s all about.

“If at the end of the day, I end up in the ribbons, that’s just icing on the cake,” Watson said. “Because it’s just fun.”

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