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Which came first?

As our training saga went from days to weeks, weeks to
months, months to (goodness help me) more than a year, people began asking me
why I don’t just let Lilly stay home and get another agility dog to train and
run competitively. It’s an interesting idea, which begs the question … Which
came first, the dog or the sport?

For me, the answer is clearly the dog. Lilly is my puppy
girl, my best friend, my near constant companion. We do agility because she
needs it. And, despite everything, I know she loves it, even if she never

We first bonded over early medical drama and then training
and then training problems. Replacing her with another dog would feel like infidelity.
And, I’m nothing if not loyal to the ones I love.

I feel bad enough for Ginko, our big lab-greyhound, when he
makes sad faces every time Lilly and I head outside without him to train,
attend classes, or run errands. But, the truth is that he’s perfectly content
to just hang out, chew on the same ball … all … day … long. (I’m not kidding.)
Sure, he likes to go places in the car. He likes walks, and he gets to do those
things, but technically he’s daddy’s boy. Lilly is mommy’s girl.

I’ve tried teaching him a few agility things, but he shows
zero interest. None.

Want to go, go, go? Lilly’s your gal.

But, if you want to take a nap, then Ginko is your man. (In
fact, we might be headed for a little snoozle soon.)

While I wait and work for a resolution to Lilly’s fears, I
might start asking pals to practice handling their dogs for fun, but that’s
about it.

I cannot imagine simply moving on to another dog because I
find the sport so compelling.

As that saying goes – “My dog is not a tool I use to excel
in agility. Agility is a tool I use to excel in my dog.” (CJD)

I have no idea who CJD is, but I agree with the sentiment.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.