A few months ago, I had a canine named Bobby which was an essential section of my life for close to 5 years. During that period, I had developed a healthy relationship with him, and I enjoyed taking him for walks in the park. It is evident now that Bobby had occupied a central phase in my heart in a subconscious way and I did no longer realize that until unlucky events happened.
The presence of my dog made me conscious of the existence of this kind of subculture, dogs attending agility classes. At the Water’s Edge Camp, I used to deliver my dog for boarding classes but later realized they offer dog agility classes. I knew the agility group was involved in a couple of competitions and it would be interesting to see the end product of my interaction with them. Thinking of classes for agile dogs, what comes to mind is the sight of middle-aged men with plastic obstacles and fake carpets guiding their slim and fast dogs through hoops and jumps. I presume the observation of this subculture will prove interesting as I expect order and precision from the dog handlers, who in my opinion, have part-time jobs and their dog’s performance is crucial for them
The idea of dog agility made its first debut at the annual Crufts Dog Show in England. The person for publicizing the subculture is called Peter Meanwell and is considered its founder (Fender, 32). The Water’s Edge Camp has maintained the true meaning of dog agility and has an array of services concerning dogs. The agility class meets twice a week with a member composition of ten members of the whole five-week course costing $200 excluding competition cost. The instructor, Beatrice, informs the owners whether the dogs are ready to compete.
Observation and Data Analysis
20 November 2017 (4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) ; 30 November 2017 (2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Approaching the agility arena covered in perforated metal, I observed that the arena floor had a covering of spongy rubber. The stage had further subdivisions with an observation area and the more spacious agility course lined with jumps and tee totters. Dog owner Mark Lent remarked that “The most successful dogs are the herding dogs which have are the fastest coupled with their high drive. Also, “the dogs gain practice by going through the obstacles to gain body command position,” remarked Beatrice. Later on, I noticed that the dog owners mostly converse about their dogs’ grooming habits, training and the like. As such, it is evidence of the healthy relationships they have with their dogs.
My observations made me realize the dog owners have a healthy relationship with their dogs and it is more than a sport for them. As such, this love for their dogs sheds light on the role of pets in our society as they act as a source of expressing and experiencing unconditional love. As such, I believe dog agility competitions and classes will gain popularity with time.
Fender, Brenda. “History of Dog Agility, Part 1” Clean Run. Clean Run Productions, 5 July
2005. Web. 20 Mar. 2016
Lent, Mark Personal Interview. 24 November. 2017.
Sicily, Beatrice Personal Interview. 20 November. 2017.