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You know you've been doing this dog-sport thing for a while when . . .

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Last night at agility class, Maddie and I were out in the field running the course. We were just at the part of the course that was most difficult for Maddie. She came down the A-Frame, which is her FAVORITE thing in the world, and had to make an immediate 180 degree turn into a tunnel that was sitting right next to the A-Frame where she had just made her contact. Maddie always tries to turn and go back up the A-Frame because she, unlike my other dogs, prefers it highly to tunnels.


Well, just as she landed her contact and I was about to cue her to come off and go into the tunnel, a dog outside of the ring suddenly got hold of a chicken and killed it. The owner of the dog, who was actually with her dog that was on leash, screamed, and people started yelling and running toward her. All of this was about 5 feet from where we were with just a chain link fence between.


Maddie was concerned and looked over, but I kept her going. She was like, "go in that tunnel when there is excitement right there?" and I was like, "uh huh!". She went reluctantly, but she went. From there we went on and finished the portion of the course that we were to run and her head was totally in it from there.


I had to laugh afterward (not about the chicken, of course). At one time I would have been completely unnerved by something like that happening in the middle of my dog struggling with something. At one time I would have thought I had better stop everything untill the crisis was over (granted, had the problem been in the ring, that's a different story). Instead, I was very pleased to have had such a great distraction to work her through and was happy that her head got right back in the game.


P.S. Handler and dog from the chicken incident were fine, and the chicken probably didn't feel a thing.

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One of the chickens wasn't in the fenced area where the chickens are when dog classes are going on. It was dark, and the dog owner just didn't see the loose chicken as she walked her dog along a grassy area between the agility ring and the chicken pen. The dog noticed before she did and got it.

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