We've been pondering that question a lot lately. We got an email about agility class registration for March and are trying to decide if we want to go back. My last trial was in April 2011 and my last class was in May 2011. Five years ago when mom was deciding to get a dog, she knew she wanted a Sheltie and she knew she wanted to do agility. Even though I was her first dog, I was going to trials to hang out at the age of 4 mos. There were trials about once a month only 20 minutes from my house. We would go and watch for a couple hours and come home. It was fun! Then after some not-so-great classes and some ok trials, we got into classes with one of the best teachers around here and mom loved it! She loved the learning and the escape from daily life! But I enjoyed agility more in the backyard than at classes or at trials.
So agility became a thing of worrying - why was I going so slowly, was I hurt, did I see ok (do I have ETS), was I warmed up enough, etc.... On top of all of that, we didn't like the trial atmosphere - the waiting and waiting for our turn, the attitudes, the traveling (because trials were no longer offered 20 minutes from us), the money spent on entries, etc....
In the past 8 months we have just been having fun. We do agility for fun in the backyard! I go really fast especially if there is a target plate involved. I am excited to get out there. Or some times we go weeks without practicing agility. We don't worry nearly as much - about ETS, injury, going all over town to acclimate me to different environments. I learn new tricks and some obedience moves, and we don't worry if I will only do treiball in the house or retrieve a dumbbell in the house. Some weeks we do video and post for tricky t-day and some weeks we don't. We go on off-leash walks in the park and enjoy ourselves. In general we are just more relaxed.
Because I enjoy agility at home so much these days, mom is tempted to go back to class and maybe trial with me again - we would have to start over in novice preferred so that I can jump 8". That would be ok. But it seems that when we think of all the pros and cons, the list of cons is much longer. Hmm.....
One more thing - mom has been considering hijacking my blog permanently and writing from her point of view! I am sure you have noticed that she often leaves comments without consulting me at all. When I started blogging, it was cute and all about my training. Then mom met so many people through blogging and it all became more than just a blog by a dog. She feels like she has real friends out there and might want to stop hiding behind me. What do you guys think?
4 days ago