Wednesday, 23 February 2011

What I do (and don't) like about agility class

The Fun Bits

The look of bafflement on Gail's face when she tries to decipher instructor Gordon, who combines Doric dialect with indistinct diction further muffled by a great big shaggy beard. Whereas he just needs to wave his arm and I can tell right away what he wants.

The fact that if I bark when one of my class mates is 'performing' Gail will always pick me up, looking all panicky and anxious, and give me a cuddle.

Obviously, the fact that it is a whole hour of undivided attention and a constant stream of treats.

So far, Gail is too intimidated by Gordon to take along her camera, so there's been none of that tedious "pose nicely now Bertie" stuff going on.

It's the humans not the dogs that get told off! (I don't think Gordon was too impressed when Gail tried to explain that we hadn't been practicing 'stays' outside because it has been raining here continuously for over a fortnight. Real tough NE Scots are not supposed to notice the bad weather apparently).

The tunnel. Sometimes you can find treats in there that other dogs have left behind, if you search for long enough...

Watching labrador Tilly amble round the course in a 'totally can't be arsed' fashion.

The Not So Fun Bits

I don't like the way Gail is always saying admiring things about class swot goodie two shoes border collie Maisie ...

At puppy class we always started with socialisation and I got to jump all over Daisy Dachshund. It was the best bit by far. No such opportunities this time.

Creative interpretations of the route one is supposed to take over the obstacles are frowned on. Were I to take up ice-skating, dancing not figures would be my m├ętier. (Why is that a ludicrous thought, Gail?)

All the other dogs arrive in great big 4WD's and look down with disdain on our little Mini.

And it's so humiliating when Gordon lowers the jumps a notch or two when my turn comes round. And unnecessary. I mean, we all know I have springs in my legs!


  1. Sounds like a lot of scope for humiliation there, Bertie. Just remember that border collies are show offs!

    We think it's funny that you have to interpret for Gail. Does that make you bilingual?

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  2. Hey Bertie my laddie...

    Oh Bertie...what a hurdle you are having! Maxmom is shouting from the kitchen. She says, "Shame, poor Gail. I know that feeling of one step forward and one step back!"
    Your instructor sounds really scary...does his bark also have an accent? I personally would suggest to tell Gail to yank out that how intimidated the instructor will get when he realises you have a blog and could become his advertising platform.
    Tell Gail to simply keep at it. 4x4's mean nothing in the grand scheme of things...they have their own obstacles... Hang in there, bud!

  3. So long as the fun outweighs the not fun right?
    Mum still cant understand some of the instructions she has no sense of direction. I like tunnels too, if there a tunnel opportunity I always go to that. Well, I hope it gets better anyways.
    ~lickies, Ludo

  4. Lowers the notch!! Evidently he has not experience with terriers - you could probably jump over one of those big 4 WD if you wanted too!

    Lilly, Piper, Carrleigh and Ruairi

  5. Dawling cousin Bewtie

    I would just ignowe that show off collie(how would Gail like to sweep up his fuw??? I think not)
    I happen to hate big SUVs they cluttew my city wheweas Mii's awe pawfect!!!!! and of couwse you have spwing in youw legs..tell Gail that any instwuctow who doesn't wealise that can't be so intimidating.
    I think cweativity is a highew calling than following wules blindly.
    I think the class would be bowing wifout you
    smoochie kisses

  6. Happy Birthday! Thanks for telling us about your class, too.

    Candylei and Sir Salty

  7. Doesn't she know you are cheering your peers on..
    Benny & Lily

  8. Bertie - Let Doric Gordon rant all he wants. Why in heavens name would you want to 'stay' outside when it's raining ?

  9. No doubt you could clear those jumps even at the highest settings and I think the other dogs appreciate a little vocal support during their runs. The courses are usually dumb and open to interpretation.


  10. Bertie, be patient with Gail. She's still learning. OUTSIDE?? RAIN?? a FORTNIGHT?? Is Gordon Cracker?

    Hang in there Bertie! Mom praises us if we can figure out how to get into the backseat of the car rather than the cargo area!!

  11. Bertie, Well there are up and downs to most things like steps! but don't take any notice of them 4WD's mom poo poo them, I bet they don't have friends from all over the world ;)all this training is a learning curve for both of us.
    I have to tell you, we went on a walk today and came across a very very old ford car, white with a wedding ribbon and in gold on the side its name was Bertie, its ok we took photos and it will be in a post next week.
    Love your new header
    See Yea George xxx

  12. Hi Bertie...well we think you are very clever understanding a second language.

    As for your mini car we its good to stand out from the crowd. Get yourself noticed!

    Enjoy your classes and we look forward to photos when Gail is brave enough to take the camera!

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  13. Your Maisie sounds like teacher's pet Emily the Jack Russell terrier in my class. "I finished my homework early, is there more I can do for extra credit?" be forewarned, the treats are going to decrease in number soon and you'll br expected to run the whole course before you get one tiny morsel. That's when I refused to come out of my stay at all. But the tunnel and the chute are fun, aren't they?