|Zeke in the Weave Poles|
For many who enroll in LCCOC agility today, Kay is the first instructor they encounter, for she has faithfully taught our club's Intro To Agility class nearly every Wednesday night for almost 10 years. In fact, Kay was this author's first teacher. So when I approached her for an interview on Zeke's career, Kay agreed reluctantly to it only if I would also agree to be interviewed. For as it turned out, Zeke's last run occurred the same day as my and my papillon's first run! Kay liked the "Out with the old, in with the new" angle, as well as interviewing one of her pupils who stuck with the training to competition level.
Kay's questions for me were: What got you interested in doing agility? What got you started competing? Not having much interesting history to relate, all I could answer was:
"When I got Max I could tell he was smart, athletic, and eager to learn, so I started looking for classes. I saw an AKC agility competition on TV, Googled "dog agility" and found out that Papillons were winning national prizes; Googled "dog agility Baton Rouge" and up popped LCCOC's website. In my first class, February 2008 (I remember it was freezing), while other dogs were toeing the Wobble Board cautiously, 9 month old Maxie just hopped on and starting jumping up and down for his treat. I knew right then -- he had it. Since one hour a week of training wouldn't be enough and I didn't know about the club's "field fee", I built all my own agility equipment that spring so we could "do tricks" whenever we wanted. As for competing, I was not interested. Truth be told, I was terrified, until I noticed that even my instructors made mistakes at trials and it didn't seem to bother them. They all told me "Just have fun!" So, I figured I could NQ too, without embarrassment! I swore, though, that I would never get addicted to the sport.
|Maxie posing with NA and NAJ Novice Titling ribbons|
I had one last question for Kay: What has kept you teaching, for free, all these years? Kay's reply: "The club gives me so much; it's my way of giving back. I learn as much as I teach. I stick with the Intro classes because the basics are so important, and because if someone doesn't teach beginners, how will we grow the sport? Plus, if some of us didn't volunteer, the LCCOC would surely fold and I can't imagine my life without this club. I've made some good friends, and what would I do with my dogs? "