Well I’ve finally started back up into Agility.  I started with Hannah last week, and actually noticed that she was much more responsive at herding afterwards, which keeps me thinking that the two sports are actually complementary.  This week I started Mira in agility as well (the lessons are back to back, which is very convenient).  Mira and I did an introductory course last fall, but then she came up lame.  Between concerns about her hip and her behaviour issues, I decided to pull her from any formal training and just let her be while I tried to get her healthier.  As I have posted several times now, Mira has improved considerably.  She has become so good lately that I decided we could give formal training another try at long last.   

Monday’s lesson made it clear just how much better she is.  Even my instructor remarked on how far she’s come in 6 months.  She focused very well and was extremely responsive and attentive.  She was a little reactive to the other dogs at first, but it’s a pretty intense environment.  And she soon got over that and was able to work despite the other dogs moving around her. 

It was actually a lot of fun to work with her and I think she shows a lot of initial potential.  Of course I’m delighted – 6 months ago I had all but given up on this dog being anything other than a pet.  Now I think she’s going to make a pretty darn good agility dog (provided her hind end stays sound). 

Mira actually shows more confidence than Hannah, which is really interesting.  While she’s had problems interacting with other living beings (humans and animals alike), Mira has always been confident with her physical environment.  She has no worries about diving off docks or leaping over fallen trees at full speed while we hike.  This has translated well to agility and she flew through tunnels and over jumps like she’s done it her whole life.  Which she has, just not on agility equipment.

Mira has also become very determined to fetch and otherwise work with me.  She is really growing up at long last.  And not only that, when I went away for the day earlier this week and had a friend take care of the dogs, Mira acted perfectly normally for the first time.  This friend has been dog sitting for me since before I got Mira, so she has a very good baseline on Mira’s behaviour issues.  She said that this time Mira acted exactly the same as the other dogs and showed no spookiness or hesitation around her. 

I’m starting to be really glad that circumstances came together for me to keep this dog.  I really would have placed her if I had been able to even as recently as a couple of months ago.  But now I wouldn’t.  I’m building a very nice relationship with her and really enjoying having her around.  She’s become extremely personable and very sweet and cuddly with not only me, but with others as well.  In short, she seems to have finally stabilized and is blossoming into a very nice dog.