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Oh my goodness. Trying to get through an agility class with an energetic dog who didn't get his 2 mile after work walk? Even worse than I thought it would be. I did not enjoy that class.

I take some mild consolation in the other dogs being kind of squirrelly too. It was the last class of the session and I swear that all of the dogs were like thirteen-year olds on the last day of the school year.

But back to me, if had had any doubts that the long walks make a difference in handling Tom, last night would have cured that.

I'm actually thinking about trying to take up running again for our evening walks. It would be good for my own fitness, Tom would like that, I think, and, most important of all, it might aid in my quest to keep his energy levels contained.

Oh, in one bit of developing good news, Tom does seem to be getting better around children again. About two months ago or so, he decided that kids are Very Scary and do everything he could to get away from them. Which is sad, because a cute, fluffy dog is like catnip to kids. There are some really nice children that we see regularly in the course of our walks and I've been working on things by giving them treats to give to Tom. In the past couple of days, he's started to walk right up to a couple of the kids with little or no hesitation. *Knock on wood,* I'm hopeful that we're starting to turn the corner on that issue.
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--Dog school that is.

Tom and I went to our first beginning agility class last night. It was lots of fun. We were introduced to the open tunnel, closed tunnel, A-frame, and low hurdles. It's a nice sized class--fewer than ten dogs. Most of the dogs are some variety of herding dogs or herding mixes. There's one or two "you pick the breeds" dogs, and Tom, a hunting dog.

The person who was near me for most of the class and I struck up an ongoing conversation. I thought she said her dog was a Malinois, but I think I misheard because to me he didn't look right for that breed. Anyway, we got started laughing, because at one point she was watching the way Tom did the tunnels and said "he's very independent, isn't he?" I laughed and agreed. She was commenting how that's so typical of a hunting dog--while all the herding dogs are all like "what do you want me to do next? is this okay?"

Tom caught on to the "over" with the little hurdle right quick. He wasn't so sure about the A-frame, but seemed to be more at ease with it after doing it a few times. Then there were the tunnels. He seemed a little unsure of them the first couple of times. But then he went through them fine. He took his time, though. And his attitude very much seemed to be "All right, hold your horses. There are all kinds of interesting smells here." This is what prompted the conversation with the classmate about the more independent nature of hunting breeds.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I think Tom had fun too. I don't know if I'm really going to be able to afford to get into this in a big way, but if nothing else, at least a round or two of classes should be fun.


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