Whilst updating the Severnside website (http://www.severnsidedac.co.uk/) I edited and uploaded some photographs that a friend had taken at a recent league match. Naturally my favourite was the one I found of my own little girl; Ella waiting at the start-line for her release command. Cool, poised, ready for action just as she always is - I'm not sure why it so moved me, but it did.
Then it struck me as I moved away from the computer to go and find some dinner - both she & Kai jumped up ready to go, eager to be with me, hopeful that they might get asked to do something. We agility competitors are lucky in many ways, but the thing that strikes me the most is how it makes an potentially ordinary relationship with a dog into something quite extraordinary. Not only are they my talented and willing agility dogs, but they are also (and far more importantly) the dogs I am privileged to share my life with. Our agility isn't the be all and end all (as Kai proves each moment), but through training for it we have grown to know each other in ways we simply wouldn't have if they were merely pet dogs. For that I shall be forever grateful, despite the aching pain I know lies ahead when we shall have to be parted. These happy days make that sadness all worthwhile. Better to have loved and lost as they say, than never to have loved at all.