Sunday, August 19, 2007

My start in Agility/ Mandi

I started out in Agility when I had my first dog ( Mandi,Yellow Lab) as an adult. My parents raised Miniature and Giant Schnauzers, so I grew up training and playing with puppies and dogs. I only wish they had agility when I was a kid. My Min. Schnauzer (Echo) and I hated obedience. She was a very high strung, active dog.
So I rescued this Maniac Yellow Lab at 4 months of age. Labs are so different from Schnauzers. My Adventures with Mandi started out similar to Marley's and John Grogan's. I laughed and cried when I read "Marley and Me". It reminded me so much of my Mandi. I started to lose my green thumb with her, as she destroyed most of my plants. Then I got into agility and dogs, and have no time for plants.
When I got Mandi, a friend of mine wanted to become an obedience instructor, so the deal was she would take Mandi to class, show me what they are to work on and I worked on it during the week. When she finished those classes, that was not enough for me. I grew up with trained dogs, so I searched for classes to continue on. In the mean time Mandi had taught herself to climb a ladder, and I taught her other tricks with footballs and Frisbee's. She also was able to climb a 6 foot fence to get to me.
So in my search for a good obedience class, I happened upon a brochure for a workshop for agility. It seemed perfect for us. We went, got hooked, started classes, and at 2 years of age Mandi competed in a trial and got her first title! This was in 1991.
Mandi has been at the Rainbow bridge for 5 years now, and I still miss her so much. She got me into agility, head over heels. She was very smart and loved to show off. She performed her best at big shows with crowds. By the time I got my next dog I had become so involved, I became a judge, thanks to my friend Karen Holik. There was no turning back.
I still have Mandi's trophy displayed from our first USDAA National Event. We won the 24" Time Gamble in 1994. The next year we won second place in the Weave Pole Knockout at 24".
Mandi was so special, I knew I would be devastated if I lost her. So, I started my search for a second dog.