|Call name: “McClean”
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Owner/Handler: Diane Guillotte
How long have you been training this particular dog? We started his training at two months of age with games (name games, crate games, retrieves, attention, exercises), in order to have tools that would allow him to have fun with this activity. The games evolved more specifically towards agility as he grew older.
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? He experienced such a surprise when he participated in his first Jump and Tunnel class (a new CKC class)! He was having such fun. He was frolicking like a puppy when he finished. It was a reminder of what he was like at his first trials and proof that older dogs can still have fun!
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? As he is an older dog, we have adapted the warmup ritual: a lot of walking, stretching, a dip in the pool to cool off if it is hot, a light massage and then we go and have fun!
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? When he is not playing with me, he loves running with other dogs and playing Frisbee.
What drew you to the sport of agility? I still remember the first time I saw people doing agility; there were sparks in both the dogs’ and the handlers’ eyes. I decided then and there that this was the type of relationship I wanted with my dog, and that was only the tip of the iceberg – you can add bonding, love and happiness to the mix. Now, with more experience, the joy of strategizing, meeting wonderfully interesting people and facing new challenges are part of what maintains and increases my passion for this constantly and rapidly evolving discipline.
Do you have a mentor? I could name those who influenced us, but I have to admit that my dogs have been my best teachers. I have learned so much by observing them: respect for my teammate, humility, pleasure, perseverance, consistency, perspective and unconditional love.