Sometimes when a door closes, a whole wall of sliding glass doors is flung open and the opportunities that come along are unexpected and absolutely delightful!!
Last February I had posted this:
. . . after Dean was sidelined from Agility due to his hip issue last winter.
I came to realize later that the main source of my disappointment was that Dean and I had worked so hard for so long to help him be happy and comfortable running Agility - at least in class - and that we would no longer be able to enjoy the fruits of that work.
I was wrong. So very wrong.
Because I thought Dean might not run Agility anymore, I put him in Rally FrEe. He didn't love it off the bat, but he did come to enjoy it a great deal, and before long I truly loved taking Dean and Tessa to that class together.
Then we went to our first competition. I almost backed out of it with him at that point, but thanks to the judge and the competition host, I realized that he had potential to enjoy himself in competition that I hadn't seen before.
So, we started taking classes through the Fenzi Academy, in hopes of finding that enjoyment.
The Obility class, in particular, changed Dean in ways that I would never have expected, and he started to thrive in Agility class - to which he had returned, jumping 16, without a whole lot of enthusiasm.
Now it is possible that he will start to love working in the ring in entirely new ways! We continue to train Rally FrEe and we truly love it. I am hoping that he will compete in Advanced sometime next year, at least by video!
And next weekend, he will return to Agility competition for the first time in a very, very long time.
I don't know if he will be different, but I am eager to find out.
Had Dean not had that injury last winter, I never would have branched off in a different direction with him. We would have continued as we had been, and nothing would have changed. That would have been OK, but how much we have learned together and how much we are enjoying ourselves now!
Dean and I have a working partnership now that we have never shared in all of his years with us. I have always loved him as my companion and pet, but for most of his life, he was my "should have been" dog. Now there are possibilities ahead that we will meet with joy and anticipation.
Back in February I really wouldn't have thought this possible!