Posted by Raja on June 4th, 2012 — Posted in Agility

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Cy (first in line) & Raja (last) again represent for the FisherDogs Agilty Team!

The Canine Performance Event Agility Nationals are being held simultaneously in two locations this June to accommodate enthusiasts who want to compete coast to coast.  Washington State and New York State are the host states, a fitting decision since last year’s Nationals were held in Minnesota.  Raja and I are going to report from the National Trials in Altamont, NY starting on June 13th Altamont is a gorgeous, rural town, just outside Albany, lying peacefully under the Helderberg Mountains.

Canine Performance Events’ mission is to promote fun and health through low impact competition with your dog.  From the CPE literature:

CPE’s Basic Philosophy is for the dog and handler to have FUN while competing for agility titles.

  • Membership is open to all purebred and mixed-breed dogs
  • 15 months of age or older
  • Veterans 6 years or older compete at lower jump heights
  • Enthusiast and Specialist compete at lower jump heights
  • 5 Levels of Titles (from Beginners to Championship)
  • Standard Classes and many Games Classes
  • Junior’s and Physically Challenged Handlers are welcomed!

Success can be achieved through positive training and teamwork.

While CPE is serious competition and years of training and commitment go toward achieving a Champion, the focus is the dog/human team development.  CPE is a little like golf, in that you are always competing against yourself.  So every competing dog can become a champion if the interest and
the commitment hold out.

And, Champion or not, every team wins.  Bonds of love, adventure and fun make every owner and dog live a healthier and prouder life.  No matter what curves life throws, the adventures along the way
with canine competition make for hours well lived in the ever changing history of canine / human interaction.

As we did in Minnesota, Raja and I are not competing, but blogging, observing and supporting our human and Shih Tzu friends Carolyn Linsday and Cy as they forge ahead toward Cy’s championship goal.

Cy had a challenging year. Three months ago, moving normally as he explored his new house, he hurt
a disk at the base of his neck.  His vet determined the original injury probably happened months or years before, or maybe even Cy was born with a tilted disk. A few days under the vet’s special care, laser treatments, chiropractic treatments, meds, total rest and then a slow return to activity, followed by a
cautious return to the agility arena have brought Cy back to competing form.

Carolyn wasn’t sure if Cy would compete, because, obviously, Cy’s overall well- being is more important than any title.  But Cy himself let Carolyn know he was ready to compete when he began to run around his new yard and jump again.  With his vet’s approval, Cy is good to go!

Some might question if a dog with a former disk injury should compete.  It’s a personal call for Cy’s
team, but the fact remains that Cy is a committed pet athlete and a bored stay at home couch-potato.  He yearns to be busy!  Also, as we know, activity builds muscles that support good spine health.
Plus, each dog jumps at his own level.  Cy competes in Teacup jump heights because he’s a small dog. None of the movements in CPE are eccentric or stressful, when practiced reasonably and not over trained.  It’s not that the dog does anything unusual physically, but that he follows the course in the proper sequence and in accordance with the pace his owner sets for him.  So Raja, who does not do agility per se, could easily do all the motions of the CPE runs on a normal romp outside, although actually getting him to do them in sequence or preventing him from getting off message and wandering off to say “hi” to somebody might be the challenge.

Pet athletes are just like human athletes. They might have challenges, but they heal up and come back stronger.
During the 13th through the 15th, Raja and I will be blogging nightly from the CPE trials.  Please check back with us to see our videos and read our ring-side report.

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