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This morning I practiced agility with my dog for the first time since our last class in mid-March, before our stay at home order began. Maybe a few jumps in the yard, but it’s so small and hardly helpful.

Here’s how my club reopened. The space is divided into 3 rings, with the center ring maybe 10’ wide, just a buffer between the other 2. Max of 2 people/ring, and 10 people total on site, including in the outdoor rings. Masks are mandatory. Agility equipment set up in one ring, though the ring can still be used for other training, just don’t move the contacts. Reserve a ring on line and sign in just in case contact tracing is needed. Reservations are for an hour, with 30 minutes in between users for cleaning. Disinfect anything you touch (doorknobs, light switches, jump bars, ring gates) with either a wipe, spray bottle with disinfectant, or garden sprayer with disinfectant.

I didn’t think that it was important to me to train, taking a cautious approach to COVID-19 transmission. But when I heard of the rules for training at the club, I decided to reserve the 7 am time slot for Sunday. The building would be empty overnight, lessening any concerns about air quality. And it’s a big building. I invited an agility friend who’s also an early bird (2 golden retrievers) to join my spoo and beagle mix — we hit 4 jump heights with our crew. We take classes together so our dogs already know each other.

The dogs did great, not reflecting 3 months off, and really enjoyed their time in the ring. Especially pleased with my spoo’s weaves, and with the beagley girl’s enthusiasm; she’s a year post-surgery for liver cancer and we are enjoying every day that we have together. The extra bonus for my dogs was a ramble around the rural property. From the engagement of their noses, it’s safe to assume the wildlife had its way with the humans away. My friend and I are going to make this a weekly event, though I may try to go more often on my own. It’s such a time saver to not have to set up an agility course, just pop in for a couple of runs or focused exercises.
 

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Sounds great! I can picture what a good time you had from your description. It’s good to get back isn’t it? In my area we only can have outdoor practice but the facilities are embracing it and I’m grateful.

My lessons resumed a couple weeks ago- outdoors with many restrictions. I also went to outdoor run thrus and rented an outdoor ring for an hour at another facility this weekend. I rented the ring with a woman who owns Gracie’s cousin, and we allowed the crazy young poodles time to play in a big fenced in area on the property. They had a blast!

First trial since the pandemic is this weekend, it’s outdoors with lots of room for social distancing and a requirement to wear masks. We’ll see how it goes....but we are back!
 
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