Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Cathedral of Training

It's been such a long time coming. Almost two years since my friends lost their lease on their training facility. Two years of searching for a new location, checking out warehouses, finally deciding to build. The land and loans were secured last summer, but endless city red tape delayed, then delayed again the building.

But it's done now. The Cathedral Of Dog. http://www.columbiak9sportscenter.com. Columbia Canine Sports Center. The fabric building is light, airy, open. Over 50 feet high at the apex, 120' x 240' of clearspan space, sunbrightened by day, glowing at night. All on 3/4" recycled rubber flooring over 6 feet of crushed lime. A full sized agility ring, a 100 x 60 agility ring, a rally ring, and 2 Obedience rings with room for more.

In the old building, which had a 60 x 90 agility space and two obedience rings, the first night of classes was always chaos, with at least one near-escape dog fight and lots of tension. But something about all this soaring light decompresses dogs and owners. We had 3 rings full of dogs last night, all running simultaneously, and even the greenest of the green pet dogs were relaxed and happy.

And oh, how great it is to be training again. Cala the dobe, in her first Rally 2 class, did so well considering I haven't trained at all since last fall. She was tired by the end of the hour, but not too tired to run once on the agility course in Masters class. Where she did each of her contacts perfectly, which has been a big problem for us lately.

Zipper's first class is Thursday, but I brought him to start absorbing building noises and to get comfortable. Besides barking at dogs going by his crate (which I put an end to by covering it), he did really well. I took him out a few times and simply clicked him for attention on me, then took him to an empty agility ring and clicked him around the dogwalk. Zipper had an agility class last summer but definitely needs a refresher, so he'll start all over again.

We all came home tired, happy, and satisfied.

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