Dec 16, 2002, 8:27 PM
Agility Party - Post event article
Finally managed to squeeze my brain to finish writing the article for the agility party...Thinking of trying my luck to send to The Star or maybe some magazines...Would love to hear some comments from all of you, especially those who attended the party (particularly the webmaster so I didn't write anything wrong). I will also include some pictures for the article when I send to the papers/magazines later.
Title: SOCIALISING YOUR DOGS, ANYONE?
Ask a genuine dog lover, he'll tell you a dog is a man's best friend.
Because dogs also treat men as their best friends, they deserve sufficient interaction and socialisation just like their human counterparts.
Socialising a dog involves not only experiences with people, but with other dogs as well.
According to Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz, cofounder of Canine University, a successful dog training school located in Malden, Massachusetts, by making an effort to socialise a dog, the owner is increasing the dog's ability to learn how to act around people and other dogs. The dog will get to become an adult dog that is well mannered and friendly.
Bearing the socialising intention in mind, an agility party was recently organized by a group of dog lovers for their dearly loved canine companions.
For humans, the word "agility" refers to the ability to move quickly and easily. In canine terminology, this word could however be explained in a more extended manner.
According to the United States Dog Agility Association, dog agility is "a competitive sport in which a handler directs their dog over a timed obstacle course. Dogs race against the clock as they jump hurdles, scale ramps, burst through tunnels, traverse a see-saw and weave through a line of poles."
The event was initiated by members of puppy.com.my, an online community dedicated to help dog owners in Malaysia to establish stronger ties, seek for support, and share dog-keeping experiences among each other.
Selecting the proper venue was the first and most difficult task. The primary criteria for the selection of venue was that the dogs would be able to perform the agility tasks in a large enough open area and be allowed to run freely off-leash.
In Malaysia, it was rather difficult to find a dog-friendly park in Klang Valley for such events. After much discussion, a park with a lake in a residential estate was finally determined as the venue.
With an attendance of more than 30 people and close to 20 dogs of various breeds, the event turned out to be a fun-filled experience, for both the dogs and their owners.
As many of the dog owners were new to each other, they were glad to find other dog owners who were keeping the same breed of dogs and were enthusiastically sharing their joys and pains raising their furkids.
Like humans who are shy when meeting new people for the first time, dogs can be of similar nature too. While some of them were eager to be petted and were wagging their tails profusely when meeting new friends, a few were shyly hiding behind their owners when greeted by strange faces.
Seen in the field were dog owners busy encouraging their canine babies to jump over hurdles of various heights. It was indeed a hilarious scene to watch. Many of the dogs were encountering an agility activity for the first time. Their owners had to jump themselves in order to demonstrate to their dogs what should be done and to overcome the fear of heights and obstacles.
Some of the dogs also managed to make friends with other dogs. Example was Rex the Labrador Retriever, which has found a good pal with the cheeky and active Jack Russell Terrier, Biscuit. Both of them were also caught having a good time swimming in the lake when the owners were not looking.
The party ended with lots of food, loads of laughter and satisfaction from the owners, and barks of joy from the dogs. And most importantly, the members were finally able to put faces to the people they have been interacting with on the forum.
The community feels that there is a need for relevant authorities to allocate a public pet-friendly park or the like to allow dog owners engage in activities together with their dogs. This will not only benefit all the dog owners in the Klang Valley, but also provide a suitable venue for the community's future activities.
The online community has now more than 1200 registered members. Membership is free and more activities are being planned to establish closer ties and interaction between dog owners and their canine companions with other fellow members.
For more information on the community's activities and to participate in their online forum, check out the website at www.puppy.com.my.
Written by: PHANG SCE HWAI
Notes: Phang Sce Hwai is a lecturer at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and a proud mummy of a female shih tzu puppy.
With warm regards,
Mummy of Sunnie, the happy, cheeky and naughty female shih tzu pup
(This post was edited by cyphang on Dec 16, 2002, 8:41 PM)