Over the next few years we read, watched and listened to as much as we could from the agility world and found our own way with how we wanted to train and compete. Agility became fun again and we would spend as much time clicker training tricks as we did training for agility. We tried new ways of handling, not bothering so much about results, just whether we tried hard and gave each run our best, and above all, that our dogs were happy and enjoyed it as much as us. In fact our dogs being happy always overrode the agility and choosing shows with good walks nearby has become just as important.
During this time we both judged in agility and as much as we loved watching good partnerships between dog and handler, we saw a lot of poor handling that we were longing to help with.
It was still difficult to train together though as we both lived in different towns. We were constantly on the search for a field, although only half-heartedly as we didn't have any equipment, plus that thing called "life" kept getting in the way, until we realised that lack of consistent training was affecting our competing abilities. We were both experts in back garden/playing field training with odds and ends of equipment, but seemed to have lost the ability to run full courses. In fact we feel our more experienced dogs, Whisky,Winnie and Gertie, do amazingly well to put up with us.
And then, by chance, I came across Ruth, who owns Wagtails Canine Services, at Weel near Beverley. She has the space and is willing to put up with us and our dogs and has given us the opportunity to do something we've wanted to do for so many years, teach agility, and have somewhere to train our own dogs. Everything has come together in a few weeks and we are two weeks away from teaching our first group of students. Let the lessons and fun begin!