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(This poem was originally posted on the USKBTC elist by Dana Flint of Flint Kerry Blue Terriers. Permission was given by the author, Dawn Pribyl, to post.)

‘Tis the Day of Agility
by Dawn Pribyl

‘Tis the day of agility, and all ’round the ring
The handlers prepare, while most dogs are napping.
Course maps we examine, planning front cross and rear.
We’re all a bit nervous, but we show no fear.

First comes the walk through; it has to be split.
Two hundred at once just won’t fit.
We plan how to signal, to turn, and to cross.
If we don’t get it right, it’s a $20 loss.

Next is the briefing from the agility judge.
The table is a down, and she will not budge.
Remember four-paws or you’ll be forced to quit.
The course times are posted; we hope to make it.

The score table is ready, jump bars are all set.
The dogs are all walked, their every need met.
Final rituals performed outside of the course.
In just 60 seconds it’ll be joy or remorse.

The judging begins, first tall dogs then small.
Everyone on the line at the gate steward’s call.
The first dog – she Q’s! A good way to start.
The next handler gets lost, and the run falls apart.

Another dog makes it, then one is too slow.
That dog and handler put on quite a show!
Some do not touch, and some knock a bar.
Table faults, refusals, and wrong courses there are.

I wait in line for my turn for a run.
When, oh when will the 20′s be done?
My dog’s name is called; it’s our turn, there’s no doubt.
The timer says “Go!”, and two jumps I lead out.

“Jump! Jump! Walk! Table!” then “Climb!”
We have to hurry or we’ll run out of time.
Don’t turn too soon or the jump will come down.
Then we’ll have an NQ and leave with a frown.

Into the weaves, twelve poles – don’t pop out.
“Here! Tunnel! Jump!” I say in a shout.
“Teeter!” then “Tire!” another “Jump!” then the “Chute!”
Run fast and run clean. Now’s no time to be cute.

We’re nearing the end with no faults so far.
Don’t celebrate yet, or we’ll knock the last bar.
Three jumps to go, and then only two.
We’ve just crossed the line, and hurray, it’s a Q!

I grab up my dog and quick, find the leash.
Congrats and applause. The dog just wants treats.
Petting and loving and food he gets too
Another tough course, but we made it through.

To the score table I go to pick up our sheet.
By how many seconds did course time we beat?
Fifteen it says with a big, smiley Q.
It’s not only a leg, it’s a new title too!

While I wait for our ribbons, a first place and a green,
Of MACH I do so hopefully dream.
It’s a long road ahead, and we may never get there.
We’ll have fun just the same no matter how we might fare.

Thanks to the clubs, the judges, and all who volunteer.
Without your many efforts we would not be here.
With our dogs on the weekends it’s agility we choose.


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