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Doggie Day Fair 2

Kubrick at the Busy Paws Time to Play launch!

Last weekend, my husband Marc and I (together with Kubrick) attended the launch of Busy Paws Time to Play at Mercato Centrale. It was organized by Urban Sports K9, a club of passionate dog owners with the goal to get fellow dog lovers into canine sports. Aside from the usual agility course, they are also training their pooches the sport of flyball.

The session began with introductions from Urban Sports K9, and eventually guided us to basic obedience. Of course, the dog needs obedience before you can even put them through an agility course! 😛 Since Marc is more athletic between the two of us, we thought it best to have him go through the session with Kubrick. Besides, even if it’s usually me who walked Kubrick, they were partners who placed fourth place in the It’s a Dog’s Life fun run last year. What could go wrong, right?

Apparently, a lot. Because during the first part of obedience, which is simply walking your dog properly, proved to be a huge obstacle for Marc and Kubrick. I’ve always known Kubrick was afraid of other dogs — especially big ones — but we never really had much problem with it. He’d be hesitant at first, then in a few minutes of walking he’ll be fine. But I guess it’s different when he’s just walking with his human “daddy.” 🙂 They could run together just fine, but apparently, walkies with other dogs is an entirely different story altogether!

I guess Kubrick was just so used to having Marc be his “protector,” that he spent most of the time cowering beside him. Kubrick refused to walk, and when they stopped, he’d spend his time literally attached to Marc. It seemed as if Marc would disappear if he took a step away from him. He wasn’t barking or anything, just afraid of the other dogs and leaving Marc’s side. Folks from Urban Sports K9 did their best to help us, even gave him treats, but he wasn’t budging. He wasn’t leaving Daddy’s side!

We couldn’t understand what was up with Kubrick. Granted that Shantee had always been the more sociable one, and he’s never been comfortable around bigger dogs, the Kubrick we were used to would never clam up too long. We were about to give up and just sit through the whole session, but the Urban Sports K9 folks encouraged us not to give up and let Kubrick take his time. So we did. Kubrick relaxed, but still wouldn’t cooperate. He still wouldn’t leave Daddy’s side. I honestly could not accept that my little brave Kubrick would refuse to take the leap, so to speak. 🙁

We never really thought I was being a major factor in his refusal to walk with his daddy. I spent most of the time on the sidelines, watching them, taking photos of everyone — but Kubrick was still very much aware of my presence. More than once, I saw him checking and looking if I was still there. Then I remembered when Marc and Kubrick ran It’s a Dog’s Life fun run. They ran the 1.5k stretch with no problem, no incident of Kubrick refusing to run. They were surrounded by a lot of dogs at the starting line, but they still took off with no problem at all. Kubrick ran like a pro! So what was so different with that and the Busy Paws session? Simple. Me.

Kubrick could see me, and kept wanting to stay at my side. At the It’s a Dog’s Life fun run, I wasn’t around during their run. I just saw them at the start and finish lines. So we did the easiest thing: from that point on, I was Kubrick’s handler. And that’s when everything fell into place. The brave little Kubrick we knew was back! 🙂

Although Kubrick was still skittish when walking past another dog and his handler, he took on all the other “fear tests” like a pro. While other dogs barked in fear of the umbrella suddenly opening in front of them, Kubrick just looked at the umbrella like it was mildly interesting. He seemed almost bored when somebody pushed a shopping cart right in front of him, and even looked sleepy when a man on a wheelchair passed by. The best part? He went through the very basics of the dog agility course with no hesitation and full concentration. We were so proud of him! 🙂

Between the two of us, Marc and I have always known Kubrick is closer to me. The dog would always sleep on the floor of my side of the bed, would always curl up under my feet when I work. He’d follow me everywhere in the house, even when I just needed to go to the bathroom to pee. Shantee is the “Daddy’s girl,” she was the one who was closer to Marc. I could never make her follow me the way Marc does. Based on our first Busy Paws session, I guess the same applied to him with Kubrick! 😛

I’m really glad we attended Busy Paws Time to Play last weekend. We’ve learned quite a lot about Kubrick we never would have bothered with if we weren’t there. Now, we’ll have the opportunity to fix his fears. But best of all, we’ve met fellow dog-lovers too! I’ve always liked being around people who loved dogs as much as Marc and I did… Maybe it’s a bias, but for me, people who loved animals were easier to get along with. After all, it takes character to care for another living creature unconditionally like they do.

Busy Paws Time to Play is held on a Saturday every two weeks. Aside from having fellow dog-lovers for companions, they’ll help you train your dog in agility. Membership fee is only Php300, and that’s for the entire year already! For more information, visit the Urban Sports K9 Facebook page.

The next session will be this coming June 9 (Saturday) at Mercato Centrale in Fort Bonifacio. Expect to learn about the basics of dog agility! Be sure to bring your dog’s updated vaccination records and your pet’s favorite toys and treats. Water and ice will be provided, but best to bring your dog’s own bowl or water bottle if he’s not used to drinking elsewhere. Kubrick and I will join the next session, and we hope to see you there!!! 🙂

If you’d like to see more photos we took during the Busy Paws Time to Play launch, check out the photo album on the Pinoy Dog-Lover Facebook page!

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