Remembering Maggie and Where it All Began

So your wife comes to you and says, "I want a dog to protect me in this new big house I made you buy me." You say, "Sure you can have a dog , what kind you want?" She replies a GSD, I say fine. She then informs you that her GSD dog will need a buddy because she doesn't want a lonely dog.

"Fine" I tell her, "...but don't ask me to get a GSD." She then says, "Great we'll get two dogs, me a GSD and you a whatever you want!" I reply, "Wait a minute, you have now talked me into a dog I really don't even want...OK..." I say," but if I'm getting a dog I don't even want, it will have to be a Golden Retriever."

Not quite ten years ago that's how the story started. Then after getting the dogs, the wife informs you, that you need to drive 75 miles to train your dog (the one you didn't really want), to do obedience training. After all she says, "You don't want a stupid dog."

Obedience done, my Golden Retriever with her degree, I think I have accomplished pretty much anything a house dog should need done by it's Master. Oh no, "Our dogs are bored, they need to do something to keep them busy" she says. "Like what do you have in mind?"

"Agility, you remember, the thing I did with Stanford (our Dobbie from years before)". "Sure, I'm going to drive 75 miles to train my already degreed dog to chase me around, over my dead body!"

"It will be fun", she says. I reply, "Yeah right, but ok, only if you promise we won't be doing it every weekend." Famous last words.

Flash forward eight years, four more dogs and agility nearly every weekend and every night. Some men would claim their life had been ruined, no time for any manly activities, instead you have to train dogs. Hugging and kissing on dirty, furry animals, even an occasional lick on the lips.

Who knew a man could get so attached to his dogs, that walking around with a plastic bag covering his hand could feel pretty normal. Maggie was my start for all of this. Through her, I learned a lot about myself and a lot about dogs. Way too many things to put into a single post. Let's just leave it at this. Thank you Maggie for the years you gave me.

For the silly, happy memories I will have for the remaining years I get to have on this earth. My heart is broken but also thankful that you were my dog. I will love you forever, you will always be in my heart and memories. Thank you to our friends, way too many of you have shared this same type of event. Maggie was always happiest when she was able to spend time with you.

Thank you for loving my Maggie.

A Few Tips


Have fun! This is unequivocally the most important tip to remember. If you and/or your dog are not having fun, it's time to take a pa(ws). 


Set small goals! There is so much to learn in this sport and so much to remember while running a course at MACH speed. Focus on honing one specific skill at each practice or trial. 



Hit the road! Really. You might be comfortable trialing locally, but it's important to get exposure: new courses, new environments, and new handlers (who are bound to have some helpful feedback for you and your dog).

© 2018 Carolina Agility Training