Jean Long, Freckles, and Bingo
Welcome back to this month’s featured training team of the month. This month we’d like to introduce you to Jean Long, Freckles, and Bingo.
Jean began her dog training and agility journey here with us at DogLogic with her super Spaniel mix, Freckles and is continuing with a very different kind of adorable mix, Bingo.
Enjoy learning about Jean’s journey in her own words!
A Dog Training Journey That Began with Freckles and Continues with Bingo
My step into agility began with the adoption of Freckles, a very intelligent spaniel mix, who was found wandering in the woods near my vet’s farm. The vet said, “He’s a great dog who will need something to do. You should try agility.”
I looked it up online and found DogLogic. Freckles loved every minute of our training time. We started with Basic Manners which led to our Canine Good Citizen certification. At Karen’s suggestion, we pursued certification with Therapy Dog International and began making “official” visits to nursing homes and colleges. Freckles loves people and learns quickly so we kept going with agility lessons until one day, Lynne said it was time to step into the ring, and I replied, “What ring?” I never liked it when, in mock trials at DogLogic, someone announced, “Freckles is on the line.” My stomach tightened hearing those words.
That’s when I knew I had to take the next step. If stepping into the ring was an edge for me, then I had to overcome it. The idea of being in the limelight made me uncomfortable, having people watch and critique was nerve-wracking, but, when we won a blue ribbon, that all changed. Freckles was smart, driven, and fast so he could quickly correct my steering mistakes and still beat the clock. That was fun!
The drills we practiced in class with Lynne’s hawk-eyed oversight gave us the confidence to learn new techniques and risk getting it wrong while we gained competence. Our goal was to have fun and see what Freckles and I could do together. He had the natural ability; I had resolve. We both had Lynne’s expertise and every competition resulted in a blue ribbon. I forgot about my fear of the ring by focusing on Freckles’ face and going with the flow. Freckles took early retirement from agility in 2015 due to a spinal condition he was born with and remains active as a mentor to Bingo, our latest addition.
Bingo is a mighty mix of Border Collie, Aussie Shepherd, and Boxer that I adopted from the local humane shelter and his energy is unreal. He’s smart and fast enough to go in all directions at once, so at DogLogic we’re learning a lot about impulse control. Bingo loves agility, and at 15 months old he’s already learned 12 weaves, front and rear crosses, goes airborne over the A-frame, drives to the foot of the dog walk, and can make a spontaneous revolution around the class in a blink……and the learning continues.
What I’ve learned at DogLogic goes beyond agility: Run with confidence, visualize the positive outcome,
get comfortable with not knowing how it’s going to go, trust the process, and have fun.