gmhTODAY 10 gmhToday Sept Oct 2016 - Page 77

Q: What are the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of your work? A: We work to keep our training exciting and fresh. Our students train on courses set up similarly to what they’ll find in competitions, working on different things each week.  They keep us on our toes, and we learn from them too. What’s rewarding is to watch client and dog work confidently and happily together, side by side, in the show ring.   Q: Is it safe to say you have to expect the unexpected in your work?   A: Yes! One student was at a competition doing her first agility event.  One of the elements of the course required her dog to lie down at a table while the judge counted to five seconds.  She was so excited about her wonderful run that she forgot and ran with her dog right past the judge, who was still counting. They were disqualified for the error, but we could tell by her expression, and her dog’s behavior, that they’d both had so much fun, it didn’t matter. Another time, one of our advanced students was working on drills with her dog while a friend was recording them on video.  Distracted, the student went off course and ran into the side of the tunnel.  The video captured her going head over heels, landing on the other side of the tunnel. Then all you could see was her feet in the air. She laughed harder than we did. Priceless! Q: What’s your goal for the business over the next year or two? A: Our goals are always the same:  We keep up with new developments in dog agility and dog training in general.  We provide an example to our students by running our own dogs in regional and national competitions.  We build curricula that challenges our students to be their best.  We serve not just as educators, but also as mentors. Q: Why San Martin and what makes it a good place to live and run your business? A: We had an opportunity to lease space from A Pooch’s Paradise, a dog boarding and day care business.  Our partnership has worked out really well and we now have the perfect property for our competition-sized 10,000 square foot training field, complete with lights for evening classes. “I brought my Australian Shepherd, Yuki, to train with Vici in the foundation class. We became a team and worked through mis- takes using positive reinforcement. This is a wonderful program that helps dogs learn focus, obedience and socialization.” Karen Nagareda, Hollister “My French Bulldog Max thinks he’s a Border Collie. Going to com- petitive events is a lot of stimula- tion. At first he was a space cadet running to the edge of the show ring looking for his treats. Now he’s earning titles. Dog agility is like learning a new language for both of us. As long as Max loves it, we’ll keep competing!” Kim Wasserman, Los Gatos Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you? A: Absolutely! This is an awesome business to work in, and we love our clients.   GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 77