I just love canine freestyle and I really would love to share the joy of dancing with dogs with others. I haven’t had much luck trying to get a class started; not many people are familiar with the sport. It’s been a while since Risa and I have done a demo and, every time we did, it was more than just us! But I knew I needed to show people what this activity is all about and wanted to help support a local event, so I offered to do a freestyle demo.
It was incredibly hot and we were scheduled to dance around the heat of the day. I hadn’t practiced as much as I should have. In fact, we hadn’t run through the entire routine since early June when we last competed. It was also a very busy venue which makes it even more difficult for Risa. Her fearfulness could have kept her from doing anything at all. However, she did very well. While she did start early and I lost her twice when she took off to investigate things, I’m very proud of how she did. I had to do a lot of improv because she was distracted but it still went together nicely. People also seemed to really enjoy the performance, especially Risa’s backward circles. Something about that move really impresses people and it happens to be one of Risa’s favorites to do.
She was also very well-behaved overall. With so many dogs and people, it was a crowded event. She got a bit grumbly when dogs got too close to her crate and she was pretty nervous when kids peeked in to check her out. (I tossed her a lot of treats both when dogs were close and when the kids were staring at her.) When she wasn’t kenneled, she was actually downright friendly with several people. The MC during our performance reached right out and touched Risa to pet her on her head and Ris didn’t even flinch. I would expect Ris to at least move away slightly but she didn’t at all. She seemed perfectly content to be petted by a total stranger. She even allowed a gentleman to pet her while we sat at our booth and that’s a huge step as well. Honestly, you wouldn’t know how many fear-related issues Risa has if you had watched her today. She’s come so far.
It was a long, tiring day especially with the heat. I wish our demonstration had been longer and that more teams than just us were involved (maybe next year?). But it was still a great day. Besides, we had fun together and that’s all that matters.
Here’s our performance to “I Got You” by Thomspon Square: