When it’s August, and half the family is away in Canada and it’s just you and the dog, and you need to get off the ranch but your regular walks are kinda crowded with other people, well watcha gonna do?
Well Sombrero, you could start by being a bit more bloody sociable. But that said …
Armed with his ball and a pocket full of kibble, Ludo and I made our way to an isolated field in darkest West Sussex, where Tania Chapelle introduced me and the critter to a canine assault course of jumps, see-saws and plastic bendy tunnels, just like the ones at Crufts. I had booked a one-to-one session with Tania’s Dogs First training school.
We walked the course and then, using liberal quantities of food, bribed the mutt into jumping a jump, scaling an obstacle and finally running through a tunnel. There was more to it than that of course and Ludo took a while to get with the programme, but his endless enthusiasm — not to say appetite — won the day.
All I wanted to do was wear the bloody animal out, and that certainly worked, but we discovered he was quick to learn too. I also learned, how to guide him around the course, how to manoeuvre the wheelchair to block his exit around each obstacle, and to scatter food to good effect.
Team Ludo has since graduated from food to tennis ball and is currently competing for a place in a group class. Tania has asked the farmer to put the roller over the course, to make it easier for me to do my bit.
A number of sponsorship opportunities are still available. Sombrero knows a business opportunity when he sees one.