Jeanne and Andrei
When I first started outreach (2003) with Kim,I had a slow,unmotivated dog who would run beside me in agility but never seemed to enjoy it. Kim showed me how to develop a love of play in Andrei and he soon loved agility as much as I did. When we completed our first ‘masters gamble’I knew it was because of Kim’s training. He placed 4th in his class at BC/Yukon Regionals 2 years in a row and 4th at Nationals the year he retired….that same year,he placed 1st in Gamblers. Not that winning is everything,but it shows to me how much Kim’s training improved my relationship with Andrei.
France and Satchmo
I have been involved in Outreach for about a year and a half. I started the program as soon as Satchmo (my six month old puppy) and I returned from our four month vacation. We have been in the program since then. Although we are still struggling in competitive events;I think that Satchmo and I are far more ahead that we would have been if we had not attended Outreach.
I think highly of the Outreach program for several reasons,the first being Kim as the Instructor. I value her expertise,knowledge,her understanding of dogs and her dedication to training. Second,the quality of the training in the program,from foundation training to Advanced/Master handling and third the support from other participants and the spirit of camaraderie we all have. I like the consistency in the training (both instructor / content). The support from Kim outside of the program,the feedback,both from instructor and the other participants,learning with other agility enthusiasts and applying new handling skill sets when competing with my older dog,Ella. The program is not easy. At times,I feel quite overwhelmed. My older dog and I are very much a team by now. Whatever I
might do wrong,Ella just goes along and corrects my mistakes!! Satchmo is a totally different dog:extremely excitable,totally enthusiastic about agility and a quick learner. Having only 2-3 sessions per year hinders my ability to progress with Satchmo as much as I’d like to. I can just imagine how far ahead I would be in my training if I could attend Kim’s training on a more frequent basis. Also it can be difficult in a large city to get together with other participants to practice as much as we would have liked. My advice to new people in the program would be to be open to trying new things,be willing to accept feedback,from other participants and the instructor. Do the homework so there is progress shown at the next session and attend other seminars sponsored by Kim to compliment the Outreach program. I will miss a couple of sessions in 2008 due to another lengthy vacation;however,we’ll have agility equipment with us and I intend to continue to practice the exercises provided in the Outreach program. I will resume my participation in the program upon our return.