Here’s what the J.S. Bridwell Ag Center looked like when we arrived in Wichita Falls on Saturday morning. Mrs. Pondero and canine companion, Ferris Bueller, came for competition. Mrs. Pondero is the athlete (Ferris is no slouch either, but is clueless without Mrs. Pondero). I am the bicycle geek. Since the missus and I are quite fond of one another, finding ways to support one another in doing what we enjoy, and finding a way to do that TOGETHER, is one of the benefits of being joyfully married for more than 30 years.
I was told the reason that gassy Ferris Bueller rides inside the cab is because he is a highly trained, ribbon winning agility dog. The Quickbeam, while handsome, has won nothing. He rides in the truck bed. That’s fine, he prefers fresh air anyway.
This is what the inside of an ag barn looks like when it has be overwelmed by handlers, dogs in all shapes and sizes, crates, and between-run camp set-ups. Apparently, just like riding a bicycle, dog agility competition requires an amazing array of gear. That fact alone might suggest it is worth closer consideration.
As chief roadie, my main job is to support the athlete. However, since there can sometimes be hours between runs, the Quickbeam waits patiently for an exploration opportunity.
Ferris focuses intently on the next run. You might think you see an aggressive, crush-the-competition determination on his face. But the only determination a dog named Ferris Bueller has is for fun. He doesn’t think about the other dogs at all. He bounces through the course like a pre-schooler at a play ground and flies over the jumps much higher than necessary. He uses every inch of the arena to milk every ounce of fun out of the run. He wins ribbons without even trying.
Pre-run pep talk and mutual admiration society. You can’t lose with this kind of eye contact..and tail wag blur.
Running across obstacles…
…and enjoying high places. They seem to have that eye contact thing going again.
In the end, I did find a little time between runs to explore the bike paths of Wichita Falls. As you can tell, it was nothing but serious training for the main event on my cycling calendar this year; the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour. Well that…and the unmatchable joy of sharing the day with the lovely Mrs. Pondero.
We only had to roll the windows down to vent the cab once.