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 A-Frame  Agility Humor by Bonnie Zich

     Bonnie Zich was a great handler of Border Collies in agility and in herding.  She had a tremendous
     sense of humor.  She was able to *see* into the minds of dogs and sheep.  She could do great dog and sheep
     voices.  This humorous article was published to the AgileDogs list on February 8, 2002 and I
     was given permission to publish this when I finally got my website done.

     Bonnie fought a courageous battle against cancer.  When diagnosed she was given 6 months to
     live..............but Bonnie did not believe them........and managed  to live 2.5 years past her given
     time.  She has always been an inspiration to me about her love for her dogs, her ability to read
     what they are thinking.............a very special person.      

     She achieved greatness in her life in herding and agility and just being who Bonnie was. 

     This picture shows her finishing her MACH title with her dog Flit.  She could easily show 4-5 dogs
     at any one event and be quite successful. 




All right I tried resisting and couldn't do it.  I've had a good time
ever since this question was first posted,.... thinking of all the ways
these dogs do the A-frame..   So take it lightly.

#1.  The Hop:
   This is often a little dog.  Best one ever seen is a Sheltie.  This
dog looks like it's been trained with 4 jumps attached to the A-Frame.
Hop to the yellow, hop to the top 2/3rds, hop over the peek, hop to the
bottom yellow.  Result, one of the fastest A-frames out there.
Problems: getting one to hop in the right spots.

 #2.  The running... Ooops 2 on 2 off:
    This is a dog who's obviously been trained the 2 on 2 off, while
asked to run, oops, then returns to the 2 on 2 off.  Awesome A-Frame,
N/Q'd via the dog putting his/her own butt back on the contact, then
waiting for a "click"/ treat ... and wondering why it's not coming.

#3.  The invisible target:
    This is a dog who stops to eat invisible food at the bottom of the
contacts.    Question:  How long is it going to take this dog to
realize these targets at shows,..... don't quite taste the same?

 #4.   The slide:
  This is a dog who has no sensor nerves connected to the brain.
This dog slides into the yellow on all fours, never feeling any pain.
Problem: Have to keep checking this dog to make sure they're not running
on "nubs" for legs. 

#5.  The Prancer:
    This is often a big dog that trots the whole A-Frame.  Smooth and
un-aware that there's any problem.

#6. The invisible wire method.
      This dog comes off of the A-Frame low and looking like he might
need a set of glasses.  He's looking for that invisible hoop and can't
find them at the shows.

#7. The "board jump" at the base.
      This dog comes off the A-Frame, and leaps from the yellow -- maybe
15' straight over nothing.  Problem: the bigger dogs don't need to wait
for the bottom, they can take that broad jump from much higher,
resulting in a REAL leap.

#8.  The big dog slide to-- oops 2 on 2 off.
     This dog flys over the A-frame, oops remembers there's a stop, so
it drags butt for a stop. Problem:  This is rough on the full male dogs,
most often found via females.  It also may become necessary to check
occasionally under their tail for wood splints up in there.

#9.  The big dog twist -- 2 on 2 off.
     This big dog can curl at the bottom of the A-frame waiting, with 2
in the blue, and 2 on the floor --- humm--- nothing in the yellow.

 #10.  The "Too fast to see".
      This dog is close to a maniac out of control, thus, zips the whole
thing too fast for the judge to be able to see......N/Q.... whether they
were in the yellow or not.  Conclusion: the judge may like to see it.

#11.  The "That's too fast".
    This is a very fast un-educated dog, that runs down over the contact
for a head stand in the dirt.  Hmmm....  Back to the drawing board. 

#12.  The "Scare tactic".
   This dog "tried" leaping from the peak and found himself in a
position, air borne, but NOT clearing the board.... thus an attempt of
air swimming to miss the bottom board.  Good lesson, very risky,
.....but worked.  Won't do that again, a good reason to STAY on the

 #13.   The "Running Handwalk".
      This dog learned to run down the stairs balancing his butt up in
the air, and using his 2 rears to intermittently balance the elevated
butt.  Very consistent front feet in the yellow, hard to leap from this
position.... Conclusion: leave it.

#14.   The "I've learned Everything".
     This dog has had multiple approaches tried, resulting
in.......Slowing down and questioning everything.  Problem: Over educated.

#15.  The "Off to a tunnel bottom".
     This dog has learned to race off the yellow into a tunnel.
Problem: You a gonner, if there happens to be a tunnel trap at the
bottom of that A-Frame.

Anyways, I've had fun thinking of all of these.  I'll probably think
of some more once I've sent it.  No knocks meant against any style.
Dogs are just being "dogs".  Don't we all just love it?

 Bonnie Zich