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Jumps, balance and teeter-totters par for the agility course

VERO BEACH – Pups young and old took to the Dogs For Life agility course Saturday as a fund-raiser for the Indian River County 4-H.

Caylin Rose proved an “old” dog can learn new tricks, while Max Molter and Kelsey Murphy also showed their youngsters could weave the poles and walk the dog walk with the best of them. “I was happy with the run,” 13-year-old Caylin said of 8-year-old Lou’s initial run through the course. “I was a little nervous” with the tunnel, she added.

Caylin said that the agility event Saturday served more as practice and training than as competition for her and her fellow 4-H members. They plan on competing at the Indian River County Fair, so they need to prepare.

Shelly Ferger, executive director of Dogs For Life, ran the show, commenting on the dogs as they jumped, weaved, balanced, climbs, and teeter-tottered.

“This could be a little scary,” Ferger told the audience as Kelsey’s 4-year-old Welsh Corgi, Toby Mac, approached the teeter-totter.

Toby Mac sniffed the board and stepped on with 13-year-old Kelsey’s encouragement and treats. At the tipping point, he stopped and hung suspended in the air for a moment before the board returned to the ground.

Toby Mac ran the remainder of the course and just as he finished, broke free from Kelsey and ran for the water bowl.

Max’s 4-year-old Max, a terrier-mix, took to the course with ease, getting hung up for a few moments on the tunnel when his leash got snagged on the support structure.

“This one, he did great,” 13-year-old Max said of the run, despite the tunnel mishap.

Max said he had expected his dog to balk at the teeter-totter but the pup’s confidence pulled him through.

Kelsey, too, thought Toby Mac would have a problem with one of the obstacles – the elevated dog walk, explaining that he had recently fallen off it, hurting his confidence.

“I just give him praise,” Kelsey said, “lots of praise.”

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