The current Dog Agility Blog Action Event topic is aging. I hate to think about my dogs aging. Besides so far their age has not been the determining factor in when to retire them from agility. For Max and Libby it was a matter of temperament; for Dusty it was a matter him being oblivious to abusing his body. Dog willing, Belle will be running for another four or five years.
I also hate to think about my own aging, but pain, stiffness and insomnia force me to acknowledge its reality. Nonetheless, I really believe that to a great extent you are only as old as you feel. Hell, Diana Nyad is 64 years young and made the swim from Cuba to Florida this past weekend. I have an aunt who will be 98 in less than a week and she lives independently in her own home. I have a vivid memory of her when she was 80 running after a piece of paper that was blowing away.
Agility keeps me feeling vital and engaged. It gives me a reason to push myself physically, and it certainly encourages me to use my mind to figure out how to get things done that someone younger, faster and with more stamina would accomplish by simply running with her dog. There is always something new to learn, especially when tackling international courses and training a new puppy.
Many, many moons ago, I used to ride horses, and was even lucky enough to own a few over the years. I really loved riding and it was the main thing that helped me get through the horrible four years known as high school. However, in some ways, agility is even better since my dogs are with me almost 24/7. Can't say that I ever considered inviting one of my horses into the house.