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 »  Home  »  Smiles  »  TUNNELS, TIRES & TEETER TOTTERS
By Staff Writer | Published  12/14/2005 | Smiles | Interest Level:
Staff Writer
Murphy Messenger uses a variety of guest and staff writers that contribute greatly to our publication. 

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Murphy's Agility Course . . .Something to Bark About

Boggess Elementary student and his dog learn to navigate Murphy agility course.

Have you driven down Betsy Lane and noticed the field next to Southfork Animal Hospital that is full of apparatus? Or at night, see the lights that illuminate an agility course of tunnels, jumps, ramps, teeter totters, and gates? The facility is pretty impressive, but the dogs and their handlers who navigate the course that are the greater attraction.

Ryan Lockard, professional Training Director for the Dallas Agility Working Group (DAWG), spends most of her free time teaching and training dog obedience and agility to club members and students. When she's not at her full-time day job or at the Betsy Lane facility, she can most often be found at a show or competition with her two Australian Shepherds, "Divot" and "Bogey."

In the photos, Ryan's "Divot" demonstrates a number of skills a fully-trained dog is able to master. Many of the 70+ club members bring their dogs out to the course for exercise purposes or to spend quality time with their pets. But Ryan explained that several members have earned winning champion awards and ribbons.

One of the students Ryan is most proud of is Christian Hickman. Christian is a 4th grader at Boggess Elementary and he is the first junior handler Ryan has worked with. Christian and his dog "Cade" have completed the first six week agility training program and they plan to continue by enrolling in the next level of classes.

Christian, son of Alan and Lisa Hickman, said he wanted to bring "Cade" to classes so that his dog could learn to do tricks and learn to pay better attention to him (Christian). "Cade" is a Lhasa Apso/ Cocker mix with a great set of vocal chords and lots of energy.

If you would like more information about Murphy's unique training facility you may visit the website: The club is a member of the USDAA, NADAC, and NAG. The agility course is located on Betsy Lane next to Southfork Animal Clinic, 1101 N. Murphy Road.
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