OkcPets Magazine May 2021

May/June 2021 • OKC Pets 33 Virtual Trials and Competitions Opening up a new world of sports for you and your dog By David Gallant T he COVID pandemic limited many of us from attending in-person dog training classes and competitions. It canceled dozens of trials and events in 2020 and 2021. And for these events that were not canceled, we asked ourselves, “Is it safe to attend? Are the precautions enough for me to feel comfortable and keep both me and my dog safe?” Most of us stayed home with our dogs, think- ing the pandemic would be over soon. However, the months passed. CDC warnings persisted amid spikes and outbreaks. Friends and family got sick, or worse. Meanwhile, the lack of socialization and training was also taking a toll on our dogs. They became edgier, bored and destructive. YouTube and the internet provided many opportunities for adding training skills. But what about recognition for the relationships we were building with our dogs? Looking back over my pre-pandemic achievements with my four- legged friends, I wanted more. We earned those accolades and titles and would like to continue to do so. Enter virtual trialing! This area of dog sports grew exponentially during 2020 with many peo- ple limited from participating in crowded trials. Novice Trick Dog Exercise Virtual Parkour Class