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Summertime is hot in Florida, there is no doubt about that. So the Calusa Dog Agility Club definitely does things right by having their June agility trial in the air-conditioned Turner Agri-Civic Center in Arcadia, Florida. I was warned before I got there to wear layers because it’s really cold. The confirmation sent out by the trial secretary even suggests competitors bring a sweater. But I have to say that the chilly air was the saving grace when coming in from the Florida sunshine. This AKC trial was held June 21-23 inside the arena with two rings and two judges.
Upon Arrival, Dog Agility is Not by the RV Parking
Finding the location is easy; there are signs all over for the Civic Center as soon as you get off I-75. The grounds are completely fenced and as you enter through the gates you will see the large Mosaic Arena off to the right along with the RVs. This is not where the agility is, and you may be a bit confused as you pull in since the RVs are all parked there. I know I was. However, the RVs are parked there on the gravel for the hook-ups (water and electric). As you continue on the paved entrance road the Civic Center is right in front with the covered loading/unloading area by the front door. There is a large American flag hanging in front of the building, an excellent landmark that makes it easy to find.
Agility Ring Set-Up Keeps Traffic Moving
The trial secretary table is next to the entry to the ring area. The running surface is packed red clay. Despite the dirt arena, the facility is very clean. You’ll see employees walking around sweeping the dirt off the floors in the other areas of the civic center to keep it nice and tidy. The ring gating is a mesh fabric on two sides, while the other sides are solid walls. The rings are set up to keep the traffic moving and prevent overcrowding by having the gates located on opposite sides of the arena. The JWW ring on the right has the entrance/exit gates on the front side of the building while the STD ring gates are on the rear side of the building. The Calusa Dog Agility Club owns the equipment. It is from MAX200, Clip & Go, and M.A.D. Agility.
Variety of Crating Options
There is a central walkway between the rings that leads directly to the back lobby where the main crating area is located. There is also crating in the raised bleachers on both the upper and lower levels. You can access the bleachers by stairs or elevators. Additional crating is located in a separate building, a short two-minute walk from the Civic Center.
There are plenty of grassy areas surrounding the building to potty the dogs, with the largest area out front on the other side of the very large parking lot. While most people park out front, some competitors park in the back because the main crating area is in the rear lobby of the building.
Popular with the RV Campers
Overnight RV parking requires a reservation prior to the event. There are bathrooms with showers on site for camper use. The RV parking area affords plenty of room for ex-pens for your dogs. Be sure to bring your extension cords and extra hoses to be on the safe side.
Ribbons and Trophies and Awards, Oh My!
The club provides large colorful ribbons for placement, new titles, double q’s, triple q’s, quadruple q’s, MACH, PACH and almost everything imaginable. For an AGCH title, they have a paw-shaped trophy with a neck ribbon for the dog in a beautiful display case – very nice way to mark such an amazing achievement. They even have a ribbon to mark your very first Q – that’s something I’ve never seen before! The awards display is quite a fun and colorful celebration!
Saturday Night’s Catered Buffet
The Calusa Dog Agility Club has been hosting agility trials for all of its nine-year existence. They host fun runs the day before the trial and offer a catered buffet meal Saturday night. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the meal, they just need to sign up ahead of time so the chef knows how many people he’s cooking for that night. “We try to put on a nice friendly event, that’s why we do the meal on Saturdays and try to make it a fun time for everyone,” said club president Jen Canfield. The club definitely succeeds in creating a fun and welcoming event for all.