Permission is granted to cross post this message....
I need to share some sad news and a warning with the agility community. Some folks in the Dallas area know Steve Sanders and his wife Sue. Steve has been competing for a while with his Aussie Lucy. His wife Sue regularly came to watch class and brought along their adorable blue merle Aussie puppy Mattie.Remember that any equipment needs to be safely secured in the back yard before letting your pup play around it; and we always recommend supervising your pup, you just never know what can happen.
The months passed and Mattie was old enough to start classes. They were doing beautifully. Steve and Mattie were stars in their class and showed so much promise. I was really looking forward to see where they'd be in another year or two. Steve retired his older dog Lucy so he could focus on Mattie, who experienced so much joy doing agility. Mattie was a cheerful girl with a sweet personality and wiggly Aussie butt.
Last Thursday, I learned the tragic news. They turned the dogs out into their backyard to potty while getting ready for work. In the yard there is a set of agility equipment. After some time, Sue went to bring the dogs in the house, but Mattie was gone. With help from neighbors, they scoured the area but couldn't find her. When they got back to the house, they noticed that the agility chute in the backyard looked funny. The fabric had been bunched up in the barrel. It was typical chute fabric, not a tarp.
Sue found Mattie's body tangled up in the chute. She had gotten twisted tightly in the fabric and suffocated. They tried to do CPR, but it was too late.
Steve and Sue are devastated by the loss. They asked me to share their story so that another dog doesn't suffer the same fate. Please, tell your friends and students to always supervise their dogs around the chute or put it away when not in use. I have never heard of anything like this before and hopefully never again. I still can't believe Mattie is gone. There will be a big hole in class tomorrow night.
Hugs your pups tonight and be grateful for every moment you have with them.