“I miss Hilma and Hupi”

June 17, 2019 - Hilma

The feeling when driving home from the first Funna® class, when your child cries at the back seat of your car – not because of sadness, but longing for the coach and her dog already, makes your heart melt. You know that this is The One hobby for your child.  

We had searched and tried many hobbies with the Pre-schooler – from science school to basketball – and we were both frustrated when nothing felt fun or right. 

We have a dog, and naturally our Pre-schooler has used to do everyday activities with the dog; like walking the dog and doing tricks with it. Because of the dog’s lack of interest and old age, the dog has no active training or hobby. However, the Pre-schooler has always been interested in dog training and we have borrowed many books and videos from library about the matter, trying to do those different activities at home with the dog.  

When I came across Funna and heard that there would be a chance to try out an individual lesson in TSAU (Turku area agility sports club, “Turun Seudun Agilityurheilijat ry”), I suggested this to the Pre-schooler. The reception was cautiously positive but eager, because of the possibility to try and train a dog. Since our own dog does not know agility at all, we ended up asking coach Hilma if the Pre-schooler could borrow Hupi-Shiba. 

Since the Pre-schooler had been hesitant and reluctant in the past hobbies, I decided to stay on the edge of the agility field just in case, so we can leave in the middle of the lesson if needed. But how did it go; the Pre-schooler eagerly raced with the other children, cheeks red! 

During the class, I observed how the Pre-schooler learnt several physical and social exercises the same time the child learned how to understand cues and how to give them to the dog. It was so wonderful to see how Hupi instantly reacted to the Pre-schooler’s cues, to all of the incorrect ones too, and how the Pre-schooler got positive feedback even though the course didn’t go quite as planned (Well, it is hard for Shiba to even give negative feedback, due to their silly and lovely nature). The little mishaps always resulted in full group of happy laughter that was far from embarrassment, quite the opposite; it taught the kids that mistakes are not a bad thing, they can be fun and educational at the same time! And to add to that, Hilma-coach’s patient and supportive instructions got the Pre-schooler to try new things not familiar to the child, excitedly. Oh, the joy, when the Pre-schooler handled Hupi first time the right way and the dog cleared the course just the way it was meant to! 

After this test lesson, it was clear that this was the hobby we were going to carry on with, so we booked all the rest of the available lessons instantly. After the four Funna classes, the Pre-schooler had improved vastly and gained lots of self-confidence and enthusiasm towards dog agility. While before the Pre-schooler was in the center of attention, in Funna the focus was the dog and teaching it, instead of the child – at least in the Pre-schooler’s mind. 

So, I can warmly recommend Funna for everyone; As a mother, and on behalf of the Pre-schooler. Especially thanks for Hilma and Hupi for the exceptional Funna experience. We’ll continue in Autumn!