Some people dream of going to the Super Bowl or the Oscars. (And let’s be clear, I wouldn’t turn down an invite to those.) But for this writer, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge on Saturday was something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve always watched the highlights on television and wondered what it would be like to see all those canine athletes at work.

Not only did I get to talk to the competitors (and snuggle and cuddle with their dogs), I also got an usual view of the agility course — by running it. No, not with a dog. As the dog. With the announcer guiding me all the way through. It was a blast; even the part where I army crawled my way through the tunnel, in a skirt, in front of hundreds of people. I mean, if I don’t have a dog to compete with, I can at least offer a bit of comic relief, right?

For the record, the finals are free and open to the public, so if you, too, have dreams of watching the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge next year, nothing’s stopping you! Unless you, like me, live nowhere near Purina Farms in Gray Summit, just outside of St. Louis, Mo. Then you may have to work harder to get there.

You can also attend one of the regional competitions or watch the Incredible Dogs perform at events throughout the year. For more information, check out the Purina Dog Show and Events Calendar.

Also be sure to check out the rest of our Purina Incredible Dog Challenge coverage.