Two Inspirational Stories About YDF Students

Although our sports classes are for fun, we do have some students who want to compete. We have always had a lot of Nose Work students (too many to mention) who take that next step, and many have gone on to receive both titles and awards. This weekend seemed particularly special! We had a number of Reactive Dog Class graduates, along with other students, do extremely well in Nose Work trials. One of our Obedience Skills for Competition student teams received their CD title. And, as you will read below, an Agility dog accomplished quite a lot in the Agility ring.  A trainer can only tell you how to get there, but you have to do the work and find joy and love with the dog you have, even when there are issues you never expected. Congratulations to all of you!

We want to highlight two rescue dogs from this weekend’s Nose Work trials and Agility competition that have come a long, long way. Each story shows just how much a great dog parent can accomplish!

"Why are you so excited, Mom?"

“Why are you so excited, Mom?”

Erin Foley and Titania participated in their first CPE Agility trial this weekend and earned a qualifying score in their Colors course run! Titania came into Erin’s life 18 months ago from OBG Cocker Spaniel rescue. Someone had called the shelter, saying that a Cocker Spaniel had been tied to a gazebo for three days. She was horribly matted and infested with fleas. Erin first attended one of our Adopters Workshops, came with Titania to our Basic Manners class, and then on to Advanced Manners, Agility Games, and Agility. When we first met Titania, she hid behind Erin’s legs. She was terrified of all new sights, sounds, movement, and people. For Titania to be able to attend an event with dozens of strangers and to focus and enjoy herself on the Agility course is a huge accomplishment! Thanks to Erin’s commitment, Titania is not that same anxious dog that she was 18 months ago. Check out the cool picture taken by photographer Rich Knecht at the event – Cockers use their ears to fly!

Here is a video of their Colors course run, which earned them a Qualified Score:

Sara Tyler, Marielena McGuire, and Kathy Hayes with their proud instructor, Rachel Binfield

In this weekend’s Nose Work trial, Marielena McGuire and Shadow received The Harry Award, “given to the most outstanding rescue dog that demonstrates extraordinary ability and spirit in nose work”, as well as a Nose Work 1 title. In the summer of 2010, when Shadow was 7 years old, Marielena had already had a reactive dog for five years. At 2, Shadow had started growling at other dogs; if the other dog responded, Shadow would try to attack. Shadow was also sensitive to loud noises (even to shouting at sports events on TV), and thunder would make her shiver and hide. Marielena brought her middle-aged dog first to the Reactive Dog Class and then to Basic Manners 1 & 2, Agility, and Nose Work. When Marielena and Shadow won The Harry Award this weekend, it celebrated not only the team’s Nose Work performance, but also the special relationship between a rescue dog and her person.