Every Dog Has Potential To Be A Champion

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Tizzy Burlison just returned from a major agility competition in California where she earned the highest level of achievement in the United States Dog Agility Association, Agility Dog Champion, ADCH.

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Jaden eagerly runsp and over the A-frame, makingure to put a foot inside the yellow area so she will note disqualified. Mixed breed dogs excel in agility and other dog sports and activities.

Her handler, Jane Burlison, is our local agility teacher and is delightfully proud of Tizzy. Full of energy and not ready to retire, Tizzy can now continue to earn qualifying scores toward her lifetime achievement totals. She is from the Border Collie Rescue in Tucson and therefore has no papers. Beyond her achievements in agility, Tizzy has earned her Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International titles.

Very well trained, she is a welcome member of the family.

There are purebred dogs without papers and there are mixed breed dogs. The mixed breed varieties come in many shapes, sizes and colors. They are available through the Payson Humane Society. Many are offered for free at local business parking lots. Many wander the streets until they are hit by a car or rescued.

Some of us find wonderful dogs right in our neighborhood where they are being kept in ways that we find inhumane. They may be tied or fenced in unacceptable conditions, but primarily, they are neglected. Some are abused, but most often, no one cares about them.

Each of these dogs has potential. That potential is being recognized as more and more dog sports are surfacing which are open to dogs without credentials. It used to be that competing in a dog sport or competition was limited to dogs registered with the American Kennel Club. Earning obedience titles was only available to dogs with papers.

Many dedicated dog trainers have grown tired of the highly competitive and stressful obedience trials and, in the meantime, have found themselves with wonderful rescue dogs. They are discovering the amazing abilities of these dogs and their intense desire to learn. Many were abused and in disgusting living conditions, but they are willing to move forward, trust again and enjoy the new opportunities offered to them.

Agility, rally, flyball and musical freestyle are some of the activities that welcome all dogs. Training classes in these sports are cropping up and these non-registered dogs are excelling. They are loving it. But mostly, they love the fun of sharing an activity with their person.

Jaden lives with Danielle Hettler, DVM. Jaden spent the first few months of her life confined to a small chicken wire pen with her brother. Danielle observed these babies with no personal contact and no stimulation or exercise. It broke her heart.

The owner finally decided he did not want the dogs anymore and was ready to dump them at the Humane Society in Payson, where their young lives would very probably have ended abruptly.

However, he allowed Danielle to take them. She kept Jaden for herself and found a home with a friend for the brother.

Jaden, now 3 years old, is thriving on the attention and love. She is smart, eager to learn and eager to please. She loves agility or any other activity where she can be with Danielle.

"She is a superstar in my mind," Danielle said. She runs from one obstacle to another, just happy to have a home, love, training and the opportunity to learn. She is a happy girl and Danielle is happy to have her.

Jaden is a superstar, and she is one of the lucky ones.

Assistance needed

Looking for a ride to Wyoming.

Are you driving to Denver or Wyoming?

Would you be willing to take a four-legged passenger? Due to

no fault of his own, a dog has been separated from his owner. That owner is now in Wyoming and desperately wants her dog there with her, but she cannot afford to drive down here to pick him up. If you could help, please call the Payson Humane Society at (928) 474-5590 and get all the

details.

Cleaning dog dishes

Do you have stainless steel water dishes that are lined with disgusting residue from our water? Pour in some white vinegar and then fill it up with water. Leave it until you see the build-up dissolve. It is truly a miracle. No scrubbing. Do keep several clean, full water bowls both outside and inside during these hot days.

Christy Powers can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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