Debra Wren and Soleil

Debra Wren and SoleilTell us about your dog.

Soleil is around five-years-old. She is a terrier mix.

How did you end up adopting her?

Soleil came to me as a foster dog thru Dire Straits Companion Animal Rescue. After fostering her, I fell in love with her and adopted her. 

What about the dog made you want to adopt her? Was there something different or special that moved you to the decision?

Soleil is a very smart dog with lots of drive, and sassy attitude. Aside from that, her big brown eyes really got me.

What made you want to get involved in agility with your dog? Had you competed in agility before you got your rescued dog involved or was it new to you?

Soleil is my third agility dog. Her potential in agility was another reason I adopted her.

Did your dog happen to have any behavior or training issues when you adopted her?

Soleil and I struggled with her ability to focus in the ring at trials for almost two years. Then she got it!  Now she works with me as a team.

Debra Wren and SoleilDid you find that agility helped to improve your relationship with your dog?

Agility has changed my relationship with all my dogs, always for the better.

Was there anything about training for agility or competing in agility that was a challenge with your dog?

Focus was Soleil’s main challenge. With time and experience, we overcame that. Also, we did not start training until she was about one-year-old.

What previous USDAA events prior to Cynosport 2017 have you competed in with your dog? What titles, etc. did they earn or other accomplishments you’re proud of?

My first agility dog, Kody, did mainly UKC until mixed breeds were allowed in AKC. He earned his MACH, went to Nationals and earned his gold lifetime achievement awards. Soleil is in Masters in AKC and in USDAA. We recently tried out for the IFCS World Team. We did not make it, but we were asked to be on the Development Team.

What are you looking forward to this year with your dog at Cynosport?

At Cynosport, I’m looking forward to running as fast as we can!

What would say to people who are considering adopting a dog who might want to do agility some day and are concerned a rescue dog may be more difficult to work with? Likewise, what do you think makes competing with a rescue dog a real benefit?

Just rescuing a dog, giving it love and a home is all the reward I need.. I love my rescue dogs. Because the mix is unknown, their ability to do agility may not be as certain as with some known breeds. But I rescue a dog because it needs a home. The training and agility seem to work out.