Karen Sollars and Annie

Karen Sollars and AnnieWe adopted a pup from a local shelter in July of 2007, estimated to be about six months of age, who would eventually become ADCH Platinum PDCH MACH PACH 2 CATCH Dreamboat Annie “Annie.” At that time we had another rescue, ADCH Bronze PDCH NATCH Sweet Sadie Sue “Sadie” who had also come from a local shelter and was how we got involved in agility, due to her separation anxiety. She was about eight then and I was hooked on agility and wanted to get another dog started before Sadie retired.

Sadie was a Spaniel/Beagle mix “Speagle” and when I saw the picture of soon to be Annie on Petfinder, she appeared to be a “Speagle” also. She had some toy drive, was extremely motivated for food, and Sadie and her seemed to be ok with each other, so she came home with us.

While Sadie was an amazing dog to work with because she was so biddable, she my first agility dog and I made almost every mistake in the book with her regarding her agility training. She succeeded despite all of my shortcomings, but I had a clear picture in my mind of what I would do differently to train another agility dog. Annie earned her ADCH after competing only about a year and she never looked back. Her only limit in her agility career has been her handler!

We went to Scottsdale back in 2006 with Sadie. That was an amazing journey! Annie and I have competed in Louisville and Murfreesboro in the past. She has been to the Grand Prix finals once and was in the top five and top three 16” dogs individually in team events. At 10 ½ year of age, she still turns in very respectable times and is a very consistent dog.

Karen Sollars, Annie and SadieAfter she accomplished her platinum ADCH and LAA, I moved her down to 12” performance. She wasn’t having any trouble jumping 16”, but I was hoping that by lowering her jump height, she could have a longer, healthier career. So this will be our first Cynosport running in performance, and if ever go again, it will probably be as a veteran.

If I get another dog for agility, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be a rescue. There are so many dogs waiting for a home that have amazing, untouched potential. Yes, they generally come with some baggage, but perhaps that is the most rewarding thing about adopting … .watching your teammate come into their own! Agility was a huge confidence builder for both of our rescues, especially Sadie. What it did to help with her overcoming her separation anxiety was a game changer for her and us. There is a special bond you enjoy when you work together as a team with your dog.

Annie is a “gamer”! She LOVES the game, whether it is agility, retrieving a ball, playing hide and seek, she’s all in. Everything she does, she does with such gusto, barking up a storm! What a teammate to be blessed with!

As I age and I watch Annie age, I’m more acutely aware that just spending time together doing what we love to do is one of the most fulfilling things in life. I am looking forward to competing with my girl, hanging out with friends, and watching amazing teams play this sport this year at Cynosports.