A Profile of Emily Ingersoll and her dog Phyllis Diller
I will be competing at Cynosport with my rescue dog, Phyllis Diller. This will be her first year competing an Cynosport. I am completely amazed by Phyllis because she qualified for Cynosport within her first six months of competing.
Phyllis Diller is a two-year-old miniature poodle. I adopted her when she was 10-months-old.
I met Phyllis Diller at Paws for a Wish in January 2015. It was love at first sight. I met her when I ran into a friend who was walking her for Arizona Poodle Rescue. I checked on her later that day at the Arizona Poodle Rescue booth. They already had five or six applications for her but I was the lucky choice. They liked the idea of her going to an agility home.
I originally got involved in agility because of my dog, Fozzy. He had so much energy that I didn’t know what to do with. He was so smart, too. We enjoyed a long and fun agility career together.
Agility has given me a bond with my dogs that I never thought possible. They love it so much. I have competed in agility with all of my dogs. Some weren’t into competing but they still enjoyed the training, learning, and attention. I think it’s great for any dog even if you just run around your backyard with them.
Agility has been especially wonderful for Phyllis Diller. She was and is very reactive. When I first started taking her to class, she could not stop barking and lunging at all of the other dogs. We couldn’t work through the exercises because my focus was on calming her as much as I could, which wasn’t much. She still gets very excited but can focus now. And her fear has lessened. Her other anxieties have lessened as well. When I first got her, she would pee and get diarrhea in the crate every time I put her in there. This was heart breaking. She will now happily go into her crate. She actually crated herself right now and is sleeping comfortably. She is noisy while watching other dogs run agility, though. She gets very excited!
Phyllis Diller was hired for her first modeling job by Petsmart a few months after I got her. She loved it! She loves to be the center of attention. She has a very successful modeling career.
I have never acquired a dog to compete in agility. I had my dogs and then learned about agility. I thought for my next dog that I would find a reputable breeder with proven agility lines and go that route. Then, I met Phyllis Diller. I wasn’t planning on adopting a dog at that time. I had five dogs at home and three who were competing in agility. Phyllis was put in my life for a reason. Six months after I adopted Phyllis Diller, my very special heart dog, my agility champion, died unexpectedly. I was heart broken and lost all interest in agility. But I had this little poodle at home that had to do something. She kept me going and gave me purpose.
If you are thinking about adopting a dog to do agility, please adopt them as a pet and family member first. We don’t know if any dog will be able to physically or mentally do agility. So, it’s important that they are a family member first. All of my dogs will be in my family for the rest of their lives regardless of what happens with their agility careers. This is especially important for rescues who may have already been to several homes in their short lives.