On the Road to Cynosport: Kim and Kruz

Kruz’s road to Cynosport® has been a long, difficult one. Rescued from a hoarding situation in Jefferson, Texas, in 2011, he was “basically feral,” as Kim O’Connor describes it. “His foster mom had to teach him how to potty outside, use stairs, be held, and not be afraid of people,” she explained.

“When I adopted him, I was told that his ability to participate in dog sports may be limited because he was just too damaged (emotionally).” Kim knew in her heart that the confidence Kruz needed could be gained through the teamwork they would share on the agility field, and decided to give training a try.

Kim and Kruz struggled at first, as the young border collie was afraid of their agility classmates, as well as the obstacles and training aids. It didn’t help that illness and rehab interfered with his training; Kruz has pica and has had five surgeries to remove foreign bodies from his intestines. Kim admits she almost gave up a few times.

“With Cynosport® in Scottsdale this year, we decided to try to get qualified so we could participate. Kruz struggles with weaves, but friends stepped up to help us get our Performance Versatility Pairs Qs. We really started to come together as a team this past season and quickly got our 10 titling Qs,” she said. In addition, Kruz competed in the Wild West Regional and achieved his USDAA Snooker Bronze title.

Although she doesn’t expect to make an appearance on the podium this year, Kim said they will be loving every minute of the Cynosport® experience. “You will see us out there smiling the whole time. I love this little dog who tries harder than any dog I have ever had. He loves playing agility with me, and I love him.”

Kim lives in Gilbert, Ariz., and works as a network engineer. She has been participating in agility since 1999.