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The Torch Passes: Thank You Kathy G.

Dog On It Agility Club of Central Florida, one of the oldest established agility clubs in Florida, is losing Charter and Founding Member Kathy Gregorieff to retirement. By Deb Smith, Chairperson, Dog On It.


After 20+ years of educating, promoting, and enabling dog agility in the United States, Kathy Gregorieff (known as Kathy G.) is retiring this year and will be moving to Maryland to enjoy the good life with her daughter Jill, their horses, and Kathy's well known and loved pack (Jack Russell Terriers and Abner, a rescued Pit Bull and gentle soul). The agility community in Florida and the southeastern U.S. will miss her sportsmanship, cheer, can-do-it attitude, tireless work ethic, and great love for the sport, the dogs and the people involved. We have been truly blessed and fortunate to have been part of her agility career.

Fifteen years ago, my first experience and introduction to dog agility was a Dog On It USDAA agility trial in Lake Mary, Florida. At that show, I witnessed Kathy and her constant companions, Max and Maybe, competing on the Masters level courses set up that weekend. They were truly an inspiration to me, a brand new JRT lover. I was completely naïve and look back with fondness on how that initial experience would lead me to the wonderful world of dogs and dog agility.

Watching Kathy and her partners execute the courses with teamwork and precision was truly a joy. I was not aware of the classes, timing, or experience involved in training the dogs, or people. After that initial trial experience, I immediately set about contacting the Dog On It to enroll my first dog in a class and have been training and trialing ever since. It has truly been an incredible journey for me personally.

Thanks to Kathy, the original and current members of Dog On It (DOI), and the City of Winter Park, there is still today a training site in Winter Park, Florida. This facility has been in continuous use by DOI since its inception in the early 1990s. The facility is open to public enrollment in a central location and draws from all over Orlando.

Kathy has run, trained, and titled several breeds, (JRTs, Labs, Border Collies, and now Pit Bulls) through ADCH levels (and AKC Excellent), run demos, and competed in Dog Agility Masters tournaments all over the southeastern U.S. She has worked with many of us privately to help us achieve success with our dogs. She has been a member of the DOI Board of Directors and is a tireless worker at DOI and any other club's trials she has attended. Her enthusiasm and passion for this sport and the dogs has been boundless.

Kathy's efforts on behalf of the sport have been long-recognized by USDAA. In 1994, Kathy received a Meritorious Service Award from USDAA President Kenneth Tatsch for her contributions to agility's growth in the state of Florida. The presentation was recounted in an issue of the USDAA Dog Agility Report that year:

And so the torch passes and the journey continues. Those of us left behind will take up the challenge. We are delighted that Kathy is moving on to a well-deserved retirement, and we know the clubs in the Mid Atlantic area will benefit from her move. I thank her personally and for all the past, present, and future members of Dog On It for her support, efforts, dedication, and passion for agility and dogs.

"Bon Voyage Kathy, keep running and smiling, you will be greatly missed by all here! We love you and wish you all the best."
 

Deb Smith is a chairperson, trial chair, and agility instructor for Dog On It in Orlando (www.dogonitagility.com). She's also the owner of Precocious Paws Dog Training in Sorrento, Florida, where she is also an instructor. Deb is owned, loved, and humbled by Max, Puddie, Forrest, and Patsy (all Jack Russell Terriers) and Burst and Stunn (Border Collies).  Deb rescues and rehomes JRTs as often as possible.  She's an agility devotee, a writer of entry checks, and a slave to the pack and the game. She can be reached at k9s24x7@yahoo.com

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