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The USDAA Community Loses a Top Dog

Many are affected by the loss of Dylan Benacquisto.


On August 28, 2011, the USDAA community lost a well-known canine competitor, Angie Benacquisto's six-and-a-half-year-old Rat Terrier, Dylan. Angie and Dylan have been featured often on USDAA.com in articles about their participation on the US team at the IFCS World Agility Championships (here), in a Rickie Roo interview (available to subscribers here), and in numerous accounts of Dylan's many placements in regional, national, and international competition. 

Angie and Dylan have a long list of achievements in USDAA agility. The pair earned their Agility Dog and other starters titles in February of 2007, and moved through the classes rapidly, making the Top Ten in Jumpers and Standard by the end of that year. The pair continued to rack up qualifying scores, earning the Lifetime Achievement Award Championship Bronze in 2008, the Silver and Gold in 2009, and the Platinum LAA in March of 2011, with a lot of other awards and titles in between. Angie and Dylan also earned many placements in USDAA tournaments, including several at the Cynosport World Games. Dylan was a winner at the 2010 IFCS World Agility Championships as well, bringing home an Individual Snooker Gold and an Individual Jumpers Silver.    

While competing at the World Agility Championships in the United Kingdom, Angie felt a suspcious lump on Dylan. That lump proved to be lymphoma, and Dylan started treatments. Through it all, she remained happy and fit, able to compete and enjoy life until the very end. 

Dylan's spirit, on and off the course, inspired and touched many competitors. Deborah Davidson-Harpur, one of Dylan's many fans, says, "To think that a pound puppy, a dog that was afraid of PVC, would represent one of the breeds I love most (Rat Terrier) at the World Agility Games and earn Gold with a first time handler sounds a bit incredible, and it is. Right after earning that Gold medal, the cancer was discovered and I put on a bracelet given to me by Angie and Mike from the National Canine Cancer Fund. I wore it for over a year and did not take it off until we lost Dylan yesterday. I've buried that bracelet under a beautiful Gardenia bush so that when it blooms I will be reminded of Dylan and her zest for life."

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