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Dallas Agility Working Group (DAWG) Celebrates Their 30th Anniversary

DAWG celebrated their 30th anniversary on October 17 and 18, 2015.

by Heather Smith

Can you imagine a world without dog agility? Well, a bunch of dog enthusiasts got together to try out a new activity brought from England by Ken Tatsch. Ken and his father built equipment to the specifications found in England, except they added jump heights for small dogs to participate. Every weekend this group of folks would load their cars with agility equipment from Ken's garage and set up in a nearby park, practice and then load up again to carefully put the jigsaw puzzle of equipment back in his garage. There were no shows, no regionals, no world championships in the U.S., just a bunch of Texas folks enjoying the company of their dogs and others as they felt their way through training. 

DAWG members from left to right kneeling in the front row are:  Valerie Evans, Crystal Ragan, Barry Mattingly, Donna Ward, Lisa Brower, Lisa Jarvis, Kay Stimson, Courtney Keys.

Standing are:  Herb Blasé, Helena Roman, Bevy Boyer, Mark Shaw, Gail Clark, Pam Opanowitz, Ken Tatsch, Martina Gooch, Jo Unbehaun, Autumn Jones, Heather Smith, Charlene Chaney, Dori Page.

After a few demos, this group had the opportunity to provide a demonstration at the Gaines Classic in Houston which took the form of a "competition" with a group of people from the El Paso area who had been doing the same thing so our group needed a name. The Dallas Agility Working Group was born. Spectators were eight to ten deep as they watched and cheered as our dogs ran what now would be considered Intro/Starters-style courses. It was 1985 and USDAA followed the next year. 

Ken presenting show chairman, Mark Shaw, with 30th anniversary memento in front of DAWG's trailer on 10/17.

DAWG is the oldest continuously active agility group in the U.S. and owes its longevity and success to hard-working, dedicated people willing to give their time and resources to enjoy this activity with their dogs. After 30 years, were still just bar hoppin' with our friends.

The DAWG 30th Anniversary cake. Ken and Andy from USDAA brought the ice tea.

DAWG put together a timeline of events for their newsletter:


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