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Competitor Profile - Diane Allen and Teasal

Our first rescue dog profile for the month - Diane Allen and her dog Teasal!

This month is Adopt a Shelter Dog month. Throughout the month of October and beyond, we will feature profiles of dogs that compete in USDAA who came from a shelter or rescue. Our first profile is Diane Allen and her Border Collie Teasel!

Teasel, a four-year-old Border Collie, will be competing in the Performance class at her first Cynosport this year.

She was whelped by Chrissy O'Donovan in Phoenix for Arizona Border Collie Rescue. At eight weeks of age, she went to a foster home, and was adopted a few weeks later. She was adopted by a couple who wanted her as a playmate for their older dog. Well, he decided that he hated her! Soon thereafter, the wife became pregnant, and they did the right thing and returned her to ABCR. Another foster had her for about two months, when Diane learned about her.

Says Diane, "She was quite friendly and playful with the three big dogs in her foster home, and my sweet boy Bracken (also competing this year at Cynosport as a Vet) was a total pushover, so they got along fine."

"Initially, she was petrified of loud vehicles - semi trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, etc. So - poor dear! - the second day I had her, she got breakfast on a bench outside a store, about 1/2 block off the first stoplight in town. Every time a loud vehicle went by, she got a bite of food. It didn't take her long to work through that problem! In spite of a few minor health issues, she is doing great, loves hiking and swimming, and is a super cuddle-bug."

Diane initially saw agility on television back in the late 1990s and thought it looked like fun. She had two mixed breed dogs at the time, and tried agility with them. Neither were, "super-fast or super-consistent, but one definitely had fun!" When she adopted dog number three (a rescue whose owner had died and had never done agility at age four), she says, "I found that winning was kind of fun too, and speed was quite the challenge! She had many big awards and titles to her name, including running a clean round in Veterans Showcase finals at Cynosports in 2007 (the "year of the green t-shirts!")."

Diane relates that, "She seemed to like agility - lovely jumper with rarely knocked bars, a super running A-frame (thank you, Stacy Goudy!), fast dogwalk, and no fear of anything - except being wrong. Trials used to cause her stress, so she would slow down a lot. I had to be very careful to never let her know she was wrong (it's always me anyway, right?!). With a few year's experience, she has gained confidence and speed (and lost some consistency!). She is just a few P3 relay qualifiers away from her PDCH. We don't get to a lot of USDAA trials, but it will come in due time. She also earned her NATCH and Versatility NATCH this summer in NADAC."

Teasel has run at local trials in Utah, Colorado and Arizona (and may hit one in California before Cynosports!) and one regional, running in PSJ Semi-Finals.

When asked what she would say to people thinking about getting a rescue/shelter dog to do agility, she says, "The basis for a good agility dog is relationship. Bonding, trust and attention cannot be overrated!"

Photo credit: Ken Gee Photography


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