Posted Date: May 25, 2017
A profile of another one of our USDAA competitors, Diane Driscoll, and her rescued dog Jack.
Tell us about your
dog. Where did he come from?
ADCH ResQ's Action Jackson (Jack) is a nine-year-old male Border
Collie that I adopted from East Tennessee Border Collie Rescue (ETBCR) in 2008.
Jack was one of forty-plus Border Collies seized by animal control after a Good
Samaritan reported them living in horrific circumstances on the property of a
breeder in Tennessee. Jack's breeder was subsequently convicted of animal
How did you end up
After Jack was seized, he was adopted out from animal
control and returned a few months later to ETBCR. He was fostered by an
experienced trainer who knew I was looking for a performance prospect and
thought Jack had potential. I can't meet a dog in need of a home and then turn
him down, so I committed to Jack sight unseen and drove to Tennessee to get
How did you get
involved in agility with your dogs?
When we moved with
our five dogs from a subdivision in Florida to a rural property in Georgia,
there was no animal control in the entire county; dogs in distress seemed to be
everywhere. My husband and I adopted several more "unadoptable" dogs. Two of
them actually came down my driveway (word must have gotten out!). I decided to
try dog sports so I could do more with them, and fell in love with agility. I'm
100% rescue with my pets, and my agility goal was, and still is, to demonstrate
the potential of rescue dogs to the public. By the time Jack arrived, I had
already competed with two other rescue dogs.
Did you find that
agility helped to improve any behaviors your dog had before you started? How
did you feel it helped your relationship?
Agility was a huge help in creating my bond with Jack and
helping him live a happy life. When I adopted Jack, he had survived unspeakable
abuse and neglect, and been adopted and returned during critical formative
months. Other than the time he spent in a great foster home, which helped a
lot, he had missed out on so much socialization. He didn't play, was anxious
and fearful, and didn't want to be touched. Agility engages him physically and
mentally, which is important for any dog but especially for a Border Collie. It
took time, consistency and patience to earn his trust, but we became a team and
now he's happy and confident on course. Most importantly, he's a beloved family
member who is well-behaved and comfortable in the world.
about your dog's personality that you find special?
Jack loves water and has created his own water game. In the
yard, he dunks his head in the water bucket and runs to his special spot. He drops
his head so the water runs down his face, pounces like a cat on the droplets as
they run off the end of his nose, and then it's back to the water bucket to
reload. He also excels at herding pine trees.
What USDAA events
have you competed in with your dogs?
We train at Sirius Dog Agility in Atlanta, and attend Sirius
USDAA trials and other trials in the southeast. We've enjoyed competing at the
Southeastern Regionals in Perry GA for years. We've also been fortunate to qualify
for Cynosport in Murfreesboro in 2013 and 2015. I hope we'll be there again in
2017. Jack is running better than ever, but it's nice to know we can enter the
Veteran's Showcase if that's a better fit for us by then.
What would you say to
people who are considering adopting a dog who might want to do agility some
Rescue is not for everyone, but it can be incredibly
rewarding. Let go of your expectations and meet your dog where he is; on the
other hand, don't use his backstory as an excuse for not teaching him good life
skills, or as a reason not to aim high in your goals. Dogs are amazingly
resilient. I don't think anyone can tell now that Jack overcame a horrible
start in life.
For me, there's an extra level of joy in competing with a
rescue dog. No matter how the runs go, there's always a voice in my head
saying, "Look at how far he's come! Isn't he amazing!" I think about it every
day and it never gets old; it's a lifelong gift you receive when you rescue.