Posted Date: May 2, 2012
Deborah Davidson Harpur checks in with Dana and her talented mixed breed, Tangle.
Dana and Maybie after a Steeplechase Finals run.
|Handler Name: Dana Pike|
Dog Name/Breed/Age: Tangle, mixed breed (Jack Russell x Papillon), 7 years
Hometown: Wilmington, Illinois
Occupation: Dog agility trainer
Years competing in agility: More than 20!
This year the IFCS World Agility Championships are being held in the U.S.A. Did knowing this affect your decision to try out for the team?
It's great to have a World Championships "local" this year! [But] it did not affect my decision to try out for the team, as traveling to another country to compete is also something I have enjoyed doing in the past.
Have you ever tried out for the team in the past?
I have been on the the 2004 IFCS team that went to Spain with my [Jack Russell Terrier] Maybie, and Tangle was on the 2008 team that competed in Belgium.
This year, do you will find yourself enjoying any type of "home court" advantage?
I think not having the long travel days and [not having] the concern over health papers, as well as not having to adjust to the time change, will be really helpful this year. And I love the facility in Texas; it's one of my favorite places to trial. There is also a lot to be said for knowing where your going when you arrive, and speaking the local language is a huge plus!
What were some of the challenges you faced during the world team qualification process?
The biggest challenge for me has been the amount of traveling that you needed to do to earn points for the team.
How did your family and friends react to the news that you made the USA IFCS team?
My friends were very happy for us and very supportive. My family really doesn't have a clue what it's about; they think the dogs are cute!
What is your goal at this year's event?
My goal is to always run to the best of our ability, and of course to have a great time!
As the event comes closer and closer are there additional stresses to your daily life because of your participation on the team?
No, I can't say that the event is adding to the every day stresses of life.
Have you done any specialized training to prepare for this event?
We have; we've been working on basic foundation skills in particular as well as a bit of distance for Gamblers and quite a bit of Snooker-type drills because we both love that class. Otherwise, we're keeping fit and taking moderate breaks from training so Tangle stays fresh.
What do you think will be the most difficult part of the event for you and your dog?
I'm really looking forward to the championships this year; we've trained hard and are as prepared as we can be. I really don't anticipate any difficulties! And if there are, we'll figure it out.
Do you want to give any "shout outs" or share any other comments?
Yes! Thanks in particular to all of my students for their support and well wishes; I appreciate that more than I can say!
Tangle flying over a dogwalk.
All photos courtesy of Karen Moureaux, dogsportphotos.com.
Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1998. She currently handles 16 dogs of various breeds including Rat Terriers, All Americans, French Bull Dogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, a Border Collie and more. She enjoys competing in USDAA agility and is the proud mom of USDAA roving reporter Rickie Roo. Her dogs are all proud canine ambassadors for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and for ilovedogs.com, tj.la, and ilovedogsdiamonds.com. You can learn more about Deborah and her dogs at pm2dogagility.com.