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IFCS Team Profile: Beth Martin

A profile of IFCS Team USA member Beth Martin and her dog Keen.

Where do you live?

Lawrenceville, Georgia

How did you first get involved with agility? 

In 1996, some of the members of DAWG did a demo at a Celtic Festival. I watched with my dog Rysa and we were both hooked from that moment.

What made you decide to compete?  

Peer pressure, LOL. The people I was training my first agility dog with all competed and really seemed to enjoy it as much, if not more than training agility. Rysa and I were having such a blast in classes and training, I decided to give trialing a try. The rest is history.

Do you participate in any other dog sports or training with your dogs?  

I also compete in flyball off and on, and have competed a bit in Disc Dog, Dock Dog and Barn Hunt (with my Jack Russell Terriers).

Tell us more about the dog you will be competing with as an IFCS Team Member? 

Keen was my first sport mix. He is roughly half Border Collie and half a mix of Jack Russell Terrier and Border Terrier. He is nine-years-old. He has been the most amazing dog to compete with, and to live with. He truly seems to love the competition, no matter what we are competing in. 

Does your dog have any quirks or unique habits that you loved to share?  

He goes nuts if I show him a hairbrush or toothbrush, gets very excited, barks hysterically, and wants to attack it. He actually picked that behavior up from my previous Border Collie who would kind of freak out at the sound of an electric toothbrush. Keen just took it a step further, and decided ALL brushes are evil! (He will let me brush him easily, BTW...)

Do you have other dogs/pets aside from your IFCS dog? Tell us more about them: 

I have a four-year-old sport mix distantly related to Keen. She is (roughly) one-third Whippet,  one-third terrier and one-third Border Collie. She is really sweet, likes to think and figure things out on her own, and I hope will also have a bright future like her "brother."

Describe for us what you do in your "other" non-agility life, work life?  

I am a Project Coordinator for an art and framing manufacturer. It's fast paced and changes quickly. It keeps me on my toes and I enjoy my work right now (most of the time).

How does it feel to be on the IFCS Team this year?

Amazing! It's one of those "pinch me" times in my life that are so rare. I just can't believe Keen and I are going!

What are you looking forward to the most at the World Agility Championship event in Spain this April?  

Traveling and competing with my teammates, seeing a little of Spain, and getting our first international trip under our belt.

Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for a big competition?  

I try to get into a balanced routine of training, conditioning, and rest for myself and my dogs. Achieving that balance is sometimes very tough with work and personal life demanding more time. Trying to find that balance helps me focus on my end goal.

People who enjoy agility with their dogs are often intimidated by the idea of competition - what advice would you give them to encourage them to take the plunge?  

Do it for the fun of playing with your dog. The competition, ribbons and titles are just icing.

Do you have a favorite dog from a book, movie, TV-show or video game?  

Keen filmed a movie one-and-a-half-years ago in and around the Atlanta area. It comes out in theaters on March 3rd called "Table 19." He plays a dog named Ringo Star, and got to hang out and film with Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, and several others. It was such a great experience. So I HAVE to say my favorite movie dog is Ringo Star in Table 19!

Photo Credits: Dock Diving by T&C Photography; Flyball is by Willie Moore.


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