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Rescue Dog Profile: Lisa Brockmeier & Digby, Talladega and Pinky

USDAA competitor Lisa Brockmeier competes with her three rescue dogs - Digby, Talladega, and Pinky.

Tell us about your dogs. Where did they come from?

I have three rescue dogs:

Digby, estimated three-years-old, male. He looks to me like a Boston Terrier/Dalmatian mix. He came from Rowan County (NC) Animal Shelter, and I fostered and then adopted him through Boston Terrier Rescue Team of the Carolinas. His special endearing quality is that he has an infectious joy and enthusiasm that never fails to make people smile. His tail is never not wagging.

Talladega, eight-years-old, female. She looks like a mini Aussie mixed with some sort of terrier. She was adopted from Surry Animal Rescue (Mt. Airy, NC) in 2009 after a friend spotted her on Petfinder. Apparently she had been found as a stray. Her endearing quality is that she knows perfectly well she's super cute and flirts with almost everyone she meets -- human and dog.

Pinky, nine-years-old, female. She came to me at about five-weeks-old. Some man had given her to a little boy down the street, but his parents said he couldn't keep her. He brought her to my house because he knew I loved dogs. Pinky is the sweetest and most loving dog I've ever had, and almost everyone I know just adores her because of her gentle good nature.

How did you get involved in agility with your dogs?

I started agility in 2003. I had already been competing in flyball with one of my dogs, and I knew a lot of people who did agility, so I decided to try it. That dog ended up being better at agility than flyball, so I stuck with agility and I just debuted my fifth agility dog (Digby).

Did you find that agility helped to improve any behaviors your dog had before you started? How did you feel it helped your relationship?

I have found that agility training always helps with other behaviors. First of all, by giving the dog an outlet for mental and physical exercise, it makes it easier to get calm behaviors at other times. Also, the wide range of behaviors and tricks one must train a dog for agility can keep training fun and interesting for the dog, and I feel like it makes them think and focus -- they are always trying to figure out what you are going to ask them to do next. I think the communication I develop with my dogs during training really strengthens our bond for the rest of life. 

What USDAA events have you competed in with your dog/dogs?

I enter regular (titling and/or tournament classes) trials within about a five-hour radius. We have competed at regionals and we went to Titlemania in June 2016, but my job schedule has made Cynosports impossible so far. (I'm hoping to make it in 2017!).

What would say to people who are considering adopting a dog who might want to do agility some day?

I think some people are afraid to get a rescue dog because there's a perception that they come with "baggage." A few do, but I've met hundreds who don't, and ALL dogs -- even the ones bred specifically for sports -- can present huge training and behavior challenges. Find a dog who steals your heart and think of that dog as your teacher. You will be amazed at what you learn.


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