Before even getting my first dog, I knew I wanted to try two things with him, agility and therapy dog work. I got Nitro, my Shih Tzu, in 2006 and started agility and therapy work with him when he was around two years old. Little did I know at the time that, seven years later, my life would basically revolve around my love of dogs and our relationships with them!
Nitro is a dream dog! While the breed is generally not known for their working skills, Nitro happily did whatever I asked of him. Earning 19 performance titles in Agility, Obedience, and Rally Obedience over a three year period!! He is the first <and I believe still only> Shih Tzu in Canada to earn its CKC Agility Master Championship title!
Nitro found his calling in therapy work! We continue to visit the patients at the
local hospital once a week where Nitro makes himself at home bringing smiles to everyone’s
After Nitro helped to get me hooked on performance dog sports and training in general,
I found myself wanting another dog, one with perhaps a little more of a natural working
Never in my life could I have dreamed that a single dog could teach me so much about life! She has taught me how to work hard, how to overcome challenges, how to have fun, how to enjoy life, how to reach for a dream, how to stand up for what I believe in, how to see things in a different light, and so much more!
I think everyone that competes at a high level in any sport has overcome obstacles to reach that point, and Blizzard and I have definitely had our fair share of struggles throughout our journey. It’s made us who we are today though and taught me lessons I will be able to apply throughout my life, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.
RN, RA, RX, PCD, CD, AG, AGJ, AGIS, AGIJS, AGI, AGIJ, AGX, AGXJ, AGXS, AGXJS, AGMXS, AGMXJS, AGMCHS, CGN, Therapeutic Paws of Canada therapy dog
CKC Titles -
AAC Titles -
2011, 2012, AND 2013 Canada Cup Winner
2012 CKC Agility Team Canada member representing Canada at the FCI Agility World Championships in Czech Republic
2013 World Agility Open team member (unfortunately due to some unfortunate circumstances we had to withdraw our spot on this team this year :( )
I have had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible people through my desire to want to continue to learn and develop as a trainer and handler. I believe no matter what level we get to, the learning should never stop…..there are always ways to grow if you are open to new ideas and learning! While most of the workshops and seminars I have attended are specific to agility, agility is, after all, just another form of dog training thus the skills learnt are always ones that I can use to help develop my understanding of dog training in general! I’ve had (and continue to have in some cases) the pleasure of working with these incredible trainers and mentors:
Brian and Eileen Smith (Cantass Canine Consultants)
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