How Agility Changed My Life
Hi my name is Olivia DelPizzo and I am 14 years old. I first became interested in Agility while watching Animal Planet’s Agility World Championships on television. Just watching all the different breeds fly through the course with such grace and speed filled me with excitement! I looked down at Rosie, my 4-year-old Border Collie, and thought, “We could do that.”
I told my mom about my idea and she encouraged me to research this wonderful sport. I discovered a training club just outside the town of Newark, DE that seemed just right for my dog and me. My friend, Lauren and I met with the owner and trainer of Academy of Dog Training and Agility, Mr. Don Brown, to see if his training style would fit our needs. We scheduled and prepared for our first lesson. The class was informative in dog care and obedience but due to Mr. Brown’s positive reinforcement training, it made class great fun for all of us (dogs included!).
Before I began dog agility, I was a quiet, keep-to-myself horseback rider who scared my parents half to death going over jumps. After many months of hard work and lots of fun with Rosie, we were ready. My first trial was a success, bringing home many ribbons including a blue ribbon 1st! I met so many dog enthusiasts like myself. Agility has taught me that it is okay to make mistakes in life (some of our runs prove that) as long as we learn from them.
Most importantly, Agility has rewarded me with a strong, unbreakable bond between Rosie and me. I often feel we can read each other’s minds. When I give her a certain look she knows just what I want her to do. I have made new friends and Lauren and I share another sport in common. At school, many of my friends are interested in boys, the next dance, or football game, but I love planning for my next dog trial, thinking about my next Agility class, and what new skill we will learn that week.
I encourage all girls and boys to try Dog Agility with their dog.
It’s fun, rewarding, and challenging. Your typical agility trial
is NOT your typical basketball game. There are dogs and their devoted
handlers from all across the country trying their best to win their
way to Nationals. I am extremely thankful to Mr. Don Brown for being
an excellent mentor and helping Rosie and I find our place in the