|Dogs Are My Life
By Rachel Halop
Dogs are my life and they always have been as far back as I can remember. Hi, my name is Rachel Halop. I am 19 and I breed, raise, train and show Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Labrador Retrievers and Australian Shepherds. Having worked with dogs and living with a variety of animals my whole life my plans are to go to college to become a small animal veterinarian specializing in reproduction. Currently I attend Folsom Lake College in Folsom, California, with the intent to transfer to UC Davis in the fall of 2009.
I have been participating in Junior Showmanship with Corgis for 11 years. I have raised 8 litters of puppies and I am known as the Puppy Wrangler. It is my job to teach them their manners and to begin their basic training before they go off to their new homes. My first dog came from one of these litters and her name is Fannie. She is 7 years old and is the best dog I have ever had. My specialty in the Junior Division is agility and Fannie and I have excelled in this sport. Next in line is her 3-year-old daughter Meg.
When I first started out as a junior in agility there were hardly any kids for me to compete against. Over the years I have taught agility classes and have urged more kids to join the sport. Training your agility dogs can be quite difficult though. Many commands are required in order for you and your dog to do well. But when you succeed a wave of accomplishment lets you know your hard work has paid off. I continually tell kids that agility is probably the most fun you can have with your dog. Being able to run, laugh and play with your dog is very rewarding. I would encourage everybody especially juniors to look into this sport due to the fact that it is so entertaining and enjoyable.
In the future, after graduating college and becoming a world renowned veterinarian, I plan to continue my career in agility. I intend to teach classes to kids as well as adults in all levels. I hope that by continuing my career with dogs that I myself will become more educated about dogs and in the process educate others about how important being a junior in AKC really is. Having been awarded an amazing grant I know my hard work has paid off.