Posted Date: March 3, 2017
A profile of USDAA competitor Jessica Brown and her rescued dog Bug.
Tell us about your dog. Where did he come from?
Bug is an at least 10-years-old Chihuahua mix. I adopted him from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control during a big adoption event. He was the only Chi remaining in his kennel, and he was shaking. A volunteer was trying to console him when I cruised by his kennel. I wasn't looking for a small dog, but he was so pathetic that I felt sorry for him. I decided to "meet and greet" in an 8x8" kennel outside the normal pound environment.
How did you end up adopting him?
Once Bug was outside the main building, he was excitable. On my lap. Off my lap. Tail wagging non-stop. A friend brought my other dog, Scout, over to meet Bug. Scout didn't eat him, so I considered it a great sign.
How did you get involved in agility with your dog?
Scout was my first agility dog. I became interested when I saw a practice in a park. I adopted Bug for agility. I had a rescue group harassing me into adopting one of their more traditional-for-agility dogs, so a Chihuahua mix seemed like a great idea.
Did you find that agility helped to improve any behaviors your dog had before you started? How did you feel it helped your relationship?
Bug is very content snuggling or on a lap, but I think he enjoys running with me the most. I cannot get a good picture of him just laying around. He only smiles when he is competing.
What's something about your dog's personality that you find unique, endearing, and/or special?
Bug smiles a lot when he runs. He's always pleased with his performance and jumps into my arms after running.
What USDAA events have you competed in with your dog?
Bug and I have competed at Cynosports from 2011-2014. In 2012 and 2014, he was a PGP finalist. He's competed in various regionals and local events.
What would say to people who are considering adopting a dog who might want to do agility some day?
Whether or not you adopt a dog or get one from a breeder, it really is luck of the draw, and your success depends on how much effort you put into training and your relationship with your dog.