Posted Date: April 20, 2017
A profile of IFCS Team USA Member Desiree Snelleman and her dog Pace.
Where do you live?
I live in
Sumner, Washington, 45 minutes southeast of Seattle.
How did you first get involved
we got two Siberian Husky puppies that needed a lot of activity. We did not
get them for the intention of doing agility, but to help us get back into shape
after 11 years of inactivity due to sports injuries and surgeries. We took T'ai and Chi to classes and had private training sessions
with a phenomenal Long Beach trainer. When I mentioned that we used to do a lot
of high intensity sports and wanted to do something fun with the pups, he
mentioned agility. I went to a training session at the SPCA-LA
Long Beach and from there, the rest is history.
What made you decide to
Once I was
introduced to the sport we got pulled in to the agility magic. It looked
like so much fun. This was now going to be our next sport. T'ai started
competing in 2004.
Do you participate in any other dog sports or training with your dogs?
We have competed in Nosework, obedience and Rally and
have trained quite a bit with CaniCross. Since moving up to the Pacific Northwest in 2010, we
hike in the mountains as much as we can. Cross training has been very helpful
to both the dogs and us.
Tell us more about the dog you will
be competing with as an IFCS Team Member?
Pace will be eight-years-old in March. He is an
amazing athlete and teammate. At home he is calm and relaxed, but when it comes
to doing any activity, he turns it all on. He is laser sharp and dials in the
moment the activity starts. I could not have asked
for a better teammate!
Does your dog have any
quirks or unique habits that you loved to share?
He occasionally howls, something he learned from T'ai. It puts a smile on most
people's faces when he does it.
Do you have other dogs/pets aside
from your IFCS dog? Tell us more about them:
In 2012, my Siberian
Husky, T'ai, made it into the finals at the AKC National Agility Championship
and took third place in the 24" class; one week before his tenth birthday.
T'ai earned an invitation to attend the AKC Agility Invitational seven years in
a row. In 2009 he made it into the AKC Invitational finals, and took third place
in the 24" class. We lost T'ai to cancer in 2013. He was an amazing
athlete and ambassador for his breed. We sorely miss him.
Stinger, my oldest
Border Collie, now retired, had a long history of success. He was the 2011
USDAA National DAM Team Champion. He competed twice at the AKC Agility
Invitational and multiple times at the AKC World Team Tryouts. He
was an incredibly reliable teammate throughout his seven years of agility.
Cru, my three-and-a-half-year-old Border Collie knows he
has big paws to fill, and is determined to do it his own way. We are having a
blast running in the big events and he often gives Pace a run for the
money. More to come!
Describe for us what you do in
your "other" non-agility life, work life?
I work for the It's a Dog's World and Agility Center in Sumner,
Washington. I teach classes and do privates. In my own business, Pace Agility,
I do seminars and do remote coaching and support.
How does it feel to be on the IFCS
Team this year?
This will be Pace's fourth year in a row
on the USA IFCS Large team. We are proud and excited to be traveling with
a talented team to Spain in April. We love this venue and have quite a bit of
history in this event. I LOVE the fact that we will have the
opportunity to compete in so many cool events!
What are you looking forward
to the most at the World Agility Championship event in Spain this April?
I love the process of preparing and getting the
both of us ready. Being able to step to the line with Pace knowing that we
both will enjoy every moment together on course and off the course! :) I
am also looking forward to spending time with all my teammates and
my friends from other countries.
Do you do anything special to
prepare yourself for a big competition?
Making sure that both both Pace
and I go in prepared by being both physically and mentally fit. The challenge
is often the timing for both of us to peak at the same time. It can be a tricky
sport with regards to that.
People who enjoy agility with their dogs are often intimidated
by the idea of competition - what advice would you give them to encourage them
to take the plunge?
Get inspired by watching good teams who can
demonstrate the joy of team work.
Do you have a favorite dog from a
book, movie, TV-show or video game?
Balto, the Siberian Husky from the movie Balto.