As our big trip to the USDAA World Finals gets closer I am starting to make my lists and get things together to pack. We have one more show this weekend before we leave. Hopefully we can use this upcoming show as a dry run for Arizona.
Talbot Humane decided Zip’s story would be great to share with the public and they dropped the following press release. Hopefully it will give some attention to the shelter and all the wonderful animals waiting for new homes. Zip and I have also been interviewed by the local radio station, WCEI. As soon as I get a copy of the interview I will post.
7894 Ocean Gateway
P.O. Box 1143
Easton, Maryland 21601
410-822-0107 Fax: 410-822-7619
For Immediate Release
Cyndy Carrington Miller, Public Relations Consultant
410-770-9410, 443-521-2330 (cell)
‘Zipping’ From Talbot Humane To World Championship
In June of 2007, things were not looking too good for the Jack Russell Terrier Talbot Humane’s shelter staff called “Trigger.” Brought in as a stray and probably about a year old, he had been there three weeks without being claimed by his owner or finding a new home. Then he met Ivette White, winning a second chance at life and a lot of firsts in championship competitions.
Now going by the name of “Zip,” he is heading off to Arizona to compete in the United States Dog Agility Association’s Grand Prix of Dog Agility® World Championships, November 11-15. He has earned a place in the semi-finals doing what comes naturally to Jack Russell Terriers—running, jumping and having fun.
When they first met, White was serving as a Talbot Humane board member and had watched many dogs come and go at the shelter. With two dogs and two cats already at home, she and her husband, Brandon, were not looking to adopt another. However, one day while attending a meeting, fellow board member and past president Nancy Thompson introduced her to Zip. “As soon as I saw him,” White admitted, “I knew this dog belonged with me.”
Zip had been at the shelter for 26 days before he moved to his new home. “This can seem like an eternity to a terrier,” White noted. Initially, he showed no interest in toys or much of anything else, but he would take food from her hand, offering a glimmer of hope. After a couple of weeks, Zip’s personality began to emerge, with an eagerness to do anything to please his new friend.
Having been involved in dog agility for more than a decade, White decided to see what Zip could do and enrolled him in a group class. “Zip took to it like a duck to water,” she said.
Dog agility is a competitive sport that began in England in 1978 and is one of the fastest growing canine sports in the United States. Timed obstacle courses test dogs’ ability to jump hurdles, climb ramps, cross a see-saw, run through tunnels and navigate through lines of poles. The competitions demonstrate both the dog’s agility and the handler’s training skills.
It was less than a year after Zip adopted White that he entered his first agility trial. In little more than a year, he has become a highly ranked national competitor with many titles to his name. Zip is currently ranked fifth in the country in the USDAA’s 12-inch height division of the Masters Jumpers Class and tenth in the 12-inch Masters Gamblers Class. His most recent accomplishment was earning his Master Agility Dog title.
Winning the 2009 Northeast Regional Grand Prix Championship earned Zip a bye into the World Championship semi-finals in Scottsdale. He has also qualified for the Steeplechase and Dog Agility Masters Team competitions. A number of White’s and Zip’s friends are traveling to Arizona to cheer them on.
While these are serious contests, White insists that their main goal is just to have fun. “After all, in Zip’s mind, agility is just a wonderful game he gets to play with me,” she said. Nancy Thompson described Zip as an awesome performer with breathtaking speed and perfect accuracy, but “he only wants to perform for Ivette.”
“For me, every day I spend with Zip is a gift,” added White. “When my friends find out that Zip was a shelter dog, they always say, ‘He is so lucky that he found you!’ I feel the exact opposite. I’m the lucky one.”
“It is always exciting to the staff at Talbot Humane when an animal is adopted,” said Talbot Humane Shelter Coordinator Patty Crankshaw-Quimby. “We have been so happy to watch Zip succeed. Our goal is to match prospective adopters with the right animal. Zip is proof that shelters across our nation are filled with wonderful pets looking for a second chance.”
“Agility champ or not,” said White, “we are truly blessed to have this little white dog in our lives.”
For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer, call Talbot Humane at 410-822-0107 or visit www.talbothumane.org.