‘Own your own business they said. Be your own boss they said’. After 10 years of working ridiculous hours, getting a fledgling business on its feet, Andrew needed to find something totally different to find balance. A MAC member since 2002, he had an older, very bored Aussie/Border cross named Bosco, and they stumbled upon agility. It became apparent that it was a great way to strengthen their bond while having a blast doing it. They were hooked. Bosco was followed by Thunder his red merle aussie, Casey, Ella, Havoc, Tesla and Torch. ‘Australian shepherds are like pringles, you can’t just have one’. According to Andrew, ‘The people in the agility community are special, special in a good way. I have made many lifelong friends along the way. I even met my wife, Susan, at an agility class, to whom I proposed to…at an agility trial. It has been a great 20 years in agility and hopefully at least that many more to come’.
“For me the best thing about agility is the ability to spend time with your dog doing something you are both actively engaged in as a team. It’s a partnership that builds better connection and understanding.”
Amy joined MAC in 2004 with her husband Dan, after realizing their very active Australian Shepherd, Boomerang, needed a challenge both physically and mentally. Agility was the perfect outlet. They began lessons with MAC members and soon found themselves surrounded by a group of like-minded friends who loved dogs as much as they did. In the beginning Amy had no intentions to compete. She just wanted to play with her dog. Not long after she entered their first trial and obtained their first Q. Before long they added a new Australian Shepherd to their family and her husband Dan took on the training of Boomerang’s little brother Shadow.
“One of the best things about MAC is that we have all levels of competitors represented, from beginner’s to hard core competitors, and although we all enjoy some friendly competition, there is a wonderful spirit of sharing and support in our club.”
Boomerang eventually attained the coveted ATCHC and both he and Shadow have since passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Although Amy doesn’t currently have an agility dog, she continues to be involved in the club to enjoy being with like-minded friends and encourage the love of agility.
Brenda joined MAC in 2005. She has had dogs all her life but after Banjo, a Border Collie, was added to their home they knew he needed a job. She contemplated many sports but finally settled on agility. Banjo was ultimately not suited to competition but her love and passion for agility began. She has since trained, competed and titled with 2 more Border Collies, Tazz & Scuin. There has also been a few German Shepherd Dogs dabbling in agility along the way too. Eilidh is the most recent addition and is a full sister to Scuin.
Per Brenda, ‘Agility is a wonderful sport that bonds you and your dogs together within an extremely fun and supportive community. It gets in your blood and becomes a way of life. It is a sport that I am tremendously grateful to have found and hope to enjoy, along with MAC, for many, many more years’.
Elisha joined MAC early 2020, knowing it would be a great way to learn more about Agility and get to know other dog sport enthusiasts. She originally came across MAC when looking for local trainers after moving to this area and connected with a member though Instagram to learn more and come check out a trial. It looked like so much fun!
From then on she’s been taking classes at Tepla Farms and will start participating in trials this summer. Lexi (Australian Shepherd) is the very first dog she’s ever had. Growing up she wasn’t allowed to have pets because of her mom’s home based business of making custom curtains. As soon as her (now) husband and she got our first rental house, they got Lexi.
Elisha’s first Agility experiences were with her just as something fun to do. 4 years later we got Chloe (Border Collie) and she started Agility classes with her early on and ever since. Agility started as a fun little hobby for Chloe and Elisha, and she’s excited to start competing and participating as a board member from an entry level perspective, who is interested in local classes, trials, seminars and demos.
Amber joined MAC in the Fall of 2016 with her first agility dog Ryker, a red merle male Australian Shepherd. She wanted to be active with her dog in a sport that focused on teamwork, and that’s what agility is, teamwork.
It wasn’t long after getting Ryker they started taking some just for fun agility classes in the London area. They entered their first agility trial in July 2016, a MAC trial. ‘I knew nothing about how trials worked and we seemed to be way out of our league skill wise but the members of MAC were so welcoming and helpful that it made the whole experience worth while’.
Amber lost Ryker unexpectedly the following July 2017 and says ‘if it wasn’t for the wonderful MAC members support and friendship I don’t know what I would have done. I hadn’t even been a member for a year but I felt at home here’. During his short career, Amber and Ryker amassed 13 Qs and received the MAC ‘Rookie Dog of the Year’ award. ‘MAC gave me so many beautiful memories with my boy in that year and the members supported and helped lift me up throughout my grief. This is what I love about MAC, it’s more than just a sports club, it’s a community, a family, a support system with people that love their fur babies just as much as you do and that’s a fun group of people to be around’.
Amber now has a new Aussie named Freyja, a baby sister to Ryker.
Director at Large
After doing basic puppy obedience and some trick training Rachel was looking for something more to do with her young Border Collie, Isla. She had heard about agility and started taking lessons with Sarah Hughes at Details Dog Training. Rachel early on said “this will just be for fun” never thinking she’d enter a trial. It wasn’t long before realizing that everyone “does it for fun” and enjoys creating the bond with their dog(s). Fast forward to 2021, Isla has her Starter Games title and working towards more! She also now runs Fynn who joined the pack in 2017 who seems to love it, especially when there are treats at the end!
Rachel joined MAC in 2018 after attending some of MAC’s trials and meeting members Andrew & Susan at agility classes. Rachel has now joined the board as Director at Large and Trial Secretary for the upcoming trial. She looks forward to continuing to make the club a place where a group of people who love doing things with their dog can support each other, host trials, raise awareness about agility, and have fun!