‘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’.
Stuart joined MAC in 2018. At that time he was (and still is) taking lessons with an instructor renting out space at our home base of Con Brio Farms. After attending one of our trials, they were impressed by the attitudes of the MAC Members and the overall supportive and fun atmosphere of the club. He loves the sport of agility for the connection and bond that grows between the handler and dog. He and his wife are currently loved and owned by 2 Australian Shepherds, Sophie and Axel.
Brenda joined MAC in 2005. She has had dogs all my 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. 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’.
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.