Leslie Hoy – Agility Instructor

If my first spoken word was not "dog," it should have been. Dog-deprived through my early years, my dad and I befriended Trixie, the neighbor's German shepherd, who made lots of noise and had very big teeth, but was as gentle as a lamb. Trixie and her family also became my first dog-sitting customers.

Fast-forward to many years later when I was on my own as an adult and, as Mom said, "Now you can have all the dogs you want." I discovered Golden Retrievers and adopted my first rescue in 1982, then a second in 1996, my sweet boy Rusty, who loved the world and everyone in it. He and I became active rescue volunteers, doing home checks, public events, and transports together until his death in March of 2008. His legacy continues with my third rescue Golden, Copper, who joined the family in 2006. He and I love doing rally and have earned our URO3, ARCHEX and RA, entertaining the crowd as we did so, as well as keeping up with Golden rescue volunteer opportunities.

Life took a radical turn when Kiwi, the Australian Terrier, came to live with us in 1998. He was a busy, cheerful, energetic little athlete who deserved a better destiny than couch potato, which led me to agility and this club. Kiwi was so many of my firsts: First terrier, first AKC-registered dog from a breeder, first competition dog... and first and always, the dog of my heart. He was much better therapy through divorce than any psychiatrist, and he and Rusty became best friends. In our 8 years of competition, we earned 17 titles in AKC and NADAC agility. Ki stayed competitive until not long before his death from lung cancer at age 12 in November of 2008. Little man, thank you... I will always love you. But life has a way of going on and in April of 2010, a little red-haired fireball entered my life. Temora's Maid in America ("Libby" to her many friends) is the second of what I hope to be many Australian Terriers. She's progressed from not knowing "Sit" to earning AKC, UKC, and APDT rally titles, as well as competing in AKC and TDAA agility. There's never a dull moment with her around!

Most of the happy times and good friends in my life center around dogs and dog sports in general, and this group and its members in particular. Our dogs serve us so willingly and bring such joy into our lives that it motivates me to give some of that back to the club. Teaching is a privilege for which I'm very grateful. I'm honored to teach and learn along with my students, for teaching is indeed a two-way street. It's exciting to watch students and dogs make progress and see the bonds develop between them, and then watch them "try their wings" in competition. When I hang up my soccer shoes for the last time, I'm sure there will be plenty of other great teams coming along.

I hope to serve you well as a teacher, fellow competitor, and friend. Each and every one of you brings something good into my life, and I thank and honor you for that.