The instructors of Bella Vista Training Center are some of the area’s very best trainers in dog agility, obedience, rally obedience, family dog training and more! They have more than 200 combined years of experience working with and training dogs and their owners.
Our instructors all teach using tested, positive training techniques that are fun for both the dog and the owner.
They are all active in various dog sport activities, dog breeding and grooming care. Their seasoned experience, honed on many agility courses, at many trials and competitions, and after working with many puppies and family pets, will provide you and your dog with first-class knowledge and training expertise. Every Bella Vista instructor is first and foremost a dog-lover, second a veteran student of Bella Vista Training Center, and third a competitor in various aspects of dog-sport activities.
Several of our trainers are also experienced in other specialty areas of dog activities, including flyball, earthdog, tracking, herding, barn hunt, trick dog and therapy dog activities. They have achieved many titles and awards, and have the expertise necessary to provide excellent instruction for you and your dog!
Below you will find the current roster of instructors and staff at Bella Vista Training Center.
Stephanie Capkovic – Owner, Agility and Rally Instructor
Stephanie Capkovic has been a breeder of West Highland White Terriers (Westies) under the Bella Vista name since 1989.
In 1994, Stephanie decided to take her new puppy, Amelia, to an agility class just for fun.
Agility was fun and soon they were both hooked on this dog sport. In 1996, Stephanie became an agility instructor for the Obedience Training Classes of Harrisburg and later founded Bella Vista Training Center in 1998.
While Bella Vista was founded initially for dog agility training, the types and variety of classes soon expanded to include obedience, rally, tricks, canine good citizen and focus. Seminars and workshops are also held on a regular basis since there is always something either new to try, something to train or re-train or just another activity to help you have fun with your dog.
While terriers, West Highland White Terriers and Cesky Terriers, to be exact, are Steph’s favorite, she has also owned, trained and competed with a Scottish Terrier, a Yorkshire Terrier and a Portuguese Water Dog in obedience, agility, freestyle and rally. Currently in addition to the Westies, she is competing in rally, agility, obedience, barn hunt, lure coursing and earthdog with Logan, a Cesky Terrier. Logan is officially known in the agility world as “MACH 2 Windrush Logan’s Run” and they are in the process of earning Qs for his agility grand championship. Lucille, another Cesky Terrier, arrived at Bella Vista at 11 weeks old in September 2019 and has already started training for all dog sports. Since Steph lives with three Border Collies, occasionally she will be seen in the agility, rally and barn hunt rings with a Border Collie.
Stephanie breeds Westies under the kennel name of Bella Vista. While performance sports are her passion, on a rare occasion you will see her in the breed ring showing a Westie.
In addition to being the owner of the Bella Vista Training Center, Stephanie is also a judge for a variety of dog sports. She is an agility and earth dog judge for the American Kennel Club and a rally judge for World Cynosport Rally and UKC. In 2011, Steph became a judge for the Barn Hunt Association.
Needless to say, Steph is addicted to dogs and dog sports. In 2008, Steph made the decision to make her passion her full-time job. She now gets to train, board, and groom dogs as her career. Bella Vista is currently home to Steph, Rob Kripaitis and their assorted pack of canine companions. There is never a dull moment at Bella Vista… since “life is merrier with terriers” (and all dogs)!
Rob Kripaitis – Partner, Trial Secretary and Agility Instructor
While it all began on a cold February night in 1964, the dog sport addiction did not start until the year 2000. That was the year that Rob started training his sheltie, Molly, in obedience. While Molly learned the basic commands, she was never really, truly “obedient” and Rob often refers to her as “cat dog” since she is very independent and sometimes has a “creative” streak. Soon he discovered the sport of agility and from that point forward his life changed and it officially went to the dogs.
Because shelties are just like potato chips (you can’t have just one!), Rob soon adopted another sheltie, named Tibby. In 2003, because Rob wanted people to listen to him when he talked, he became an assistant agility instructor for Tailblazers Agility Club in southeastern Pennsylvania. Soon he was spending all available weekends at agility trials showing Molly and Tibby.
Tibby, his rescue sheltie, was a quick study and was shown in agility until her fears of the dog walk caused her early retirement. Tibby earned her AX and AXJ titles in AKC. Molly had a longer agility career. There are many interesting and entertaining stories about Molly’s ring antics and the efforts she went through to avoid earning a qualifying run.
Molly earned the MX and MXJ titles in AKC Agility, and competed in the Masters level in USDAA.
In 2007, Rob’s agility career took a step in a slightly different direction when he became an AKC agility judge. Since that time, he has become an AKC earthdog judge, a judge for the Barn Hunt Association and a Level 3 rally judge for World Cynosport Rally Limited.
In 2008, Rob went to the “dark side” of agility when he purchased a Border Collie puppy that he named Detour. To date, Detour has earned two MACH titles and one PACH title and is close to earning the AKC Agility Brand Championship title. They also compete in CPE and USDAA agility and are trialing at the highest levels. Detour and Rob are also competing in rally obedience, lure coursing and barn hunt, where they have earned multiple titles. Can-ya!? and Black Jack are Rob’s newest training partners. Look for him with his Border Collies in a variety of dog spots.
Over the years, Rob has had the opportunity to train and work with a variety of breeds. In addition to his own dogs, he has successfully handled a Belgian Tervuran, a Pyrenean Shepherd, a Scottish Terrier, a Field Cocker Spaniel, a West Highland White Terrier and a Papillion in agility when the owners were not available to run their dogs.
In 2011, Rob became an agility instructor at the Bella Vista Training Center. He used to describe himself as Stephanie’s enabler, since he and Stephanie are co-dependent in their joint addiction to dogs and dog sports. Now he says that he and Steph are agility dealers since they get other people and dogs addicted to the sport of agility!
Terry Barnaby – Agility Instructor
Terry began dog sports at the advanced age of 52 with her 9-year-old cairn terrier, Hobbes. Hobbes was truly her best friend and seemed uncannily human. Leslie Hoy, a fellow trainer, was the one who convinced Terry that they should try agility and rally obedience. It changed her life – and that of her dogs!
Terry’s family had a dog off and on throughout her childhood, but their responsibility was to be part of a very active family of seven children – a full-time occupation.
Terry fell in love with a 10-week-old black brindle Cairn terrier five weeks after being married and borrowed her father’s credit card to purchase him. Her father would joke that Fred and Terry paid $250 a pound for a dog!
Terry’s husband, Fred, felt badly that Snoopy was alone during the day and they adopted Heather to keep him company. They’ve had Cairn Terriers in pairs ever since – joined by Terry’s daughter’s dog as soon as she was old enough to ask for her own. Terry and Fred feel that dogs are equal members in their family, contributing so much to the love and companionship they share. After that first agility class, Terry’s relationship with her dogs changed to a full working partnership.
Terry was a teacher and team leader for the first third of her career. She then embarked on a very rewarding career as a field representative, director and manager with the Pennsylvania State Education Association, retiring as Associate Executive Director more than five years ago to work for the PA Department of Education. She is a Bureau Director at this time.
Hobbes helped Terry through the inevitable insecurities and panic of the beginner. After many years of building knowledge, skill and confidence as a professional, Terry was really surprised at how insecure she felt. Roo became her partner after Hobbes and the Roo Team was established. She said she had a wonderful time and has developed much more confidence and skill, and that it’s fun to think about those early days and how she has changed.
Because Terry began rally and agility later in life and had no athletic background, she threw myself into learning. She read books, took multiple classes and attended as many seminars as she could. She still does. She has worked with some very talented people but has to say that her best learning partners have been her dogs. Annie is now competing as part of the Roo Team for the first time this year and she is amazing! She is a rescued Cairn Terrier/Chinese Crested mix and Terry spent the first five years building a relationship and changing her beliefs, attitudes and behavior around people and dogs. It will never matter how many titles she wins – Terry says Annie is her best accomplishment and deserves a great deal of praise for the progress she has made – beginning agility trialing at the approximate age of 8.
Her agility credits are in AKC, NADAC, TDAA, and CPE. She has been an instructor with beginning dogs for three years at Bella Vista and is a judge for TDAA. She looks forward to continuing with the Roo Team and can’t wait to get the opportunity to work with a young dog again. Terry has promised Hobbes, Roo and Annie that she will be a much better partner the next time around. She owes them so much.
Her main goal as an instructor is to help other handlers and dogs experience the pleasure of working as a team, helping one another to learn and grow. She hopes to progress to more teaching opportunities.
Michelle Gorecki – Agility Instructor
Michelle Gorecki is one of Bella Vista’s agility instructors.
Pat Hollern – Agility Instructor
Pat has had dogs in her life from a very early age. From her best friend Rip (and yes, he did like to tear into things) to her first Border Collie, Abby, dogs have always been a pleasure. They learned basic obedience along with the standard repertoire of tricks and became really good pets. Then, in the year 2000, Pat acquired a hyperactive Border Collie named Shelby. While smart and intuitive, it was soon obvious that Shelby needed something more to occupy her time.
Plus, she needed to be taught not to gnaw on the furniture.
A good friend, the late Jack Stanton, suggested a puppy obedience class with Margaret and Charlie Schrader. This class helped so much that Pat and Shelby continued with more basic obedience classes. But Shelby was so full of energy and a desire to run that it was soon apparent that an outlet for this energy was needed. So when Shelby reached the tender age of 18 months, they entered the world of agility. Both became hooked on the high-intensity workout and benefited from the discipline involved, and they haven’t looked back since. In fact, they added the sport of flyball to their busy schedule.
Pat began teaching agility classes at the Bella Vista Training Center in 2003. Now you can be hard-pressed to find her at home in Mechanicsburg. Pat has participated in several seminars and the Clean Run Camp in 2005. She believes that positive reinforcement is the key to success when training your dog.
In 2007 Pat and Shelby earned their first AKC MACH title! They quickly earned MACH 2 and MACH 3. In 2010 an injury to Shelby caused an early retirement from agility. Shelby then participated in Rally Obedience and tracking before pasisng away in 2014 at the age of 15.
In July 2009, Seren joined the family. She’s a cute little spitfire dressed up like a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Seren has earned her CGC and several AKC and USDAA titles. Seren also participated in flyball and barn hunt and earned her Farm Dog Certificate. Seren has been to AKC Nationals five times, and twice she was in the Challenger round. In 2015, Seren and Pat went to the AKC Invitationals. So Pat and Seren are continuing the tradition of never being home on the weekend! Seren is still active and very competitive at 10 years young. Her titles are listed below.
In 2015, another Corgi joined the Hollern family. Brynn and Pat continue to learn this wonderful sport of agility. Brynn also enjoys Fast CAT and barn hunt.
Titles for Hollern’s Slainte “Shelby”
- AKC – NA NAJ NF OA OAJ OF AX AXJ XF MX MXJ MXF MXB NAP NJP OAP OJP AXP AJP RN MACH MACH2 MACH3
- USDAA – PD1 PS1 PJ1 PG1 PK1 PERFORMANCE PAIRS PS2 PJ2 PK2
- APDT Rally – RL1 RL2; nationally ranked number 17 in RL2 in 2011
- NADAC – NAC NGC NJC TN-N TG-N WV-N Novice Versatility OAC OCC OJC TN-O TG-O WV-O Open Versatility EAC ECC EJC TN-E TG-E WV-E Elite Versatility S-TN-E STG-E S-WV-E
- UKC – UAG1 UAG2
- NAFA – FD FDX FDCH FDCH-S FDCH-G FM FMX
Titles for Gayheart’s BT Thyme to Shine “Seren”
- AKC – CGC NA NAJ NF OA OAJ OF AX AXJ XF MX MXJ MXF MXB MXB2 MXB3 MXS MXS2 MXS3 MXG MXG2 MXG3 MXC MXC2 MJB MJB2 MJB3 MJB4 MJS MJS2 MJS3 MJG MJG2 MJG3 MJC MJC2 MJC3 T2B T2B2 T2B3 T2B4 T2B5 MACH MACH2 MACH3 MACH4 MACH5 MACH6 MACH7 MACH8
- USDAA – SSA SJ SG SS SR AD AJ AG AS AR ASA AAD JM GM SM RM SAM MAD TM ADCH SACH TM-Bronze SACH-Bronze JCH-Bronze GCH-Bronze SCH-Bronze RCH-Bronze ADCH-Bronze
- NAFA – FD FDX FDCH FDCH-S FDCH-G FM
- Barn Hunt – RATI RATN RATO RATS
- Farm Dog Certification
Titles for Gayheart’s BT Autumn Gold “Brynn”
- AKC – NA NAJ NF OA OAJ OF AX AXJ XF MXF
- Barn Hunt – RATI RATN RATO RATS
- Fast CAT – BCAT
Michelle Busch – Agility Instructor
Michelle is an Agility Instructor.
Rochelle Black – Obedience, Rally and Trick Class Instructor
Rochelle Black has a T-shirt picturing two Jack Russell Terriers on playing cards with wording that says “Two Jacks is a full house!”
Rochelle says she can’t imagine not having an animal to work with and enjoy as part of her family.
Nearly all her life, she’s had dogs and other animals (including mice and horses).
She found herself as the human of a JRT puppy, Grasshopper, that was more dog than she had ever seen or been around at 15 weeks old. She needed help and ended up at BVTC, where she sat under some good instruction and began to train and communicate in a productive, beneficial way.
Up to that point, Rochelle said she had done just about everything wrong creating a dog that was totally unmanageable and reactive. But, she says, you can teach an “old” dog new tricks or how to be appropriate in public, do competition and be a loving member of your family. It did not happen overnight, but Grasshopper went from being a dog who was not appropriate to be outside the house to a fun, loving, title-collecting dog that was a joy to have in public, stores, parades and at work.
Dogs can change. Sometimes the key is knowing how to communicate clearly and consistently. This is why Rochelle loves to teach Puppy, Tricks, Basic and Rally Obedience classes. She loves watching the transformation process occur (some faster, some slower than others) between the owner(s) and their dog. She says she learns so much from each owner and dog team.
Having terriers is living on the edge… but Rochelle would not have it any other way. Dudley and Winnie are the current terriers. She has competed or explored Rally, barn hunt, tricks, earthdog and freestyle dance, and she and Winnie are now exploring dock diving. There is so much to try and not enough time.
Winnie and Dudley join Rochelle visiting her mom at the nursing home, as well as other residents there. They are not certified, but do their best to cause smiles. Rochelle is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator – and she hopes to see you in class soon!
Leslie Hoy – Rally Instructor
If Leslie Hoy’s first spoken word was not “dog,” it should have been. Dog-deprived through her early years, she and her dad 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 Leslie’s first dog-sitting customers.
Fast-forward to many years later when Leslie was on my own as an adult and, as her mom said, “Now you can have all the dogs you want.” She discovered Golden Retrievers and adopted her first rescue boy in 1982.
Leslie is proud to volunteer with GRREAT Golden Retriever Rescue and help unite dogs that need families with families that need dogs. She and her Goldens, along with her Australian Terriers, have earned numerous titles in agility, rally, tricks and scent work.
Most of the happy times and good friends in Leslie’s life center around dogs and dog sports in general, and this group in particular.
She believes that dogs serve us so willingly and bring such joy into our lives that it motivates her to give some of that back. Teaching is a privilege for which Leslie is very grateful. She’s honored to teach and learn along with her students, for teaching is indeed a two-way street.
Leslie says it’s exciting to watch students and dogs make progress and see the bonds develop between them, then watch them “try their wings” in competition. Some day, when Leslie hangs up her last ribbon, she says she’s sure there will be plenty of other great teams coming along.
Leslie hopes to serve you well as a teacher, fellow competitor and friend. Each and every client brings something good into her life, and she thanks and honors you for that.
“If I could be half the person my dog is, then I would be twice the human I am.”
– Crys Matthews
Kristen Geiger – Obedience Instructor
Kristen Geiger’s first experience with dog training was when her mom took her childhood golden retriever, April, to an obedience class. The classes were held outdoors, and the instructor didn’t allow children to be present in the classes, but Kristen still asked her mom if she could go every week so that she could roll down the car window and watch from afar.
Ever since, she’s found that she is truly amazed at what dogs can and will accomplish all for our sakes.
When Kristen learned after adopting her own dog that she could foster dogs in need of homes, she was overjoyed at the idea of getting to be a part of many dogs’ journeys to their forever families. When she started fostering, it became very important to her that each dog who stayed in her home learned what they needed in order to succeed after adoption. This is when her near-obsession with training dogs began. Kristen says nothing is as wonderful as watching the transformation that just a little bit of patience and consistency brings to a dog and the humans caring for him or her. Each foster dog has learned a little differently, but each has also far exceeded her expectations. Moreover, each has taught her something new!
If each of the foster dogs has taught her something new… then she could write books over what her own goofy dogs have taught her. Gordy the Labrador retriever mix has earned rally obedience and trick dog titles, as has little pitbull mix Breelan. Her newest addition, Napa, also a pitbull mix, earned her novice trick dog title as a foster dog right before they decided to adopt her!
Kristen firmly believes that training opens so many doors for us and our dogs, enhances the bond we have with our dogs, and allows us to live together harmoniously.
Beth Tauser – Obedience and Trick Class Instructor
Dogs have been members of Beth’s family all of her life. The earliest photo of her was taken with the family dog, Spooky. Spooky was a black and white SPCA special and had a warm, loving and gentle spirit. Beth’s mother claimed that Spooky was a border collie, because he “bordered on being a collie!”
Spooky was followed by Jock, another pound puppy who actually looked like a border collie. Jock was joined by Skeeter, a beagle mix.
Beth purchased her first puppy when she was 14 years old. Rowdy was a sable merle Shetland sheepdog with one brown eye and one blue eye. The breeder said she didn’t think she’d be able to find a home for him because of his coat color and mismatched eyes. That statement sealed the deal, and Rowdy found his home with Beth.
It was at that time that Beth took her first obedience class. Rowdy, being a smart and willing Sheltie, was an excellent student, and he graduated with a first place ribbon from his Basic Obedience class.
Since Rowdy, she has taken every one of her dogs through at least the basics of obedience in order to socialize with other dogs and people and to strengthen the canine-human bond.
Beth’s husband liked her Shelties, but wanted to “feel something at the end of the leash.” Oh, boy! So in 1975, they bought their first German shorthaired pointer. Elga von Baronberg was the first of many GSPs to live with and capture the hearts of the Tausers.
Fast forward to 2004, and enter Albert Gerhardt von Aachen. Albert is the smartest dog Beth has known and as a GSP and a member of the Sporting Group, he has an incredibly high energy level. He literally runs laps inside the house to burn off energy.
Albert and Beth took a Puppy Kindergarten Class, followed by a Manners Class, Basic Obedience, Basic Plus, F.O.C.U.S., Agility, Rally, Trick Dog and most recently scentwork classes. They have been enrolled in one class or another since Albert was 9 weeks old, and at the time of this writing, he is now 15 years old!
In 2009, Beth and Albert entered their first Rally Obedience Trial. It was a great success, and Beth was immediately hooked on Rally and Obedience competition!
Since that first competition, they have successfully competed in AKC, APDT, UKC and World Cynosport Rally Trials. Albert has earned his CD-CCH Obedience Championship through the Companion Dog Sports Program. In 2013, Albert earned his AKC Companion Dog Title. Two of his three qualifying scores won first place ribbons at the German Shorthaired Pointer National Specialty Show. He also holds a Champion Trick Dog Title through “Do More With Your Dog.” In 2018, at the age of 14, Albert earned his Level Two Scentwork Title under C-WAGS (Canine Work and Games). He is now an official Scent Detective. He also holds a Champion Trick Dog Title through “Do More With Your Dog.”
In spite of the fact that she has worked with many dogs, Beth admits that she has learned far more from them than they from her. Every dog has something new to teach her.
Beth also has a Weimaraner named Whimsi at home. Whimsi has earned titles in Obedience, Rally, Tricks and Scentwork. Beth is a firm believer that each and every class improves communication and socialization skills and increases that incredible bond between dogs and their people.
Beth is an Approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. She is a Co-Instructor for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy program, Level Two Basic Obedience and the Tricks class at Bella Vista Training Center. In addition, she is an active member of the York County Dog Training Club. She is also a volunteer instructor for Dog T.A.G.S., a non-profit program designed for veterans with PTSD and/or traumatic brain injury. She helps the veterans train their dogs to assist with their individual needs. She is a Certified Pet Evaluator for Therapy Pets Unlimited, a non-profit organization providing friendly pet visits to a variety of facilities.
Lori Trimmer – Obedience and Tricks Class Instructor
Like many of you, I’ve had dogs throughout my life, however five years ago, an eight week old Mini Golden Doodle named “Idgie” joined my family. My previous dogs came to me as adults, so Idgie was my first puppy. I decided we both needed some help, as she was my first pup and I, of course, was her first human. Idgie, wise beyond her eight week life, demonstrated that we both needed some training. We were like a blank slate. Our success or failure was now my responsibility.
A friend recommended Bella Vista Training Center, so I signed up for the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Class. Following the Puppy Class, my passion for creating a bond with her was ignited. Idgie seemed to approve of the positive reinforcement concept, aka eating treats while learning.
Fast forward in time, we enrolled in and completed more obedience classes and several tricks classes. Idgie earned her Canine Good Citizen Award, several Trick Dog Titles and is also a certified Therapy Dog. We do tricks to entertain kids. Additionally, we continue to participate in Rally Obedience classes and compete in Rally Obedience Trials. We have even dabbled in agility.
During this time period, we’ve had the good fortune to train with several quality instructors at Bella Vista. These experienced instructors have made me realize how much I love training. My full-time job as Parks and Recreation Director has reinforced the importance of having fun while you are learning.
Since Idgie arrived, I have trained, assisted and studied under Stephanie Capkovic, Rochelle Black, Leslie Hoy and Beth Tauser. Beth and I have taught the Level Two Basic Obedience, “Tricks are for Dogs” and the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Classes together.
I am also a member of The York County Dog Training Club AND Alliance for Therapy Dogs. My goal is to assist you in creating a bond with your dog and have a lot of fun in the process. Idgie’s goal is to show off as a demo dog in order to get a few more treats. I am excited to assist you in fostering a positive relationship between you and your canine companion and look forward to meeting you and your furry partner
Christy Duke – Obedience Instructor
I think my earliest memory of training was with my Nana’s Areidale Terrier names Fritz. She wrote me a note on my 21st Birthday reminiscing about how everyone got a kick out of this tiny little girl putting this big dog through his paces.
My love for competition came from my Dad who trained Redbone Coonhounds and we had the most amazing dog named Daisy May she was ranked very high, and would win in all the different categories. Even at a young age I thought is pretty thrilling to watch the transformation of training using the equation: the natural abilities of the dog, combined with dedication, to equal success and well I’ve been hooked ever since.
I’ve competed most notoriously in agility with my Pekingese named Tucker. He was the first of his breed in the history of the AKC to earn his MACH and that was a pretty amazing and maybe my biggest accomplishment to date. I also put an agility Championship on a friends Boston Terrier who was a God sent angel. I also competed in agility with a Manchester Terrier and a Puggle.
With my newest guy a Boston Terrier named Quincy we are doing all the things! We have so far competed in Barnhunt and Rally. He is just a blast to partner with. So much fun we are having!
I smile pretty often as is but you never see me smile quite as big as when I’m training with my dogs. Well even my cats as I even trained one of them during the pandemic to do some commands. The bond you develop through training is such a deeply connected one. I wish for everyone to experience that joy. Training feels like home to me, and my true happy place, with my very best friend, my dog. The people I met through training are pretty darn cool too. We are all family here.
Trish Mowery – Trial Secretary and BVTC Staff Member
Trish Mowery didn’t have her first dog until she had her Australian shepherd, Princess, come to live with her as an adult. Instead, she chose to love larger, four-legged versions and spent her younger years and throughout college in the barn with horses. Princess came to live with her after she was essentially abandoned by a junior showmanship handler while Trish was working at a farm as a companion, to keep her company when her ex-husband was working late shifts.
Princess’ breeder recommended they try Rally-O. However, they could not find a place that taught Rally nearby, but they did find an agility club.
Their first agility class was in March 2012, and their first CPE trial was the following February. They were hooked. Throughout her career, Princess titled in multiple agility organizations, including CPE, AKC, USDAA and ASCA, and legs in NADAC and UKI, and earned qualifying legs and titles in WCRL Rally, ASCA Rally and Barn Hunt. She earned her CATCH on the fifth anniversary of her first CPE trial, under the same judge her very first legs were earned under. She had more than 60 titles as of her last trial.
Stu joined Trish’s family in 2015, just shy of his second birthday. Also an Aussie from the same breeder, he led a sheltered life due to some unfortunate turns of events. People often hear Trish refer to him as her “gremlin seeker,” as he is a high-anxiety dog at agility trials. He is the dog Trish never thought would leave the lower levels of agility. She said they have worked through many of his issues, and he earned his CATCH in August 2019, and is now in Masters in AKC. Stu is also titled in AKC, USDAA and DOCNA in agility. He has also turned out to be her Rally dog, as he loves just being with her. Earlier in 2019, he earned his ARCH in WCRL Rally and is close to his ARCHX, and he has also earned AKC Rally titles and Barn Hunt titles.
When Trish’s third Aussie, Convyxx, joined her in September 2017, he was her first puppy. At four months old, he was a show prospect who needed somewhere to “grow up.” So, he was sent to her with the understanding that he could show in the breed ring as long as I could play agility with him. Well, he taught me what it was to truly be a show handler (she had shown Princess only once). He taught her what a dog with good foundations could be.
Two years later, he is titled in CPE, AKC (and just earned his very first MACH points in September 2019), and UKI, and has legs in USDAA. He is also close to his ARCH in WCRL and has AKC rally legs, although he does not care for Rally and lets Trish know it often, and is titled in Barn Hunt.
Trish is still at 3 Aussies, but sadly Princess left her in June 2018, and Banjo came to join her at four months old that same July. He was a gift from Princess and Stu’s breeder because “all dogs should experience what Princess and Stu got to,” according to their breeder. While he does not seem to enjoy doing much high-energy work, Rally and Barn Hunt seem to be his cup of tea.
Trish says that over her time in agility, she’d had the pleasure of working with some great instructors, including Kim Malmer, who taught her in the very beginning; Deb Goodhart; Cathleen Markley; Paula Goss; Judy Kolva; Rob Kripaitis; Lori Napoli; Pat Hollern; and Desiree Snellman.
Trish enjoys the partnership that dog sports gives her with her dogs. It allows them to keep their minds and bodies active and gives them something they can enjoy together as a team.
Jan Brunner – BVTC Staff Member
Jan Brunner is a BVTC staff member.