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Turbo-Nadir UD BN GN RAE3 AX AXJ NF CGCA TKP owned by Kimberly Ann Hoeppner of Welsh, LA

Turbo earned his Utility Dog title at the Tallahassee Dog Obedience Club on Jan. 13. It was a proud moment for this little mixed breed rescue dog, who had been adopted and returned to the shelter three times. Kim would be his fourth owner, but luckily, his last. She adopted him in 2011 from the Louisiana SPCA while she was in college and seeking a canine roommate.

“Turbo was a pitiful pup at the shelter,” she said. When she met him, he was hiding in a corner at the back of his cage, refusing to look at anybody passing by. “He wasn’t interested in meeting people or excited about toys or food. He seemed frozen to the world around him.

“At first, Turbo was a mess. He was skittish and would bolt to hide behind furniture at any strange or loud noise or sudden movements. He’d scoot away from anybody who tried to say ‘hi’ or offer him food or toys,” Kim said. “He was terrified of men, soap, garbage bags, and uniforms. He would freeze and shake in fear if a leash was taken out. He would chase his tail in circles until he was exhausted. He would sit in corners and stare at the wall for hours. And he was a master at destroying things, including college homework.”

Turbo was Kim’s first dog, and he presented an interesting test for her. Instead of giving up on Turbo, she researched on how to work through his behavioral challenges. She began to train Turbo with an arsenal of Google research, YouTube videos, and books from her school library. Through training, Turbo began to calm down and trust Kim. She was soon able to start taking him out around her college campus and even exploring the city of New Orleans. Turbo’s personality emerged, and he was no longer afraid of leashes.

Upon graduating from college two years later, Kim enrolled Turbo in a pet obedience class. He did great, and the instructor encouraged them to attempt a CGC and to try Rally Obedience. Turbo was soon registered with the Canine Partners program, and the pair began their performance sports journey with earning a CGC and RN in 2014. In 2015, the team met their mentor, Julie Hill, who not only kept encouraging them on their journey but also helped them develop into the versatile performance team they are now.

From a sad beginning to a future of endless possibilities, Turbo and Kim will see where the journey will take them. “We do know one thing, however, and that’s to enjoy every step of the way!” Kim said.