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Photo by Bethany Howell / Dogs in Motion Photography

Snickers, formally known as The Joke’s On You AX AXJ OF DS AM, was a sad-looking young dog when Joan Kossaras of Phoenix, AZ, found her in the animal shelter and gave her a home.  Snickers turned out to be super smart and active and loved to work. Joan hoped she would enjoy water sports like her Rottweilers did, but Snickers was terrified of the water. With a lot of confidence building and love, Snickers not only over came her fears, she now competes in dock diving and holds titles in both distance and air retrieve!

Snickers was a frightened, filthy, pathetic looking pup when Joan adopted her four years ago from a shelter at the age of 1 year.

“I brought Snickers home with the intent of having a playmate for my other dog, a Rottweiler, but this busy girl needed a job.  She was terrified of swimming, so I thought there was no way this dog would be a decent dock candidate.  It saddened me to think she would never experience the joys of water fun that all my Rottweilers had,” Joan said.

“Well as Snickers began to gain confidence and drive, my initial thoughts could not have been proven more incorrect!  Snickers went from not being able to swim and needing a life vest, to being able to jump 24-plus feet.”

Snickers has earned the Dock Senior distance title and the Air Retrieve Master title from North America Diving Dogs (NADD). AKC recognizes NADD titles for AKC registered dogs, like Snickers, who is a member of the AKC Canine Partners program.

Snickers was invited to the 2015 North America Diving Dogs national championship and the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge. Agility is another favorite of Snickers, and she competes in the Masters level of AKC Agility.

“It has been a true pleasure adding Snickers to my life, and I can say that I have learned volumes with this ride,” Joan said.