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Josephine-A-Rooni RM CGC TKA owned by Kristy Leech of Guntersville, AL

Kristy met Josie when she volunteered to assist a friend with taking pictures at the Arab, Alabama Animal Shelter. They were told Josie would be impossible to photograph because she was too wild. In fact, the shelter had given her the name “Wild Child.” Since her profession is training American Saddlebred horses for show, Kristy felt perfectly capable of handling Wild Child. She was a little over a year old at the time and had spent most of her life at the shelter. Her siblings had all been adopted.

“When I got her out, she certainly was 85 pounds of wild,” said Kristy. “She had us both tied up with the leash within seconds! I told the main volunteer that I wasn’t necessarily interested in adopting, but I wanted to keep up with her.” Twice Josie was adopted and returned. The volunteer told her that they try hard to stay no-kill, but can’t keep them forever, so Josie would only get one more chance. Kristy picked up Josie immediately.

Josie lacked social skills, so Kristy enrolled her in the beginner class at South Paw Obedience Training center in Arab. They did some obedience, but especially enjoyed Rally. After about a year of classes, they started competing. Josie easily earned her Rally Novice title and qualified for Rally Nationals.

“We really enjoyed that experience at the Purina Center. Josie’s off leash showing was a little interesting. When I started her training, I vowed to not let her lose who she was. This showed up loud and clear at some shows with her ducking her tail and zooming around the ring for her adoring fans,” said Kristy. Through all of that, they again qualified for Rally Nationals and enjoyed their trek to Tulsa.

Josie earned her Rally Master title September 1st at the Nashville Dog Training Club trial. South Paw instructor, Kitty Thompson, bakes a cake for everyone who gets a title. “When I started classes there, I never thought Josie would earn a cake to share with her classmates. She is responsible for eight cakes being served since she has earned four Rally titles, three Trick titles, and her CGC. We have enjoyed all the opportunities AKC has for All-American Dogs. We plan to continue in Rally and maybe try something else AKC offers.”