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AKC Title Recognition Summer 2018

AKC Title Recognition Summer 2018

AKC Title Recognition Awards

The AKC now works with several non-AKC service and sports organizations to recognize the titles that AKC-registered dogs earn in their programs. This includes the AKC Therapy Dog titling program and the AKC Search & Rescue title program. AKC also recognizes titles of the Barn Hunt Association (BHA); North American Diving Dogs (NADD); and the North American Flyball Association (NAFA). For more information on how to apply for AKC recognition of these titles, go here. Read on to meet some of the All-American Dogs who are recent achievers in these sports.

AKC Therapy Dog Title
The AKC Therapy Dog Title program offers titles based on the amount of service that a therapy team has volunteered, giving more dogs the opportunity to earn the honor. Dogs also must be certified by an AKC-recognized therapy dog organization. The titles are:

  • AKC Therapy Dog Novice (THDN). Must have completed 10 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog (THD). Must have completed 50 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Advanced (THDA). Must have completed 100 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Excellent (THDX). Must have completed 200 visits.
  • AKC Therapy Dog Distinguished (THDD). Must have completed 400 visits.

We salute these All-Americans who are recent recipients of the THDD title for 400 or more visits!

Fryer’s Ginger THDD owned by Karen Fryer of Bakersfield, CA
Karen went to the local SPCA in December 2014, hoping to add a senior dog to her home; she said she feels that senior dogs are overlooked when people are picking a new family member. “I came across a 6-year-old female Chihuahua with only a number, not a name,” said Karen. “She had been picked up on the streets of Bakersfield as a stray, no collar, no tags, no chip. No one had come looking for their lost pet; no one cared she was lost. She had been overlooked and would have run out of time if I had not come along. I adopted her and fell helplessly in love with my now named Ginger, from the old TV show Gilligan’s Island.”

Ginger’s wonderful, calm temperament was apparent from the beginning, and Karen wanted to show the world what a great dog she had. She made an appointment with Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue to try out for its newly organized community outreach program, Miracle Mutts. Now, after three years and more than 400 hours of community service, Ginger is happiest when in a lap and giving kisses. She and Karen visit the Beale Library for Barks & Books, the Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center, many school assemblies, and three retirement homes. They are asked to sit with Bakersfield College, Taft College and CSUB College students during finals for stress relief.

Ginger completed her 400th visit at the CSUB Mental Health Awareness Event held at California State University Bakersfield in the Center Quad area on April 26, 2017.


Gretel Black THDD AD CGC TKN owned by Steven Black of Troy, MI
Nine-year-old Gretel, a lab-spaniel-hound mix, earned her THDD on Dec. 20, 2017. In addition to being a busy therapy dog, Gretel has been recognized by the Troy, MI, Police Department as a member of the Woof Patrol Crime Watch Program for dog owners.

When “just being a dog,” Steven said Gretel enjoys her favorite treat: peanut butter; her favorite activities, retrieving the mail and newspaper; and her favorite toy, a sock. Gretel “shares her heart and brings so much comfort to those in need,” Steven said. “Therapy dogs are amazing animals, and I am grateful that the AKC recognizes them.”


Ginger of Lagorce THDD CGCA CGCU TKN owned by Frederick Charles Sake of Miami, FL
Ginger is 5 years old, was rescued at 10 weeks of age, and is part Labrador Retriever, part German Shepherd and part “who-knows-what,” Frederick said.
She has been working as a therapy dog since December 2013. She and Fred are often called the “Fred and Ginger” team (as in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers). They have “been privileged to have made over 470 therapy visits to the elderly at Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, to children in need at the Miami-Dade County Grace Court for victims of human trafficking, and to children in dependency and delinquency proceedings by participating in the Paws of Court program in Miami-Dade courts, Juvenile Court Division,” Frederick said. Ginger has also assisted with a children’s reading program at the Miami Beach Public Library and at a school for children with special needs.

On Monday and Wednesday afternoons, Ginger brings a bit of distraction and playfulness to children, generally aged from several months to the early teens, who are in the strange and strained environment of the court system.

“For the few minutes that a child plays with Ginger, they seem to entirely forget where they are and why they have been thrown into that strange and frightening world,” Frederick said. “When we approach a child waiting outside a courtroom for a bunch of strange adults to decide his or her fate in unfathomable proceedings and I ask ‘Would you like to meet Ginger? She would like to meet you,’ a big grin or smile comes onto the child’s face, and they start to play with Ginger. They lose themselves in the moment of that child-dog world. It is one of the most satisfying accomplishments imaginable.”

Ginger also does hospice volunteer work every Tuesday, “where she brings comfort and distraction to those who are elderly and dying and a little respite to those who are sad and despairing. She really appears to get some special joy when the person she is visiting pets her and gives her a treat,” Frederick said.

The Fred and Ginger team plan on continuing hospice therapy and work with children for as long as Ginger can do so; they have also enthusiastically encouraged others to investigate and consider doing pet assisted therapy.

“It is with great pride and pleasure that we go on our therapy visits as representing Love on a Leash and the AKC,” Frederick said. Ginger earned her THDD title in January.


Annie Maddy THDD CGC owned by Peter Maddy of Reno, NV
“Annie is amazing with everyone from newborns to hospice care seniors and genuinely loves going out and making visits,” Peter said. “She was always a natural, getting along with everyone, human and canine. I call her a ‘Pigoodle,’ since she can eat treats all day long, free feeds, and is always a fit 12 pounds.”

Annie was about 7 months old when she was adopted from the SPCA of Northern Nevada on May 2, 2009. “Four years ago, after the Sparks Middle School shooting took the life of our friend, Michael Landsberry, she became a therapy dog with Paws4Love. Annie immediately became active as a reading dog for the Washoe County Library System, a member of the Crisis Response Team for the Washoe County School System, and a justice dog for the Washoe County District Court,” Peter said.

Annie also visits an assisted living and memory care facility and makes weekly visits to a residential treatment facility for youth and adolescents, a charter high school, and to other individuals by request.


Twit THDD CGC owned by Misty Renee Richardson of Winterport, ME
Twit, an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd/Lab mix, has been a therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International since 2010 and earned her THDD in January.

Twit and Misty volunteered in a group home for adults with disabilities for two years, and they have volunteered in pediatric psychiatric hospital in Bangor, ME for the last six years.

“Twit is friendly and visiting kids makes her happy; she comforts and brings smiles to young children who feel stressed and miss their families. She loves going to ‘work’ and takes her job very seriously,” Misty said.

When “off duty,” Twit enjoys fetching balls and sticks, and her favorite toy is a squeaky football. Twit snores so loudly that she sometimes wakes herself up. She also loves belly rubs.


Tammy’s Misty Jade CD BN RE OA OAJ NF THDD CGCU TKN owned by Carol Jean Maclean of Lompoc, CA
“I am very proud of Tammy,” said Jean, who adopted Tammy from the Santa Maria Humane Society in February 2014. “From day one she has wanted to do whatever I ask of her.”

Agility training began that May. They entered their first trial the first weekend of August and won two firsts and a second place out of four classes. The pair hasn’t looked back and they are now working on Excellent level agility.

Tammy and Jean were approved for the Love on a Leash Therapy program in April 2014 and started visiting assisted living, convalescent care, and adult day care facilities. They also participate in reading programs at the Lompoc Library and the Chumash Learning Center. “Tammy is awesome at all these,” Jean said. She made her 400th visit, earning the THDD title, on Feb. 8, 2018.

If that isn’t enough, they also compete in obedience and rally. Tammy has earned her CD and Rally Excellent titles, and they will begin working toward Rally Masters in the fall.

“She is my best buddy, along with her housemate Donny (a Whippet). Tammy is now just a little over 5 years old so we have many years of fun and making people happy ahead of us.”


Ringo Nielsen THDD CGC TKN owned by Marilyn & Paul Nielsen of Moorhead, MN
Ringo came to live with Marilyn and Paul when he was about 9 weeks old and “hadn’t even had a collar or anything,” Marilyn said. “He was a very loving little fellow who brought a lot of joy to our home. We took him to training classes and in March 2013, he earned his CGC and started his pet therapy work with Pet Partners.”

Ringo earned his THDD in January, making his 400th visit to the Ronald McDonald House in Fargo, ND. He has visited nursing homes, senior and assisted living homes, two public libraries where children are excited to see him and read to him, and schools to visit and listen to students read.
For two years, he visited an elementary school. Some students weren’t always comfortable with dogs. One such little girl was afraid when she came into the session but before she left she wanted to give Ringo a treat so it was an especially good experience for her.

More of the many places Ringo and the Nielsens have shared Therapy Dog love:

  • Colleges for special events or during testing when therapy dogs are invited for easing stress.
  • Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout meetings
  • A home for people with special needs
  • National Guard Send-Off events. “They enjoy seeing and petting the dogs, and we are grateful that Ringo helps them at this difficult time in their lives,” Marilyn said.
  • A local addiction/recovery hospital where “many times I have heard patients tell him that he made their day much better. It is humbling to know that a visit from Ringo can make such a difference for someone,” Marilyn said.


Wendy Goff THDD CGC owned by Dawn P Goff of Pawtucket, RI
Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dog, Wendy, 5 years, came into the Goffs’ home at the age of 4 months. She had been returned by her first owner, and when Dawn walked in to find her curled up in a corner, she fell in love with her. Her then 4-year-old Bichon, Tinker Bell, was already a licensed and working therapy dog so she knew that Wendy would be one too and started right away. Wendy came along to Tinker Bell’s reading programs. “To my surprise she lay quietly next to the children and loved to hear them read. I knew then she was born to be a therapy dog,” Dawn said.

Over the last five years, she has brought joy to seniors in nursing homes, Alzheimer’s patients, and children. At Miriam Hospital, she visits patients in the ICU, Special Care Unit and the Cardiac special care. She has participated in a special program for the nurse training program and nurse and doctor therapy program. During preschool story book time at the local library, Wendy and Tinker Bell dress in costumes, matching the story time theme. They return to the library at night where they are read to by children who want to improve their reading skills. They visit the adult day care and the Leon Mathieu Senior Center; are part of a reading enrichment program at an elementary school; and attend special events at schools, boy scout meetings and seminars. Both dogs average six to seven visits a week. It was at the library in November 2017 that Wendy completed her 400th visit.

Both dogs are well known around town; in fact, they have a newspaper column that runs each week in the newspaper called “All Around Town with Dawn, Tinker Bell & Wendy” in which they share their weekly adventures with readers.


Sleek China Red Willa THDD CGC owned by Rebecca Gatchel of Galax, VA
Willa has been a Pet Partner Therapy Dog since September 2012 and a team member of HOPE AACR since June 2014. She has had a huge impact locally and in the Southeast Region. Willa goes to hospitals, state agencies, schools, libraries, nursing homes, churches and Special Olympic events. She also has been called out for floods and hurricanes and to support our military and their families.

“She absolutely loves her job of helping to educate children and providing encouragement and comfort to anyone in need,” said Rebecca.

Willa earned the THDD on March 18, 2018.


Congratulations also to these THDD title earners:

  • Deke Bismark Bin Nagel THDD owned by Pam M. Hurley of Frederick, CO
  • Shadow Wants to Please CD BN RE THDD CGC Robert and Becky Bush of Wapella, IL
  • Blakely’s Zoey BN THDD owned by David Blakely of Felton, CA
  • Cameo Murray THDD CGC owned by Nancy Murray of McLean, VA
  • Missy Zulaica THDD CGC owned by Noreen Zulaica of Braselton, GA
  • Zaccheus Of Royalty Ridge THDD owned by Gayle Schroyer of Willisburg, KY
  • Campbell II THDD CGC owned by James McCleary of Sylvester, GA

Barn Hunt Association

The BHA enables all dogs to participate in the sport of hunting for vermin. Dogs track rats safely enclosed in sturdy tubes that are hidden among hay bales. The titles range from Novice level to Champion to Champion Excellent, and since March, Crazy 8s. Go to for more information.

Congratulations to All-American Dogs who recently received recognition of their BHA titles:

Rustling Oaks Strutter OA AXJ XF RATCH CGC TKN owned by Jennifer Miller of Pinellas Park, FL
Strutter is a 9-year-old Jack Russell Terrier who competes in AKC through the canine partner program. He has two championships in barn hunt (RATCHX) and multiple titles in agility, Trick Dog and is a Canine Good Citizen. He is a therapy dog and a member of TDI (Therapy Dog International) and volunteers at the VA.

Congratulations also to this dog for earning his first RATCH:

  • MACH Kink MXS MJS OF RATCH CGC owned by Allison Blakely of Cazenovia, NY

Multiple RATCH titles

  • Yata Hae Sister Cici (Kiva) FDC RATCHX3 CGC owned by Kim Kern of Vassar, MI
  • MACH PACH Bradley’s Brandy RN FDC MXG MJS MXP5 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX OF XFP T2B2 T2BP RATCHX4 CZ8G CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Alison and Kevin Bradley of Fayetteville, AR

CZ8G (Crazy 8 Gold)

  • MACH PACH Bradley’s Brandy RN FDC MXG MJS MXP5 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX OF XFP T2B2 T2BP RATCHX4 CZ8G CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Alison and Kevin Bradley of Fayetteville, AR


  • Emberly NA OAJ XF CAA DCAT RATM DM owned by Kathryn Tyler Smiley of Fall Branch, TN
  • Dina Might RATM owned by Molly Murphy of Troy, MI
  • Barribeaus Bender Bart RI RATM CGC owned by Christina Barribeau of Madison, AL


  • Eddie Haskell SCN SIN RATN TKN owned by Tracy Underwood of Atlanta, GA
  • Mr. Charlie RATN TKN owned by Lynnette Joy Conrad of Springfield, OH
  • Toby Falcor The Luck Dragon RATN TKP owned by Samantha Cunningham of Oceanside, CA
  • On the Road Again at Hot House FDC NA RATN owned by Vivian Beard of Cheyenne, WY
  • Mm’s Madam Butterfly RATN owned by Katharine T. Clark and Deborah Phillips of Malabar, FL
  • MACH3 Maxman RN MXC MJS2 MXP MJP OF T2B RATN owned by PAT ANN MCGOWAN of Ortonville, MI
  • Rivera’s Rainbow in The Dark CD BN RN RATN CGCA TKN owned by Mary Schacht of Mt. Pleasant, WI
  • Cross’ Dakota RATN CGC TKP owned by Janet Cross of Midland, TX
  • Hero’s Sky Dancer RATN CGC TKN owned by Raychel Leong-Sullins of Atlanta, GA
  • Harlow’s Paddy MXP3 MXPB MJP3 MJPB XFP CA THDA RATN owned by Trudy P. Harlow and Edward J. Dervan of Arlington, VA
  • Tallulah Poop RATN CGC TKP owned by Izabelle Rose Soo and Patrick Moore Ogilvie of Roseville, MI
  • Ginger Isabel CD BN RA THDN RATN CGCA TKA owned by Desma Dunne of Staten Island, NY


  • Leapin Levi Call Me Batdog FDC CA BCAT RATO DE DMA AS CGC TKA owned by Stephanie Getter of Winston-Salem, NC
  • Melia’s Honey Bea CAA RATO CGC owned by Cayla Wallwork of Austin, TX
  • The Joke’s on You MX MXB MXJ MJB OF RATO DS AMA CGC TKA owned by Joan Kossaras of Phoenix, AZ
  • Fuller RE RATO CGCA TKN owned by Jessica Simmons of Auburn, CA
  • MACH Juneau Chrysler Thomas MXB MJB RATO CGC owned by Jennifer and Charles Thomas of North Chesterfield, VA
  • Nordost’s Lucy RN ACT1 RATO CGC TKP owned by Monica Turner McPherson of Cheyenne, WY
  • Mecklenburg’s Jake RATO CGC owned by Roberta Mecklenburg of Elk Grove Village, IL


  • Finnagen Begin Again CDX BN RAE CA RATS owned by Lila and Evan Lippow of Martinez, CA
  • Simba S. AXJ OF RATS CGC TKA owned by Melanie Schmitt and Matthew King of New Orleans, LA
  • Sketch of Hacienda De La Hound BN RATS CGCA TKP owned by Grace Melissa Granatelli of Scottsdale, AZ
  • Halle RATS CGC owned by Roberta Mecklenburg of Elk Grove Village, IL

North America Diving Dogs
NADD offers titles in both distance dock jumping and air retrieve for all dogs. Dogs receive titles based on how far they jump and only compete in the same division with dogs that jump similar distances. For more information go to

Congratulations to this All-American Dog for receiving AKC recognition of the top-level Dock Elite (DE) title for making five jumps over 23 feet:

Leapin Levi Call Me Batdog CAT RATO DE DMA AS CGC TKA owned by Stephanie Getter of Winston-Salem, NC
Levi is a 3-year-old Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix weighing about 40 pounds. He and his family were found abandoned in a chicken coop when they were about 5 weeks old and were rescued by a local non-profit rescue. He loves to do “all the things,” said Stephanie, including barn hunt, flyball, agility, dock diving, disc, coursing, and herding. He attained his Dock Elite title at the Last Chance Qualifier at the NADD National Championships on Dec. 15, 2017, with a jump of 24’ 6.

Levi. Photo Credit: Louisa Arendt

Congratulations to these All-American Dogs for receiving AKC recognition of the Dock Junior (DJ) title for making five jumps over 10 feet:

  • Streetwise’s Hrh Rowdy Bianca BN RI CA THDN DJ CGCA CGCU TKI owned by Valarie Candelaria of Havasu City, AZ
  • Lady Buna Latte Bicha DJ owned by Lisa Colleen Bicha of Ball Ground, GA
  • Ruby in The Rough OA OAJ DCAT DJ CGC TKP owned by Katharine Marshall Lenhart of Dayton, OH
  • Towers’ Doc Holiday DJ owned by Jennifer M. Towers of Bohemia, NY
  • Piper of Deer Valley CA DJ owned by Myron E. Nichols of Canyon Lake, TX

Congratulations to these All-American Dogs for receiving AKC recognition of the Dock Senior (DS) title for making five jumps over 15 feet:

  • Raggedy Ann Stevens CA BCAT DS CGC TKP owned by Peggy Brown Stevens of Warner Robins, GA
  • Carbon Arsyn Van Legaten CA DS CGC owned by Frank Wisneski of West Covina, CA
  • Sunderland’s Bug

North American Flyball Association
AKC recognizes three titles of NAFA competitors – the Flyball Dog Champion (FDCh) for 500 points; Flyball Master (FM) for 5,000 points; and the Onyx award for 20,000 points. For more information on NAFA and how to get involved go to

Congratulations to these All-American Dogs for earning the ONYX:

MACH Resq’s Dopamine Rush RN MXB MJS MXF T2B ONYX CGCA owned by Rosemary Strasser and Miguel Ordorica of Omaha, NE
Roo was found as a stray at around 6 months of age and taken to a local veterinarian office. When no one came for him, he was released to Midwest Dog Rescue Network in Nebraska. “Within five minutes of meeting him, I knew he was the dog for me! That was five years ago and since then we have had many adventures,” Rosemary said. Roo is her first flyball dog and earned his ONYX title on Oct. 13, 2017 at the NAFA CanAm Flyball Classic.

Roo also competes in agility and earned his MACH title on May 13, 2017. “This past March we competed in our third AKC Agility Nationals in Reno. Roo is eager to learn, and we have also competed in rally, obedience, coursing, and even herding. Most recently we have been training in Scent Work and Barn Hunt and hope to enter our first trials this summer,” Rosemary said.

Rosemary said she loves the adventures they have together, learning new sports and traveling for trials. “Roo is always happy and willing to try anything new – especially if he can do it really, really, FAST! Not only is he a great little performance dog who has expanded my world, taking me to new places and meeting new people, he is my best friend and companion. I couldn’t love him more!”


Taz Maniac NA NAJ AXP OJP NFP CAA ONYX owned by Deborah and Elias Yoder of Cumberland Furnace, TN
Taz is the quintessential canine partner and height dog for the Queen City Road Runners Flyball Club. He is an Australian Terrier/Parson Russell Terrier mix who will be 11 years old this year.

He earned his flyball ONYX title on Feb. 16, 2013, at the Crazy Train tournament held in Chattanooga, TN. Since then, he continued his flyball journey earning Flyball Grand Champion 30K and Iron Dog.

Taz loves staying busy, earning titles in barn hunt, agility and coursing. Next on his agenda is Fast CAT and Scent Work. His hobbies at home include managing his multi-dog household as self- proclaimed “fun police” and watching pet antics on America’s Funniest Videos.


Congratulations to these All-American Dogs for earning the Flyball Master (FM):

      • Remington Peyote NAP NJP CAA FM owned by Deborah and Elias Yoder of Cumberland Furnace, TN
      • Klink FM TKP owned by Lynne Zinnel of Coralville, IA