Joie de vivre

Some dogs exude a particular joy when running the agility course, while others compete for the love of their owner. Bailey has been featured in previous posts, not only because of the challenge of capturing such a fast competitor, but also because she exudes a joie de vivre that is rare to witness.

Bailey’s stats are over 5 yards a second. She seems to be airborne through most of those seconds. Without the camera, the spectator has no opportunity to even grasp the beauty of her running. It is simply a blur of fur in motion.

I am not a part of the agility scene, yet I watch her and feel a pull to be a part of her run. I want to experience that pure, clean, crisp joy that she demonstrates with each jump and stride. 

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Bailey trains at Pawsitive Partners Dog Training Center on the South side of Indianapolis, Indiana, where her owner is a pre-agility instructor. She is also a member of the Greater Lafayette Kennel Club and a rescue / member of Indiana Sheltie Rescue.

Backlit Shelties

Bailey – rescued through Indiana Sheltie Rescue in 2006 – a top competitive agility champion.

Toby – rescued through Indiana Sheltie Rescue in 2009 – top agility competitor.

Early in 2006 Indiana Sheltie Rescue (ISR) received a call from a local veterinarian to pick up a 4 month old pup. Although she was an expensive pure bred and still a young puppy, Bailey’s owners brought her in to be put down for “viciousness”.

Shelty pups are cute and cuddly. However this can deceive new owners who are unware that they can be high drive even as pups. Bred to be working dogs, many of them need a job to do. Happily, Bailey’s new owner gave her a job competing in the agility ring and she continues to grow and develop into a pure bred champion.

Toby was surrendered directly to ISR as a puppy when his young owner developed allergies. He is more of a lover than a dog with a lot of drive, but he competes with all his heart for his owner and is catching up with Bailey in his list of agility titles.

ISR is one of a number of excellent rescue organizations in the state. Often, these organizations work in conjunction with the local humane shelters and veterinarians to give unwanted pets a second chance.