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JoAnna Lou
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From Shelter Mutt to Champion Athlete
North American rescue becomes the Aussie dock diving champ.
Kelly Ramirez always knew Joey was a special dog and believes he's the perfect ambassador for the upcoming sport of dock diving.

In the dog sport world a lot of importance is placed on picking and raising the perfect puppy. With all the focus on champion pedigrees and breeders, it's always refreshing to see a successful dog come from the animal shelter.

So I was excited to see that Joey, a Border Collie/Kelpie/Cattle Dog mix, was recently crowned the Australian dock diving champion at the World Dog Games last month. Originally from That'll Do Border Collie Rescue in Canada, Joey jumped 23.8 feet to break the Australian and British record for dock diving.

Now Joey is a local celebrity and is recognized by fans all over town. He’s certainly come a long way from the shelter where he was once abandoned.

There's no double that there are plenty of talented rescues, yet there aren't many adopted dogs winning national or world competitions. I think this has more to do with top competitors choosing top bloodlines rather than the inability of rescues to reach the highest levels of competition.

What's your take?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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