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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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Submitted by Shannon | November 13 2009 |

I agree! If everyone were getting shelter dogs, there would be lots of shelter dogs winning, and some of them would be top performers! When you want a dog for competition, it's difficult to choose, whether from a breeder or the shelter. There are lots of great dogs -- too many -- out there.

Submitted by Christa | November 13 2009 |

I agree. There's a couple that run a local store called Hooked on Dogs. All of their dogs are rescues, but have have been very competitive at elite levels in dock jumping and canine disc. A few of their dogs have been featured on David Letterman.

Submitted by Carolyn | November 14 2009 |

So true. My little shelter adopted dog came to us with lots of problems and "issues," some physical and some emotional. While she can't boast of being a dock-diving champion (way to go Joey!), she has earned her Canine Good Citizen certificate, travels with us everywhere and is an amazing friend and companion. She's put her past behind her. So much potential in every dog and so great to give shelter dogs a chance!

Submitted by EstelaWolfe | June 2 2010 |

I guess that to receive the business loans from banks you should present a good reason. However, once I have received a auto loan, because I wanted to buy a car.

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