About UsThe Happy Dogs Journey
This photo is from Nellie’s last event, the 2019 National Obedience Championship. The journey ended with the special connection we shared in this moment.
Lou Ann -
I have been training dogs since 2008 when I brought Nellie Rose home from the breeder. She was my first Brittany and my competition obedience dog. I chose her because I loved taking long walks and wanted an energetic puppy to keep me company. It did not take long before I realized that this puppy was never going to walk nicely on a leash without some classes. Several classes later I discovered that getting a Brittany to walk nicely on a leash would be one of the hardest things I would ever do. We persisted until our goal was realized and, in the meantime got hooked on competition obedience.
Several years later I earned my first AKC Novice title. I was sure proud of Nellie Rose and registered for an Open class only to learn that you needed to know the exercises before you could attend. I was introduced to my real instructor by one of the class members. She was a bold, feisty, red-headed woman named Lisa. She took me aside and told me that she had a Brittany at one time and assured me that “Brittanys could do obedience,” and that she would help me. If not for Lisa’s help, I’m not sure I would have continued with formal training because although Brittanys can do obedience, they prefer being in a field hunting birds and a part of their brain is always looking for an opportunity to do so.
The day Nellie earned her Obedience Trial Championship, becoming only the 11th Brittany to earn that title, Lisa was my first call. I thanked her for taking me in and convincing me that Brittanys could be obedience dogs. I promised that I would return the favor by paying her kindness forward. Happy Dogs Training Center has given me that opportunity. There is nothing that brings me more satisfaction than watching new handlers in the ring spending quality time with their dogs.
Team Brittany’s story would not be complete without mentioning Todd, president of the Team Brittany fan club, our chauffeur, the one who carries the crates, makes sure the articles and dumbbells are delivered to the ring on time. He’s even stepped into the ring to help with a few stays and is now a regular “judge” in the run-thru rings at Happy Dogs.
Happy Dogs was Todd’s idea. It was his gift to me – a dog training facility where I could train with my friends. He set out to find the right building and never gave up looking even when it seemed impossible to find. Eventually the building was located, and after many hours of planning, he performed most of the renovation himself.
Without Todd’s vision, determination, persistence and hard work Happy Dogs Training Center would still be a dream.
It is my pleasure to share this dream with all of you!
~ Lou Ann