Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Marge and I had the opportunity to be in a major New York City newspaper this week. However, the editor wanted to do a photo shoot of Marge. Given Marge's fears, I told them that I would not do it. So, I guess they will feature another lucky mixed breed team. The welfare of my dog is much more important than a news story!

This is the article from my local newspaper regarding Marge, this past weekend's agility trial and the AKC Canine Partners Program. It was in the main section of the newspaper and featured the below photo of Marge, blown up and in color print. Thought I'd share it with you all!


Mixed-breeds will get to strut their stuff

By Arianna Imperato

May 06, 2010, 6:56AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Every dog has her day -- even if she's a mutt.

Marge, a mixed-breed Labrador and hound with an athletic build and jet-black hair, will be permitted to compete for the first time in the 10th annual Dog Agility Trials held by the Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club.

Her breakthrough is thanks to a revision of the rules by the American Kennel Club, which sanctions the organization and previously allowed only purebreds to show what they're made of.

"I couldn't be happier with the decision to include mixed-breed dogs in AKC competitions," said Samantha Scicchigno, owner of Marge, her first and only dog.

The AKC made the announcement in early April.

"Before that decision, I was planning on having to drive over two hours to agility trials and other events organized by less common venues. Now, I can stay very local, with several AKC agility trials in Staten Island annually," Ms. Scicchigno said of the benefits of this adjustment.

Marge, who is a 40-pound rescue dog, was adopted in June 2008 and began training with the SICDTC six months later.

"When we eventually started training for agility competitions, I felt limited as to what I could do with her before she was allowed to play in AKC," Ms. Scicchigno said.

The event, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Wolfe's Pond Park, Prince's Bay, will see approximately 300 dogs entered each day, according to Ms. Scicchigno.

At the agility trials, the dog is off its leash and must follow the verbal commands and body movements of its handlers in order to complete the course, which includes jumps, hoops, planks, and tunnels. The ultimate goal for the teams is to win ribbons and titles, and for some competitive canines at higher levels, the chance to compete at AKC's Agility Nationals.

"It makes the world of dog sports so much more available to people in our borough," Ms. Scicchigno said.

I know this is another week without Tuesday Training, but I'm still too tired from the trial and caught up in school work to think about that kind of stuff. Agility class tonight - we're having a party because a lot of dogs got titles this weekend, including my instructor's GSD's 4th MACH at the age of 10 1/2.


LauraK May 11, 2010 at 12:01 PM  

How awesome! What a great article- you girls deserve to be highlighted in the Canine Partners Program :) Marge is one lucky, famous girl! Thanks for sharing!

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS May 11, 2010 at 12:13 PM  

We are so proud of Marge! What a wonderful dog and an awesome mom you are!!!

Thanks for the comforting words.

Riley and Star and mommy too.

Anonymous May 11, 2010 at 12:56 PM  

My mom already told you but now *I'm* gonna tell you - CONGRATULATIONS! Marge is such a star! And good for you for lookin' out for her with those crazy photo shoot people. I know she's Most Grateful!

Wiggles & Wags,

Chris and Ricky May 11, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Awesome article! Congratulations on being featured and what a great photo of Marge to have in the paper!

For the Love of Dogs May 11, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

Thats so cool! What an awesome article!! I'm sure Marge would have looked beautiful during her photoshoot but I definately understand where you are coming from!

Stella May 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM  

Three cheers for Marge! No, wait, sixteen eleven cheers! I am so proud of you, Sam, for telling the photos no to Marge pics. She got "her day" the day she met you!


Sue May 11, 2010 at 1:55 PM  

Nice article and it was really neat that you turned down the photo shoot because of concern for Marge.

Enjoy your party.

Diana May 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM  

Great story and picture!! Diana

Martha May 11, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

Great article, well done Marge. We liked the pic of you with the daffodils!
We would also be stressed by a photo shoot so glad you didn't do that.
Martha and Bailey xxx

Sara May 11, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

What a nice article! How cool to be a celebrity!

the teacher's pets May 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

Congratulations, Sam and Marge! How exciting to have been interviewed and to have Marge's photograph in the paper! What a fantastic accomplishment to turn a rescue dog into an agility dog...you 2 have come so far and you both deserve the praise and recognition! I am sure you will do well on Saturday and Sunday's trials & I can't wait to hear all about it!

Cinnamon and Mint May 11, 2010 at 5:02 PM  

This is awesome! You are a famous team!!

In New Zealand there is only one agility organization, which allows any breed, pure or cross, to run in competitions. I am so happy that now you don't need to travel far to enter agility competitions!

Natasha May 11, 2010 at 5:27 PM  

Congrats on being featured! Marge looks so pretty posed in front of the flowers with her rosette.

Muttsandaklutz May 11, 2010 at 5:40 PM  

Oh, way cool! The article must be a neat souvenir to add to Marge's ever-expanding collection of fun stuff.

BRUTUS May 11, 2010 at 5:46 PM  

Nice job, and a great representation of the Canine Partners program! Too bad the big paper wouldn't come & do the story at your own training facility. You better frame the other article, it's quite an accomplishment!

Michelle & Brutus

Kathy Mocharnuk May 11, 2010 at 6:07 PM  

What a great picture and what an awesome story. Good for you always doing what you feel is best for Marge, you are truly a good friend-she is lucky to have someone who cares so much!

houndstooth May 11, 2010 at 8:42 PM  

Marge looks great and that's a wonderful article! You've got every right to brag!

Unknown May 11, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

Congratulations! That is so fantastic! And kudos to you for putting your dog before yourself and saying no to the article. That photo is lovely!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! May 11, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

Khongrats on such a pawesome artikhle!

Both of woo are SOOOOOO deserving!

Thanks fur sharing!


Cyndi and Stumpy May 11, 2010 at 9:40 PM  

great article! congratulations, again!

Golden Samantha May 11, 2010 at 10:01 PM  

What a wonderful article and picture of Marge!!! Huge congrats and it's about time the AKC changed the rulz!!!
Huggers xoxoxxo
PS - you are truly an awesome trainer. The only reason Sam can pick up a dumbell is because of the vid you posted one time of you doing it with Marge and clicker training. Now, my obed. instructor uses Sammie as an example to the many peeps at workshops she attends heheh! Yay Marge! And yay you!

AC May 11, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

I'm so glad that you two keep running into success! What a team and what a story.

I hope you get time to rest soon!!

Life With Dogs May 11, 2010 at 11:01 PM  

Kudos to you for making the right call!

Lorenza May 11, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

The article is pawesome...
and you two are the best team!
Kisses and hugs

The Army of Four May 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

"EVEN" if she's a mutt?!?!? I didn't like that part, but I do like the rest of the story! I also LOVE that you didn't do the other story since you thought Marge wouldn't be comfortable with it!!! YEAH!
Tail wags,

Gus, Louie and Callie May 14, 2010 at 5:43 PM  

What a great article Marge. You are officially a celebrity now..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

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