Dogs and Owners Test Agility at Competition

By Brady Smith, Anchor/Reporter

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By Brady Smith

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - If you're looking for energetic, look no further than Mark Mroczenski and his golden retriever P.J.

"Touch! P.J., come, come, come! Tunnel! Here, P.J.! Chute!" Mroczenksi called to his dog, as he guided her through different obstacles set up at Kirkwood's Equestrian Center on Sunday.

They came all the way from Chicago to run this agility course filled with tunnels, ramps, and weaves. The point is to navigate the course as quickly and as accurately as possible, but for Mroczenski, it's all about him, his dog, and a fun challenge.

"For us when we go out there, I compete against myself and the course," said Mroczenski. "Sometimes we place, sometimes we don't, but that's okay. We're out to make sure we do the course complete and accurate."

There were dogs and humans of all ages and ability levels at this competition, and Tracy Kittrell, president of the Iowa City Dog Obedience Club, says for many of the teams, the focus is on fun.

"Some of them are just having fun," Kittrell said. "As you go through novice to open, eventually you get to the excellent or masters level."

10 year-old Natalie Spinsby and Peach, her Samoyed, are best buddies.

"She really likes to hang out with me," Spinsby told us. She loves being on the course, mistakes or not.

"We got just about everything right, but when she came past the weaves, we got a refusal, so we flunked," Spinsby said.

Hopefully she'll have better luck next weekend at the junior nationals in Orlando, where things get a little more serious.

"Basically you have to be the top five of your breed," Spinsby told us.

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