Our final Rally World Championships Judge is Melanie Parrish! Learn more about her!
Henrico, VA (a county of Richmond).
Tell us about your experience with Rally either as a judge or competitor or both?
I started competing in WCRL (formerly APDT) Rally in 2011 after getting started in other venues and fell in love with the fact that it was a venue that enabled all dogs and handlers to compete. As a judge, I get a “front row seat” to a team’s “disability” being overshadowed by their beautiful working relationship. I’ve been moved to tears more than once.
What types of dogs do you have and what are their names, ages, and any titles?
I have two female Dobermans. Precious earned multiple Rally titles in WCRL, UKC, AKC, & C-WAGS before retiring at nine-and-a-half years old. Georgia is my pup in training at 19 months old and has earned Rally titles in WCRL & AKC to date. (I also competed with my late male Doberman, Blaze, who earned multiple Rally titles in WCRL, AKC, & C-WAGS as well.)
Tell us something unique or that you love about your dogs.
I love my dogs for keeping me in the present and for being on this journey with me. I aspire to be the handler that my dogs deserve.
Do you participate in any other dog sports or training with your dogs and if yes, have you found these help you with your Rally work with your dog?
With Georgia, I am taking a more versatile approach in our training by pursuing Obedience, Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, Dock Diving, Conformation, and Canine Conditioning. I feel the more we learn together through the various activities, the stronger the working relationship and the skills we learn will crossover.
What do you do in your “other” non-rally life? If you’re retired, or a professional dog trainer/instructor, what did you do before?
Before going to the dogs full time, I was an Executive Assistant in the corporate world for many years; then, I was a Director of Administration for a small business. I’m proud to be part of the village at All Dog Adventures!
What events will you be judging at the Rally World Championships?
I will be judging the WCRL Titling Trial and Day One WCRL Tournament on Friday, WCRL Tournament on Saturday, and WCRL Tournament on Sunday.
How does it feel to be judging a brand new event for WCRL?
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be selected.
Do you do anything special to prepare yourself for your judging duties?
Coffee! Lots of coffee!!
What expectations to you have for judging at Rally World Championships? Do you anticipate any challenges?
It will be a great learning opportunity for all involved.
What goals and objectives do you have in mind when you are designing a course?
A flowing course with fun challenges.
Do you have any tips or advice for Rally World Championships competitors?
Breathe and embrace the journey!
Do you have any advice for competitors thinking about doing competing, either at Rally World Championships or local/regional trials, but are intimidated?
Dare to adventure! You just might be surprised by what you and your dog are able to accomplish.
What’s your favorite dog in a book, movie, TV show or game?
Scooby Doo 🙂