My name is Cindy (Strong) Brick. My profession, which pays for attending all of these dog shows is a nurse at our local nursing home. I have been employed there now for many years. Pictured above is myself and David Hobson. He was quite the character. Always loved to tease and flirt with all the girls on staff.
I do believe I have been involved in dogs almost since birth. I have a picture of myself at a very young age…like before I could walk, looking loving at a plastic dog set in front of me. My beginnings into dog training came about one Sunday afternoon with having nothing else better to do…I read in a local newspaper about a Dog Match. I went to see this and was totally amazed. I watched as about 12 dogs were lined up and asked to Sit. The owners then walked out of the ring and were gone out of sight for quite awhile. They returned and then asked their dogs to Down and left the ring again and left the dogs totally out of sight! . This time I was ready so I timed the handlers who were gone for 5 minutes. None of the dogs moved. None of them barked. They all just STAYED. I was in total awe of these MAGIC dogs. I came home that afternoon and told Mara, my Cocker Spaniel that she one day would become a MAGIC DOG. She wanted to know what Tavern I had visited. That was over 20 years ago.
I have been involved in Obedience, Tracking, Conformation, Herding, Agility, Therapy Dog work, giving demonstrations for multiple Service Groups (Boys Scouts, Disabled Children's Camps) and trick training.
I would like to acknowledge my "beginnings" in dog Obedience were courtesy of Claudia Frank. She was an excellent teacher with an eye for detail. She provided much direction and encouragement to help us make it to the top in the Obedience game. Mara, my Cocker Spaniel and Jetta my Belgian Tervuren excelled. Mara was my first dog and not the "typical" Obedience breed back in those days. They both went on to obtain their Obedience Trial Championship in the hot bed of highly competitive Obedience in the Midwest. I had written for the National Obedience magazine, Front and Finish under the heading of Midwest Tails for several years. I have instructed Obedience classes for our local Kennel Club and given private lessons for many years.
Our next adventure in the dog world was to try tracking. This is an infectious sport....see our tracking stories on an alternate page. Our tracking buddies that helped us to achieve "our" goals were Ellen Hardin, who only had to "talk me into tracking" for about 3 years and Laurie Bandy who trudged through the fields in 90 degree plus weather and who conned family members into doing cross tracks for us. Once you do tracking….all the dogs you own will have tracking titles.
Agility was a new sport that looked interesting. Kathy Kass decided to hold a seminar given by Mike Bond and Gary Garbe. It was a fascinating adventure. These gentleman lasted with me on the phone for hours figuring out how to train things and how to build the obstacles. Dan Dege also needs to be mentioned here as he has certainly helped us with fine tuning in the Advanced levels via phone conversations. The above people gave freely of their time and expertise. I started to compete in agility in 1992. This was before the how to books, videos and magazines came out. Raven, my first Border Collie was very forgiving of all my green handler mistakes.
I have been teaching agility classes for many years now. I have taught agility classes for our local Kennel Club and most recently have been teaching classes at the wonderful local facility, CampBandy. This was a dream of Laurie Bandy's who had the determination and belief...that if you build it ..they will come. See the facility on the web at: www.campbandy.com
I provide two different seminars.
"Speed Demons". This seminar is for dogs that are “In Need of Speed”. Specifically designed for dogs that are having difficulty making course times. Learn to train “In Drive”. Learn how to increase your dog’s speed through motivational techniques. Learn how to develop course handling strategies to improve your team performance.
"Stars of Success. Or How to Prevent Crash and Burn". This seminar is for fast and speedy dogs that are into “Crash Courses”. How to harness the speed and maintain course path. Learn to manage “Driving at High Speeds”. Course handling strategies to improve your team success.
Our core group of agility participants have been together for years and are known by the name of TeamBrick. Team Brick is a varied group of agility enthusiasts who are an awesome team. TeamBrick strives to achieve getting the most out of every dog and handler team regardless of the breed. To train with a positive attitude and extreme motivation. They have the desire and dedication to go beyond the usual limits. As Coach to this group I have been given a nickname of "Chica Brickster" by our youngest member, Aschley Jurgella. Our logo wear design was put together by our member Dave Krause.
My husband's name is Dan Brick. He is also known as the Equipment Manager for TeamBrick as he expertly videotapes the TeamBrick runs for further analysis. He loves woodworking and has built most of our Agility equipment. He travels with me to almost all of our shows and video tapes all our Agility runs with an expert eye. Though not involved in dog training himself, he has a good eye and has helped "solve" a few of our problems.
I started out with a Cocker Spaniel simply because I had seen "Lady and the Tramp" as a child. I was lucky and blessed with a great dog. Mara will live forever in my dreams. She was the old fashioned type Cocker Spaniel who was easy to live and loved life. My second dog was a Belgian Tervuren by the name of Jetta. I was living alone at the time and wanted a *Bigger Dog* for protection purposes. I initially wanted a Border Collie as I loved their intensity but was talked into trying a Terv instead. While Jetta was a beautiful dog and did exceptionally well in Obedience and Tracking, I found that the Terv temperament was not exactly what I was looking for.
Then came Raven. My first Border Collie. This will be my breed of choice forever. I am a possessed and driven person ....and so are Border Collies. Unless you have the time to exercise them and to train with the ultimate consistency, I would not recommend this breed. Raven loved to stuff at least 27 tennis balls onto my husbands recliner while he was watching TV and then stand back and do the Border Collie stare. She knew that eventually he would give in and throw the ball....she just didn't know which ball was the right one. The Border Collies presently residing with us are Misha and Ariba and Chica. All of the girls have excelled in all that I have asked them to do. One of the most special parts of their day is to go for a walk. We are lucky to have walking fields and forests just a couple of blocks from the house. Dan takes the girls out for an hour walk each morning running free regardless of the weather and I take the girls 5 times per week in the evening for an hour again. The walking areas are filled with critters and creatures. The deer are very tame as they have been fed by the local residents and are often within 10 to 15 feet from us on our walks and sometimes follow us. The girls have learned that deer are not to be chased.
Misha and Raven
My philosophy is to train to do your best...Attack life and its challenges like there is no tomorrow. But remember to put your life into perspective. Find your dog and hug them, knowing that they give you their love unconditionally. They help to make your time on earth so much more worthwhile.
MY VAN LICENSE PLATE:
(Border Collies Are Great)
Left: ADCH, NATCH, MACH8, CH. Topshelf Pizzazz UD TDX, HT
Middle lower: ATCH Poe's Night Flight UD, TDX, MX, MAD, TDI , HIC
Right: ADCH, NATCH, MACH7 Night Flight's Pirouette UD, TDX, HIC