Senior finds passion in canine competitions


Great Dane Photos

Emma guides her dog, Finn, as he weaves through poles in the nationwide 2017 NADAC competition.

When Emma Vlcek was just four years old, she began to run dogs through fast-paced agility courses. Now, she has dedicated most of her time to after-school training with her dog Finn.

Her love for the sport stemmed from trying out agility equipment at a local event.

“My family and I had met Rita, the owner of Family Dog Club at a K-9 Karnival where she had a course for people to try,” said Emma. “I fell in love and ran my dog, Katie, through the course as many times as possible.”

Today, the love and dedication Emma has for the sport has only grown. She practices two to three times a week and practices in the house as much as possible. Emma also competes in several competitions a year and has a few championship wins under her belt.

“In 2017, Finn, my Bi-Black Sheltie and I competed in NADAC Championships, a nationwide event, where we placed third in our division,” said Emma.

Amid her schoolwork and training, Emma finds the time to help teach different level classes at the facility she trains at. She has also gone back to showcase her talents at events where her interest first sparked.

“I have gone back and demonstrated at K-9 Karnival and Bark in the Park, the same events where I first gained an interest in agility,” said Emma. “I also help teach basic and intermediate classes at Family Dog Club on Mondays and Tuesdays.”

The ability to juggle the demands of schoolwork and the fast-paced lifestyle of agility proves to be difficult, but all these aspects have not altered the way Emma feels about the sport. 

“I’ve enjoyed all these years of agility,” said Emma. “It’s been so much fun.”