By Stephen M. Dent

Congratulation to Marisa Petersen on being awarded the Dale Weyhrich Spirit Award for 2015. I first got to know Marisa when she was training Kenzo in our agility class. I was totally blown-away by her graceful and fluid movements. As I got to know her a little more I understood why she moved like a dancer. Marisa is a classically trained ballet dancer who trained with and danced for the Royal Danish Ballet Company.

marisa-kenzoMarisa and her husband, Morten, have Kenzo, a seven and a half year old Labrador. “He’s the reason I got into training” she told me in a recent interview. “We’ve done everything from agility, obedience, rally, tracking, and behavior classes.”  But Marisa has taken her love for Kenzo several steps further. She is now a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and AKC Evaluator and currently teaches and assists obedience classes at the Club.

Marisa has been volunteering at the Club for about 5 years. She has been an instructor assistant and has helped and managed agility and obedience trials for the Club. She has even tried her hand at the front desk. One of the most innovative contributions to the success of our Club was her designing and presenting a course titled “Agility Moves: A Dancer’s Approach.” It has been presented twice and we are looking forward to Marisa presenting this 3 part seminar in the future.

When I asked Marisa why TCOTC, she quickly rattled off a litany of reasons including the friendly, helpful and supportive staff and members, the bounty of new ideas from our staff and instructors, new training methods, and the option to try a variety of dog sports and observe some top-notch teams.

What does Marisa see for the future of TCOTC? She said “Lots of happy dogs and owners J! The Club works at so many levels. Whether you’re a pet owner or a national or international competitor, we have a variety of activities at all levels, excellent instructors and courses, and supportive teamwork.”

TCOTC is a great Club and one of the reasons is because we have extraordinary volunteers like Marisa Petersen. For all her dedication and hard work, she is our Dale Spirit Award winner for 2015.