Life with disc dogs is a walk in the park
Pennie Mahon and her dog Psych have much to be proud of. They recently won the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Competition in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Skyhoundz event is the Super Bowl of the dog world, showcasing the pinnacle of canine athleticism. But the dogs can achieve little without the help of their masters, and Mahon was instrumental in helping guide Psych to the championship.
Mahon has worked with animals her entire life, starting out in rodeo and barrel racing. She eventually transitioned from horses to dogs, and that’s when her entire life changed.
She opened her business, Barks 5th Avenue, in 2001, a salon that offers grooming and training even for the most difficult of dogs. Around the same time, she was asked to find a home for a puppy named Bandita. Mahon and her husband immediately fell in love with the dog, and they kept it.
On a whim, they made what turned out to be a fateful decision: They bought a flying disc for Bandita to play with.
“At four-and-a-half months of age, she jumped into the air, kicked her legs out sideways with all the style in the world, caught the disc and immediately returned it to our feet,” Mahon said.
They were hooked. Ever since, they have trained several of their dogs for competitions, and all of them have competed nationally. Mahon seems to have a special aptitude for training dogs, and as a result, she has appeared with her animals on ESPN and Animal Planet.
Psych has achieved a great deal at an early age. Mahon says the 4-year-old dog is younger than most championship-winning disc dogs.
“You don’t have to be competitive to give these dogs what they need,” she said. “It doesn’t matter to the dogs that we’re on a competition field. To be honest with you, they don’t care.”
Mahon says her participation in disc dog competitions has had many benefits, though, not just limited to the publicity it has brought her and her business.
“It’s changed who I am, what I love to do and the relationships I’ve formed,” she said. “My dogs are really and truly a part of my life, not just a pet that I own.”
ABOUT PENNIE MAHON
OCCUPATION: Owner of Barks 5th Avenue
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Lives in Cypress
FAST FACT: Has three children and six grandchildren
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