My Mother’s Passion by Laurie Paquin

by Linda Coors on October 12, 2011

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My mother’s house is always full of dogs. She has three dogs and adds to that a constant string of rescued dogs and boarders. Her house literally erupts at the approach of a car, or a knock at the door. She is now 71 years old and her passion is dogs. A passion that started 14 years ago – the summer she broke her ankle, the summer she discovered dog agility.

She had slipped on wet grass during an agility lesson and broken her ankle. You would have to know her to know that a broken ankle would be seen as anything other than a challenge. She took it like a slap in the face – she would not be defeated. She soon recovered and immediately signed up for more lessons. She took every workshop offered and booked church basements for practices. Her dogs, a crazy Australian Shepherd and a tenacious terrier, loved it.

Agility is a sport aimed at people and dogs who want to get out and have fun. It involves obstacles arranged as a course that the handler and dog run through in a particular sequence. It is timed and the fastest time, with fewest faults, wins the class. Everyone with a dog who watches agility wants to try it. It is, however, harder than it looks! There are techniques to get your dog to pass behind you, in front of you, to spin, or to come to a momentary stop – and these actions are done while running flat-out.

My mother retired and moved from the city. What may have been a lonely transition was, instead, a rapid inclusion into a new group of dog-sport enthusiasts. It is still a rare event to call her on a weekend and find her at home. She might be taking a workshop, involved in a trial or off at a dog-friend’s place.

She takes her dogs everywhere. They happily anticipate a swim, a trial, a lesson, or a moment of calm in the van while she shops. Dogs do not care where they go – as long as they go. She is their ticket to excitement and they have been hers to a life full of activity, fun and friends. I can’t imagine a better outcome to a broken ankle.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

kevin cavanagh October 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Go Miss Paquin were all behind you,,,


Laurie Paquin October 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Many thanks to all who helped us. It was a big effort that included absolutely everyone I know and many I don’t know. Thanks to all. It was for a great cause. We’ll make sure the prize money goes toward helping dogs in need. Thanks for spreading the word.


carole paquin October 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm

I’m delighted to be the inspiration for Laurie Paquin’s essay “My Mother’s Passion.” I’m also delight5ed that she wants the $1000 for dog rescue — all our family dogs are rescues.


G.Jamieson October 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm

This describes a special person and any who know her will realize the writer has assessed this personality with heartfelt emotion


Lois Irvine October 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

This is a true story – I know the lady – Her dogs are an inspiration to her – & she is always helping dogs that are in trouble.


Shereen McLeod October 14, 2011 at 7:52 am

This is amazing that this kind lady wishes to donate the money to a dog shelter. Wonderful story.


Shannon McKinlay-Key October 14, 2011 at 9:08 am

Wonderful. Well written and touching. This most certain is the winner.


D. Abbott October 14, 2011 at 9:41 am

What a great article Laurie! and of course the subject is a great lady!!
What an honour to know both of you and your dogs!
You are certainly an ambassador for all canines and their partners!


Julie Saunders October 14, 2011 at 10:12 am

Thank you.


Thousand Islands Veterinary Services October 14, 2011 at 10:44 am

We are honoured to know Laurie and her mom Carole and all of their 4 legged companions! This is truly a doggie devoted family! We have great respect for all of you and we will do our best to spread the word so that the $1000 prize money will go to dog charities! Good luck Ladies!


Paul Rioux October 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

AWESOME STORY !!! 🙂 I am personally very proud to have this find lady by our side on our Flyball team. Great work Laurie and you too my dear Petonque Lady.



M&D Murphy October 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Good luck Laurie. Wonderful essay!!

M&D Murphy


M&D Murphy October 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Wonderful essay Laurie. Your Mom is a great inspration. Good luck!


Dennis Barton October 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm

God bless your mom, a mother’s love is unconditional, even with a broken ankle.
Thanks mom from all us “doggy” lovers.


Marilyn Scott October 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

A lovely story about a mom who just bounced back — seems that mom’s can do this with the help of a PAL.


Susan McJannett October 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Carole and I have been long time friends and she has been instrumental in my adopting a rescue dog. Have not regretted it and enjoyed Holley’s company for 15 years. She and I took activity lessons which made me realize I had to ‘shape up’. I did and we have many long walks together. Good Luck Laurie!


jane October 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

Laurie your mother is doing a great job with all her dogs. the wonderful thing about agility is that people and thier dogs do not end up as couch potatoes.


Holly Hill October 17, 2011 at 11:46 am

What a wonderful tribute to your mother Laurie. She is a great person, and I totally understand her passion for dogs having one myself. Thank you for sharing.


MaryEllen Fenwick October 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

What a great story of what motivates one in dog agility. Way to go and good luck.


Bob Mcjannett October 17, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Looking from the other side of the fence (Carole and Susan have been friends since public school), Carole certainly was responsible for our deciding to take in a rescue dog. Recently we lost our wonderful Holley but we had fifteen great years of adventures. Laurie you tell the truth about Mom. Good luck.


Jane October 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Good story.


Nancy Maxwell October 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

The McJanett’s sent this to me and your mom’s story truly inspires me. You did a fabulous job of writing it and it clearly is the best for me. I retired a few years ago and was bored. So, in the city here, started a dog boarding business in my home. Visiting my place is like going to your mom’s – dogs are always barking and running around. I had the privilege of taking care of Holley for Bob and Susan and loved her dearly – what a great dog. We have become good friends and socialize together periodically including the upcoming Royal Winter Fair.My hope is to continue doing this until I can no further walk and then buy a little cart and run around the neighbourhood with all of my favourite four paw canines. Go for it mom and keep on enjoying it.


Helen Prusac October 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm

I too rescued a dog. he was an american eskimo. Korky lived to be sixteen. the fun and joy he gave us are memories we will never forget..good luck. Laurie you really have a heart for dogs. Helen Prusac


Sheila October 20, 2011 at 1:22 am

Good Luck, Laurie and her inspiration Carole!!!


Brenda Towns October 20, 2011 at 2:25 am

Carol has been an inspiration to me too. Lots of dog lovers out there. Thank goodness.


kelly paquin October 20, 2011 at 9:24 am

Great story Laurie. Good Luck!


Victoria England October 20, 2011 at 9:31 am

Good Work – what a nice story!


Gerry and Roberta Millar October 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

Nice story Laurie, wish you the best of luck.

Woof, Woof. (No, No, I mean Gerry)


Cécyle Trépanier and Konrad Wolf October 21, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Hi Laurie:

What a wonderful mother you have and what a great idea to write a story about her devotion to rescued dogs. You and the dogs deserve to win!


Valerie Acland October 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm

What a wonderful story and full of love for our four legged best friends! Good luck.


Emily October 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Nice to see Carol’s story shared with the rest of the world. She’s a very special lady, and the canines of this world are lucky to have her!


Sean donnelly October 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Great story Laurie! You can count on my vote!


Mark Teeple October 25, 2011 at 5:50 am

Great story! Dog agility competition does look like a lot of fun outside for both the owner and the doggies!


Eleanor Beaulieu October 25, 2011 at 10:25 am

A wonderful story about an active and passionate lady and her dogs. Good luck Laurie!


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