Meet Jess and the crew from Action Packed Rescues
The dynamic sports duo totally living their best life!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, how long have you been a ‘dog person’ for?
My name is Jess, and I am a fully qualified special needs educator who has always had a love for dogs from an early age. After years of watching Disney’s 101 Dalmatians on repeat my parents bought me my first dog for my 5th birthday, no not a Dalmatian but a little fox terrier x with one brown patch on her back. Keeping with the Dalmatian theme she was given the name Spot. For over 15 years this little dog was a loved and cherished family member, everything my dogs and I have achieved today I owe to her and all the lessons she taught me over the years.
Do you have a favourite dog breed and why?
I love this question!!! The answer is yes, I have always loved Dalmatians and border collies, they have been two breeds I have always wanted. However, once my first dog died, I was utterly heartbroken, I thought it would be years until I could love another dog like I did her. A short trip to the RSPCA and a comment made by a shelter worker “that pup will struggle to get a home she’s ugly with a big head’ changed everything! A small scruffy pup sat at the back of the pen crying and howling, I walked over, she stopped ran over with her tail wagging one hundred miles an hour, my stomach filled with butterflies, and I knew I had found the dog that would help mend my broken heart. Willow is a complete mutt, a Heinz variety, a dog no one else wanted as she was not a purebred and had no amazing features, but for me she was everything, my heart dog. My favourite breed now…. Rescue Dogs.
Tell us about your Miss P and W, Penelope and Willow. What are their breeds, age, and best traits?
Willow was named after the rubbish bin brand (Willow), as she was found in a bin as a pup and handed into the RSPCA. This dog is my best friend, my rock through many life challenges, with her by my side I could tackle anything, she was the dog who started my passion for dog training. Willow is that type of dog you can show something to once and she just gets it, however she is always adding her own touch to tricks, a sassy little terrier touch! This dog is the cuddliest, sweetest dog who is so in tune to people’s feelings, she can read a room so well seeking out the person she feels needs a little terrier spice in their life. Her attitude to training and life in general is infectious always giving 110% to everything she does, all in or nothing! I could talk about this dog all day, but to some her up in one sentence, Willow is my other half and together we are complete.
Penny or better known as Lady Penelope! My dad came up with Penny’s name, after his favourite childhood series Thunderbirds are go, a pretty heroin who doubles as a super agent. Penny was born with a rare eye disease called cones degeneration, this degenerative disease causes blindness when outside and slowly burning away at her optic nerve, soon rendering her completely blind. To help with her eye condition Penny wears Rexspecs when outside, these glasses have uv protected lenses all with various ratings to help reduce the amount of light sent through to her optic nerve. Penny is the most frustrating, AMAZING, loving, scared of the world, cuddle bug who has challenged me the most. It took 3 months to give penny a cuddle, to have her run to the door when I got home rather than hide under the couch, and 2 years to finally realise that life is worth exploring and having fun!!!! She is the dog who has taken me places I never thought possible, an inspiration for people living with disabilities to chase their dreams, a role model for owners living with ‘dogs with quirks’ that training, love and patience is worth it no matter how long it takes. Penny has only just started to truly show her true personality, I can’t wait to see where life takes her as this dog has a bright future!!
What dog sports are you currently training and competing in?
Willow has done a bit of everything. We have competed in agility gaining a couple of novice titles, then moved onto disc sports. Updog would have to be one of her favourite sports, a combination of her two favourites discs/fetch and tunnels! Recently we have started exploring the world of scent work, encouraging her breed instinct to track and hunt, a game she is quickly understanding and hopefully soon to compete in.
Penny has just recently competed in SA’s state agility championships finishing up reserve champion in both novice 400 jumping and agility. This dog has just started to find her stride! Penny loves the sport of Updog, the difference between her and Willow is that Penny uses rollers to score points instead of throws allowing her to track the disc as it rolls along the ground using vibration and sound. Next on the list for Penny is to compete in some Rally O’ trials and her trick dog titles.
Do you have a favourite dog sport? If so, why?
My favourite dog sport would have to be agility! For me this sport entails more than just getting a dog to jump jumps. It involves muscle development, strength conditioning, jumping technique, course reading, understanding/learning how your dog runs then tailoring your training method to suit the dog as an individual. This is the main reason I love this sport! There is more than one way to train every skill and no matter the process you take, the outcome is technically the same, you and your dog running in harmony, a magical communication between human and dog.
What is your favourite activity to do with the dogs?
I love nothing more than taking the dogs to the beach and watching them run and have fun in the water! Even on the coldest of days both dogs love nothing more than to go for a swim followed by a warm shower and curling up on the couch watching Netflix for the rest of the afternoon.
What do you feed your dogs?
Big Dog BARF patties and Prime 100, with extras such as fresh fruit and veggies, eggs, bones and lots of treats.
How long have you been using Antinol for?
Willow and Penny, my gorgeous rescues have been on Antinol after winning a sample pack at a frisbee competition in Canberra in 2019. 2 weeks later I saw a massive improvement in Willows mobility and never looked back!
How do you think it assists your dogs’ training?
The biggest fear you have with sporting dogs is injuries! Once I started using Antinol this was no longer a concern. I have collaborated with multiple physios over the years and the one thing they have all commented on is my dog’s muscle and overall body condition. Antinol has helped speed up recovery time, improve the dogs coat and skin and for Penny I have noticed a real shift in her ability to focus and keep a level head in various environments. My dogs would not be where they are today had we not discovered this amazing product. Sam and the team at Antinol are truly amazing people! Always happy to answer questions and help provide support when needed.
What are your goals for the future?
Goals for the future is to keep having fun with both dogs, explore new sports, meet new people and to keep them both as happy and healthy as possible!
Where can we find you?
If you want to follow more of our crazy adventures, we have both an Instagram account and TikTok @actionpackedrescues