As Annette Fortune tells it, once you’ve been bitten by working with a good dog it can change your life.
“It becomes eye opening,” Fortune said. “All of the amazing things dogs can do.”
For about 12 years as she attended competition and events Fortune has wanted to open a place locally where people can come to be trained with their dogs. This past Friday, she shared her dream with fellow dog lovers at the grand opening of Showcase For Dogs in East Windsor.
“I wanted to give these dogs a place they can enjoy themselves,” Fortune said.
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The open air facility at 121 North Road, provides training for dogs in agility, rally, obedience and family dog classes. Showcase also is equipped for club and organizations to host show, trial or match events. There are also tracking fields in the back of the property, Fortune said.
Deb Donovan, of Showcase, said there will be training for all levels of obedience and agility. She said Fortune had thought for years there had to be a better, more efficient way for training and this facility is a realization of her dreams.
“This setting is superb,” Donovan said.
Fortune said the facility has two instructors, Bonnie Henderson and Danette Smith. Henderson is a nationally-ranked trainer and has nationally ranked dogs in agility competitions. Smith specializes in obedience and rally training dogs.
Smith said having an outdoor facility in New England is rare because of the weather conditions. There hasn’t been a good facility to train outdoors.
“This is a good facility to train out doors,” Smith said. “To train for competitions outdoors.”
Fortune said she originally planned to build an indoor facility in the front of the property but because of the economy, a commercial loan for the building was hard to come by. Her ultimate goal is to still have a building on the property so there can be year-round training and events.
With the outdoor facilities, Fortune said she hopes to host shows and field trial events that are recognized throughout New England.
“I get excited when I see owners enjoying their animals,” she said.
For information about the facility go to www.showcasefordogs.com.