This is from a lovely post on the Powell's blog by Tod Davies:
We went to our dog agility class today, which, for the uninitiated, is a hilarious kind of mini-Grand National training for dogs... hoops, tunnels, jumps, climb-its... the dogs love it and we, surprising ourselves, do too. It's a great pleasure to take the long drive across the valley floor between the mountains, past the ranches and small-town houses, out to where Diane has all the brightly colored obstacles set out on her fresh mown grass.
Diane, who teaches the class, is one of those very American women you never hear about. A good neighbor, a quiet citizen, a person who thoroughly enjoys her life, and has created that life to give her a decent, unextravagant living by doing the things she loves best. She's one of those people (thank God for them) who volunteers actively at the local animal shelters, and really makes a difference with her volunteering. She's the one who started a free obedience class with each adoption; she goes out every week and teaches new pet owners how to get the best out of their pets. Doing that, she single handedly cut the return rate on dogs to the shelter by a half. That's where we met her, when we adopted one of ours.