TNT Dog Center in Midland, MI is my all-time favorite place to trial, although I have not visited every agility location yet so I’ll keep you posted. There’s magic in the air at that place. TNT’s owner, Lisa Lundahl, had the building specifically built for agility trials, along with spaces for both agility and obedience classes. Later, she added another building in back of the agility building for dock diving and canine water therapy. Although Midland Michigan Kennel club put on this trial, their isn’t much of a difference between other clubs sponsoring trials here, since the same staff usually run the trials. Same staff means familiarity, better organization, and continual improvement.
One of the best things about TNT is the agility ring and flooring. The premium, high quality turf is well-maintained without too many pellets. The walls are painted red at the bottom, which I swear makes a difference in a dog’s ability to see weave poles and jumps, probably because it contrasts so nicely with the white poles. The lighting is bright, which also helps dogs see better. Many handler teams qualify more often here than at any other location.
Another best about TNT is the two fenced in areas they have. Since some dogs are more comfortable pottying off leash, it can be a major accomplishment at a trial when you own this kind of dog. Another positive about the fenced areas is the ability to exercise a young, high energy dog so they focus better when its time for their run. It is also nice to see the courtesy shown by agility handlers when sharing these areas with those that are waiting.
You will not starve at a TNT trial! The same kitchen crew is hired for every trial, and do they put out a feast for both breakfast and lunch. Many, many options are available. They also work on variety for the lunch, which might include grilled chicken, hot dogs, brats and burgers; Italian day; Mexican day; or several types of soups on a cold day. If you don’t work a class, there’s a donation jug to buy your lunch. Otherwise restaurants are within several miles away. But why?
There were numerous dog/handler teams that recently made national headlines which either train or play often at TNT. They include:
2017 AKC National Agility Champion 12″ – Angie Benacquisto with her All American dog Quicksilver Cherry On Top MX MXJ OF (Sundae). Angie shared the celebration at the latest trial by providing sundaes with toppings for all.
2017 AKC Championships 16″ – Sarah Straube with her Border Collie Mogly MX MB MXJ MJB (Wylie) made it to Round 3 in the championships.
2016 ABTC (American Belgian Tervuren Club) Agility Top Ten Final – #1 was Barb VanEsseltine with MACH6 Jamaica Party All The Time TD MXB3 MJG2 MFB TQX T2B6 (Patt). #8 was Nancy Brissette with Topline River!Run Starbright Right a Rain MXB MJS XF T2B2 CA CGC (Rainy).
Photo on front page of May, 2017 Clean Run – Nancy Bissett with her Terv, Topline River!Run Starbright Right a Rain MXB MJS XF T2B2 CA CGC (Rainy). Cathi Winkles took the beautiful shot and Clean Run chose it from thousands.
And more …
If the above isn’t enough, there’s a large screen monitor that plays back your run with a 5 minute delay, and a real time monitor in the kitchen/eating area to keep you updated on what’s going on in the ring . . . There are six stalls in the women’s restroom . . . Most AKC trials have ribbons for your MX or MXJ title that are as large and beautiful as the mach or pach ribbons! . . . most of the parking area is paved and flat . . . they select great judges that stay overnight on site in a suite built especially for them . . . and the people are awesome.
While the Midland, MI area residents are very lucky to have this facility so close, so too are other Michigan residents that don’t have to travel more than a few hours to get there to train or trial. If you are traveling to Michigan, or if you live here but haven’t yet trialed at TNT, put this one on your must go list. But sign up early to make sure you get in!