RAT Tales May – June 2022

Inside RAT Tales:

Trial Wrap up

RAT New Year’s CPE trial in July!!


New Members

Mike Vorkapich  Tribute and Thanks

CPE Trial Wrap Up

Thank you everyone who joined the Rainier Agility Team (RAT) May CPE trial at Argus this past weekend. I have to give special thanks to my trial committee: Karen Ricketts, Susan Perry, Laura Crandall, Kathy Swan, Debra Sweat, Angie Atkinson, Joan Benjamin, Pam Diemond, Christie Woolsey, Cathy Percy, Teddi Bottinger and of course our Judge – Dan Roy!

Goose (Angie Atkinson) and Miles (Kim Atkinson)

While we didn’t have much sun – many of you brought the heat by earning 51 snooker and some of you for the FIRST TIME!! Welcome to the club! 51 club this weekend: Christie Woolsey & Caylee, Janet Mudge & Kate, Linda Larson x 2 (Cooper & Cruiser), Chris Edmark & Ziggy, Pam Diemond & Crew, Corey Thorpe & Snap and Samm & I. Congratulations for earning your C-ATCH: Mike Vorkapich and D’Argo AND Stacie Oehlerich and Addie! Congrats to new RAT members who joined us for the first time and earned Q’s and connected with their pups!

Some really cool things – Argus arena surface was great and awesome to run on. Out of 101 dogs entered – 45 dogs were run by 20 people – WOW! I will be joining that group next year. Thank you to those who donated to Old Dog Haven! This year I tried something new by assigning a mentor (Melinda King and Corey Thorpe ) to folks at their first trial. It seemed to work so I plan on continuing it and expanding to any first year people who wants some help. Thanks as well as to those who wanted to learn a new job – Val Tangen with Agility Gate and Natalie Baker as Chief Ring Steward 2023.

I appreciate everyone’s positive energy and willingness to help. Good Karma is coming your way!


From Corey Thorpe: RAT New Year’s CPE trial in July!!

“Come join us for our rescheduled New Years Trial! Our theme is “Have a Ball!” Trial opens by postmark date on June 28th. Trial will be held at Argus Ranch July 30-31st. Bring your sparkle!”

Rose w Gracie & Leanne w Manchee


Val Tangen and Ukie

Val Tangen and Ukie

Solo of Ukie and Kelsea and Ukie. Kelsea on left; Ukie on right

Ukie went 10 for 10 this weekend!! (Admittedly level 1 and two – but still – I am delighted!!)

Michael Vorkapich and D’Argo

I am happy to announce that D’Argo earned his C-ATCH at the Rainier Agility Team CPE trial held at Argus Ranch on May 15th, 2022.

This marks the end of D’Argo’s agility career. We had never aimed to earn a C-ATCH or any other Championship. Our goal has been to have fun and see where life took us. And we have done that.

D’Argo’s career includes competitions and titles in CPE, NADAC, USDAA, ASCA, AKC, UKC, UKI and AAC. On top of this, he has titles in Barn Hunt, Conformation, Trick Dog, Herding, Backpacking, Rally and NASDA. He also plays Treibball, which we plan to continue into his later years.

For all of his life, D’Argo and I could be found at agility demonstrations run by the Rainier Agility Team and Sno-King Agility club, primarily at events that support animal rescue. D’Argo has been in two commercials, was spotlighted in Seattle Refined Magazine and appeared on King 5 News. He was a regular at 4-H events where we did demonstrations and he would allow the children to take him through the agility course.

I am very happy to end his time in agility with a C-ATCH but, at the same time, sad that it is coming to an end. Thank you to everyone that helped us throughout D’Argo’s career. Special thanks to Michael Bruce for helping get us past some fear, Sandra Katzen for helping with D’Argo’s early training, Lisa Ross for helping with his later training, Heather O’Neill for some great workshops to help us along the way and to Sam Lietz to help get D’Argo to move away from me and not want to be stuck to my side all the time. Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement over all these years.

Michael Vorkapich CPDT-KA
Evaluator for CGC, Trick Dog, Farm Dog, ACT, Temperament Testing
Training for Agility, Treibball, Tricks and Barn Hunt

Linda Miller & Darcy

Darcy was run by Roberta Foster for Linda and qualified in all of her runs

New Members

Rachel Dagovitz with Zephyr and Denali

From Olympia via Maryland – I have 2 dogs (Australian Shepherds). Denali is 4 years old and Zephyr is 10 months. Denali and I are doing our first CPE trial this weekend at Argus. Maybe I’ll see you there.

On the left Rachel with Denali . Above Zephyr & Denali
Susan & Calamity

Susan Cole & Calamity

Calamity and I compete (in priority order) in: Barn Hunt, CPE agility, NADAC agility, AKC agility, FAST Cat, AKC conformation and, if we can find any, Teacup Agility

William and Chris Edmark with Pint, Gunner, Jammie & Ziggy



Chris and William have four dogs. Papillions: Gunner 14.5 years old (retired), Ziggy – 9 years old, Jamie – 4.5 yearsold and Bord Pap – Pint 1 year old. They are the owners of Da Paws Place agility practice and training facility in Rochester, WA. They compete in CPE and ASCA Agility


Gwen Ryno with Luna & Lupin

Luna is a 2 year old Australian Shephard who is a complete doofus in the cutest way. She will do anything for a treat and is very much a Velcro dog. We are looking forward to competing in agility with her soon.

Luna and Lupin with Gwen.

Pam Harris & her Beardies

Pam has Beardies

 Kona 10 yrs old competes in masters Rally, advanced sw, masters barn hunt, exc agility preferred, finished champion mostly AKC. 

Nike 5 yrs old  Grand Champion, CH 

Competes in exc rally( just starting), just moved to open agility, senior bh, exc scentwork, started herding. 

Siri 2 yrs old

Competing in conformation in Open 

Training in scentwork, rally, herding, agility. 

I mostly compete in AKC but have done USDAA, CPE,ASCA. 

Am interested in UKI.

Pat Harris with Siri,Kona,Nike

Kristie Laws

Lilly- my yellow lab will be 12 years young next month. She is the one who got me into and addicted to agility. She had to abruptly retire last year after being diagnosed with IVDD. (I haven’t told her she is retired though) After some pain management, rest and rehab, she was able to get back into competition this past April for her very first Barn hunt. In one weekend she earned her Novice Barn hunt title with a high in class score. She is still a firecracker and my heart girl.
She has competed in Rally earning her Intermediate title and enjoyed a CAT run when she was younger. She also has titles in trick dog but really loves hunting rats in the yard. We’ve mostly competed in AKC.

Linus- my Rhodesian Ridgeback boy is a special boy. He is 5 years young. He was supposed to be a show dog which would be my first time in conformation, but before he could really get started- he started having seizures and was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. So his show career ended before it really got started. Ridgebacks have their own way of doing things and epileptic dogs learn and process things a bit different so we have had an interesting journey.
Linus learned the love of agility from Lilly. She actually taught him how to weave after he watched her doing it. I just fine tuned it. Linus has the ability to be a fantastic agility dog if I can keep his hound nose off the ground. 🙂 Linus has his Novice rally title and has trick dog titles as well in both AKC and DMWYD. He was the second Ridgeback in the world to earn his DMWYD Championship trick dog title. Linus also had his first Barn hunt trial when Lilly did a couple months ago and earned his “instinct” title.
Linus is awesome when you find his motivation- keeping him focused can be a challenge. Thankfully string cheese has super powers. 🙂

Mike Vorkapich  Tribute and Thanks

Mike Vorkapich & D’Argo

Mike has been an active part of the agility community in the Pacific Northwest for many years.  He has played agility with several of his collies, most recently with his just-retired partner, D’Argo.  He has helped out with several local agility clubs, taught agility to 4H for many years, and recently has taught agility classes for all ages (humans and dogs).

Mike has been a RAT member for more than a decade and has given immeasurable time and energy to our club.  He served on the Board of Directors for 7 years (2013 – 19), 2 years as President, 4 as Vice-President, and 1 as Member-at-Large.  He completely redesigned the RAT website, launched in early 2019, and served as webmaster for both the old and new website.   He is a complete computer wizard and fixes virtually any problem in the blink of an eye.

He was in charge of RAT demonstrations for several years, organizing, setting up, breaking down, helping and answering questions for the public.  He has volunteered at uncounted trials, serving as equipment manager, electronics manager, and course builder.  He is always on hand to help out with whatever is needed, always with a smile.  He also helped organize many Fun Runs for RAT members, and the north-end League.

He was awarded the RAT RAVE award (Rainier Agility Vote of Excellence) in 2015 for all his contributions to agility. We cannot thank Mike enough for everything he has done for RAT and the agility community in Washington.  We are sad to say goodbye, as he and his family are getting ready to move to a yet unknown area in the southern US later this year.  But he will always be in our hearts, and will only be an email, phone, or zoom call away.  We hope to keep in touch and that he will come back to visit.

Mike, we salute you, thank you, and wish you only the best in your new adventure.  In a reference perhaps only you will understand, we know as you leave you will be thinking:  So Long and Thanks for All the Fish!

Don’t forget to Hug your Dogs!!!

RT Editor

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *