News & Events

World Cynosport Rally Board Member of the Week: Rita Monde

Meet another board member dedicated to making WCR great! By Brenna Fender

The World Cynosport Rally (WCR) Board consists of Barbara Burri, Janet Gaunt, Wendy Hilton, Kristen Hurwitz, Casey Lomonaco, Rita Ann Monde, Nancy Reyes, Kim Wilson, and Amy Wukotich. Over the next few weeks, we will be learning more about these folks through in-depth interviews here on the WCR website.

Rita and Abby are shown here just after earning their novice CDSP title. Photo courtesy of Marguerite Plank.

Today we are getting to know Rita Monde. Rita is from Miami, Florida, and owns an eight-year-old female hound-mix named Abby. In her real life, Rita is a research scientist. We asked Rita a few questions about her experiences in rally and more:

Brenna Fender: How long have you been involved in rally?

Rita Monde: Abby and I started in rally in 2007 when we were living in Indiana. After doing a basic good manners class (mainly for me to bond with my newly-adopted, aloof hound dog) and a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) class we were looking for a dog-related activity that would get us out of the house. A friend suggested Rally and, after a few classes, we were hooked.

What other dog sports do you participate in?

Abby and I also play in Companion Dog Sports Program (CDSP) obedience.

What do you like about World Cynosport Rally?

My dog Abby does "tricks for treats," thus the ability to reward her in the ring allows us to have some success and the fact that most of the trials are indoors keeps her hound nose in check! Abby is a laid back hound dog and we both enjoyed the atmosphere of APDT Rally trials; everyone was very welcoming, especially to new exhibitors, and all sorts of dogs and people were competing, and it was not stressful (people seemed relaxed, low-keyed even it they and their dogs did not have a good run). Although we strive to be precise, you do not have to be perfect to have success in rally!

What inspired you to become a board member for WCR?

When APDT Rally was sold to WCR, I wanted to make sure that the things that I, and others, liked about APDT Rally (open to all dogs and humans, welcoming environment) would be incorporated into the new venue. In addition, I now live in South Florida and Rally and other types of dog sports are very limited. I wanted to work with WCR to help grow the sport that has taught me how to better train my dog, and most importantly, help us develop a deeper relationship based, in part, on our teamwork in the ring.

Do you serve on other boards or as an officer in other organizations, dog-related and otherwise?

I am a volunteer canine coach at the Humane Society of Naples, a no-kill animal shelter in Naples, Florida. In addition to exercising and training the dogs, I help train new volunteers about shelter policies and how to teach basic life skills (sit, wait, and loose lead walking) to the resident canines, as well as help potential adopters pick out their "fur-ever friend."

Do you have family members who are involved in dog sports as well?

I am the first in my family to "go to dog school" (as they teasingly called it) and enter competitions. My family has always had dogs but the main goals as kids were to get them housebroken and keep them in the yard. It was not until I was in graduate school and got my first dog that I learned about obedience classes for dogs. This was back in the 90


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