Auburn woman spends decades building confidence in both humans and dogs

AUBURN Wash. -- An invitation to the Hall of Fame is an honorable goal regardless of your career. But what happens after the induction ceremony is over? If you’re Sandra Katzen of Auburn, you give back.

“I enjoy it obviously or else I wouldn’t still be doing it if I didn’t really enjoy working with people and their dogs. Agility is fun for both and it strengthens that bond between the human and their dog by having them do these fun activities,” says Katzen who’s the owner of Vortex Agility and Dog Training.

Her story of agility training began at the park when her own dog would run up a slide then back down again. Shortly thereafter, Katzen heard about a seminar and after attending she formed the Rainier Agility Team. As the club’s popularity grew Katzen helped to build training equipment. As the team grew, she began to teach.

“One of the best parts of teaching is that when you get someone with a young dog or a new dog, not even necessarily that young, and you don’t think their dog is going to do that stuff and they actually do?! They’re full of joy. It’s just really fun,” Katzen explains.

Sandra Katzen and Vortex Agility and Dog Training have been creating bonds between owners and dogs since 2001.

Dog handler Cathy Percy shares, “We met Sandra, got involved with agility, found an amazing community of people, and amazing community of dogs. It’s a wonderful activity to share with your dog.”

As for being a pioneer in her field and decades of experience, Katzen was inducted the United States Dog Agility Association’s Hall of Fame. But she’s not just a pioneer that shares her gifts with the dog agility community. Her students will say she shares those gifts with the community of Auburn, too.

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