News and Updates

29 South Ave.  Derry, NH

1 mile from exit 4 off I-93


Click for map

You might have noticed that we have combined the May and June update.  Why, you ask? Because we have been busy, busy, busy…


First things first. --- Announcing our new expanded location at 29 South Ave. in Derry NH! 

Just one mile from Exit 4 off of Interstate 93 and only 10 minutes from the Mass border, our new home is conveniently located in downtown Derry.  Our students will have access to a first rate indoor training facility and the ability to train in real life situations provided by the Derry shopping district, ball fields, bike path and the Derry dog park, all within walking distance of our front door. 

We have always emphasized the importance of real world dog training and our new larger location will allow us to bring our high standards to more dogs and owners than ever before.

Next up ---  Christine Stewart and her rescue Doberman, Mayday, CGC, BH, RE, WDTT, CD got that third and final leg toward their Companion Dog title at a trial hosted by the Baystate Bullmastiff Club in Franklin, MA on May 4th. A competitive field of dogs dwindled during the long sit and down exercises, during which the heavy rain on the roof and a passing train blowing its whistle rattled the dogs (and probably the handlers!). At the end of the exercise, only Mayday held her position, making her the ONLY dog qualifying in Novice A, which also earned her a blue ribbon! Christine can now add a “CD” to that list of titles after May’s name.


And then… Friday June 13th was a lucky day for Christine and May. This dynamic duo entered a trial hosted by the North Shore Kennel Club in Topsfield, MA, their first attempt at AKC Open A level.  They placed third with a score of 188 for their first Companion Dog Excellent leg! Two more performances like that, and they can add the coveted “X” (for “Excellent”) to the recently acquired “CD”. We’re so proud of Christine and Mayday!


And to finish off this very exciting month, on June 29th, Jami Barrett returned to the Rally Novice ring at the Wampanoag Kennel Club’s event in Wrentham, MA with her German Shorthaired Pointer, Emma, to finish their RN with a fourth place and a score of 94 points! Congratulations on a great performance.


Fenway and Millie, two of our Boarding School students, help Rick measure a door in our new location. To watch a video of Millie and Fenway during “recess” click HERE!

Olde English Bulledogs at Fortunate K9 Dog and Owner Training, Derry NH

Rick’s dog, Blue - aka Geronimo von Rubenhof,

when he was… “The World’s Best Puppy”!!!

Elvis telling Blue that his off leash heeling, sit, down, stay and the reliable recall are good enough, so put down the brush and stop being an over achiever.


These new videos have been added to our YouTube channel -


Fortunate K9 boarding students Micki (Husky X), Jake (Golden Retriever) and Mrs. Beasley (Sato) act as distractions for each other in a training session.

Bridget showing her stuff during an in town training session.  Not bad for a dog who first came to us snarling at the end of her lead and aggressing at her handler during walks. You may want to turn the volume down since there is a good deal of traffic noise and then turn it back up at 3:23 to hear Bridget’s theme song! Wait till the end for an example of a FK9 approved sit/stay.

During August and September, some of our competition students got out there and really shone! On August 3rd, Amy Caswell and her Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Kona, entered their first Rally Obedience trial hosted by the Cheshire Kennel Club in Keene, NH and emerged with their first Rally Novice leg and a score of 73.


On September 7th, Amy and Kona entered a Natural Ability Test for pointing dogs hosted by the Merrimack Valley NAVHDA, in the 16 months-and-under division. Because Kona had turned 16 months just five days before the trial, she was run for evaluation only and scored an 87/112! Her cooperation with her handler scored her a Prize I, which Amy attests to all of their obedience work together.


Also entering a Rally trial for the first time were Marcia Zosack and her GSD, Ziggy, at the Wachusett Kennel Club trial in Franklin, MA on August16th. Marcia and Ziggy made a great impression and scored 93 and a second place ribbon as they got their first RN leg.

And on September 21st, Marcia and Ziggy travelled to South Portland, Maine to enter the Saccarappa Obedience Club’s fall trial for RN Leg #2, this time getting an impressive 98 and placing third after a runoff.  We have high hopes for both of these new teams!


Meanwhile, Jami Barrett and her show-stopping Beagle girl Lucy, RN, went to the next level of Rally, Advanced, at the Wachusett Kennel Club trial in Fitchburg MA on the weekend of August 15-17th. For their first Advanced leg, they wowed the judge and scored a 97: good enough for a first place ribbon! Congratulations to the best Obedience Beagle we know (and her talented and hard-working handler, too!).




In the interest of using her training time well, Julia has narrowed her focus and has cut down on her writing commitments, including her “Canine Contrarian” column for the free paper, Dog In Sight. However, you can see some of Julia’s favorite “Contrarian” columns by clicking on the link on our “Articles” page. We think you’ll enjoy Julia’s refreshingly irreverent take on dogs and their people. She hopes to be publishing a collection of her work in the near future.

We want to welcome Kimberley Brown to the Fortunate K9 staff. Kim has taken over the formidable task of keeping the “front of the house” in order and helping Julia and Rick with the day to day duties of the business. Not only is Kim an outstanding office manager, she’s also a great cook, making her a true MVP! Kim is also a student and is the proud owner of three Labrador girls. She is preparing to trial her youngest, a black Lab named Gala, this spring.


As Fortunate K9 grows, we’ve also decided to take on two new training partners. They’re young, but have what it takes to help our student dogs learn how to deal with real life distraction, and have “people skills” to cheer up even the most frustrated handler.

Meet Vincent and Jules, the Polydactyl brothers!






















Here are the brothers helping 5 month old Jake, a Chow/Lab cross, learn how to hold a sit/stay position under distraction        

Remember to check out our YouTube channel for more videos.






Trial and test results? We have trial and test results!

The weekend of October 11th and 12th was a great one for Jami Barrett and her amazing Rally Beagle, Lucy. At the Souhegan Kennel Club trial in Amherst NH, Lucy earned a 99 in Rally Advanced, for a first place ribbon! The next day, Lucy got 87 points in the same class, finishing up her Rally Advanced title. Now she’s officially Lucy Sierra Jazz, CGC RA. We know that Jami and Lucy will do great as they go on to Rally Excellent!
























After a very successful early autumn, Marcia Zosack and her GSD, Ziggy, had a triumphant conclusion to their Rally Novice title on November 2nd at the American Bull Mastiff Association’s trial in Franklin, MA. All of their practice paid off when Marcia and Ziggy found themselves in a runoff for first place, which they handily won with an amazing score of 100+! That is truly as good as it gets, and we are all thrilled for Marcia and her big guy, officially known as Magnum v. Huerta Hof, CGC RN.

Marcia’s young GSD girl, Nina v. Mittelwest, CGC didn’t want to be left out of the action, and made her Rally debut in the Novice B class at a trial hosted by the German Shepherd Dog Club of Central MA, held in Fitchburg MA on November 28th. Nina earned her first Rally Novice leg with a very nice score of 97, good enough for a 3rd place ribbon and 2nd place among German Shepherds! We know there’s even more great performances where that came from…looks like Marcia and her GSDs have been bitten by the Rally bug!

Finally, Michelle Wallace and her GSD girl, Xenia, showed that they are masters of multi-tasking at the same GSD Club of Central MA trial on November 28th. They completed their Companion Dog title in Novice A with a first place performance and a score of 186 points. As if a new title and a blue ribbon weren’t enough, Xenia also took Highest Scoring German Shepherd in her class! You can now call her Xenia v. Jadehugel, CD, RA, TT, CGC.

While they were out there in Fitchburg, Michelle and Xenia also entered Rally Excellent for the first time, and made an awesome debut at that level, scoring 98 points and duplicating their Novice Obedience performance with a first place and another Highest Scoring German Shepherd award! What will the next two RE legs look like???

Congratulations to all!










We’re proud to report a very important accomplishment achieved by Scott and Pamela Traurig with their beautiful Akita girl, Akiko’s Kimiko, CGC (known as Miko to her friends) on October 25th. It was on that date that Scott, Pam and Miko passed the Therapy Dogs International certification test, held in Concord NH, earning them the right to share Miko with folks in hospitals, nursing homes, and other places where an extremely cuddly Akita would bring cheer to those who need a doggy fix. Not many Akitas are Therapy Dogs, and this team is even more impressive because both Scott and Pam tested separately with Miko so that all three can participate in visits.


Congratulations to Miko, CGC TDI and her devoted human family, and thank you for wanting to put all of your excellent training to such a generous use!

Our proud new CGC teams are:


Balin, a GSD cross and Saber, a Dutch Shepherd, owned by Dawn Sawyer of Stratham, NH;


KC, an American Pit Bull Terrier owned by Nick Juiliano of NH;


Spike, Thena and Jet, Dobermans owned by Eva Adrian of Tewksbury, MA;


KD’s Gala Grace Bell of the Ball, a black Lab owned by Kimberley Brown of Londonderry, NH;


Ryker, a GSD owned by Alison Robidoux of Methuen, MA;


Zash von den Walderm, a GSD owned by Jacqueline Ouellette of Salem, NH;


Munster Abbey’s Kobi, a GSD owned by Linda Gaeta of Georgetown, MA;


Magnum von Huerta Hof and Nina vom Mittelwest, GSDs owned by Marcia Zosack of Merrimac, MA;


Kya, a GSD owned by Tammy Maglio of Derry, NH;


Bel-mars Jabber Jax, a Doberman owned by Cheryl Greenhalgh of Methuen, MA;


Kaiser, a Dobe owned by Darlene Laferriere of Lowell, MA;


Addie, a Beagle mix owned by Heather Wolsey of Beverly, MA


Dexter, a miniature Schnauzer owned by Eva Hafetz.

Dawn with Saber

Some members of our “Ruff Crowd” had a chance to put their training to a very unique test when they were offered a modeling gig by Scarlett Dreamcoats, a canine couture company specializing in luxe but functional dogwear and accessories. Designer Jane Given and photographer Melissa Corcoran and their entourage of assistants captured some of FK9’s finest on the streets of Derry, modeling Jane’s lovely creations for her new catalog and advertising.  Jane recently debuted Scarlett Dreamcoats at the epicenter of canine Who’s Who-ness: the Westminster Dog Show, and then followed up with a month-long engagement at Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC. Jane and her crew continuously complimented the excellent training and behavior of the FK9 dogs, who posed off leash for long periods of time in less than pleasant weather conditions (it was FREEZING!). We look forward to participating in future endeavors with Scarlett Dreamcoats, and encourage all of our web visitors to check them out!




































Modeling gigs aside, it’s more than just a pretty face here at FK9. To prove it, just check out page 8 (right column) of the Front & Finish 2007 Rally Obedience standings. There you’ll see that two of FK9’s perennial success stories, Paige Kendall with Gracie, CGC, BH, TDI, RE and Christine Stewart with Mayday, CGC, BH, CD, RE were named #3 and #4 Rally Excellent Dobermans in the country! This is a major accomplishment for these teams in particular, and for rescued dogs in general, as both Gracie and Mayday are adoptees from Doberman Rescue Unlimited in nearby Sandown, NH. Our congratulations on this honor, and our best wishes for more of the same in the future.




A great start to the trial season for Christine Stewart with Mayday and Jamie Barrett with Lucy the Wonder Beagle, who both competed at the Labrador Retriever Club of Greater Boston’s trial in Franklin, MA.

On Saturday, Feb 28th, Christine and Mayday scored an impressive 193 in their Open A Obedience class, earning them their second leg toward their Companion Dog Excellent title. A sweet way to end the shortest month!


Not to be outdone, Jamie and Lucy, CGC, RA entered their first Rally Excellent A class on March 1st. They came out of the ring with a score of 96, a blue ribbon and their first RE leg. Congratulations to the team who’s “bringing Beagle back”!




Julia’s articles have appeared in various dog magazines and newsletters on a national level, but this month she has finally appeared in a “regular” publication. The Manchester Hippo, an alternative weekly paper that is famous for its hip and irreverent take on cultural and political issues, decided to run a “Pets” section for the February 19th issue. Julia contributed a helpful article called How to be a well-behaved dog owner ”, which we hope the Hippo’s readers take to heart. You can read it online right here (scroll down the page). We would like to think that the Hippo’s Pets section will get a great response and is run in the future, and that Julia has a chance to spread the word about intelligent and responsible dog ownership to an even wider audience.

All content Copyright Fortunate K9 Dog and Owner Training

Julia V. McDonough

Co-Owner, Training Director




Rick Froton

Co-Owner, Trainer








Spring is most definitely here, and the dogs and people of Fortunate K9 are loving it! Spring is traditionally a time of new beginnings, and with that in mind, we want to announce the newest addition to the FK9 family, Dolly the Pug. (formally re-named Dancing Dolly Pug Mo Thoin)


Forever identified with Dobermanns, Julia has been a closet Pug fanatic for many years. She finally made the big leap into Pugness with the acquisition of Dolly, who came from a very nice private home and whose family simply didn’t have the time for her.


So much news from our competition students! Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin, but this time, we know EXACTLY who to brag on first.
























Elsewhere in trial land, the FK9 crew has been accomplishing a lot.



Our Rally students have been excelling as always! Lucy CGC, RA, the Obedi-Beagle, was handled to a score of 88, for a second Rally Excellent leg and a second place ribbon by her talented owner/handler, Jami Barrett. This great performance took place on April 12th at the RI Kennel Club trial in Lincoln RI. One more leg and Lucy will have her next title! Gooooooooooooooo, Lucy!


Marcia Zosack and her lovely GSDs have been doing us proud as they progress through the ranks. Magnum v. Huertahof (also known as Ziggy), RN started spring with a spring in his step at the Collie Club of NH trial in Amherst NH on March 13th, placing 2nd in Rally Advanced A with a score of  96. On April 18th, he added a second RA leg with a score of 91 and a 3rd place ribbon at  the Pioneer Valley Kennel Club trial in W. Springfield, MA. Finally, Ziggy completed his Rally Advanced title at the American Bullmastiff Association trial in Franklin MA on May 2nd with a score of 91 and a 4th placement. Big congratulations to Marcia and her Ziggy, RA!

Not to be undone by her big brother, Nina v. Mittelwest continued on her promising Rally career by scoring an awesome 99 points in Rally Novice B at the trial in Franklin MA on May 2nd. She tied for 1st and ended up with an impressive 2nd place after a time runoff..


Waiting in the wings to start their official trials, Linda Gaeta and her big GSD Kobi, CGC attended their first Show & Go on April 14th, hosted by the Weston Dog Training Club in Waltham, MA. A Show & Go is a type of practice match/trial in which you are given a score but are allowed to get feedback from the judge and to go several times as you perfect your work. Not long ago, Linda would never have brought the dog aggressive Kobi to something as crowded as a dog event, but she’s glad she did! Kobi’s two run throughs in Novice A Rally earned the team an 87 for their first run and an impressive 95 for their second! Here is FK9’s next great Rally team! Keep up the excellent work, Linda and Kobi!





Caught by the paparazzi from the New Hampshire Union Leader, FK9 student Scott Traurig and his Akita Miko enjoy their first ice cream of the season.

Funny, confident and full of joie de vivre, 2 year old Dolly has been generating tail-wags and smiles since her arrival, and her playful, devil-may-care attitude has helped first-time Boarding School students adjust to their stay with us. Julia hopes to trial Dolly in Rally and Obedience starting in autumn, but for now Dolly’s main purpose is FK9 Mascot: a job she seems to really enjoy!



New Hampshire Union Leader




When UL reporter Carol Robidoux showed up in the FK9 parking lot while Rick was conducting a class he invited her to tag along.  While there is always a risk being misquoted in these situations, we believe Carol captured the spirit of the lesson and the FK9 philosophy very well.



Another AKC Obedience Blue Ribbon for Fortunate K9.  Offering dog training in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine

Christine Stewart and Mayday, CGC, BH, WDTT, RE, CD can now add the coveted “X” to that last title. That’s right, Mayday has earned her AKC Companion Dog Excellent title! On May 2nd, Christine and Mayday entered Open A Obedience at the trial hosted by the American Bullmastiff Association in Franklin, Ma., and walked out with a fabulous score of 194, a first place ribbon and a CDX title! Not bad for a dog who was returned twice to rescue for being too hard to handle!


Fortunate K9's Rick Froton Union Leader article.

 Very very busy weekend for Fortunate K9 Rally and Obedience Competition Students at the Thanksgiving Cluster in Springfield, MA!!

On Saturday,
Pam Scheid with Maximus earned their first leg of Rally Advanced A with a score of 82. Team Maximus returned on Sunday with beautiful fronts and finishes. Controlled heeling in/out of Slow caused a sharp ding in their score for an otherwise impressive performance. Their score of 72 was good enough for 2nd Place and leg 2 of Rally Advanced A!

Anita Munoz and Sadie were not about to leave the Rally rings empty handed. Despite a busy show and family weekend, Team Sadie completed their first leg of Rally Excellent B on Saturday with a score of 82! On Friday, Sadie competed in an Obedience Beginner Novice B class of 17 competitors and her score of 192.5 earned a 3rd Place rosette! A return to the Obedience Beginner Novice B ring on Saturday earned a score of 193 and 4th Place among 18 competitors for their Beginner Novice title! Congratulations Team Sadie!

Paige Kendall with 9.5yr old Gracie, what can we say? As Trainer Tom Fale put it, "She's still out there kicking ass and taking young dogs' names!" Thursday, entered in Excellent B, a score of 95 earned 2nd Place and in Advanced B a score of 100 earned 1st Place. Returning Friday, Exc B score of 96 and Adv B score of 98 were just out of the ribbons at 5th place each. Taking a break for holiday shopping, Gracie returned on Sunday for another Excellent B score of 95 and Advanced B score of 94 which earned 4th Place. SEVEN legs of RAE (14 classes) in 3 weeks is pretty darned impressive!

The greatest news of all out of the Thanksgiving Cluster shows in Springfield, MA? Long-time students JEN ERICSON and 7.5 year old HAZEL have successfully earned their title of UTILITY DOG!!

Jen and Hazel first came to Julia and Fortunate K9 four years ago with "snarky attitude" problems. After successfully building their foundation with Fortunate K9, a foundation strong enough to earn all Rally titles through RE, TDI certification and Obedience through their first leg of CDX, Jen and Hazel were referred to Riverside Canine to hone their competition skills. With the capable advice of Beth Chapman, support from FK9 and others, and Jen's dogged determination, this accomplishment is celebrated by so many!! We're so proud of you, Jen and Hazel! TREMENDOUS APPLAUSE and CONGRATULATIONS from your friends at Fortunate K9!!!

 In Franklin, Ashley Loranger w/Chance entered Rally Advanced A on Saturday, and walked out of the ring w/a near-perfect score of 99 and First Place to complete their Rally Advanced (RA) Title!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Fellow classmate
Kathy Hamilton w/ Ace was also entered in Rally Advanced A on Saturday in Franklin. Team Ace completed their second leg of RA with a score of 90 and Fourth Place!

Kathy and Ace returned to Franklin on Sunday, and brought their A-ce game, earning a score of 95 to take Second Place and complete their Rally Advanced (RA) Title! CONGRATULATIONS!

Every time these two teams have entered a show, they have scored in the 90s and placed in the ribbons! We are very proud of Kathy w/Ace and Ashley w/Chance!

Meanwhile, in northern Vermont, veterans
Paige Kendall with Gracie returned to the Rally Advanced B and Excellent B rings for a great show hosted by Burlington Obedience Club in Williston, VT.

Entered in back-to-back shows on Saturday, plus a third on Sunday, Gracie showed 'em that age "ain't nothin' but a number!" At 9 1/2 yrs old, Gracie earned the following:
Saturday, AM show 1 - Excellent B - 99 - First place
Advanced B - 89 - Fourth place
Saturday, PM show 2 - Excellent B - 100 - Second Place
Advanced B - 99 - Third Place
Sunday - Excellent B - 96 - Third Place
Advanced B - 95 - Third Place

Way to go, teams!! More to come from our Rally teams throughout the month of November! Wishing you all the best of luck and great times showing with your dogs!

 Gracie was at it again last weekend at the Nathan Hale Obedience Club's show in Coventry, CT. First place in Advanced B among a class of 21 with a score of 99. Second place in Excellent B with a score of 90.

 Another great day for Fortunate K9 students and staff at the German Shepherd Dog Club of Central Massachusetts All-Breed Obedience & Rally Show on Friday November 30th in Fitchburg, MA.

Angela Lefavour and Dublin entered the Rally Novice A ring with enthusiasm! Earning a score of 94 for 2nd Place, Angela and Dublin now have two legs toward their Rally Novice title. A team to be reckoned with!

In the title-earning category we have FK9's own Donna Lind and Siren. Siren's happy performance yielded a score of 86 for 1st Place in the All Breeds awards, and Highest Scoring German Shepherd Dog in the Specialty for Rally Excellent A! Donna and Siren have now earned their Rally Excellent (RE) title at their breed Specialty! CONGRATULATIONS! A beautiful team who clearly love to work together!

Anita Munoz and Sadie were busy once again, entered in both Rally and Obedience. Sadie's score of 97 in Rally Excellent B earned 2nd Place in the All Breed awards, and another Highest Scoring German Shepherd Dog in the Specialty in Rally Excellent B. Heading over to Obedience Beginner Novice B, Sadie's score of 192 earned 1st Place for a bumper leg of her BN title.

Finally, after 20 entries, in 10 shows, in just 7 weeks,
Paige Kendall with Gracie have earned another Rally Advanced Excellent Title, to add the designation RAE2 to Gracie's name. With a perfect score of 100 in Rally Excellent B, and a 99 in Rally Advanced B, Gracie's took home the 1st Place rosettes in both classes. Gracie credits recent chiropractic care from Dr. Salkovitz of Windham Animal Hospital for this joyful performance in her final class of RAE2!

So, for those keeping track,FK9 Students took First or Second in every class they entered at this show! Way to go, teams! Thanks go to the GSD Club of Central Mass and Worcester County Kennel Club for generous prizes including New Title Rosettes!

 Very proud to report a big day for Fortunate K9 Students at the Mayflower Corgi Club's Obedience & Rally show today. Three students entered, three new titles!

Anita Munoz w/Sadie earned their Rally Excellent title today with a score of 87. Wow! On to the Obedience rings!

Pam Scheid w/Maximus earned their Rally Advanced title with a score of 81. Pam & Max return tomorrow to put the polish on that title with a bumper leg. Good luck guys!

Finally, new kids on the block
Angela Lefavour w/Dublin worked really hard to walk in their fellow FK9 students' footsteps. They did a spectacular job earning a score of 98 for First Place in Rally Novice A for their first Rally title!

Congratulations to all the teams!



Dublin, owned by Angela Lefavour, with her loot from today's Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club's Rally show in Taunton, MA.

Dublin proudly displaying the winning ribbons

 Megatons of congratulations to Paige Kendall and Gracie, who just took 2nd place at the AKC Rally Nationals in Oklahoma! Let me repeat… 2nd place in the nation! A wonderful accomplishment based on over 9 years of training, trust and partnership. Fortunate K9 is SO VERY PROUD of you guys!


BTW - That is a Fortunate K9 approved rosette! Everything is bigger at the national level.

Photo: Megatons of congratulations to Paige Kendall and Gracie, who just took 2nd place at the AKC Rally Nationals in Oklahoma! A wonderful accomplishment based on over 9 years of training, trust and partnership. I am SO VERY PROUD of you guys! (Now THAT is a freakin' rosette!)

We could not be more proud to announce our current youngest AKC competitor, Sammy Jo Hamilton, is following in the impressive footsteps of both her mom, Kathy, (who finished Rally Excellent in the same show), but also Fortunate K9's founder, Julia McDonough's. Julia is our "original" youngest AKC competitor, having begun her dog training & competition career at age 12.

Sammy Jo began training her Papillion, Chilly, this past winter when she was also 12 years old. This Labor Day weekend, 2 months past her 13th birthday, Sammy Jo and Chilly entered the ring for the first time and showed what dedication and effort can do.
Their score of 98 in Rally Novice A was the top score of the day, earning a First Place rosette for their first leg of Rally Novice A!!!! HOORAAY!!

Doesn't Chilly look proud of himself? He should be! We are all so proud of Sammy Jo & Chilly!


This message and the beautiful photo above were posted to our Facebook page with the following message: “3 months post boarding school. Perfect off leash adventure in the snowy park. Perfect obedience from Oliver”


Oliver’s owner deserves a lot of credit as she did the follow up work and did not give up on Oliver. She drove from Maine several times to practice at our Drop-In class and we also corresponded via Email to help her whenever she had a question.  Positive results can happen. You just have to take the first step!












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