By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local dog is competing in a very big international competition later this month. He’ll be defending his title as a world champion dock jumper, but it’s a very different story than how his life started off.

“He went through five foster homes,” Remi’s owner, Tom Dropik, said. “Nobody could handle him because he was too big, too strong and too full of energy.”

Dropik, who bread and raised competitive dogs with his wife, agreed to foster Remi originally so he wouldn’t be put down. After just a few days together, he realized Remi’s energy brought talent.

“He just needed to channel that energy and I had the opportunity to challenge that energy with the dock jumping,” Dropik said.

So, Dropik adopted Remi and started training him in his backyard.

At first, it wasn’t easy working with the foster dog.

“He’d take off,” he said. “He just ran and never looked at me.”

Dropik didn’t give up on him. After a year of training, Remi was ready for competition and started to get more comfortable around people.

“He started coming out of his shell,” Dropik said.

Fast forward a few more years: Remi is now four years old and a world class champion. He won his first world competition in 2011.

“We went out there for nothing else but to have fun and he won the whole thing,” Dropik said.

Now, Remi is training for the 2013 Dockdogs Iron Dog Best of the Best Championship in Las Vegas September 21-22 . He’s ranked fifth in the world in dock jumping.

The energy that once made him homeless, today, makes him a champion.

“Not only did he turn out to be a world class champion, he’s a great family dog and loves people,” Dropik said. “I’m blessed, truly blessed.”


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