Melanie Del Villaggio


Melanie has been involved in agility since 1999.  She believes that every dog and handler team can attain their full potential with motivation, games and consistent handling built upon a solid foundation.

Melanie’s first two agility dogs, Tasslehoff, CGC, an All American, and Nikki, MX, MXJ, a Border Collie, have gone to the bridge.  Melanie is proud of their accomplishments and feels privileged to have had them as pets and agility partners.  Tasslehoff retired at the age of 12 and Nikki continued to compete until the fall of 2009 when she retired at age 13. 

 MACH8 ADCH Dara has allowed Melanie to showcase their talents.   As members of the  AKC/USA World Agility Team, Dara and Melanie have competed at the FCI World Agility Championships in Basil, Switzerland in 2006; Hamar, Norway in 2007; Helsinki, Finland in 2008; and Dornbirn, Austria in 2009. 

They have also been notable at AKC Nationals placing 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the ISC 14” Classes in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively, and 2nd again in 2010.  They were finalists in the AKC National Agility Championships 12” class in 2007 placing 3rd, won the Challenger Round earning a spot in the finals for 2008, and placed 2nd in the 2010 finals.

In September 2011 Melanie added another Sheltie to the family.  Troy is a very happy boy and shows great promise in agility.  In addition to agility he loves to dig and chase birds.

A graduate of the Julie Daniels Instructors Certification Course, Melanie has attended numerous agility seminars, workshops and camps with many of the country’s top instructors. Melanie teaches private lessons and classes at Borderland Farms.

Melanie resides at Borderland Farms in Franklin, TN.


Patty Wood

Patty Wood, a native Memphian, is married to Bob Wood.   They have two married daughters and four beautiful granddaughters.

Professionally, she was a Vice President, Broker with Crye-Leike, Realtors for about 20 years before retiring in 2001.

Before Patty started training dogs for search and rescue (SAR) in 1990, she had over 20 years experience working and playing with dogs and horses.  She is an original member of TN Task Force 1 where she worked and trained as a FEMA canine search team specialist until mid-2001.  In 1997 she was approved as a FEMA canine evaluator.  Since 1997 up to today she has been a volunteer affiliated with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and has had many successful searches with her Labrador Retrievers.  She is a member of National Association of Search and Rescue (NASAR) and serves as a Canine Lead Evaluator.

Click here to read an article written about Patty and her Search and Rescue Dog Angel, and their contributions to various counties in assisting people in distress.

Patty resides in Memphis, TN.

Ann Walling

Ann Walling is a retired Episcopal Priest.  She was an avid agility competitor for ten years.  She came to agility to address some of the many fear issues of her rescue Border Collie, MACH4 ADCH Tess.  Tess has blossomed, and Ann has gained a wealth of knowledge and understanding about dog behavior and dog training.  In addition to Tess, she shares Borderland with Stella CGC, her mostly Border Collie farm dog, and Shetland Sheepdogs, MACH2 Kado and MACH Mini who competed in agility

Since Spring of 2011, Ann has worked with Kado and Mini on scent and service dog training.  Diabetic Alert Dogs the Borderland Way was born from this work.  Ann, with trainers Melanie Del Villaggio and Patty Wood, focused on diabetes and the remarkable ability of dogs to scent and alert to abnormal glucose levels, and Diabetic Alert dogs the Borderland Way was born.

The Borderland folks believe that our pet dogs offer a significant opportunity to alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty of living with diabetes.

Ann resides at Borderland Farms in Franklin, TN.


Copyright 2012 Diabetic Alert Dogs - Majority of photos on this site taken by Grannis Photography