We have some exciting news to share with you! We were selected by USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association) for a feature article and the cover of their magazine for February 2022 issue. Aida Bella is not letting it go to her head 🙂
Competitors Do Double Duty Contributing to the Community
Author Lisa Sondag and Agility’s Aida Bella
Aida Bella is quite the character, so much so that her owner and handler, Lisa Sondag, decided to capture her uniqueness and spirit in the pages of a book. The 5-year-old dog is a USDAA® competitor and the main character in the children’s book The Wagging Tales of The Amazing Aida Bella, One-of-a-Kind. “The book is about a dog that loves and accepts everyone who shows love and kindness, and the children in town who love to play with her,” said Lisa, who wrote and released the book in November 2020.
“I have always had a desire to write a children’s book,” Lisa, a Penn Township, Pa., resident, former teacher and children’s choir director, said. “Aida Bella is a very unique, beautiful, cuddly dog. She is smart, caring, loving and a very happy dog, and so, I wanted to write a children’s book to share my experiences with her and unleash my creativity.”
Aida Bella is an Italian breed, a Lagotto Romagnolo. Romagnolo is a region of Italy. Aida Bella was 12 weeks old when Lisa got her from a breeder in Pennsylvania. “Her breed is the only recognized dog to hunt truffles, so I thought why not write about Aida Bella seeking adventure with children,” Lisa said. “The magic in the book was inspired by the children (at the local libraries) reading books to her.”
The book can be read or sung. A musical score and audio are included in each book. “The book was not finished before I put the words to the melody that came to me as I took walks with Aida Bella,” Lisa said, noting that the chorus is to the tune of “A Hunting We Will Go.” Lisa wrote the melody herself and has since received a copyright for it. “Once I had the melody, I used it to help me finish the book.”
Building Character with Agility and Emotional Support
Lisa and Aida Bella compete at B&D Creekside Activity Center, in Latrobe, Pa.
Aida Bella and Lisa have been participating in agility competitions since Aida Bella was 18 months old. “I got started in agility because Aida Bella was a shy and overly active dog. I had just moved to the area and was looking for a way to meet people, too,” Lisa said.
Today, Lisa and Aida Bella work with training coach Vincent Madeiros at Good Dog 101 in Bernville, Pa. “Competing gives us quality time to be together, work together and have lots of fun,” she said.
In addition to competing, Aida Bella also provides emotional support to Lisa and others. “I have spent years training her, and she recently has become my service dog,” Lisa said. “Aida Bella helps me so much, and she helps people by being a registered therapy dog. She brings so much joy to others.”
As part of the therapy dog role, Lisa said Aida Bella visits cancer patients and nursing homes, and children at the local library read to her. “People react positively to her for she’s adorable, sweet, cute, loving and friendly,” Lisa said. “Adults, as well as children, smile and giggle with glee!”
Aida Bella’s Next Adventure
Readers can expect Aida Bella’s adventures to continue, according to Lisa. Another Amazing Aida Bella book is in the works — an adventure about dog agility. The Wagging Tales of The Amazing Aida Bella, One-of-a-Kind is the first of a series and will be available in Spanish this month. The book is available at www.amazingaidabella.com or on the publisher’s site www.bluedragonpublishing.com, as well as online at Target, Walmart and Amazon. You can follow along with Aida Bella’s adventures on Instagram @theamazingaidabella.
The pair will continue their dog agility competitions in addition to the book series. “We enjoy agility very much, and it’s really exciting when we work together in harmony to receive a Q. We just recently received our first PIII title and it was for Jumpers,” Lisa said.