Six years ago dog trainer Misha Baxter went to the pound to get a companion for her labrador cross Rocky.
She came home with six-month-old Trixie, an aggressive little terrier cross with a bad temper to boot, who was on death row at the city council pound at Bromley.
Mrs Baxter took to Trixie immediately; the day she visited she was calm and laying in her cage, while the other dogs around her barked their bleak future down.
Trixie was about to be transferred to Dogwatch; her last chance before being euthanised. But Mrs Baxter was in no doubt she wouldn't have made the behaviour grade there.
"She wouldn't have lasted that long because of her aggression problem," she said.
Trixie, whose registered name is Trixie the Pocket Rocket, had probably been attacked by other dogs while wandering the streets before being picked up and taken to the pound.
"She had scars on her like she'd been in a dog fight."
When Mrs Baxter got home it was all on.
"As soon as I got her out of the car she attacked my dog."
"Every time she saw a dog, it could be 100m away, she would go ballistic, barking, snarling really badly.
"She was saying 'Get out of my face'. She was really petrified of dogs."
But now the pocket rocket is one of New Zealand's top dogs.
She received the New Zealand senior grade agility champion title at last month's Cambridge Dog Obedience Club's championships.
"I was very excited and very proud. It's really unbelievable where she was and how far she's come compared to dogs who have been bred for agility," said Mrs Baxter.
The pair were probably made for each other.
Recalls Mrs Baxter: "She was just lying on her own bed (at the pound), sleeping. And I thought 'I like that'. For a small dog not to be yapping and barking with that going on. I called her and she just trotted over to me and licked my hand. I thought that was pretty cute."
In spite of her aggressiveness, Mrs Baxter never gave up on Trixie.
"I never thought 'Why did I take her on?' that never crossed my mind."
She began giving Trixie obedience training.
"I never even thought about training her in agility. It happened by accident. One day I was training Rocky and Trixie brought me a toy. She loves toys. So I picked it up and placed it behind a jump and she jumped over it to get the toy. I thought 'You're going to be easy to train'.
"The first five competitions [she was in] she won."
Trixie now competes about 20 weekends a year, throughout New Zealand.
To earn the agility champion title, Trixie had to get six certificates, called challenges, at senior grade.
Mrs Baxter said Trixie is one of only four small breed dogs that hold the title in the South Island.
But Trixie retains some of her old characteristics.
"I still don't trust her with other dogs. I have to keep an eye on her."