Top photo caption: AJ Juenemann and Woah Nelly in the field with Nelly leaping for a frisbee at the UFO World Cup Frisbee Dog Series
Alexander "AJ" Juenemann (CS'25) and his canine companions, Trip and Woah Nelly, competed in a world championship, the Ashley Whippet Invitational (AWI) World Finals, over Labor Day weekend. They will also be competing in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals on Sept. 29 and 30.
Nelly, a twice-rescued dog, originally came to Juenemann through a 90-day trial.
“The family fostering her told us they would drive her all the way to us just to see if we could take her," he said.
Despite her rough start, Juenemann says Woah Nelly is “an amazing dog capable of great things.”
"She might not be a perfect dog, but through her eyes, I see the world so differently," he said. This is also one of the reasons the computer science student said he loves his academic field, especially cybersecurity.
"Both with the dogs and in computer science, I love trying to do what no one else is thinking about," Junemann said.
His favorite part of the frisbee competitions is freestyle, a portion of the event set to music where dogs and humans move together in their own choreographed set of throws and catches.
Juenemann, who is now sponsored by Hero Disc USA, started throwing frisbees with his first dog, Trip, in high school. Back then, he could only dream about attending televised freestyle disc dog championships.
He says that his passion is only possible due to the support of his family and friends and his sponsorship. He flies to competitions between exams and homework assignments while his mother drives his dogs across the country to meet him there.
"She likes to joke that she was so excited to be done chauffeuring my sister and me to soccer when we were 16, only to have to start driving my dogs around," he said. She also, he adds, has a “best frisbee dog mom” shirt, which he thinks is hilarious.
On top of regional, national and global freestyle disc dog competitions, Jueneman is heavily involved in the CU Boulder community. He's a member of the Engineering Honors Program and has been an engineering fellow since sophomore year. He's also a member of the cybersecurity club on campus.
When asked how he stays motivated academically, he said he has help from his canine friends.
"When I go home on the weekends to see the dogs, I don't want them staring at me while I do homework,” he said. “I want to be out there with them, practicing."