Top Gun One ‘Maverick’
Tall, dark, handsome and FAST! Mavvy was my first Ferrari and my first teacher of agility done at world class speed. Many times I would finish a training sequence or trial run and have to ask if we did all the obstacles! Mav’s gifts were amazing physical ability and an almost fanatical desire to please. His biggest training challenge was also that nearly ‘too intense’ desire to please. Luckily poodles taught me how to communicate failures and successes in a light-hearted, non-pressurized way. Maverick could relax, take chances, learn faster, run happier. He taught me how to run with more intention, focus and determination. Together we made our first world teams! Maverick wasn’t my dog, but I always loved him as if he was.
Super Sweet ‘Sweet’
My very own first border collie was Sweetie. From the very first day I picked her up as a puppy she has always done things her way! She’s an incredibly efficient athlete but didn’t start training convinced she wanted to do all that WORK! Again, poodles saved the day. I knew a little about how to be creative. I learned how to make training something she felt was not only worth doing but actually fun. She is a real princess with uncanny good sense when it comes to picking friends. I trust her judgement! Sweet’s agility gifts are naturally beautiful jumping form, phenomenal turning ability and stride efficiency. Her challenges, especially in the beginning, are finding the training rewarding enough to give it her best efforts. She has taught me sometimes less really is more and together we earned our first national championship and medals overseas!
Fldstone Jack ‘Jack’
Herding dog gone bad! Jack came into my life to herd sheep, NOT to do agility! I loved his sire so I jumped at the chance to get Jack as a 4mos old pup. We started doing some agility training only because I wanted to try teaching another running dogwalk, had no plans to show! Jack lives and breathes to please and gives his best effort every single time. I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME. It is both amazing and humbling to me that a creature will try so hard no matter what. This is Jack’s gift, always giving his very best effort happily and eagerly. Jack’s challenge in training is that his body sometimes can’t give the same superstar effort his heart does. He is also a very literal boy, so will do exactly what I communicate. Challenging for us both as I sometimes don’t get that right! Jack would jump off a cliff if I asked him. And he would do it EVERY time I asked him. God bless him.
Ignited’s Bluebird ‘Bird’
Bird is the 26″ AKC National Champion for 2017 ! – This incredibly talented pup was supposed to be tall, tri colored and MALE! My first-ever experience having ‘pick’ of the litter, I put aside my plans when this little smooth blue merle girlie told me she was the one. And I have never, ever regretted it! Bird is the most physically gifted teammate I have had (yet!). She also has a brain that can think during high levels of arousal. She is amazingly smart, has a great sense of humor and loves everyone. Her personality is lovely both in the ring and in the house. Her biggest training challenge is me! I have to think faster and move slower. Bird is eager and keen to do anything I indicate, the trick is to do so in a useful, timely manner. She is the perfect mix of best friend, teacher and superb athlete. I am so glad she picked me!
5 Minute Phoebe ‘Peebs’ , ’Black Devil’, ‘Be Quiet!’
From rescue to rockstar, Phoebe was another one that didn’t start out as mine. Not convinced the whole ‘dog training’ thing was for her, I stepped in before she stepped out! Love Bug Extraordinaire, Peebs really didn’t understand why she shouldn’t just HAVE everything she wanted since her cuteness quotient is off the charts. She teaches me the lessons I need to learn, those of patience, perseverance and priorities. Her gift is keeping things in perspective. Finally trusting me enough to engage and get excited about activities we do together, this barky bitch has already won the gold medal in my mind. She actually WANTS to train now. Woohoo!! Her challenge is trust. And I am humbly grateful to be earning it.
Quicksilver TastyKake ‘TKake’
And then what I swore would never happen, did. I got a terrier! Ok, half a terrier, ha! TastyKake is ‘as sporty as they come’ sport mix and the party hasn’t stopped since she arrived. It is amazing to me so much fun can fit into such a small package! Smart, fast, happy, cute and just naughty enough to be a riot, TKake is teaching me the world of small dog awesomeness. She wants to be in, on and all over everything, all the time. Her gifts are an inquisitive nature with a ‘let me TRY it!’ attitude. She is as sweet as she can be and sleeps cuddled under my arm ever since she learned how to jump on the bed at night. Extremely quick, she has just started to ‘squeak’ on her 7 months birthday during training. I don’t know what her challenge is yet?? Hopefully not a handler too slow to keep up! Look out world, the Kake is coming!