Yesterday I said goodbye to my best and oldest friend, Flash. Ever since we picked her up from the breeder on Valentine's Day 1998, she was my partner in crime. She was a one of a kind dog, and I would not be the person or trainer that I am today without her.
Most of Flash and my exploits belonged on a bloopers reel - barking with a dumbbell in her mouth, barking so hard she fell off the pause table in agility, sailing over contacts, stealing food from kids sitting ringside, going belly-up on down stays, waving at the judge during conformation.
She was, after all, a super-attitudey Corgi paired with a seven year old kid. It's amazing we ever got anything right. But learn we did, and we soared:
- first junior handler team to earn a VCD1
- first junior handler team to earn an RAE (and with only one NQ in her entire rally career)
- Best Junior Handler at the 2007 PWCCA National Specialty
- competitor in Junior Showmanship at Westminster 2009
- 10th Pem to earn a CT, youngest handler to ever do so
There are hundreds of stories that I could tell about Flash. The time I ran into a tree while herding at the National, which ended up being Flash's best herding run ever (and I can't remember it!). The time she swam across a flooded creek to bring our sheep back to the barn. The story of her passing VST track (and the failed tracks along the way). Doing a musical freestyle routine to the Baby Elephant Walk. Marching in parades while pulling her little chariot all decked out with roses. Socializing with kids and adults of all ages. She was truly an awesome dog.
She retired from agility in October last year when she was starting to show signs of degenerative myelopathy, and since then has been in a steady decline. When she, the dog who did everything at top speed, was no longer able to move around on her own, we knew that it was time. Yesterday I went home and we sat together in the sun for a couple hours. I had her in my arms at the very end.
CT Culdi's Hearts On Fire VCD1 RAE HSAs NAP OJP OFP "Flash", November 30, 1997 - October 11, 2011. The best dog there ever was and ever will be.