Wednesday, October 12, 2011


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.

August and September

College has a way of eating up my time, especially when marching band is combined with Spanish homework. Getting five hours of sleep on a Tuesday night is a major accomplishment this semester.

Queezle and I have moved into our new apartment in Collegetown, along with three roommates. Queezle absolutely loves having four people on hand to feed and adore her, and has settled in well. For my part, I am enjoying the relatively level walk to classes as well as often having company on said walk (the 11 people in the upstairs portion of the house are also band people).

Tia collected some more Excellent Jumpers legs at the Cato trials mid-August, finishing up her MJP2 and getting started on the MJP3! The Bopper is like fine wine - she just keeps getting better with age. Queezle on the other hand was once again metaphorically for sale, so on the weekend we backed off and just did mini courses for each run. She's entered one day this coming weekend so we'll see what the state of our teamwork is after a couple weeks of very low-stress training (aka next to none).

Beyond that I don't think we've really done much of anything up until the Wine Country circuit the first weekend of October. Queezle doesn't have her hair back yet, so I was just showing other dogs in conformation. Belle the Vizsla went Best of Opposite on the first day for a three-point major, which puts her up to 7 points and one major! She didn't get anything the other three days, even though she showed really well in the super muddy ring on Sunday. Then I also showed Will the Sheltie puppy, who had a grand time and looked like a pro even though it was his first time showing. He didn't get any points, but it was good experience.

Queezle did get to lure course though! When she got out of the car and saw the stationary lures she knew exactly what we were doing. She ran well all three days rain or shine, and now has her Coursing Ability title!

Go dog, go!