BEAUTY & BRAINS
Y es, Virginia, there are Shih Tzu competing in agility. Th ey exist as certainly as love and patience and devotion exist, and you know that the agility Shih Tzu are few and give to our agility trials its highest dimension, beauty and joy. Shih Tzu do compete in agility, and the numbers are slowly growing. Th ey compete in many venues and at many levels. Years ago I had just started competing with one of my Shih Tzu, “Cain”, and waiting to go to the starting line, an AKC World Team member told me that Shih Tzu can’t do agility, and I was wasting my time! Cain and I competed in AKC agil- ity, and he did very well. Th e bond one develops when training and compet- ing in agility is extreme as handler and dog becomes a well-oiled machine out on the course. Cain, while not extreme- ly fast, was extremely true, so I always knew exactly what he was going to do, and when he was going to do it. During the ‘walk thrus’ (where one walks and memorizes the course before competition begins) I must have looked like a music director directing ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ as I walked the course memorizing its twist and turns, my arms moving to where I wanted to have Cain go as only I knew he would. As we worked our way through the lev- els of AKC agility, I soon discovered that another agility venue, CPE Agility hadn’t had a Shih Tzu Agility Champion yet—I’m sure you can see where this story is going— yes. in July of 2010 Cain became the first Agility Champion Shih Tzu in CPE Agility. We also competed at their National com- petition two years in a row, and each year Cain earned High in Standard and 1st in Games in his height division. (And yes, we were the only Shih Tzu there.)
By Deborah Wheeler
Cain is retired from competing, and I’m soon to be competing with his grandchildren, CH HurriCAIN Shelter in the Nick of Th yme, “Tucker” and CH HurriCAIN’s Tornado Alley, “Tanya”. Oh, remember the AKC World Team member that told me I was wasting my time? One day Cain and I were at an agility trial (by now that was CH Beaukar’sTropical Hurricane CT-ATCH, NA, NAJ, AXP, AJP, NFP, TBAD, CGC, TDI) I made sure I went over and said a big “Hi!” to them as I memorized the same Excellent course (highest level in AKC) that they were memorizing to run their dog in. What is that saying about payback?
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