Club Profile

Dee Dee Anderson
Club & School Field Editor

Please note!  Dee Dee is supporting our sport with new club and school features that will soon be published in F&F.  Let us know if you'd like your organization included!  We are offering complimentary "year round" advertising, discounted subscription rates, and some other nice benefits for those willing to participate.  Beyond Dee Dee's desire to support those that support our sport, she has written some outstanding features that you can see below.

  • Saturday, July 01, 2017 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Dee Dee Anderson

    The Fox Valley Dog Training Club, Inc. (FVDTC) is located in St. Charles, IL. This club is among the top 25 clubs in the country in terms of the number of dog entries they receive for their Obedience trials.   After reading about this club, you’ll get an understanding about why they do so well.  

    The club was founded in 1948 by four people who wanted to start a training group.  The club now has 155 members.  Since 1968, classes are held nearly every Thursday evening at the Kane County Fairground in St. Charles, IL., where the club rents  a building for classes and trials. The club offers a wide variety of classes:  Puppy (8 weeks to  5 months old), Advanced Puppy (for the dogs that have completed the “Puppy” class), Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice Ring Ready, Open, Utility, Conformation and Rally (beginner thru advanced).  The club also offers a number of four-week-long seminar classes for a variety of topics such as tricks, intro to rally through advanced rally, CGC and therapy dog training.  The club is always looking for new classes that will appeal to their membership and can be added.  They also hold an annual ten-week-long class for the local 4-H students that concludes with a special show just for them.  Club members volunteer to teach the classes that are open to club members and non-members can come as a guest.   They encourage people to become members after taking a puppy or beginner classes or coming eight times as a guest. The club is lucky to have veterinary hospitals recommend them which helps bring in new people. 

     Club President Wendy and Volunteer Trainer David

    Other club events include correction clinics held once a month, health clinics, eye clinics and chiropractic clinics, an annual Christmas Party pot luck dinner with dog games and the ability to take pictures with Santa, and an annual members’ dinner.  The annual dinner features many special awards, such as the “Volunteer of the Year” Award which is voted on by the members. Club members nominate fellow club members who they feel consistently contributes to the club.  The ballot is made available to all club members who vote for person who:

    • Consistently contributes to the club.
    • Frequently goes above and beyond the call of duty

    ~ Pat Senne ~
    Awarded the Sally Compton Award
    The club also has the SALLY COMPTON OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD which began in 1995, to acknowledge Sally Compton and her many, many years of service to the club which epitomized the true spirit of volunteerism.  As Sally herself said in her thank-you note: “I hope that the future recipients of this award will feel honored to be noticed not only for the duties required but those “extras” that make newcomers welcome, and that are necessary for the well-being of the club.”

    There also is a comical “Boner” award which is bestowed on that special member who did something that they hope people will never remember!  The club also offers very nice awards for members who have earned new titles with their dogs.  And for members who have not earned any new titles, they can still earn a “Volunteer” award if they have performed enough volunteer hours to earn the award.

    The club does volunteer work outside their training grounds.   This includes doing demos for schools, nursing homes and public education events. They also work with rescue dogs to help socialize them and teach basic obedience.

    The FVDTC holds Obedience, Rally, Agility, and Tracking trials each year. Obedience and Rally trials are held indoors in November. The club typically sets up five rings with five judges so they can run through all the entries they have in a timely manner, as well as to offer just about every obedience class they can. For Rally, they also offer Team and Veterans rally classes and soon will offer the Intermediate and Master classes in November. (Side note: it has come to my attention that some clubs that offer Rally will not offer the Master class; I hope these clubs will reconsider this decision in the future. If this class is not offered then it will be very hard for those people wanting to earn the RACH to earn the title.  I could see entries lower for those clubs not offering the class and better entries for those that do offer the class. Glad to see FVDTC offering the class.)

    When reading about this club, it became apparent to me that the members work hard to have an atmosphere that is welcoming and inviting.  They are there to make you feel like you’re a part of their club thanks to their outgoing and friendly personalities. 

    They offer unique features at their trials, such as having a “selfie” photography area with a professional back drop for people to take pictures of their dogs with the ribbons they have received, or just to capture memories. The club also offers very nice ribbons for placements and rosettes to everyone finishing a title. They even have a rosette for finishing an OTCH and will add a rosette to anyone finishing an RACH starting next year, along with other special awards. Gift bags are given to all first-time Novice handlers.  The club arranges to have vendors available as well as to offer food/beverages for sale. They have a raffle with lots of gift baskets and specialty items. Club members help out at the trials and if more help is needed, other clubs in the area jump into help. To encourage entries, the club uses social media and constantly advertises at their training grounds and website

    There’s no question this club enjoys a lot of “repeat” exhibitors to their events and trials because of the great experiences the exhibitors have had with them in the past.

    The FVDTC is fortunate to have many great members who contribute to help the club be so successful.  One FVDTC member that the club would like to feature is Brenda Rivera. Brenda has been a club member since the early 1980’s. She started training at FVDTC with a Shetland Sheepdog named Tamp. She entered trials with him and started winning.  Brenda said, “By nature, I’m not a competitive person. But once I started to win, I guess you can say I was bitten by the bug.”  She then got a second Shetland Sheepdog, but found that this dog had a more stubborn streak and wasn’t as interested in obedience.    
     Brenda Rivera

    Brenda was thinking about working with a different breed.  At the time, she was helping teach an obedience class at FVDTC, and when the trainer (who had Chad, a Border Collie), said maybe Brenda would be interested in working with Chad.  Brenda was looking for a breed that had more energy, drive and heart for obedience.  So, she worked with Chad and fell in love with the Border Collie breed. 

    When Brenda talks about the one special dog in her life that she describes as her “Heart” dog, it is OTCH Wildfire Pilot’s License to Fly UDX.  Brenda and Pilot were a great team. Brenda said she showed him every weekend, often driving up to eight hours away for a show. When it came time for training, Pilot would work for 3 or 4 hours and still have the energy to keep going – that dog loved training so much.  Pilot was the #1 ranked all-breed dog in Obedience in the 2008 Delaney system. In 2009, he won HIT and HC at the BCSA National.   In 2010, Pilot was awarded the Purina ProPlan Top Obedience dog after competing in more than 100 shows.  In the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, he was ranked the AKC Obedience Trial Dog of the Year.  Sadly, Pilot suddenly passed away at the tender age of 8 years.  Brenda said she was overwhelmed by the outreach of condolences from all over the country. She said, “I didn’t realize how much Pilot impacted people in the obedience world.” Currently Brenda has two Border Collies:  Blast, and Mickey.  Blast’s breeder wanted Blast to be shown in conformation but didn’t have the time. So Brenda said she would give it a shot. She had never shown in conformation and didn’t know much about it.  At their first show, Blast got a 3-point major. Brenda was shocked that he got any points. She thought she and Blast had done terribly.  Someone had to tell her, “Hey, I think you just got points.”  

     Sally Read and Raspy taking a break.

    Brenda’s current passion is nose work. She wanted to try something new and has been training in nose work for the past 4 years. She says her dogs love it. Brenda helps run the Rally classes at FVDTC . When asked why she has been with FVDTC for so long, she said, “Well it’s close to home. But I love the atmosphere, and the people. It’s home to me.”  Brenda has been an inspiration for many people at the club. She shines when she is training her dogs. 

  • Thursday, June 01, 2017 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Dee Dee Anderson

    The club started with 4 members: Jill Faulmann, Danielle Silverstein, Joeanne Butler and Betty Batchelder. Jill and Danielle moved from California (where Jill was a Lifetime member of the Deep Peninsula Dog Training Club) to Oregon in 1989.  They met Joeanne at a fun match.  Jill was showing a Miniature Schnauzer in Utility and Joeanne noticed her immediately because Joeanne has Miniature Schnauzers too.  And she knew most of the people in the area with Miniature Schnauzers.  She’d never seen Jill before so Joeanne introduced herself to Jill and then met Danielle.  The three became friends – and then Joeanne (who was friends with Betty) introduced Jill and Danielle to Betty.  The four had a common interest – all of them had Miniature Schnauzers.  Jill and Danielle also had Rottweilers.  In the 1990s, the four competed on obedience teams with their Miniature Schnauzers.  And they started to dream about their “dream dog club”.  Joeanne still has Miniature Schnauzers, Jill and Danielle now have French Bulldogs, Australian Terriers and a Border Collie and Betty has moved to Florida. 

    Their small club has now grown to 210 members and they actively recruit and welcome new members. Within the SDTC membership, there are 12 AKC judges – qualified to judge Obedience, Rally, Conformation, Tracking and Herding.  But to the membership, a Novice A person is just as valued a member as someone with multiple OTCHs.  

    Sherwood DTC

    Their Mission Statement is:

    “Our purpose is to conduct companion dog events in accordance with The American Kennel Club rules and regulations, while creating an atmosphere of fun for competitors and their dogs. We will strive to provide more opportunities for owners to trial and train their dogs and promote the sport of obedience in our state. We will also make every effort to encourage and mentor new people to the sport.” 

    The SDTC held its first Obedience and Rally Trial in 2010 as a one-day outdoor event.  Leading up to this first trial, they had sponsored several fun matches, raffles and fund-raising events which allowed them to purchase enough baby gates for four rings. Club members (which numbered 50 or so at the time) loaned tables, canopies, and other items needed at a trial, plus they offered the most valuable contribution – volunteering their time -- to pull the event off successfully.  

    From their very first one-day trial in 2010 to their current annual 3-day trial, they have kept their goals the same:  to put on the best trials that everyone would want to come to.

    The weather in Oregon can be quite unpredictable so the club moved their large spring trials to the county fairgrounds where they had a huge covered horse arena.  The club arranged for the fairgrounds crew to “pack” the arena floor to produce a more even footing surface.  The club set up 4 rings -- one Rally and three Obedience Rings -- and they drew about 600 entries for the 3 days. To this day, exhibitors come to enjoy a great trial experience while also seeing old friends (both human and canine) and meeting new ones. 

    Here are some tips to why their Trials are so successful:

    • The club sets a high priority on providing hospitality to exhibitors.  For Sherwood Dog Training Club based in Sherwood, Oregon, is a relatively “young” AKC obedience club compared to most others. They were licensed by the AKC in 2008 and held their first AKC Obedience and Rally Trials in 2010. This club must be doing something right because the 3 Obedience Trials they hold annually are among the top 25 in the country in terms of the number of entries they receive. 
    • They provide lunch for all the judges and workers in a separate heated building – to provide a special place to rest, regroup and visit.   
    • All entrants receive a free “exhibitor bag” that has dog toys, hand warmers, people treats, a roll of poop bags and more.
    • Exhibitors get free catalogs and free day parking, plus RV parking is available.
    • The club makes sure that the trial rooms provide ample space for crate set-up as well as plenty of space to warm up dogs. Plus there are many areas outside to walk and air your dogs.  
    • Stewards all wear green vests and easy to see.
    • The club’s awards are unique:  For 1st Place, there are embroidered towels.  For the top awards, they offer “Roses” made out of money!  
    • The club offers High In Trial and High Combined for both Regular and Preferred Classes, plus a High Combined for Rally, and a High In Trial for Optional Titling classes.  Additionally, there are special awards for High Scoring dogs from the Regular classes for the 7 AKC Groups plus ILP/PAL as well as All American dogs. The club also gives a special award for anyone that completes their OTCH at the trial. 
    • The club has an online entry system that does NOT assess extra charges to enter. The Trial Secretary confirms when an entry is received and then again after closing with armband numbers, schedules, and event information. 
    • The club also always tries to get at least 2 of the 4 judges from “out of town” to provide judging diversity.  

    Up until last year, the club also offered a 2-day Obedience Trial in October and a 2-day Rally Trial in December. These small, fun trials were held in their own training facility. Unfortunately, the club lost the lease on their training building last year due to the building owners expanding their own business at the site.  Right now, the club is aggressively looking for another suitable “replacement” location so that they can continue to offer lessons, member training time, matches, seminars and small fun trials.

    The guiding membership of the SDTC club is always looking to move forward – and they have recently been approved to host the new “Scent Work” trials. They have also submitted paperwork to the AKC in hopes that they will be able to offer Tracking Tests in the future. 

  • Monday, May 01, 2017 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Dee Dee Anderson

    The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) is the number one club in the country in terms of the number dogs entered in their National specialty (the GRCA is a breed club with only Golden Retrievers entered in Obedience). There were 352 dogs entered in 2014 and 284 dogs in 2015. Both years, the class entries totaled around 800 (with dogs competing in multiple classes)! As a breed club, the GRCA doesn’t have a training building and they don’t offer training classes.  But they go to great lengths to support the breed. 

     For example, the GRCA National Specialty moves all over the country from year to year so that all Golden Retriever owners can experience a National Specialty at some point.  I do think that is one of the reasons the Specialty does so well, and of course there are a lot of Golden Retrievers out there. The GRCA also offers a Triathlon Award at the Specialty -- where you must show in or receive a placement in a Conformation class, a Performance event and a Field event.  All these classes are offered during the National Specialty week.  Breed clubs also tend to offer a number of non-regular classes like team events.  In 2016, the GRCA National Specialty offered 3 team competitions:  one in Obedience and two in Rally.  It is my experience that even though people entering these events are still competitive and want to win, there is a huge fun factor and lots of camaraderie between competitors and the audience.  Plus, you get a chance to win some National trophies!  

    Taken from the GRCA website with permission:
    The Golden Retriever Club of America is one of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC’s) largest national breed clubs, full of talented members working to steward the well-being of our dogs. Over 4,000 voting members, 61 local member clubs, and members in many countries come together to support the Golden Retriever Foundation and over 100 rescue club affiliates – groups that each year, rescue and rehome 10,000 to 12,000 displaced Goldens into “forever homes.” As an important AKC parent club, our committed membership base has significant influence to shape the policies affecting our interests and breed.

    GRCA is the primary guardian of the Golden Retriever breed. Members determine the breed standard, code of ethics and performance standards. No other organization’s members care more about the Golden Retriever, or try harder to protect and improve the breed in America. GRCA is committed to providing education to help pet owners obtain and care for healthy Goldens from reputable breeders.

    Education is an important member benefit. Members receive the bi-monthly Golden Retriever News, a large, informative, coffee-table-quality magazine filled with educational articles about canine health and research; canine structure and movement; breeding; training for obedience, field, and agility; and articles about our history, news from local Golden clubs around the country, and news and photos of recent member and dog accomplishments.

    As a GRCA member, you’ll have opportunities to support veterinary health research, Golden Retriever rescue operations and to provide education on responsible dog ownership via The Golden Retriever Foundation.

    Equally rewarding, as an active member, you’ll join a community – with a chance to be involved and develop friendships through volunteer opportunities – all aimed at improving the organization and the breed. Join a community that shares the Golden Retriever Passion!

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    There are some great new promotional opportunities that Front & Finish is offering to Clubs to help support our dog sports and provide more information to our readers.  Some clubs are facing a lot of challenges these days, from trying to keep interest in the sport in their area or encouraging more entries in their trials (as so many of them are seeing entries decline).  Other clubs seem to have a handle on these challenges and are thriving.  This is especially important for their survival.  When you look at a dog show calendar and see how many activities are available on any given weekend – it becomes important to channel traffic to your club’s seminars and shows in order to stay vital.  The best way to do this is to communicate and publicize all the good things about your club and its members.

    For me personally, I have done quite a bit of traveling -- showing my dogs and also judging. I enjoy being on the road with my dogs and meeting new people along the way.  It would be nice to be able to look up clubs in different areas of the country to see what kind of conditions the trials might be held under. Are there any training opportunities available before the trials? Can I contact someone for the best places to stay?  I’m sure this must be true for other competitors and judges.  The easier it is to find out this information – the more likely it is that people will be attracted to a club’s activities.  Plus, seeing what other clubs are doing and how they are staying vital would be a great way to share information and learn from each other.

  • Saturday, August 01, 2015 12:30 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written By Dee Dee Anderson

    The AKC held its second Rally National Championship on March 13, 2015 at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO.  What is the Rally National Championship and how do you qualify for it? The Rally National Championship (RNC) is held once a year and it is my understanding that it will move to various sites around the country.  It is held in conjunction with the National Obedience Championship (NOC).  The current format is that the RNC is held on a Friday and the NOC is held on Saturday and Sunday of that weekend.  The RNC offers four different classes of competition which are all held on the same day. A dog may compete only in one class and must have qualified for that class in the preceding calendar year.  If a dog has qualified in more than one class, the dog must be entered at the highest class in which it qualified.  The four classes are:   Rally Novice (RN), Rally Advanced (RA), Rally Excellent (RE) and Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE).  It is from the RAE class where the champion is crowned and earns the right to add “RNC” in front of the dog’s registered name.  

    To qualify in Novice, Advanced and Excellent, you must earn the confirmed title for that class with 3 scores of 90 or higher (100 is a perfect score in Rally) during the qualifying period (December 1st – November 30th).  For the RAE class, you must earn the RAE title any time before the end of the qualifying period.  In addition, you must have earned five double-qualifying scores from Rally Advanced B and Rally Excellent B, plus three scores of 95 or higher during the qualifying period.

     In Novice, Advanced and Excellent, each team was required to compete in 2 rings for a possible score of 200 from the two rings. In the RAE class, each team was required to compete in 4 rings for a possible score of 400.  The four RAE rings consisted of two “Advanced” courses and two “Excellent” courses.  All Rally runs are timed so that in the event of ties, the team with the faster time wins.

    At the RNC event, each team was assigned to a specific group and dogs and handlers stayed with that group throughout the competition as you rotated through the rings. There were start times posted for each ring and class which was very helpful – since you knew in advance when and where you needed to be so hopefully you wouldn’t miss your walk through.  For those of us who had more than one dog entered, the AKC staff did a great job in doing everything they could to avoid conflicts, but of course, there were still challenges.  I definitely want to emphasize that you do NOT want to miss your walk through, no matter what!  For me personally, I had two dogs entered -- one at the Novice level and one at the RAE level and I did end up with two conflicts when it came to either walking the course or running my dog. It is my observation that the judges at the RNC were simply terrific, and bent over backwards to accommodate requests so that everyone got the best chance to compete fairly.  

    I wasn’t the only exhibitor showing more than one dog, I did place in the top 10 with both my dogs in their classes. Tracy Hendrickson showed four dogs: two in the Advanced class and two in the Excellent class, all four placed in the top 10 of their classes!  Kelsey Corn showed three dogs in the Novice class and all three placed in the top 10! Kelsey missed out on the group picture as she was receiving her ribbons for her other two dog.

    For me, I was worn out showing two dogs.  I have no idea how handlers were able to show 3 and 4 dogs and manage the conflicts and ring choreography!  I salute them!

    At the RNC, the judges were:

    • Richard  DiMarco
    • Nancy Grimm
    • Cheryl Pratt
    • Sharon Redmer
    • Dr. Pamela Regan
    • Julie Rembrandt Seeley
    • Barb Wedekind Selton

    For 2015 RNC, 1600+ dogs qualified for the Novice level with 80 competing. 700+ dogs qualified for the Advanced level with 70 competing.  450+ dogs qualified for the Excellent level with 52 competing and 250 qualified for the RAE level with 115 competing.  The AKC awarded ten placements in each of the four classes.

    Pix’n Pages took over 30,000 photos of the RNC and NOC. Providing the group, winning and some action shots for this article. 


    Rite Of Honor Vom Kraftwerk BN RN
    Owner: Luann Vuckson

    Honor is just getting started in rally and obedience competition, earning his RN and BN titles in the fall of 2014.  I entered him in the novice class at the 2015 RNC as a learning opportunity for us both.  For me, it was my first tournament competition.  For Honor, it was a great opportunity to compete in a large venue early in his performance career.  

    Our experience at the 2015 RNC was such a thrill!  He gave me 110% focus and effort throughout both rounds of competition that day.  In the first round, he entered the ring with intense focus and maintained it throughout the entire course.  It felt awesome, and I was so excited to learn he had earned a perfect score!  Our second round was in the afternoon.  Again, he gave me excellent focus throughout the course and I felt we had another great run.  I could hardly believe it when I found out he had another perfect score!  Why was this so hard to believe?  Because prior to the RNC, he had not yet earned a perfect score in rally.  I had not even considered the possibility that Honor would win his class at this event!  I am so proud of his performances that day.  The teamwork and precision he demonstrated that day was exceptional – he far exceeded my expectations.  I am so thankful to have this amazing dog in my life, and for all he has and will continue to teach me as we continue on this journey of training and competition.          

    Complete results can be found here:

    Note: placement score/time to complete all courses

    Rally Novice Results

    1st Place - 200.0/163.8 Rite Of Honor Vom Kraftwerk BN RN (German Shepherd Dog) Owners: Luann Vuckson Handler: Luann Vuckson
    2nd Place - 199.0/177.5 Sunfire's Md Cotton Thunderbird CD BN RN (Labrador Retriever) Owners: Anita Eisthen/Robert Eisthen Handler: Anita Eisthen
    3rd Place - 198.0/142.1 Mirasol Westmarch Beeyond This Momint BN RN CGC (Golden Retriever) Owners: Paula B. Ellis/Judy Super Handler: Paula B. Ellis
    4th Place - 197.0/160.6 Roughstock Chillin' It At Checkitout CD RN (Border Collie) Owners: Kelsey Corn Handler: Kelsey Corn
    5th Place - 196.0/159.4  DD's Dancing In The Moonlight RN TDX (Golden Retriever) Owners: Dee Dee Anderson/Billy Anderson Handler: Dee Dee Anderson
    6th Place – 196.0/172.4 Checkitout Dirt Road Reckoning RN (Papillon) Owners: Kelsey A. Corn/Karyn L. Corn Handler: Kelsey A. Corn
    7th Place – Place - 196.0/186.7 OTCH PACH Himark's Gracey Chasing Abbie's Dream UDX4 OM7 BN PCD GN GO VER RN AX AXJ MXP4 MXPB MJP5 MJPS PAX NF CGC (Shetland Sheepdog) Owners: Leigh Anne Baughey Handler: Leigh Anne Baughey
    8th Place – 195.0/167.8  Polesitter's Walk This Way BN RN NA NAJ (English Springer Spaniel) Owners: Emily Falterman/Mike Bockhorn Handler: Emily Falterman
    9th Place - 195.0/184.9  CH Rockcreek Ewe Make Me Itch CDX RN (Border Collie) Owners: Kelsey Corn/Bradley Corn Handler: Kelsey Corn
    10th Place - 194.0/151.9 Goldenvintagetapestry Shamrocknroll RN CGC (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) Owners: Kathleen M. Galotti/Kimmie Galotti Handler: Kathleen M. Galotti

    First Place Rally Advanced

    Sunchase's Simply Lightning Strikes Twice UDX RA MX MXJ NF CA CGCA
    Owner: Tracy Hendrickson & Rhoda Brouillette

    Ravynne is a multiple all breed High In Trial obedience Boxer. She is a true all around working dog with advanced agility, herding, lure coursing and rally obedience titles.  This past March, she competed in the AKC Rally Nationals and won the Advanced class.  In the 2014 RNC, competing in Novice, she earned 2 perfect scores, tied for first, but placed 3rd on time.  This year she was American Boxer Club National’s High Combined winner in Rally and Top Obedience Boxer of the Year.   As a "blood donor hero", she has saved many fellow canine’s lives, including Garth Brooks dog during an emergency surgery. She leads the pack as a 6th generation Sunchase Boxer’s team member, and has always been ranked in the top competing obedience Boxers.

    Rally Advanced Results

    1st Place - 199.0/196.7  Sunchase's Simply Lightning Strikes Twice UDX RA MX MXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Brouillette Handler:
    2nd Place -  198.0/186.8 Scocars An Olympic Story RA (Rottweiler) Owners: Carmen Hurley/Scott Hurley Handler: Carmen Hurley
    3rd Place - 197.0/199.3 Emerald Wolf Ava Crowder BN RA (All American Dog) Owners: Brenda Lynn Wendt Handler: Brenda Wendt
    4th Place - 197.0/200.2 OTCH MACH Becksgold Jumping For Joy VCD2 UDX4 OM7 RA MXS MJS (Golden Retriever) Owners: Lynn K. Bauer Handler: Lynn K. Bauer
    5th Place - 196.0/181.7 Jusdandy Diamonds And Denim UD RE HSAds HIAd AX AXJ OF (Shetland Sheepdog) Owners: Janice A Miller/Michael G Miller Handler: Janice A Miller
    6th Place - 196.0/211.8 Sunchase's Simply Can Can Can Can UD RA AX AXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Brouilette Handler: Tracy Hendrickson
    7th Place - 195.0/171.7 Sugarland's Pretty Little Souped Up 4wd CD RA (Border Collie) Owners: Rochelle Fugate Handler: Rochelle Fugate
    8th  Place - 194.0/220.9 Gann's Shamus RE (Border Collie) Owners: Rick Gann/Suzie Gann Handler: Suzie Gann
     9th Place - 194.0/239.2  Sundridge's Silver Bullet CD BN RA (Greyhound) Owners: Barbara Redecker Handler: Barbara Redecker
    10th Place - 192.0/189.0  Rhumbline's Count Zorro Seal The Deal CD BN RA (Labrador Retriever) 10th 189.0 Owners: Robert Fullum Handler: Robert Fullum

    First Place Rally Excellent

    Duq'wood's Brand New Start BN GO RE NJP
    Gail Brown

    Brandy came to me as a unwanted 7 mo. old Belgian Tervuren puppy through Belgian Tervuren Rescue to my house, not even having a name that she recognized much less anything that resembled socialization or training.  But there was something about her that just shouted potential and I was eager to try to find & develop it.  

    Rally is a great place to start & she took to it easily…moving quickly through the levels till she finished the RE.  Because she had multiple 100 pt. scores, a friend suggested (dared me) that I enter the 2015 Rally Nationals.  So, at the last minute, I did just that.

    I knew that Brandy knew her job and my biggest fear was that I might let her down by making a "stupid" handler error.  The hardest thing for me on the day of the competition, was not letting her realize that I was really a nervous wreck.  I must have hidden it well enough since we ended up winning the Excellent class with 199 pts out of 200 pts.  Although everyone kept telling me that I had won, I didn't really believe it until my name was actually called during the presentation...THEN it was real.   What a thrill.

    Rally Excellent Results

    1st Place - 199.0/187.8  Duq'wood's Brand New Start BN GO RE NJP (Belgian Tervuren) Owners: Gail Brown Handler: Gail Brown
    2nd Place  - 198.0/200.2 CH Overo Chamber Of Secrets CDX BN RE PT MX AXJ AXP AJP XF (Pembroke Welsh Crgi) Owners: Laura Gummelt/Jaime Bragg Handler: Laura Gummelt
    3rd Place - 197.0/165.3 CH Docmar Watch For Fowl Weather CDX RE JH (Golden Retriever) Owners: Marsha Fuzia/Jane Docter Handler: Marsha Fuzia
    4th Place - 197.0/177.8  Mcmatt's I Spy 4u @ Graffiti CD RE HSAds OA AXJ NF (Australian Shepherd) Owners: Diane L Bettis/Mark H Bettis Handler: Diane L Bettis
    5th Place - 197.0/186.3  Sunchases Running The Red UD BN RE AX AXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Goselin-Brouillette Handler: Tracy Hendrickson
    6th Place - 195.0/199.5  Sunchases Little Pink Ribbon CDX BN RE AX AXJ NF CA CGCA (Boxer) Owners: Tracy Hendrickson/Rhoda Goselin-Brouillette Handler: Tracy Hendrickson
    7th Place - 195.0/200.4  Sparky's Hot Dogs & Bean BN PCD RE AX AXJ (Dalmatian) Owners: Diane Sparks Handler: Diane Sparks
    8th Place - 194.0/181.7  Renejade Velocity Vendetta RE MX MXJ XF (Doberman Pinscher) Owners: Mary Swindell/James Swindell Handler: Mary Swindell
    9th Place - 192.0/186.8  RINGEAUX AROUND THE BAYOU RE CGCA (English Springer Spaniel) Owners: Robert M. Carver Handler: Robert M. Carver
    10th Place - 191.0/194.8  Treesong's Moonlit Serenade RE (Australian Shepherd) Owners: Cathy Haverdink Handler: Cathy Haverdink

    Rally Advanced Excellent Results

    1st  Place -  400.0/323.7 OTCH DD's Slice Of Pie VCD3 UDX2 OM5 RAE TDX JH AJP NFP (Golden Retriever) Owners: Dee Dee Anderson/Billy Anderson Handler: Dee Dee Anderson
    2nd Place -  398.0/366.8  CH Brackenhill Priori Incantatem UDX2 OM3 GN RAE PT AX AXJ XF (Border Collie) Owners: Linda S Brennan Handler: Linda S Brennan
    3rd Place  - 398.0/368.8 Gaylan's Earth, Wind And Fire UD GN RAE SH (Golden Retriever) Owners: Laura Higdon Handler: Laura Higdon
    4th Place - 398.0/402.3 Blue Heavens Moonlight Ramble UD RAE MX MXB MXJ MJB (Shetland Sheepdog) Owners: Carolyn S Blasingame/Nancy A Curtis Handler: Nancy A Curtis
    5th Place -  397.0/342.7 OTCH Clitheroe R Commander N Chief UDX5 OM7 VER RAE16 (Golden Retriever) Owners: Charles P. MacMillan/Joan M MacMillan Handler: Charles P. MacMillan
     6th Place - 397.0/373.8  Medendorps Hoodoo By Barribeau CD RAE NA OAJ NF CAA (All American Dog) Owners: Billie Medendorp Handler: Billie Medendorp
    7th Place - 397.0/394.7  RNC Hamilton's Mystic Lord Of The Dance CD BN GN PCDX RAE4 AX AXJ NAP MXF CGCA (Border Collie) Owners: Lucy McCloskey Handler: Lucy McCloskey
    8th Place - 396.0/378.6 Sly Z Eurosportu CD BN PCDX RAE3 AX AXJ OF (German Shepherd Dog) Owners: Kimberly Thomas Handler: Kimberly Thomas
    9th Place - 396.0/383.7 Cosada's Gambling Man CDX BN GN GO RAE (Border Collie) Owners: Darrell Cormier/Sandy Cormier Handler: Darrell Cormier
    10th Place - 395.0/338.9 GCH CH OTCH Holther's Racin' Bye Ewe OM1 BN RAE PT OA OAJ (Border Collie) Owners: Lara Avery Handler: Lara Avery

    Continued ~ Please See The Road to the Rally National Championship ~ Sliver’s Story

    To view more articles please visit our Members Page!

  • Saturday, August 01, 2015 12:00 AM | Front & Finish (Administrator)

    Written by Dee Dee Anderson

    RNC OTCH DD's Slice Of Pie 

    Owners: Dee Dee & Billy Anderson

    As Sliver’s proud owner and partner I never thought this would have ever been possible for this little Golden to win the title of RNC.  To say I have been on an adventure with my little Sliver – a singleton pup that was not supposed to live, let alone walk -- is an understatement.  But with the nurturing of her dam Dream – and the care and attention from many other people -- she would not only live and walk, but she would thrive and eventually enter the exciting world of competition Obedience & Rally.  

    Sliver’s story – and life challenge -- began during delivery.  When she was born, her right rear leg was black and swollen to twice the size of her left leg. She had no use of the injured leg and when she tried to crawl, it put such a strain on her left leg that she suffered ligament damage to that leg. By the time she was two weeks old, Sliver had no use of either hind leg.  Otherwise, she was a happy and curious puppy trying to investigate the world.  She would drag herself around using just her front legs. This only lasted a few days as Sliver developed swimmers pup syndrome because she couldn’t move around normally. Sliver’s rib cage had collapsed to the thinness of my hand. It was interesting that in the days before Sliver stopped moving around, Dream kept rolling Sliver over onto her back. Sliver would lay there kicking her front legs in the air. I would roll her back onto her stomach because I felt sorry that she could not roll over by herself. Much later I would learn that Dream had been doing the right thing – trying to keep Sliver’s weight off her chest. Here I was, with a two-week-old puppy that couldn’t move.  Many well-meaning vets said I should put her down, and I considered it every day in the first four weeks. But to take Dream’s only puppy away would be very hard for me to do.

    Before I gave up, I took Sliver to see another vet – but this time we headed to an orthopedic vet (Dr. Brown).  I can still see Dr. Brown holding this two-week-old puppy in the air.  Sliver was so young, her eyes were just opening. He explained how you could not do an x-ray on such a young pup and that it would be a waiting game to see if Sliver could survive and walk. But his exact words to me were “I would not give up on her yet.” 

    Since we had to wait for Sliver to get a little older before she could be x-rayed and treated, Dr. Brown gave me some physical therapy exercises to do with Sliver.  The exercises he recommended were to help Sliver overcome the swimmers pup syndrome and to keep blood flowing to her rear legs. Dr. Brown encouraged me to do the exercises with her throughout the day for a total of two hours – but if I could do more, so much the better.  This was Dream’s only puppy and all my focus was to help Sliver as much as possible. So I did the exercises with Sliver for six hours a day, every day for two weeks. Dream had naturally been doing the right thing by rolling Sliver onto her back from the very beginning. Dr. Brown said Sliver needed to lie only on her sides or back and I should not to let her lay on her stomach. Sliver spent a lot of time on my chest while I lay on the floor and did her therapy exercises. Dream smothered Sliver with love, and with her help, we taught Sliver how to walk. 

    Sliver would take her first step at four weeks old and at that time, it became apparent her damaged leg was growing crooked.  We went back to Dr. Brown and while I was worried about her crooked leg, Dr. Brown was beaming when he saw her.  He said, “You did it! You taught her how to walk!” 

    He carried Sliver around the office, stopping to show everyone how well she could walk. He then told me there was nothing else he could do until her growth plates stopped growing, which happens at about 8 months old. Until then, Sliver would only be allowed to walk on a leash or swim or track. It was so painful to watch her walk; it looked like her leg would break at any moment. When Sliver was 6-months old, I couldn’t stand it anymore and took her back to Dr. Brown to see if we could accelerate a treatment plan for her.  He took x-rays and said the good news was that she had stopped growing.  The bad news was that her right leg was so crooked, it was ¾” shorter than her left leg. He recommended surgery right away. He hoped he could straighten her leg at the point of the growth plate damage, and after recovery, that both her legs would be the same length. He was a bit concerned that such a young pup might not be able to tolerate the surgery and rehabilitation. 

    Dr. Brown’s plan was to cut the bone, straighten the leg, and insert a plate to hold the leg straight while it healed. He thought he might have to take bone from her hip if the leg was not long enough.  Lucky for Sliver – he didn’t have to do that. I just wanted Sliver to be able to run and play like a normal puppy.  But Dr. Brown said, “No, you don’t; you want her to be perfect. I will do my best to make her perfect so you can do any sport you want with her. But you will need to do a lot of work with her afterwards.”

    That meant eight weeks of restricting her movement -- not letting her walk, swim or track – and that was so hard on my 6-month-old puppy who wanted to be up and about. But Sliver and I would learn many tricks that you can play on the ground without a lot of movement.  The bad news is she learned that the best place to be was on top of me, biting my feet!  Sliver’s cast covered her whole leg, and it had to be changed twice a week because it kept shifting and turning and causing irritation to her foot.  We did so well following the instructions to keep her off her leg that at 6 weeks after surgery, Dr. Brown said we could take the cast off.  I was a nervous wreck and wanted to keep it on longer. But Dr. Brown assured me that her leg was healed and it was time for months of physical therapy. 

    After all the months of attention and playtime restricted to whatever I could do in a small area -- often in my lap – it was clear Sliver was, and is today, very attached to me, and I admit that she does have some separation anxiety when we are apart.  But what did I expect?  She was not supposed to live – and as a singleton pup, I became her littermate! Well, at least I believe that is what she thinks. As my husband says, “Dream loved you, but Sliver cannot live without you!” 

    I never expected I would be able to show Sliver in any event, but Dr. Brown said she would be able to run and play like a normal dog. To watch my 10-month old pup run for the first time was priceless!  Sliver had the time of her life when she was allowed out on the grass and free to play. Tracking would be physical therapy for her body and mind -- and for my mind too.  It didn’t take long for Sliver to earn her TD & TDX which seemed to come naturally and easily for her.  For obedience, we took our time as her leg needed to gain strength and of course, it is the right rear leg. That leg sticks out because of her surgery, and when Sliver sits, it makes her look like she’s sitting crooked. Sliver loves to work and some days she’s more excited than others. If it’s one of those days when she’s excited, she will tend to lean out when sitting on a halt -- and when she does that, her right leg sticks out noticeably. I love the way she works and hate to calm her excitement down, so we end up paying a price of ½ point off from some judges every time Sliver sits in heel position. 

    While I was still showing Sliver in Novice, I had one judge tell me that Sliver would never sit straight and I should not be showing her as she would never be the dog I wanted.  This judge knew nothing about my little Sliver, and certainly nothing about what Sliver had been through. It hurt a lot to think that a person would even say something like that to me or anyone else. That judge will never have the privilege of judging my Sliver again. As a judge myself, I am now even more aware of being careful of what to say to an exhibitor. I would never want to discourage a person from showing. Many judges have asked me what is wrong with Sliver and many have been very kind and encouraging. I would not be showing her if I thought I was hurting her in any way. For those who have seen Sliver and know her, they know how much Sliver enjoys working with me in any sport. She just loves to be with me!

    Competing with Sliver was never that important to me, but giving her a job to do and something to work on that she enjoyed doing was.  And she loves Obedience, as well as all the other sports she’s been able to participate in.  Sliver would earn her OTCH title, but because of her repaired leg sticking out, some judges took off a half point off every time she sat.  That was hard to take – knowing every time you went in the ring you would be down a ½ point or more on every exercise and there was nothing you could do about it – because a judge would see every sit as a ½ point off. This has been hard to accept over the years, particularly because I knew there was no way Sliver would be able to be competitive at a NOC, let alone qualify for one by OTCH points.  It was a big job just to get the 100 points for her OTCH. You can watch Sliver in a Utility ring:

    Last year I decided to give Sliver a chance at Rally.  Sliver immediately took a liking to Rally and seemed to enjoy it so much.  In fact, the faster I moved through the exercises in the ring, the better she performed.  Her leg sticking out was never going to cost us a point off in Rally, and also, only whole points (no ½ point mistakes) are counted. When it was clear Sliver had qualified for the Rally National, the big decision was whether or not to go.   A four-day drive from California to Missouri was not something I really wanted to do.  But first I had to enter and see if I got in because the entries are limited.  With just days before the entries closed, I called a friend to see if she wanted to go too and we both entered.  We found out quickly that we had both gotten in, and now we felt we had to go!  I also entered Glimmer (Sliver’s 18-month old daughter) in Rally Novice at the championship. So we loaded up the minivan with three dogs and two people and headed east. 

    We had no idea what the competition was going to be like or how it would be run. The RAE entries were divided into four groups. Sliver was assigned to group 4 and we started in Ring 4 which was an Advanced course.  We then moved to Ring 3 (another Advanced course), then Ring 2 and finally Ring 1 (both those rings were Excellent courses).  Sliver went into each ring with lots of energy and earned a perfect score of 100 in the first 3 rings. I thought for sure there would be many perfect scores – and there were – and I expected there to be a number of dogs earning 100 in all four rings.  If that happened, the only thing to set them apart would be time.  Going into the fourth (and final) ring, we encountered two of our most difficult exercises -- the Figure 8 for me and the “back up 3 steps” for Sliver. For the Figure 8, you can only go through the middle 3 times.  If you do it more than that, it is considered an IP (incorrectly performed) and it costs you 10 points off.  And wouldn’t you know it?  There were two Figure 8’s in that ring!  The reason this is a difficult exercise for me is that once I get going, I tend to lose count!  For the “back up 3 steps”, Sliver either does it perfectly or not, it is just hard for Sliver to back up – and this was the very last exercise in the whole competition for us.  I got through the Figure 8’s OK and now it was up to Sliver.  I did my part and we backed up together -- one step at a time.  She did it as perfectly as she ever had and I wanted to reach down and hug her.  But before we could leave the ring, I had to leave her on a sit-stay (which is hard for Sliver) while I went to get her leash and return to heel position without her getting up. Sliver held her stay and we earned our 4th perfect score.

    At the Rally National competition, scores are posted on a score board outside the ring within minutes of each dog completing the course.  So at least you have an idea of where you rank within the group being scored.  But when you move to the next ring, the score boards are replaced and scores for the next group are posted.  That makes it nearly impossible to figure out where you rank in terms of the other groups.  

    At the trial secretary’s desk, a large projector screen had been set up and as the scores were brought in to be logged, they were displayed on the screen for all to see.  Unfortunately, the format of the display only showed about 40 dogs with their scores at a time.  The display would stay up for about 10 seconds, and then the next group of 40 would roll up.  It was a revolving display and a bit hard to read, and since the scores were being shown in the order of the groups, you might have to wait several minutes for all the group/class entries to be displayed before it started over again.  

    Since Novice finished earlier than RAE, I saw those results and was able to figure out that Glimmer was in the top 10 in Novice, but I didn’t know her exact placement because she was tied in points with two other dogs.  In the end, Glimmer won the 3-way tie because she was faster than the other two dogs.  But I didn’t find this out until the winners were announced.  

    In Sliver’s case, three of the RAE groups were showing up on the display, but not the one Sliver was in. I kept going back to check for what seemed like hours.  The last time I went back to look, I heard two women asking if anyone knew who had won.  Some other person in the crowd said there was only one dog with a perfect 400 score.  I knew that Sliver and I had gotten a perfect score in all 4 rings, but I couldn’t believe that there was only one dog. When I got up to the screen to look for myself – there it was.  Only one dog with a 400 – my little Sliver.  She had won the Rally National Championship.  While she wasn’t able to follow in her dam’s footsteps (when” Dream” NOC OTCH DD’s  Dreams Do Come True UDX26 OGM RE TDX JH VCD1 won the NOC in 2007), Sliver would win her own National competition and hold a special title too. You can see Sliver’s winning runs on YouTube below.

    To view more articles please visit our Members Page!

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