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Category Archives for Brag for a Friend

Very sad, very inspiring, total Champion of My Heart moment

I do not know Lis’ Kristoff, but I heard about this video and her story through an online agility group I belong to for people who train and run rescued agility dogs. It’s a very sad story because Lis’ was recently given just 3 weeks to live. But, it’s also an inspiring story about dreams coming true, even at the last possible moment. (If this doesn’t make you bawl, then you’re stronger than I am.)

I do not have outside confirmation, but I believe the story to be true.

Congratulations, Joy and MACH Keen

I am thrilled to share the news that our pal Joy Bishop and her awesome dog Keen earned their MACH over Thanksgiving weekend. I wasn’t there, but rumor has it that they did NOT take the cautious route to their final double Q. Instead, I hear that they ran full speed. Honestly, if you ever get a chance to see them run (like at the AKC event in Long Beach in December), go watch. Keen has the most compact running style I’ve ever seen.

Here’s a photo The Denver Post took of them at a USDAA event in CO in summer 2006.

New pup in our neighborhood

I’m pleased to announce the arrival of a new pup in our neighborhood. His name is Bjornkarl (which means bear hunter). And, he joins Baldur and Bryna (aka Brynnie) at the home of our friends Bobbye and Joe. I have high hopes that Lilly will make a good playmate for him as he grows. She tends to do well with tiny pups, so we’ll see. It’s cold and rainy/snowy here today, so we have not seen him in person, but look at these photos.

Here’s your puppy fix for the day.

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Another neighbor is scheduled to pick up her newest pup Nov 17, so I may have more photos to share next week.

Separated at birth?

There is border collie that lives in South Carolina that might as well be Lilly’s long lost twin. Her name is Lucy. She not only looks like Lilly, but she has many of the same shyness and fear issues. It gets a girl thinking. Maybe there’s something about this particular genetic package that results in darling border collie girls with super soft personalities. Here are some photos that will shock and amaze, along with Lucy’s story.

Many thanks to Lucy’s mom, Laurie Bass, for sharing her tale, but first the photos. Who’s who? Can you tell?

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I hope that you can see the resemblance because Laurie and I do. And, when you look at Lucy with her true sibling Riley, it’s clear that Lilly and Lucy look way more alike than Lucy and Riley.

Here is Lucy’s story:

Lucy was picked up in Anderson
, South Carolina,
along with her sister, as strays when they were about three months old. While Laurie doesn’t think
that it was a kill shelter, it still wasn’t a
wonderful place for either one of them.

She found them on Petfinder, while looking for a border collie female, preferably a puppy. Lucy wasn’t very
photogenic, so Riley was the “cute” one. Laurie called about Riley and was offered both at a discounted price. The original plan was to give Lucy to a friend, but Laurie got so attached to her that it was difficult to
let Lucy go.

We won’t get into the details, but suffice it to say that Lucy ended up staying with Laurie, who went against all advice
and kept her. Laurie explains, “Everyone told me not to keep littermates, that they would be more
bonded to each other than to me (somewhat true), and I would never be able to
train them unless they were kept separately all of the time (not true). These
girls are probably the happiest dogs I’ve ever had.”

Lucy like Lilly is better in a familiar environment with the same routine. Riley, on the other hand, is happy all of the time, no matter who she sees, where she is, what’s
going on around her. Laurie says, “She has a natural curiosity that never

Lucy loves
people to distraction, but put another dog in the mix, and she has to be the
alpha. Unfortunately, the other dogs don’t tend to like it. She feels like she
has to protect Laurie, protect any food that she may (or may not) have in her pocket,
and is guarding of anything that she sees as “hers.” 

“It isn’t terrible,” Laurie says, “but
when I react to it, she cowers like I’m going to beat her. I’ve never touched
her with anything but love, but I think that she senses what she’s doing is
wrong, and she’s afraid of me leaving her. At least that’s what I think. It
could very easily be something else, but I’m trying not to react, just to
redirect. A vet friend of mine has suggested a Gentle Leader with her, says it
will let her know that the strength is with me, and I’ll take care of things for
her. But, how can you really know?”

So far, Lucy has not been introduced to agility, but she has tried herding. And, Laurie says, “She loved it, thought the sheep
were the best things that ever happened to her. That’s until the llamas came. Those were better, in her eyes. She’d love to be able to herd all the time,
even though she’s not very good at it at this point. Or should I say I’m not. We’d both be better at it if I would take her more.  But since I live in a
pretty suburban area, there aren’t many sheep for her to play with.” 

Laurie feels lucky
to assist at the agility school, so she brings Lucy with her to practice. She adds that, Lucy, “wants to learn and learns fast. Once I knuckle down and
train her, she’ll probably take to it really fast.  I’m just concerned about how
she’ll react when there are other dogs in the mix, considering it will be me
with toys and food for rewards.”

Laurie hopes to get control over her own reactions when Lucy reacts. That’s something I surely understand (and I suspect that many of you feel the same).

Indy turns 6 months old (with photos)

Here’s an update on my pal Don’s new border collie puppy, Indy. This week, she’s 6 months old. And … man, is she cute.

If you need to catch up on Indy’s story, check out the tale of her trip home from California.

Otherwise, here’s about all you need to know … Indy is a very smart girl. I met her in person a couple weeks ago. She totally gets that the word “Ready” means fun stuff is going to happen between her and Don. She’s very alert, very attentive to his wishes. She’s also a darn good tugger, already.

This is her as a tiny one.

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Her coloring is really something. I guess it’s called blue, but in person, it’s striking. And, she has the best smile. Super white teeth (mostly adult ones now).

Here she is with Hansen family teammate, Blip. He’s now 2 years old (I believe). Don’s wife Lori runs Blip, and he’s already doing incredibly well.

Gotta say, though, that I’m shocked to see them on an uncovered couch. (smirk) Usually, Don and Lori are pretty strict about throwing a sheet on to protect the furniture.

Agility pups in the making (with photos)

I mentioned a few weeks ago the birth of a litter of sheltie pups. They’re being raised by my friend and trainer Joy Bishop, who bred her boy Keen to a sweetie named Dash. I promised photos, so here they are. All of them already have families, with handlers anxiously awaiting their arrival home. If you are one of them and want to tell us about your pack and your plans for baby, please feel free to post a comment.

Here is their outdoor puppy gym, with many agility-like things to climb on. They are about 4.5 weeks old in this photo. If only all puppies got such a great start in life …

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And, here are two of the pup named Yang, also taken at 4 weeks old.

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Welcome home, Indy (with photos)

Last night, despite a crazy, hurricane-force wind storm just east of the Rocky Mountains, United Airlines Flight #403 landed in Denver with Contact Point IndyGo Girl on board. Following a four-hour delay in Los Angeles and 45 minutes in a holding pattern about 270 miles south of Denver, Indy and her new daddy (my pal Don Hansen) made it home safely.

Thanks to sage advice from others who have made such treks, Don headed off to California loaded for bear (or pup, in this case). For the flight crew, Don filled giftbags with dark chocolates and included a thank you card from Indy, which featured her photo. He had potty emergency supplies. And, he carried some Starbucks gift cards to use as needed for fellow passengers … just in case Indy caused a scene. (Thanks to her size, she rode in the cabin with Don in a small, soft-sided carrier.)

Indy (a blue, tri, rough coat border collie) comes from Karen Moureaux in Fillmore, California. According to Don, Contact Point’s pups often go to agility, flyball, herding, and other performance homes. The litter even had their own lamb.

During the delay in Los Angeles, Don and Indy befriended the flight crew. With charm well beyond her weeks, Indy earned an invitation to visit the cockpit, which was a treat for Don who often logs time in flight simulators. The captain even let Indy borrow his hat and snapped these photos with his cell phone camera.

(That’s Don, looking over the moon in love with his baby girl.)

In his first message to passengers, the captain also welcomed “the very special border collie puppy named Indy” aboard.

Indy handled air travel like a pro.

When she got fussy about 45 minutes outside of Denver, Don says, “I grabbed one of the potty pads I had brought with me, a pack of Huggies diaper wipes, a Ziplock bag, and Indy’s carrier and zipped back to the lavatory.”

“We  had to wait in line for about three minutes, and when I got in, quickly laid out the pad, removed her from the carrier and set her in the middle of it, only to have her sit down and look at me. I thought, ‘Drat, false alarm, …”

“Until several second later when the large yellow wet spot expanded from beneath her on the pad. What a little trooper! She held it until we got on the pad. I was so pleased. I quickly cleaned her up with a wipe, rolled everything up and sealed it in the ziplock bag and disposed of it in the trash. When I came out with her, I assured the flight attendant of how I’d contained everything, and she was so impressed!”

So despite really wacky winds, flight delays, and other travel hubbub, Indy arrived at her new home, ready to embark on her career as Daddy’s Go Girl.

She joins the Hansen Agility Team of border collies, which includes Don’s MACH3 Bailey and his wife Lori’s MACH2 Rusty and up-and-comer Blip.

P.S. Lori is famous for her Human Agility Training classes and DVD ( Check it out!

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Based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado (USA), Roxanne Hawn is a veteran journalist and author.


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