THE BLUE ASH DOGS
There are a number of Blue Ash dogs here – though I try and keep the numbers capped at eight!
But, it was my dog Ashby that started it all really. Two previous dogs we had were the catalyst for changing the way I trained, and poor Ash was the guinea pig. He took to it well, the learning curve for both of us was huge.
Blue Ash by the Brook AD, JD, RN was to have been my first really competitive agility dog, and he would have been, had he not had hip dysplasia diagnosed when he was just 3 years old. At 5 he had a double arthroplasty and his agility career was essentially over – although he did continue to do Jumpers events until he was 9! He is a truly amazing dog and together we learned the positive approach to dog training and problem solving, and have never looked back.
Because his hip dysplasia curtailed a lot of his agility, Ash and I competed in Heelwork to Music events at the National Dog Training Assembly and gained 3rd place in our first outing in 2007.
Domestically, Ash has been a model dog in the community as well, spending time visiting Rest Homes where he delighted the residents with his antics. He has an absolutely wicked sense of humour.
Even at 11 years of age Ash still enjoyed a spin out at Flygility tournaments, but he is no longer competitive in this field and now that he is 12 he is definitely retired. I wouldn’t say he’s happy about it though!
Recently however, I have dabbled in the new sport of RallyO Obedience. We had a very successful weekend in June 2013 where Ash gained all three qualifying certificates in one day to gain his RN (Rally Novice) title. Added to that he got two 1st places and two 2nd places that weekend.
Ash sadly passed away on 29th April 2016, after suffering a succession of seizures that had started the day before. He was 2 weeks shy of his 15th birthday. My heart is broken.
I acquired Taragh (Baindia Alainn na Temair ADX, JD, FD, RN – meaning beautiful goddess of Tara) from a farmer in Parakao, and made her up to Senior in 2010. She is retired now; we never did get that elusive piece of blue card (a Challenge Certificate), but to her credit Taragh did have her career interrupted bringing up two families of fine puppies.
While she was still waiting to be old enough to train for agility at club, Taragh went through competitive obedience classes. She was not quite a year old in 2006 when she won Special Beginners on a rainy winter day in a class of over 25 dogs at the North Shore Dog Training Club. However, my focus is not on competitive obedience, so Taragh hasn’t done much of that since, but she did win the first ever RallyO Beginners class held at the National Dog Training Assembly in 2008.
Since her debut in RallyO in 2008, the sport has galvanised with a proper structure and set of rules. We have kept it on the back burner, but came out in June 2013 to a triple day and a double day. What Ash didn’t win Taragh did, and where she lost to the old boy, she came second. She also qualified RN that weekend.
Cameron, (Temair Lights Cameron Action FDX, JD, RN) from Taragh’s first litter, is a study in speed and athleticism, and came 3rd in a huge Starters class at the National Dog Training Assembly held in Mosgiel in October 2009, just two months into his agility career. But Cameron’s fave sport is Flygility. Catching on quickly when introduced to it he gained his FD title at Cambridge on a VERY muddy day in June 2011, by winning Intermediate Pairs (and this is a dog that hates the mud!). We haven’t been doing much agility of late, but Cameron just loves to work and loves it when I get out and do some training with him – any training – even if it has to be RallyO or Obedience.
Kelly (Temair Absolute Kelvin RN) from Taragh’s second litter, is a half-sister to Cameron, and that’s where the similarity ends. She is a whole other dog, and a whole other training challenge. She is still a work in progress and I am guessing that her niche has simply not been invented yet.
And yes, she is very young here. She absolutely hates having her photo taken!
She did recently win a ribbon or two at a couple of RallyO events, but taking her photo for that was a mission. Kelly is older now than she looks, and her niche has turned out to be demo dog for any dog training classes and sessions I might take.
D’Art (D’Artagnan’s Masketeer, RN) came to me via a farmer client who got me in for a consultation for his new pup. Bolt, as he was then known, was not wanted as he just couldn’t contain himself in his work and was not steady enough. He took to domestic life like ducklings take to water and very quickly had me all wrapped up. I had not intended to get yet another dog, however, his zest and absolute commitment to training meant that there was no way I was finding him some other home. So he stayed and Kelly became my husband’s dog to run. He’s an absolute bundle of energy. If I don’t train him every day he‘s bouncing off the walls by evening – so he’s not a dog for the faint of heart. Like Cameron, D’Art loves the training process: it doesn’t matter what we are doing. And like Cameron, the rough tough farm life is not really for him, and he too doesn’t much like getting his feet dirty or wet! Since Ash’s death I have discovered that D’Art is particularly adept at a lot of the tricks I once taught Ash. It it hard for me to remember what I taught Ash, but I keep telling myself that I must get out and do more with the dog. He is fun to teach.