I’ve been in shelties for about 16 years now. I’ve ran agility, raced Flyball, performed in obedience, searched in nosework, and strutted in Rally Obedience with Luke, Daisy, Ribbon, Adam, and my most titled dog Danny. But now Grady has come into my life.
Last summer I got the idea that I would like to try my hand at conformation. I looked around and and realized the only showable dog I had was Adam.
Adam was my victim for the fall. Adams goal in life was to lay in the couch. Me dragging him and doing dog sports was never his idea. He tolerated nosework and managed to earn his NW1 title after a lot of work. Conformation was the two of us bumbling together, training in our basement and showing in United Kennel Club (UKC) and International All Breed Canine
Association (IABCA). He earned his IABCA Companion Championship but only ever beat one dog in the ring for a UKC Veterans Best In Show. Our journey was cut short by the finding of a suspicious lump that turned to be Fibrosarcoma that cost him a rear leg. I consider us lucky, Roo, Luke and Daisy all succumbed to what was most likely cancer.
I was emailing Adams breeder about his last show when she replied that I needed a younger, better dog. Turns out Grady had become available. Now Danny is over 15 years old, long retired, Crazy Ribbon who is very immature, the two Aussies along with Adam. I didn’t need another dog. However, Grady fit into the household like he had always been there.
Grady had to wait in the wings while Adam had his surgery, Danny was sick, and I switched jobs. Now we have started working together and he’s gone to his first UKC shows.
In four straight shows he went Best of Breed four times. Placed in the Herding Group three times with a 3rd and two 1sts. Those two first places were our tickets to the Best In Show ring. While we didn’t place there it was such an honor to just be in the ring! When the dust settled he had more than enough points and wins for his championship. UKC does not seem to keep track of the total number of dogs of all breeds you beat, but it does keep track of how many dogs of your own breed you beat. I’m still fuzzy about the details, but it appears Grady also picked up 4 “Top Ten” points.
We will continue to do UKC shows this year at least and see about me learning to actually groom him so he looks good in the ring. Then we will see about showing him in American Kennel Club (AKC) shows. Showing at Westminster is not part of my personal goals. My eye is set on attending the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA) Nationals in 2017 when it returns to the Midwest.