Bragging Rights

Catch up on the latest achievements of:

Towzie Tyke Dumfries VFD, CG, OA, OAJ, AAD, HOBBES, MBGDCh, CGC, RE, Am.SE, Can.JE. (Free) (Friend of the Family)

(proud owner - Donna Sapp)

Sadly, Free left us on 30 August 2013, Click here to visit Free's Rainbow Bridge Page

Dancing with a star

October 17, 2012 - Long, but worth it, in Donna's words:

Two years ago, when Free was coming up on 12 years old, I decided to come up with some sort of retirement activity for her. She loved flyball and agility, but she couldn't do them forever, so I thought that we should find something else she liked that we could do.
br> I tried nosework. Colin loved it. Free, not so much. Free liked it when she was searching for food. but lost interest quickly as soon as pairing stopped.
Rally was ok at first, but as soon as she realized that sitting over and over seemed to be an important part, she decided that it was only ok and only if many many treats occurred at the end.
br> Then we found freestyle. She really liked it! She enjoyed the music. She enjoyed doing her tricks. If she didn't want to sit, there were no sits. So in August 2011, at age 12 1/2, we sent in our first try at freestyle competition as part of a video event.
Musical Dog Sports Association (MSDA) has four video events each year where you can send in a video of you and your dog doing a freestyle routine and have it judged for a leg toward one of their titles.
Free and I had a nice routine, I thought, but a week before the video taping was scheduled our instructor changed the music on us. We went from "Shall We Dance" from the King & I to "Music Box Dancer". We practiced as much as we could that week and kept most of the routine with some adjustments and were ready for the taping or at least as ready as we could be in a week. It was rough. not as good as we could have done I think, but it showed what we could do and SHE PASSED and earned a freestyle leg.
Our instructor gave us some new music for our next routine. The theme from Curb Your Enthusiasm. Both of us enjoyed that one. She was really good, but of course when the video camera came out I got stressed and she tuned out. Again, it wasn't as good as I'd like, but we passed again in December 2011.
For the next event, April 2012, I wanted to choose the music and so we did "The Fox" by Nickelcreek. It was the best routine yet for us and so I was excited that we could end on a good note.
A week before the taping, Free decided that despite what I said, she didn't want to retire from agility yet. When she was in the agility room she raced up the dog walk, but isn't as good with her back feet any more. They came off the side just as she went from the up-ramp to the level part of the walk. She fell off and landed on her back, onto the metal legs of the walk. Pretty much the equivalent of someone hitting her on her back with a metal pole. Once the swelling came down we realized that it had missed the spine, barely, and impacted on the ribs.
After much thought I decided to simplify the routine a bit and do the taping anyway. We did nothing (I thought) which would stress her spine. We were only walking, with no hard moves. I was wrong. After we did one video of the routine it was clear that backing up hurt; not so much at first, but after doing it, it seemed to trigger something and by the end of the routine she was too sore to continue. So we stopped.
We did do that one video though, so I sent it in. Free is in the veteran division and one of the things they judge is whether the dog is physically comfortable doing their routine. The response I got back is that Free did not look comfortable backing up. We didn't pass, which made sense. They liked the music for her though.
So we rested. In June, I decided to try to video tape our The Fox routine again. Free had recovered. She was moving well and happy. No sign of pain. I kept our simpler routine just in case. We set it up and got all the people there to do it.
Drove to the building. I opened the back of the minivan and got the boys out, then went to lift Free out. Fells lurched on the leash because he saw a friend that he had to play with so I took my eyes off of Free and she decided to jump out of the van onto the parking lot. The van was on a hill, so the jump was higher than normal and she didn't land right and landed on her thigh rather than her back legs. Ouch! She limped to the potty area, but was walking normally when we came back, so I figured we'd try.
She looked like she was ok. We again got the routine taped once. Then we tried again to see if we might do a bit better and she said No more backing up today, so we were done. I sent the video in and hoped.
They liked it and we passed! So Free has the VFD (Veteran Freestyle Dog) title. She's fully retired now, but we'll keep dancing because she really does like it. And we'll play fetch of course. According to Free, you're never too old for fetch. She'll be 14 in November and we're hoping for a long, enjoyable, retirement.


December 2011, From a justifiably proud Donna

My girl Free earned the HOBBES title in flyball today.
It requires getting 100,000 points.
She is the first dog in my region (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland) of any breed to earn this title and the first Border Terrier in North America and I think in the world, to earn 100K points.
I'm very proud of her.

We had a title earned and retirement party for her at the tournament today. She turned 13 yrs two weeks ago.

Freestyle - Free Style

In August 2011 and then in December, Free had qualifying performances towards her Musical Dog Sport Association (MDSA)Freestyle title (Veterans class).
Anyone interested in this unique sport can find more information here: Musical Dog Sport Association

Retired from Rally - Really

On April 24, 2011 at the Baltimore County Kennel Club under Judge: Mrs. Kathy McCoubrey, Free earned her third and final Rally Excellent leg

Way to go Free, we won't mention that there is Rally in Canada and you could start all over again !!!!!

Wild about Wildwood....

.....and the Sand & Sea Kennel Club Rally Trials on February 3rd and 4th, 2011.
Free earned her first two Rally Excellent legs under Nancy Withers - a very nice judge.
Free took first place in her class both days with scores of 96 and 92

An early Christmas Present

Oriole Dog Training Club's winter obedience weekend started with a Friday night rally trial on December 17, 2010.
Free earned her third leg in the Advanced A class and now has her RA! She was also first in her class. She won a Q biscuit which she enjoyed immensely.

Getting closer to mastering Master

Free earned her second AKC Master Earthdog leg at the New Jersey Beanfield Earthdog Club fall tests in Crosswicks, NJ. November 6, 2010. Judge was Richard Reynolds.

Flying to the Next Level

October 30, 2010 - No Speed Limit's Monster Bash, Howard County Fairgrounds (West Friendship MD)

Free got her FG90K by earning over 90,000 flyball points in her lifetime. She is the first dog of any breed to get this title in her region (Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, and West Virginia) and the third in the east coast of the USA and Canada (Nova Scotia / New Brunswick / PEI down to Florida).

Owing to the way the divisions work in flyball it can sometimes happen that divisions are combined and twice during the tournament every single member of Donna's team had to participate in the race between their Open team and their Veteran team. This was the race where Free earned her title. Normally Free ignores the other lane, but she knows her teammates, especially since, by definition, the Veteran team is made up of older dogs who were all well known to Free (Free was running on the Open team despite being an 11 year-old).

So, on her title earning race Free was really on. She was jumping around barking at all the dogs in the other lane. She had an extra oomph in her jumps and put in the best times of the weekend. She had a ball all weekend, but particularly enjoyed racing her friends.

Second Leg - First Place

August 27, 2010 - Free earned her second Rally Advanced leg at the Oriole Dog Training Club trial with a first place finish and a nice compliment from judge Elizabeth Chase:
"a fine working dog"
Free also did ALL of her sits!!

2010 BTCA National Specialty Successes - Tryon NC - May 12-16

Free stepped out in style to place 3rd in the 10-13 years Regular Veterans Class under breeder judge, Robert Naun

The "new" adventure continues - December 11, 2009

While pal Colin was celebrating his 6th birthday at home, Donna and Free went to the Oriole Dog Training Club trial and made it worthwhile under judge Mrs. Paula P. Barras.
Of course, being Free it could not be straightforward - I'll let Donna explain

Free now has her first Advanced Rally leg and she got FIRST place in the class too! I am so proud of her. Half the class failed because of the judge's two little stuffed dogs. Sometimes in rally the dog and handler have to do figure 8's around bowls filled with semi-blocked food or a toy in them. This judge replaced the bowls with two little stuffed dogs, just standing in the ring. What made this course particularly hard was that the first station was a fast running with the dog within a foot of one of the stuffed dogs. Sometimes it takes a station or two for the dog to settle down and get into work mode. Starting with a fast, Free and a lot of the other dogs weren't positive that we were really doing rally at first rather than just running with their owners. If they started even a little wild, they were lost at the first station. Luckily Free had a good call off and was able to settle down and focus after the start, many of the others didn't. She is such a good dog.

2009 BTCA Specialty Achievements - September 27-October 01, 2009 - Centreville, MD

Free overcame the poor weather and difficult field conditions to qualify and place 4th in her Agility class (FAST Novice B).

It may be that inclement weather is to her liking as once the sun came out she decided to just have fun and that she did in Earthdog, Rally and Obedience!!

Veteran or not - she's still "flying"

From Donna

Today (September 13, 2009) Free passed 80,000 in earned flyball points (NAFA), giving her the FG80K title. Her team was a Doberman, a Flat Coated Retriever, a Border Collie, and Free. She ran beautifully all day. She was very happy to be out and it was wonderful weather for it. As a special treat she was given a full body massage after racing on both Saturday and Sunday. She came home both days and went right to sleep.

Starting a new adventure

One long weekend in Vermont was all it took for Free's Rally Novice Title though it came with some comic relief!!

From Donna

On the Friday of the Green Mountain Circuit in VT (July 10-12,2009) Free got her first Rally Novice leg with a decent run under judge Janet Lewis.

On Saturday, The judge was Michael Calhoun, that some might recognize from the 2004 BTCA specialty. She did most of the Novice run very well and we were down to the last two stations. The second to last one was an easy drop to a down on halt rather than a sit. Obviously she thought that it was too easy. I halted and said down and she dropped.....and rolled...a beautifully executed rollover ending at heel position, but a few feet to the side. Mike's eyes indicated that he hadn't seen this too often. The people watching all started laughing. Free must have misunderstood and you can repeat exercises in Rally, so we tried again. We backed up, heeled to that point, I said down, and Free even more sure of herself started the rollover before she even hit the ground, rolling right to Mike's feet. We went on, failed station so 10 points off. Free got a score of 88 out of 100 for her run. When the ribbons were handed out, Mike said that he wished that he could give points for the half gainer, but unfortunately the rules don't allow it. An embarrassing leg, but a leg nevertheless.

On Sunday (judge Catherine Thompson), Free again had a decent run, one rollover on a sit to a down (we really need to fix this), but did it right the second time and got a 95 and her third leg too.

Canadian senior vacation.....

Free demonstrated that getting older is no impediment to success when she earned the first leg towards her CKC SE ED Title at the BTC CKC ED Test on July 27, 2008 in Sheffield, NB (judge Maria Sacco)

Simply stated.....

Today (January 19, 2008) Free earned her flyball FG70K title.

Getting the hang of it....

Free earned her first Master Earthdog leg in Crosswicks NJ on October 08, 2007 at the National Earthdog Test, run this year by Thee Westie Club of America. Judge was Lou Herzog.

Just who are you calling a veteran....

Free (pictured on Donna's right) polished off her Canadian Junior Earthdog Title in fine style at the CTAO and BTCO Tests in Moffat, Ontario on June 23/24, 2007 under Judges Jean Callens (shown) and Russ Wischover.

The start of a New Year....

...and the start of new titles

Free earned the first leg of her AKC Novice F.A.S.T. title (agility) at Oriole Dog Training Club Trial on January 26, 2007 and the first leg of her USDAA PIII Snooker title (agility) at the Artful Dodgers (local Club) Trial on May 20, 2007

That's a Wrap

At the National Earthdog Test - no less!
Free completed her AKC Senior Earthdog Title on October 09, 2006 at the Cairn Terrier Club of America ED Test (judge Doreen Workman) held at Village Green Farm. Crosswicks. NJ.
Free was one of only six dogs to qualify in Senior out of an entry of 44.

Marg Pough was rat steward and summed up the class this way
The dogs that qualified did a GREAT job, and knew what they were doing.


Two down.............

On Saturday, September 23, 2006, Free managed to earn her second Senior Earthdog leg under judge Sharon Yon. Her run was neither really great not really poor, but just a clear pass.

Another "10K and Counting"

Last weekend (July 22/23, 2006) was an exhausting tournament for many reasons - none-the-less I truly enjoyed running Free all weekend. She just loves the sport and will do it for no reward at all, over and over. As a result she earned her FG60K title after running flawlessly all weekend.

2006 BTCA National Specialty Success

Free passed her CGC test at the BTCA Specialty on June 8th, 2006 and then on Friday earned her first Senior leg at the BTCA ED test under judge Camilla Moon

Two Legs to Stand On!!!!

In a weekend of roller coaster emotions, Free came through to complete her Junior Earthdog title under judge Karen Zeman at the New Jersey Beanfield AKC ED Test in Crosswicks, NJ on November 12, 2005

Advanced Agility Dog!

On October 17, 2005 Free had a great day. She spent the day going from the agility ring to the arena to participate in some flyball demonstrations. She earned one leg that day, but it was an important one. She got her Advanced Agility dog standard leg and that was enough for her to earn the AAD title in USDAA agility. To get this title she had to have three standard legs and one leg in each of the games. The games are Pairs where the dog has to run with another dog on the field and then honor while the other dog runs, Jumpers where the dog is rewarded for accuracy and SPEED, Gamblers where the dog needs to work at a distance from the handler, and Snooker where the dog needs to follow the handler to obstacles indicated despite having other obstacles inbetween. Now on to Masters courses.

Junior Leg Finally!

Free finally got her first Junior Earthdog leg at the Border Terrier Club of America Earthdog trial on October 10. 2005. Free has been very eager to do earthdog tests for years, but it has taken a long time for her to decide to follow the rules. Since she turns age 7 at the end of November it would be nice for her to be a Junior earthdog before she becomes a Senior dog.

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