Nothing stops this confident rescue dog from winning in the ring.
Lucy fought her way from a rough start. Born into a large litter, her mother rejected her. At 4 weeks old, she was much smaller than her littermates. Lucy was given to me because I had a lot of experience rescuing dogs. She was severely dehydrated so I bottle fed her every two hours day and night. I kept her in a box with a heating pad and wherever I went, Lucy went.
In the fall of 2008, when Lucy 6 months old, we began taking obedience classes at the Twin Ports Dog Training Club. Lucy loved going to school! She was enthusiastic and eager to learn. At the end of the beginner class, the club held a competition for the participants. Lucy and I won first place.
At a match show the following spring, the judge told me that Lucy had talent and should compete. This encouraged me to register Lucy with American Mixed Breed Obedience Registration, the only option for Mixed Breeds at the time. However, there were no AMBOR shows in our area. With limited opportunities, I showed Lucy at local fair dog shows, where she excelled.
Lucy’s obedience career came to an abrupt halt when she tore her cruciate ligament in her hind leg in the summer of 2009. The vet put her on bed rest: no training, jumping, running or playing. The future wasn’t looking bright. I didn’t know if Lucy would ever compete again. We spent all summer taking Lucy to physical therapy to heal her leg without surgery.
In the fall we returned to training classes. The trainers thought Lucy might not be able to compete because she would still periodically hop on one hind leg. That winter, the AKC announced that a new program allowing mixed-breed dogs to compete. Even with Lucy’s future unknown, our trainers encouraged me to register Lucy with the AKC.
With Lucy’s leg holding strong, our most admired trainer, Pam, highly recommended that I enter Lucy in the biggest dog show in our area. I had never competed in a real dog event before, but knowing that Pam thought Lucy would do well, I couldn’t let her and the club down. When Lucy and I entered the show, it was overwhelming! There were hundreds of the best purebred dogs in the state, and Lucy was the only mixed breed.
As the time neared for us to compete, I couldn’t help but hope that some of Lucy’s confidence would rub off on me. After everyone had their run, we all lined up in the ring. First they handed out the qualifying scores. Lucy won her first leg, an accomplishment far greater than I ever had expected. As they read the placings, I thought that there was no way Lucy would place among a field of purebred dogs. But she did. She took first place Friday and Saturday. Lucy might have won her CD title that weekend, but the club hosting the Sunday show would not allow mixed breeds to show.
In October, we attended an AKC show in St. Paul. The first day, Lucy achieved her third leg, and her CD title, placing third in the class. The next day, she got another leg and took first place. Our next show was in December in Minneapolis, where she got two more legs in obedience and two legs in rally.
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We recently had Lucy’s leg X-rayed again, and it is completely healed. We will continue to show in Novice B and Rally, and hopefully we can start training for other classes. Lucy is a little dog with a big heart and a passion for competing.
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