Ch Oakengates Havin' a Ball


Handled by Liz Cox

DENIA AWARD 1999-2000

Liz Cox, 10/2/00 :

"I can remember the first time I saw Lucy with her littermates at 7 weeks of age. They were having fun in the yard smelling new things, playing with each other and getting to know a new environment. As we all watched the puppies and tried to keep them in one area, we kept noticing this one puppy venturing away from the others. She would take off toward a woodpile and try to climb up on it. After going after her a couple of times, I realized that this was the puppy I had already chosen. I wasn't sure if this independence she was showing at such a young age was positive. When I got her home and she saw our woodpile, she began trying to climb it. To this day, she tries to climb or jump woodpiles. I always wonder if, at seven weeks old, that was her first signs of being an agility dog.

The woodpile picture I sent you "years" ago is a very true shot of Lucy and
her first real love for agility. I have to laugh when I think about her as
a puppy running toward the woodpile just to walk it.

Lucy is my first agility dog. We started running agility when she was two years old. Until this past year, we trained in the back yard on homemade
equipment. We taught each other the sport, and we improved together. This past year we started training with a club, and it has been neat watching Lucy respond to the new things I am trying to do with her. She has never been the fastest dog, but she does pay attention and is pretty consistent. Qualifying and winning titles has been nice, but just being out there with her and working together as a team has meant so much more to me.

One of Lucy's neatest characteristics is her desire to attempt anything. She has tried everything I have asked of her and has been successful at most
of them. It's a great feeling watching her try so hard to do something and then see her succeed at it. I notice that in agility all the time, but I see it even more in tracking. When I put that harness on her in a field, she turns into an exuberant little working machine. She is very intent and does more than her half of the teamwork in that sport. It was tracking that taught me to trust her and encouraged me to try so many other things with her.

I am very proud of Lucy. We have developed such a strong bond and she has taught me so much about being a dog owner. Challenging Lucy mentally and
physically has built a mutual respect between us and proven that unconditional love can be a human trait as well as a dog trait."

Penny Leigh, Bagpipes-June 2000

"Liz Cox of North Carolina and Lucy (Ch Oakengate's Havin' A Ball, MX, AXJ, TD, VX) are to be congratulated on two outstanding agility achievements this spring.

First Liz and Lucy are the 1999 winners of the BCCA's Denia Award, which honors the top achiever in standard agility for the year. Second, Lucy earned her MX (Master Agility Excellent) title in March, and that is not easy to do. It requires a dog to qualify 10 times in Excellent with absolutely clean runs and that is after you already get your three legs for the AX!

Making it doubly special was that Liz and Lucy earned their final leg at a trial in Tennessee where Beardie fancier and former BCCA agility chairman Beth Canner was judging. I was also present and can tell you it was very exciting to see them get that final leg.

Lucy is 6 years old and also has 6 legs (at last count) toward her MXJ. She also is working on her TDX.

Liz says, 'The MX didn't start out as a goal and really didn't enter the picture until this past fall. I have just enjoyed running with her and even if we didn't have a title I would probably still run her.'

That's a good philosophy for all of us to have!"

Last updated 11 December 2002

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