I’m a retired and disabled nurse practitioner who has lived with dogs, cats, and birds all my adult life. My journey with house pets began with the first job I had after college–managing a 46-dog Yorkshire Terrier show/breeding kennel.
Naturally, I joined the local kennel club and soon was teaching obedience classes. Not satisfied with one of the “show them the book and they get it” breeds like a Sheltie, lab or German Shepherd, I campaigned two of the most difficult breeds in obedience competition–an Afghan Hound and a Yorkie–and earned Companion Dog (C.D.) titles with them both. We also competed, and won, in a precision drill team with our dogs at the Wisconsin State Fair.
Betsy, my Afghan, had a silver-white coat with a champagne saddle and black tips on her muzzle and ears. I kept her well-groomed at all times. She always attracted attention due to her striking good looks.
I’ll never forget the night I proudly demonstrated to my beginner obedience class how I could leave Betsey on a stay command and call her to come and sit right in front of me. She was a beautiful sight as she came racing towards me with her long ears and leg hair flowing back as she ran toward me…and kept on going. You can imagine my dismay and embarrassment after she was soon lost in the nearby neighborhood!
It’s been several decades since those days. I’m still actively training these days, but now it is with my service dogs.