Golden Retriever Clever is just that

I love that name Clever. What a funny guy!

Everyone knows when Clever, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is ready to run.
“He absolutely enjoys this, he goes nuts, he has a very loud bark when we get to an agility field,” said owner and handler Kris Gara of Homer Glen.

Clever and Gara took on the big dogs at the 10th annual Purina Incredible Dog Challenge in St. Louis on Sept. 29. Events included hurdles, diving, 60 weave pole racing, extreme vertical and, Clever’s favorite, agility.


Golden Star Susie

MACH3 Flashpaws Runaround Sue (“Susie”) is one talented little girl. Furkid to Jane Simmons-Moake, a couple of days ago in Long Beach, CA, Susie won for her breed at the inaugural AKC National Agility Invitational.

She also achieved the fastest time of any dog in the finals. Beating out the incredibly fast Border Collies is truly unbelievable.

Highlights from the finals of this invitational will be broadcast on Animal Planet at 8pm on February 11, 15 & 18, 2007.

In the article, Long Beach goes to the dogs, I loved this little section:

The dogs had no idea whether they’d raced fast enough to win, but a small golden retriever was so exhilarated by her attempt that she executed a triple pirouette midair after she finished, then leaped into her owner’s arms.

“A dog knows when he’s won an event,” said Giselle Simonds, a miniature bull terrier breeder from Petaluma whose dog Skip was best in his breed. “The dog senses your adrenaline rush when he’s done well.”

2006 AKC Awards for Canine Excellence

When I was active in agility with Darcy I got to meet a very special handler named Ron, who always had the crowds cheering him and his dogs on. So, it was so exciting to learn today that he had won this year’s AKC ACE Award in the category of Exemplary Companion Dog. These are wonderful awards and you should go and check out all the honorees for this year. Some years back, I actually nominated the winning dog (Senior Bullet) for this very same award.

Here is the write-up for Ron and his beautiful gal K.D.:

K.D. is a six-year-old Golden Retriever described as “the canine half of an extraordinary agility team”. She and Ron Heller have excelled in a sport that is said to require agility and speed, not only in the dog, but in the handler as well. Ron, affected by cerebral palsy and limited mobility, has proved that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Together, he and K.D. have earned Master Excellent and Agility Excellent Jumper titles.As a team, they have overcome challenges by focusing on what they CAN do and are an inspiration to many. Watching Ron direct K.D. through a complicated course, it appears to bystanders as if K.D. is actually reading Ron’s mind. Ron has trained K.D. to respond to cues from as far as the opposite side of the ring. His success with K.D. has motivated Ron to become an agility instructor, specializing in teaching distance handling skills.

Outside the agility ring K.D. transforms into a gentle, quiet dog that walks politely on lead. The team has qualifying scores in Novice Obedience and Novice Rally. K.D. is also a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dog, Inc. Ron and K.D. are active in their local dog club and together they visit nursing homes, schools, and give training demonstrations at community events.