Chapter 22
(May 2003):

From "Beauty Princess" to "Olympic Candidate"

Dear Grandpa,

Remember that little brat that flunked out of puppy school three years ago? Your consolation kept me out of the dog house and so I dedicate my successes of this month to you.
It’s May, 2003.

One Sunday Michaela came from Hamburg and they put up the Torture Table on the terrace. She cut, I wiggled, she cut, I kicked, she cut, I twisted. This is especially humiliating for the ladies’ representative of the “My Fur Belongs to Me Club” in the German Wheaten List. But at least I put up a good fight and there was no mistaking the point I was making.

The next week we went to a dog show again, but this time I got a flower and Mummy got a number to wear. We were called into the ring and the nice man checked my chip number, stared at me, looked at my teeth, stared at me, felt my bones and stared at me. Then I had to do the catwalk bit. The nice man told Mummy that she had to learn to walk right with me, but he wouldn’t hold that against me. 

He gave me an “excellent”, 1st place and the recommendation for championship. In Best of Breed, I thought: “ladies first”, but the nice man said: “The gentleman is first.” Mummy and Daddy treated me differently after that. Daddy put some champagne in my cup and said, “I see this dog with different eyes now.” Say, Grandpa, should I have to win a beauty contest to be treated like the Princess I’ve always been?

Mummy said I was too much of a tomboy to make a career of this and anyway, they only wanted to know if a judge would say I was as beautiful as people had been telling them. Daddy and I were relieved that she wasn’t going to drag us all over the world, collecting points for championships. I was relieved that the torture table wasn’t going to be set up permanently.

 Mum thought that if we were going to learn to walk right, it ought to be a useful kind of walk, and off we went to doggie school to learn our dos and don’ts again. This time in Brinkum. Since I already knew that sitstay stuff, I did my best not to embarrass her this time and presto! We were accepted for the new intensive introductory agility course. Mummy acted like she had achieved her goal in life. Bought soccer shoes, show leash, books. 

Three times a week we jumped over hurdles, climbed over walls and the dog walk, dashed through tunnels and wiggled around weave poles. That is to say – I did. Mummy started on the wrong foot, bent over too far and forgot her cues. Then it was time for the course finals. I decided to stir things up a little, falling off the dog walk and rolling into a somersault. Everybody gasped, but I knew the rule: get right back up on the dog walk. And up I went. 

Coach Ela accepted us for the team and her husband Horst says we can start thinking about competition in about a year. Mummy says we’re doing this Just For Fun, but Grandpa, you know as well as I do that it’s good for her, honing her coordination and challenging her memory. One day we did a real parcours, but I didn’t need Mummy to remember where to go; I can read the numbers.

Now we have a slalom course, four hurdles, a tunnel and a hoop in the backyard. From beauty princess to olympic candidate.

Love, leaps and licks,

Back to my homepage             Proceed to next Chapter