Competing at the Championship
By Lauren McIlwraith
I was given an opportunity of a life time and this I will never forget. Making it to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championsihp was a long road but exciting. Having this opportunity to show dogs has given me a source of confidence that I would have never achieved any were else. Dog shows are teaching me away to prioritize my life and allow myself to balance school and showing dogs. To qualify for Juniors at the Championship you need to have a 3.0 grade point average and accumulate five open wins with competition.
Showing to Ms. Cassandra Clark, who is also a Siberian owner, in the preliminary was even more exciting, because she knew what I was having to do to make my dog presentable. I have heard that it takes a push button dog to be successful in your Junior career. I myself do not have a perfect dog. The Siberian that I show in Juniors is as hard headed as a two year old. Just ask the people who have watched us struggle with each other. She doesn't give up, but that's what I love about her. I think that makes a handler or even a Junior better; to be able to take a dog that is wound up as tight as Cricket and to show them to their best ability. Every Junior at the Championship was able to do that.
The competition was very tough in both preliminaries and the finals. The caliber of competition in the finals was top notch, and I feel extremely proud to have been chosen Best Junior. It was an honor and a privilege to finally be able to compete under Mr. Forsythe.
Thank you to the staff of AKC especially Mari-Beth O’Neil and Eukanuba Dog Food Company for all your hard work.