|My Ever-growing Love for Dog Shows
by Kelly Corcoran
My dog, Sadie, and I entered our first show in the spring of 2005. I learned very quickly that it takes a lot of training, effort, and time to become a competitive team. In two years, Sadie and I had completed six titles and trained in Obedience, Rally and Tracking. In addition to Sadie, my family added another Golden Retriever puppy, Lucy, to the household during my senior year of high school. My trainer suggested Lucy and I try out a puppy agility class since she was so energetic and fearless. Lucy took to the obstacles immediately and ever since the first class has loved going to agility. Although I love working in Obedience, I have really enjoyed my experience with Agility thus far and look forward to the day we enter our first show. Being away at college has made it very difficult to enter any shows because I get so little time to train with Sadie and Lucy. I have a very close relationship with each of them, and I miss living at home with them very much. Since moving to school, I have developed a greater appreciation for the time I get to spend with them, both at home and at training.
About 18 months ago I walked into the breed ring for the first time. A good friend, fellow coworker, and mentor of mine is a breeder of Portuguese Water Dogs and she gave me the opportunity to show one of her champions in Best of Breed. Not only was I was very nervous since it was my first show, but also because I was competing against professional handlers. I walked into the ring with no expectations and came out with a greater appreciation for the breed ring. I hope to put a championship title on one of my own dogs in the future.
Though it takes a lot time and effort to be a responsible dog owner, I love every aspect of owning a dog. Every AKC event, whether it is Conformation, Agility, Tracking, Obedience or Rally, brings new experiences and challenges into my life. I can't imagine a life without my dogs. I also can't imagine my life without AKC events because they have truly taught me many life lessons and have given me a way to bond with my dogs that can't be found anywhere else.