Bella's 2006-2007 Accomplishments!
Remember Mischief, Bing, Reese and Tabby's mother, Patsy ........her name is Bella now and Bella suits her better. She not only is beautiful inside and out, she is a wonderful performance dog! After finishing her championship and having two litters of puppies, Bella went to her "retirement" home with Lucia Hackett. She has had a very active retirement though and has accomplished so much that we wanted to give her a page of her own. We hope Lucia's "diary" will inspire some of you to get involved in training your Wires too. You'll be amazed at what Bella and Lucia have done in the time they have been together. Chip, Sally and I are so proud of them!
Bella started regular obedience classes in April, 2005. I quickly saw that she enjoyed the challenge and learned her lessons well. Bella is a talker and as she prances into the training room she always makes the announcement that she has arrived.
Bella is cute as a button and loves every bit of attention she gets from the obedience folks who rarely see a Wire outside of the conformation ring.
Notice that focus!
Bella at a Rally Workshop
In July, 2005 Bella passed her Canine Good Citizen test and at that point we set our sights on Rally. Rally is an AKC obedience sport in which the team of a dog and handler completes a course of 10-20 designated obedience signs while under the watchful eye of the judge. 100% is a perfect score. Rally Novice is done on leash. The team needs three qualifying scores in order to earn a Rally title.
Bella, the "Calendar Girl!
April, 2006 Bella entered her first Rally Novice trial and she walked away with the Blue ribbon. At this same show a professional photographer saw us in the ring and asked to take her picture for the 2008 WFT breed calendars. We can only hope. On a very hot and humid June day we earned our third rally leg and Bella got her AKC title of RN Our scores were all in the high 90’s and in most competitions we were the only WFT. Bella is stripped and with her cute prance she is usually a crowd favorite.
People were just blown away with her attention and business like attitude (with a skip in her step of course)! When the judge was done giving out the ribbons and we were walking out of the ring he put his hand on my shoulder and told me what a nice dog Bella was and that we had done a really good job. That made our day. I am so proud of her and bursting with pride."
On To Rally Advanced!
In July, 2006 Bella entered two Rally Avanced trials and now we were doing the stations off leash…yikees! We qualified in both classes and Bella now has two legs towards her AKC Rally Advanced title. However, again Bella shows me she is smarter and more reliable than I am as a handler. In each class I got my right mixed up with my left and we lost 10 points. If Bella did the course without me she would have continued her pattern of scores in the 90’s.!
Bella: The Earthdog!
"Working The Quarry"
Bella meets the rats!
In July, 2006 we learned about the fun AKC sport of Earthdog. Terriers love it! The Intro to Quarry test is a 10 foot tunnel with one turn. The Junior Tunnel is 30 feet with 3 turns. Bella, in true terrier style, thought the first time we trained it would be easier to just do the tunnel from the sunny side, the second time she gave the hole a try and the third time she put the two pieces together and she found the prey.
August, 2006 Bella entered her first AKC Earthdog Trial in Gardner MA and we are the only Wire there. She qualified in the Intro to Quarry test on both days. On the second day she earned her first leg towards her AKC JE title. I was so proud of her to go the entire 30 feet, in the cool darkness of the tunnel in search of her prey. It was so cute to see a pretty show ring groomed wire get “down and dirty” doing what a terrier was originally bred to do. I think she’s got the drive to be an Earthdog Diva.
was so excited this weekend as Bella earned her Junior Earthdog Title at the
Scottish Terrier Club of NE AKC Earthdog Test. We just started earthdog training
in July. It has really been fascinating to watch her hunting instincts come
alive and observing her little mind put the pieces of the test together, then of
course the pure joy she got out of going to ground. It is the only time I reward
her for screaming, howling, barking, yipping, scratching, digging and getting
dirty! I was hoping that she would have qualified over the Montgomery weekend
but she was 9 seconds short. However
attending the Montgomery show was part of our plans and that was pure enjoyment. I have never seen so many beautiful wires together at one time. An added surprise (and got me misty) was seeing Blackdale Ringmaster in the Veteran's class as that is her sire. For anyone who has the inclination to
try earthdog, I know your wire will love you for it!
Here are the pictures and more description of our adventure!
Bella, Max, John and I drove down to CT so Bella and I could participate in the Scottish Terrier Club of NE Earthdog Test and guess what......she qualified and earned her Junior Earthdog Title! She got to the prey in great time and worked the prey in splendid fashion. She was also very polite in letting me take her out of the hole while she was still wanting for more.....of course she thought I was crazy as I was showering her with kisses. We are now setting our sights for next Spring on the Senior title.
Last weekend in the Crosswicks,NJ test following Montgomery (over 200 terriers participated!) she was 9 seconds over the time limit given to reach the prey. Otherwise she did a really great job there too but not a qualifying run. The weather was beautiful that day and the farm that hosted the trial was lovely. Fyi.....I was "really" thrilled to get the embroidered gear bag that the Chicago, Greater Twin Cities and Central States Wire Fox Terrier Clubs donated. I was so proud to receive one and really appreciate that the club's members recognize Wires doing performance events.
In the picture I attached you can see that Bella's attention was not at the camera. The cardboard box contained toys and she was craning her neck to get one.... in true terrier fashion.
That night, Bella fell fast asleep but I was on cloud nine :)
I have a bit of good news to share about Bella. On Sunday she earned her AKC Rally Advanced Obedience title! At this level it is all off leash. For the first two legs she was excellent then at one show she found out she could run out of the ring on some special mission of her own device. After that we did two shows and she did the very same thing and we NQ'd. Well it was back to working on focus and building back on our teamwork and it paid off. Like a true terrier if I was interesting enough to "earn" her attention she gave it to me. She is certainly making me a more educated trainer and we are having lots of fun.
We are also in agility classes which she really likes. So now we will work on our Rally Excellent title.
Also thought you would get a kick out of Bella's new car. I actually took her with me when I went show room shopping as I was looking purely for a "doggie" friendly car to cart her all over creation for our lessons and shows.
Best regards from
Lucia and Bella CGC, RN and now JE!
The first photo shows
Bella “honoring” her bracemate as he worked the hole. At that
point the dog is tied to a stake in the ground and must be quiet as she waits
her turn. The second picture shows Bella entering the hole.
Bella earned her Senior Earthdog Title today….yippee!
She had to qualify in three trials, under three different
judges and today was the day. Actually she earned this title in warp
speed, in two trials. In fact she earned her JE and SE in only 11 months
which is really something.
In the SE test I take off
her collar and lead, then place her on the ground 20 feet from the tunnel’s
hole and she must use her nose to find the hidden hole. She has 90 seconds
to crawl 30 feet in a 9x9 inch tunnel which has three 90 degree turns, a
false exit and a false den with bedding. If she doesn’t let the
false exit or false den trick her then she reaches the rats and has to
“work” them non-stop for 90 seconds (which is a lifetime when I’m standing
by the main entrance counting the seconds with my heart in my throat). If
she passes that piece the judge then pulls the rats away and hides them.
The judge then instructs me to call her and she needs to come out of
the tunnel and allow me to retrieve her within 90 seconds.
She was great in all three trials but today had an especially good
“textbook” performance according to the judge. When she
exited the hole she came running straight over to me, jumping over all the brush
and I could see on her face that she wanted to tell me all about what she just
did in the hole!
This was a two day trial
and yesterday…….. It was hot, humid and it rained so hard throughout
the day that when it came time for our run the tunnels had water in them and it
was oh so muddy. Well Miss Bella dived into the tunnel and worked
the correct amount of time came out when I called her but took one look at me
and went right back in the tunnel. She was brown from the tip of her
nose to the tip of her tail and she was loving it. She finally came back
to me but it was over the time limit so we didn’t quality but brother did she
have a good time.
So we shared the fun this
weekend. In true terrier style she took her turn first and played silly
yesterday but then worked her heart out for me today.
So now it is on to Master level which is designed to come as close as possible to a natural hunting situation. In this test she hunts off leash with another dog. This dog’s owner, myself and the judge walk in the woods through a set course. Last week we did a practice run and Bella did really well. She was so focused on her job that she and the other dog even stuck both their heads into a false tunnel and were fine with each other. She hunted away from us like she should but stayed close enough that we could see her. I was a bit nervous but she showed me she could do it.
2007 Year End Update:
When Bella and I looked back on the year we decided to relax a bit and kick up our heels and paws..... Bella earned her Rally Advanced and Senior Earthdog title during the summer months. Earned her CG from the American Working Terrier Association. This Fall we earned two qualifying scores towards her CD and 3 legs towards her Master Earthdog title. A really proud Master qualifier was at the National Earthdog Trial held in conjunction with the all terrier shows during Montgomery Weekend. But what really wags our tails is that we qualified for the 2007 Cracker Jack Combined Title performance award from the American Fox Terrier Club. What a joy and a privilege to have Bella as my best buddy!
Now her photo is on sets of poker chips that represent different
dog breeds. Here's the