Levi Five-O-One Blues

UDX NA NAJ HCT

September 2, 1987-June 3, 2004

CH Shawn Darís The Ghostwriter X Waldenwood Magic Moments

Levi is my first dog who was MY dog. I bought him when I was a sophomore vet student, thinking that I wanted a dog who could go everywhere with me and that maybe I would like to try obedience. Someone must have been looking out for me because Levi couldn't have fit the bill more perfectly. The only obedience class offered in my little college town at that time was an adult education class offered through the university. With that and the guidance of Barbara Handler's book, "Best

Foot Forward" we went to our first obedience trial in August of 1989. I will never forget that day; I had not one but TWO flat tires on the way home. Despite that, it will forever stand out as a red letter day as Levi was High In Trial with a 199 from Novice A. I couldn't truly appreciate it until years later- on that day I didn't even know there WAS an award for HIT!

Despite many mistakes made by his very novice trainer, Levi went on to earn his UDX title. At the age of seven he saw his first sheep and earned his first leg on his AHBA HCT title; he finished the title on his second exposure later. At 9 years old I took him to his first agility class as a reward for all the years of working his heart out for me in obedience. We both got hooked and our first trial was the very first agility trial ever offered at

the ASSA National specialty, in May of 1997. Levi won his class (12 inch Novice A).

You may notice in the picture that it was starting to get dark by the time we were done. Levi was the very last dog to run that day and we barely made it before the light faded! And that was in the days of only one standard run- no JWW offered yet!

Levi went on to earn his NAJ (although JWW was not introduced until after he had already finished his NA title). He also earned two legs towards his OA title; poor old guy learned weave poles (well, sort of) in 6 weeks after we finished his NA and decided we might like to keep going. We never could quite get that last leg, mostly due to my totally inept handling and total lack of awareness that handling even played a role! I

retired Levi just before his twelfth birthday when it became clear that his hearing was nearly gone. I did bring him back out again in USDAA performance and NADAC veterans when he was 14 and showed him a few times; his first time out he ran clean and won his class, despite the fact that the next oldest dog was 8 years old!

Levi will always be my special boy; he is the most willing, honest and loyal little dog you could ever ask for. He always tried his best for me and made it so easy for me- I had no idea what a terrible trainer and handler I was until I started working with my next dog and realized just how many times Levi had covered my butt! (I joke that Levi is my cover-my- butt dog and Andy is my yank-your-pants-down dog!). In addition to introducing me to

the wonderful world of canine competition sports, he was my patient teacher and allowed me to hone both my training and veterinary skills at his expense. He also is a TDI registered therapy dog and in his younger years made countless visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, serving as an ambassador for all a dog CAN be.

On June 3, 2004 I had to make the very difficult decision to let Levi go.† He told me he was ready several days before;† but it took me several days to bring myself to make the decision.† I am so lucky to have had him in my life, as my first dog...who knows what I would be doing were it not for him.† Iím thankful for nearly 17 years with him, and that he was healthy and active up until just a few weeks before he died (the picture at left was taken 2/03 when he was 15 1/2 years old).†

Wait for me, my old man...Iíll see you again.

 

Rebecca L. Golatzki DVM

Edgewood Animal Clinic

3025 Dixie Highway

Edgewood, Kentucky† 41017

(859) 331-4848

sheltiedoc@yahoo.com