I fell in love with this puppy within days of meeting her. She was the black girl with the big fat tail. I had my heart set on a black boy but there was only one boy and he was yellow. So I had three black girls to choose from and the girl with the lime collar was it.
She grew fast and soon it was obvious she was the bigger of the three. I was always trying to stay detached. What if she didn’t turn out to be the show performance puppy I was hoping for out of my Eddy and Punch litter. I remember at one point telling her that she had better step it up. I did not want a puppy lacking in energy or drive. And she did step it up. The first time I introduced the puppies to a duck, she was the first to pick it up. I loved her structure and temperament. She had the rear drive I was looking for in this litter.
Once we evaluated the litter and I knew she was mine I started puppy training. Nothing serious, all positive with lots of treats. She started catching on fast. Once she learned sit, there was no looking back. I brought out some of the puppy equipment for agility, a low table, the buja board and my clicker.
We were going to Georgia in March for a puppy match and Punch was going along for an obedience match. I had Winona entered in the Beginner Puppy Class at the Birmingham Kennel Club show in April. She had even gone to a few of the puppy classes at the BKC. Then on March 13 things changed. Soon all the matches and shows were being canceled.
But I kept training like I always have. I don’t know what I would have done these last few months without the dogs to train. Events are just icing on the cake. But AKC decided they would do a pilot program for their trick dog titles. Simple, video your dog performing ten tricks, then send the video to an AKC evaluator.
With all that I had been teaching Winona we had what qualified as ten tricks. So I set up the video camera and figured out where to place it in order to video all of her tricks. Then we went outside, performed our ten tricks and Win got her Trick Dog Novice title at six months.