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Sheer Persistence

I am sitting here this morning, reflecting on the weekend. I had the honor of witnessing my 12 year old niece push through and win her highest award yet in the confirmation dog ring...

“Best of Breed” at a specialty show for German Shepards, which was like winning Best of Show at Westminster for her!

Let's take a step back about 4 years ago... Tifani started in the dog world at the age of nine. When she was younger, I used to take her to dog shows because she loved them so much.

One day she said to me “Auntie, I want to do that”, at which I replied, do what? She said “show dogs, just like those people out there”. I told her ok, let me get some information. I found out she couldn't show dogs until she was the age of nine. She was only seven at the time, so we continued going to dog shows as spectators. She got her dog fill every time we went, the people at the shows adored her love for dogs. In October 2012, Tif said “ok, now I’m 9, when can I start showing dogs?”

I turned to a breeder friend and asked how a young child would get started with showing dogs. There just happened to be a Juniors class about 30 miles away from us on Tuesday nights. Problem.... she needed a dog! Well, this was the first, and by no means the last, of the unwavering kindness the dog people showed us! My friend said you can use my dog, she is a finished champion.... so off to class we went. The coaches didn't like the fact that Tif had a German Shepard as her first junior dog because the dog was so big. Now what do I do???

Well, second act of kindness... one of Tifani's coaches said she had a finished cocker that would be perfect for her.... she needs a good home, with a little girl who will love her, play with her, and keep showing her in the ring. Tifani was thrilled! She fell in love with Viva the moment she laid eyes on her. For the next few months, they trained together and developed a love affair. The two of them were a joy to watch in the ring together!

After about three months of practice, we set out for our first dog show in Eau Claire WI.

We got a hotel and made it a fun weekend. The big day finally came, Team Tifani and Viva were about to make their debut! I am not sure who was more nervous me, or Tifani... they called her number and into the ring they went. When it was all said and done, she took second place and was thrilled to receive her very first ribbon!

Then came day two of the dog show… we were getting ready for the show when suddenly Viva, out of nowhere, had a full blown seizure!!!! We had never been around a dog while it was having a seizure, so we had no idea what to do. Everyone was so kind, they all came around to help. Unfortunately, when a dog is sick, they do not go in the ring… which meant a heartbroken little girl, with a sad puppy, for day two of her new adventure.

A lady came up to us and said if we talked to the judge and tell him that your dog is sick,

he might let you bring in a different dog. But we didn't have another dog?!?!? That was when an Earth Angel appeared! She said “I happen to have my other dog with me, she's not very cleaned up, but I think she would be fine for a trip around the ring”.

Tifani ran over to where the Blue Merle Australian Shepherd was, her name was Whisper.

Tifani took Whisper out of her crate, did a down and back with her, and then announced we got this…. Team Tifani and Whisper were born!

Unfortunately, Viva had to retire due to the seizures.... but no fear, the Earth Angel who was the owner of Whisper, was delighted to give her furry four legged girl a new job!

For the next three years, Team Tifani and Whisper rocked the dog world... they had many fun trips around the ring, landing themselves some beautiful ribbons. One day, Whisper’s owner informed us that she was going to be moving out of state to be closer to her daughter, which

meant Team Tifani and Whisper was going to be dissolved… it was a great run for the two of them!

Once again, Tifani found herself looking for a dog to show in Juniors. It didn’t take long before Tifani came running to me.... Auntie, you need to talk to Sharon, she has a dog I can show in Juniors!!! Off I went, to find this lady named Sharon and to hear more about this so called dog that she had. When I walked into the area that they were in, OMG…. there stood a 100 pound German Shepard… Mr. Drako! I about fell over.... Tifani only weighed about 75 pounds and yet she wanted to show this beautiful, huge dog! Team Tifani and Drako was born... turns out Sharon was an owner of multiple German Shepards, so now Team Tifani also includes Tuss and Joy.

You see, Tifani never stopped when the road got bumpy or tough… she just put on her “Let’s Make a Deal” hat and went out to find herself a new four legged friend to bring into the ring. Now this is what I call, Sheer Persistence!

Cheryl Carrigan

Inspirational Guide Happiness Coach

612-695 8183

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