My given name is Ashley Marie, but it's just "Ashley" to my friends and family (unless Mom is mad at me ). I am a border collie/something else mix.
My life began when Becky, my mother-to-be, came into a Michigan Humane Society and spotted me in a pen with my 2 brothers in 1987. We were found walking down the road and some kind person brought us in. Becky was there just to "look." YEAH, RIGHT!!!! Like she was going to leave there WITHOUT ME???!!! I didn't think so! :)))
When I was around 3 years old, she decided that we were going to go to obedience classes! She felt like she didn't want me to drag her down the street and be "rude" like her first dog (my brother then) TEDDY, the basenji. Oh, what troubles he caused!
So, off we went where we really excelled! I learned quickly and very happily. We went to matches where I actually was winning... and mom was getting HOOKED!!!!
Then a friend told us of another thing we could do called "agility." It's where you run around an obstacle course together and try to complete it correctly and within the time allowed. See, there is an organization called USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association-copyrighted) that allows "mixed breeds" (I guess that was me) to compete as well as purebreds (they think they are better than me??? I think NOT!).
So we started training and 6 months after starting, that club held its first trial (that means it's real, not a match). Well, of course we entered and, lo and behold, we both did it correctly and within time!!! Mom said we earned our first title ...an "AD" (Agility Dog-copyrighted) and that I was the FIRST DOG IN FLORIDA TO EARN AN AGILITY TITLE! WOW!
We also ran another run that qualifed us to go to the Grand Prix National (a REAL BIG show) in Texas...YEAH! ROAD TRIP!!!! My mother keeps saying ignorance is bliss as we both were so new to agility we weren't nervous or scared!
Well, we did pretty respectably. We made it to the 2nd round where she pulled me off an obstacle (she says, "No, not on purpose!!) creating an "off course." I don't know what that meant, but I know I didn't get to play anymore :((.
We have been to a few more of those BIG shows since and had a blast!!!
Well, I could go on and on. I do have 17 years of stories to tell but I won't!
The Reader's Digest version is:
I went on to earn my CDX in obedience through AMBOR (American Mixed Breed Obedience Registery) and also my USDAA - "MAD", "JM", "SM" and "RM" titles!!!
My biggest and most important jobs though have been to help bring up the next "stars" in line for Mom. These would include 3 goldens and another BC (he's 100% BC, they say, but acts just like me!)
I am QUEEN BEE and will NEVER act my age. Thanks for stopping by and listening to an "olde gal" go on and on. Enjoy life and have fun. It's what's it's supposed to be!!!
Our Household is very lonely and sad today.....(11-05-04)
At 8:20 a.m. today someone who has been a total part of me for almost 1/2 of
my entire life is now being able to run, jump, do her agility and maybe do
some herding (that I never quite got around to letting her do).
You know when you have someone around for 17 years and 6 months you really
DO start to believe they are invincible and will be around forever.......but
the body will still betray even them.
Ashley was my beginning - certainly not the end....she would never have
I got her at 6 wks of age from a MI Humane Society - only at 3 yrs of age
and wanting to have a dog that "listens and doesn't drag you down the
street" did we start to do some obedience classes. She was VERY good at
that. Getting titled through ASCA - she earned her AMBOR "CD" and "CDX"
with all placements.
Then a friend (Kathy Gregorieff) told me at an obedience class....why
don't you come and try agility with her...I was like "try what??" This
was in 1990. So I became a charter member of the Dog-On-It Agility Club
of Central Florida.
Ashley after 6 months of training (if you could call it that back then
<G>) earned the rights to say she was the FIRST DOG IN FLORIDA to earn an
AGILITY title!! D-O-I held their first USDAA trial in which Ashley went
clean and earned her "AD".....AND at the same trial qualified to go to the
Grand Prix National in Houston, TX.
Well heck, ignorance IS bliss and we went. If I hadn't pulled her off
the tire we'd have been through the 2nd round!!! (keep in mind this is
after 6 months of training <G>).
If I had known then what I know now about this sport....who KNOWS what
this dog would have accomplished.
Not being a good gamble dog....she lacked 4 gambles for her USDAA "ADCH".
She did finally earn 1 gamble leg for her "MAD" title at 11 yrs old.
At the age of 13 yrs old she earned 4 - PIII Snooker legs (all SQ's) before
I officially retired her.
She may not have ended up with all the titles and "stardom" that her house
mates have but without Ashley and her being "rowdy" and full of it, I would
have never begun this road that has allowed me to learn, grow and become the
dog trainer that I am today which in turn has been rewarded with the
following house mates earning what they have!
Those of you that only do AKC or have gotten into agility in just the recent
years perhaps don't even know Ashley in fact didn't even know she was
around.....but the "long timers" in agility know exactly who she was.....and
how it took me 3 WHOLE years to earn her "AAD" (Advanced
title) in USDAA due to her lack of willingness to step in that darn
YELLOW paint!! :)) Oh, she'd get within one step of it and her ears
would go up, the tail carriage a little higher and LEAP off the contact
obstacle and just smile.....SHE had fun that way :))
I'm not sure how you deal with your solid, rock - always there foundation
dog being gone - who has outlived 3 of her house mates passing on before
her. I guess we'll take it one day at a time.
Nobody could have possibly guessed the total IMPACT that this tiny little 5#
- 6 wk old puppy could have had on one persons ENTIRE life!!!
I miss her already, but that fiery, full of life, trouble maker, spark in
her eye dog has been betrayed by her body at this point and by slowing down
just enough age finally caught up......and being the "pill" that she is, who
has ALWAYS done things her way, not mine <G> she wasn't going to make it
easy on me.
Her bad days, being very weak in the rear and having trouble standing, have
started to out number the good ones....but this morning (when mornings have
been her absolute worse time of the day) didn't she get up, want to go out,
eat breakfast and decided to have a "good day".....Yes,
that was life living with Ashley :) Your a bad, bad girl! LOL!!!!
(said full of love, sadness and tears)
Ashley it's time to go visit Teddy, JJ and Tera........I won't say sleep
well as I know you'll be back to running full speed - and getting into
trouble - may the angels learn quickly how to deal with YOU! And NOT be
fooled by your sweet, innocent (not!) face <G>.
I miss you ..............................
A Friend wrote these words to the Dog-On-It Agility club members - which I appreciate so much! (written by Martin Mayo)
One of our founding canine members has been sent to compete in Universal
Becky Nicholas walked Ashley to the Start Line and gave control to our
"Master Handler & Coach". She was released from the Start Line (God
Speed...Ashley). The last report was the hurdle at Rainbow Bridge set a new
record and the course time is being re-written at every turn! Contacts are
no problem...not even a challenge! Our Master Handler has control. We can
all be Proud!!!
Click on "Memory Lane" for more photos of Ashley!!!
All photos and writings are copyrighted and property of Becky Nicholas