Student of the Quarter
Christine Lamano and her dogs
Jack, Bella, Cassie and Fred
Christmas' Annabella Rose NAP NAJ NF RN CGC, Bella, is the girl that's trained us all! At 9 years old, she still kicks up plenty of dust and gives Freddy (and Christine) a run for the money! She's a lot of dog in a small package, and still competes occasionally for the fun of it. She's also had experiences in rally obedience and sheep herding, but loves being the queen of the shelties at home the best.
Cassie, CGC, is the newest member of the pack, rescued in November 2011. She had a short but outstanding agility career, until sidelined by an elbow injury from her puppy years. She holds the record as the best snuggler in the house!
Christmas Gallant Jack NA NAJ OF RN CGC TDI, Jack, the dog who started this love of dog sport for us. To say "Just Jack" had drive was an understatement! If he had not earned his angel wings at the young age of 9 in February 2016, I am sure he would say I am doing it all wrong! I learned so much from him about agility and "Mister".
MACH Christmas' Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddy, was a surprise dog. We weren't looking for another dog, but when I saw him from a distance, he captivated me with his unique look and silly spirit. I went home that night and told my husband about the cute puppy our friend and breeder, Melissa Williams, had at the sheepdog trials. Not hesitating, he said, "Did you tell her we want him?" Laughing, I said, "You know we aren't looking for another dog!" Then came the words that did it: "What's one more?!" The next day, Freddy rode home with me and we started his obedience training at Dog Haven as soon as we could.
Soon after, he started Beginner Agility. I already had 2 "high drive" dogs competing in agility, but I was still learning too, so we had lots of interesting runs. But Freddy was very different. He would literally look at me to get instructions and did what I told him to (even when it was wrong)! We went to our first trial in Fletcher, NC in May, 2011. He did well and was not distracted by the other dogs and activities. I was thrilled and could not wait for the next show. Due to family health challenges, we would only go to dog shows for one day, even though they are normally 3 days long. Luckily, Freddy is very consistent in his runs and it didn't take long before we started completing titles and heading for the big one -- the MACH! He is not overly fast, because he still hates the weave poles, so we chipped away at our required speed points and double Qs for a few years. We had to miss a few shows in 2014 and 2015, as family health challenges continued and we lost two of our pack, human and canine.
May 28, 2016 marked the 5 year anniversary of Freddy's first trial, and again, we found ourselves in Fletcher, NC. In our first run of the day, we hit the first magic number -- 750 -- our required speed points, and later that day, the second one -- 20 -- our required Double Qs. What an amazing combination: MACH Freddy on a milestone day! We had a quick but mind boggling celebration in the ring, and one of us left the ring in tears, as we would have loved for our whole pack to celebrate with us. I am sure there was a celebration in heaven, too!
Team MACH Freddy wants to thank Coach Deb and Coach Karl for helping us every step of the way, especially Coach Deb's advice about our grounding and focus. It's easy to want to do it all with all of your dogs, but I was one person and there was a lot more happening in my life than dog training! Our Dog Haven family means so much to us and we love all the friends we have made in our training here. You all are part of our journey and we cannot wait to step to the line again for the next run! Peace, love and paws!
Christine and I have enjoyed time together since 2009 when she brought her two crazy puppies to agility classes. We had a challenging but fun time trying to channel that drive into something productive. As you can see, we found success. Bella and Jack had a lot to teach us and they demanded that we listen.
Cassie is such a sweet girl. After arriving at the Lamano home, she found her way into Christine and Tom's hearts without much trouble at all. She was well on her way to agility success when we noticed a limp that just wouldn't heal. Cassie wasn't able to continue training, but she really didn't mind retirement. She quickly found another carreer in warming Tom's lap.
Fred was a very different dog from Jack and Bella. He was a reserved, thoughtful puppy, very willing to do whatever Christine asked of him, but he had something new to teach her. Fred's sensitive nature required an entirely different approach. After working together for a short time, Christine and Fred began competing and were queuing consistently! But as it does, life got in the way and Christine was only able to go to a limited number of trials and could compete only one day of each weekend. We thought that for the average dog, completing a MACH with these limitations would be virtually impossible, but Fred wasn't average and he proved us very wrong. Fred is an awesome dog and he always gave Christine everything that he had, each and every time he entered an agility ring. He completed that MACH in a very short time and had a great time with Christine doing it.
Karl and I are thrilled and very proud to have coached Christine and her dogs throughout their careers. A big congratulations to Christine, Jack, Bella, Cassie and Fred on everything that they have accomplished!