Luke – ‘The Wonder Dog’

 

lukeDear Luke was with us well into his 14th year. We think of him as Luke “The Wonder Dog” for so many different reasons. As our entry into the world of NADAC, Luke is where it all started. Our only non-rescue dog, Luke came from a breeder. He had a number of health issues… hip-dysplasia (mild fortunately) and a hot spot which ultimately led to his tale being docked to relieve pressure on his slightly deformed spine among other things. He is a sound strong dog, just a little different.

We were told early on by one trainer that he would never run agility mainly because he compensates so much using his front that he would never be balanced on contacts…. and we switched trainers :)  Lesson #1: Not all trainers are ‘good’ trainers. That one sure was not! Luke is so smart and with patience he over came this. To understand him is to know how slim his chest is, but his heart is so huge we cannot figure out how it does not just burst right out of him.

In 2008, Cathy had a plan to get Luke to the NADAC Championships. She worked with him, ran with him, trialed with him right up to our last trial of the year where he needed just one more Regular Q to qualify. Some weekend that was.

So finally there, Luke and Cathy ran and ran and ran. They finished 9th that year. We really cannot remember if there were 9 or 90 dogs in his level and it just does not matter to this day. I know we were so proud of him and his joy that we hadn’t driven for 2 hours back towards Texas and Cathy was already making a new plan for Luke for 2009. 3 months later he earned his NATCH and in February the following year his V-NATCH…. those darned Weavers Q’s.

Some kind of year or so for our big dog that started it all.

Not two weeks went by after his V-NATCH that his right tendon started to stretch out and Luke’s jumping career was over. For a while he ran the occasional non-jumping classes and then a partial Tunneler’s course on the good days.

You see, Cathy and Luke did not know that Championships would be his last as a participant. Oh, this might sound a bit sad, but to us, it is much more. We had the chance to show the rest of our NADAC competitors and friends from around the country what a great dog AND agility dog our Luke was. Cathy wanted to have him at NADAC Championships and they made it.

We are grateful we did not wait another year. NADAC Championships enriched our lives with our dog partner and enhanced our bonds with & appreciation of him… for as long as we will live.

Luke retired from Agility to become our Office Manager in his final years. We think of him each day.

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