My daughter and I live with our five collies, and we both take care of them. But my daughter is the one who is responsible for handling them at dog shows.
|First dog show
She began learning how to show collies ten years ago, when she was just a little girl. She started out as a junior handler, and now that she is in college, she wants to become a professional dog handler.
|My daughter and Abby, winning the tough Open class at the CCA 2008 National
Dogs respond well to her in the ring, and my daughter is becoming recognized as a great collie handler. She is good with dogs, and has even been hired to handle other people's collies at dog shows.
It's been a wonderful experience, watching my daughter grow up, and her time competing at dog shows has been an important part of her life. It has taught her patience, responsibility and good sportsmanship. She has had to spend years practicing and training. She has attended classes and seminars, and has been mentored by many well-known collie handlers over the years.
She has learned to set goals, and work hard to achieve them. She wanted to qualify to compete at Westminster, and she did it, twice.
|My daughter and Holly, Westminster Dog Show 2012
She was ranked amoung the Collie Club of America's Top Twenty Junior Handlers for last five years of her junior handling career. And while she misses competing in junior handling, she now helps younger junior handlers develop their handling skills.
|The 2012 Collie Club of America Top Ten Junior handlers invitational
Competing at dog shows has kept us spending time together as a family. When most teenagers would rather be off with their friends, my daughter and I were traveling all over the country to compete in dog shows. She has also developed life-long friendships with other junior handlers by competing in this sport.
(Winner's Bitch competition at the CCA 2008 National)
And the people we have met over the years have made us realize that we are now part of a dog show community. And they have recognized my daughter's efforts by awarding her a college scholarship! I know that many people look at dog shows and cannot understand the appeal. Some may even dislike dog shows, or find them boring. But I will always be grateful for what dog shows have brought into our lives, and how they helped mold my daughter into the amazing person she has become...