our dogs of the nineties
The last of our “agility dogs from the 90’s” left us this week. My husband pointed out that all our first & second generation agility dogs born in the last century have sadly departed the life we shared with them. Wicked was almost 16 years old, born in February of 1997. She joins Scud and Mick, 1991, Riot and Swift, 1995, Toast & Winston 1993, and Spy 1999.
Wicked was so decidedly not “wicked”. She loved every human and animal that she met. She was bred in England to be an agility dog and not to be one of those “herdy border collies”. She shocked us all when she showed such calm talent at moving the sheep around our fields, surpassing in skills some of our other collies who were better bred for the job.
She was the easiest dog I have ever trained, and rarely put a foot wrong. She helped many of my friends and students learn to do agility as she got to be the lesson dog, when visitors came to train without their own dog or needed a backup dog to run at a camp. You knew you got it wrong if there was an error in the run as it was so rarely ever her mistake. She retired from her agility career at 12 years old on the same day as her best buddy Riot when they both got their 500th platinum qualifying legs in USDAA. She and I had some great moments together over the years, winning the USDAA National Championship in 2000, and winning the DAM team tournament with Spy and Trigger in 2004 and taking third at AKC Nationals in 2005.
One of my students called her the Phyllis Diller of dogs, she was funny and silly and could not sit still while watching her friends run. A friend penned these drawings of her many years ago, and for the life of me I can’t recall the artist. Wicked would stay on the table while I trained another dog, but not very calmly. She was usually jumping up and down, spit flying from her mouth, but she never ever left her spot on the table. These drawings are how I remember her best.
Our life is emptier and sadder without her at our heels, always a riot tug in her mouth and a smile on her face. God speed Wickie.