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January 13, 2016

I waited a very long time for Valor.  I fell in love with her grandfather (Ch Wildair Blue on Black “Kenny”) in 2004.  Kenny was my first choice for a stud when I bred Fly, but the stars just didn’t align for us.  Over the years I’ve longed for my Kenny pup but the timing was never right when there were litters available.  After I lost Fly I contacted a friend and asked her to put me on the list for her next litter, it didn’t matter who the parents were, I just needed a puppy to help me cope with my grief.  Come to find out she owned a Kenny son and was using him for her next litter!

I visited the puppies every week from 3 weeks old, watching them grow, and their personalities develop.  In the end I remained very objective, but the truth is that a little piece of me knew from day one that this was my puppy and that instinct was darn good because I couldn’t have picked a better fit for me.

Valor is amazing, and I know I’m biased but it’s the truth.  She was a fearless puppy, taking everything in stride.  She’s never met a person she didn’t like.  She is appropriate and confident with dogs.  She is biddable and goofy and cuddly.  She’s a serious worker and finds the actual work reinforcing.  It’s taken a while for us to click but I think we’re finally coming together.  She can’t be drilled on things.  If we have a problem area we work at it for short sessions and if we get one success I end the session and the next time we try it she’ll have it mastered.

In her first trial Valor earned her WCRL Puppy title and placed 3rd Puppy Overall for the weekend at just over 6 months old.  By the time she was 7 months old she had also completed her rally puppy championship and her C-WAGS Games Level 1 title.  


2017 was her first real year of competition and she proved time and time again that she was ready to play the game with me.  We experienced and accomplished more in one year than I ever imagined or planned to.  We traveled to Ohio to attend the 10th Anniversary National C-WAGS trial where she qualified in all her rally classes and placed first in her obedience classes.  She earned her first AKC rally Q at the Kentuckiana Tartan Border Collie Club Specialty in Louisville.  She earned her RN in 3 attempts and qualified for the 2018 AKC Rally National Competition.  And in WCRL she earned her Level 1 title in April and by November had earned her RL1X2, RL2X, RL3, and ARCHX with limited trialing.  She’s also my first dog to have earned all 4 Level titles with Awards of Excellence.  


In 2018 we competed at the AKC Rally Nationals and qualified in both of our classes.  She had lovely runs but I caused us an IP when I miscued a down.  More importantly though she handled the hustle, bustle, 12+ hour car ride, and sensation overload like a pro.  Our biggest accomplishment yet came at the Tunbridge, VT July shows when we earned our first AKC Beginner Novice leg with a 186.5! It was my first time in the obedience ring and Valor was awesome.  Valor finished her BN in 2 trial weekends and 5 attempts.  Her last two legs were earned with first place scores of 192.5 and 195.5.  We also received lovely comments from the judges on what a nice dog.  We finished 2018 earning our Novice CDSP title.  It took us 5 attempts to get our first Q due to some issues ducking the recall over the jump, but once we proofed that exercise she earned her title in 3 straight attempts.


2019 has been pretty laid back so far.  We survived our first AKC Novice A attempt in January.  We had a lovely run but I had not proofed group stays so she broke her sit stay.  No worries though, it'll come in time just like everything else.  We also had our first Open CDSP run and that was so much fun.  Again she ducked the jump on the recall and again I miscued the down (I'm sensing a pattern here) but we both enjoyed the experience and can't wait to try it again! In the meantime we earned 2 PCD legs with placements including a HIT Preferred Class Dog with our first leg.  Valor also passed her AKC Herding Instinct Test with nice compliments from the judges and handler.  We decided to try out FastCat this summer and she earned her BCAT in her first weekend of trialing.  She also earned all 3 CD legs this summer and finished her PCD, all with placements.  In October we tried coursing and she improved enough at understanding the game to earn her CA.  I wanted 2019 to be about doing new and fun things and we definitely managed to accomplish that.

2020 was supposed to be our year for Open.  We had our first two tries in the beginning of March.  Our first run was really good but we had a few areas to work on.  I was hopeful that we would be able to try again this Spring but as we all know 2020 has not gone as planned for anyone.  In an effort to make the most out of things we spent the month of April working on all of our Trick Dog titles, we completed AKC's Trick Dog Elite title, and all 5 of the Do More With Your Dog titles.  We're also working on video entries for agility and CDSP so we can get some Open practice.

Valor and I finished up 2020 by accomplishing one of our biggest goals for the year - earning our CDX-C, which is also her 51st title!  She also earned her first CDSP Versatility Q!  I am so proud of her.  She is a brilliant girl and I cannot believe that we are officially working on Utility exercises now!

2021 started off with us working on some trick dog Masters titles.  Valor breezed through those videos earning more than enough points for the titles.  We then submitted our Trick Dog Grand Champion video and were among the first dogs that earned the title on its inaugural date!  We even earned a perfect score across the board.  While we were waiting for the TDGCH results we earned our Canine Conditioning Fitness Level 1 title and began working on Level 2.  And to my astonishment the 2020 annual CDSP rankings were released and Valor ranked #12 in Open B and #1 in Versatility B!  This was with limited trialing and she only earned 3 Open Q's and 1 Versatility Q for the year!


Health Clearances: 
OFA Hips Good
OFA Elbows Normal
OFA Eyes Normal
DNA Normal: CEA, CH, TNS, CCN, MDR1, IGS, DM, MH, Glaucoma, EAOD
Carries Dilute

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