In December 2003 I decided to breed Fable to Spinner and finally get my Spinner puppy. The puppies were born in March 2004 and just like the litter Whist had, the first born was predominantly white.
“Stuart Little” was born first of four and although I told everyone that I was not deciding on who I was keeping until they were 7-weeks….she was the only one with a nickname (in fact she had 3) and there was just something about her!!
Well I was right, there is “something about her”. A little nervous, soft with a bit of a sharp undercurrent…enough to bring out the worst in many dogs. As a young dog, she seemed to have a “kick me” target on her back. This led to a number of problems, which I am glad to say have just about disappeared. She also went through some very pronounced fear periods and it always seemed that something unfortunate would happen during those times.
Today she is a much more confident dog, with a smile on her face. She would like to be my constant companion and just loves to be with me no matter what we are doing. I especially love having her with me when I teach—she lies quietly watching and grabs her toy whenever she gets excited—a wonderful trait she inherited from Spinner. She is the sweetest little dog to be around, playful and loving.
Getting consistency from Stuie at agility competitions is difficult – there are days she is brilliant and then there are days where the wheels fall off. One of the most helpful things ever said to me about her was from Linda Mecklenburg who said when she made errors “she is not wrong, she is just unforgiving – you have to be perfect”. That spurred me on to be more perfect in my handling.
Our proudest agility moment was in 2013 at USDAA Cynosports where Stuie placed 2nd in the PSJ Finals – she was awesome – coped with the cheering – and had her big girl pants on!!!! She repeated this in 2014.
At age 10 we worked with Janita Leinonen and Jaakko Suoknuuti. The exercise they gave me to work on her obstacle commitment has made a huge difference. She is still learning and getting better and better.