Thursday, March 11, 2010
Candy's Blog: Introduction
I decided that Candy needed his own blog or he might try to take over Merlin's blog, so here goes. Candy probably needs little introduction. He is almost ten years old (in March 2010) and is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who experiences life in a canine cart or wheelchair.
Candy began his life in Ohio. His first owner, Linda, had expected a girl puppy, and her granddaughter had her heart set on the name Candy, and was in tears when he turned out to be a boy. Linda consoled her by naming the boy puppy Candy anyway. He was a beautiful corgi puppy with just a tad too much white for show.
Linda trained him for agility, and Candy excelled. At almost four, he was headed for his MACH (AKC agility championship) when he suddenly, walking across the living room, gave a yelp and started to limp. Within 12 hours he was paralyzed in the hind end. He had surgery very quickly, but as the days and weeks passed following surgery, no function returned. Linda borrowed a K9 Cart for him and the second phase of his life began.
In 2008, faced with ongoing health issues and care of others, not to mention stairs, Linda decided she needed to find Candy a home where he could be more active (lifting him to go up and down stairs was a problem and he was always stuck at home.) This is when I got Candy. He flew to Seattle in May of 2008.
Mom and I met him at the airport and went immediately to a Northwest Corgi Afternoon at Kathy and Leo's. Candy demonstrated his cart prowess, his sociability, and his adaptability as he motored around the group as at home as if he'd grown up in their backyard. He amazed all of us with his command of the cart as he wove in and out of lawn chairs and down steps.
Because I thought it might be good for bonding, I enrolled Candy that June in a beginning Rally Obedience class. At the first class I discovered that my new dog was a pro at most obedience commands. The only one he seemed not to know was "Leave it!" After puzzling over what command Linda might have used, I finally called her. She laughed and said "He's having you on. He knows that command very well!"
I soon learned that APDT Rally allowed dogs in carts to compete, but was disappointed to discover only a tiny West Coast presence. A trial was scheduled for October, 2008, near Santa Barbara, California. "Only" four hours from Fresno was close enough, and I entered Candy.
He started-and finished- his Level 1 title that weekend, with an Award of Excellence. Here are a couple of videos.
He also got his first leg in Veteran's with a score of 210 out of a possible 210.
At home, I built Para-agility equipment, and Candy showed his enthusiasm for this sport as well.
In the fall of 2009, we entered our second APDT trial, which was only Level 1, so Candy could not go on to a new title. Now we are almost ready for Level 2, which will be the subject of the next blog post.