Dog on the Move

Nashville rescue canine defies the percentages, makes Westminster agility finals

When Anjie Crow couldn’t discover Fox Sports activities on the TV in her Dobbs Ferry, New York, lodge room, she and Zoey popped all the way down to the lodge bar and took up buy there.

The bar wasn’t open but, however that TV did have the channel she sought. So she settled on one bar stool with 9-year-old Zoey on one other. Collectively they watched.

Crow by no means anticipated that eight years to the day after adopting Zoey the 2 of them can be competing on one of many greatest phases — the Westminster Masters Agility competitors.

Now, they have been watching a rerun of the finals.

Had the bar been open, Crow might need ordered the best water accessible, to be poured into Zoey’s canine bowl.

From shelter pup to champion

Crow was perusing Pet Finder in June 2014 when she got here throughout Zoey, a small black and white speckled Australian Cattle Canine and Jack Russel Terrier combine. She’d been plucked from the shelter by the Center Tennessee German Shepherd Rescue and one thing clicked for Crow.

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Zoey might be the canine she was in search of. She’d turn out to be concerned about agility coaching however the canine she had on the time had little interest in the game. Zoey, she’d come to be taught, was good for it.

“She’s very meals pushed so it was straightforward to coach her,” Crow mentioned with amusing. “She eats all the pieces. Needed to name the vet’s workplace a few occasions due to it.”

Anjie Crow sits with her dog, Zoey, for a portrait in front of her ribbon wall, showcasing all of Zoey’s wins from previous dog shows, at Anjie Crow's home in Hermitage, Tenn., Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Crow adopted Zoey from a shelter and began training her to compete in agility competitions. Over the last five years Zoey has won countless ribbons and also competed in the Westminster Dog Show.

Shelter canines are simply constructed completely different. They’re resilient, powerful after they have to be, however can carry with them traumatic pasts.

Being a shelter canine began Zoey at an obstacle for agility competitions. Most canines that compete are bred for that function.

“Plenty of the handlers get canines after they’re 8 weeks previous,” Crow defined. “They get a lot coaching, publicity remedy that places them a step forward. Canines that begin as adults are at an obstacle. Canines adopted at shelters actually don’t have a bonus.”

However Zoey was wanting to be taught and fearless.

Zoey sits on her platform after completing an agility training course at Anjie Crow's home in Hermitage, Tenn., Wednesday, June 29, 2022.

The pair spent Crow’s free time over the subsequent two years coaching. She purchased weave polls, a tunnel, teeter totter, soar bars and a hoop and set them up on probably the most stage land in her yard.

As soon as Crow was proud of Zoey’s growth, they started working the native competitors circuits and progressively expanded exterior Tennessee. Then Zoey started profitable.

Admittedly, Zoey will not be the quickest canine, a key element of the competitors, however that hasn’t stopped her progress. She gained her first Masters Agility Championship title, the ticket to Westminster, in Might 2019. She now has 5 of these.

The massive day

The Westminster competitors takes the primary 350 canines with a qualifying title for the occasion annually. Crow overnighted their utility.

Zoey runs through a training exercise with Anjie Crow at Anjie Crow's home in Hermitage, Tenn., Wednesday, June 29, 2022. For the last five years Zoey has completed in agility competitions including the Westminster Dog Show.

The 2 have been all set to go in January earlier than it was postponed as a result of COVID-19 circumstances have been as soon as once more on the rise in New York.

Then weeks earlier than they have been to journey to the Lyndhurst Mansion for the rescheduled occasion, Zoey started having shoulder issues.

“I took her to the vet, a chiropractor, a therapeutic massage therapist,” Crow listed. “We virtually didn’t go, however then I believed ‘if we don’t do it now, we’ll by no means do it.’”

In order that they loaded up the automotive and made the drive, stopping to compete in Pennsylvania earlier than settling in at their Dobbs Ferry lodge room.

Zoey competed within the Masters Commonplace occasion, which runs canines by way of a sequence of obstacles, and the Masters Jumpers with Weave, a course that solely requires canines to leap and weave by way of poles. In her peak class, she competed in opposition to 74 different canines.

She had flawless runs in each occasions, incomes her three ribbons: one for every occasion and a 3rd for double qualifying.

The competitors takes the highest 10 canines from every peak class to maneuver ahead, they usually at all times choose an All American, which is a blended breed canine. Zoey was their lady and that was her ticket to the finals.

“I used to be not anticipating her to make it,” Crow mentioned. “I needed to triple test the finals record, requested pals in the event that they have been seeing what I used to be seeing.”

Within the finals run, Zoey zipped by way of the obstacles, taking route like a professional. She was practically to the tip, when she hopped over a soar from the flawed route after taking a miscue from Crow.

“I knew instantly. I believed ‘properly, that is over,’” Crow mentioned. “I used to be upset, however not in her. I’m so pleased with her.”

Nicely-deserved break

 On Wednesday, Zoey darted throughout Crow’s yard looking squirrels within the tall timber of their Hermitage dwelling. She flopped over onto her again and wriggled on the cement driveway.

They’re taking a break from competitors.

“She deserves it,” Crow mentioned.

Crow has devoted a room in her home to her canine’s accomplishments. One wall in that room, from ground to ceiling, is lined with lots of of ribbons. Her Masters titles are held on one other wall together with the leaping poles she crossed over to win these awards. A quilted banner, gifted by a buddy of Crow, hangs on the pole from Zoey’s first title win.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do after I run out of room,” she laughed. “I suppose I’ll get an even bigger home.”

Quickly they’ll be again on the circuit and touring previous Tennessee to compete once more, however Zoey’s age is beginning to present. Her snout is displaying extra gray and the fur round her eyes is popping too. Her vitality although stays unmatched.

Zoey’s received a little bit sister named Bindi, a component Australian Cattle Canine and half American Eskimo canine, who has been coaching to compete. Crow isn’t positive how lengthy she’ll proceed to compete with Zoey.

“I simply need her to be a canine whereas she has sufficient life left to be one,” Crow mentioned as Zoey lounged on the grass within the shade.

Contact Tennessean reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 615-259-8229 or Comply with her on Twitter @KDFiscus.

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