Written by: Rhonda Schechter
Jake, my Novice A dog and the first dog I have every owned in my entire life, had a remarkable 2016 and capped it off by getting his UDX, OM1 and VCD4 in November. He got his UD and VCD3 in February and VST and CT in April. Jake is only the 13th Golden Retriever to get the AKC VCD4 - there are only a total of 36 dogs ever to achieve the AKC VCD4. What is means is that he has a UDX, VST, MX/MXP, MJ/MJP. His registered name is CT Jake of Rhonels VCD4 RE JH AX OAJ WC so you can see that we also have accomplishments in other venues. To top it off he turned 9 on July 8, 2016.
We did not start showing in OB and UB until June, 2016 so Jake completed his UDX and 3 legs towards his UDX2 in 5 months with scores respectable enough to get his OM1 and points towards his OM2. During this time he was Mr. Consistent. He NQed a total of 5 times (3 in UB and 2 in OB) on the way to his UDX and two times was due to handler error. His consistency has surprised me a bit because we were in the ring 11 times before completing our UD.
What makes our 6 year journey from having only an AKC RE to where we are today is that Jake was not bred for performance and I didn’t even know what the AKC CGC program was let alone AKC Performance Events when he came home in September, 2007. I work full time and travel so we have limited time for training and showing.He easily got his JH, passing 5 out of 6 tests with little training, passing on natural ability. Jake passed the GRCA WC on first try. Jake has a Dock Dogs Junior Title because he saved most of his Senior distance jumps for practice. Additionally, between 2009 and 2010 Jake achieved the APDT (now World Cynosport) ARCH, RL1X, RL2X and RL3X.
While I am very proud of all of Jake's accomplishments I am most proud of his connection to people and other animals. The picture that represents him the most is the one with "Minnie Mouse" at a local charitable organization's Halloween event. He was unusually attentive that day to "Minnie", although there were streams of children there whom he loves being with. I found out months later that she had just found out about her cancer reoccurrence and Jake just knew she needed his attention more. I can train and show him in every known event but it's his innate abilities that makehim special. And Minnie is in remission again and we hope it stays that way.
Jake is far from perfect but he has been the perfect dog to introduce me to the breed and performance events. He has changed my life forever and for the better. His best title is "Heart Dog Extraordinaire".
A big thank you to our obedience trainer and mentor, Bridget Carlsen. Thank you also to Carla Ogert (tracking), Annette Narel (agility) and Julie Dorsey-Oskerka who started us on this incredible journey in 2009.