As soon as Kate was old enough we started obedience and agility classes. We entered our first agility trial in November of 1998. Kate was not the first Norwich to earn an AKC agility title ... that honor belongs to NTCA member Susan Novotny and her Oliver. But Kate earned the first Open title (1999), the first Excellent title (1999), the first Master title (2000), and the first Master Agility Championship title (MACH, 2005). Along the way, Kate participated in five national AKC agility events - three AKC national championships (2000 Springfield, 2003 Long Beach, 2005 Tampa) and two AKC invitationals (2006 and 2007, both in Long Beach). Kate, along with NTCA member Carlynn Rick's Darcy, were the two Norwich at the first terrier-only agility trial in 2000 ... which has grown into the four-day Montgomery terrier agility cluster. In her later years, Kate participated in the AKC's preferred agility program where she could jump a lower jump height and was allowed a bit more time. Kate earned her last agility ribbon in 2010 and retired later that year.
Kate was shown by a professional handler to her conformation championship (1998) and had her only litter in 2001. Kate earned the obedience companion dog (CD) title during a three-day weekend in 2000, and later her rally novice (RN) title in 2006. Kate earned one leg towards the junior earthdog title - but not with me as the handler. Kate refused to leave me to go into the earthdog tunnels! We also dabbled in tracking, lure coursing, and terrier races. When the NNTC joined CHIC in 2007, Kate was one of the 31 Norwich who had already met the CHIC requirements. In 2011 Kate and I were awarded the Prince Award, the highest award given annually since 1955 by our local training club for "outstanding service to the club and being an outstanding canine ambassador".
The AKC has gone a little wild with titles - formally Kate is "CH MACH Jerusalem Katherina Minola B CD RN MXB2 MJG OAP MJP3 MJPB NF NFP" - but I prefer to just list the highest titles she earned.
Kate's last "award" was participating in the NTCA's Legacy of Love. I would like to thank NTCA member Chris Zink DVM for volunteering her time to this effort which hopefully will benefit all Norwich. So now all I have left are Kate's ashes, her ribbons, some pictures, and our memories. "Take care, kiddo."
--- Blair Kelly, Shaksper Norwich
Published in "The Norwich Terrier News" Fall 2013