In Hot Pursuit



Chase at the 2004 ASCA Nationals Photo by Family Tree Imaging

Chase at the 2004 ASCA Nationals
Photo by Family Tree Imaging

Chase was our first Australian Shepherd; he came to us in July 1998 at the age of 13 months through North Bay Canine Rescue. Far too busy a puppy for his original owners, Chase proved to be an outstanding training and competition partner. He had a very forgiving temperament and never met a stranger. In fact, he was certain that everyone he met must have had treats just for him in their pockets.

Chase loved agility ... sometimes a bit too much. He barked out of enjoyment and was quite loud on and off course, and especially on the startline. Luckily, at home he was quiet unless greeting us at the front door or playing in the backyard with his frisbee.

He started competing in agility in February 1999 and won his first class (AKC Novice A Standard in Denver). We were hooked!

He went 4/4 in Starters Standard in USDAA and finished his AD in September 1999. Advanced proved to be a bit tougher. He had an especially hard time stopping to think about weavepole entries, and it took him 4 trials to finish his AAD (April 2000). At his first trial in Masters, he Qd in Pairs and Standard and was the honored recipient of the Masters Leg. You can read about Chase and the story of The Masters Leg on Katie Greer's old Agility Ability site.

He earned his MAD in October 2000 with a Gamblers leg; Gamblers proved to be his toughest class, as those legs were the last ones he needed for his MAD, ADCH, ADCH-Bronze & Silver, and LAA-Bronze. Despite the challenges of the game, he was a top point earner and was in the USDAA Top Ten for both Standard and Gamblers in 2003. He continued to compete in some Masters classes, but also enjoyed the USDAA Performance program and hit the 2004 Performance Top Ten in Standard and Snooker. He was a Performance National Standard Championships finalist in 2005.

Although his first agility competition was in AKC, he was slower to accumulate those titles since we didn't attend as many AKC trials as USDAA events. He earned his first ever Double Q at the 2002 USASA Nationals in Carson City, taking 1st place in both 24" Ex B Std and JWW. Much later he earned his MACH in May 2006, and soon thereafter enjoyed the lower heights of the Preferred program. He also hit the USASA rankings in Std and JWW over the years, taking top honors in 2003 in 24" Ex B Std. He competed in the 2003 AKC Agility Nationals in Long Beach, but had a tough time on the carpet. He finished 13th overall in the 24" class there, just missing the Finals by 1 place. Despite the miss, I was extremely proud of both of us for holding it together in such tough competition.

He has also competed in NADAC/ASCA agility, earning ASCA rankings in Elite Standard and Gamblers, and qualifying for Agility Finals in 2003, 2004 and 2005. He competed in the Finals in 2004 and you can check out Chase's 2004 ASCA Nationals Brags HERE. He qualified and attended the ASCA all-breed Agility TOUR sponsored by WCASA twice, finishing as Reserve large dog champion in 2007.

Chase was also an extremely willing obedience partner, and, despite his green and nervous handler, earned his AKC and ASCA CDs in 3 straight tries each. His CDX titles took a bit longer, mainly due to sit stay problems but once those were ironed out he performed consistently each time out in the ring. He placed in Open B at the 2002 ASCA Nationals pre-shows, competed in Team Obedience, and qualified for the ASCA Obedience Finals in 2004, earning 3rd place in the competition despite the fact that he was also running in the Agility Finals in the other ring.

Thanks to ASCA's Altered Conformation program, Chase got to play the pretty dog now and then as well, which he thoroughly enjoyed (free cookies!). He was pointed and had an A-BOB win to his credit.


We discovered papillary carcinomas in Chase's lungs in October 2007. He got to compete one last time at the USDAA Cynosport games in Scottsdale, running happily finishing with a great Steeplechase Classic run (complete with a broken startline). Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Chase on November 28, 2007. He went peacefully after a brief but valiant fight against a reaction to his first chemotherapy treatment.

Chase enjoying his 1st place prize bed USASA Nationals (May 2002)

Chase enjoying his 1st place prize bed
USASA Nationals (May 2002)

Chase was a once in a lifetime dog; I'm hopeful that there will be other great dogs in our future, but Chase definitely left his mark on us and we are grateful for all that he taught us. We miss him terribly.