2011 AKC Preferred National Agility Champion Taylor - A Thank You

The new AKC National 4-Inch Champion
takes flight.

Taylor is a dog with the heart of a lion, the brains of canine mathematician and the clinical focus of a CFO. I count on him to draw the lines and work the angles. He has never let me down.

Though life gave him a fragile body, he refused to give anything but his best. He has always given 300% more than I ever could have expected.

When I first saw him, he was a 1-year-old conformation dog. My first glimpse of him was as we drove up the breeder's country driveway. There was X pen sitting next to an RV where the Papillons were exercising after they had just returned from a show.

The other Papillons were leaping and playing, all except one: Taylor. He was the smallest of the bunch, remarkable for his tiny size, and a beautiful face painted over with with contradictory, serious stare.

He seemed to be impatiently waiting for someone to drive up that driveway, and that someone ended up being me. Taylor made sure of that.

As we drove away with him safely crated in back, I turned around to see not as I expected, a scared young puppy on its first trip away from home, but a confident young dog, chest out, head held high, wind in his hair. He looked to me like a young man confident that he has left the farm behind and was off to meet a destiny he was sure was calling his name.

I kid you not, he has been on that path ever since. Didn't matter his knees were weak. Didn't matter his eye sight wasn't great. Didn't matter he could never really jump.

He was in the game, always. Never took the eye off the ball. And in the ring, always put in that extra 10 percent that I didn't even know he had. Always, that laser-like intelligence that seemed almost to the point of mechanical in its uncanny infallibility. Like his great-great-great grandfather before him, he was the Precision Clockwork Mouse.

I could have got a bigger dog. I could have got a sounder dog. But I could have never, ever have gotten a better one. He has made a mark upon my life far greater than his 5-pound size.

Thank you, Taylor. You are my rock, my inspiration and the best little dog in the world.