Doggone fun

By the time the weekend is over, more than 200 dogs will have flashed their skills at the Clovis-Portales Kennel Club all-breed agility trials at the Curry County Events Center.

The owner's goal is to guide their dogs through obstacle courses in the fastest time.

The three-day trial continues today and Sunday.

CMI staff photo: Tony Bullocks

Mica, an Australian shepherd owned by Kelsey Culbertson of Albuquerque, flies though the course Friday at the Clovis-Portales Kennel Club's dog agility trials at the Curry County Events Center.


In need of a job

Dawson, with his deep black hair and white underbelly, used to cause mischief and chew things up when he got bored, such as eating his owner's journal.

"He was driving everybody nuts so we found him a job," said Chryssa Chraralambides of Albuquerque, owner of the corgi-cattle mix work dog.

That job is competing in dog agility trials, and this is Dawson's second time competing in Clovis.

Chraralambides said he needs physical and mental stimulation. The corgi-cattle dog mix is a work dog. She used to take him for walks and would get restless and that's when trouble would start.

She said dog agility training and competition gives him an outlet and his behavior has improved.

Toy story

James and Brittany Hodgins of Lubbock had dogs that didn't want to play with toys.

So late last summer they decided to make toys that their dogs would like. James Hodgins said they began making tug toys with rabbit fur on them. The dogs loved the smell of the fur couldn't get enough of the toys.

The dogs would go looking for them and eventually the Hodginses had to keep the tugs on top of the fridge.

The Hodginses decided to make a business out of their dog's new favorite toys. Since then they've expanded their product line to include tugs made out of American fleece, sheep's wool, and cowhide.

The Hodginses had set up shop as vendors at the agility trials in hopes of expanding their business. James Hodgins said their business is quite small and mostly in New Mexico and Texas.

Top dog

Icyhot, a miniature-American shepherd with icy-blue eyes and a dappled coat, is ranked No. 1 in the nation among her breed in American Kennel Club agility races, which makes owner Donna Crary Johnson of Rio Rancho proud.

Johnson said her dog, which has been competing for 8 1/2 years, is getting old but continues to perform well.

Icyhot finished No. 1 in 2012 and 2010, according to Johnson.

"We have to go to a lot of shows," Johnson said when she was asked how Icyhot keeps his No. 1 ranking. Johnson and Icyhot compete in two, three-day shows a month, and together they've traveled as far as Tampa, Fla., for competitions.

Victory lap

Linda Kipp of Las Cruces and her dog Picassa, a border collie, celebrated with a victory lap after winning a master of agility championship award on Friday — their second of the day.

Afterwards Kipp awarded Picassa with dog treats.

"She'll get more," Kipp said when asked what the next goal is for her dog. Kipp said she has won 15 other MACH's with other dogs. She is confident that she can win more MACH's with Picassa.

Together they train for agility trials two to three times per week.

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