BRITMOR BEWITCHED was a 12-3/4" pointed Salt and Pepper bitch. "Witch" had a flawless topline and harsh coat, and very nice movement. She was a natural retriever with a wonderful attitude, whose primary claim to fame for much of her life was the production of our beloved Peter, Britmor Fly Boy, ME RA MX MXJ EAC EJC-V O-TN-E O-OAC O-OJC WV-O S-NJC NGC NGC-V TG-N CGC.
When Witch was seven-years-old, my daughter Kate decided to join her best friend in beginner obedience classes, and Witch was her victim of choice. We discovered that Witch was the perfect "clicker" dog and she excelled in this motivational method of training. After only 13 weeks of classes, Witch was entered in the club's Annual Revolving Trophy Match and walked away with both the Beginner Trophy and the Novice Trophy. The Beginner Trophy was one that Witch's Great-Grandfather Sunny and I had won twenty years previously. Witch earned her Companion Dog obedience degree a few months after this at the age of eight.
Witch and Kate then started taking agility classes, and six months later, Witch earned her first "legs" toward her novice agility titles. She garnered four 1st places, two 2nd places, and one 3rd place on the way to her novice agility titles.
Witch started competing in Open Agility at the age of nine, and pretty much blew her competition away with one first and two second places in Standard and three first places and one second place in Jumpers w/Weaves.
Witchie earned her third leg for her Open Agility Jumpers w/Weaves title under unbelievable conditions! This was an outdoor show, and we had been getting storms through here every day. That ring was more a combination of pond and bog than good running/jumping turf. I mean.... it was SO BAD that only 19 people out of the 30 entered decided to run anyway. The club was spreading bale after bale of old hay out there on the course, and my first thought was MICE! (It's a good thing Peter wasn't ready to enter yet. One Jack Russell was going NUTS when they were spreading the hay.... he was pulled.)
Even with the tramped-down hay, it was still a mess out there. At my suggestion, Kate warmed Witch up by walking her through some puddles. And when they got on the course, the water in spots was still up to Witch's carpal (knee) joints, in spite of the hay! (So much for the bath the night before...)
Witch always ran under course time, but I envisioned Kate trying to push her to make up time due to the lousy course conditions. I suggested she go steady, but carefully, so as not to fall (either one of them). I videotaped them, which means I really couldn't see much since I was looking through a little grey and white screen. Kate said that Witch was looking down more than usual and went at a slower pace than normal as she picked her way carefully through the course..... and even then they were still four seconds under course time.
Witch and Kate qualified for that final leg with a perfect score of 100, being only ONE of TWO who qualified at all in the Open Jumper class. The other dog, a collie, had substantial point deductions for being over course time.
Excellent classes were the next order of business, and Witch whipped through that quickly with three first places in Standard and three second places in Jumpers w/Weaves. Excellent is a bit harder, but now these two are showing in Excellent B and will be working toward their Master Agility titles.
From raw (agility) beginner to Witch's two Excellent titles was a total of 14 months.
*A side trip a couple weekends into the land of NADAC agility gave Witch her Novice agility and Novice Jumpers titles!
With Winter approaching, the agility shows were moved indoors and were not as frequent. Witch had three (of 10) Master Standard legs and one (of 10) Master Jumpers w/Weaves legs. She also had one Double-Q (of 20 double-qualifying scores) and 45 pts. (of 750 pts. needed) for her MACH (Master Agility Championship). I never thought any of us would survive long enough to see the completion of THAT title *g*!
Witch was #2 mini in Open Standard for the first half of 2001 (Delaney System). Witch ended the year as # 4 (tied) Open Standard Miniature Schnauzer and # 6 (tied) Excellent A Standard Miniature Schnauzer. She was #1 (tied) in Open Jumpers w/Weaves and #4 (tied) in Excellent A Jumpers w/Weaves!
End of September, 2001: Disaster struck here in the form of an injury. It appeared that Witch was probably broadsided by one of the other dogs while out in the yard and she sustained a dislocated hip which refused to stay in place. Surgery was done and a femoral head and neck ostectomy was performed. So ended a wonderful ten-month career of showing in agility.
*Update, November/December, 2001: Witch was now back on four legs (although she would still sometimes hitch up her leg if she wanted to hurry), and we were working hard to build the muscle back up in that leg. She was doing weave poles and the dog walk and things were looking a bit more optimistic.
Further: On New Year's Day, Kate ran Witch over an 8" course, and she performed beautifully! Training commenced again, and Kate entered Witch in one local show the first of March, 2002. Witch ran a mile a day on the treadmill and retrieved her favorite toy up and down the stairs in our split-level house.
Results: Witch ran extremely well even though she did not qualify in her two runs that day. She definitely could have been entered every day of that three-day trial! No more 3-legged dog for HER! Serious competition began again in May. Witch was now ten-years-old.
After that brief side trip into Hell, Witch then had her (NADAC) Novice Regular - Superior Performance, Novice Weavers -Superior Performance, Novice Gamblers - Superior Performance (Triple Superior!) titles, and had completed her Novice Tunnelers title. Her Novice Tunnelers, Novice Gamblers, and Novice Jumpers - Outstanding titles were completed in one weekend, with eight qualifying runs out of nine. Kate was gradually moving Witch into the NADAC veteran classes, and Witch then had her Outstanding Elite Jumpers Certificate - Veterans. She and Kate were once more beginning to work as a team. Witch qualified (200 pts.) to go to the NADAC Championships in Mankato, MN, Sept. 26-29, 2002, where she finished in sixth place, and she qualified again in 2003 where she and Katie went to the NADAC Championships in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and they finished in fourth place!
Witch finished her Master Excellent title on Aug. 25, 2002, and her Master Excellent Jumpers title on Nov. 23, 2002!!!! On May 24, 2003, we celebrated what Kate calls Witch's "Half MACH"!*G*..... as Witch crossed the halfway point toward her agility championship title! She then got her twentieth career Double-Q (four of them earned in two consecutive weekends, which qualified her for the 2003 AKC Agility Nationals), and had 749 MACH points! Only 1... count 'em.... ONE point to go!
FLASH!: Witch finished in 29th place at the 2003 AKC Agility Championships (out of 134 entries)!
The Comeback Kid just keeps chugging along....
Witch completed the requirements for her Junior Earthdog title on Sept. 6, 2003, at the Minnesota Dachshund Club Apple Cluster Earthdog Trial! What was her entrance command? "GO TUNNEL!"*g* This made two generations of Britmor earthdogs!
Witch placed FIRST among the double-digit dogs (10 yrs. and up) at the 2004 NADAC Championships, and qualified and was entered for the 2005 AKC Nationals! Witch was 13 on Feb. 2, 2005.
Witch's big haul from the 2004 NADAC Championships!
The tears flowed on January 9, 2005. Our New Year was jump-started by Witch and Katie as they completed Witch's Master Agility Championship title under Judge Dan Selthofer at the Land O'Lakes KC Agility Trial.
At 12 years, 11 months, 7 days old, Witch was the first schnauzer in Minnesota to earn her MACH title, the oldest schnauzer, and as of records on 5/31/04, the 3rd oldest dog to attain this title (and I'll bet none of the others had only 3-1/2 legs!). What an unbelievable trip through life this was for all of us!
Witch and Katie went to the 2005 AKC Nationals in Tampa, Florida, four days later for One Last Hurrah.
Witch was pretty much retired after the AKC Nationals, although she still competed occasionally in NADAC Tunnelers, and competed at 4" in CPE trials. Her final title earned was her Superior Open Tunnelers on 9/3/05 at the age of 13 years, 7 months, and 1 day.
As Witch approached her 14th birthday, she was officially retired, but she did not retire gracefully, as she did so kicking and screaming!!!! She still occasionally tried to run an agility course.
Addendum: We lost Witch the evening of May 26, 2007. She seemed to be waiting for Katie to return from her agility trial so that she could say goodbye before leaving on her final run Home.
It is hard to believe that, 5-1/2 years later, there would be more to add to this amazing dog's story, but AKC saw fit to posthumously award Witch two more agility titles... 5/24/03, Excellent B STD, 25 qualifying scores, Master Bronze Agility (MXB), and 5/23/04, Excellent B JWW, 50 qualifying scores, Master Silver Jumpers with Weaves (MJS). Katie said, "Thank you, AKC, for making me smile and cry again."
Am. Can. Ch. Glory's Eager Beaver (SP) Ch. Sycamore's Strut N Proud (BS) Sercatep's Kismet (SP) Ch. Sercatep's Sojourner (BS) Tammashann's Frost At Night (BS) Sycamore's Sassafrass, CD (SP) Sycamore's Saman of Westwynd, TD (SP) Ch. Sercatep's Nite Flite (BS) Ch. Rampage's Kat Burglar (SP) Ch. Sercatep's Strut N Proud (BS) Rampage's Expression (SP) Ch. Sercatep's Midnite Elegance (BS) Am. Can. Ch. Tammashann's Town Strutter (BS) Pine Needles Sercatep Pride (BS) Pine Needles Buff of Xenia (SP) Ch. Britmor Tagalong, CD (BS) - Sire Ch. Sylva Sprite Snowy Mittens (BS) Gough's Frosted Bonanza, ptd. (BS) Gough's Frosty Starlite (BS) Ch. Britmor Sunnymeade Frost, CDX CG (BS) Woodhaven's Black Jason (B) Britmor Sassafrost Teaberry, CDX, Can. CD (BS) Hi Ya Gret, CDX (BS) Can. Ch. Britmor Moonlight Sonata (BS) Gough's Frosted Bonanza, ptd. (BS) Ch. Britmor Sunnymeade Frost, CDX CG (BS) Britmor Sassafrost Teaberry, CDX, Can. CD (BS) Can. Ch. Britmor Sunshine Serenade, CD (BS) Ch. Bo-Nanza's Black Bulletin (B) Britmor What A Bo-Nanza, ptd. (BS) Bo-Nanza's Frosty Moonbeam (BS) MACH BRITMOR BEWITCHED, CD JE AMSC-VA CGC (SP) Ch. Sylva Sprite Snowy Mittens (BS) Gough's Frosted Bonanza, ptd. (BS) Gough's Frosty Starlite (BS) Ch. Britmor Sunnymeade Frost, CDX CG (BS) Woodhaven's Black Jason (B) Britmor Sassafrost Teaberry, CDX, Can. CD (BS) Hi Ya Gret, CDX (BS) Am/Can. Ch. Britmor Go For It, CD (SP) Ch. Penlan Peter Gunn (SP) Ch. Seacrest Saga of Joybrook (SP) Seacrest Summer Solo (SP) J.T. Crystal Elegance (SP) Aljamar Dyn-o-mite (SP) J.T. Sweet Violet (SP) Deeanee Amy (SP) Callery's Ms Austen Bailey (SP) - Dam Gough's Ebony Knight Longleat, CD (B) Am. Can. Ch. Gough's Ebony Royal Knight, CD (B) Gough's Ebony Heaven's to Betsey (B) Gough's Ebony Lightning (B) Gough's Frosted Bonanza, ptd. (BS) Gough's Frosty of Rosharlee (BS) Gough's Frosty Mittens (BS) Callery's Ms Grendl (B) Ch. Valharra's Dionysos (SP) Ch. Zomerhof's Xerox Copy (SP) Zomerhof's Bit of Hope (SP) Emmy Lou Star (SP) Abey's Mister Bo Jangles (SP) Jackson's Prisila Star (SP) Mindy's Maiden Misty (SP)
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