Happy 10th Birthday, Senna!

Back in late 2002, I was looking for my next dog.  I couldn’t decide between another Border Collie (I still had two) or another Sheltie (I still had one).  Friends seemed to be encouraging me to get another Sheltie, probably because of my frustration finding a reputable BC breeder that wasn’t asking a small fortune for their pups.  (I feel what many BC breeders charge for their pups these days is ludicrous.)

An online acquaintance with Border Collie Rescue of Texas told me about a litter of three BC pups – two females and one male – that had just been placed in foster homes in Houston.  When I inquired about one of the females, I learned that both of them had already been spoken for.  That left a male, and I really felt I needed to try another female in my household.  I asked that the foster mom send me some photos of “Crash”, and she did.  They didn’t realize excite me; in fact, the size of his paws made me think he’d be huge and would have to jump 26” in USDAA.  However, I asked Jamie if she could send me a couple more photos that showed the pup’s entire body.  She agreed.

In the meantime, the good friend from whom I eventually acquired Cameron told me about several litters of Sheltie pups that were on the ground just down the road from where I live.  Kelly & I went to look, and then I went a second time to see the pups again.  I’d pretty much decided to get one of the pups but wanted to wait to see how they progressed before making a decision on exactly which one would come home with me.

As I was typing an e-mail to send to “Crash’s” foster mom telling her I was going to get a Sheltie instead, I remembered I’d asked her to get more pictures.  I felt bad that I hadn’t waited for her to send me the photos before telling her I didn’t want the pup, so I held off on sending my rejection e-mail and instead asked if she’d gotten the additional photos.  She sent them to me right away and went on to tell me that “Crash” loved to play tug.  Between the photos and her description of this little boy, I fell head-over-heels in love with him.  I knew immediately that he was the one to join our household.  When I told my husband, Bob said he could tell by my enthusiasm that this was the right choice.

Because of rain, I had to cancel my Tuesday morning classes, so my friend Sarah (who had originally picked up the litter of pups from the breeder) offered to pick up “Crash” and meet me halfway from Houston.  Linda Ross-Hall from BCRT e-mailed me and asked that, even if I decided not to keep the little boy, I at least evaluate him for a possible performance home.  Before even making the drive to meet the pup, I told Linda I knew he wasn’t going anywhere else once I got hold of him.  And when he jumped out of the crate in Sarah’s van to meet me, he acted like he’d known me his entire life – all 13 weeks of it J.  I was definitely smitten.

I didn’t want my pup’s name to be “Crash”, so I started researching other names that would have to do with being fast or speedy.  I came across a web site for a famous Indy car driver named Ayrton Senna who won several Grand Prix car races.  Since USDAA’s national competition was at the time called the Grand Prix of Dog Agility, I thought the name Senna would be quite fitting for my new pup.

Senna turned out to be a wonderful pet, companion, and agility dog.  He was a breeze to train, and I found he actually learned a lot of things by watching Tristan.  At agility trials, I often got comments about how Senna didn’t look like he was running that fast, but his times and placements proved otherwise.  He was actually as fast as Tristan, but Senna was so much more calm and in control than Tristan ever was.  I had a blast running him.

Nothing has changed over the years.  Today Senna is 10 years old, and I love him as much as ever.  He’s still the same sweet pup that came to live with us and he’s still loving agility like he always has.  He just finished his MACH 3 last weekend at the AKC trial in Wichita Falls, and he’s just a few Pairs Relay Q’s short of finishing his USDAA Platinum ADCH.  I confess I don’t set goals for myself or my dogs when it comes to agility:  I play the game for fun and strive to do the best I can.  If I’d ever considered setting goals for Senna’s agility career, he’s far exceeded any expectations I may have had.

Happy 10th Birthday, Senna-pup!  I’m so glad you’re mine.