Niquita has been a special puppy from the beginning. I got to help bring her into this world with Shelby’s owners Jay and Suzanne Lusk. They had purchased Shelby from our litter M and simply marched her through a whirlwind of activities. There really wasn’t anything she wasn’t willing to try; Herding, obedience, some agility, drafting, parades, and being a show dog.
As Shelby matured and showed what a well balanced and beautiful girl she was, it became time to look at breeding her. A lovely boy was found up in Canada, Aslan, that seemed to be a great match! Now, in hind sight, looking at the lovely offspring it truly was a beautiful match! Out of this litter we took home our Niquita. Meaning Courageous. She was one of the smallest in the litter but she just carried herself with a sense of pride and balance. We saw so much of Shelby’s mother in Niquita (Addie) that our hearts were drawn to her immediately. Especially my husband Bill. Addie had been his heart dog and Niquita wiggled herself right in there and brought a piece of Addie alive again. We had always wanted to show Addie, but only dabbled in it. Distance, children at home, and other distractions in life prevented us from finishing her. So, to get her granddaughter that resembled her so closely, was like a dream come true.
Niquita has been visiting inmates in our local youth correctional facility since she was 9 weeks old. She quickly became a favorite for one young man in particular. I have to say that watching him train her was simply surreal. She was attentive and eager to please. She responded to his gentle voice and patient handling. He walked her into her draft training like she had done it her whole life. Neither of them had ever done anything like it. He trained her for her CGC and earned a certificate that acknowledged his work. Now that she is old enough to put a drafting title on, I hope she will transfer that to me as her handler (Shelly). The young man has since moved on, but it was a hope he would have had the honor to put that title on her. When she does this, It will be because of the incredible beginning she had with him. But, we have teamed up and both Niquita and I have become a registered therapy dog team. The true credit of why she is such a wonderful gentle spirit comes from this one young man. And he knows who he is. Thank you.
Our National Specialty for the BMD was in Portland, OR this year (2017). We decided it was time for Niquita to be introduced to the show ring. She made her very first entry at this special show (18 months old). She took first place in the Novice class and gracefully strutted her stuff. On our way home from the show, we stopped in Pendleton, OR where my 10 year old niece had asked if she could show one of my dogs. So, that Sunday, KaraAnne proudly presented Niquita in a ring with a bunch of adults. Niquita allowed this young lady to show her and took home her first point and Best Opposite Sex in Breed. Two months later, I entered Niquita in another small show in Idaho to see how she would do. She pulled in another WB on that day. Then this month, Niquita had her 2nd birthday, time to start this show business for real we thought. We entered her one day at the Richland WA show and she again took home Best Opposite Sex for Breed, but this time with her new handler, Christy Marley. She was then scheduled for her first BIG shows…Boise ID. We entered her 3 of the 4 days and soon found out they would all be majors. We were thrilled when we heard she took home WB on Thursday for a 4 point major, then again on Friday she took BOW for another 4 point major….She took Saturday off for a well deserved break…and we held our breath for Sunday…She did it again!! Best of Winners…4 point major and earned her championship. We had fully planned on this taking us quite a few months and are simply awestruck and grateful to her handler Christy, her breeders Jay and Suzanne, and proud of our Swiss Silhouette’s Unconquered Dream!