The AKC/Eukanuba National Championships are scheduled for this weekend, Dec. 4-5, in Long Beach, Calif., and Alaska has its fair share of competitors in both conformation and agility.
As a way of acknowledging their incredible achievements, this week the Dog Blog will be introducing some of the Alaska competitors in a Q&A format.
Up first is Lynda Barber-Wiltse, who will compete in the AKC Agility Invitational that is being held in conjunction with the conformation show.
Lynda needs no introduction to the canine community in Alaska -- she's been a fixture in everything from conformation, agility, obedience and rally competitions for nearly a quarter century. She's also a charter member and trainer at Alyeska Canine Trainers, and, whether she remembers or not, taught me and Eddie in his first real obedience class back in 2005. :)
Kennel's name: Nuka Bay Chesapeakes
Dog's Registered Name: Inde’s fully loaded name is: Am*/Can Ch Nuka Bay’s Independence Mine Am/Can/UKC CDX, CKC RA, URO1, RAE3, CGC, CGN, WD, MX, MXJ, MXF, S-NAC, OAC, S-NJC, EJC, NCC, S-TN-N, S-TN-O, TN-E, TG-O, WV-O, JS-N, GS-N
Her AKC only name is: Ch Nuka Bay’s Independence Mine CDX, RAE3, MX, MXJ, MXF
Call name: Inde
Breed: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Dog's Age: 8
Handler/owner: Lynda Barber-Wiltse (Handler/owner) … Larry Wiltse (co-owner)
Occupation(s): Civil Engineer/Project Manager (Lynda) … Larry is Chef/ musician/ electronics technician
How long have you been showing/training dogs? 24+ years
Always same breed? Yes, I’ve only trained/trialed/shown my Chessies
Top finishes/titles/honors: Inde has earned 10 Obedience High in Trial awards (4 AKC from Novice B and 1 Canadian KC from Novice B; and 3 AKC from Open B and 2 CKC from Open B) and 2 Rally High in Trial awards (from CKC; 1 in Novice and 1 in Advanced). She also earned an AKC Sporting Group II award in conformation.
In agility, she competes in one of the largest jump height divisions (20-inch) which has a lot of Border Collies and Australian Shepherds (aka Aussies) and is often right up there with them time wise.
Best features/attributes: Inde is a very diversified gal! She currently sports 55 titles (35 agility; 9 rally; 6 obedience; 2 conformation; 2 CGC/CGN; and 1 field) and is working on more titles AND Inde is the mother of 11 talented pups (7 of the pups have earned a combined 21 titles to date).
First time to Eukanuba Nationals? Yes, this is the first time Inde and I have been invited to the AKC/Eukanuba Agility Invitational. Inde’s mom Sitka (Am/Can/Int’l* Ch Nuka Bay Shemya’s Sitka, CD, RE, CGC/CGN, NA, NAP, NAJ, NJP, NAC, NGC, TN-N) qualified for the first AKC/Eukanuba Classic (conformation) in 2001, and we flew to Florida for the event.
Goals for the competition? Have a good time, enjoy the competition, do the best we can, watch/learn from the other teams, make Alaska and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever world proud!
Anything else people should know about you and your dog? I am also Inde’s breeder ….. she is a 4th generation (thru maternal grandmother) and 5th generation (thru maternal grandfather) Nuka Bay Chesapeake. She is 5 points away from the new AKC Grand Championship title. I am a Charter Member of Alyeska Canine Trainers (teach obedience and agility classes) and a Charter Member of Arctic Streakers Agility Club. I grew up with Border Collies and used to show horses (hunter/jumper).
Dog Blog note: Just for fun, here's a picture of Eddie graduating from Lynda's advanced-beginner obedience class in 2005. It was his first class besides a Petco beginner class, and her enthusiasm and ability to achieve positive results inspired me to continue working with all my dogs. I think Eddie's flirting with Inde in the picture. Lynda often brings her dogs to class to show beginners the right way to do it!