A Tail of a Great Dog with tremendous heart.












3-15-1987 - 9-11-01  

In my original life in the beginning of time.. too many years ago to say.... I had 2 dogs...and was thinking about a 3rd dog....I had an OTCH Cocker Spaniel...and an OTCH Belgian Tervuren. Originally before I got the Terv...I had wanted a Border Collie. I loved their intensity and zest for life. So my next dog was to be a Border Collie. I had no idea where I would get this dog from....but I was reading the local Shopper's Guide and they listed Border Collie pups for sale. Now that day I had off of work...well...I could either mow the grass or go look at pups. Well....guess what won out.!!!  

I had a choice between two pups. Both females. One classic marked and the other with more white.....well Raven came to sit in my lap and looked at me...like you are my new person. So I came home with a new classic marked BC pup. Not really scientific puppy testing. All of my dogs have nicknames. Hers became Baby Ray...as at this point in time she was the baby of the pack. Later on she became known as "Rainman"....from the movie of the same name...She loved to play ball....Who's on first...What's on second ....I don't know is on third...Oh...well...just play ball.  

Baby Ray. A totally honest dog. A Border Collie with a true work ethic. She was out of Jack Knox's working dogs. I remember her as a pup. As I had 2 adult dogs in the house I did not worry about picking up my clothes on the floor. She came out of the bedroom one day carrying a red sock...totally proud. I sucked in my breath and she promptly spit out the sock...totally horrified that she had done something wrong. That was the last of picking up any clothing left on the floor.  

She passed her Herding Instinct Certificate test when quite young. The tester said she was a natural. Unfortunately sheep are too hard to housebreak....but Raven's life was to be filled with so much to do.  

Her temperament was impeccable. She was as steady and as calm whatever I asked her to do. She loved being a therapy dog at the local nursing home where I work. Hey..... those people will throw balls just for fun.....no work involved. She was always the Great White Shark when it came to playing ball. She rarely missed a throw. I never did understand how she could catch a ball coming from behind and over her head. The people at the County Nursing Home thought she was the greatest dog.  

Raven loved to do tricks. She could sit up and wave with either front foot. Her very special trick was to jump through a hula-hoop when I knelt down holding it over my head. She could roll over both ways. She could answer the phone after I rang a bell. She won a years worth of dog food at a PetSmart trick contest. Good girl Baby Ray.  

Our first adventure in dog sports was tracking. She excelled in this. She passed her first Tracking Test which was easy at 6 months of age. Her Tracking Dog Excellent test was not at all easy. The usual time for a Tracking Dog Excellent test track is 3 hours old. Her track was 4 hours and 45 minutes old. She had no problem with this. She passed her TDX track when she was just 1.5 years old.  


Obedience was our next endeavor. It was something that she did to humor me...but was not her specialty. She had a real hard time understanding the drop on recall. Why did I call her when I really didn't want her to come. She went on to complete her AKC Utility Dog title.  

Then agility came into our lives. Raven was 6 years old when we started agility. What fun. Raven thought this was greatest thing to do. This was regardless what happened. Being my first agility dog...meant she lived through various techniques....and first time handler mistakes. She didn't mind flying off the teeter...she could go full blast and not lose her confidence. This included me telling her ....easy....ah..ah...teeter. Wheeee!!!!!!! She had a dog walk dog ramp fall out from underneath her at one trial..the full height kind used in USDAA. True to her work ethic...she tried again after we were given a second chance on that run due to equipment failure....and passed to obtain her first USDAA Masters Standard leg. It took us 2 years to get the USDAA MAD title as we had problems with the jumpers courses. This was before I learned about what a front cross was..thanks to Sharon Nelson. Rear crosses didn't work well for a Velcro Obedience dog.  

Raven had several major accomplishments.

She was the first Border Collie to obtain the then (NCDA)  now UKC Agility Trial Championship title.

1997  #1 Border Collie AKC Agility

 In AKC agility she was always in the Top Ranking dogs...Raven and I attended the 1997 AKC National Agility Championships just cuz it was close by in Chicago . I had no real expectations...being a green handler with her first agility dog. Well Raven put together 4 perfect runs that weekend. A feat that she had never done before. She was the 1997 AKC National Agility 20 Inch Championship Winner. That was a special accomplishment for us...as Raven was 10.5 years old at the time...and with this win...she was officially retired.  

She has always exceeded my expectations. A true companion and friend. She will dance forever in my dreams. She will never miss a ball thrown. I have been very lucky that she has been a very well dog for most of her life. She loved going for walks in the well fields at least 5 times a week where she could chase chipmunks. Another favorite hobby she loved was to go swimming.  



Thank you Baby Ray for doing all that I have ever asked you throughout the years. You accomplished more than I thought possible. Thank you for being my partner. An honest dog. Baby Ray.

Time now just to play ball.