Fairway's Raika v Nadewald HXCs HSCs HSAs NAP THD
"Hi Donna, I have a puppy bitch here that needs to go live with someone who understands dogs, training, and wants a dog to work. Intrested?" Raika was 8 weeks old at the time and the question was could we find someone willing and able to work with this little fireball who could out-think and out-do the rest of the litter. She was the kind of bitch I loved but since Fairway had Izzy, Xenta, Hermine and Kazzie, we did not feel we could do her justice.
Donna could and did.
Raika started in agility but once she met sheep, that was the real love of her life. She has titles on both Course A and Course C.
She also has an agility title. Herding takes time, especially when working towards Herding Champion points and Donna did have to work for a living, so Raika and Donna started looking for another activity they both enjoyed.
That turned out to be Therapy work.
First taking the test as a lark, Donna and Raika soon became the go-to team for a wide variety of facilities ranging from residential care to hospitals to schools. Raika loved it and she was a hit wherever she went. She even made the cover of the REVIEW, the national publication of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. At 9 years old now, Raika has a new position - she is the star of the READ program at her library.
Her calendar is booked months in advance and kids can't wait to read their favorite stories to her. Some go out and get books
specifically because they think Raika will like them.
While Donna still does herding with her youngsters, she and Raika agree that this is the perfect activity for a mature dog with strong social skills.
And when you talk to Donna after a long afternoon at the library you can hear in her voice just how proud she is of her canine partner and the work she does.
It takes a special dog to do this work. But it also takes a very dedicated owner. And Donna is that and then some.