(click on photos for larger images)

Ruffy was a tri-color (black, white and tan) Chihuahua. Like my other dog Spud, he was not the desired conformation type. He was the "Deer Type" with a long face and pointy nose. The preferred look is the round "Apple Head" with a short nose. I adopted him at approximately 10 years of age. He lost his short battle with prostate cancer at about 14 years old.

Ruffy, was affectionately nicknamed "Tiger", and although he was small (7 pounds, 10" at the withers), he was a tough little guy. In his prime, he loved running and hiking with the big dogs. He didn't like hairy dogs or German Shepherds. He absolutely detested Golden Retrievers. He would get as close as he could and bark at them. But he couldn't do much damage since he only had a few molars.

This little guy lived on the streets for at least a couple months before some kids on bikes caught him. They brought him to the vet's office. I was talked into taking him since I had already taken in Spud from there about a year before. He was in miserable shape - absolutely skeletal. He didn't trust anybody and it took months before I could pick him up. But he became a Mama's boy and followed me everywhere.

Ruff started agility late in life (when I adopted him at about age 10). It did wonders for his confidence and conditioning. Trialing was very stressful for him at first. I would have to get down on my knees to beg him over jumps. If we got through 3 jumps before the 2 minute maximum time elapsed, we were having a good day. It took at least 20 trials before he would run a full course. He gradually picked up speed and then it became a confidence issue. He developed a see-saw phobia that took about a year to fix. Then he caught on that speed was desirable and found it hard to concentrate to finish all 12 weave poles. He taught me a lot about being patient and positive.

Portrait by Rick Reason

Ruffy's agility titles:
USDAA: PD1 (Performance Dog 1), VJ (Veteran's Jumpers), VS (Veteran's Snooker), PJ (Performance Jumpers)
NADAC: EJC (Elite Jumpers), EAC (Elite Titling), EGC (Elite Gamblers), EJC-V(Elite Veteran's Jumpers)

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