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From The Heart Splash's! Story by Carol Lariviere for colliesonline.com

Splash!

CH MACH Forecast Perfect Storm Dancin' HSAds, HIAd, MXF, T2B3, NAP, TKN, VX

It all began in a small town in northern Rhode Island over nine years ago. I decided to breed my conformation/agility collie, Soleil (Evergreen Perfect Ten Forecast) with the purpose of keeping a puppy. The dog I chose to be the sire of my puppy was Prince (CH Kelso's Moon Dancin') who was one of the top winning conformation collies at the time. Soleil and I took a ride to Maryland to meet Nancy Kelso for Soleil's date with Prince. Timing is everything as they say so, of course Nancy had knee surgery a few days prior to our arrival. Soleil was bred and we returned to Rhode Island.

Splash! with his "littermates."

Nine weeks later (Memorial Day weekend) Soleil was very restless and I knew she was in labor. I called Andria Sobczak, Soleil's breeder, who came over for assistance if it was needed. I was secretly hoping for a pretty blue bitch and was very excited to see Soleil's puppies!! The CliffsNotes version of her labor: two different emergency vet visits, one Caesarian section, four dead puppies, one live sable merle dog. Well I guess this one puppy would be staying with us no matter how he turned out. I decided to name him Forecast Perfect Storm Dancin' because he survived the "Perfect Storm" of Soleil's labor. Dancin' is a tribute to his sire's name and his call name, Splash!, came about because if you're dancing in the rain, you're probably doing some splashing. I added the explanation point because I liked it!!

Everything now is just icing on my cake. I never understood the term "heart dog." I guess it's never really understood until you have one!

When Splash! was really little I played with him by pretending toys were his littermates. I think this is one of the reasons he became so bonded to me. He loved to play and had wonderful drive like Soleil. He was less than eight weeks old when he went through his first tunnel and it was the first obstacle he looked for when we out into my agility yard. Soleil was my first performance dog and I didn't realize the significance of breeding her to Prince, who's sire was Millknock Moonstone ROM-P. It was no wonder Splash! had drive!!

Judge Annette Stringer, Carol Lariviere and Splash! at the 2009 Gathering at Sunnybank.

When he was seven weeks old he attended his first agility trial. The trial was sponsored by the Collie Club of New England so there were a few conformation people there who helped run the trial. I received many compliments about Splash! and someone suggested that I take him to Sunnybank. I'd never attended but decided to take my 11-week-old puppy and head to New Jersey. Much to my surprise, Splash! was awarded best muzzle, profile and rear in the virtues match and best puppy dog in the Lad match!!!

CCNE trial when Splash! was seven weeks old.

Since Sunnybank 2009, Splash! has completed his MACH, breed championship, Intermediate A Course Duck title, Started A Course Sheep title and his Versatility Excellent title offered by CCA. At the 2012 CCA National, Splash! won two High in Trial Chairs: one for herding and one for agility. That same year he won another chair for earning his MACH at the Pioneer Valley Kennel Club trial. I guess 2012 was the Year of the Chair for Splash!

2012 was the year of the Chair!
Splash! at the 2012 CCA Herding Trials.

He still loves playing agility and I will continue to compete him as long as he stays sound and wants to do it. He's taken me further than I ever imagined in herding! Everything now is just icing on my cake. I never understood the term "heart dog." I guess it's never really understood until you have one!

Carol Lariviere and Splash!

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