This tribute has been floating around the dog net for years now...but I still love to read it. It inspires me everytime. I would love to change, however, the pronoun "it" to either he or she...depending upon which dog the author had formost in her mind as she wrote....
I recently dug it out as Maudie and I have started training.
What is an Obedience Title, Really
by Sandy Mowery of Highland, Wis.
Not just a brag, not just a stepping-stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain, in record and in memory, for about as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better.
And though the dog itself doesn't know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count. A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that pleased you however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.
And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that, in the end, your faith was justified. A title proves your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved and loved greatly in return.
And when that dear, short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of praise in one small set of initials after the name. An obedience title is nothing less than love and respect given and received and permanently recorded.