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MACH Cobber CGC MJS MXB XF was once an abandoned puppy who was nearly euthanized after becoming ill with parvo. But Kirsten Swenson of Columbus, OH, and her veterinarian sister had other ideas. They saved Cobber, who is not only Kirsten’s best friend, but also has become an AKC Master Agility Champion. Kirsten tells their story:

When my sister, Elsa Swenson, a veterinarian in Tucson, AZ, asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told her I was looking for a cattle dog or some other herding breed.   I was looking for an agility prospect, a dog that would be good with horses, and an exercise partner.

Three weeks later, I was awakened at 3 am to a picture text of an 8 month old cattle dog mix with parvo; the pup was going to be euthanized if the hospital couldn’t find someone to adopt him (picture below shows Cobber when he was ill.)  It was love at first sight, and after my sister helped him fight through parvo and a bout of kennel cough during his recovery, he boarded a flight across the United States to Ohio and Cobber was here to stay.

He is my first agility dog and we both learned the ropes and learned from our mistakes along the way.  Once I was able to break the habit of this friendly pup visiting everyone in the ring, we were finally on our way!

The road to Cobber’s MACH was not without a few bumps as he was diagnosed with Inter-vertebral Disc Disease and had to be sidelined a few times to allow his neck and back time to recover (usually from rough-housing with canine friends at the barn).  A few times I wasn’t sure if we’d ever be able to achieve the ultimate goal, but his enthusiasm and love for the game of agility kept me from retiring him.

On Nov. 26, 2016, Cobber finished his MACH at the Central Ohio Shetland Sheepdog Association’s trial.  At 9 years old, people still ask if he’s a puppy because of his youthful antics and comical personality. He’s the perfect all-around package and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift if I’d tried.