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3.5 Years Old

Ruff Stock Phantom Mestena OA, OAJ, RS-E/EAC, JS-E-OP/O-EJC, GS-E/EGC, TG-E, ASA, AG, AJ, AS, AAD, FDCh, CGC

2006 ASCA Nationals Agility Finals Alternate

Ruff Stock Grey Badger DNA-CP/Ruff Stock Red Licorice DNA-CP
DOB: July 19, 2002
17.5" and 30 pounds
Black and white Australian Shepherd
Full Dentition/Scissors Bite
Allergy Free
Full Length Tail - Docked
Hips - OFA-Good (AS-20188G28F-PI)
Elbows - OFA-Normal (AS-EL1438F28-PI)

Eyes CERF'd NORMAL on 9/06 - CERF Number: AS-8060
Thyroid Test normal 8/03
DNA-VP (Therion Internal ID: A051030)

To view Myst's current activities, check out her blog.

Special THANKS to Tami Butterwick of Ruff Stock kennels in Canada for being willing to entrust this little girl to me. I would also like to thank Jim Hartnagle of Las Rocosa aussies, as if it weren't for him, I would never have known about Tami and have been able to get this awesome little girl.

Her call name is Mystique or Myst for short! When growing up, I fell in love with the name Phantom, who was the "coolest" of all the horses in the book, Misty of Chincoteague. Since I was using the horse name Phantom in the puppy's registered name, I thought it was only fitting to use the books main character's name as my little girl's call name, Misty. However, I like Mystique better, but it's still the same idea, especially since her name will be Myst for short.

She has also lived up to her name, "Mist", as North Carolina was in a drought until Myst arrived - ever since she has been here, it has rained like crazy and as of November, we are now over our drought!

She is also exactly what I had dreamed about! She is very friendly and outgoing, extremely sweet, very driven and intense, and cute as a button! I took a chance of having Tami pick her out for me and then have her shipped sight unseen, something I swore I'd never do again! But all has worked out wonderfully this time as Myst is absolutely awesome!

8 weeks old Myst - the day I picked her up from the airport!

Photo Credit: Julie Atchinson

Myst (or Bit - short for "Little Bit of an aussie") is now one year old - time flys when you're having fun! She has turned out to be better than I could have hoped for - she is very intense and focused, has nice drive, and is the sweetest/kindest dog on the face of the earth!

Tami had said the females from this cross take longer to mature, so I have spent this first year with Myst just playing with her, letting her be a puppy and just enjoy life. Now that she's a year, we're going to begin incorporating a little more training into her daily life - she has had some all along, but I'm about to up the "dosage"!

She is definitely softer than I thought she'd be, so for her first exposure to stock, I wanted her to see ducks - she was 9 mos. old at the time. By the end of the session, she was getting pretty hard with them! She was 10 mos. old for her first exposure to sheep and she was a little monster (after "Mom" got in the pen with her - before that all she saw was a tennis ball!) She is a "sheep bowling" fool! And she has a ton more grit than I thought - she has no fear when a sheep challenges her (she won't grip the face, but she'll stand her ground and not back down at all) and she will already go between the fence and the sheep. However, she won't go around the sheep yet - she'd prefer to go THROUGH the two on the outside (I call it a Myst Sandwich)! And she definitely enjoys "low heeling". She's definitely going to take some training on herding to "kick her out" off the stock, but I love her keenness and desire for it - it is AWESOME!

In November 2004, we attended a Jim Hartnagle herding clinic. Since the clinic we have begun herding lessons with a BC guy in my area and Myst has really come on. She's not near the sensitive dog that she was as a youngster and she is really learning to control her stock, just need to slow her down as she prefers to control them a little too fast for my taste! But she's turning into an awesome herding dog and our trainer really likes her a lot.

Mystique Herding

Photo Credit: Laura Slusher

Photo Credit: Donna Flowler

May 22-23, 2004 was Myst's first agility trial and it was a NADAC/ASCA dual sanctioned trial held in Youngsville, NC. Myst compted in Novice Gamblers and Novice Jumpers only. She ROCKED! She Q'd and received 1st place on both runs - both days!

Since this was her first trial, she was more cautious than ususal on her runs, though by-standers wouldn't have noticed, especially since she got 44 opening points in her Gamblers run on Saturday and 41 on Sunday! But I can tell the difference. She was definitely gaining confidence by her Jumpers run on Sunday, where she was running 5.9 yards per second, though she was still holding back! I can't wait until she truly gains confidence - she is going to ROCK!

Mystique doing Agility

Photo Credit: Diane Lewis

Myst and I keeping warm at a COLD agility trial!

Photo Credit: Jim Kramer

On June 5, 2004, it was Myst's first Flyball tournament. She earned 182 points, which earned her the FD and FDX titles and her fastest time was 4.942 seconds. She was the anchor dog (fourth dog) and had never run with the team dogs before, had never used the team box before, does NOT pass yet, had never run while dogs were running in another lane - all the things that are necessary to do before a dogs first flyball tournament! But, Myst was a trooper and only made ONE mistake the entire tournament and that was when I tried to close in my passing - she skipped all the jumps going down, but came back over all the jumps! She understands her job, she just needs more confidence and practice - then she'll really rock!

The weekend of January 8-9, 2005 was Myst's second flyball tournament. She did AWESOME at this tourney, even with VERY limited training since her first tournament in June, 2004! She began the weekend with 4.6's and ended up the weekend with 4.4's - she even got a 4.37 and a 4.30 (all over 8" jumps)! Her confidence grew with leaps and bounds at this tourney and by the end of the day Saturday, she even began pulling on the harness to be let go! And she still wasn't comfortable with passes going into this tournament, but handled an early pass as well as some tight passes with the dog running into her! I'm so glad I waited over 6 months before I competed with her again as she's just going to get better and better.

Myst ran her first two tournaments with the Blockade Runners, but we're very excited about running with our new team, Dogsmack.

Mystique Lure Chasing

Mystique at 12 Months Old

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