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Samba's start in life was less than ideal, missing out on socialization during the critical period of a puppy's life left him terrified of the world.

It was love at first sight - for me anyway.  He was too scared to even 'think' when he was brought out of his cage to meet me.  Bells, Whistles and Red Flags (all the warning signs) filled my head, but my heart just melted looking at him.  He was all legs with a bobble-head and just shaking with fear.  I knew it would be a long road to rehabilitating him, and a very long road it was.  It took around three years of intense socialization, obedience training, and loads of patience - it seemed like every couple steps forward something would happen and we'd be one step back.  Though the process was slow I would do it all over again.  What he gives me is irreplaceable!

Samba is now eleven years old and is like a completely different dog.  Things that had him fleeing for cover (like children, bicycles, car rides, strangers, loud sounds, water, the vet, etc.) don't faze him anymore, he actually seeks some of them out now.

Rupturing three disks in the thoracic area of his vertebrae put a stop to his enjoyment of agility.  Before this happened he participated in fun matches, the Dog and Pony show at the PNE, and demos.

Samba did however earn his Companion Dog Certificate (two high in class) and Companion Dog Excellence Certificate (one high in class).  It takes competing three times under two different judges to earn each title in competitive obedience with the Canadian Kennel Club.  If it wasn't for his back injury he could've earned his Utility Dog title since he knew the exercises but could no longer do the jumps.  He also earned his RN (two perfect scores!) title in Rally Obedience!  He would eagerly continue to perform but I hesitate to compete further with him due to the jumps, even though he could compete veterans where they are low.

I am so proud of my little old man, coming as far as he has exceeds all expectations!  He has fun doing his little 'demo dog' job (and the food involved) and we are thinking of getting certified for therapy dog work where all his tricks can be displayed, including his impressive wiener retrieving trick! 

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