Holly is a double merle Australian Shepherd, fully deaf and partially blind in one eye. She came from an AKC breeder who had purposely bred merle to merle. 2 of the 7 puppies in the litter were double merles and they were brought to a vet to be euthanized. The vet said they’d “take care of it” and instead nursed them until they were old enough to be adopted. They were brought to a rescue out of state so the breeder wouldn’t recognize them. I had Holly in my last year of 4H and decided to show her at the county fair. They refused to let her do agility because of her impairments, even with a letter from our vet. We did compete in Rally and won first place at the county show and was the champion in her class of 40 dogs at the Minnesota State 4H dog show. Holly has continued to compete in Rally through the AKC, even though we risk disqualification because of her disabilities. I think it is worth the risk to prove that these dogs are worth a lot more than their breeders think they are. She has so far earned her Rally Novice and Rally Advanced titles and was even invited to compete at the 2015 AKC Rally National Championships. Her favorite thing to do is play Frisbee, anywhere and anytime with anyone. We also go on monthly visits to our local nursing home. Holly continues to inspire me every day with her intelligence, athleticism, charisma, determination, and character. She is a perfect angel in every way and I am blessed to have her in my life.
-Written by Daniela Flores