We recently received this remarkable photo from Olga Maderych although it was taken a while back at the Bay Area Pet Expo in February of this year. There were no special effects or lighting involved - the late afternoon sunlight streaming in through the window happened to target Shao Gue's take off point.
We didn't meet Olga until October at the Pittsburg event where she delivered some great pictures of T-Rex, one of which made the ABMC Rescue Calendar. See www.gadaboutphotography.com.
That is an awesome shot. Good job Olga. Hope to see you at more events.
Super shot Eric !!!
Thanks to all who have viewed this photo of this remarkable dog.
As many of you know, Shao Gue passed away in April of this year. He passed away from mushroom poisoning, similarly to his brother Yo Yong. I minimized the mushroom danger after Yo Yong’s death since Yo Yong was a major forager who preferred to look for food in the forest instead of running with us and, in addition, I couldn’t find any mushrooms in the area that Yo Yong left us. After Shao Gue’s death, Leslie and I were able to find mushrooms, some very close to our usual running trails. I will not make this mistake again. Note that Amanita mushrooms are increasing in abundance in the SF Bay Area. Trails that were safe a few years ago are no longer safe. I urge all of you to not let your dogs off leash unless they are confined to an area which is known to be poison-free, i.e. your backyard or a dog park.
Shao Gue was responsible for bringing us many thousands of hours of joy. Of all the dogs we have owned, he was by far my favorite and I still think of him every day. Leslie feels the same way.
Shao Gue had a difficult childhood since he loved to chew on everything. He caused thousands of dollars of damage before he grew out of this habit. I remember a weekend in Sonora where our ski trip was aborted due to car trouble and then I discovered that Shao Gue had chewed up one on my skis. This was 2 weeks after he chewed up one of my ski poles on another ill-fated ski trip. He really lived up to his name “Little Devil”.
Shao Gue was the dog who taught us how to jump. We first took notice of his jumping ability in September of 2008 when he was 4 months old. In a Labrador pool party in February of 2009, he showed no fear jumping off a 5 foot wall into the pool over and over again. After a couple of hours of jumping, he was cold and shivering but still had to be dragged back to the car. I immediately got on the Splash Dogs website, and found there was an event coming up the next month in Pittsburg CA. Due to a lack of training (my fault), he jumped sideways off the dock which resulted in calls of “There’s a dog on the loose”. I resorted to chucking his toy off the end of the dock before he could deviate sideways which resulted in a jump of 13’5”.
At the next event in May 2009, he jumped 18’ to make the finals and then 19’7” in the finals to finish 7th. I was very proud of him and we were off and running. We went to several dock jumping events over the summer of 2009 but he didn’t improve significantly so we thought he had perhaps hit his ceiling. Boy, were we wrong!
At the Nevada State Fair at the end of August 2009, Shao Gue jumped 22’ and 22’6”, which was 2’ over his personal best. He later followed that up with a jump of 22’5” at the LA County Fair. Now we were really hooked.
Shao Gue soon became well known in the dock jumping world, finishing in the top 5 in every event, and usually in the top 3. We showed up for the Virginia City (NV) event in May of 2010 and one of the announcers (Jason or Leland) took notice saying “Shao Gue is in the house”. In this event he jumped 23’1” and eventually finished 2nd in the midst of a snow storm.
Shao Gue’s best performance took place the next month in Sacramento at the Horse Expo - Dog Pavillion. Shao Gue jumped 23’1” and won it all. Most of the top dogs in Northern California and Nevada were there. This happened directly after a protracted illness (infection), which meant we weren’t expecting anything like this performance.
Shao Gue continued his winning ways at Tulelake in September of 2010, witnessed by the family. He won again at the Bay Area Pet Expo in February of 2011. At this point he was a veteran of the sport and became very reliable, jumping 21’+ or 22’+ in every event.
We started jumping vertical in August of 2009 – many thanks to Ursula for teaching us how. I think that the Super Vertical was Shao Gue’s favorite event. At the California State Fair in 2010 he jumped 6’ for the first time. He improved later that year in Sonoma to 6’4”. Then finally at Hollister in October 2010 he hit his personal best of 6’10”. That jump resulted in a picture, courtesy of Jim Bagby, which was featured in a dock jumping article in Just Labs magazine (May/June 2011).
Shao Gue’s last event was at Chico in April of 2012. He jumped 21’11” which demonstrated that he had not lost a step. His life was cut terribly short. He will always be remembered by me and others. I will always be “SG’s Slave”.
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