December 2, 2010 at 8:26 a.m.
Olson and her Grand Champion Doberman Pinscher Rico are going up against 3,000 other competitors in the show ring Dec. 4 and 5. They'll be at the AKC/Eukenuba National Championship, in Long Beach, California.
Olson, of North Branch, doesn't handle dogs for a living-- she's still attending high school. But she'll be trying to outshine professional handlers and their money animals. "There's going to be alot of big time handlers there," Olson says in a phone interview.
She welcomes the pressure. The human half of a show ring duo must first and foremost have the skills to bring out the dog's personality. Olson said when she's competing with highly experienced handlers it makes her that much better at what she needs to do.
Olson said she got into Dobermans when her father Terry brought a Doberman Pinscher puppy home back when she was in about third grade. Amy realized she really loved this breed.
Her four-legged partner in competition, Rico, is a three year old Doberman. Olson has been training and showing Rico since he arrived from Argentina at the age of four months old.
South America, to the Olson home in North Branch to Long Beach, California-- Rico has put in more miles than man or beast five times his age. Olson too, has done "...so many dog shows I don't even know how many." She schedules her Thrifty White drug store job and school work around the show circuit calendar. The busy seasons are spring and summer, so academically it all works out.
June Taylor, who calls herself Olson's "fairy dog mother," thinks Amy is a natural.
Taylor accompanies Olson to competitions and has directed her into specific clubs and training facilities. Olson is now mostly affiliated with an outfit in Lake Elmo. Taylor commented, saying, "Other kids I've been working with... I take them to a show and they are bored in five minutes. Amy was talking dog in about five minutes, like she was born to do this."
Olson hopes someday to go into the veterinary field so showing and training dogs is a good fit.
She and Rico have to win first in their breed, in Long Beach and then win their group, before being able to compete for best of show this weekend, but they are already winners.
The dog show airs on the ABC television network January 23. The time was not scheduled when this went to print, watch for promos next month. The AKC/Eukenuba National Championship is the largest prize money show awarding more than $225,000. Dogs and handlers come by invitation only and to qualify they must rank in the top 25 of their breed based on breed points accumulated at AKC shows, receive an all-breed Best in Show during the qualifying period or win best of breed at any AKC parent club specialty show of one breed.
Commenting has been disabled for this item.