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Alpha Rising
"Durgin has a remarkable gift for inventing unusual characters doing incredible things."


BelleCGC patch
There have always been dogs in my life.

When I lived in a the remote Appalachians (from log cabin to beloved old farmhouse), I took the place of the non-existent animal shelter, and naturally we had our own pack as well. Those days were heavily populated with hounds, including Camo (an astonishingly sweet and dorky Leopard Cur), a number of Redbones, and of course Strider the Blue Tick mix Wonder Hound.

Then I was in the suburbs long enough to gravitate to my sweet Cardigan Welsh Corgis: an extremely personable breed that fits big dog brains and behavior into sturdy little packages. Besides, how can anyone resist those ears?

However, given the freedom of space and rural living out in the southwest high desert--mountains again, albeit totally different ones!--I've found my way home to the hounds again. Now it's Beagles, and boy are we having a good time!

My dogs all have CGCs (Canine Good Citizen certification), and since '02 we've played in agility competition, with obedience, rally, and tracking all in the mix. In the training and competition, I see them come alive...and the time I spend with them makes me come alive, too.

Here they are!

There's also a Photo Gallery! (still in legacy design)
TristanMACH2 Albedo's Charter Member VCD2 PCDX BN GN RM2 RAE2 TDX MXS MJG XF T2B CA BCAT CGC (9/18/09) joined the pack in the summer of '10 at age 10 months. D'Artagnan (Dart!) is full of brilliance and sass, with a huge dash of ever-youthful evile. He's been diagnosed with a neuro-oddity that makes him an ongoing handful, and he bears the affectionate nickname of Ginger Beast. He can be eye-poppingly bad...and stunningly good. We hope for the latter and expect the former! Dart has been on a number of top ten lists, including #1 obedience Beagle during the year he earned his PCDX & CDX.

The titles = Master Agility Championx2 [DOG NAME], Versatile Companion Dog 2 (including Tracking Dog & Open Obedience), Preferred Open Obedience, Beginner Novice Obedience, Grad Novice Obedience, Rally Master2,
Tracking Dog Excellent, Masters Agility Silver and Masters Agility Jumpers Gold, Excellent FAST Agility, Time2Beat Agility, Coursing Aptitude, Fast Coursing Aptitude, and Canine Good Citizen

TristanCH CT MACH3 RACH Albedo's Song Of Self VCD3 [UD, VST] BN RM RAE MXG MJG MXF T2B2 BCAT CGC TKA (11/4/14) is Dart's nephew; his name is an homage to Connery and his various delightful songs of self. In a desert of trialing opportunities, Tristan sped through his early titles to earn his VCD2 as a 2-year-old, followed close on by his breed championship and onward; he's currently the only breed champion VCD3 Beagle in the nation. We're just waiting to see what comes next! (Whatever it is, it's been greatly delayed by COVID-19)

The titles = Breed Champion, Champion Tracker, Master Agility Championx3, Rally Champion, [DOG NAME] Versatile Companion Dogx2 (including Utility Dog Obedience and Variable Surface Tracking), Beginner Novice Obedience, Rally MasterX2, Rally Advanced Excellentx2, Masters Agility and Masters Agility Jumpers Gold, Master FAST Agility, Time2Beat Agilityx2, Fast Coursing Aptitude, Canine Good Citizen, and Trick Dog Advanced.

AliceCH Luvbug Copper Rose More Than Feeling RN CGC (7/1/11) -- After retiring from the breed ring and motherhood, Alice was ready to be a Couch Princess to a small pack, and the Blue Hound Beagles badly needed just that. Alice walked into the house (2016) and stole everyone's heart! She started with family hospice visits and moved on to earn her CGC and then her rally novice. She giggles a lot!

The titles = Breed Champion [DOG NAME] Rally Novice, Canine Good Citizen

AliceCH Copper Rose Albedo Hear Me Roar VCD1 CD BN RE TD NA NAJ CGC TKI (9/6/19) -- Lannister Beagle is at the front end of his journey, and would have begun showing just as COVID-19 restrictions slammed down the year; opportunity has been much delayed since then. He's in training for tracking, obedience, and agility. He earned his (COVID-Virtual) Trick Dog and Rally Obedience titles at 7 months and is gaining confidence by the moment.

The titles = Breed Champion [DOG NAME] Versatile Companion Dog1, Novice Obedience, Beginner Novice Obedience, Rally Excellent, Tracking Dog, Novice Agility, Novice Agility Jumpers, Canine Good Citizen, Trick Dog Intermediate

AliceAgent Lokavi Whatever It Takes BN RA TD CGC(8/31/20) -- Ronin Beagle is the baby of the family,and is our first and only red & white. He's a little hoarding dragon of a dog so full of personality and opinion that sometimes he scares us just a little bit. In a good way!

Ronin is in training for all the things, and is coming along in his deliberate, cheerful way.

The titles = [DOG NAME] Beginner Novice Obedience, Rally Advanced, Tracking Dog, Canine Good Citizen

Dogs Still Beloved: The Highlights


StriderStrider was the dog of my heart. He came to me as an orphan, only four days old. His mother was a Beagle, his father a Blue Tick. He grew up sturdy and handsome, with lanky hound legs and a nose that wouldn't quit. He inspired my Blue Hound Visions business name--a moniker that covers writing, webwork, and artwork. He was my WonderHound, and you can read more about him if you'd like. (1984-1998)

CH CT MACH3 PACH Cedar Ridge Doubleoseven VCD2 GN RE MXC MJC MXPB MJP3 MJPB PAX XF CGC was the quintissential Beagle, a clown who is also possessed by moments of astonishing singlemindedness. He was, as far as we can confirm, the most broadly/highly titled breed champion Beagle--an accomplishment achieved in spite of his profound health issues (and mine). He retired in 2016 and, while both deaf and significantly blind, reveled in his new job as King of the Couch. (2004-2020)

Read more about Connery's Journey and the way the fantasy-writing community rallied around him to create the (discontinued) fundraiser anthology, Heart of Dog

During 2007, Connery ranked in the top ten Beagles nationally in obedience, rally, and agility; he was #1 Preferred 12" agility while he ran in that class, and #1 in his Breed Power Rankings.

The titles = Breed Champion, Tracking Champion (incl. Tracking Dog, Tracking Dog Excellent, and Variable Surface Tracking), Master Agility Champion x3 [his name] Versatile Companion Dog 2 (including Tracking Dog & Open Obedience), Graduate Novice Obedience, Rally Excellent, Tracking Dog Excellent, Masters Excellent Agility Century, Masters Jumpers Century, Masters Agility Preferred Bronze, Masters Jumpers Preferred Bronze & x3 , Preferred Agility Excellent, Excellent FAST Agility; Canine Good Citizen.

Connery also holds NADAC & ASCA agility titles through Excellent.
RenaBellerena was a shelter dog who came to us at the age of five, a very sick little dog with titles and training already to her name. After an intense year, interspersed with training and trialing and a generous handful of new titles, we lost the heartbreaking battle to balance Rena's various health issues. She was a cuddlebug and a sweet, stubborn Beagley Miss, very much loved here by humans and Beagle pack alike. (2008-2014)

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

KaceyXtacee Carbon Unit, CGC (1995-2008): Kacey was a genius spark of a dog, never taking the easy way. She worried about the world and made sure it knew its place, when she wasn't off masterminding plans of domination or perfecting her doggy telepathic influence. She was never an easy dog, but she was an indelible one-of-a-kind. Kacey qualified for her CGC '03, and was an outstanding obedience dog--everywhere but the obedience trial ring, where she became a Creative Evil Genius. Naturally. You can find photos of Kacey sprinkled throughout the Dog Photo Gallery.
BelleCheysuli Jean-Luc Picardigan, OJP NAP OJC NAC CGC (1998-2010). Jean-Luc sustained a significant brain injury when he was born in '98. He required very special training and handling, but his quality of life improved beyond expectation with agility, which imbued him with confidence and even an occasional sense of glee. He started trialing with the modest goal of simply finishing a course, but in the end he titled through his Open courses, with plenty of red and blue ribbons to his name. He, too, earned his CGC.
BellePACH Cheysuli's Silver Belle, CD RE MXP5 MXPS MJP6 MJPS PAX2 XFP EAC EJC CGC (1999-2013) Belle was born on Christmas Eve '99, and she loved agility! At the time she earned her PAX2, she was one of fewer than 50 dogs in the country to do so. She was also the 20th dog to earn the new PACH title, and was only 100 points shy of her PACH2 when I retired her in September of '11. Belle also earned AKC Rally Excellent and Novice Obedience titles--all in the ribbons--and she overcame great odds and a partial paralyzation at age five to do any of it. Love you forever, Miss Belle...

iThe titles = Preferred Agility Champion, Novice Obedience, Rally Excellent, Masters Agility Preferred x5, Masters Agility Preferred Silver, Masters Jumpers Preferred x6, Masters Jumpers Preferred Silver, Preferred Agility Excellent x2, Excellent FAST Preferred, NADAC Excellent Agility & Jumpers, and Canine Good Citizen
RibbonCh. Cheysuli's Liquid Silver (Ribbon), was born in '01. She's Belle's half-sister through her sire, and she's a gorgeous girl with true diva attitude! I'm privileged to have a half-ownership of Ribbon as a thank-you for help with the very difficult whelping, which with this girl means major bragging rights. She not only won the '04 Megan Competition (a nationwide Cardigan event), she also went Best of Opposite at the National Specialty as a veteran in '10, and she made beautiful babies. She was one-of-a-kind! (2001-~2015)