Patrick Shannahan's Hannah

Profile: Patrick Shannahan's Hannah

How many years had you been in sheepdogs when you got Hannah? Did you train her, or was she already trained? From whom did you purchase her?

Hannah was actually my first Border Collie that I purchased. She was just a six-week-old puppy when I purchased her from Roger and Betty Schroeder of Arizona. I did all the training on Hannah, so she was not only very talented, but very forgiving as well.

What were Hannah's greatest strengths? What were her chief weaknesses?

Her greatest strength was her stock sense. She had a great ability to know where to be and how to control stock. She also had great power. I was very confident that she could move anything and she usually did that without any biting. When you looked at her on the field, you would notice her beautiful outrun and natural flanks. She wasn't the most stylish dog, but had enough eye to drive well and control stock. Her greatest weakness was she could be a bit pushy on the fetch. She liked to take control of the fetch and didn't like to give much of it back to me. It wasn't until I started to compromise with her that we started to have great success on the trial field. I wouldn't stop her on the fetch, if she wouldn't push quite so hard.

How long did it take you and Hannah to succeed as a team in sheepdog trials?

I started to trial Hannah about one year of age. She did well her first few trials, winning many Pro-Novice classes. It wasn't until I moved her up to Open at about age three, that I knew that I had a very good dog.

Was there any one moment that caused you to realize that she was a very special dog?

I was so inexperienced at the time; I didn't realize what a great dog I had. It took a trip back East, and fellow handlers asking me about her, for me to realize that I had something that they all envied.

What were the greatest challenges that you and Hannah faced together?

Hannah was a very special dog for me as she opened up my world to something that I found I loved and could be very successful at. I spent many hours in the truck with Hannah, and people who knew us as a team, felt the connection that we had. She knew her job on the field and expected me to do mine as well.

How successful was Hannah as a brood bitch? How many litters did she have? To whom was she bred? In general, what qualities did she tend to pass on to her offspring?

Hannah was bred several times. She had some great puppies, some of which were work dogs, while others made it onto the trial field. My inexperience as a handler probably didn't always help the puppies get into the best trialing homes, but they all went to good work homes. She was bred to my Toss, Jean Bass's Roy (Jack Knox), Llangwm Rex and Kathy Knox's Scot.

She was usually able to pass her natural outrun and flanks onto her pups. The pup that was most similar to her is probably my Joy. My Joy has a bit more eye than Hannah, but is similar in lots of her work.

What was the most exciting/gratifying trial in which you and Hannah participated?

The most exciting trial of course was winning the National Finals in '94. At the end of our run, I wasn't even thinking about if we had won or not, I was just so proud that the country had got to see what a great dog that Hannah was. It was a little while later when someone mentioned that we were in the lead, that I realized what a great run she put forth.

Hannah was able to reach the finals in the National Finals for 5 years in a row. She was always competitive were ever she went.

Another time was at the Scio trial in Oregon. It was the trial for the Purina Awards Banquet so many of the big names from the East came out west. I was very proud to put forth two great runs to win it in front of my region and to show us competing in really tough competition.

Is there anything else about Hannah that you'd like to add?

I guess there is one aspect that I want people to realize. A few years back, a young boy came up to me and wanted to buy a puppy. He was hesitant, because he had done lots of research and was wary of the sport. He told me he wanted to buy a puppy, but was afraid because he didn't want to ruin his dog. People had told him not too be too concerned about the first dog, because you always ruin your first Border Collie. I told him that wasn't true…Hannah was my first Border Collie and we were able to win the National Finals.

When Ordinary Humiliation
Just Isn't Enough