Alydar (Ibizan Hound)

CH Special Acres’ Look At Him Go, SC, THD, CGC, TT

IMG_4147 - Copy (2)What do these titles mean?
CH = AKC champion (conformation, aka dog shows)
SC = AKC Senior Courser (lure coursing, aka fake rabbit chasing)
THD= AKC Therapy Dog (for 50+ therapy visits)
CGC= AKC Canine Good Citizen
TT = ATTS Temperament Test title

Alydar is a 12-year-old Ibizan Hound and we have been inseparable since he was 11 weeks old.  He’s my first and only Ibizan Hound, and the reason I joined the Ibizan Hound Club of the U.S. and eventually became their rescue chair and AKC Delegate.

In January 2014, he and I became a certified therapy dog team through the Bright & Beautiful Therapy dogs. We have completed more than 100 visits to date. Alydar is now retired from pet therapy but as volunteers, we visited two local hospitals twice each week. It’s hard to put into words the transformation that takes place in a patient when Alydar walks into the room. His calm demeanor helps them to relax and he often wins over people who profess to dislike dogs. We have sat with those mourning the loss of a loved one; comforted children scared from a traumatic car accident; calmed stressed out patients, staff and family members; and cheered up long term patients who haven’t had a visitor in days.

Alydar also has a second job: he comes to work with me and helps train service dogs by serving as a “distraction dog”. Simply put, he helps our trainers teach service dogs and their new owners how to behave when a strange dog approaches them on the street. (Hint: They are supposed to ignore the dog and if you ever see  service dog team working in public, you should always keep your pet dog away from them.)

He is a retired show dog who easily earned his AKC championship as a youngster. His biggest win was Winners Dog at the Ibizan Hound Club of the United States National Specialty in 2007. After completing his championship, Alydar retired from the show ring and earned his senior courser title in lure coursing, a sport where the dogs chase an artificial lure that is strung around a field in a zig zag pattern that simulates how a fleeing rabbit may run. He loved lure coursing and competed for a few years before retiring and trying his paw at therapy work.

photo by Steve Surfmanphoto by Steve Surfman