Equipped with a nine-year-old miniature schnauzer, junior Ashley Humphrey is a seasoned dog trainer and walker. For those nine years, she and her dog Bentley have been walking the course, and impressing along the way. Humphrey has earned over 70 medals in her career. She is quite fond of working with her dog and friends.
All of this started for her as a child. Inspired by seeing dogs on television and the general desire to work with her dog off a leash, as well as a general love of dogs, this activity was exactly what she wanted.
Humphrey participates in the dog curriculum of 4H and in return is eligible for scholarships and receives opportunities like showing in the Moda Center on television in 2019. “It was very scary,” Humphrey said.
That’s not to say everything goes off without a hitch, though. Mishaps and unfortunate scenarios can arise in any situation, but become especially prevalent when working with a living animal. Anything can go awry.
“When I was showing him this year he decided to run around the rally ring and ran out a couple times. The judge had to catch him, she said.”
She also isn’t the biggest fan of having lots of eyes on her, due to mostly having 12 people watching on the average day. “That’s the one thing I don’t like, crowds,” she said. And she’s not referring to small crowds, her particular performance at Moda had upwards of 500 people watching. So many eyes watching can be a nerve racking ordeal, especially when you don’t know how many and who is watching.
Her group has practices two days a week to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible for when they show at the end of the week. This group is incredibly important to her and her friendships made from it is on the same level as showing her dog.
“Only a couple of my friends come from this but we’re really close, it’s like family,” Humphrey said. This family mentality is something Humphry holds quite close to her and it is a driving force in her work.
While not the most recognized activity, Humphrey has dedicated nine years of her life to training and showing her dog, and will continue to do so for the two years left in the program.