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Trip to the show; Chico pup claims AKC national championship

By Austin Jackson | Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019
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At the country’s largest dog show, one little dog from Chico brought home the bacon.

More than 9,000 wagging tales and 36,000 paws were in attendance for the AKC National Championship Dog Show in Orlando, Fla.

GOOD DOG – Barbara Trammell of Chico and her national champion rat terrier, Trip, exchange some love at the Pet Health Center in Decatur. Trip won best in breed at the AKC National Championship in Orlando, Fla. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Under the bright lights, Trip, a rat terrier, owned by Chico resident Barbara Trammell, showed it had national championship pedigree.

Judges set scrupulous eyes on the 1-year-old rat terrier from Wise County. It trotted, posed and held its head and pointy ears high.

After lining up against the best rat terriers in the nation, Trip was named AKC’s Best of Breed.

It was a proud moment for dog mom, Barbara Trammell who’s spent 20 years of her life breeding and raising rat terriers.

“We screamed,” Trammell said. “I was surprised, not that I didn’t think he was deserving, but there were 25 nice dogs, top-winning dogs.”

While Trip has been in dog competitions before, earning grand champion of the United Kennel Club this year, Trammell said she was nervous about how he would react to the big stage. Trip didn’t trip.

“He was all-business,” Trammell said. “He was on point.

“It can be scary; it can be daunting. For him to like it, have that attitude and do well, it’s not common,” Trammel said. “It’s a labor of love to get them ready for the show ring. They have to know how to stand, wait and go on the table, be touched by strangers; all while being around all sorts of other dogs.”

After receiving the medal and advancing to the group stage, Trip was given perhaps the biggest treat. He didn’t get the nod out of the terrier group, which placed him against 33 other terriers, but he did get something pretty special.

“He got steak. We went and got him some steak,” Trammell said.

The win hasn’t gotten to Trip’s head.

Most days out of the year, the little terrier is just a normal dog. Getting head scratches and belly rubs while Trammell works at the Pet Health Center in Decatur.

“He lives a normal dog life,” she said.

Trammell and Trip have a special relationship. They share time at work together and time at home. They train, sure. But there’s also heaps of love and affection and a fair share of spoiling.

“He sleeps in my bed,” Trammell said. “He sits beside me on the couch.”

Trammell has always been a dog person. She started breeding and training rat terriers 20 years ago.

The drive to a championship, unfortunately, started with tragedy. Then determination.

“Twenty-five years ago, my parents bought me one and it got sick and died early,” Trammell said. “Then I decided I’m going to do this, and I’m going to do it right. We’ve been doing it ever since.”

Her passion has pedigree now. Trip took her to unfamiliar heights at the AKC. She has a medal and a proud little rat terrier.

For Trammell and Trip, more steak could be on the menu.

“This one [Trip] is special,” she said.

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