a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Focus Pocus

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Focus Pocus

SUMMARY: Nancy Gyes graciously allowed me to post her tribute to Focus. (I was going to excerpt from it, but there's nowhere to shorten.)

"Focus Pocus"

Geri Hernandez' incredible dog Focus died this morning here at Power Paws. He would have been a very young five years old in just a few days.

It was a nice morning, Geri and a couple other friends were here to train, we walked the first course, Focus got warmed up, and Geri ran him through half the course. He did not take a cue to get into a tunnel, and while were laughing at the error, he just dropped to the ground and was gone. We did CPR all the way to the vet, but there was never a moment that he showed any life after that point.

He was such a cool dog; friendly, silly, intelligent, sensitive and curious. When Geri would come for training he would come into my home and like he did anywhere he visited, he had to poke around all over the house, just being nosy and checking out every piece of furniture in every room and stick his nose in every closet. That done he would return and sit in Geri's lap while we visited. It was just so "him".

He was one of the most remarkable agility dogs I have ever met. He read Geri's mind usually and was as biddable and willing a working dog as I have ever met. That is rarely combined with the athleticism, speed and teamwork that he demonstrated every time he competed or was trained.

I never ever saw him miss a weave entry or exit, but I was told he did so once:) And he never failed to make Geri laugh at the occasional errors. He was a star. At 4 years old, and Geri's first time on the World Team, he took 4th place at the FCI World Championships in Finland last year. He was her first border collie, and her first real agility dog. The 4th place finish was the "best ever" for a first time world team member. This was after he won the AKC Nationals at barely 3 years old. He had a couple MACh's, an ADCh, and a lot of friends and admirers in the agility world.

Geri was his biggest admirer, and the rest of us were close seconds. No one was luckier than her to have been owned by a dog like Focus. No one is sadder than her at his loss.


Nancy Gyes, friend to Focus


  1. What a terrible tragedy, they were an incredible team to watch . My heart goes out to Geri .

  2. Sounds unbelievable, and very very sad. I'm at work now, but tonight Katie's going to get a really big hug.

  3. How very sad on many levels. I can't imagine how sad Geri must be today.

  4. I try to put myself into Geri's shoes and I shouldn't--I can feel it too thoroughly, my world starts caving in around me. Instead I try to do what I did with my last 4 dog's deaths: If it had to happen, it could have been worse. What if Focus had died during the flight to Europe? Would anyone have believed it wasn't something to do with the airlines or the travel? What if they had been in Europe--can you imagine being that far from home and something like that happens? Or on the road, miles from anywhere--Wishy the Writer knows about that. If it had to be anywhere, on a bright, sunny day, on the agility field, among friends, seems like the best choice if one could choose.

  5. I am so sad reading this. I know the pain of losing a dog you loved and trained but Focus was so young. What an awesome and wonderful dog Focus was but and how much he will be missed. My heart goes out to Geri!

  6. Ohhh... That is so incredibly tragic. Just terrifying to let one's mind go there. Probably better not to.

  7. cydney dautzenberg2:44 PM, June 13, 2012

    i mes focus and i love hem he is a grat dog