TOP DOG: From Stray To Champion

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The agility course in owner Cheryl Morris`s yard is Karma`s true medium.

Border collies were bred to chase sheep all day long, and those without a flock need another outlet.

Karma is appropriately named, she was adopted from a shelter by Morris, an animal scientist at Iowa State, and her husband, who`s one of the bigwigs at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.  They`d done agility training with their other dogs, but had never seen talent like this.

Morris hired a personal trainer to keep up with Karma and the two became a fantastic team. Two weeks ago in Tulsa, they made the final round of the AKC National Championship.

Agility is such a popular sport, some handlers do it professionally. Puppies are hand-picked by owners paying top dollar. Some border collies are bred just for this.

But that day, it was all Karma. Buzzing through the 19-obstacle course in a blinding 30.8 seconds.

Yes, the National Agility Championship went to an undersized stray and her amateur owner.  Sound like Karma to you? Not even this animal scientist has a better explanation.

But that`s the thing...both halves of this union seem to know exactly what they have: a dog with a purpose, an owner with a companion and a team with a title around its neck.

Morris and Karma will compete again in October in the Cyno Sport World Games in Tennesee.