Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hunting dog retires after winning spree

By TOMIE V. PARKS
Special to the Taylor Press
Reed is the dog's name, but everyone calls him Hard Nock.
"Poor guy's earned it," said Ryan Grace of Taylor, the dog's owner. "He's had his rear ACL's go out and he suffered through a territorial attack by another dog, but he still managed to win at nationals despite being one of the oldest dogs there."
Grace smiled proudly as he talked about his black Lab's recent accomplishments.
Reed competed in the American Kennel Club's Master Nationals this October in Corning, California. And he won, having successfully completed six series of tests over two weeks.
"It's his third consecutive year to qualify at nationals, which earned him a spot in the Master Nationals Hall of Fame," Grace said. "What a way to go out."
Reed, at the age of 8, is officially retired.
"Nothing for him now except living the good life," Grace said. "Hunting with the family, relaxing on the couch and, of course, serving as a stud."
The Lab has already sired his first litter. He partnered with Daisy, a female Lab owned by Toby Locke of Taylor, in July and Flash was a result of that union. He's the pup Grace hopes will follow in Reed's footsteps err, paw prints.
"He'll be off to basic training in January once he reaches the age of 6 months," Grace said.
For now Flash and Reed are spending the holidays at home with Grace, his wife and children.
They eat, and they play, Grace said. Because when it comes down to it, they're our family dogs, they just have some pretty impressive skills.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Partyin' with the Stars

By TOMIE V. PARKS
Special to the Hutto News

She got to party with the stars in Hollywood.
“I got to see Selena Gomez and Bella Thorne, and then I got to meet her,” said Jade Nash, an eighth-grader at Hutto Middle School, excitedly referring to Ally Hernandez, one of the singers in the all-girl group Fifth Harmony.
“She's my favorite,” Nash said. “I love her voice and her smile.”
The girl's grandmother, Leslie Alexander of Oxford, Conn., laughed while her granddaughter was talking.
“She knows everything about Ally and Fifth Harmony,” Alexander said. “She's been following them since X-Factor.”
Nash had just returned home to Hutto on Saturday, Nov. 15, after a five-day roadtrip to California, and she and her grandmother were telling Nash's mom, Soo-Jin, about their adventure.
It had just been two days since they walked the red carpet at the Mondrian hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
She and her grandmother were guests at Latina Magazine's “30 Under 30” awards ceremony.
“And Jade had a backstage pass to visit with Fifth Harmony in their hotel room before everything started,” Alexander said.
In the midst of all the handshaking and picture shaking, Nash said she had the opportunity to sing in front of everyone.
“It was Camila (one of the Fifth Harmony girls) who said, 'Why don't you sing me something?' So I did 'Miss Movin' On,' which is one of their songs,” Nash said. “She said I was actually good, not what she was expecting.”
The singer described Nash's impromptu performance in a note she wrote to Nash in an autograph book.
“Never lose that voice,” writes Camila Cabello. “I'm looking forward to hearing you sing for the world.”
It was high praise for Nash because that's her dream.
“I want to be a performer like Camila and Ally,” Nash said.