One fast Skye Terrier from Northborough

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One fast Skye Terrier from Northborough
Demi races to the finish line to become the fastest Skye terrier at the American Kennel Club’s 2021 Fast CAT Competition. (Photo/MLBAER PHOTOGRAPHY)

NORTHBOROUGH – Demi, a 6-year-old Skye Terrier from Northborough, has a considerable athletic resume. The former rescue finished 2021 as the winning Skye Terrier at the American Kennel Club’s Fast CAT competition in Orlando, Fla.

The Fast CAT competition, which stands for Coursing Ability Test, is a non-competitive timed 100-yard dash where dogs chase a lure one at a time. The event features dogs from across the nation, and all dogs – purebreds or mixed breeds – are welcome to enter.

“This event requires no training,” Demi’s owner Kathleen Brodie told the Community Advocate. “If your dog can go from here to here, they can compete… anybody could take their dog here… come on down and watch your dog run.”

Demi was the fastest Skye Terrier in the competition, reaching just over 18 miles per hour to claim the title.

Demi’s road to the competition was longer than most. After coming to the United States as a puppy from Eastern Europe, Demi wound up in California. At 3 months old, Demi was surrendered by her third owner – she didn’t even have a name at the time.

Demi was rescued by Brodie soon after. Brodie decided on the name “Demi,” which means “half,” because of the dog’s ears: one remains up while the other stays down.

Brodie first heard of the Fast CAT competition while taking Demi for manners classes. Brodie was looking for new hobbies after retiring as well as a chance to connect with her recently rescued canine.

The competition also provided an exciting opportunity for Demi to demonstrate just how great and successful rescued dogs can be.

“Here’s a dog that was in at least three homes that we know of… but she’s not broken. Look at all of these things she accomplished, and she’s out here having fun,” Brodie said.

One fast Skye Terrier from Northborough
Demi races to the finish line to become the fastest Skye terrier at the American Kennel Club’s 2021 Fast CAT Competition. (Photo/MLBAER PHOTOGRAPHY)

Demi also represents the endangered Skye Terrier breed at competitions. According to a 2013 BBC report, there are only roughly 3,000 to 4,000 Skye Terriers remaining worldwide.

“They had their heyday during Queen Victoria’s time, and it’s been downhill for them ever since as far as interest and numbers,” Brodie said. “I got my first Skye Terrier in 1986, and Demi’s my 10th. I love the breed, and I would hate to see them go extinct.”

Demi’s performance in the national competition put a spotlight on the lesser-known breed, Brodie said.

“To have her out and enjoying herself and interacting with people is sort of a way to get people saying ‘Look, there’s a Skye Terrier! They exist! They’re fun!’… A number of people came up to me and said, ‘She’s cute. What is she?’ Here’s the opportunity to introduce the Skye Terrier to people,” Brodie said.

Demi has enjoyed her athletic career thus far. Running is both a passion and a talent for the national champion.

“She loves to run. She does zoomies – circles around the yard – and she’s a big runner just for fun. Anytime we can get to a fenced area, I let her loose and she runs like a mad woman,” Brodie said. “You just have to laugh when she runs – the hair is just going everywhere. She runs fast enough that the ear that’s down will go up.”

Demi’s success has led to quite an impressive collection of ribbons, some longer than the dog herself.

When not running, Demi enjoys helping people. As a therapy dog, she has had the chance to visit nursing homes, hospitals, and schools in recent years.

Demi continues to run today and hopes to continue her winning ways in the future.

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