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Sit. Heel. Win

Training Rover to be a star

Obedience training, breeding standards, and dual champions may have seemed a bit off the wall in the Christopher Guest satire Best in Show, but they are serious business to Maggie Rice. As a child, Rice, owner of Road Runner Denver, a two-employee towing and service company, raised golden retrievers with her father. But "it was love at first sight" when she laid eyes on a borzoi, or Russian wolfhound, a few decades ago.

Rice, 60, bought her first purebred borzoi in 1986 and has been breeding and training them ever since. "The companionship of the animals and the competition are very appealing," says Rice, who competed with one of her four dogs in the American Kennel Club's AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif., in December. "And it's always fun to win."