I decided to retire Darbi today.
I had been going back and forth about it for weeks now, as you know.
It's time and she deserves the rest.
It was such a hard decision for me and I agonized over it. You see, she still loves her job. More then ever, really.
But her heart was holding out longer then her body. I was just hoping she'd look at me and say "mom, I'm tired and I don't want to do this anymore". She never did...she never has.
I had her eyes checked on Tuesday and the Great Doctor confirmed what I knew...she just couldn't really see the long bird anymore. Her body aches and Old Man Time has caught up with her.
She's not going to be happy about it...no way. But I couldn't live with myself if she hurt herself running a big test because she's not as strong nor agile as she used to be. And I didn't think it was fair to ask her to punch 300+ yards, on birds that were barely visible to her, on heart and training alone.
I cried when I finally decided after watching her train today.
It just really sucks.
Anyone who has had a special relationship with a special dog knows it is so hard to say "enough, old friend. You deserve to sit in the sun and watch the other dogs do the work now". It's so hard to let go of the fun we've had over the years. But to keep her going would be selfish.
Darbi was never the world's greatest trial dog, but she is simply the World's Greatest Dog.
April 17, 2013
We're getting close to the arrival of my new puppy Hattie! I can't wait. Isn't she a doll??
We had a great week-end at the Brazosport trial. My Libby got a JAM in the Open!! She's starting to figure it all out and put it together. She's still a baby and was the youngest dog in the fourth series. Very proud of her! A dog's three year old year is a big transition year. They are too experienced and far along for the Qualifying, but learning the ropes in the Open. It's a tough year for most dogs. Time, patience and hundreds of marks and blinds will get her through it.
And the most fun of all was that I placed SECOND in the Open with one of my favorite dogs that is not mine...Boomer!!! This second place finish gave Boomer his FC, so he is now FC CFC Backwater's Boomer. It was such a thrill to run a near perfect field trial in an 80+ dog trial. Boomer was amazing and it was a true honor to stand beside him.
April 10, 2013
I don't know which is more gorgeous...
the amazing fields of Bluebonnets in bloom right now in Texas...
I'm sure you all remember him as the little boy I kept from the Arson x Miikka litter. He is now owned and loved by Brad and Diane Clow, but I wanted to show what a handsome boy he has grown up into.
Gordy (Elmingos Controlled Power Play) placed third in the Derby at the appropriately named Bluebonnet trial this past week-end.
Way to go Gordo!!
April 2, 2013
Darbi is afraid of thunderstorms. Poor thing.
She has gotten progressively worse the older she gets. There is no manic behavior by any means, but she hides, shakes and pants until the storm has passed.
One time, while running her at a field trial, a thunderstorm was rolling through and she couldn't function. She was swimming around in circles on the water blind and wouldn't respond to anything, so I just picked her up...for which she was very grateful.
I bought this Thundershirt for her and it has been very helpful. She seems to just relax and not become so frightened.
During last year's Canadian National, a thunderstorm came in right before she was to run one of the series. I thought to myself "well, this good run is over". But I put on her Thundershirt as soon as I heard the first rumble, removed it immediately before she ran and she ran a great series! Then I put her away with it back on.
I have heard of other success stories with the Thundershirt. I know one trainer that has a nice field trial dog that has chronic bloat. The dog bloated almost daily and they were at wits end and euthanasia was considered an option. This dog now wears a Thundershirt nearly full time and he hasn't bloated since.
I know of another dog that is one of the Type A field trial dogs that can be crazy making. This particular dog frantically barked, spun and...uh...pooped in the crate during training or travel. The Thundershirt cured the dog of the behaviour WHILE the shirt was on. No more barking or messes in the crate. Amazing.
I'm not sure if it works for all dogs...but it seems to work.