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.