Software Issues, Ontario Regionals and Baby Dee

Thursday, May 28, 2009

No there is not connection between my software issues and the Ontario regionals (sorry if I scared any of you:)).  I was hoping to post the first installment of my latest 2×2 training webinar however my program crashed yesterday and I can’t figure out why.  

I can tell you I have divided the posts/questions into roughly 4 categories; speed, trial behaviours, failing and miscellaneous.  Oh yeah I did include another category on success stories so anyone reading the blog won’t think that EVERYONE has issues with 2×2 training! The miscellaneous category covers things like poles skipping, footwork, weight shift etc. Right now I have  total of 26 good weave pole questions. Sorry I couldn’t leave you with an installment here, but I promise one way or another I will answer then (even if just the old fashion way of typing:)) in the next two weeks.

I leave today for the Ontario Regionals in Ottawa. I am a bit sad as this my first regional event ever that I will not be running a mini dog. I made the decision to retire DeCaff from competition, likely all competition. She is only 9 years old but at 5 was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and it was suggested then that her career was over. With the help of Prolo therapy we got 3 1/2 more years of doing agility together. I will definitely do a blog post on the “wow” factor of prolo therapy in the future. It is nothing short of miraculous (Encore has also had it for her hip that is a bit wanky).

It is difficult to make the decision to stop running DeCaff because she is still loving it and still winning. However I know it is the right thing to do so as difficult as it, is De-dog and I will be finding joy in our walks, swimming and just hanging out together (she is turning into a bit of a pork-pie though!)

Today I am so grateful for all the amazing runs DeCaff and I have shared together during her career in agility. In her seven years competing she made to the USDAA finals 6 times winning once, coming 2nd twice and placing in the top 5 every time except once. She place in the Steeplechase finals every year except one and was the  IFCS World Champion two times  with countless individual medals along the way. It has been a great journey but agility is only a small part of the life I share with my dogs and I don’t want it to jeopardize her quality of life as she grows older.  So now a new chapter of our life together will begin.



  1. Don’t forget how great you and she looked on TV winning the ESPN Great Outdoors Game Gold Medal in 2005!!!!!!

  2. I applaud you in that you have looked to your dogs needs first, as difficult as a decision like this is….more of us should heed your wise and thoughtful choice. Nothing saddens me more then seeing a lame dog on course…

    I appreciate when we put our companions “needs” ahead of our “wants”.

    FYI – My 12 year old and I still walk over 4″ jumps together (like in a cavalletti style set up) and work the tunnel (in a straight line), so that he can still have some excitement with the equipment he is so focused on….and of course many walks and swimming help him remain happy!

  3. Congratulations to you and DeCaff on a marvelous career together. I would love to see a compilation video spanning her life of agility. Just one more thing for you to do in your spare time… :-))

    Good Luck at your regional; and safe travels!

  4. i retired my now ten year old irish water spaniel in march after he earned his C-ATCH. people kept saying…aren’t you going to the Nationals? how could you retire him? he still loves it. but he also loves his “other” life , too, of beach walks, house protecter, swimmer, couch potato. we still play on our agiliity equipment, but no weaving or af. jumps are low. he loves it, and couldn’t care less about competitions, i’m sure. i miss that connection we always had while competing, but at ten, i want him to live out his final years in good health. he’s actually a great “practice ” dog…and is quite happy, and that’s what counts.

  5. Tough decisions, and each dog will be different. I retired my first dog at 9, as I discovered that she had 2 herniated discs in her lumbar spine. I did not want to risk debilitating injury, and she is still jumping on our bed and climbing stairs and will be 15 in August 🙂
    I am having a much harder time making the decision for my Encore. She will be 11 in August, but still has a fire in her eye and has told me twice that the time is not here yet.
    May we all find the strength and resolve to make the right decisions for all of our dogs.

    ps Zing and I miss you!

  6. Please do write something about Prolo therapy in future. I too had it done on my dog when he was injured chasing a rabbit and the results for him have been better than I had ever imagined. For him, it’s not his time to retire, but I do understand and applaud anyone who makes the very hard decsion for their dogs when it it their time.

  7. I’ll ship “Cujo” the min-pin (who is becoming quite the tug-addict) for you to have a mini dog to run ;o)

    Good luck at the regionals

  8. You and DeCaff inspired me to continue agility with my little Yorkie after I attended a seminar for small dogs that you presented in California. I’m sure there are many more “small dog people” who have learned from DeCaff.

  9. Congrats to you and DeCaff on a long happy agility career! I have to tell you this so you can laugh.. Like you, I am a big fan of John Pinette.. Last night at agility practice, I caught myself telling my BC Bosco, “I say nay nay” for something he did wrong and absolutely cracked up…

  10. I remember a seminar in Manitoba when DeCaff was but a pup and you showed us real clicker training and I was amazed at Buzz charging out of the crate when you called him. I admire and respect your deep love of your dogs. I still see your inner light shining brightly.

  11. My favorite Decaff moment was when you were using her for a demo at one of your clinics and had run out of cookies. You gave her an air cookie – and she chewed it!

  12. Can’t wait to see the 2×2 webinar – just wondered if anybody else has had a dog who was weaving 6 poles straight up with no hassles with hard entries but has decided to now pick up speed and is therefore blowing past the poles. Sometimes its just the entrance but other times she will blast past the first four poles and just enter the third set correctly.

    I am not talking about a dog who wasn’t driving through the poles initially she had great drive to start with but is now trying to go faster again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: