Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dear Reagan

Listen up, kid. It looks like you are the agility greyhound in the family now. I know everyone had wanted me to stick around longer, but I had other things to do. Mom especially wanted you to spend a year attending my agility trials so you would understand that there is a lot of relaxing and waiting at agility trials, but when it is finally your turn, it is pretty important stuff. I think you will get the hang of it. You have some maturing to do, but you will grow up soon enough.

I wanted to leave you with a few pointers. In agility, the way to really be a stand out is to focus on Mom. She will show you were to go. Lucky for you, Katie and I have already smoothed out a lot of her handling. Mom's handling actually makes sense now, so there is no reason for you not to go fast. She is pretty good at not sending you to the wrong obstacle and then screaming your name to call you off of it. Just pay attention.

The table is my least favorite agility obstacle. We, the greyhounds, hate having to put our bony butts and elbows on that hard, rough surface, but do it anyway. The faster you do it, the sooner you can get off of it. Its only 5 seconds. Mom will never let you skip it, so it is not worth arguing about it.

Weave poles are tricky, but I see that you are starting to get the hang of it. Make sure you concentrate. This is another obstacle Mom is not going to let you skip, so it is best to get it right the first time or you will have to start over.

You also need to keep the bars up. Right now, you are big, sloppy jumper and it sometimes gets you in trouble. Its ok to put in an extra stride to make sure you aren't starting the jump too soon and landing in the middle of it.

Also, Mom doesn't think she needs a red shadow and I know she says that she loves Katie best because Katie is independent, not underfoot, blah, blah, blah. But the truth is... Katie is not red. She is fawn. You and I are the red ones, therefore, only we can be red shadows. The trick is you have to be sneaky about it. The jig is up when you cut her off in the hallway or literally chase her to the other side of the house. You need to be a little more stealth about it. I used to let mom actually leave the room before I would get up. Then I would tip toe quietly to the room she was in. If she happened to turn around, I would freeze. She can't see you if you don't move. So, Reagan, you just have to work on your technique. Don't be so obvious about it.

So I pass the torch to you..... or should I say bumper (Mom never did let me play with fire). I will look down on the both of you. I will be the angel on your shoulder at your first trial. I will be so proud when you get your first MACH or qualify for a big event. I have no doubt that you will do well. Take care of Mom. She will take good care of you. A happy Mom = lots of good food!

Your brother,



KF-in-Georgia said...

Reagan, that's lots of good advice from your big brother.

Jen, there's a book called For Every Dog an Angel (by Christine Davis). It's a very simple book (good for kids as well as adults) about dealing with the loss of a dog. It's about your heart-dog (the "angel") helping the new dog in your household.

Sounds like Travis is getting a start on his own chapter in the book.

Mind you, the angel dog isn't always a good influence. Two years ago, at my house... http://kf-in-georgia.blogspot.com/2006/04/for-every-dog-angel.html

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

What a sweet pic of Reagan... Travis left her some good information and tips about life and how to put up with you:-) jk
Reagan does have some big paws to fill.

Caron said...

Travis, What a sweet boy you are! I'm sorry you had to leave your family so soon but I can tell that you will always take care of them and make sure they are Okay. I'm glad I got to know you a little through your mom's blog before you left.


Sientay L said...

Lots of good advice from Travis. I hope Reagan follows all of them.
Her picture is cute, but she looks a little mischievous, like she's got something up her sleeve.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Kathy, I checked your link and all I can say is Yikes!

Little Reagan is a mischief. I like the picture too. She looks like she's listening, but trying to decide whether to follow.

I think that is the last picture I took of Travis :-(. I still just can't believe he is gone. I'm sort of torn about the last pictures and video clips.... do I want to keep them or not.


greytblackdog said...

jen, keep everything. right now you may not want them. but make those decisions later. not now. it's not the time to make those decisions.

reagan - you better start practicing. you've got some big paws to step into.

KF-in-Georgia said...

Jen, about a week after that old post, Jacey went on Valium and Clomicalm to enable her to spend time in a crate without going nuts, and her behavior turned around 180 degrees. Thank god. And I barricaded the pantry area to keep her and Sam out of there. But yes, I was about to murder them both. (That was Jacey's 12th day here.)

Doglover said...

Hi Jen, thanks for leaving me a comment. I am so sorry about Travis.