Sunday, July 27, 2008

Final Brag


Most of you probably saw this in an email already. I just wanted to add it to the blog for anyone who may not have seen it and for the sake of record keeping.



Its with a broken heart that I report to you that Travis (MACH2 Never Expected CDX JJ) passed away last night. He lived hard, played hard, and he fought his illness hard. I begin seeing the slightest signs a few months ago, but it finally took a hold of my beautiful boy over the last few weeks.




Everyone's dog is special to them, but Travis really was special. He was special to everyone who loved him, to everyone who knew him, and to everyone who just happened to get to see him in action. He was all about "action". He had more energy than any greyhound I have ever known. He was so youthful and enthusiastic about everything. He simply never aged and maybe his plan all along was to get in and get out before anyone could label him a senior. I take a lot of comfort in knowing that he and I were perfectly suited for each other. I have so many awesome memories and got to do so much with this unadoptable misfit greyhound I originally felt "stuck" with. While working through his issues in late 2001 and early 2002, I would have laughed in your face if you had told me Travis was going to be a super star. I am so proud of everything he did, so I want to brag just one more time.... I know you all have kindly indulged me over the years.




Travis was the #1 greyhound in AKC Agility years 2005, 2006, 2007 and I am sure for 2008 as well. He is the second greyhound to earn a Master Agility Championship and the first greyhound to earn a second one. Travis ended his agility career less than a month ago with 44 double qualifying scores and 2,868 points. He is the all time, #1 lifetime achieving greyhound in AKC Agility. He significantly raised the bar for all other agility greyhounds. He was such a thrill to compete with. He was fast, smooth, and so responsive. I love the countless compliments we received. Travis was a favorite in the southeast, but I think I had the most fun taking him to trials outside of our region and surprising spectators with just how awesome he was. One person told me that she had gotten up to leave when Travis stepped inside the ring. She thought "this should be interesting" and so she stayed. She told me she was glad that she had stayed. Another favorite compliment was "We don't know who you are or where you are from, but you and your greyhound are awesome." My most favorite agility trial was the 2007 AKC Agility Nationals in Columbus, OH. Travis was the only greyhound to qualify to go and he placed 11th out of 129 of some of the best 24" agility dogs in the country that year. 11th behind 8 border collies, 1 lab, and 1 weimaraner and he won High Score for the hound group. He wasn't just a great agility greyhound, he was a great agility dog.




Although not his favorite sport, he joyfully earned his Companion Dog Excellent title in obedience. One time in the open class, I threw the dumbbell over the high jump for Travis to retrieve. It landed up against the gating, but the judge said for me to send him anyway. Travis flew over the jump and searched for the dumbbell, but couldn't find it. He came back over the jump and sat in front of me. He realized he was suppose to have the dumbbell so before I could say anything, he had turned and flown back over the jump, found the dumbbell, and brought it to me. It was so adorable. Unfortunately, creative obedience is not qualifying. The judge apologized for telling me to send him and allowed us to redo the exercise. This time I threw the dumbbell perfectly. Travis quickly found it, but trotted back "around" the jump instead of over it. We, of course, didn't qualify but I still smile about it. You all know how greyhounds aren't always the best at sitting. Travis had to work hard for those 3 minute sit stays. I had trained him to hold that sit no matter what and taught him to ignore a random person asking him to "down" during a sit stay. So once during the 5 minute down stay, Travis suddenly stood up as I was leaving the ring. The nice judge walked over to Travis and told him to "down", so Travis could at least finish the exercise correctly. Travis stood his ground. Although we had never practiced 5 minute stand stays before.... he held his stand stay perfectly and refused to listen to this random person telling him to down. He wasn't about to be fooled..... "good boy".




One of Travis' funniest traits was that he truly loved to swim. He loved retrieving bumpers from as far as I could throw them. He swam as fast and as hard as he could with lots of splash. This eventually led us to tossing the bumper off a dock and Travis loved that too. He competed twice at a Dock Dogs dock jumping event. Some dogs refuse to jump when they climb onto a dock so high above the ground in a parking lot leading to an above ground pool. It looks nothing like jumping in a lake where most practice. Travis had no issues with the set up and jumped like a pro. He would squeal and try to drag me to the dock when other dogs were jumping. He didn't come close to breaking any records (a greyhound mix does hold the record jump), but he is the only purebred greyhound I know of that dock jumped and earned a Dock Dogs Junior Jumper title. We had a great time.




Most of all, I want to remember how stunning he was. Travis did everything fast and at full force, but he was a true mama's boy. Such a wonderful soul. So thank you for letting me tell you about Travis one more time. As he reached what others would call "the senior years", I would tell him that I missed him already when I would think about it all having to come to an end eventually. I am so thankful for everything. I am so lucky to have spent 6 and a half amazing years with one of the most wonderful, special greyhounds ever. Do us this favor, take some pictures of your beautiful dogs today. You will be so glad that you did.


5 comments:

Beth said...

Dear Jen,
When I stopped by the SEGA Yahoo Group a few minutes ago and saw Travis' picture on the home page, my heart sank . . . I knew what it meant. Your past two entries on this blog are the most eloquent and touching tributes to an exceptional hound. Travis may have been "never expected", but what a phenomenal story you two wrote together.
May peace and comfort be yours in the coming days.

Denise- LessIsMore17 said...

I'm glad I got to say goodbye to Travis on Sunday...I wish I had gone to see him at some trials, definently my loss.
I know there's relief and it also hurts like hell:-( but you made the right decision, you knew him best. May I always be as strong as you when it comes to knowing when it is time and making the right medical test choices...

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Thanks, Beth and Denise.

Jen

Red Carey said...

Its July 26th, 2011 and I just watched your Travis Memorial Video again. I wrote before how much your video meant to me. I love Greyhounds, your Travis, is the reason why. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy Travis.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Red Carey. :-)