Friday, September 11, 2009


I am so excited that Reagan's first agility trial is tomorrow! I counted and I have not competed in about 440 days. That is a long time when you consider that I have been competing greyhounds in agility non-stop since 2000.
First it was Jes and Teresa. Jes (above) only competed for a short time before old toe injuries from lure coursing became a problem. Teresa (below) continued on, but tortured and humbled me so. My first trip to the Perry dog show in April (the largest dog show in the southeast) proved very successful. Teresa ran 7 times, qualified in 6 of those runs, and completed her Novice titles and 2 legs of her Open Standard title. She was perfect! I started to think about our upcoming events and calculating when we would reach Excellent level.... no doubt soon, right? FIFTEEN competitions later, Teresa finally earns the third leg of her Open Standard title. All in all, that Perry show was a fluke in Teresa's career. Just a little something to get me hooked on agility. Teresa was a funny girl.
Katie came along and was well on her way before Teresa retired. Katie was a dream come true. Perfection! The achievements came easily and I am still amazed that she stepped off the racetrack and 3 years later became the first Master Agility Champion greyhound.
The reward and ease of working with Katie was a huge factor in taking a chance on Travis. I had no agility hopes for Travis, but figured I would do what I could with him while I enjoyed Katie. Well, we all know that Travis' story ended with two Master Agility Championships. Not bad at all. So Travis had stepped in when Katie retired early from agility due to back pain in January 2005. It worked out though. I probably would not have done Utility level obedience with Katie if she had not quit agility.
Unfortunately, Katie and Travis' birthdays are only separated by 5 or 6 weeks. If you always want to be competing, it is best to space out your dogs by a couple of years so they are not retiring at the same time. In 2007, I knew that I really needed to find a youngster. Katie and Travis were 9 years old and retirement was imminent. But we were traveling to Ohio, New York, and California to compete in some big events. Travis especially, was on such a roll. When would I have time to train a youngster?

Katie abruptly retired on October 10, 2007. Obviously, adopting another greyhound during Katie's rehab was out of the question. In early 2008, I was finally ready and in steps Reagan. In my perfect world scenario, Travis would have been retiring anytime after now. But that is okay. Maybe the break was needed.

I checked my records and found out that I have not competed in Novice level agility in nearly 6 years. It will be fun and I am looking forward to it!

Oh! It is 9-11 today. Just want to say that I am so thankful to live in a free country. I am so thankful for the military efforts and to anyone who has given his or her life in the spirit of freedom. I would not be able to play these silly games without being free to do so.