NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Dog Trial Coming Up!

We've had a little time off, but I'll be spending next weekend out on the agility course with Max. We're pretty excited! We also have a change in our overall titling plans.

Max was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at ten months old. I was told he most likely would not be able to walk by the time he was two. I was devastated! Long story short, we monitored his diet closely to keep him skinny, supplemented with glucosamine, made sure he got lots of exercise, and here he is at 4 1/2 and doing wonderfully! However, the arthritis caused by the dysplasia is just beginning to bother him a bit. I've taken him out of "Regular" competition and begun to enter him in a category that CPE* has called "Enthusiast" which will allow him a 4'' break in jump height, meaning he'll only jump 12'' now. Even better news is that since we already had one Level 5 qualifying score, he'll be able to compete in Level 5 in all classes in the new category, so we'll be working on his Championship title right away! (That would be his CT-ATCH, meaning CPE Enthusiast Agility Trial Champion.) And, the best news in the world for me, all 40 qualifying scores required for the Championship must come from only 6 of the 7 classes. One class my be skipped in whole or in part. Hallelujah! I never have to Q in Snooker ever again!! That's what we call a Silver Lining!! :-)

So, Max is doing very well, but we're cutting him some slack to keep him as healthy as we can in light of his issue. He loves agility so much that it would be heartbreaking if we had to make him stop. But bless CPE's heart for having an even better category we can enter if 12'' jumps still bother him. We can enter "Specialist" and jump him at 8''! That's like no jumps at all for him! I can just see his little happy face tearing around the course with nothing to slow him down. And the hysterical faces of the spectators watching me try to keep up!

I know some of this makes no sense to a lot of my readers, but I love running in agility with my boys and I love to talk about it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'd love to tell you all about it!

And what have Skye and Peter been doing with their time? They've started learning to herd sheep! Skye is so much happier doing that than running agility. It's what he was bred for, and his face lights up every time you say, "You want to go see the sheep?" I haven't been able to go watch yet, but I can't wait to see him do this thing once they've had a chance to learn some of the ropes. In the meantime, the boys are saving their energy:

Good boys!

* CPE is the venue we compete in. Other venues you may have heard of are AKC (which is the venue you usually see running on Animal Planet), NADAC, UKC, USDAA, etc.


Lisa said...

The neighbors behind us and a few houses down have an agility course in their backyard. I've only seen glimpses of their dog and don't know them, but am dying to go knock on the door and ask to see the dog run it. We have a mixed breed border collie and I'd LOVE to see her do either (sheep OR a course). She's so smart, I bet she'd love it.

Darlene said...

Lezlie, I can't wait to hear more about it. Thank God for an easier course for Max. They were worried when Buddy was young that he might have the hip dysplasia because it's quite common in his breed but thankfully he didn't. I'm so glad to hear that Max is doing so well. I hope he continues that way-they're are babies, we don't want to see them hurting. It almost kills me when something hurts Buddy.

That's hilarious thinking of you running after him and trying to keep up. I watch the agility comps on tv all the time and go when they have them here in the city and man can some of those dogs move through the course. It's a workout and a half for the trainer too. lol. I can understand how much you love it. I think a lot of it is just seeing our pets so happy too-it makes it even more exciting for us. I may set up a little agility course for Buddy next year in the backyard and see how he does-he's quite smart so he should do well. I wish I had started when he was young though like you did.

I really look forward to hearing more about the dogs. I'm a major pet lover as you are and could talk about Buddy all day so I just love hearing about all the things your boys are up to. Get some pics of herding the sheep if you can-I've watched the comps of that too and it's quite interesting. So, keep the stories and the pics coming. I'm always looking out for them-funny too because I was going to ask you already what all the puppies were up to because you hadn't mentioned anything in a while.

Okie dokie, very long winded this morning. I'm going now. Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I love to watch the agility competition on Animal Planet. The photo of your dogs sleeping together is so cute.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Ah, Sheep herding!! They certainly are fun to watch "work". One of mother-in-law's dogs just had babies, so we had a lot of fun with the pups this weekend when we went to visit.

J.C. Montgomery said...

As a former Vet Asst, I can tell you are doing everything to keep Max healthy, and just as importantly happy. Attitude is everything, for the pet as well as those who love them.

I applaud what you've accomplished so far and I will be rooting for you all!

Ladytink_534 said...

I've never seen one of these in trials in person but they're so cool to watch on TV! Great photos!

Teddy Rose said...

That's wonderful news Lezlie! That will be easier on Max on the landing.

You must get pictures of Skye with the sheep. He must think ge's in heaven!

BTW, I took the day off of the film festival today and did a bit of catch up on my blog. I nominated you for an award.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about the hip dysplasia. We had something similar happen to Sadia...tore us up!

Lezlie said...

Lisa ~ As I'm sure you know, you have to keep those Border Collie-types busy or they'll find things to do themselves. :-) I bet she'd love it, too!

Dar ~ We practice at 8'' sometimes, and I tell you, it's a chore directing that little bullet through a course like that! I'll be sure to post the results from this weekend ASAP.

Bermudaonion ~ It's one of my favorite pics of the boys. They look so . . . calm and peaceful. Don't let that fool you. :-)

Trish ~ New puppies!!! Are they Border Collies?? I love Border Babies!!

J.C. ~ Thanks! It's always hard to decide what to do. Most of my dog-person friends tell me he'll let me know in his own way when it's time to be done with agility. Until then, we'll do what we can to make it comfortable for him. He's the kind of dog, though, that I swear it will take blood and amputation for him to acknowledge there's a problem. "Limp? What limp? That's nothing. THROW THE BALL!!" :-)

Ladytink ~ It was after seeing it on TV that we decided we just had to do agility. It's such a rush to run those courses with your dog!

Teddy Rose ~ Thanks so much for the award! And hopefully I'll get photos of Peter and Skye herding before too long.

J. Kaye ~ It's so hard, isn't it? The vet thinks it's a miracle that Max is doing all the things he's doing.

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

They are little border collies! Some short hair some long hair (I think maybe two of the dogs had litters? I can't keep up!).

Lezlie said...

Trish ~ I'm grinning wildly. :-) I know I'm biased, but I think Border Babies are the cutest thing in the whole world.