SUMMARY: I'm looking for signs in her face and her performance.Tika turns 10 on Monday. Is she becoming an old dog yet? I dread the day, of course-- so I'm looking for signs.
Here's Tika's photo from Wednesday:
Here's the closest similar shot I could find, from seven years ago, March 2004:
Next, I plotted her non-Eliminating Jumpers yards per second in Masters and P3. I included runs with faults, which could be bars, refusals, or runouts (which could make the times slower). Debated leaving them out, but in fact even our nominally "clean" runs could have detours and major bobbles that didn't show up as faults, and knocked bars are less likely than those unrecorded bobbles to affect our time.
Soooo is she slowing down? There might have been a very gradual trend downwards, until she moved to P3 in October 2009, which popped right back up there, and the numbers have held steady since then. (Except the last 3 on the chart, which were, respectively, 1st place of 10 dogs ("late calls but good for 1:30 on a very hot day"), massive time-wasting bobbles, and 2nd place of 10 dogs, only .1 off 1st. So I think they were slow courses rather than us slowing down.)
My conclusion: Happy Birthday, Tika! Looks like you've still got plenty in you!