a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Is Tika Getting Older

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Is Tika Getting Older

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:
Sooo is she getting whiter in the face? It's so hard to tell, with her already speckled and white-flecked coat. Is the front inside her ear more white than tan? Are her eyelashes white but weren't before? Her little eyebrows look white from the side in yesterday's photo, but in person, looking more straight on, they still look tannish.  Her teeth are definitely more worn down--but you can't see that. :-)

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!


  1. Happy early birthday! Looks like she's "still got it."

  2. Happy birthday Tika! My older boy turns 10 next month, but alas, he had to retire from agility two years ago.

  3. Ten and still going strong. That's quite something!

  4. She looks really good. I couldn't tell any difference in her looks...She's beautiful!

  5. Happy Birthday Tika!!! Even if she turns whiter doesn't mean anything :) I turned white on the face at three!