a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Agility Dogs and Life

Friday, February 17, 2012

Agility Dogs and Life

SUMMARY: Class and successes and misses and aging and all that.

We had a lovely night in class last night, other than me continuing to do not quite the right thing--ok, all right, completely the wrong thing--and my intructor laughing in disbelief (see "what my instructor thinks I do" in Wednesday's post).

Boost ran really nicely. Knocked only one bar, I think. Got some insight into some of the times when she doesn't come in to me over jumps. Did some really nice weaves and contacts. Ran really fast.

Tika and I had some challenges. I'm sometimes feeling like a beginning handler with her now; I'm still not entirely sure whether my handling is changing as I work more with Boost or as Tika slows down or--that other thing--

Yesterday I rattled my hand in the popcorn bowl, which I hadn't touched for hours. Boost immediately got up and came into the room. Tika kept lying on the bed in the other room--right where I could see her, and I saw no reaction. From the food-first dog. I rattled it again. No reaction. Her eyes were open, but no ear twitches and no jumping up from the bed.

I asked her a couple of times if she wanted some popcorn. Still just lay there. Finally I tossed some popcorn on the floor. She immediately got up, came towards me--and started sniffing on the floor halfway across the room from where i was.

So, yes, I think she's having some hearing and some vision issues. How hard for me to accept.

But she seems to be running and playing quite happily.

We're going to do a huge hike this weekend, 10 miles with cumulative elevation gain of about 2400 feet. This is huge. It is a really big stretch for me, and I know that Tika doesn't like uphill that much anymore, and sometimes I worry about her. But at least some of it is off-leash, and I think she's much happier hiking that way.

Her future might hold more hiking and less agility. Just watching and waiting...


  1. I think dogs adjust so much faster to aging than we do to them aging (or ourselves aging for that matter). I think Bonnie (previous sheltie) was deaf for some time before we recognized it. And if Tika WAS interested in the food once she recognized you were offering, then it probably is her hearing, and maybe her depth perception. She'd love to be your hiking companion for as long as she's able. She's such a good girl. Hugs.

  2. That's like Jake, whose hearing and eyesight were both going before I realized it, and it showed up first on the agility course. She is a good girl and has had a good run. Like Jake, she might be running a run or two a day until the very end--or until she physically can't do it. (jake insisted on still participating; Tika might not.)

  3. Aging stinks! Not an easy thing to think about, but bet she'll be doing a lot of stuff for a long time to come.

  4. BTW - love your header pick! You are hiking long hikes, 7 miles was the most we've ever done. Think I was getting bored after 6 miles doing it just with the dogs. Glad you have folks to go with. And other BTW - this cracks me up :) (was IN/TN/now GA) what's next, lol!

  5. Yeah, I don't tend to go as far by myself unless I have a clear and specific goal, like taking a lot of wildflower photos, or getting to the top of Coyote Peak, or some such.