27 August 2012

Ruby's day out.

This past weekend was the 10th Anniversary of SMART, one of our local dog clubs. To celebrate, everybody brought out their older dogs, retired or not, and they all had a mini run over some bars on the ground and a tunnel.

This is Ruby's specialty! She can't see much, but she can see enough to get around where I show her. Boy was she happy to go out and have a turn!

Ruby's been retired for about 3 years, she's only about 12 years old. She started out jumping 16", and a few legs before her ADCh, her jump crashing was getting too scary for me and I moved her to Performance. She could NOT jump the double EVER. Crash. She went from frequently hitting the double to just slamming through about everything out there when I moved her down.

I remember wanting her to finish her stupid ADCh, and I'm sure I waited too long to move her to performance. She wasn't very old.

She ran ok in Performance for a while, and then she started crashing 12" single jumps. Badly. And slamming into the a-frame. Then getting scared and doing sad stuff like shutting down in the weave poles and refusing the a-frame. She was lame a lot of the time with some kind of tendonitis in her right front shoulder that I figured was from crashing through jumps on a regular basis. Who knows. She still gets it, and also has her horrible back thing that luckily hasn't revisited in over a year.

Ruby was fun yet weird to run. She could be really great, and really fast, or start crashing things and then go sort of weirdo on the run. The last few times I ran her in trials, she started bolting off the startline, like she didn't want to run. When she did run, she hit just about every jump out there. It was pretty clear that she needed to be done with agility.

I couldn't find her folder that had her titles and papers in it. I know she used to get SuperQs in Snooker, and would always get the Gamble if it had a teeter totter in it. She had a lot of Steeplechase Qs and a flakey running dogwalk contact. I taught her a running dogwalk before it was cool. I didn't teach it so good, I was making it up as I went along.

Me and Ruby learned agility together. She was mostly pretty patient with me. She was one of those dogs that, in hindsight, I was really lucky to start with. She would shut down if I really screwed up, so I learned pretty quickly how not to screw up. She taught me how to run fast.

Ruby can't hear hardly anything. I pat my leg and wave my hands around to show her what to do, and sometimes she can hear clapping if you clap really, really loud. She can't see in the dark or in bright sun, but I think she sees all right on a foggy day.

The veterans' run was on a foggy day. I think Ruby could see just fine. We headed off that startline and it was just like old times.

Thanks, Sarah Hitzeman for the photos!


Elf said...

Wow, in the photo, she's really moving! Nice retrospective story.

Nicole said...

awww, this is really sweet. she looked like she was moving really quickly!