09 October 2011

About to embark on a farewell tour of sorts

Drifter enjoying a good roll in the grass at Woodhenge in England, May 2010.

So i was away teaching this week from Tuesday to Thursday at the Doberman Specialty in MA. That was fun - check into a hotel and there's Dobermans EVERYWHERE! So bizarre, like an alternate universe or something! It was fun though, all the dogs did great and there are definitely some talented Dobe's out there in agility. I even watched some of the Top 20 Obedience dogs run! Didn't stick around for all of them though.

While I was gone, Drifter developed a UTI, peeing way too much and unable to hold it. I've heard of other dogs getting them post-neuter, even though the vets will tell you that shouldn't cause it. So he's on antibiotics and 3 days in he seems very much improved, and after discussion with the vet we decided that since he seems fine he should be absolutely fine to go on a week-long trip. Boy he likes to keep me on my toes, I guess. As of today he's not going out to pee anymore often than usual, and while he still looks a bit uncomfortable and pees perhaps a bit more often when he's out than usual, he seems perfectly happy in the house, so I do think the antibiotics are clearing it up nicely. 

On the note of Drifter, I realized that this week will almost certainly be his last trip to a National event. He's getting older, and I don't think a 28-hour drive to CO where the competition is 6,000 feet up in the air will be a great idea. Too much travel, too much altitude (I worry about his heart though he's doing great), too much uncertainty with the possibility of wet footing. I'm also not planning to fly him to Reno for AKC in the spring. Again, too much travel for his age and I am determined not to fly him again. So...   this is probably it. I really want to retire him while he's still sound and happy. I do not want to be someone who runs my dog in the ring over and over as he ages visibly and begins to have trouble. So we will go to Kentucky, hopefully do some great things, then we will finish our MACH2 (6 more QQ's), and then we will most likely just retire permanently. Do some training, walking, and hiking when the weather is nice. There's the possibility that I might take him to Tulsa in 2013, but I will probably be focusing on Kiba and Strafe at that point. We shall see.

Anyway, here's to Drifter's likely retirement of Nationals, although of course no guarantees as it will depend on how he's doing, but he will no longer be my focus, my "main dog" any longer. He's accomplished a lot, taught me a lot, and he's got his last hurrah this week to try to kick some young-dog butt... 

Tomorrow morning we're off for our 11 hour drive!

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