04 March 2013


I ran the old man at the trial this past weekend, but he was only entered Friday, and once again he had a mistake that prevented me from finishing his MACH2. I haven't kept him in great shape, he's a little bit fat and a little bit flabby. So I was thinking about it all weekend, and I think I have decided to let him retire permanently. He has arthritis in a few of his toes, and that combined with the mild heart murmur makes me wary of taking him for the long hilly hikes I take the others on to help keep them fit. He goes for walks in our fields at home with some regularity along with "playing" agility in the home field once a week or so, but I can see now after trials that his toes hurt, and I worry that letting him run when he's not in shape will make his heart problem worse. He's had a great career - does anyone really care if he retires with 39 QQ's or 40? He's got thousands of speed points. We didn't do AKC for a long time during the middle of his career, and then we struggled with consistency for a while, and then I only did enough AKC to qualify for Nationals every year, so he is not a MACH39 or whatever high number. But he's been in AKC Finals and won the whole thing two times in a row, along with making Challenger Round the previous year. I don't really think I care if he gets that last QQ. I am already running into people who don't know who Drifter is, which kind of blows my mind since it's only been about a year since I stopped running him regularly, and not quite 2 years since he last won the National! Now I am the one who runs Kiba, or Strafe seems to be quite famous already as well. And so Drifter is most likely retired, with no fanfare, no party, no jumping up and down and screaming. What is likely his last run is mostly blurry and out of focus. But here it is anyway. Still deep in his dogwalk and aframe contacts, still pushing his see-saw to the point of flying off. He's fat, so he tried to sit on the double and knocked the bars, then he popped back out of the tunnel like "really? you really want that?" and I laughed and tossed him back in. Hard to take him seriously anymore, I call him my "fat old man" even though he isn't really that fat.

Drifters last AKC Final run - he won!
Drifter's last USDAA Final - he went off course before this obstacle!
Drifter's final international competition - WAO Biathlon Champion!


LitlBigDog said...

Love that Fat Old Man!! He certainly has nothing to prove! He's earned his pension (and then some!). Time for him to start collecting it!

Amy Siegel said...
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Tails From The Herd ... said...

Love that Man! Congratulations on a long and wonderful career ... He's such an awesome dog!