Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Reminiscing about agility on my Gotcha Day!

This past weekend was the anniversary of my Gotcha Day!!! The day I got, got!

Milestone days sometimes bring on a little reminiscing, no?

It's been six years since Mum adopted me from the Southside Animal Shelter in Indianapolis. Mum woke up one day and said, "I want a dog to do stuff with." So she got on Petfinder and found this pic of me and my brother and instantly fell in love. I am her first dog ever!

Neither one of us had a clue or twinkle in the eye for agility in the beginning, but after an agility class when I was almost a year old, both of our lives took a major turn. We immediately began agility training and haven't even thought about looking back, despite my bad luck over the years.

I like to think I'm a lucky dog. Much has happened to me and much has had to be overcome for me to do agility, my absolutely favorite thing to do in life, besides be with my Mum, of course!

For those of you who don't know, when I was one year old I was attacked by a bunch of dogs. It was touch and go for a while, but I recovered and competed in my first agility trial just a couple of months later at the age of 18 months and one day, with a little shorter fur on my backside. It was USDAA and I got four Q's - three 1st and one 2nd - and came home with lots of ribbons. Needless to say we were completely hooked on agility!

About a year later, I turned up with a dislocated toe, after three trips to the vet to find out what was up, I finally got an x-ray that showed my toe out of whack. A little adjustment and six weeks of leash rest and I was back to my wacky self. And back running and competing in agility!

Then, when I was three, Mum had to board me when she went to Las Vegas for work. While I was there I got a broken foot. After eight weeks in a cast, I recovered well from that too and was back in agility in about five months. Came back and got a QQ in my first AKC trial back at it in Lewisburg, Ohio!

Just about a year later, I started not running well in agility, I got hesitant, till one day I sniffed in front of lots of jumps during an AKC JWW run. Turned out I had pulled my iliopsoas muscle. It took a lot of trips to vets and rehab specialists to figure out what was wrong, but once we did, it was into recovery I went. Took off a few months and I was back at agility again! Yeah!

That year following, we competed in 24 trials in Indiana and in Ohio. During that time I had a great string of 7 QQs in a row through three trials, and in one trial that year I got three first places with a total of 86 MACH points for the weekend.

Also that year, I competed in the USDAA regionals in Indiana and our team came away with 15th place and a nice DAM Q, qualifying me for nationals in all three events with the other GP and STP Q's I got that year. I ended up after that year about 100 pts from my MACH and five Q's from my ADCH. What a rush!!!

Competing at nationals in both AKC and USDAA was not to be that year, I was 50 or so points away from qualifying for AKC nationals when my iliopsoas started acting up again. Mum, Gracie and I were planning a move to the mountains, so Mum decided it was time to take me off agility, get us moved and settled in, let me completely recover and work through a plan to help prevent my iliopsas from acting up.

Turns out a trip to our new vet at the University of Tennessee after we moved, helped me and Mom figure out that it was the resulting affects of the dog attack back in my first year of life that is deterring the strength and flexibility in my back through some fused skin layers from the surgery, and that's why I have iliopsoas troubles.

I've been off for over a year, getting well and working my rehab. Mum and I have been working on my strength and flexibility, and all indicators seem that it's working well, although we both realize that I have troubles throughout my life. Mum and I sometimes think about what would my agility life be like if I hadn't gotten hurt so much, and had to take off more time recuperating, than actually being able to play the game. But alas, such a waste of time, right?

So, lots of you know we've been practicing agility again for the past few months, and the best news in the world is that I'll be competing next weekend in my first trial back since the Spring of 2009. It's the best Gotcha Day present ever!!!!

Thanks Mum for getting me....I am furever grateful to have you and agility in my life, no matter what we've been through...I'm a fighter, just like you! And right now, I'm just glad we can do it again! Let's go and kick some agility course butt and have tons of fun at the trial this weekend, K? I am ready to run, run, run, for however long I can!


  1. Johann, buddy, I did not knows you woz attacked by dogs way back then! OMD, that is horribulls, espeshully that you still has prawblems from it. It rilly is amazing that you has accomplished so much even with those pains. I wish you the bestest fur your trail (I mean trial, hiking on my mind...) this weekend and I do keep both front and back paws crossed fur you, and HAPPY GOTCHA DAY belatedly!

  2. Wow Johann! Happy Gotcha Day! You sure are one interesting, fun, and lucky pupster! Hope you had a special weekend and good luck in your upcoming agility trials. Woofs-


  3. w00fs, happy gotcha day...have fun jumpin over stuffs and under stuffs...and have many many more..

    b safe,

  4. Wow! Yesterday marked my GOTCHA Day with my new mom too! My new mom wanted a dog to have some fun with and the rest is agility history! Happy GOTCHA Day to you too Johann!

    ~Holly, the All American Dog!

  5. Happy Gotcha Day Johann!! You sure have been through a lot and have been injured way too many times. Hopefully that is it for your lifetime! So glad you will be trialing again soon - wish it were up here in OH but maybe we'll find ourselves together at a trial some day.

  6. Happy Gotcha Day Johann. Best of luck in the trials. Go kick butt!
    your pals, Morgan & Maisie

  7. Happy gotta day! You are quite the agility dog! I have a set and play around on it but no one where I lives completes so I don't really know how to seriously train.

  8. Happy gotcha day (I'm a bit late on that I guess). What a great recap. You've been through a lot! And 24 trials in one year--whoa!--that matches my maximum, where I hit the wall and realized that I needed to cut back to get more of the rest of life back into my life. Seems like you've all been doing that, too.


Thanks for barking in!

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