Friday, December 19, 2008

The Dogs

Since a lot of this blog will be for keeping track of my training of my pack, and for keeping friends and family up to date on what we're up to, I will start by introducing the gang:

Jade, is a 9-year old black lab mix, and was our first dog. We got him when he was about a year old from a local rescue organization. He had so much drive and energy, that we went looking for new ways of having fun with him. I say he's the dog who changed our life, because he led us to flyball, agility, and so many of the other crazy activities we are obsessed with now. Jade recently earned over 40,000 points in NAFA flyball - not bad for a dog who started training and running well into his adult years. In his prime, Jade ran 4.0's and 4.1's, and even turned in a 3.9 second time once or twice. This year he has entered semi-retirement - I know he'd keep running, but I want to go easy on his body as he starts to age.

Tristan is our 7-year old, tri-color Border Collie. He is head dog in our household, a position that all the others respect. "T" is an intense dog and hard worker. He isn't one for snuggling and loving - he wants to be on the move and is ready to go at all times - a quintessential BC. Tristan had a TPLO surgery for a partially torn cruciate and a subsequent plate removal when he was two years old, and it took him 2 years to return to competition. Despite this setback, Tristan is now tearing up the agility courses, and even took Reserve High in Standard at CPE Agility Nationals in 2008. He may have a bionic knee, but he can still keep up with the best of them in the agility ring. Tristan is primarily handled by my husband (though he'll gladly work for anyone).

Maebe is our 2-year old Border Collie/Staffy Bull mix. As the only female, she is truly princess of the household. People who hear her screaming and clawing her way towards the agility ring would never believe that she is a quiet, laid back girl at home, who can usually be found napping in her crate. When it is time to go though, she turns on the afterburners. While her agility career is just beginning, it looks to be a promising one. My husband also handles her, so he will be the one struggling to keep up with her.

And finally, the "red dog" of the title: Django. Django is a middle-aged red Border Collie. He was a stray picked up in the Detroit area. After making his way through shelters and rescue organizations, he found his way to us. After the first week in our house, we talked to the rescue group, concerned that he should be in a single-dog, pet home, because we were afraid he was overwhelmed by the business of our household. They encouraged us to give him one more week to adjust, and I will forever be grateful for that advice. Django has turned into my "heart dog", my constant companion, who would do anything for me and only wants to please. Although not our fastest, he is our most reliable and most accomplished agility dog. When he came to us, Lowell laughed at me running around like a fool with a bag of hot dogs, trying to get Django to slowly retrieve a tennis ball. Now he is a ball-crazed nut, who runs in the low to mid-4's in flyball. He is my perfect boy, and I couldn't be prouder of him.

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