Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy 12th, Jade!!

jade Today is the day we celebrate Jade’s birthday, and it hardly seems possible that our first dog is now twelve years old.  We met Jade a little over eleven years ago at a pet rescue adoption day.  We had just bought our first home, a move strongly driven by our desire to be able to have a dog, and had decided we wanted a black Labrador.  When we saw him in his crate at the adoption event, I think it took us about 30 seconds to decide we wanted him, and we picked him up a week later – the day after we moved in to our new place. 

Jade had boundless energy and drive, and we loved trying new things with him.  Our world began to revolve around finding fun things to do with him.  We began a journey together of learning and playing that led us to many great friends and new experiences – I always say he is the dog that changed our lives. 

Jade 40K_from Sue Jade’s true passion in life was flyball, and he was a fantastic flyball dog.  His fastest time was 3.9 seconds (not bad for a Lab), he was ranked in the top ten point-earning Labs in flyball, earned over 40K points in racing, and had he raced just a few months longer, would have received the new NAFA Iron Dog award.  What matters most though is how much fun we all had together.

Jade’s athleticism made him an extremely talented agility dog as well, but after an bad crash into the side of a closed tunnel in an early competition, he never enjoyed trialing as much.  Still, he was always up for a fun match or some backyard practice.

After breaking a toe in 2009 on the flyball box, Jade has been retired from competition, though he did try Rally Obedience this fall for the first time, and we hope to do more in the future.  He has been so happy to find a new “job” to do!

hiking This past year, Jade has begun to show his age more and more.  I still think most people would be shocked to know that he is twelve, but we see the signs of him slowing down.  He had surgery this summer after being diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, and fortunately since then his quality of life has definitely increased.  Unfortunately, the condition also usually involves neuropathy in the rear legs, and he is beginning to lose some muscle mass and to get a little weaker and unstable.  He is pain-free though, and still gets around very well.  He walks at least a half hour every day, does strengthening exercises to keep as fit as he can, and is still happy to fetch the occasional ball in the back yard.  As much as I hate watching him age, I think he still has plenty of miles left in him.

Thanks for over a decade of great times, Jade!  We hope our journey still has many roads ahead!

1 comment:

Casper Bear said...

Happy 12th Birthday Jade! Have a great day!
Lotsa Licks
Casper Bear