Since I seem to have taken A LOT of time off from blogging since last spring, I want to give a bit of an overall update on each of my dogs. I will start with the (now) eldest, Mr. Dean Dog.
I can't believe Dean is my oldest dog! I can't believe he is going to be 9 years old in February! It seems like just yesterday I brought him home, an untrained, hyper, crazy 10 month old in need of so much work!! But he is.
Dean is mostly retired from competition sports. He has a permanent hitch in one of his hips and we have dropped Agility altogether. I am so glad we had our two "dream competitions" last fall. I will always remember those two days as the highlight of his Agility career and the fulfillment of all that we worked toward all those years. There weren't any big championship titles or anything, but he overcame his fears and even did a teeter in competition. It was truly amazing and an experience I will never forget.
He is still involved with Rally FrEe, but is only doing video events. He is so brilliant when he is not performing in a competition setting, but he still struggles - even in front of a camera - without food or toys in the ring with him. Still, he managed a VERY nice submission to a video Rally FrEe event about a month ago!
We moved back to the Alternate Novice division and I am hoping to go all the way through Advanced with him in the Alternate division. He only needs 100 points to qualify in that division, so he should be good to go!
And, of course, he still loves the class.
I also took Dean along to do Innovations when Tessa and I went up to Frackville a few weeks ago. I really just took him to play. I am not planning to ever try to compete with him again in a live Freestyle event. So this was just for fun and he was beyond pleased!
In a way that was another fulfillment moment. He performed in front of a live audience and loved it. Can't ask for more than that!
We haven't given up all titling, however. I have decided to form Dean and Tessa into a new Dogs Can Dance Challenge team - Team Dessa Dog - and take them all the way through the Challenge together. We didn't have to do Entry Level because I already did it with my original team, but I did prepare an Entry Level video. I was just having fun with some of this. I don't plan to perform with Dean and Tessa as a brace . . . but you really never know! Most of the video is of Tessa but Dean comes in as part of the brace at the end.
Dean thoroughly enjoyed a trip to the beach with us at the beginning of September. We only got to go for a long weekend, but, as always, he had an absolute blast playing in the surf in the ocean and swimming in the bay.
The biggest delight of Dean's life over these past few months really was raising the puppy. He turned into a little Mamma and just took Bandit under his wing and showed him all the ropes. It was so incredibly sweet! Even now he is not as nurturing as he was when Bandit was still a baby, he plays with him almost every night and they truly seem to be bonding as Border Collie brothers.
Dean Dog and baby Bandit in early summer.
Dean is doing well - better than he has done in years. I am hoping there are a good many good years ahead for him.