|All pictures by Tim- thanks very much!|
I still can't quite believe that I am not going to step up to the start line with her again, but I know its the right time to let her retire. At 9.5 years of age her body is really starting to get sore, and the priority is to give her a long happy and comfortable retirement, and not making her (inevitable) arthrtitis any more severe.
Terra's career highlights:
2007- WA Jumping Dog of the Year (just turned 3, 1st year of trialling)
2008- winner Masters Jumping final at Adelaide Nationals. Winner of Excellent Gamblers class. Winner of WA Agility Dog of the Year
2009- winner Masters Jumping Final at Melbourne Nationals, 2nd place Masters Agility. WA Jumping and Agility Dog of the Year
2010- Open Jumping and Open Agility Final winner at Perth Nationals WA Agility and Jumping DOTY. Selected to compete at World Dog Games and qualified me for IFSC in the U.K
2011 WA Agility and Jumping DOTY
2012 Winner Open Jumping Finals Sydney Nationals 2nd Masters Agility
+ numerous western classic, state title and royal show wins (can't remember which).
To say she has had an incredible career is understating it.. she has been such a dominant dog in Australian agility. She always used to check in whenever she was not sure where I wanted her to go, despite travelling at warp speed. Terra NEVER used to go off course wilfully, if she went the wrong way it was because I sent her there.
As a young dog, Terra actually wasn't the easiest to train..she took quite a while to learn anything, and agility didn't really float her boat initially. I have distinct memories of her doing one jump at training at about 12 months of age and then running off to the other side of the oval..but once she learnt something it was in for good, and she didn't waste time thinking about it, she just went!
The greatest feeling in agility is when you have those runs that seem so perfectly connected..where you run the course together, and your team mate reads your mind without much having to be said. I was lucky enough to have many, many of those runs with Terra. Of course it is the result of thousands of hours of practising together, and hundreds of runs competing together, but it was a heady feeling. Those will be my favourite memories of running with her, those 'perfect' runs.
I have received many emails and facebook messages about Terra's retirement already, and it is gratifying that I will not be the only one to remember her. At her peak, she really was The Best.
(vid by Karen Phillips)