Scoop training has been on the back burner for the past four months. Not long before I wrote my last blog entry, my Mom became ill with a variety of undiagnosed ailments. I started flying home and spending as much time as possible with her, trying to share in her care with my brother and sister.
It all became clear what was going on when we got the diagnosis of brain tumor back in April. She underwent brain surgery and then struggled with the cancer diagnosis, rehab and setbacks until she died 3 weeks ago. Like everyone who ends up an orphan, young or old, losing my Dad 8 years ago, and now my Mom has been of the hardest life events I have gone through.
My Mom was 82 years old in January this year, but looked and acted as if she was in her 60’s. She went to the gym weekly for aerobics classes, and singlehandedly took care of her home and extensive yards and gardens. She was a happy, fit, beautiful senior who took great care of herself. That level of good health led us to believe she would live to be a hundred, not succumb to some crappy cancer while she was still so vital.
I miss my Mom, and don’t regret a moment of the days and weeks that I spent by her bedside. I missed being home with my husband, playing with my dogs and teaching the students I see weekly, but not enough to stay home while my Mom might benefit from my presence. Life challenges put fun things like dog agility all in perspective. But it does not mean I didn’t miss it, or that I am not looking forward to getting back to my old life of training and competing right now!
Poor Scoop. He got exercised and some socialization weekly because my friend and student Wendy Vogelgesang made sure he got that attention, and of course my husband helped lots as well. But there wasn’t any training going on. Scoop’s jumping and handling seems not to have suffered, he went right back to doing little jump drills without skipping a beat. I am thankful I did a pretty good job on foundation, and all of that is coming back easy. But we have no contacts, no weaves, de nada.
And since all woes come in threes they say, a week after my Mom died, Jim’s 15 year old border collie Swift died. He is Riot’s littermate, and even though we still have 7 dogs, the house is not the same without him.
- Highcroft Swift, 2005
Woe 3 came only days after I got home 2 weeks ago and thought I could start playing with my big puppy. He came down with kennel cough and we are now into day 11 with the virus. I have been home for two weeks, but haven’t been able to train, talk about wanting to rip your hair out! Today he got trained though, and even though I thought I heard a little rasp, he did just fine when I jumped him and I am going to assume he is healthy and ready to go back to having fun training agility.
So, here we go again…if you are interested, stay tuned for the beginning of Scoops’ contact and weave pole training over the next few months. I really want to show him in USDAA in mid September, just after he is 18 months old. So that’s my goal, and I hope to get there and not just in the jumpers ring:)