Saturday, October 29, 2011

Everything Changes

My last post was right after the ACDCA national specialty and we were on cloud nine.  We came home and a week later headed to Indianapolis for the Indiana Collie Club's fall agility trial.  Tully was still on fire and brought home his 3rd AXP leg and the title and first place!  He also picked up his second AJP leg and first place.  Could it get any better than this?  We had entered 3 more trials (two weekends of rally and one weekend of agility) to try and finish his RAE and AJP before the end of the year.  Unfortunately, things change.

Tully was diagnosed with a splenic tumor and was abruptly taken to surgery on October 27, 2011 for a splenectomy at VCA Veterinary Specialty Center in Indianapolis.  Tully's spleen was removed and he recovered well and came home the next day. We are waiting on the lab results for what type of mass was removed.  All November agility and rally trials have been cancelled for us.  At this point in time I am unsure if this will be a brief hiatus or if this is retirment for Tully.  Four weeks ago we were tearing up courses at nationals.  Now my boy is recovering from major surgery and we are waiting to see if he has cancer of if the mass was benign.  Everything changes, and not always for the better.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

He came, he saw, he conquered.

A week ago we loaded up our stuff, got one last good night's sleep in our own bed, and woke up the next morning heading for the ACDCA national specialty in Fletcher, NC.  This is the big trip we've been working towards, but things had gone a bit awry before leaving. Tully became ill and was lethargic and didn't eat for 2 days. I quit my job, accepted a new job, and started house hunting.  Needless to say, our training in the month before nationals went down the drain.  Things did not look good, but we left anyway and I figured I'd have to pull  him from at least Monday's events.

It turns out, I should not have worried.  Tully woke up on Monday morning, ate breakfast, and was ready to run.  When the dust settled on 9/26/11, the results were:

1st place Novice FAST Preferred (3rd leg and title!)
2nd place Excellent Standard (2nd leg)
1st place Veterans Obedience
2nd place Rally Advanced
Qualifying Score in Rally Excellent
1 new RAE leg

I left that day on cloud nine, knowing my boy would never have another day like that in his life and savoring the moment.  I was wrong.  The next day on 9/27/11, Tully came back just as strong and brought home:

1st place Novice FAST Preferred (bonus leg)
High Scoring ACD in Novice FAST Preferred
1st place Veterans Obedience
4th place Rally Advanced
2nd place Rally Excellent
1 new RAE leg (total of 5 now)

Suffice it to say, it was the show of a lifetime.....and it happened at nationals.  He is nearing retirement and I knew this would be his last competitive year at nationals.  He gave me all he had and more. In case I've never said it, I love this dog!  Not only did he qualify and have high scores, he competed with complete glee.  He was happy and excited and I truly believe he was having the time of his life.
Tonight it's off to the awards banquet.  Tully should pick up his VQW (Versatile Qualified Worker) title/award - a versatility award given by the ACDCA.  I am proud of my sweet boy. 

Firefly Rockin Red Rogue CDX GO VER RE OJP OAP NFP CGC HIC VQW  "Tully"