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Dog Trio

Nov 14

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I suppose an introduction is the best place! I’m Caitie, hobby enthusiast. Seriously, I have too many hobbies to list. I just don’t understand people who worry they won’t have enough to do in retirement. I like outdoor adventures like hiking, biking, camping and kayaking. I also love the outdoors at home, and have what can only be described as a small urban farm in my backyard. I love nature, and plants, and in my climate those even migrate to the indoors during winter.

I’ve always been an animal lover, which is painfully obvious by the ever growing menagerie at home. Currently I have two dogs, a cat, and 6 chickens. I would probably have a goat or sheep if the city allowed it.

And this is sort of where this all began. Because when I wanted to go hiking alone on my days off, I didn’t look for like-minded humans to walk with. I adopted a dog.

4 years ago I adopted Gen. Gen was a rescue mutt from Alabama. She had a litter of puppies in the rescue who had all been adopted. She was a calm but shy girl. I never did any training with her in the beginning- she was just so naturally well behaved it wasn’t a priority. But once my schedule allowed for it, I started taking her to a basic manners class at a training facility my cousin and go-to dog expert recommended.

And then I got hooked. I discovered training my dog was soooo much fun and so rewarding for both of us. When the 8 week manners class ended, I wanted to continue. The instructor had given us ideas about where to go from there, if we chose to. Advanced obedience. Rally. Nose work. Agility.

I tentatively approached the instructor to ask if she really thought Gen and I could do agility. I always watched agility demos and videos with such awe. But I couldn’t fathom being able to do anything like that. Especially with Gen! She had her moments but her energy level was, and still is, medium at best.

But with the instructor’s encouragement we signed up for beginner agility class. It started out as weeks of standing on wobble boards, walking over jump bumps, and travel board games. But as Gen gained more skills in the classroom, her confidence started to spill over into home life. Suddenly things like stairs and bridges didn’t seem so scary anymore.

Aaaaand I was solidly hooked. While I knew Gen and I would never be trialing, I enjoyed doing agility as yet another hobby.

And alas, we did reach a point where her lack of drive was starting to wear on our enjoyment of the sport. She had a blast for the first run of the day but doing anything after that was a grueling process of egging her on.

Eventually our trainer noticed she had a very slight limp one day at class. I thought maybe she had just landed funny or something so I watched her through the weekend. I must have looked like a fool because anytime we were walking I was staring down at her from above to try to monitor for limping. But sure enough, there was definitely a limp going on with her front leg.

Ling story short, she got a couple rounds of an anti inflammatory and orders for limited activity for a while. I pulled her out of agility with a fear I had injured my poor pup.

Now, her limp was barely perceptible. Continuing in agility was always an option, and still is for her. But at the same time, I was dealing with some rough anxiety. Pulling her out of agility was also just another excuse for me to withdraw myself from social outlets.

Eventually, we started nose work. And it turns out, she loves it! It’s also a nice break from the intense training of agility. But still a part of me just wanted to be back on the turf.

With maybe a small amount of convincing, my husband and I decided we would adopt a puppy.  We planned to wait until spring so we wouldn’t spend winter potty training a puppy. But I just couldn’t resist browsing adoptable cattle dogs and Aussies online.

And then one day the rescue I adopted Gen from posted on their Facebook. They were doing an emergency transport from an overcrowded shelter in Alabama. Many of the dogs would be euthanized on Monday.

I was sitting in Wendy’s having lunch with my mom and idly scrolling through the list of dogs that needed fosters or adopters prior to transportation. Then this picture stopped me in my tracks.


Trio’s shelter picture

Maybe it was his giant smile.  Maybe the shock of a fresh amputation caught me off guard.  Or maybe it was just the natural fascination with something different.  Whatever it was, he definitely caught my attention.  I read his description.  A 6 month old border collie mix, good with dogs.  I flipped my phone over to the other side of the table to show my mom.  She is definitely who I inherited my love of the ‘underdog’ from.   All of our pets growing up were rescues.  A kitten in search of a home rather than being taken to a shelter to sit in with rows of other kittens waiting for homes.  A sweet timid bichon who was so badly abused you could feel the bumps on his ribcage.

Whatever the reason, I wanted to adopt him.  I pitched the idea to my less than enthusiastic husband.  He knew I loved doing training and sports and classes with Gen, and he made me wait and really think about whether or not I would be happy with a dog that may not be able to do agility.  It was, after all, the point of getting a puppy.  I wanted to do agility with a dog that I didn’t need to drag through the course.  So I did think a lot about that.  I knew this was an emotion-based decision on my part.
I also started researching tripod dogs.  I came across Tripawds right away and it is a wealth of information.  I read up on strength and conditioning.  Exercising with restraint to prevent injury to remaining limbs. I watched videos of other tripods and read horror stories of injuries.  None of this turned me away.  If nothing else, it strengthened my resolve.  I wanted to give this happy boy a happy life.  I enjoy working with dogs and I knew I could give him the training and exercise he needed.

Husband was still skeptical.  (Spoiler alert: He is now Trio’s absolutely favorite person because they love to wrestle together)

So I applied to take him home from the transport on a 5 day foster trial period before signing the papers to adopt.

I got the phone call that we were approved and could pick him up directly from the van bringing him up from Alabama on Saturday.

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4 comments so far

  1. admin
    1:12 am - 11-15-2018

    Welcome and thank you for sharing Gen’s story! We look forward to following his progress.

    Your future blog posts and pages will publish immediately without requiring moderation.

  2. tinsch
    8:49 am - 11-15-2018

    Trio sounds like an awesome addition to the family! Congrats!
    Manni and I actually did something called De-Gility to strengthen him and keep his remaining front leg healthy. Our physio therapist held that class and it really was a lot of fun for both of us!
    Keep us posted on Trio and let us know how you guys are getting on!
    all the best

    • bbzzzztt
      4:27 pm - 11-15-2018

      Thanks for your comment!
      I’ll have to look up De-Gility. I spoke with my trainer and she does have experience with strength and conditioning with tripods as well. They do small class sizes which is great because it’s really tailored to each dogs specific needs. So, if we decide certain obstacles are too much for Trio (like contacts) we can totally avoid those etc and work on strength or fitness instead.

  3. benny55
    6:17 pm - 11-16-2018

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post!! What an adventure younjave veen on!!! And younjave si many more fun adventures in your future!!!

    I cannot stop smil st Trio’s picture! Sooooo cute!!! Soooo happy!!! So much joy in those bright eyes and delightful smile!!!

    Looking forward to following Trio…and with pictures of course!!

    Extra hugs!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

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