The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I have a trip planned this fall that includes running Price at the Meeker Sheepdog Championship in Colorado. He has found success there in the past, but after losing half of his left lung to a chronic infection of unknown origin, he has had little stamina and even less ability to run over such a big course at, give or take, 6300' elevation. I would like him to be able to compete there one more time and have started training him up to do just that. Meeker is 3 months away, so I have time to do what I can and give him the best chance, including time every day on the treadmill.

I really don't know if Price enjoys this process, but I know he doesn't mind it. He is neither reluctant or slow to step on the machine, and he maintains a happy expression while jogging. He is probably just happy to be doing something with me nearby. I sit in front of him the entire time to make sure he's jogging easily and doesn't get hurt. At 9 years old, this is the best way that I know of to condition him with the least chance of injury. I can run him behind my bicycle or the motorcycle, but one twisted ankle or one bad step and the injury could take a long time to heal.

Price's retirement is eminent, but he's not finished yet. He is an incredibly athletic dog with smooth and correct movement that has allowed him to remain injury and arthritis free while working and competing all these years. He travels across the ground beautifully with long, straight strides that don't interfere and his steps are close to the ground for speed and efficiency. He carries his tail low and it runs straight down his spine keeping his whole body in balance no matter what he's doing. For a 9 year old working border collie, he is in great shape.

I always knew that his correct structure and flowing movement would physically allow him to be comtetitive longer than most dogs, but then we were hit with the catastrophic illness. Catastrophic for his competitive life, certainly not for him. He is as excited, single-minded and committed to his job as ever, but I see the results of compromised lung function. He tires easily and, when he does, becomes sluggish and resistent to my whistles, causing us to have less than stellar runs on the trial field or retire completely. It's a huge dissappointment after years of running him with utter confidence. He was a bit like a remote control car, but no matter, he will retire to a warm place on my hearth. He has earned that in spades.


  1. awwwww, what a tribute to a great dog. Good luck!

  2. I could never make anyone fully understand how great. Thank you