Today marks ONE YEAR from the day I picked Secret up and brought her home. Can you believe it? I had to do a split screen photo to show how much she's changed -- She was presumed to be around 12 weeks (turns out closer to 4 months) and was 16 lbs. Now she's 16 months old, almost 23" tall and probably around 44 lbs (my bad, I haven't weighed her since I upped her food intake).
It's fun to reflect on the past year. I especially love going back to read all of the posts where I went on and on, moaning about her lack of toy drive and how I worried she would never care about anything. :o) Jump to today -- Where now she's literally SCREAMING for certain toys (like her new Jolly Ball with a rope through it that I picked up last week). She has awesomely mad tug drive and loves to play frisbee! But okay, we are still not 100% solid on actually bringing stuff all the way back when we play. Sometimes stopping to chew on our toys is more fun...
One thing I worried about a lot in the beginning, too, was the complete lack of a bond or relationship I felt with Secret. She was not affectionate in the least and was very independent from day one. Secret was both my first Border Collie AND my first girl dog, so I didn't know if either of those things played a part in our relationship and how it differed from my relationship with my boys. I often felt like I tried so hard to connect with her and got nothing in return. She just wasn't interested in anything. This brought about my decision to do "Ruff Love" with her, but that never actually panned out because I was too lazy to follow the program with her. :o) I did implement parts of it, though, and I do think it helped our relationship.
Fast forward to today -- She is the biggest love bug on the planet! Secret LOVES to cuddle and she is by far the most affectionate of my three. I love her hugs, when she comes up and presses her head under my chin and just stands there. She really has turned into such a sweetie and I'm just a huge puddle of mush around her.
And of course we can't forget about agility! Secret has come SO FAR in her agility training. I used to feel like I was dragging her around, forcing her to do something in which she found no joy. At times it felt like she would never be an agility dog, as she seemed so bored by the entire thing.
As our relationship grew, so did Secret's love for agility! It came on slowly, but seemed to improve with every session. Now she seems to have a real passion for playing the game and enjoys the time we spend drilling jumping exercises, contacts and handling drills. I never, ever thought the day would come when I would be able to use toys as a reward in her agility training, but now I can't remember the last time I brought out food! Secret will likely not be one of the blazing fast, crazy high drive Border Collies that are so popular in agility today, but she is quick, steady & a total blast to run.
I am so excited about our next year together! This weekend we get to play agility with our friend, Greg! (It finally snowed here, so all of our equipment is put away for the winter. Boo.) I contacted Debbie Erb from ABCTC in Eau Claire and we will be trying to get together with her for some lessons over the winter if we can coordinate our schedules! And we can't forget the biggest event on the horizon -- Secret's first trial in February!!!
Thanks to everyone who has followed our first year -- Stay tuned for the next! :o)