Houston’s Tagalong Hickory 021209 ~ 120421

Houston’s Tagalong Hickory 021209 ~ 120421
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I lost my boy Kory a couple days ago. He had a terrible seizure and didn’t much recover. We took him to the vet, who graciously came to meet us on a Saturday evening, after regular hours. And we had him put down.

Right now I’m feeling very raw. He was my dearest companion for so many years. He was my fishing buddy and agility partner. And he taught me a lot.

I had been watching Kory in his decline. In many ways we’ve been saying goodbye for a while. Still, there is a suddenness to it that is jarring and for which you can’t ever really prepare. My agility friends and dog lovers understand these feelings. There is no escaping this grief we all hold in our hearts.

We’ll miss him every day. And the “choir” of five remaining dogs will be without Kory’s distinct baying howl as they sing.

Kory wasn’t put together very well; knock-kneed in the back and subject to coming up lame after a couple agility runs. He was never the kind of dog you could campaign in agility. He was smart and well trained and always played with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.

Because I’ve suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for most of Kory’s life his agility training has ever been dedicated to working independently without a handler micromanaging every little bit of his work. And he was pretty good at it. Though between you and me and the wall, success as a distance dog and handler in an age of bloody-minded technical challenges has always been a crapshoot. It’s like throwing cards into a hat on a windy day.

But he had his moments.

A bit of agility stuff

I’m going to include several recordings of Kory in competition below. I’m putting these here, where I can find them, when I’m feeling blue about the loss of my old boy.

The recording below was Kory’s Excellent B debut under AKC judge Dave Hirsch. My handling of this was Dave’s fault. In the briefing he says that a handler should be able to stand in the middle and do the whole thing. And he turned and looked me right in the eye and said something like “Bud and Kory could probably do this.”  Well damn, how could I resist.

This next bit was an AKC standard course. I never much had a handler’s path that could be anticipated by the judge.

Marsha wanted me to include the following video. This is Kory playing in USDAA Gamblers. Looking back at it, the point accumulation was kind of boring; but the timing on the approach to the gamble was great and the distance challenge was simple stuff to a boy like Kory:

I had to include the video below of Kory in National Dog Agility League competition. Heck, I created the NDAL just for Kory… so he could compete once a week (as he was incapable of competing 15 times in one weekend, what with his problem with coming up lame.) This game is Warped Helter Skelter, and posed a tricky distance challenge in a numbered sequence:

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Questions Comments and Impassioned Speeches to Bud Houston, Houston.Bud@gmail.com. Connect with me on FaceBook!

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Author: Bud Houston {authorlink}