I wrote back in March that it may be the case that Bailey would have to retire. I was very upset and worried but as it all happened he bounced back and continued working. That little scare however, had me go through the assessment process back in August and I was placed on the list but was told it would be closer to a year before I’d probably be matched.
Bailey continued to work, all be it a little reluctantly. I can often feel him saying, mum, do we have to do this? And in busy areas he is slow, not confident and just not the Bailey in harness he once was.
At home, he’s still playful and full of energy but the strain and responsibility of guiding me has taken its toll after the past six and a half years and what amazing years they have been!
I couldn’t have asked for more from such a loyal, sensitive, dependable dog. Even though he’s tired and slow, he’s not got me into any trouble yet.
We were plodding on our way and last Monday I received a very unexpected call from my current GDMI saying she may have found a match. I was so shocked. She came over that day with the said dog and we went on a walk. He’s fast and pulls a bit when excited but I really liked his work ethic.
He has come to stay with us for a few days to see how it is having two dogs in the house and I did another walk with him today. My instructor was nearby but only had the second lead on him for a short while. He was responsive to me and goes like a rocket. He needs a lot of firm handling in regard to his speed but once he’s calmed, he has a positive stride and good tension on the harness. I have lacked the tension completely with Bailey for the past eight months or so but the tension with this dog is really quite good and I like that.
We walked to the park where I free run Bailey where he needed a lot of, “Steady” commands but once he’d run and been very good at recall, he walked steadily, somewhat quickly but much calmer on the way home.
I’ve said for a while, I’d like a dog that I have to slow as opposed to speed up and this pup definitely is that kind of dog.
After the GDMI left, he and Bailey were walking around with toys. I took them both out, separately for a spend on their leads and came back, set up pup’s bed in my room and once I’d settled with my lunch and macbook, both dogs curled up on the rug together. Bailey has now gone in his bed and they’re both just chilling. Can’t believe how quiet this 18 month old puppy is with my feisty brute of a boy.
After these few days and a further walk, maybe two, we’ll see what the decision from both I and the GDMI is. I will keep you updated.
And in regard to Bailey, I know he’ll still work as long as I ask him to but I think he and I both know that if this dog is a match, it’s not bad timing for my lovely boy.