PACH Ticket

This weekend, Ticket earned her 20th QQ in Preferred, and her Preferred Agility Championship. My blue monster has overcome so much in her life, and I’m grateful every time I get to step to the line with her…I know it could have gone very differently.
In November 2012, just after finishing qualifying for the 2013 AKC Nationals, Ticket had surgery for a partially torn cruciate. She had the same surgery on her opposite leg in 2011, and recovered beautifully. Little did i know what would follow was 2 years of surgery, rehab, and doubt about what the future would bring.
For a reason we never determined, Ticket’s bone just wouldn’t heal after her TPLO surgery. She went to rehab one to two times a week. My house became a canine gym. Her hardware was removed, and then replaced. The new screws broke, and the hardware had to be removed again. The site was still completely unstable. She ended up with an external fixator, but it still wouldn’t heal. Finally, as a last ditch effort when we were beginning to consider knee replacement or amputation, her surgeon was able to find an alternative treatment–a bone morphogenic protein previously used in people to try to stimulate healing of the bone. Her leg was again plated. To be maximally safe, it was also splinted.
The bone morphogenic protein worked, and the bone finally healed. Unfortunately, because of the duration of the injury and the length of time she spent in the splint, the range of motion in her joints was completely altered. Again, we pursued physical therapy to see how close to normal she could get.
At that point, I knew she might never do agility again. I was thankful she still had 4 legs, and was finally recovering after 1.5 years of fighting. But out of all my dogs, Ticket was the ONE who lived to work. She would retrieve the ball 100 times and come back for another throw. She would run herself into the ground to play agility. During those months and months of crate rest, she was always her normal, happy self. She never complained, or was depressed. I knew we had to at least TRY to come back.
So more rehab, and then, oh so slowly, we started to add back agility. The hardest thing was trying to keep Ticket safe from herself. She only has one speed, and it’s not slow. She doesn’t know how to be careful. My heart ended up in my throat many times, but oh so slowly, my confidence came back. Ticket had never lost it — she’s pretty certain she can fly.
2 years after that first surgery, she returned to the agility ring in preferred. It’s been slow going, but we’re a team again. Yes, her startline stay is terrible. She has more one bar QQs then clear ones. Her contacts are still phenomenal, and she still only runs at one speed. But we get to play this game together, and I will be forever thankful for that.
If you’ve read this far, then I’ll add that I spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect song for her PACH video. This one really spoke to me — I tear up in the opening every time. Ticket wouldn’t give up, and I owed it to her to do the same. <3 <3 <3 my blue monster, my honey badger, my bionic blue badass girlie. 🙂

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