(1998 - 2008)
Everyone's dog is special to them, but Travis really was special. He was special to everyone who loved him, to everyone who knew him, and to everyone who just happened to get to see him in action. He was all about "action." He had more energy than any Greyhound I have ever known. He was so youthful and enthusiastic about everything. He simply never aged and maybe his plan all along was to get in and get out before anyone could label him a senior. I take a lot of comfort in knowing that he and I were perfectly suited for each other. I have so many awesome memories and got to do so much with this unadoptable misfit Greyhound I originally felt "stuck" with. While working through his issues in late 2001 and early 2002, I would have laughed in your face if you had told me Travis was going to be a super star. I am so proud of everything he did, so I want to brag just one more time.
Travis was the #1 Greyhound in AKC Agility years 2005, 2006, 2007 and I am sure for 2008 as well. He is the second Greyhound to earn a Master Agility Championship and the first Greyhound to earn a second one. Travis ended his agility career less than a month before passing away with 44 double qualifying scores and 2,868 points. He is the all time, #1 lifetime achieving Greyhound in AKC Agility. He significantly raised the bar for all other agility Greyhounds. He was such a thrill to compete with. He was fast, smooth, and so responsive. I love the countless compliments we received. Travis was a favorite in the southeast, but I think I had the most fun taking him to trials outside of our region and surprising spectators with just how awesome he was. One person told me that she had gotten up to leave when Travis stepped inside the ring. She thought "this should be interesting" and so she stayed. She told me she was glad that she had stayed. Another favorite compliment was "We don't know who you are or where you are from, but you and your Greyhound are awesome." My most favorite agility trial was the 2007 AKC Agility Nationals in Columbus, OH. Travis was the only Greyhound to qualify to go and he placed 11th out of 129 of some of the best 24" agility dogs in the country that year. 11th behind 8 border collies, 1 lab, and 1 weimaraner and he won High Score for the hound group. He wasn't just a great agility Greyhound, he was a great agility dog.
Although not his favorite sport, he joyfully earned his Companion Dog Excellent title in obedience. One time in the open class, I threw the dumbbell over the high jump for Travis to retrieve. It landed up against the gating, but the judge said for me to send him anyway. Travis flew over the jump and searched for the dumbbell, but couldn't find it. He came back over the jump and sat in front of me. He realized he was suppose to have the dumbbell so before I could say anything, he had turned and flown back over the jump, found the dumbbell, and brought it to me. It was so adorable. Unfortunately, creative obedience is not qualifying. The judge apologized for telling me to send him and allowed us to redo the exercise. This time I threw the dumbbell perfectly. Travis quickly found it, but trotted back "around" the jump instead of over it. We, of course, didn't qualify but I still smile about it. You all know how Greyhounds aren't always the best at sitting. Travis had to work hard for those 3 minute sit stays. I had trained him to hold that sit no matter what and taught him to ignore a random person asking him to "down" during a sit stay. So once during the 5 minute down stay, Travis suddenly stood up as I was leaving the ring. The nice judge walked over to Travis and told him to "down," so Travis could at least finish the exercise correctly. Travis stood his ground. Although we had never practiced 5 minute stand stays before...he held his stand stay perfectly and refused to listen to this random person telling him to down. He wasn't about to be fooled...."good boy."
One of Travis' funniest traits was that he truly loved to swim. He loved retrieving bumpers from as far as I could throw them. He swam as fast and as hard as he could with lots of splash. This eventually led us to tossing the bumper off a dock and Travis loved that too. He competed twice at a Dock Dogs dock jumping event. Some dogs refuse to jump when they climb onto a dock so high above the ground in a parking lot leading to an above ground pool. It looks nothing like jumping in a lake where most practice. Travis had no issues with the set up and jumped like a pro. He would squeal and try to drag me to the dock when other dogs were jumping. He didn't come close to breaking any records (a Greyhound mix does hold the record jump), but he is the only purebred Greyhound I know of that dock jumped and earned a Dock Dogs Junior Jumper title. We had a great time.
Most of all, I want to remember how stunning he was. Travis did everything fast and at full force, but he was a true mama's boy. Such a wonderful soul. So thank you for letting me tell you about Travis one more time. As he reached what others would call "the senior years", I would tell him that I missed him already when I would think about it all having to come to an end eventually. I am so thankful for everything. I am so lucky to have spent 6 and a half amazing years with one of the most wonderful, special Greyhounds ever.
Goodbye, Travis (MACH2 Never Expected CDX JJ)