Windy was a wonderful puppy. She was the most enthusiastic of her littermates and had good conformation and a lovely temperament.
Windy - 5 months
I kept her for breeding and was amazed when her 8 month x-rays showed severe hip dysplasia, although she had no symptoms. Luckily her elbows were fine.
Windy's 8 month hip x-ray
I knew that I had to find the right home for her and I did not want her spayed before 3 years of age so that she could develop maximum rear muscle mass in order to keep her mobile for the future.
She stayed with me for 3 years, going to obedience class and on daily walks. When it came time to find her a home it was not easy. Most vets and prospective owners envisioned early disability and hip surgery even though she still showed no symptoms.
Windy - 31 months
Finally, a friend sent me Paula and Larry, who came to visit and wanted to take her home, but I made them think it over. They didn't change their minds.
We decided that Windy needed to keep moving throughout her life, and obedience competition was a good incentive for making this happen. Paula came to obedience class and took over Windy's training. In fact, it was Paula who introduced me to AKC Rally competition. She chose it because the lower Rally jump height suited Windy's hip condition better than the higher Obedience jumps. Also the handler/dog teamwork aspect of Rally was attractive and you could talk to your dog in the ring.
Paula and Windy - LRCSC Rally Trial first place
Windy - South Bay KC Rally trial - 9 years old
The Windy/Paula team was very successful over the 14½ years of Windy's life. They earned Rally Novice (RN), Rally Advanced (RA), Rally Excellent (RE), Rally Advanced/Excellent (RAE), and Rally Master (RM) titles. In Obedience competition they earned Beginner Novice (BN) and Companion Dog (CD) titles. They both loved the social aspects of training and competing so they were a natural team to become involved in therapy dog work.
Windy's PAC trading card front side
Windy's PAC trading card back
They joined the UCLA People Animal Connection (PAC) program. In the process of becoming certified by Pet Partners, Windy earned her Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title and later her CGC Advanced (CGCA) title. After completing qualifying therapy visits she got her AKC Therapy Dog (THD) title and also received her AKC Achiever Dog Award for earning titles in three areas of achievement (Rally, Obedience , Therapy Dog).
In her old age Windy entered the conformation ring and, with Paula handling, earned her International Super Veteran Championship at the age of 11 years.
Windy never had surgery - her vet never recommended it. Only in her final year was her disability a handicap. Her life is an inspiration for dogs that have a physical handicap, by showing that, with proper lifestyle choices, they can live a full and productive life.