Tone it down

This is Ruby, my sister's Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.  She's an amazing dog, she could literally retrieve all day long.  Hmmm, reminds me of someone else.  :)  But Ruby needs to slow down; she is 10 and she gets very sore if she doesn't tone it down a bit.  She loves nothing more than diving off the dock, retrieving her ball and then doing it over and over and over.  But the dock diving has ceased.

Ruby is only allowed to go after her ball from the beach, no more dock diving.   This ramp is a great help for her to get over the rocks.  

It is tough for everyone as our dogs age.  The whole family takes great joy watching Ruby and it is hard to see her have to give up a few of her favorite things.  It is for Ruby's own good and the toning down is done out of love for this wonderful girl.  

How happy is this face?

Ruby has a water retrieving ritual like many dogs.  She retrieves her ball from the water; shakes when she gets out and then throws herself on the sand/grass and rolls around.  Then she's ready to go again. 

Taking time out to clean her paws and take a fleeting break.  

She's no slouch at 10.

A special moment caught in time, priceless. 

I love shooting Ruby in action.  As hard as she charges into the water she always manages to keep her head up.

I remember the day we retired Tilley from Frisbee.  It was very hard, emotional and traumatic for the humans.  Tilley adjusted to low thrown balls until that was banned as well.  As much as we love to offer our dogs what they love; sometimes we are required to use our heads and make unpopular decisions.   As our dogs age we need to monitor their health and comfort regularly.  They too can be injured more easily as they get into their senior years.  So toning it down is a must. 

This above photo was taken years ago of a much younger Ruby.