Paja Fights For Her Life

Paja and me after recoveryWe love to hear your fun, silly and inspirational stories of you, your dogs and dog agility.  This story is from our friend Gabija Vyšniauskaitė of Lithuania and her dog Paja.  A story that took a turn for the worst for this team right when everything was coming together.  But through perseverance and faith, this team got a second chance and a new direction.

Hello, as you asked on Facebook, I am sending an inspirational story about my dog, Paja.

We live in a small village, so there are no agility clubs or anything to start with. I was about 10 years old, when I got Paja and started to train her. My goal was to go to agility competition and, of course, win. Actually, I had no idea about how to teach a dog.

First we went to competition in 2009. I even did not know the rules. It was my first time in a dog show and agility competition. Our courses were just barriers and tunnels, but we got 4 eliminations, because Paja has never seen a tunnel before (so she refused to go through a U shape tunnel). But I was still proud of her.

After that we tried and tried and tried… but competitions weren’t successful to us. We still didn’t have all needed equipment and were still working alone, at home, without other dogs. After 3 or 4 runaways from course, I stopped believing in my dog and we stopped competing. It was too expensive and too stressful to go and loose so many times in a row.

After these runaways I started creating my own agility club in a town nearby. I found some enthusiasts who started to train together. My handling and trust in Paja increased. So we went to a club competition and got 2 first places in a row! I was really surprised.

Our last competitionThen we tried big national competition. It was very hot day in the beginning of summer. Paja ran heavily, and very slow. I was worried about her, but she managed to complete all 4 courses. We got 4 eliminations. But it didn’t matter for me. Next day we went to see a vet. He found a mite. In a week Paja got heavy babesiosis and nerves injuries had started. It was terrible. I thought she will die and I will lose my dearest friend.

The most awful day was when I had to judge a local club competition and leave my littlest friend home alone. I made mistakes in judging. While going home, I was trembling and praying to see Paja alive. My prays were heard. She was alive, but in really heavy, terrible condition. I even started to think about euthanasia for her. Only hope, which I was keen on – Paja ate well, despite her hard breathing and convulsions.

Paja got lots of medicine. It took about three weeks to get her up. Then, step by step, she started to walk. I got in tears – my friend is getting better! It was the happiest moment of our friendship. After these steps Paja’s recovery was faster and faster.

Vets forbid us to go to competitions. because convulsions can start again. So, we just like to take some little training at home, to run some contacts and prepare new tricks for show-programs. We went to summer camps, showed our tricks in local events and event went to national television. Paja still likes to run, but she’s not so fast as years before and sometimes she sees and hears poorly.

Now I run agility with my friends’ dog, Jack Russell terrier Bella. She’s so different from Paja.

P.S. Sorry for grammar mistakes, I am not native English speaker 🙂

You can see our results and more photos here:

Gabija Vyšniauskaitė (Lithuania)