Chip ran great tonight. He was slamming, grabbing checks everywhere, turning behind the pack on overruns, and screaming on the line. He ran absolutely the best that he has run for at least two years. Chris Hopkins, Jeff Allen, and I had some great running tonight. A lot of dogs contributed, but Chip owned the night.
Two months ago I was ready to give Chip away. For the last two years he hasn't run well. In all honesty, I was just sick and tired of him. He had little or no hunt, never ran the front, and rarely got a check.
A little over two years ago, Chip got Ehrlichia. This tick born disease has really been a problem in our area the last few years. The biggest symptoms are weakness, lethargy, and/or depression. Dogs don't hunt like normal and have little or no stamina. The disease is treated with 100 mg. of Doxycycline/day.
When Chip first showed signs I treated him for 30 days. He quickly responded and although he wasn't back to normal, he showed significant improvement. Unfortunately he never regained his pre-infection form and after several months began to regress. During this time, he ran well enough to earn his title as an ARHA Grand Champion, but he never really ran to the best of his ability.
Twice during the last two years I treated Chip for a period of 2 - 4 weeks. Each time he improved physically and his performance in the field greatly improved. This would last for a time, but would eventually slip away.
I decided this time to put Chip on Doxy and keep him on it. After seven weeks I am thrilled with the response. I am going to continue treatment for at least 12 weeks. This time I am not going to stop treating him just because he starts to act and run better.
I am not sure if Chip can continue to run like he did tonight, but if so it would be a significant improvement for him and for my pack. Most of all though, it's just great to see him running like he means it. Tonight was like a flashback to the power and authority that he showed when has was a young dog. I am not sure where the journey will end, but tonight it stopped by paradise.