Pickle is a crossbreed terrier bought as a pup from the local gamekeeper (almost certainly with some Patterdale in her!)
She was trained from the outset to do agility and soon began to show her worth. She is now six years old and in the four and a half years she has been competing, she has won numerous trophies and even competed a Crufts in the Eukanuba Mini Circular Knock-out! It was very rare for Pickle to be entered in a class and not be placed within the top ten - more often than not the first four!
Unfortunately in March of this year (2007) Pickle suffered acute glaucoma in her left eye and despite the tremendous efforts of the veterinary eye hospital she did not respond to treatment and the eye had to be removed.
Pickle has always been a compulsive hunter (show me a Patterdale that isn't!) and will often go to ground and not surface for hours! So most of the time she is walked on an extension lead for the sake of my sanity! It was not until after she lost her eye that I realised that this had contributed to the severity of the glaucoma, since she had impaired drainage from her eyeballs; and every time she pulled on her collar it was increasing the fluid pressure in her eyes that was unable to drain away. The vet strongly advised me to walk her in a harness from now on to try and prevent a similar disaster in her other eye.
Since the loss of her eye Pickle and I have been working together to build up her trust in me. Unlike humans who can still maintain a relatively wide field of view with only one eye, Pickle is unable to see anything past mid-line down her nose; so to continue to do agility requires a tremendous amount of trust from her when I ask her to turn left.
But this trust is growing daily and not only has Pickle returned to competition but she is regularly getting placed and has already come second in a KC competition!
Not all terriers have impaired drainage from their eyeballs but it IS a terrier trait and since it is not possible to test all terriers for this condition I know that I, for one, will always walk MY terriers in harnesses from now on!
This web site has been written by Sally Hopkins (unless the author of the web page is stated otherwise).
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