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An Amazing Journey with Figment

A tribute to Figment by Sheri Boone.

by Sheri Boone

I was given the gift of a lifetime, my dog Figment. She did not enter the agility world until she was three-years-old. She has overcome a lot to run agility. She has been the most gifted and talented dog I have ever trained. I always envied those agility handlers and dogs that were competing on a regular basis. We are not like most agility competitors. Due to crazy schedules and life's circumstances,  Figment and I were lucky to get to compete in about eight trials per year. Yes, you did read this correctly, only about eight trials per year.

Through her extraordinary talents, she earned numerous titles in USDAA. Last year we were fortunate enough to attend Title Mania®. She did something so amazing for me. She earned the 2016 Veteran Snooker Dog of the Year. 

The past three years have been plagued by injuries, medical issues and numerous losses in both our canine and human families. This, however, did not stop Figment. She was always willing to give it her all anytime. She has been a true blessing in our lives. She had a very unique and spiritual gift that helped many children, people and other dogs that were experiencing hardship in their lives. She was able to surround them with a calmness and love that truly helped with their healing.

She was competing one day at a trial in February. She seemed to have a stiffness around her neck area. A trip to my vet resulted in X-rays and a prednisone plan. There was no improvement and an MRI was our next step. It was thought she had a herniated disc. Unfortunately, it proved to be a tumor wrapped around her spinal cord near the brain stem. Surgery was not an option due to the location of the tumor. Radiation was discussed, but I really felt Figment was communicating that this was not the best course for her. I found a neurosurgeon at Purdue University that specialized in these types of tumors and we contacted him. We were developing a plan of action when Figment significantly declined. 

Our path this year was supposed to include a few more extra trials. This year there seemed to be more shows located near me popping up. We also were planning to go to Title Mania® and Cynosport®. Sadly, this will never come to be. 

My journey with Figment has been amazing! I personally have been involved in the sport for over 23 years, both judging and competing. The next time you step into the ring and your dog misses a contact, drops a bar, goes off course or something happens where you do not earn a "Q," remember how lucky you are to spend time with your dogs doing what we all love to do!


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