Born around June of 2000, my brown and white Border Collie, River, is now eight years old and retired. What does “retire” mean to a dog? For a show dog it means no more road trips, obedience classes with hours of drilling and most importantly, a life of just being a companion. Its my time to give back to him. He gave me his devotion, he tried to understand the myriad human requests I made of him. Now that he has been diagnosed with a bone spur and arthritis in his right foot his days of heeling by my side in the obedience and rally ring are over. His energy, his love for life is NOT over. With a new diet, 1.5 acres to run on, more fresh air, vitamins and pain killers, he is by no means relegated to a future life as a couch potato. Which brings me to the original question. How do you retire an energetic dog? He still needs a job, he needs rides to shows, classes and walks along the beach on the soft sand. He needs to feel involved. Don’t we all?