I am so sad for my friend. He has a Mali that we have worked together for the past year. We had him ready to go 1,2,3 and were planning to show at the Mali nationals and, I at least, fully expected to win.
This week he traveled quite a ways to show for the IPO1 and allowed himself plenty of time for the dog to become acclimated to a different field and helper. It is a young dog (just turned two) so I agreed that it was a good idea. He arrived at the trial field on Monday, and after practicing the front half he sent the dog for a courage test. The catch was not ideal and the dog is suffering from severe spinal trauma. After the catch they called it a day and the next morning the dog was unable to stand. He took the dog to the vet and the vet found severe swelling between the c2 and c3 vertebrae. It is possible that the dog will never be able to work again.
We had discussed making sure that any helper that would catch this dog was a capable helper. The helper at this trial was a multiple time national helper and we felt that he would be capable of keeping this dog safe.
Anyway, I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.