Friday, November 17, 2006

Assorted Little Things

SUMMARY: Dog life goes on.

Twice yesterday (once morning, once evening), when Tika jumped off my bed, she yelped. Just a small yelp, not a screech. But. This is not normal. This is so not normal that I wanted to panic immediately. I checked her pads and toenails, looked for swelling in her ankles, massaged and pressed all over--nothing, except that she looked more worried by the minute. When I finally stopped examining and started playing, she perked right up and was her normal self. She played enthusiastically in the yard morning and afternoon, and did all the agility obstacles with no apparent change. Just something to keep an eye on. I suppose, if she's going to ever have an owie, now is the time to do it, while I'm contemplating weeks to months off for knee recovery.

Jake seems to be doing so much better now that he's willing to play fetch endlessly again. I still have to convince him to come outside. I still have to convince him to fetch his tug'n'treat the first time or two. But now sometimes he's actually coming along and asking to play, just like he always did. If the merle girls aren't tied up when I try to start him up, though, he's not likely to do it. So it is them that was bothering him. However, once he's stoked up and going, I can release the other two. Then Tika waits for Jake to move or me to throw, and Boost waits for Tika to move. Then Tika takes off down the line of where she thinks the throw or Jake will go, barks at the end of it (because I'm deliberatedly holding the throw for a second so I can put it right in front of Jake and not in front of Tika, who will run off and drop it in some obscure place if she gets it), and comes back for more; while Boost shoots straight out along the side of the yard, getting an end run on both dogs, always way far ahead of them, then shoots back behind Tika so she's right there for the next toss.

Boost did weaves very well in class yesterday, except that we started with the longer-gapped AKC poles, and she made all her entrances and flew threw them. Talking to another student, I said I wasn't happy about doing those in class while her weaves are so recently precarious as far as skipping--she's still getting the rhythm, and that's all I need, is for her to loosen up and get into a 22" or 24" rhythm when all she'll ever encounter in USDAA is 20-21". Wendy (also an instructor on her own) said that one argument for doing it would be to help the dog generalize--she should be able to do any weird set of poles for our best performance in any circumstances. While I agree with that, I don't want her doing it NOW. And, in fact, when we moved to the part of the field with the narrower poles--admittedly, it was a sharp turn that we're not really up to yet--she not only often missed the entry but also often then skipped a pole or two. Instructor said it's because I was rushing up on her, but since she's been doing so well on weaves the last 2-3 weeks at the narrower spacing, I am just suspicious of having done quite a few weaves with the wider gaps first.

Live and learn. I should also remember to measure the gaps next time I'm up there to see whether there's really that much difference that I should be concerned. (Don't know when that'll be--next week is Thanksgiving, then presumably my arthoscopy, then who knows how long I won't be able to do anything.)

Mr. Knee has gone full circle--from feeling better and better all through Nationals and through last week's classes and through the weekend, to Monday afternoon, when it started feeling sensitive, then started doing this catching kind of thing that's not pleasant, to be achey enough that I didn't put in a full class with either Tika or Boost, to being so miserable last night that it woke me every time I moved during the night. I think it's a little more swollen today again. I don't get it. I guess it needs fixing.

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