a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Agility Camp 2003

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Agility Camp 2003

4 solid days of agility learning. Again. Yow. Physically exhausting--walked over 8 miles each day, between going back & forth between camp & rings, and walking & running the courses. Did pretty good, although Tika's stays at the start line went from pretty good to nonexistent. One of Friday's instructors classified it as start-line stress, when she advanced from merely not staying to running out of the ring.

Feet-grabbing problem went from almost nonexistent to pretty bad to a little better--Susan Garret suggested making sure that I reward her, a lot, during course runs so she knows she's doing things right. I think she was also the one that suggested trying to get her moving again and, if I can, to then continue running to a spot where I can reward her. She cautioned against substituting any behavior (such as high five or sitting, which other people had suggested), which I was a bit worried about, actually. Also cautioned against rewarding dog for going wrong--at least one instructor said that the instant we go wrong on course, toss the toy for her to get. But I think I kind of like that, although I can see that it could contribute to her wanting to grab something when things go awry. Susan also said to put her up in her crate a bit if I can't get her off my feet. Every instructor who saw the behavior suggested something different for dealing with it. Was a little frustrating.

BUT other than those known problems, we did pretty good. She did slide off a couple of contacts and/or leave early after stopping, but no blatant fly-offs. But then, we probably didn't do more than a dozen contacts all weekend, if that.

Jake's back: Jake's back is quite sore again. I was scheduled to do a fun match this weekend in Elk Grove. Drove straight there from Camp, set up, went to bed. Jake was iffy in late afternoon and early evening, and seemed to be much worse in the middle of the night even though I gave him rimadyl at dinnertime. AND it was frigging cold and I couldn't get warm, and neither could he, so I packed everything up at 4 in the morning and came home so I could see the vet. Had to stop in Livermore and take a 45 minute nap because I was getting so drowsy.

'Course he seemed much better by the time we got here, although still yelping occasionally. Vet said his neck and lower back are sore but nothing drastic. Suggested doing xrays again, since it's been 2 years since the last ones (and since his last episode of back pain). All of this might have been precipitated by Tika landing straight on his back during frisbee Wednesday morning.

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