a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: I Should Know Better

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Should Know Better

SUMMARY: Knee is miserable. Boost weaves are...well...

In Tika's class last night, I continued to try getting her around the course without doing any running or sharp turns, but pushed maybe a bit more than a simple stroll, because in previous weeks, when I stroll, she loses motivation and interest. We did a bit better but still not up to our usual stuff. Knee was still quite sore from the weekend. Class didn't *seem* to make it worse, but it sure stiffened up overnight and woke me up a couple of times turning over.

Today in Boost's class, as I worked with her, I realized that the more I moved, the better my knee felt, which was interesting. I thought that maybe the problem this week was that I was letting it be *too* inactive and it really needed to be kept mobile. So I relaxed a bit and let myself go on more of her exercises, actually running a couple of times, and I felt pretty good. But then, by the time I had driven the 30 minutes home, the knee had *really* stiffened up, and now (8:30 p.m.) it is truly unhappy, doesn't like walking much at all, is just sitting here aching front and back and top and bottom.

OK, in retrospect it was stupid. But it *did* feel better in class than it had in 3 days! So go figure.

Since the weekend, I've had Boost doing only 12 weaves, not sets of 6, and lo and behold, she's often skipping poles even here in the yard, although much less than at the trial. She'll do 3 or 4 or 6 sets beautifully, then skip a couple or 3 times, then more sets beautifully. I can't quite put my finger on what the issue is, since it doesn't seem to be fatigue.

I've tried to stiffen the poles up a bit, too (interesting that Nancy brought that up in class today, too, as being important), but it's hard to do at the moment because the half-set that is still good doesn't have any stakes to nail it down with, so even when I'm careful about having its braces straight out to the sides, it still rocks as the dogs go through. And the other poles I've just got slipped over landscape poles shoved into the lawn, and they're quite springy. Rebar would probably be better, but I don't have any lying around. Guess I could go buy some. But, until I get the 2nd half of my regular set welded, the poles-in-the-ground are better than they are.

In class, she was a bit better this week than last--when practicing beforehand, she could go over a jump or through a tunnel and make the weaves happen correctly, oh, maybe 3 out of 4 times, but in class exercises with exactly the same sequence, she always skipped poles the first time. But then, when I'd line her up again, she'd get them almost always the 2nd time. And if not, if I just put my hand in her collar for the first 2 poles (even if she wasn't skipping the first 2), she'd get them all.

So I don't know. I'll just keep working it, moving the poles around, using the hand in the collar...

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