a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tidbits--Bad News and Good

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tidbits--Bad News and Good

SUMMARY: Assorted brief items
I'll start with the bad news and work into the better news and mere statuses:
  • Awful dog news number one: my instructor stepped on her teeny weeny (really teeny weeny) Sheltie last night and broke his leg. This is the third time that this dog has had a broken leg in his short life (he's maybe 2? 3?). He had just finally healed enough to get through enough training to start competing...and now this. And we think we have a rough life when the dog can't make the weave entry. Argh. My heart aches for Nancy (and the dog).

  • Awful dog news number two: JJ (photo here and another here) the cattle dog is in the hospital in Florida (where he now lives). JJ was one of our teammates at Nationals two years ago, and his handler, Eric, has been a friend for a very long time (JJ and Jake used to run so similarly and we had a friendly competition to see who beat whom by what fraction of a second). He was in a dog fight, the wounds got infected, the regular vet seems to have put him on fluids and antibiotics and said let's watch it and wait. Frantic phone call to vet out here, who directed them to the University of Florida at Gainesville, 130 miles away, where they discovered that he was in renal failure. But have aggressively cleaned out the wounds and are treating and condition is...guarded. Everyone keep your fingers crossed.

  • Had MRI on my knee end of the day yesterday. Probably won't know anything until next week (they said 2-3 days to get to the doctor...I'll start calling tomorrow afternoon & pestering them).

  • Worked Tika in class last night. (Didn't go last week because knee was bothering me a bit that day AND it started raining slightly, so didn't want to be moving on wet grass.) Nothing involving running. Aside from her usual really annoying habit in class of going off to sniff at things, or stopping in the middle of a tunnel to sniff (thank goodness she never does this in competition), she got slower and slower as the evening wore on. I tried to treat things like gambles: lots of sends and outs, but apparently if they're not preceded by a hard-driven handler running her head off, it's not inspirational (or it's confusing). So I can do it in my yard standing still in the middle, but not in class. But my knee felt fine. (I was also very careful about what I did and how.)

  • Worked Boost in class today, more than last week. Again, tried not to break into anything more than a calm, collected walking stride, although once or twice I dared speed up ever so little bit. It's hard to run a fast dog without moving! But the courses and drills today in fact did NOT require a lot of movement on my part, and (except for the contacts, where she slowed down a bunch), she did better at driving around the courses than Tika did. We made more mistakes than Tika and I do, and those DANG weaves that she can't seem to do all 12 of (skips poles randomly) in class--although the last couple of sets she did nicely, not superfast but accurately--she got lots of praise and play. But the one full course we worked she looked great! And my knee still feels fine. So I'm very optimistic. (And everyone yelled at me every time it looked like I was even thinking about trying to run a couple of steps.)

  • Have found a way to get Jake to play in the yard again: One of my old tug-n-treats. Don't know why I didn't think of this before (well...because he never needed food motivation to play before! Any toy--or object--would do!). That's three days in a row now, twice a day, and he chases and brings it back and plays tug of war, and except for one treat at the beginning to get him going each time, I don't even have to use the food! I'm very pleased. (I also tie the other 2 dogs up so they can't interfere, which uses even more time out of my day because I can't run them all simultaneously, but at least he's moving. Which is good, because he's put on about 10% more weight...)

1 comment:

  1. Ellen,

    Sorry to hear about your knee and your back. Argh! It must be frustrating with the Championships coming up. Were you planning to go? How are your dogs?