a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Really Truly Getting There

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Really Truly Getting There

SUMMARY: Knee is happy. Dogs need practice.

Last weekend I walked through Oakridge mall from my favorite parking out back all the way through to the front, slowly, using crutches as extra support. Today, I strolled cheerfully although not quite full normal speed through the same mall without a crutch in site. My knee stiffened up during the movie--maybe from just sitting still for over 2 hours, maybe from that long walk, maybe both, so I had to slow down some and I felt a bit of pain along the sides. But I wasn't visibly crippled. Yay!

So I came home, iced the knee, and went out back to practice doing some actual sequences with the dogs. This meant maybe 4 or 5 obstacles with me moving a few brisk walking steps, but that's more than I've done since before the surgery. I haven't been doing jumps with them because their training issues with jumps involve me moving, so today I set up a jump and discovered that Tika still knocks bars and Boost is so used to NOT doing jumps after 3 weeks that she just completely ignored it. So we worked on both of those as well.

Then I dared to move some equipment around. I never move my dogwalk--just can't be done in my yard (other than that there's only one place I can put it anyway. And the A-frame almost never moves--again, it takes up so much real estate and it's very hard to move. And the teeter doesn't tend to move far. Unlike Jim Basic, I can't just grab it around its middle, lift, spin, and drop it again.

But it's been so long since I've moved anything for fear of aggravating my knee--other than adjusting the angle of the weave poles and realigning the tunnel ends after the blasting dogs pull them out of alignment--that I moved 2 of the 3 tunnels AND the teeter AND the weaves (now perpendicular to the direction they've been most of the last couple of months) AND the one jump I have up. Knee didn't bother me while I was doing it, either, but I need to be careful that I don't do in my back while trying to save my knee.

It sucks, getting older and fragiler! But it's exciting to have a different set-up to try for a few days, and to feel that I can once again drag 20-foot double-walled competition tunnels around on my own. Small victories every day.

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