a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Progress--And Back to Square One

Friday, January 05, 2007

Progress--And Back to Square One

SUMMARY: Knee is good. But about those November Nationals--

I started making a point of doing a little bit of sprinting with the dogs in the yard during training this week, and it worked fine. Took Tika to class Wednesday night for the first time since before Christmas and only the second time since November 15. She seemed happy to be there, ran off to explore only once on a missed tough weave entry that I didn't handle very well, and actually paid attention on the down contacts instead of snuffling for food.

course map showing layering challengeI went ahead and ran full out where I could, and it felt good to be doing it! The knee is still marginally puffy and I could feel that it didn't bend quite as nicely as my good knee, and I felt like a lump of lead trying to accelerate, but at least I was able to make the effort. I even tried for a really tricky send-dog-to-tunnel, layer-the-aframe, get ahead of the following jump for a front cross and actually made it--barely, as Tika's turn before I captured her on the front cross was very wide, but I got there and made the turn and was very pleased that my knee didn't complain. (It wasn't an official class exercise but I wanted to see whether I could do it. The diagram shows Tika's path in red solid, mine in blue dotted. Squares are 10 feet. Distances are my rough recollections from 2 nights ago.)

By the end of the evening it was feeling a little achey, though, so I didn't stay for the last run, but I have no complaints--except that I really felt those additional 6 pounds I've put on since my knee surgery (from being sedentary AND eating too much crap).

Boost's Thursday class was cancelled due to rain again, so I haven't had class with her for 2 months, argh! Instead I went to physical therapy, and walked nearly a mile at a brisk pace in 15 minutes on the treadmill, then did 6 minutes of exercycle but knee was starting to complain then--plus there had been all the other assorted quad exercises before that. But I did all kinds of things that I wasn't able to do without pain the last time I was there--gee, a whole month ago, December 7--and haven't been able to do even for a couple of months before the surgery. So i guess I really am making progress.

It was sore and stiff Thursday night/Friday morning, but just a very little bit--I want to emphasize that--and by afternoon it felt fine, and I worked out with the dogs a little in the yard and did fine, and walked into the Home Show and was on my feet for 3 hours working the Home Composting Education booth, so I'm getting so close to normal! Wahoo!

Dogs are dying for more exercise and entertainment, though. So, instead, tomorrow I'm taking Tika and Boost to get tattoos, which I'm sure they'll love. They'll be big hearts that say "Mom". OK, kidding, they'll be ID numbers as additional backups to their microchips and ID tags. I really want my dogs to come back to me if they get out.

Meanwhile, I'm already starting to fret about whether we'll qualify for the Nationals again! Tika has one Grand Prix qualifier and needs one more; needs 2 Steeplechases; needs Team. Boost needs everything. And we had to cancel out of two trials in October with GP and Steeplechase because of my knee, so our opportunities are fewer and fewer... argh! I hate this! We just hardly got back from Scottsdale and already I'm thinking about next November! Sighhh


  1. Glad to hear your knee is getting steadily better.

    And goodness, relax about the Nationals--you've got 8 more months to qualify.

  2. I know, I know, but I always feel better when it's out of the way. At some point, I'd have to start driving to L.A. if we weren't making the Qs within our usual 2-hour radius (I know, no one out of the area gives us sympathy points for that, either). -ellen