a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Choices Made

Monday, March 16, 2009

Choices Made

SUMMARY: I make some progress with dogs but not much.

I went ahead and moved Tika down to 20" for this coming weekend's CPE trial. Oh, well, so we'll be competing against more excellent dogs. That's what competition's all about, and maybe she'll jump more comfortably. She knocked only that one bar a week ago all weekend, but she sure wasn't comfortable landing.

I'm moving Tika gradually to Performance (jumping 22") instead of CHampionship (26") in USDAA. I think. I went ahead and left Tika in the two championship USDAA DAM teams for April and June (so far)--which means she's still jumping 26"--and have left her in championship Steeplechase and Grand Prix so far--because she still needs ONE tournament of any kind for her Platinum Tournament Master. And 26" in Standard and Jumpers, because she needs just a few more of those for her ADCH-Silver. But I'm conceding to her repeating soreness and moving her down to 22" in other classes. We'll see whether it makes a difference.

I'm supposed to be giving Boost a complete rest from intense running for 2 weeks per physical therapist, just giving her excellent, long hikes over varied terrain. Well, after 2 days of 2-mile walks over level sidewalks, I decided that I'm just too busy to go driving for an hour to get to someplace where I can let the dogs off leash to hike, and I'm just not going to do it. I have to drive 15 minutes just to get someplace with uphills and downhills, and I'm just not going to do it, even though I could use it, too.

I worked on lots of tug of war, set up a cart with a platform so she could put her front feet on it and push it around with her rear legs (both dogs, actually, for everything), one exercise from the PT, and practiced with their rear legs up on a step and streeeeetchhhhing them out (also from PT), and working on sitting up. Tricks.

And by Saturday evening Boost was going nuts. Pulling all the toys out of the toy box and chewing on that. Poking at the space heater because she knows it gets my attention (dammit!). Throwing her bedding around. Standing in the yard and barking at phantom ideas. In short--that dog needs more exercise that I can give her around here without running her (dammit!). Good thing she's not *seriously* injured. We'd both go insane.

So I went back to running her in the yard. Mostly avoiding agility equipment except using a 4" bar to practice handling maneuvers, and a straight tunnel to try to avoid banking off the sides.

She's also on prescription anti-inflamatories for 3 weeks to see whether it makes a difference in her movements. I avoided paying another $100 at the vet's for supplements that I don't even believe will do anything based on recent research.

So many decisions to make, one after another. And so many of them affecting my dogs' lives and health.


  1. I hope this all works! If it weren't for that darn JOB thing you'd have time to hike!

  2. I think rehab is so hard. The decisions, the seeking out of info, never really knowing if it's right. The work on 'tricks', exercises, it's all so exhausting. The last time JoJo got injured (the fourth time) I lost the meal I had eaten earlier that day. Just didn't think I could go through it again. But we made it through, yet again - and I know because I had learned all I had, and we had worked so hard before, that the last time his recovery was much quicker, and he's much stronger now.

    Keep at it, it will pay off, but I know it's not easy. I'm feelin' ya!!!!! Girl!!!

  3. I'm fortunate in that neither Tika nor Boost seem to have serious issues or injuries. So I don't really feel that I need to keep them in their crate and/or on leash all the time, for example, which you had to do some. That's crazy-making. No wonder it stressed you out. Hope he stays healthy, dang dog!

  4. I'm surprised your vet tried to sell you supplements when they know perfectly well there's absolutely no evidence that they work on dogs.

  5. One vet told me once, there's no strong evidence either way. And pretty sure that it doesn't hurt anything, and anecdotal evidence that it might help, so why not.

    Most significant study I've seen recently is on glucosamine for humans--pretty solidly established that it makes no difference in knee issues.