Every time I start writing I feel like I’m just going over the same things, or talking to myself, or listing the things I’m training but nobody will really care… So then I save the post and don’t come back to it.
I tested Lu for hypothyroidism after an internet friend found her dog had low-normal thyroid levels and has had an amazing change in her dog since getting him on medication. Lu came back normal… Today was a good day for her. So maybe she comes and goes. Today was a day where I saw my old Lumen. The Lumen who is into everything and alert and playful and naughty and happy. The Lumen who was bright and aware.
Yesterday we went to the beach and I had ‘new Lumen’, who is in a fog. Who trots along and doesn’t get involved. Who seems there, but not there. Why such changes? What’s making her need to sleep all day after a 20 minute walk? Or not be able to keep up with a 12 year old dog at the beach? Is it diet? She didn’t have any bones this weekend… we also just changed from the ‘fish’ variety of her food (which she’s had before) to the ‘lamb’ variety… Is it the seasons? Hormones? Is it just her??
I’ve basically given up on agility with her. Even in competitions now she’s flat. Unless I blind cross. Then she runs. But I can’t blind cross everything. There are going to be tight turns and she just hates them. And she hates weaving now. So I try and train her. We go outside and she’s like; “Cool! Outside!” and then she does one thing and then she’s like: Well… that’s all the effort I’m putting in. So I’ve stopped entering her. I’ve stopped training her. I thought with a nice break from agility she would come back more enthusiastic. Or if I didn’t train her as much at home she’d be more excited to have a go in competitions, but this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Meanwhile Loki and I have been taking a handling course with a handler whose methods I don’t actually like that much but who is making us go ‘back to basics’ and work on things like pinwheels, and 180s, and rear crosses, and post turns, and very fast big front crosses. These are all things we desperately need so I’m very glad. These kinds of courses are helping me learn him, particularly in relation to Australian courses, so that’s what I need. Put fun and fancy Euro stuff on the back burner for now.
Every competition we seem to take two steps forward, one step backwards. We’ll have a beautiful, connected run where something just doesn’t go quite right… and then a complete and utter disaster of a run. But we’re getting there. Still working on bars. Still not getting weave entries in competitions. Is this my fault for handling it differently to in training? Am I stressing about it and doing something weird? Possibly. I’m trying to be very calm and hang back to let him find his own way and not push his speed but so far I don’t think he’s been able to get the entry on the first go once in competitions. Do I start walking him out if he misses? Because I KNOW he can do them – he does them at home! Is it habit now to go in, mess it up, come around and do it a 2nd time? Or does he just need time and experience to sort out his brain in such a charged environment?
His dogwalk is beginning to look much more like the version I get at home, except it includes an adjustment which is brilliant. He just needs a little bit more confidence and I think I might get good hits, just in time for a nice long break.
So that’s it.
Here’s a video from the last trial. I left out the disaster run because it was just way too horrible.