I spent the last few months feeling paranoid about Lumen.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed, how she seemed flat, not herself, like she was in a fog. When we went to the beach with her favourite person in the world and her favourite dog friends, she was on the outside, doing her own thing, trotting along, not getting involved – there, but not there.
She had blood tests and thyroid tests but everything was normal and I began to wonder where my big personality dog had done. She had never been a dog that was motivated the way Loki was, but she was big. Bigger than Loki in every other part of life except agility. She was naughty. She was into everything. Was she just more mature now? More chilled out? Was she sick in some way we couldn’t see? I had accepted that she didn’t love agility, she didn’t see the point. She didn’t see the point in running fast and earning rewards for it, no matter what I tried to make them more fun for her. Why work hard when you can work half-hearted? She reminds me of some kids at school. You know, you’ll have your border collies- the kids who try and who challenge themselves. Who want you to look at their work and go “awesome job! and here’s how you can make it better…” and they’ll go off eagerly and make it better. And then there’s the kids who are like huskies, maybe. Who do their own thing, enough to get by, but your agenda is not theirs. And then there’s Lu, who still reminds me of a teenage girl, who, if you find something she finds fun, she’ll do it in an overly enthusiastic kind of way, to the point of not really doing what you wanted at all… or, if it’s not that interesting, she’ll get it done, sure, but why try harder than you need to?
And so, I’d accepted that she was this teenage girl when it came to agility, but then she began to slip away in other places too. She wouldn’t bring us toys as often or, if she did, it was sort of half-heartedly and she’d lose interest. She looked worried all the time, especially if we were going out for a walk. She would attack Mal randomly whenever he accidentally bumbled his way near her and her toys. She would fall behind Mal (the 12 year old dog) when out bushwalking, seemingly unwilling to keep up.
And then, maybe a week or two weeks ago, she felt… better. She seemed brighter. And then she dropped again – I kept a record for a few days of her energy after I wormed her, wondering if there was a reaction happening there, trying to identify what had triggered her originally to seem so… tired.
In the last week or so, she is back to the dog I knew. Still not loving agility- I think I’ve pretty much given up that dream – but big again, naughty, in to everything. Sampling the decorations on the Christmas tree. Pouncing all over the bed at night as we settle in and shoving toys in our face. Bringing us toys to throw her while we sit on the couch. Showing off, incessantly, when Penny came to visit – climbing all over her, balancing on chair arms, pinning her down and licking her all over the face. She seems to sleep less, or, when she’s sleeping, she’s ready to wake up, instead of the heavy deep sleep she seemed to fall into before.
I don’t know what’s turned the corner with her. What caused her to fade out for a good while there and seem lost in herself. Allergies? Changes in season? Food? Worms?! All that has changed or been addressed in the last couple of weeks, so it could be anything…
All I know is that although she’s a pain in the butt, Christmas-decoration-eating, in your face naughty, agility-disliking dog, I’m glad she’s back… I missed her making me laugh with her stupid antics.