things are weird up close

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a ‘clip on’ lens for my iphone – actually it came with 3 lenses – marco, fish-eye and wide-angle. I got it for the wide angle because I film most of my agility stuff in slow-mo and in the iPhone it crops it so much… The other two just came along with it. I tried the wide-angle the other day and it didn’t seem to work – kept having the edge of the lens in the frame so I’m not sure if that’s operator error of what but I thought it would be fun today to get a photo of Loki’s toe to show how it’s healing… I’ll put that and the rest of the photos under the cut. Some people don’t like this stuff and I think everything looks all weird.

Loki got an off-lead run with Lumen today, with his foot bandaged. I had taken him for an off-lead walk yesterday but it’s so wet here at the moment that I think it softened and came back a little less stable than it was when we left. So I kept an eye on it today and as soon as I felt it was too soft, we went home. But he got to run with Lumen through the burnt bit of the forest we visited, so plenty of ‘natures cavalettis’ to navigate. Plus he actually got to RUN – because what better to really stretch out and run than to try and beat Lumen nowhere.

Still waiting on the yeast thing to clear up. I think it’s focusing all its strength on the webbing between two of the toes and is fading out slowly on the rest of the foot. VERY SLOWLY. I got some wipes from the produce store (um… that’s like a store which sells things for horses, in Australia. Not a fruit & veg store) which are meant to be anti-bacterial & anti fungal. Figure it can’t hurt.

On to the photos!

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foot

Oh, Loki’s foot.

The toe is looking great. What started off as a circular wound turned into sort of a split – like the tip of your finger was hanging off but then was gradually joining back to your finger itself. That’s what’s happening now. At the vet’s a week ago he said it was at 50 or 60% strength. I feel like it’s stronger now. I’m thinking in another week Loki will be able to twist and turn like old times…. The toe pad itself is looking super. It’s padding back over rapidly and I’ve been walking him on gravel without him worrying about it at all. It’s now down to the split healing up…

except we have a new problem…

This mo-fo-ing yeast infection that’s set in. Which of course everybody on the internet has opinions about, and every vet has different ways of treating. So far I’ve been recommended:

  • Washing with diluted malaseb shampoo (medicated shampoo)
  • Washing with undiluted malaseb shampoo
  • Putting Daktarin cream on it (for Athlete’s foot & similar)
  • Getting anti-fungal sprays that Australia doesn’t have for dogs (maybe for horses)
  • Dipping it in vinegar
  • Putting tea-tree oil on it
  • Soaking it in betadine (iodine)
  • Soaking it in salt water
  • Giving oral cortisone
  • Putting cortisone cream on
  • Soaking the foot in water & bleach

Meanwhile, I have to keep it dry at all times. In the middle of winter. A very wet winter. But not hot. So I can’t put it in a balloon, or a bag, or anything else that won’t breathe for any length of time. But I have a BC who needs exercise or we’ll both loose it (cos let’s face it, I’m not going for a walk or run without him)… so if he gets his foot wet, I have to blow dry it when I get home. Which he hates. But he’s so sweet and obliging that he just stands there looking sad after he’s tried to run away from me. I think I’m feeling so frustrated because it doesn’t seem to be getting better. At least with Lumen’s things you could see them healing, or you’d be finishing some pills. His paw has been rusty red for 2 weeks now and if anything, it seems to be spreading, despite me doing what two vets have told me to do. Some positive progress would be really nice.

So I’m not entering him in his first competition that was going to be on the 22nd of August. IF his foot comes good by next week in terms of his toe, that only gives him a week to recondition before trialling. And if he’s not allowed to get his foot wet then running around on the wet grass probably isn’t great. So I’ll enter Lumen because she should run some dogwalks, and aim to enter Loki on the 5th of September instead.

So sick of this infection. Just want my little go-fast collie back.

luck would have it

I mentioned last post that Loki had gouged a hole in his toe paw pad?

The first vet said it would take 1-2 weeks to heal. I was ok with that – a bit of a longer break for him, no worries. Next vet says it’ll take 3-4 weeks of being bandaged and then another 1-2 months to get back to normal. WAHHH?

So… in the end, it looks like it’ll probably take a couple of weeks of bandaging, and then another few weeks of hardening up and air drying before it’s good to go, which means Loki will probably miss his first trial, maybe the 2nd, too. The 2nd one is the state trial, which I’d really like to do… but there’ll be plenty more so if we don’t make it, we don’t make it. I know he’s going to loose a lot of his sprinting stamina over the next few weeks, and we’ll have to build up his jumping again (though the conditioning class I’m in has a jumping focus so we’re imitating much of the things they do when jumping but as exercises) and remind him how to hit dogwalks, and how to do 2o2o on full DWs, and remind him about weave entries… and at some point teach him a damned table. Nic suggested I should just not trial him until January when they take the table out.

So for now he’s on crate rest so he doesn’t wrestle with Lu. We’re still doing conditioning tricks and similar as the vet said the toe he injured is mostly used for turning, so as long as we take it pretty easy then it shouldn’t get used too much.

I have an idea for a name for the blog too- light\motion or like… light|motion or like light.motion (actually I don’t mind the last one). Firstly, it sounds kind of neat and fancy, secondly it’s a combo of Lumen (being a measure of light), and Loki (being nicknamed Lokimotion) but would hold up even if I get a future puppy because I like the idea of light & motion, and moving at light-speed type connotations.

irony (I think)

I just finished my novel, last night. All 100,622 words of it. I make Nic tell me over and over the things he likes about it, to reassure me that it’s ok, because I can’t believe that what I’ve written is actually any good. He reassures me that he doesn’t like it because he’s my husband, but because it is genuinely good and he enjoyed reading it.

Still don’t believe him.

One of the main themes in my book was the idea of fate, being in control of it, or under its control. Today felt like one of those days to me.

We started the day with some amazing agility photos:

Such a lovely tunnel shot. <3

Such a lovely tunnel shot. ❤

Nic took this photo and it is so so so so so perfect. I can't stop looking at it, I love it so much.

Nic took this photo and it is so so so so so perfect. I can’t stop looking at it, I love it so much.

This one is pretty cool too. Doesn't look like too safe of a hit, unless you knew that her front foot had already hit the middle of the contact-zone.

This one is pretty cool too. Doesn’t look like too safe of a hit, unless you knew that her front foot had already hit the middle of the contact-zone.

This one isn't a good hit AT ALL, but I love how you get a real sense of the momentum and speed from both of us.

This one isn’t a good hit AT ALL, but I love how you get a real sense of the momentum and speed from both of us.

So after that I took Lumen and Loki to the beach.

I worked it out earlier, I reckon I’ve spent at least 12 hours walking on that beach over these 5 weeks of holidays. Every time, safe and fun, everyone has had a great time, no real incidents.

Then just as we’re heading home, 1.5 hours into a 2 hour hike, Lu runs with Loki past a stick (not carrying it, just a piece of driftwood sticking out) and cuts open her front leg and some skin on her ribs. And instead of pretty agility photos, I get photos like this:

After visiting the vet. They had to make the wound bigger to get enough skin to stitch it back together, or something.

After visiting the vet. They had to make the wound bigger to get enough skin to stitch it back together, or something.

Which is so, so frustrating, not only because it’s Lumen and we just can’t seem to go injury/sickness/something free for more than 6 months, but because you can’t possibly predict or plan for this. Unless you cotton-wool ball your dogs, or only take them walking on lead (which then risks agility injuries!!!) or, I dunno, make them wear jousting-knight’s armour…

Nothing is going to injure my damned dog now. NOTHING! Except a snake. And possibly injuries from carrying too much weight all the time.

And I got one really, really helpful comment on my Facebook status about her injury:

“I alway worry about that at the beach. Poor lumen”, which is like, really? Do I need your fucking guilt trip right now? Is it really necessary for you to make me feel bad about walking my fucking dogs on the beach so we don’t run into snakes and so they don’t get injured doing the sport we love? Like, what does that even mean? I know this woman walks her dogs on bush tracks. Does she worry about them there? There’s plenty of sticks to injure themselves on there! Take them to an open field then, but wait! Then there’s holes for them to fall in and hurt their legs that way! You can’t fricken win, so don’t fricken guilt-trip me it gives me the shits.

Fuck.

So there you have it. Fate is a crafty bitch. The end.

twisty

I haven’t been posting much over the last week because we haven’t had internet on my computer and posting from my phone wouldn’t be so fun but also because I’ve been feeling all dark and twisty.

Dark and twisty because I’m sick of not being able to do things with Lu. I think the vet is going to OK her for agility tonight but I’m not sure what that means. It certainly won’t mean jumping back into competitions. It will probably mean a slow build-up on low height jumps and no weaves for another few weeks and not too much bending for a while. I’m sick of being paranoid every time she’s racing around with Loki in the yard (which is happening a lot now) that suddenly she’s going to be on 3 legs again. I’m so frustrated that the State Trial was on and I couldn’t go. Well, I could have gone, without Lu, and that just made me sad, so I didn’t go at all. I’m dark and twisty because this whole year basically has been a write-off, and she turns 2 tomorrow and we’ve only done like, 4 trials and haven’t been training in months and I don’t know where we’ll be when we start again. Seeing people have success while I have to twiddle my thumbs upsets me. We have the Shape Up Dogs seminar in October and I put us down for the advanced level because I’d assumed I would have had many months to prepare and train her up. Looks like I might have ONE month to work on all those skills. I’m trying to not be down and angry and jealous, it’s just gotten to me lately – I think the house settlement and moving and everything was so damned stressful that I’m feeling so burnt out and horrible. Bring on the holidays (week and a half to go and then 2 sweet weeks of hiking and adventuring and training with my guys).

 

I’ve made a plan for both my dogs, to keep me focused on what I want to do, following Justine Davenport’s foundations, while throwing in some Silvia stuff and other things I feel are good. I took Lu out this morning and with bars on 200mm worked on threadles and independent sends to the backside of the bar. It was really nice – I did 2 or 3 reps/goes then told her “Ok, have a break!” and during the break she was allowed to sniff and disengage. I’d go over to my bag of toys – as soon as she saw me there, she came flying over and was ABSOLUTELY ready to work. It was lovely. Even if she hadn’t run over I would have sat down and waited for her to ASK me to work. And while I wanted her to work she was happy and connected and engaged, and then I let her go again, let her sniff, changed toys, and had another go – probably about 3 times doing this routine. And then that was it, all done!

Loki I’ve started running contacts now. He could absolutely care less about what’s under his feet, as I suspected. It’s more a challenge to keep him on the plank because, duh, it’s faster to run NEXT TO the plank. I just have to build an elaborate fence system for the next few sessions until I start raising the plank. I’ve also started using a foot target mat when doing cik/cap, and interestingly, I don’t know if HE’S targetting it specifically, but it helps me SEE when he takes off close to the bar because the mat gets all scrunched up. So I am better able to let him know if he’s wrapped well or not, and he can use the mat to help figure out why or why not.

 

I promise I’ll finish my 30 days of Mal… they just won’t have been consecutive days of Mal.

typical

Yesterday, after we moved-but-not-moved (because we found out as the removalists were halfway through loading the truck that we wouldn’t actually be settling today which means we would own a house with no furniture and not own the house with all our furniture) I decided that since the dogs had been cooped up in the boot pretty much all day, that I would let them romp together in the yard. Lu has been doing rehab for 3.5 weeks and is looking REALLY good, her flexibility has improved 100%, she no longer pace-walks, she’s been on no-running-or-playing for that whole time- surely one little romp with Loki and Mal in straight lines in her new yard would be ok on this most shitty of stressful days right? Well they’re romping and it’s wonderful, there’s chasing and body-slamming and Mal looks happy and they’re drinking through the fence because we don’t have a water bowl set up yet and Lu is looking at the cattle way off in the distance and I’m hoping the fences are high enough to keep her in when they get closer, and they’re running some more and Loki is working Lu and they’re all puffing and we’re feeling so happy, and Lu wanders over… on 3 legs. Holding up a rear leg.

And I just loose it because damnit, it had been a shit day and we were going to have to go back to our empty house with a shitty mattress and blankets and set up on the floor, and I’d been so good about keeping her calm and I just wanted to let her run around for 5 minutes and I felt for sure she’d gone and done more damage to her iliopsoas than before she even started rehab.

Anyway, I massaged the whole area looking for pain and she just seemed pretty chuffed even if she wasn’t putting weight on it. I walked her around a bit and she was walking a little weird at first but then it looked ok, not pacing, and I stretched her to the side and she still had her normal range of motion – gave her another bit of a rub later and still no pain so maybe she just stood on something or something.

Lesson learned. Need to ask our rehab lady when she’s actually allowed to run around- I thought it was 2 weeks of quiet rest but I might have made that up. We’d actually started stretching out the time between rehab visits so she was going to have this week off but I think I might take her in anyway, just incase she needs more lasers. MORE LASERS!!!!!!!

 

In other news we finally got to take them to the bush reserve 5 minutes up the road and it’s awesome. Perfect off-trail walking (though too many roos around for Lu to be offlead), perfect stick-throwing bush for Loki, little horse/mountainbike tracks here and there, it drops right down a hill to the Aqueduct track and will just be a lovely place for a daily walk. So that was some good news.

iliopsoas

We finally got Lu to the rehab vet guy last night. He had come highly recommended by some friends so we drove the hour + out of town to the very fancy vet practice. He asked what was going on and I told him: “Nothing really, just a feeling. She walks funny, doesn’t seem free of movement, jumps weird, pace-walks often, Oh, and I noticed recently that she can’t bend.” 

So we walked up and back in their rehab area, and went in and out of some cones (and can I say, her FOCUS for this was incredible??? I didn’t have food on me, we were in a completely new place with so many distractions, and I was basically asking her to heel… and yet, she was prancing along, nipping my sleeve, jumping and bouncing… she probably thought I had treats so hopefully wasn’t too disappointed when I didn’t provide!), and then they laid her on her side to check her out (and she HATES being forced onto her side). Then BAM – found a SUPER sensitive, super painful spot.

“Typical iliopsoas sprain,” the vet says. And I instantly remember reading that these take at least 6 weeks of rest to recover. Great.

So he says we can either do laser therapy twice a week for 2-3 weeks, and rehab stretches and exercises, or do a longer period of rest and anti-inflams. I’m all for the ‘get it stronger for a permanent solution’ so I’m going rehab and laser. In the meantime, I have to try and avoid her bending – so, no wrestling with Loki, no running around off-lead… Nice on-lead walks only. Oh boy. But the stricter I am now, the faster it will heal, and given that we’re moving house in a little under a month it’s actually probably the ideal time to have to do this as I can dedicate weekends to packing or driving to the new place with stuff rather than training. 

Not that we’ve been training anyway. As I thought about it on the way home, I figured out that we’ve probably had 2 good weeks of training since January. Because she got sick in January- then had about 6-8 weeks recovery before we started anything. When we started it was only backyard stuff and only weaves. When she was able to do courses again, I sprained my calf muscle so we had about another 4-6 weeks of only light/no training. Then my calf got better and the ground has been so soggy and slippery that we haven’t been able to train very much/at all, OH! And then she got desexed so was out for a couple of weeks there, and now she needs another (???) weeks rest off. Yes, I’ve been going to the training club some Saturdays but I hardly think that once a week running a sequence once or twice and doing a dogwalk a couple of times counts as training. So, oh well. What the hell is another 6-8-10 weeks hey? Might as well try and see out the year at this rate! 

But at least now there’s something to work on – I don’t expect it will fix her jumping style, I have a feeling that’s just how she is structurally, but it should certainly help her be able to turn easier, and move freer (that’s a weird word, just saying) and maybe therefore run faster and weave better! Maybe that’s why she was having so much trouble with her weaves, too!! 

And I’m glad I wasn’t just paranoid or seeing things that weren’t there, too.  Time to do some research and take these dogs for a nice on-lead walk (except Loki, who needs to RUN daily).