choice

I recently read an article on a questionable news site that highlights the pitfalls of most new year’s resolutions in the language we use to make them. About how if we “should” do something, it becomes more like a chore, like an expectation, or that we are not currently enough how we are now, we should be more. It talked instead about making choices for the year, to have ownership and control over the actions you’ll take. To acknowledge that you are enough already, and powerful for choosing to be more.

I kind of like that.

So, as I’m sitting here, pretty sure that I have a stress fracture in my foot, frustrated that it’s already been a week and not yet diagnosed except by Dr. Google (who is also telling me that runners who get this fracture end up having surgery. Shut up Dr. Google, I’m not having surgery.), and despite having a Doctor’s appointment tomorrow to discuss the results of the X-ray that I’m 99% sure will be inconclusive (Dr. Google also tells me that these kinds of fractures only show up on X-rays after 4 weeks, leading me to believe that the Dr I went to doesn’t know anything about anything), and will then have to tell her I want an MRI, get the MRI and wait for the results for that… I’ve been thinking about the new year.

Here are the choices I would like to make:

  • I choose to be more forgiving of training problems when they come up, to accept the journey as it is and not feel rushed to fix things. After all, I recently saw on a video by Tereza Králová that it took her nearly a year to find a way that worked to teach her dog Running Contacts. So time is ok, we can take time.
  • I choose to look after myself – to be fit and strong so I am a good teammate for Loki (though, ironically, I think my foot injury came from jumping-jacks and long distance running. So much for exercise).
  • I choose to look after Loki, and schedule time to keep his body fit and strong.
  • I choose to be present in my life – at work, at home, in agility, and to live fully in the moments of joy.

 

So that works.

And in the meantime I’ll be moping about my foot and swimming laps at the pool.

I fricken hate swimming laps.

 

… oh, and Lumen has just started limping randomly. Sweeeeetttt.

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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.

muscle & sinew

Not a great day. An OK day. I went to the local training place again and frankly I’m not sure how much I’ll be going back. I ran Lu to start and there’s no instructors or anything cos you’re in ‘advanced’ so you don’t get any feedback, which is ok because I generally know what went wrong but sometimes it’s nice to have some feedback. We had a slow run, then a fast run. We did great on the fast run. Go Lu.

Then it was Loki’s turn. He’d been waiting through ALL the setup time, and ALL the Lumen time, and ALL the waiting-for-advanced-to-finish time. He came out, warmed up and off we went.

A few bars came down, a few little things went wrong, he couldn’t remember how to weave (no worries, he only learnt yesterday!) and we finished our turn. Then someone outside the ring says he was holding up his front paw while I was talking to the “instructor” (who was telling me (and this was basically the only feedback I got) that when Loki goes fast his jump arc flattens out. I said: “Well, I’m not going to make him slower” so the “instructor” (quotation marks included on purpose) says: “well you’ll just have to run faster” AHA AHAHAH AHAHAHHA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA BAUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh lord. Anyway) so I trotted him a bit and he looked ok, not limping or anything, so I took him over to work on his stays and on some serpentines since there were 3 jumps set up.

First attempt at the serp it looked BEAUTIFUL from my peripheral – I heard a bar knock, no worries… Loki looks like he slipped over a bit landing the last jump and comes over to me sort of dazed… and not putting any weight on his rear foot wtf. So I check him out – he’s not whimpering or anything just sort of stunned. The upright of the middle serp (not a wing, a horribly spiky metal pole) had been knocked over as he sliced past and obviously got his leg somehow. It’s not cut or anything and of course 10 seconds later someone was running the course so he’s all: I’M FINE LET ME DO ALL THE ‘GILITIES!!! 

To which I told him to calm down (fat chance) and stop straining on his lead (NO!) and walked him around a bit. He looked ok but when I asked other people if they thought he was ok he went all weird and hoppy so they said no, so then we went home.

And I was sitting here patting his little injured leg before thinking how weird it all feels in there. Like, is his knee meant to be that knobbly? Is his little sinew on the back meant to be so tight? Are those muscles meant to be so muscly? Good lord what’s that squishy thing? Is he meant to bend like that or not? Like he’s held together by string and tape and at any moment it’s all going to blow apart and he’s going to be so broken. I feel like he’s in really good condition – he’s strong and lean and has a good core, but today he just completely disregarded his body. I don’t know what to do with that. Does he need a run before we go to agility? Chasing a ball? Wrapping trees? Something to get that ‘edge’ off so he can actually stop and think and not just smash himself into bars regardless of the consequences.

Anyway I checked him all out at home and he didn’t flinch once when checking out the back leg, but didn’t like my curling the toes of his front leg. So I reckon he just knocked his toes/foot on a jump, and sliced past the upright on the serp and sooked about it. I’ll give him tomorrow off as well and see how he looks then. If he’s even vaguely suspect, maybe we’ll go see someone.

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.

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).