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.

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).

progress report

  • We bought a new dog bed from the store today after realising the dogs were being forced to use the couch as there were no beds in the lounge. At first only the cat wanted to use it (figures) but then Lumen decides that if it’s good enough for the cat, it must be good enough for her. It’s good because it’s apparently water and dirt-resistant but it’s still soft. Most waterproof beds tend to be hard and crunchy and Lu doesn’t like them. So then this happened:
Aw, so much cuteness.

Aw, so much cuteness.

  • Also while we were at the store they had a 50% off section and there was a harness AND leash for $12.50! You can’t even get just a lead for $12.50! And it was Loki-sized! as in, he doesn’t have to wear Lu’s adult-sized harness but actually has a harness that will fit him for the next few months. And it’s blue and light blue and he looks very swanky in it and I just want him to wear it all the time. I can’t decide if I’m more excited because it’s new and shiny or because I have a dog who will actually wear a harness without having a nervous breakdown.
He doesn't look as if I just dropped 10kg of concrete on his back! Hurrah!

He doesn’t look as if I just dropped 10kg of concrete on his back! Hurrah! His eye looks really funky. I’m not sure why. He doesn’t have a weird eye.

  • Neither of these are at all what I was writing this post about so I should probably get to that point. Firstly, Lu went to see her muscle therapist today. Nic came along which is good because Nic asks useful questions like: “Is it a tear/sprain, or is it like a knot? Should we massage it? In circles or up and down?” and meanwhile I say things like: “Can you do agility!? How about running really fast!? Ok, and can she do jumping!?” So it was good to get more additional information. Apparently she has some kind of knot/possibly spasming muscle in her shoulder that’s then affecting her inner thigh muscle, I think, and also somewhere on her back, too… We’re to massage them (I get a bit creeped out by her inner thigh to be honest. There’s a weird veiny-vein in there that’s all veiney and weird) but she’s definitely allowed to run AND she’s allowed to do agility. Yeah! So we took both young dogs for a nice run at the park together afterwards (and she literally ran for about 45 mins with Loki. She doesn’t stop running any more. It’s awesome) and I’ll give her tomorrow off from any agility things, too. And she’ll get some nice leg-rubs. Lucky girl.
  • Speaking of legs, I’m feeling quite hopeful that by the end of this week I’ll be back to functioning as normal. I’m think that it was well on the way to recovery before the trial and then we had a slight setback because it’s feeling pretty good today. I can do calf raises and walk up hills without pain. Now I just need to keep taking it easy this week and see how it’s feeling by the weekend, and ideally give it another week before doing anything too extreme.
  • Which will be a little difficult because I’ve formulated a plan for training running contacts since I don’t have my normal training field any more… But I remember that ages ago I asked the Principal of my school if I could store stuff under the school and train on the oval and he said yes but then it would be hard for me to carry things from under the school onto the flat bit of the oval (it’s on a slope) and then I got the first field anyway so didn’t need to. Well now I need to, and then I remembered that an agility-keen helpful ex-student lives right nearby and so I asked her and now I have an assistant dogwalksetterupperer and in return will give her lessons and help train her dog. Plus I’ve said that since I’m not meant to be running she might have to run very fast in a straight line and do Lu’s RC for me. Since I only want to do straight exits for a couple of sessions, I can be the eyes to mark the hit and do the rewarding, and Mel can provide the forward motion. Yay!
  • But!!! This should hopefully be only for a month and a bit, or a little longer. Originally settlement to our new place was going to be at the end of August but they’ve requested earlier settlement which suits me just fine. So as long as we can get in and get some lights happening (since it’ll be taking me longer to get home and won’t be getting lighter for another month or two yet) I should be training on my own property in about a month and a half. HUZZAH!
  • Loki spent most of the night out of his crate last night. He was so sleepy and cute when I put him to bed- he went in his crate and didn’t want to come out so I left the door open… He ended up climbing onto the bed and settling down half under the covers between us. He needed some encouraging to settle down but eventually he fell asleep with his chin on my head, puffing into my ear. Gosh I just wanted to bundle him up and kiss him. He’s so cute. He’s an absolute menace when Lu is around with him- they just want to play and wrestle and run very fast and play keepaway and run very fast with toys and bite each other and lick Mal in the mouth… but when it’s just him and Lu is on the other side, he’s a model puppy- he self amuses with appropriate toys, is quiet and calm, stays within sight. So I currently have big dogs on one side of the baby-gate, and Loki in the kitchen with me.
  • He saw some alpacas the other day.
Paca alert!

Paca alert!

Weekend Wrap-up

A big weekend just passed: it was a public holiday Monday and so we  headed off for a more regional trial. The day before, however, we met up with Penny and her crew and drove around some hills looking for campsites. Everything was muddy, wet and boggy, and very full of motorbiking people, so we went south into the Strezleki Ranges area, almost got bogged, towed Penny’s van up a slippery hill, and came to stop and set up camp at a great little spot about 30 minutes from the trial. Prime. Wishing we’d brought more alcohol post-towing-adventure, we built a campfire, tied Lumen up and ate bananas and chocolate and other sweet things until we felt ill.

Next morning was the trial, so we were up bright and early, snagged ourselves a good spot and began. Lu’s first run was excellent jumping – a course that had HEAPS of tunnel discriminations and threadle-arms into tunnels… I haven’t included the video of that one in the compilation below because something happened at the startline and she stood up, turned around and sniffed. This is so unusual for her- either she smelled Penny, or a dog had peed there recently (and being hormonal, this could be a high likelihood)… but anyway, when she looked back up, I released her and she crashed into the first bar and maybe hurt her toe or something, so the whole run was a bit off (though she did the tricky bits just fine) and not at ‘competition speed’… It was much more back to her old ‘training speed’ before Polona’s class.

Then we pulled out some really cool agility runs.

Some things I’ve noticed:

  • I need to get much better at cuing a pinwheel turn earlier for her. Send and go!!! I’m still lingering too long to make sure she takes the bar but I suppose it’s a balancing act between pulling her off (being a baby dog) and giving her enough information.
  • I need to do lots of just straight-exit RCs because her stride has shortened a LOT… And look, it’s probably competition, too, I know she needs to get up her confidence and that her striding will come with time and confidence and more trialling, but I also feel that she’s lost some of her reach and confidence because of the turns we were doing. I think that just doing straight exits for the next few sessions will help though, too.
  • Unfortunately I really set back my calf healing process during the last run of the day (if you watch me closely on the last run you’ll see me hobbling) so we both get a bit of a break unless I can convince Anne (whose field I use to train on) to help me… somehow. I just don’t want to have to do RC with me being static, I think she needs to know that if I’m stopped, it’s a deceleration cue and she shouldn’t ignore that and drive forward to the tunnel without me. So training RC with me standing isn’t the best idea.
  • I still need to work out my timing with front-crosses. There’s one on the video where I crowded her and all she could do was come over to the wrong side of me because she was confused. Poor Bean.
  • Need to do more weave practise. For some reasons he got a bit tangled up in the weaves during open agility which cost her a pass and considering how broken I was that was so annoying – I thought she went through clear. I don’t think it was necessarily because I did anything, I think it’s because she’s only been weaving for what, 2 months? And just got a bit tangled. On another agility course she was finding it tricky to get her rhythm so definitely seems like something to practise.
  • I have a lot of work to do to be able to predict her speed and timing of my turns- rear-crosses in particular. One rear-cross I did really badly because I forgot that I’m usually more ahead of her than I think I will be… and I’d planned to rear-cross her into weaves but said (out loud, too!) that if I had beaten her to the weaves, that I would cross her at the top instead, I wasn’t going to stand at the weaves and wait for her and then cross. Sure enough, I got there first so resorted to my backup plan. Need to remember to do that for all times I plan a rear-cross because I’m often ahead of her.
  • I need to go back to doing multi wraps and sends to cik/cap. She seems to have lost a lot of her turning ability since we took the Foundations class for the 2nd time OR since she had her long break after the surgery (or both). She seems to want to slice the jump and then turn, not turn in the air, even when we’re just doing little things at home and I’m making sure I’m being SUPER obvious with my cues. I’ve put a little sequence of pictures just below to show you what I mean. It’s a good example, I think, because in OMD world, I would be saying “we’re going back over there!” and I don’t know if I could have cued it earlier… Maybe I could have! Maybe she’s just forgotten how to wrap.

Otherwise, I was so pleased with her. Given I thought that we’d be going home after the agility run if she was running like she did in the very first go, she picked up and ran beautifully. Her A-frame contacts are so awesome now, I just love being able to trust her to just do them and I can’t wait for her dog walk to ‘settle’ into a routine, to get back to the long and low striding.. I miss being able to trust her to just do them. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how much is ‘trial stuff’ and how much is ‘having done turns training’ stuff.

 

And now for the video

 

mock

This Saturday we went to a mock trial fundraising thing where Lu ran a lovely Novice Jumping course even though it was roundy-roundy with not many opportunities to send and move and get in good positions, and then there was an Excellent Agility course (the 2nd level of competition) and I went in it because I wanted to see what she’d do about dogwalks in competitions, and also weaves.

It wasn’t until I was walking the course that I remembered that A-frames were in agility, too. Oh yeah.

Oh, and also, while I’d been wishing for a nice easy exit off the walk, the judge went and put it into weaves from the side. Dogwalk to weaves? Never done that before. Dogwalk to weaves on the side? Yeah, really not done that.

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that although she didn’t manage to nail the weaves the first few times off the DW she did eventually do it. It went like this: attempt 1: beautiful contact, got the entry, was collecting for the next pole- I was SO excited that she’d hit her contact AND got the entry that I went YAYYYY! ANd she said: “Oh good, I can stop what I’m doing now and come party”. Whoops. Did the weaves by themselves then and that was fine. Flew off the A-frame, did it again twice – verbally rewarding those two good ones…

Then did the course again: 1st go: beautiful contact, kind of crashed into the 3rd pole of the weaves as she went around a little wide and I went “YAY!” again. Went back to the tunnel before the walk for 2nd go: beautiful contact, beautiful entry, got around tight enough and as she went through #10 I thought she was on the home stretch so I said “YAY!!!”… came out of the poles then. Went back to tunnel before dogwalk for 3rd attempt: Beautiful contact, got around the poles, kept my damn mouth shut as she was weaving until she came OUT of the poles and THEN said “YAY!!!” A-frame was spectacular but a hit, though I should have probably redone it because she needed an extra stride. I don’t think they’re meant to clear the apex, hit the colour and get off- there’s meant to be something inbetween right?

 

And in the meantime I’m hobbling along like a fool because my calf went TWANG in the jumping run on the home stretch and I now feel very broken. So I’m giving myself at least a week off from any kind of running, and possibly 2 if I can maybe modify how I do weave training… hey… maybe I can just work on lots of me being static, her driving ahead! So, my dog is finally READY and I am broken. For Christ’s sake.

Anyway… I have video from the runs but because nobody was there to film me I had to put it on a chair so it’s stuck in one spot to catch the weave entries and so you miss the nice side view of the dogwalk and half the course so it’s really a bit useless but here it is anyway.

Given this was Lu’s first time doing her contacts in this kind of environment – weaves, too, I’m so so happy with her. She did fantastically. Loki, after getting out of the car and wandering ‘the trial’ for 30 mins, has crashed out on my lap. It’s way too cute.