I’ll dub this phase the: Seriously, why can’t we run around now? phase of her recovery.
Which is to say, she’s very much fine. Too fine. I now have a fully recovered (as far as she’s concerned) working dog on my hands who hasn’t stretched her legs for nearly 3 weeks. Which isn’t to say we haven’t been on walks. We have. But they’re walks, on a lead, for only about 20 minutes each time.
I am now seeing the dog I would have, if I wasn’t incredibly active with her. It looks like this:
Chasing the cat
Picking up any contraband and carrying it around (hand lotions, socks, paint brushes)
Trying SERIOUSLY HARD to engage Mal in a game of keep-away when I wasn’t looking and they were in the backyard together.
Some super awesome speed and amounts of eagerness when playing with little handling bits on the flat (I have to get this energy out somehow!). I love this- this can stay!!!
Getting into everything (more than normal)
Lots of bouts of barking at random stuff (cars driving by, people’s voices, when the people in the music were going “YEAH!”)
Chasing the cats.
Breaking out of her dog fortress room by smashing the baby-gate when I wasn’t home.
And just generally being a pain in the butt.
I don’t know what happens when stitches come out. I seriously hope the vet is all like: Yeah she can totally run around and jump now (not agility jumping, I get that I’ll probably have to wait another couple of weeks to start this again) and just build up to long walks and don’t throw the ball too much… at which point we’ll go WAHOO!!! And race to the park and let her and Mal have a good long romp together. And maybe I’ll take the tunnels down and so some high-speed tunnel games.
But more likely he’ll be all: “Just keep doing gentle exercise for another week, then she can have short runs” to which I’ll look at him and reply: “You realise she’s a working dog, right? You know, one of those dogs that people recommend get an hour of exercise daily? Gentle exercise is NOT cutting it!!”
The area around her incision is still hanging down weirdly – a vet friend said there’s liquid in there that should go away on its own but I don’t know if it’s getting better. Possibly she’s meant to be doing less exercise than she is but I seriously think she’ll go on a rampage if I try and keep her calmer. The only things keeping us both sane right now are the short little handling games we’ve been playing (and part of that is celebrating everything, or, incorporating another wrap around the lawn-chair to try again, so she’s not wrong, ever. It’s fantastic. I need to remember this when we’re back to sequencing (and it’s so logical, but you just forget in the heat of the moment) – if she messes up do the next obstacle you see and reward her, or do a loop and come back to that part so you can try again. But better would be to do the next obstacle I see or can get to and reward her, then try again. Cos then, she never fails, but she still gets another chance to try again especially if it was my fault for handling that something didn’t work. So, little handling breaks are awesome, our short walks are pretty good, and our shaping sessions are very handy too, though there’s only so many tricks we can do, so that’s the challenge. She’s getting very good at putting a spoon in a bowl and a bowl in another bowl and I’ve been working on getting her nose under her paw for ‘shy’. This is a hard one!