Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Exercise Night

Ugh, I've got a skull cracking headache that I've been fighting since I had a drug reaction on Monday, so I'll keep it short.

I thought next week was exercise night, but it was tonight, so Holly sat out until class was over and then I did some of the exercises with her.

We had the obligatory weave entry and front cross/back cross/wrap handling exercises, and then restrained recalls for the weaves, the A-frame and the dog walk. The first time Mikey and I did the restrained recalls, C just laughed and laughed. She said she could feel his heart pounding and his whole body vibrating while she held him. And then, every single time Mikey was released, he let out this high pitched SCREAM of excitement! Seriously! And he was catching air on the A-frame. He's such a goofy boy; doG knows, he keeps me smiling!

Holly was a little distracted; I think partly because she was a little miffed at having to wait, and primarily because she's been out of training for so long. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around Mikey being better in agility than Holly; I keep expecting her to react the same way Mikey does since she always used to be ahead of him, having started her training earlier. But after a year off, Mikey has gone far ahead of her.

Oh, and Jules asked what was up with Holly that she's been out of agility for most of a year. Holly has hip dysplacia. I've been really conflicted about what to do with Holly; she hasn't been lame or stiff at all since she's been on Rimadyl, and I've reduced the dose by half. And she loves agility. A couple of years ago I would have never considered running a dog in agility with physical problems, but I have a slightly different perspective after living with rheumatoid arthritis. I do have more pain in the couple of days after class or a trial, but it's worth it (most of the time). I don't know for sure if Holly is having pain after class, I can only judge by observing her movement, which so far looks as free and loose the day after class as the day before class. While I can make the decision to do agility in spite of pain for myself, I can't do the same for Holly. If she ever seems to be stiff or lame after playing agility, I will have to pull her out again.

Holly and Mikey say 'Hi'.

6 comments:

Nicki said...

My older dog has elbow dysplasia and did terrific on Hills j/d diet and Cosequin for years. He ran in agility until he was about 12. So you might consider dietary therapy and supplements if you haven't already tried them. You may even be able to reduce your Rimadyl use to only during trials or harder practices. I also have a friend who runs a dog with pretty bad hips but clinically he is doing great with just Adequan injections.

Cardimom said...

Thanks Nicki. I'm using Synovi G3, fish oil and ester-C as suppliments right now. I need to see if I can further reduce her Rimadyl, but I'm nervous about doing it since I don't want her to hurt and I don't want the inflamation. I'm going to look up Adequan, I've never heard of it. Your dog and your friend's give me hope that Holly can continue to enjoy agility!

Jules and Ike said...

Cardimom, It sounds like you are trying to do the right thing for Holly. It's a different kettle of fish if you dog loves the sport as much as you do. The answer is easy if they aren't as in to it as you are.

Does Holly like to swim?

Cardimom said...

Funny you should mention swimming Jules, I was thinking about that this weekend. I think it would be a great way to keep Holly in better shape, without the weight bearing exercise. Poor thing really struggles with her weight (just like I do), and now that she's doing agility agian, it's even more important to keep her lean. I'm not so sure she would enjoy swimming, though I could be wrong. . .

Baledwr said...

Another think to look at is only doing Preferred class (lower jump heights) or some of the other options - how serious are you about titles.

Cardimom said...

Actually, I could give a poo about titles, I just want to be able to play with my girl again. I love to see the sparkle in her eyes when we do agility. I've been running her in class at 4 inches (and just a bar in one cup, on the ground on the other side on the jumps that don't have 4 inch cups). I'm going to have her measured at Mikey's next trial, and I'm hoping she's small enough to compete at 4 inches (jumpers only since I think the A-frame would be hard on her hips). If she can't do 4 (or maybe 6 inch), Holly and I will just play together! I just feel so darn bad when Holly comes along to class or trials, but Mikey is the only one that gets to do something fun! Promise to get back to blogging soon!