Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Agility is fun afterall!

I think I've decided that Trophy is just weird.

Tonight at agility he was perfect.

Well, nearly perfect, we did have a few small bobbles, but for the most part he was back to the fun loving Trophy from a few months ago that I love to train and to have fun with.

We did the A-frame, we even did pinwheels and serpentines without much fuss.

yay. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Agility Melt Down

I think there is something wrong with Trophy.

He hasn't moved an inch since we got home over an hour ago.

Before I get started into this story, some background. I have a long history of taking my pets to the vet for various issues and being told by the vet "there is something wrong, but we don't know what".  For example, first there was Zoe's IBD/severe food allergy.  We still don't know exactly what is wrong with her.  She had diarrhea for 8 straight months before I finally switched her to raw and now I finally have her bowels under control.  Then there was Zeus's extreme weight fluctuation where he lost something like 7 pounds in less than 3 weeks.  So I took him to the vet, they did all sorts of tests and blood work and even sedated him looking for oral ulcers: nothing.  And latest issue has been Shiner's pain (or something?) causing him to be a total asshole.  We ruled out thyroid issues, and I know his hips bother him, but we have gone through some very cranky patches with him where I thought there might have been something else wrong.

Ok, so, again.  I think there is something wrong with Trophy.  I hope that everyone will understand why I am hesitant to take him to the vet.  Nothing like spending hundreds on test to have no answers.

Tonight he had no desire to run agility with me. He was disconnected.  He actually walked into a jump without even trying to pop over it - like he purposely bumped the bar with his chest.  Then he started refusing the A-frame. And refusing the A-frame. And refusing the A-frame.  And then my instructor ran him and he refused the A-frame again two more times before she skipped it.  And then on our final run through he refused 3 more times so I skipped it.

My instructor (remember, she's also a massage therapist) said his lower neck is out of alignment and he looks like he is not putting even weight on his front end.

I don't know what to do with him.

He was never this off before we started agility.

He's only 4!

I don't want to retire him before we even start to compete - he's FINALLY getting the weave poles, for god's sake.  I don't want to quit now!

But, I also can't afford to have him adjusted ever week.... and if I'm going to pick a sport, I would rather pick flyball.  Which seems so backwards to me since flyball is harder on the body (you would think) although trophy does have a MUCH higher sense of self preservation than, say, Pan.  He's much more careful on the flyball course.... and when I was running just flyball we didn't have the "off" days we're having now.

He hasn't gone to work with me lately, he's had the past two weeks off.  He went today only because Tasha was sick and not going to class tonight and I didn't have time to go home and pick him up.  But he mostly slept while I cleaned cabins.  He was in the yard for, maybe, two hours.  And he didn't really play with anyone.  He played in the hose and fun policed a bit, and mostly just followed me around.

We have had the pack outside a LOT more recently since the yard is FINALLY dry and the boys can be outside for hours on end.... but, again, Trophy spends most of his time hunting instead of playing with his brothers (but he will play).  Qwill and Shiner still tend to pick on him, but this is nothing new in the grand scheme of his life.

So I ended my 4th completely awful run, had his alignment checked by my instructor, went out into my car and had a break down.

Since when did I care so much about agility?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Surprise!

This past Saturday was Buckeye Border Collie Rescue's annual herding clinic.  It's basically a day of instinct testing dogs for herding drive and ability.  There's a pot luck, and a whole bunch of BBCR dogs and their new owners can get together and meet up and hang out.

This year I got the surprise of my life as not just one, but FOUR of my previously adopted out foster dogs came to the clinic, including the two dogs who touched my heart the most: Ash, who is still called Ash and who I had as a foster for almost 6 months, and Vivid, who is now called Cady (pronounced like Katie) and who I miss and think about almost every single day of my life since I almost adopted her (until we found out she has hip dysplacia in one hip, it's a long story).  Also present were Frost, now called Dylan, and Guinness.

My beautiful Vivie. She will always be Vivie to me.
[Sorry to her moms if they are reading this (;]

So it's 5 minutes after everyone arrives and I'm BAWLING because Ash, who is a very timid pup, was doing his shy cowering thing until I got Trophy out of the truck.  The second Ash smelled Trophy he went into wiggly puppy mode, his tail came untucked from his body and he gave Trophy about a million kisses.  And I do mean I was bawling...  I don't know when I became such an emotional sissy, but there it is.  I cried like a baby.  And then Vivid's Cady's moms walk over and introduce themselves since I hadn't met them yet either.  I was a wreck.  A little bit of a warning would have been really nice. But it was SO GOOD to see these dogs again.  Fostering is very hard, especially with dogs who become so attached to like I did with Ash and Viv Cady.
Ashes with his favorite Trophy

I'm processing the videos of everyone herding, I'll post them when I'm done uploading. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Busy Wrap Up

Shhhh. No, it hasn't been nearly two weeks since my last update. :)  Life got a bit hectic on me!  I decided I was pushing Trophy too much in weave practice, so we took a break.  Hoping to bring the poles out again this week after we both have a chance to recover from this weekend.  I canceled teaching class all week due to work being a busy nightmare. yay!

This weekend was our first flyball tournament since New Years Eve.  4 long months I've been drilling box turns and drilling box turns and drilling box turns.... and it didn't matter.  First two races of the day he was doing 3 footed turns and then he went right back to total disengagement of his butt.  He would once again hit straight on with his front feet let the momentum carry his but to be sideways in front of the jump and then push off the floor.  Not pretty.  Not good for his body.  Last tournament his turn would improve as the day went on, not this time.  Had him massaged Friday and Saturday as he wasn't stretching the left side of his body as nicely as his right and he was much better after each time.   Sometimes I wonder if flyball just isn't his thing and maybe I should give up... and then again I live for fixing his training issues, right? Right? Is this thing on?

We missed Pan dearly this weekend.  Trophy was on both teams for today's racing to back up and give Dodger a break.  He ran a total of 6 races for I don't know how many heats - a lot.  Only one race went 3 and out, most went to 5 heats.

He was bobbling the ball a lot on Friday, his stride was off.  I tried moving him around in the line to find a better release point.  Luckily we didn't have to worry about making tight passes to make time, we ran consistently at 20.5-21.5  some times slightly more, always under 24 seconds, so I could play around a bit.  We had only one bad pass the today.  Very good, clean racing.  Trophy's main team, Tactics, came in 3rd in our division both days and our Variety team, Special Ops, the team I box loaded for Friday (and Trophy backed up and ran on today) got 1st in their division both days.

Now, for some rest and recuperation.  I work at 5am tomorrow morning.