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?


  1. Even going once a week to be adjusted is suboptimal. My daughter learned to massage and adjust all of the dogs on our flyball team. She worked with all of them over the course of a tournament weekend, and as often as after every race for some notably gonzo beasts. Getting everything re-aligned kept them from stiffening up.

    When you take your dog to be adjusted, ask the therapist to show you what she's feeling and ask her to describe what she's doing and how she knows when she's got it right. Also as what you can be doing to help your dog between appointments. If you're a quick study, there won't be very many appointments.

    1. The problem is that Trophy is NOT a gonzo dog. He is deliberate in all actions and rarely goes all out unless it is a bird or a laser pointer.

      I will talk to the chiropractor and see what else i can be doing for him.