Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bullet-Point Catch-Up

So much to catch-up on. In the interest of efficiency, I'm going to go with the bullet-point version.

  • Our last AKC trial was the end of April. At that time we were left at 129 MACH points to go.  We weren't entered in another AKC trial until the first weekend in June.
  • May - we did house work, yard work, had a stressful life (me), and injured ourselves (Vegas). 
  • The last weekend in May Vegas started acting a little "off." She was moving a bit stiffly so I stretched her and did some massage and just monitored. It wasn't so bad that I freaked out but I noticed a difference in movement. Her attitude was still the same. 
  • Friday night, June 1. We went to the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby to set up our shade cover and drop off crates for the trial over the weekend. I was holding my breath but figured if she was there at the site and knew what was going on, she'd give me a sign. We set things up and on one trip back from the truck I left her in a stay and proceeded to our tent. I then called her to me. She started at a jog and soon was walking - NOT a good sign. If she wasn't running even back to me, which she always does enthusiastically, how could we run? I tried to get her to take the warm-up jump but she was just struggling. Basically she was bunny hopping in the rear - keeping her feet together, not extending. S**t! There was no way she could run over the weekend. I spent a good part of the evening bawling, freaking out, imagining the worst, being heartbroken, worrying, and conversing with my good friend, Rachel, about what could be wrong. I pretty much figured it was her back although I wasn't feeling any heat or getting a ton of pain response and I also questioned the iliopsoas such as my friend, Lindsay's Dane, Heffner, injured. Rachel took a video to show me how to check it and I attempted to recreate the testing protocol and sent her video back. Although she balked at my fussing, it didn't seem like that was the problem. Rachel called in some medications for me (muscle relaxer, NSAID, and pain reliever) and I went to the trial over the weekend for Leo and scratched Vegas. That was really hard. 
  • We were entered in another AKC trial the following weekend at the Clark County Fairgrounds. After discussing it with Rachel and doing my fair best to be logical and look at the long term, I scratched V from that trial as well. Talk about sucky. The last month in the invitational qualifying period and two weekends gone bust. Plus a hurt dog and a lot of worry. Sadly she was making it fairly easy as she didn't seem to want to play like normal. That alone was hard to take. 
  • Third weekend...CPE Nationals. Would she be ready? Could I get her healed? That was the goal since this was a big deal and our one and only opportunity to participate - especially since it was to be held a mere 45 minutes from home. 
  • Fourth weekend - we were entered in this trial as well, booked in Albany, Oregon, at the Linn County Fairgrounds, but between money and her health, I had to scratch that entry, too. 
We did end up running at CPE Nationals. I'll share that in another post. Suffice it to say, injuries suck and no amount of hopeful comments and support from others helps. After all, 95% of those people run dogs with umpteen more years of companionship and competition left in their dogs. They don't really understand. They can't. So it's hard as I really have felt all alone as nobody seems to get it, quite frankly even those who run giants. I am hard core. This was our year, our last year to run hard, to run competitively, and then I didn't have a lot of goals left. I will not run a Dane into the ground no matter how much they love agility. I don't think it's the right thing to do. And my heart has been heavy worrying about healing Vegas, getting her back to her normal self, and enjoying the rest of the year in competition and, hopefully fulfilling the goals I have for us. Life has pretty much sucked on the dog front for the last two months.