Thursday, May 6, 2010

agility, acupuncture, handling, and pt!

This has been a very busy week - both in work and outside of work. As a result I don't feel like I have had a moment to breathe. Therefor I have also not had a moment to blog!

Tuesday night Ike had agility class. I was so frazzled I forgot my bait bag and my clicker. I guess I am lucky I remembered my dog!  It was humid and stuffy in the building due to the weather outside and while Ike was happy, he was slow. I think he was mostly hot, but it is possible he was still tired from our trip.

A fellow joined our class (I don't know if he has joined it permanently) who has been working on lots of distraction issues with his young Aussie. He is young-ish (early 20s I guess?) and obviously male. Two strikes as far as Ike is concerned. I was so proud of how well behaved Ike was! I kept him engaged while we were waiting for our runs working on rally moves, which Ike loves (as long as he doesn't have to trial!). While walking courses I tied Ike in his usual spot and surprisingly he did not bark excessively at Dan. Hooray. I am really proud of him.

Class itself was a bit off for the two of us, although there really were no major handling gaffes. For the most part we handled both courses well. Ike was hot and I was exhausted - we were quite the pair.

Wednesday night Bug had acupuncture. He was a bit guarded about his rear, but Anne (acupuncturist) truly felt as though his actual muscles felt good - soft and pliable. I wonder if he was acting nervous because I was a bit stressed out about my work situation. Bug is a really empathetic dog and definitely picks up on any stress I am feeling. I spoke to Cathy (PT) about it today and she said that she thinks muscle memory in dogs and humans is very long-lived and he might just have been acting nervous about it because it did hurt so much at one time.

After acupuncture Bug and I went to handling class. Since Bug blew all his coat before the National I started him on a coat supplement to try and get some coat back in time for showing in May. Kerry commented on the change in his coat in one week. Hopefully by the time we go to show in a couple of weeks he will look even better.

We had a really good handling class. Bug was moving nicely and we had lots and lots of ears!

Tonight Bug had physical therapy and guess what he did? He swam without the life vest!! And he did awesome. He is such a trooper. He really hates it, but he is getting used to it.

Cathy thought he felt great. His iliopsoas was soft and pliable and he allowed her to do both adduction and abduction exercises with his hips. He was the most relaxed she has ever seen him. He was being silly, rolling on his back and giving lots of kisses. I am so happy he feels so positively about visiting Sterling!  He did have a little fasciculation (trembling of the muscle when pressure was applied) in his primal quad (upper part of his thigh), so Cathy would like the chiro to check that out. She  thinks there is a trigger point in that region that Cheryl will be able to release.

There is a herding seminar coming up on Memorial Day weekend I would really like to attend and a spot has opened up. I made the decision to ask Cathy if she thought Bug was ready. I told her that my gut says no. She agreed. She did say she thinks he is REALLY close to being ready to go back to work. She said right now is a really important time in his physical therapy - we are doing conditioning. If we rush it and he were to experience another injury at this point it would be such a huge set-back. I agree.

While I am very disappointed to not be able to attend the seminar I am really excited that Bug's physical therapist thinks we are close! I asked if Bug can start doing Get on the Ball at home and got the okay. Bug can do 2 - 3 minutes every other day of weight shifting and sits-to-stands.

And of course, the first time without a life vest and I forgot the Flip! Drat! Next time.... (we are scheduled through the month of May).


Sara said...

I'm so happy that Bug continues to do well with all his PT, and it looks like an end is in sight....

Congrats to Bug on swimming on his own!!!!

Kathy said...

OH, how disappointting to miss the seminar, but better that then to go back too early and reinjure Bug. On the other hand, how wonderful to hear how close he is getting and how Bug is doing.

Whoooo hoooo good job Bug swimming on your own!

101mutts said...

Glad Bug is doing better!

Out of curiosity, have you ever thought about teaching Bug to lift his ears up? It might be a fun behavior to clicker train and potentially useful. I remember from one of Karen Pryor's book (probably Reaching the Animal Mind) she talked about a show horse who was taught to hold her ears up. I know Bug's ears are a good indicator of his mood but maybe it would even help him be more relaxed if he was in the position of a more relaxed dog.