Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Yesterday I spoke with the CVH (Dr. F) and got Ikey’s test results from Dr. M.

I spoke with the Dr. F on my lunch hour, before I got the C6 and RMSF results. Dr. F was really curious why I am treating with doxy when not only is Ike not tolerating the doxy as well as he has in the past, but the Lyme has reoccurred with more acute symptoms. Um….because I am scared not to? That’s the truth. As much of a miracle as homeopathy was/is for Ike’s GI, when your dog wakes up unable to walk it is hard (at least for me) to call the CVH first and not the traditional vet.

However, after speaking with Dr. F I am really torn about the right direction to take. Homeopathy did what allopathic medicine could not do for Ike. Ike, like his human, has a very sensitive system. I am not convinced the doxy is working, really working. I know it is beating the symptoms into submission.

Dr. F prescribed Belladonna (30c) and immune support – not boosting – supplements. We agreed that once Ike finishes the doxy we will treat the Lyme. Dr. F recommended LD-Support from D’Arcy Naturals. (This is the supplement Bug is currently on.)

I spoke to Dr. M in the late afternoon. Ike tested negative for RMSF. His C6 came back at 80. I am just plain puzzled. In December it was 254. In early July it was 108 (57% drop – not 73% as I stated in an earlier blog post). Now it is 80. It is continuing to drop and yet Ike is experiencing his most acute symptoms to date. Dr. M said that it could be he is just experiencing a flare-up or he could be reinfected and if we had done the C6 3 or 4 weeks from now his titer would be significantly higher.


After talking to Dr. F I was really questioning the decision to treat with doxy. Now that I know Ike’s titer is actually LOWER I truly feel as though we are just treating the symptoms not the disease. That is not the direction I want to take. I have some serious thinking to do.

Ike has chiro tonight and acupuncture on Friday.

I will say that after dosing with the Belladona last night Ike was the perkiest (not a word you commonly associate with Ike!) he has been since this started. We saw one of his favorite Standard Schnauzers, Kody, this am and Ike was positively gleeful. Then he busted in on John while he was in the bathroom. These are happy, healthy Ike behaviors.

We did also have some Totally Bizarr-o Ike behavior this morning. I remembered to add milk thistle to Ike’s breakfast today. It is the same supplement I have used in the past. Ike wouldn’t touch his food! Never in his life has Ike refused to eat – I am flabbergasted. As I waited him out he did start nibbling on certain pieces and dropping others on the floor!

Does anyone have a milk thistle recommendation that is not powder? Not that I want to be stuffing something else down his throat but I do feel it is an important supplement for liver support when a dog is on doxy. If Ike won’t eat his food with this powder on it, I need to find an alternative. I know you can buy it in liquid form – I just don’t know if that would also be foul tasting/smelling, in Ike’s opinion. Let me know if you have any alternative recommendations. I have sent an e-mail to the CVH and the chiro. I’ll be sure to share their responses.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tummy Thoughts

I was speaking to a coworker this morning about Ike’s tummy. I said I thought it was strange that he was feeling ill when he’s been treated with doxy twice before with no ill effects. She commented that her son had recurrent ear infections and toward the end when he was treated with the antibiotic it would make him sick. He developed a sensitivity to the antibiotic. I wonder if that is what has happened with Ike.

Fortunately no more stomach upset. I am giving the Pepcid AC and feeding hamburger and rice. Test results should be in today and I have a noon phone call with the CVH!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hamburger and Rice

Ike update - he is no longer lame. Hooray!! However, he very obviously still does not feel good. He is hanging out on the futon in our living room curled up in a tight little ball almost all the time.

Friday night he puked up his meal about a half-hour after his dinner. Fortunately my vet's office is open until 7pm on Friday. I called to find out if I should re-dose him with doxy (even though I knew his tummy must be feeling sensitive if he puked). Thankfully they said no. They did suggest I give him 5 mg of Famotidine (active ingredient in Pepcid AC) a half-hour before he eats and then give him the doxy a half-hour after he eats.

I tried this Saturday morning with success - or so I thought. When the vet's office called to check in on him I told them he seemed fine (in terms of the puking). We had a 1:30 chiro appointment and after Ike was adjusted he puked up his undigested breakfast. :-( Cheryl, our chiro, joked that's what happens when you adjust digestive points. We did those points again and were on our way.

Ike was obviously brighter eyed after his chiropractic appointment, but he is just not feeling great. I have decided we will skip agility class on Tuesday. He might feel better by then but I think he needs to feel GOOD for a few days before going to class.

I have an appointment with the CVH on Monday and I have scheduled two acupuncture appointments for Ike with Buggie's acupuncturist, Dr. M. I am hesitant to let this bout of Lyme (if that is all it is - we'll know Monday if he tested positive for RMSF too) go with just doxy. The way Ike presented with such acute lameness makes me very uneasy, combined with the fact that he still doesn't feel good days after starting doxy.

Once he has finishes the doxy I plan on treating the Lyme homeopathically - assuming we can do that. Dr. F gave me an earful about how the doxy is just causing the Lyme to hide deeper - I do personally agree with this, but given the acute lameness and pain he was in I could not in good conscience treat him only homeopathically. I know acupuncture is VERY helpful with both immune related issues and inflammation, since Ike is dealing with both hopefully acupuncture will give his system the boost it needs.

While this isn't life threatening I would appreciate you keeping Ikey P in your thoughts.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vet and Chiro for Ike

Last night Ike had his vet appointment and an emergency chiropractor appointment. The techs drew blood for the 4DX Snap test and some extra for a C6 and the RMSF text. Ike tested negative for ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. He tested positive for Lyme which I expected given his titer was over 100 in July (down from 256 [they suggest treating if it is > 30]). I really pushed them to test for RMSF as well since I knew he would automatically test positive for Lyme.

The vet felt that he was stiff in his right rear hind leg (in additional to the left foreleg) and gave him two days of Deramaxx to help him get over the hump until the doxy is thoroughly in his system.

After the vet we went to visit the chiropractor. Amazingly he had not lost his pelvis. Due to the fact that he was not putting weight on his left foreleg his back and front were a bit out. Once Cheryl adjusted him he moved so much better and became much more bright eyed.

He still has a slight, but noticeable, limp in the front leg, but I hope with the Doxy and Deramaxx that will be gone by the end of today.

We will see the chiropractor again on Saturday and should have our test results by Monday. I am curious what the results will be. Our vet said that she personally feels there are additional TBDs that the scientific community just has not quantified yet.

Thank you for keeping Ike in your thoughts. I appreciate it!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Improvement!!

This morning Ike requested to come up in the bed with a bark, i.e. he displayed typical "Ike" behavior (Ike doesn't like to jump up on the bed if Bug is already up there). When I got up he was wagging with only a slight limp and very eager for his walk. One might say he looked perky! Especially if you were comparing it to yesterday's behavior.

He took his 3rd dose of doxy with breakfast and I will call the vet as soon as they open to get in today and have bloodwork done. Although he could very easily just be reinfected with Lyme or having a Lyme flare-up I really want to test for the other TBDs to be safe. I know doxy is still the normal course of action for most if not all TBDs, but I want to know what we are treating for sure.

It is amazing how much more we know about Lyme. I remember when Ike was a 1 year old we had to fight with our very old-school vet to get him to test him for Lyme. In 8 years the awareness of TBDs in dogs has increased dramatically.

I will update after the vet visit, but I feel a lot better just seeing Ike be able to walk more normally. Thank you for all the positive energy and advice. I appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ike Update

the sickie

There has not been a big improvement in Ike from this morning. Ike did not move until I came home, when he greeted me on three legs. He is licking the left paw but I cannot find any abrasion or sign of injury. I think he is licking it purely because it hurts. He is less roach backed.

When I got home we took the boys for a "walk." We carried Ike outside and set him down. He hobbled two steps and stared at us plaintively. John carried him to some of his favorite marking spots and Ike went to the bathroom. The first time he tried to lift his leg he just about fell over. I told him he might have to squat like a girl (or a certain corgi I know).  Ike held his urine from 8:30 p.m. last night until 5:00 p.m. this afternoon. That's insane. I don't think I could hold it that long.

I am praying that there is a big improvement tomorrow morning. Question to anyone who has dealt with extreme lameness as a result of TBD before.... When your vet says there will be a dramatic improvement in 24 hours do they mean the lameness will be gone or should I just expect Ike to be less lame (assuming we are dealing with a TBD)? I know with Bug I definitely saw increased energy and spunky-ness within 12 hours of his first dose of doxy, but I have never had a dog present with such extreme lameness before and I have no idea what to compare it to.


Ike and I had agility class last night. Due to the much needed rain we are getting (day 4 today) it was inside. The course was fairly simple although it did contain an opportunity to practice our nemesis, the rear cross. After almost squishing Ike a few times we got it, although it was choppy.

Ike was slow last night. We were not sure if it was because the rear cross was making him stress or because he had lost his pelvis again when he saw Cheryl Sunday.

This morning when I woke up Ike would not get out of his crate. I thought he was being lazy or could hear the rain and didn't want to go for a walk. I got down on my knees and urged him to get up. He struggled to get up and nearly fell  out of his crate. Once he was out of the crate he was very roach backed and could not put weight on his left front leg. He struggled to move forward. I scooped him up and put him into bed.

My vet office is closed today - the on-call vet turns on the cell phone at 8am. I am going to call another vet's office at 7:30 am and see if I can get an emergency appointment with a vet I have heard good things about just in case my on-call vet can't see us.

I assume TBD (because I do not know what else to think). Ike tested positive for Lyme in December with a titer around 254. However when we did the 6-month retest his titer had dropped by 73% (a drop of 50% is considered successful treatment). I am unsure it is Lyme since he did not present in this fashion previously. I have e-mailed Tick-L (a great TBD list I belong to) to ask what tests I should run (in addition to the C6) - assuming the vet also leans toward TBD.

I do not drink coffee and have had a half-cup of tea this morning - I currently feel like I drank a whole pot of coffee.

UPDATE: I spoke to my vet. She feels pretty confident where Ike was Lyme+ that this is likely either Lyme again or another TBD. She said I could go to the ER vet if I wanted but she would recommend she call in a prescription of doxy and we get him started on that. She said I should give him some baby aspirin today for the muscle aches and someone should stay with him in case there is any change. She recommended I bring him in tomorrow for a full check-up and to run a full tick panel (ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, RMSF).

John is going to stay home with him today and let me know if there are any changes. I am going to run out and pick up the prescription and I will plan on staying home tomorrow to take him to the vet.

Thank you for the positive energy. Poor Ike.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Control Unleashed, Week #4 - Revised

Thursday night Bug and I had our 4th CU class. I think I have a case of high expectations not matching up with reality. I have some issues with the way class was handled on Thursday.

After working on passive attention we started the class by playing the Off-Switch game with our toy. This went on for too long. Bug continued to tug and play with me but by the time is was over I was out of breath and Bug had no further interest in his tug. Not good. Also very bad handler – I should have just stopped and worked on LAT that or something else.

After speaking to the instructor about this via e-mail I think we continue to miscommunicate. She stated that the Off-Switch game should continue for 10-15 seconds before release of the toy and asking for a default. I was saying there was too much time allowed to play this game in general and I wish I had stopped and played something else so as not to wear out my dog.

There hasn’t been any discussion about how to encourage your dog to play/tug or the appropriate location to hold a tug. I was taught to drag it on the floor like a scurrying creature. This really does work well as it gets the prey drive going. I remember being told NOT to shove the tug in your dog’s mouth, which novice tuggers tend to do. This would be useful info to share in the class since not all the dogs are toy driven. There has also has not been any discussion about quitting while your dog is still engaged and removing the tug or toy you are trying to get your dog hyped up about.

After speaking with the instructor about this via e-mail she said she typically does not discuss how to play tug with your dog. She tells people to play with their dogs in whatever way feels comfortable. If someone asks for specifics she will discuss it.

We then played the Off-Switch Game with obstacles. I was VERY uncomfortable with this. There was a pinwheel of three jumps set up, a tire, a table, and a chute with the chute fabric removed. I was particularly upset about the chute tunnel. The expectation was you would do these obstacles on leash. My main issue with that is accidental corrections and dragging a leash through a hard tunnel will make noise that will follow (chase) the dog. Now, for a soft dog or a dog that has had zero exposure to these obstacles this would NOT be a good experience.

I told the instructor I would not do the obstacles on leash – I was not comfortable with that.

First we went out and did an obstacle – then asked for a default behavior. Then we did two obstacles and asked for a default behavior. I chose to do tunnel + jumps. I unleashed Bug and sent him into the tunnel. We hadn’t really made eye contact – he was pretty obstacle focused. Sue asked me to start again and wait until he checked in with me. When Bug and I were trialing I realized we really needed to do that. You should do it with all dogs, but Bug needs it more so than Carmie or Ike. We started again after getting some nice eye contact.

The instructor said this entire class is supposed to be on-leash, in part because of the fact that many of the dogs have not had exposure to agility equipment and because they might be reactive. I guess after I left the MSPCA my trainers have all been very progressive. I don’t think putting dogs over any sort of equipment on leash is a good idea and it is not something I have been asked to do in an agility class. This is my personal opinion and I won’t take part in this part of the class next week on leash.

Of course Bug chose round 2 to chase a fly he had been watching while we were waiting for our turn. We totally lost our connection. He raced to our mat to chase said fly and the handler next to us, with the Great Dane, said “Oh, shit” in the most panicked voice possible. You would have thought Bug was making a bee-line for her dog. Now granted she didn’t necessarily know he wasn’t. However, that kind of reaction from a handler absolutely gives a dog reason to believe they might be right about being worried/reactive, etc. There was no discussion about this. I feel like the instructor could have discussed this in a manner that wasn’t hurtful to the handler and could have been really helpful to the class as a whole. They might have talked about it after class, but I still think it could have been a useful conversation for the class as a whole.

The instructor agrees it would be a useful conversation to have via e-mail or after class.

She had me send Bug to his mat and ask for a default behavior. We did not retry the obstacle or discuss what I should do if that were to happen again. In the Tracy Sklenar seminar I attended earlier this year working on focus issues she had us go and take our dog’s collar and walk them back away from the distraction to where we started and start again. Rinse and repeat if needed. I think that is a better plan of attack.

The instructor said she would have had me start over and lower my criteria.

We did a lot of variations of the Off-Switch game before moving on to Mat Racing. We went to the center of the room and released our dogs (on-leash so we were running with them) to their mats, once there we asked for a default behavior. After doing that successfully we moved our mats to the center of the room so that we were facing other dogs and released our dogs to their mats asking for a default behavior once they got there.

We ended class working on Leave It and were asked to think of a behavior we can ask our dog to do in an emergency situation. “For example, you are in agility class and another dog gets the zoomies. He is heading right for your dog with no intention of stopping. What will you do? Get him behind you so that you can protect him? Send him to his crate with you quickly closing the door and standing in front? Plastering him up against the side of the wall so that you can shield him?” I think I will ask Bug to let me plaster him against the wall. I am not 100% sure yet though.

I was fairly depressed after class. I was really upset by Bug running off to chase the fly and the GD owner’s response. Bug has developed an obsession with flies. He actually caught one the other day at his acupuncture appointment. I am concerned that he might do it while working sheep. Hopefully sheep will be more exciting than stinking flies!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

He's Back

Ike had agility class on Tuesday night and oh what a difference being in alignment makes. Lots of speed from my little black dog. The first time he hit the table he slid right off it!

The course was not bad. I struggled with what to do between 7 and 8. I intended to do a rear cross between 8/9, but after talking to Kathleen opted to do a FX before 8.

The weave poles to teeter was awkward, but I cheated and used that opportunity to reward Ike for repeatedly awesome weaves. I was ahead of him jogging and he was diligently weaving. He’s getting much better at taking weaves at speed and continuing them with more independence.

I then started from the table to the teeter. We did have teeter issues all night. The first time Ike didn’t realize it was the teeter or was just moving too fast. He was just about at the end before it had even started moving. Very scary for both of us. I immediately put him back on it and he did it very cautiously. DRAT. There must be a middle ground.

He also slipped on the teeter twice. Slipped! Twice! I find that really odd. I am not sure why it happened (it occurred at about the tip point) but it did freak him out. I know there is some resistance to a rubber teeter from people who’s dogs slide and ride the teeter down, but personally I would prefer it.

Overall it was a good class – the scary teeter was balanced by having an engaged dog and awesome weaves. Obviously we will have to work on the teeter and table at home so Ike stops flying off them! And in the case of the table, stops popping up from his down!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Getting There!

Bug had physical therapy last night. He is down to 33.4 pounds. Only 2 more to go before we can think about agility class or herding lessons.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mindful Romp

Saturday Bug, Katrin, James (FCR), and I attended a class called the “Mindful Romp” at an ashram in Millis. The class was a combination of mindfulness (lecture/discussion) and yoga stances with your dog. The instructor was a student of Katrin’s and had shared the class information with her. I am so glad she did!

When we arrived Bug was, as Katrin said, “wired for sound.” He was high and obnoxious (big barks at another student’s dog at least 100’ away; what the heck!). This sent my stress level up and compounded his high energy. I did not feel like we were off to a good start. Once Bug met the other dog (Angel) he chilled out.

This reminded me of a blog post I read recently about dogs greeting on leash and the expectation some dogs have that they should be allowed to greet on leash. I usually have butterflies in my stomach with on leash greetings. It seems that someone’s leash is always tight, the dogs get tangled, and the owners are often clueless – essentially not a combination that encourages appropriate behavior. We typically do not greet on-leash if we can help it, so I don’t feel like Bug expects it as a rule. I might be kidding myself though given what tunnel vision he had on Saturday.

We congregated on the deck (3 students/dogs and the instructor/dog) and discussed mindfulness and being present before taking a stroll around the ashram’s grounds.

When we returned to the deck a new student and her dog joined the group. The new dog disrupted the energy we had established on the walk and it took a bit for everyone to settle. As we started to do different yoga stances the dogs were all on guard – watching the people walking on the grounds carefully and alarm barking.

As the class progressed the dogs became more and more relaxed. Toward the end of the class, when we did our final pose (laying flat on our backs with our feet between 8” – 12” apart and our palms facing the sky) our instructor commented on how all the dogs were touching their humans. Bug chose to lie on my hand! The transformation in the energy of all the dogs over the course of the hour was really interesting. I think it was very much tied to the dogs’ humans’ energy.

It was a really enjoyable way to spend the morning and it gave me a lot to think about. Over the past year or two I have had a lot of major things occur and as a result have experienced more anxiety than previously in my life. I had already decided to make an investment in my mental health by enrolling in a Stress Reduction Program offered by the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical School. Attending the Mindful Romp and seeing very clearly how much my energy affected Bug’s energy confirmed the Stress Reduction class is a step in the right direction.

I am very curious to see what effect my making an effort to be more mindful and present will have on my boys and my life in general. I am also hopeful the ashram will choose to offer additional Mindful Romp classes!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Control Unleashed, Week #3

Last night Bug and I had our 3rd Control Unleashed class. To begin class we worked on some body work on our mat. Bug definitely does not view his mat as a place to relax yet. He thinks “Target mat, what’s next!?”

After everyone settled in we practiced Whiplash Turns. As S suggested I am incorporating eye contact and Bug really seems to get the game. What he appreciates about almost all the games is how quickly he’s released to chase a treat or be rewarded in some other manner.

Then we took Whiplash Turns on the road. As with most classes people tend to sit in the same spot every week. S had us move counter clockwise to our neighbor’s location, practice reorienting and then play some more Whiplash Turn. Bug had a difficult time reorienting at first because there was another dog’s mat to smell. What a great training opportunity!

After Bug finally reoriented, we played Whiplash Turns before we moved once more and worked on our default behaviors. S suggested practicing more than one default behavior. I thought we were only supposed to work on one, so I will have to clarify that with her. Bug and I worked on downs and sits. Bug’s sit has improved so much – I am really pleased.

The next exercise had one dog go into the box in the center of the room and practice default behaviors. The dogs outside the box did a variety of things depending upon how over threshold they were. I think most of the dogs practiced whiplash turns. When Bug was in the box he was a bit slow to down. I think he was distracted by the other dogs. At one point I asked him for a “down” and he sat. I asked him for a down again and S suggested I just move away and ask for the behavior again. Funny, I will have to think about whether that is a habit of mine or not. I can’t say if it is something I do regularly or not. If it is I should work on changing it!

When Bug was outside of the box we worked on heeling by the box, and rewarding for attention. I really think I should take a Rally or Obedience class with Bug. I think he would enjoy it.

Next S introduced the Off-Switch Game and Bug got to be the demo dog! I think this is because we were already familiar with the game, we remembered to bring our own toy and, perhaps most importantly for demo purposes, he is happy to tug in front of people. The Off-Switch Game is when you play tug with your dog, ask them to release the toy, and then follow that with a behavior. As soon as your dog performs the behavior you go right back to playing.

S asked us to do this in the box and Bug was excellent. Bug stayed in the box while the other students worked on Look at That. A dog playing can be very stimulating! When other dogs were in the box S had us keep playing the Off-Switch Game. I could tell Bug was getting tired and I wanted to stop before he became completely disinterested so I asked S if we could do something else. She had Bug practice Look at That while the hyper Golden was in the box. Very good choice!

We ended the class working on Parallel Walking. S and her assistant set up obedience ring down the center of the room. The goal was to walk side by side with another handler and dog team alongside the gating (gating divided the two pairs) and then turn and walk the other direction. Bug gave me such amazing attention! He is such a corgi – he knew I had food and was rewarding for attention. S asked me if I would mind walking Bug with the other students. I said no problem. Bug seems to be the dog that is really working way below threshold so I am happy to help.

S mentioned that we should think about taking this on the road. For example, if we have a neighbor who has a dog who barks as you walk by, actively work on maintaining attention, don’t be lazy. I had the perfect opportunity to practice this on our morning walk. A young male Cairn Terrier lives in a house on one of our walks. The last few times we have walked by his house he barks out the window like mad. Ike whines and Bug kind of bounces while staring at the house – totally not paying any attention to me. Today I worked very hard at maintaining Bug’s attention and he was as good as he is in class once he figured out we were working. Very cool!

I will probably practice attention with him by walking down to the house where the reactive Wheaten Terrier lives (on an invisible fence). She has dive bombed us so many times that Bug gets juiced just walking that direction! I will not walk that route in the afternoon (when she is typically out unattended). However, since he has been conditioned to be on high alert to his surroundings and not the momma when walking that direction it is a great chance to work on these attention exercises. I won’t do it when Lily is out though (that’s the WT).

Overall it was a better class than last week. We spent much less time stuck behind a barrier and while Bug does seem to be operating way-way below threshold, it is firming up the skills for when he is thrust into a situation that is closer to his threshold.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Control Unleashed, Week #2

Thursday night Bug and I had our 2nd Control Unleashed class. E’s assistant (not sure if that is the right word, maybe protégé?) S taught the class because E was sick. The first thing we worked on was the Whip Lash Turn.

Whip Lash Turn. Have your dog on his leash. Throw a treat. As your dog is eating the treat, say your dog's name. Click, just as your dog turns his head. Toss the next treat to reset your dog for another repetition.

Issues Bug and I had with this exercise. We did it exactly as described until S came over and told me to wait for eye contact before tossing the next treat. To me it is no longer a whiplash turn if I am waiting for eye contact? So, I am a little confused about the criteria. I have sent an e-mail off to E for clarification.

Edit: E responded and said: When training the whiplash turn, you are clicking for the turning of the head. However, after you get the quick turn of the head, it certainly doesn't hurt to click and treat for eye contact.

S pointed out that I have a tendency to toss my treats left-to-right and never in front of me. When I tossed treats in front of me I got more eye contact from Bug – I think because he was heading straight back to me.

The next exercise she had us work on is Zen Doggie. In this version of the game S had us hold a treat at shoulder level. Once the dog stopped watching the treat and made eye contact you tossed a treat.

Next we worked on Reorient to the Handler.

This involves teaching your dog that he needs to make eye contact with you (orient) before he goes on to do a different activity. Bug and I work this exercise every morning. I open the front door and release Bug to the porch. Then I stand there silently waiting for Bug to stop scanning for squirrels and chipmunks and reorient to me. When he does c/t and off on our walk we go.

In class S set up two sets of obedience ring gating separated by about 20 feet. Each set had a “doorway” in the center. She asked us to have our dog in a sit, pass through the “doorway” and wait for our dog to reorient. Walk up to the next set of obedience ring gates and do the same thing. Then turn around and do it twice more on the way back to your seat. Ironically, given how long it takes Bug to reorient in the morning on a daily basis, he rocked this exercise.

The last exercise we worked on in class was Parallel Jumps. S set up three jumps, a line of obedience ring gating, and three more jumps. You took your dog over the first three jumps and waited for them to reorient to you. Then you did the same thing with the next three jumps. While other dogs were jumping we worked on bodywork on our mat.

I was a bit disappointed. There is a highly reactive dog in class and in order to accommodate her every dog ended up tucked behind a barrier where they then ended up staying for the whole exercise. I understand starting below threshold, but for Bug and I this was so far below threshold it was like we were just hanging out. We didn’t have an opportunity to utilize any of the skills we are working on.

I am hopeful that next week will be a bit more challenging.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Crazy Course!

Tuesday night Ike and I had agility class. The course was INSANE. Apparently course design is on a rotating schedule – each instructor takes a month. This month, the instructor designing the courses trials heavily in AKC and international competitions and the courses reflect that. I didn’t even bother drawing the course – it seemed difficult enough to remember it without trying to sketch it too.

Surprisingly running it was not as difficult as expected. However I was running somewhat hesitantly because I strongly suspected Ike was out of alignment.

Twice over the weekend I witnessed him make very poor jumps that he would not normally make – once getting into the car he totally missed and once trying to hop up on the couch. He recently lost his pelvis and we were supposed to have a follow-up adjustment but missed it due to DJ’s vet visit and now the chiro has some family stuff to deal with and isn’t available. So, Ike has either knocked his pelvis out again or his sacrum is out. I am leaning toward sacrum because of the jumping.

I asked Kathleen to watch us closely when we ran our first run. Ike did not want to jump, his dogwalk which has consistently been rocking was slow, and he popped out of the weaves. Yup – he is out of alignment!

I debated going home and scrapping the rest of the class, but Kathleen suggested since Ike was very up and happy that we run and just place the bars on the ground and skip the weave poles. I decided not to do any more contacts because Ike’s performance was much slower than usual and I didn’t want to reinforce that in any manner.

I am glad we stayed because Ike was VERTY happy to run through jump stanchions and play with me and we got a sweet rear cross in!