Update on Rue the gimp

Well, I’m very happy to report that Rue has been limp free since Thursday evening.  Maybe it was the rest, maybe it was the Rimadyl, or maybe it was just Murphy’s Law that I take her to the vet and spend $85 to just have her get miraculously better that evening.  Whatever the cause, I’m thrilled to see her gaiting normally again!

As of today I’ve taken her off the Rimadyl and have now taken her for 2 short on-lead hikes.  The first was on Sunday and she stayed on a regular lead and I kept her pace pretty steady.  The trail was groomed and fairly flat so there wasn’t much for her to hurt herself on.  We walked for 30 minutes and then I took both dogs to the lake.  Rue stayed on a flexi so that I could prevent the inevitable “zoomies” when she got out of the water.  She did several short retrieves in the water and afterwards there was no sign of soreness at all. 

We had our agility foundation class last night and I let Rue do a few tricks for cookies and other very easy things for part of the class so she could feel like she was being included.  She’s been SO bored!  Mr. Miles got to fill in for her during the more active portions of class and he was more than happy to be a show-off 🙂

Today we went on a more unevenly surfaced hike and I let her use the flexi which allowed her to change her speed up more.  We walked for 45 minutes and so far so good–yeah!!  We go for our massage at 5:30 tonight 🙂  I hope she behaves herself……

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Figured I’d post a running contact training update from a few days ago.

Since I won’t be able to do any more work on the board for a while due to her mystery injury 😦

Rue’s board session on Tuesday evening was….interesting.  She was incredibly fired up and kept either knocking the board off the 2×4 or running to the side of the board.  I certainly can’t say anything bad about her enthusiasm!  She worked with me for 7 minutes straight and never got frustrated or left.  This was after we did some handling earlier in the evening alternating with some stuff with Miles.  She and I really seem to be connecting now.  Of course I say that and now she’s wounded so we will be unable to work together for a little while.

It ended up that Rue got rewarded for 88%, but really only hit 70% with half of those being either high or with her back feet.  She got me on three bad hits–oops!  This is why it really helps to video…

I would say that I need to start tightening up my criteria again and make sure we get at or above 90% for several successive sessions before I raise the board.  Unfortunately this will have to wait a bit.  Anyway, here’s the video.  She made me laugh so hard at some of her antics 🙂

Back from the vet….

and we have no answers.  We didn’t see our regular vet and I really didn’t care for this woman much at all.  Her exam was very cursory (I did a much more thourough one even this morning) and she said “maybe her shoulder” and gave me Rimadyl and told me strict crate rest for TWO WEEKS.  Well, that’s not going to happen.  I’ll rest her for sure, but I think crate rest just is a bad idea.  I spoke with Melanie after our appointment and she agreed that crate rest will just lead to muscle atrophy everywhere which is not what we want.  So the plan is to keep her activity low this weekend and then go to a massage therapist on Tuesday evening for more of an exam and treatment.  I need to figure out what part hurts her so I can fix it.  Thanks to all the great work her breeders Gayle and Lise did with getting her used to touching and everything we did with her when we got her home, she’s GREAT for exams.  However, she’s so cooperative that you cannot tell what hurts.  Bleh, frustrating.  Thanks for all the well wishes for little Rue.  She’ll get some special treatment over the next week or so and we already bought her a new toy to destroy 😀

Rue is limping.

And has been for about a week on and off.  It’s her left front leg.  I don’t recall any injury, but we did go for a long woods walk last Tuesday but that’s nothing new.  We noticed a slight limp on Wednesday, but then it seemed to disappear.  It’s been waxing and waning since then and we’ve been trying to rest her…which is nearly impossible.  I’ve given her Ascriptin for the last 5 days, but she’s still limping.   So off to the vet we go in a couple of hours.  I can’t say that I’m not scared for her.  Ugh.

Training update 3/22/09

I did my last session with Rue’s teeter today.  I wanted to get some reps on tape so that I could see where I left off since it’ll be several months probably before we see this obstacle again.  She did much better than yesterday…was very drivey up the board.  She fell off due to the rebound once and then the next rep she jumped off, but then had 2 very successful reps.  So I am leaving it as dropping the board from full-height after holding it for 1 second.

Then I set up a small course from the “Backyard Dogs” section of the latest Clean Run Magazine and took Miles out to work on some things.  We had a difficult time executing the 180 for some reason, but eventually got it together.

Rue came back out to do the same course, just with jump standards no bars.  I broke it down a lot further for her and she nailed it!  I was so impressed with her enthusiasm today.  I’ve struggled with this handling stuff for so long now.  It seems that we’ve definitely found a way to connect.  She doesn’t even think about leaving me today and even was boinging up at me after I rewarded her like she couldn’t wait to start another sequence!  I got her frisky a couple of times and she was really moving out fast.  YAY!

After those sessions I took a break to mow the lawn (gasp it’s only March, ugh)  while the pups chewed on raw marrow bones.  They were happy to be back into the groove of enjoying their bones on the lawn while I worked. 

Later I did some board work with Rue that I neglected to video.  Her session today was FAR better than our last.  She was 90% today.  Two of her hits were with her rear legs but were well within the contact zone.  I rewarded those, but not as highly as I did for the nice low front feet hits.  Feeling much better about the board today 🙂  I’ll give it a few more sessions to see if we’re consistent around 90% and then we’ll move it on up….