I apologize for neglecting my blog in recent weeks. Here’s what’s going on with my youngster.
The 2-minute dog training protocols have served us very well for contacts, weaves, tire, jumping, pause table downs, and for many of the minutia of dog agility.
Tempest has been a breeze to run in Standard classes, where I have the opportunity at every contact obstacle and table to redirect him.
We have 2 issues right now that have haunted us, and we’ll be spending the winter working on them.
Bar-dropping … Tempest has no respect for the pvc bars and, therefore, finds it as thrilling to go through them as to go over them. In an attempt to solve this issue I worked Tempest at 4-inches over his measured jump height for a few weeks. I entered him in a weekend of AKC agility at 24″. He actually jumped better, and looked more thoughtfully, at 24″.
Straight lines versus turning … Tempest keeps bars up best, and seeks out the mission of jumping (looks for the work and takes responsibility) when I use the “Go On!” cue. Unfortunately, he “goes on” when the judge has the course turning. In a jumpers’ course, for example, there are often 3 jumps in a row, but then the course veers sharply in one direction or another. Tempest prefers to take a fourth and fifth jump in that straight line.
My goal 2-3 weeks ago was to finish up our 2011 trial schedule, and then embark on some jumping and turning protocols to teach him: 1) keep the bars up regardless of their height, and 2) watch me for turn commands and absolute directionals.
Then we attended a 3-day trial in Zanesville, OH.
On Friday Tempest was adjusting to the 24″ jumps, had a few lovely runs (though no Qs) and was looking like a real agility dog. His weaves were, for the most part, lovely. He stuck all his contacts, recognized the teeter and rode it down, and did an automatic down on the pause table.
On Saturday evening I took the dogs for a walk in our field and adjacent woods. Tempest came wandering back at the end of our walk on 3 legs.
I checked his leg for cuts or briars, but saw no injury.
On Sunday morning Tempest was still lame, but I was committed to returning to the trial with one of our students. Tempest rode along but didn’t perform at all that day.
Some friends suggested I have him checked for Osteochondrosis. Eight x-rays, and one week, later we had our positive diagnosis and an appointment for consultation with Dr. Barnhart at MedVet in Columbus, OH.
On Monday 11/7 we met with Dr. Barnhart. Tempest’s left shoulder was very painful and he’d lost substantial muscle mass in just 2 weeks.
On Tuesday 11/8 Dr. Barnhart performed arthroscopic surgery on Tempest’s shoulder to remove the flap of cartilage.
We’re 2 days into 4 weeks of total crate rest. He’s on pretty strong pain meds, and we begin Adequin injections this afternoon.
By the first week of December we’ll be ready to begin building him back up. The official rehab begins then.
By New Years I hope to be able to start the jump training to fix the aforementioned issues.
In the meantime everything here has screeched to a halt. My lesson in being patient began yesterday.