Thursday, May 2, 2013

Port Allen Agility Trial - April 2013

Maxie 6 runs, 2 Q's, 1 2nd place, 21 MACH points, 6 videos
Lucky Lucy 6 runs, 0 Q's, 6 videos

Port Allen is right across the river, 25 minutes from home, so we came home every evening.  It's my own dog club's trial, John participated as 1st assistant Chief Course Builder and was there at 6:30 every morning and among the last to leave.  He put in lots of volunteer hours for this family!  I did some, too, like cleaning equipment, help loading the truck, managing the signage, managing the wireless mike for the FAST classes, and some ring work, but mostly concentrated on running Maxie and Lucky. Pepper came along for the ride and enjoyed visiting friends and prancing about. We did lots of crate games, some leash training, and a bit of off leash training at the warm up jump, where he was easily distracted.

Was it our worst trial ever?  No, but it seemed like it at the time.  No Q's for Lucky.  Only 2 for Maxie.  But finally getting the heart to check Lucky's spreadsheet since then, it's not the first trial she came home with no Q's.  And actually, her first run was splendid, a solid MS Q with 18 seconds to spare, her highest speed points ever, and we both knew she had done GREAT!  Alas, exiting the ring I was informed we had been whistled off because she ran with tags on (can't do that in AKC)  I had put on her agility collar but failed to unclasp the everyday one. A first, and talk about kicking myself all the way to our crates!  How could I do that? Probably got distracted talking to someone.  I apologized to the judge later for not leaving the ring immediately, but I never heard the whistle. She said "no problem" and I will always be glad she let us finish that first wonderful run.  The rest of the weekend was just one thing after another, incomplete weaves, a backjump, missed contact, I missed queing one jump.  Sometimes she was looking for Daddy in the stands. On the other hand, her videos show some brilliant moments -- long stride, great form, spurts of real enthusiasm.

Veteranary therapy is growing in popularity at dog events.  Here's
Tracey's beagle getting an acupuncture treatment.
Maxie is a different story.  His first run he ran by the weaves without even attempting them (a first), Q'd twice his next 2 runs, then NQ'd the rest of the weekend, lots of missed weaves.  His times were a bit slower.  A chiropractor was on site so I set up an appointment for right after the trail.  She immediately noticed that he sits crooked, then diagnosed him as having "LOTS OF THINGS OUT OF PLACE",  and gave him an adjustment which she said "should hold 6 months"! She told me to never again let him jump off our high bed or high couch as it could be doing serious injury to his shoulders.

By coincidence, today I listened to a Bad Dog Agility podcast about Alternative Medicine For Agility Dogs, covering chiropractic, acupuncture, lazer and massage therapies.  It's quite interesting. I had no idea so many performance dogs have regular physical therapy treatments to keep them in shape for competition. 

So therapy is my plan for now.  We're in "take it easy" mode for now.  Maxie laid around the house for 3 days after the trial and looked pathetic.  Was he in pain?  How does one know?  After reviewing the videos carefully all I can see is maybe less push off in his rear legs, shorter strides, a bit less focus.  But it's very subtle.  I notice once in awhile Lucky clears a jump way too high (like 36" over a 24" bar) and comes down hard on her shoulders.  Will they wear out soon?

We've been to the Brandon trial two weekends after this one (previous post), where Maxie did Okay, not great.  He seems okay around the house, but maybe not so "puppy like" or playful. I have to become a better observer, and have begun to give him regular massages.

Oh, there was a videographer at the trial and for $18, I got a video composite of the whole weekend's runs, one for each dog, set to music.  They came in, and I found I much prefer fiddling with my own videos.

Upwards and onward,

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