Monday, December 27, 2010

Lots of Catching Up

Merry Christmas!

Sorry we're late.

We were out of town for a few days and Jonah went to stay with some of our friends.  It sounds like he was a good boy, but he has come back with a bit of a limp.  From the little investigation I've been able to do inside, it looks to me like a right stifle issue.  It seemed a little swollen while I was feeling around.  I'd like to watch him run but there's a foot of new snow on the ground and we don't have too much room inside.  More news on that front tomorrow.  He is peppy and it doesn't seem to be slowing him down any.

Before we left he was doing great.  I brought in the dog walk for the season and touched up the paint.  It looks like we'll be limited in our at-home practice, as we're reasonably snowed in.  We still should be able to do some weave poles, and maybe once the snow compresses a little/melts/I shovel or blow it away I'll be able to set up some jumps and things, but otherwise we're pretty limited.  Of course, if Jonah's injury proves serious we could be up for some rest anyway.

I was really pleased with Jonah's weaves before we left.  We made big strides forward in independence.  I worked on recalling him through (which was great, and he finds the entries every time), sending him through (where he'd slow down some but I could be about 6-10 feet behind him), and lateral distance (where I can now be up to 15 feet to his side.  Sometimes he struggles finding the entry when I'm on the off side and that far away).  I think these are all great steps forward and I'm very pleased.

As for other equipment, our teeter is up and running!  I set it up in the garage and Jonah was getting a few short sessions each day before we left.  At first I set it at a low height but he was so relaxed about it that I quickly put it up to regulation.  He has only hopped off a couple times in the probably hundred plus repetitions we've done.  Overall, he is good at the teeter and he doesn't look nervous but he's not fully excited, either.  He likes to tip it pretty close to the middle so it's pretty slow, but for now I'm alright with that.  I just want him to do it so many times that, without making it boring, he is not at all concerned.  We've been working on me being next to him, recalling over it and me being laterally about 5 feet away.  We'll get to sends in a bit.  I've been using really good treats and I just do it 5-10 times each session.  Then we go run around and take a good break before going back to it.

In other news, we've gotten confirmation from both of our trials (1/15-16 and 1/29-30).  I hope we can get Jonah back in great shape in time to make our big debut!

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