...ready for action !

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I haven't written anything about Shimmer for quite a while now, and at her age (14 months) normally I would have been doing quite a lot of training, ready to go into the ring. She is still around, and I still love her to pieces, but instead of being in agility training, she is in rehab. Where she has been for the last 6 months, ever since I got a diagnosis of hip dysplasia. So we go to the underwater treadmill once a week, and at the moment she is also having acupuncture. She was assessed by spots vet Lowri Davies when she was in Perth and was found to have no abdominal muscles, a strained iliopsoas muscle and not much control of her movements, one of the reasons she likes to do everything FAST. Oh and she is over-muscled, probably from the treadmill (but partly I think from her genes because her brother is also very well muscled). We are dutifully doing our exercises twice a day and they include things like cavaletti and stretches. Lowri felt she would be OK to start running off lead in a couple of weeks but unless it is a really short run, she pulls up lame that evening. She's incredibly hard to judge when to stop exercising because she ALWAYS wants to do more..and then pays for it that night. She has so much drive and heart, that dog, I think she would run on 1 leg if I asked her to.
I haven't given up on her being able to do agility at some stage, but it is looking less and less likely. She is a complete BLAST to train, the most fun I've had with a dog ever as she just loves to do it. She is also the first dog I have had with mild separation issues, she doesn't like to be apart from Mike and I, and I think that partly stems from her temperament, but a lot from us not wanting to leave her by herself when she was a puppy..uh..at all. As Mike works from home, and I work part-time, that was quite easy to do! And now she doesn't see why that should change..luckily most of the time we can oblige, and in those rare scenarios we are both out she goes to stay with her Grandparents (at the house of the POOL!)
Shimmer absolutely LOVES the water and would happily spend all day splashing and playing in the pool. On the way back from Albany last weekend we stopped off at a friend of Mike's, who has just built a house in Denmark on a lovely property complete with a very large UNFENCED lake! Shimmer's eyes just about fell out of her head and she was straight into the lake, swimming around as happy as a clam. Luckily her recall is pretty good despite months of on lead walking so we were able to get her out..just!
We have decided to keep her in rehab until she is 18 months old, which will be March 2011. She is doing minimal agility until then, no jumping and only low impact type activities. We will keep going with her fitness exercise. Hopefully, this is a remodelling phase and she will grow out of it and be sound by then. If not then she won't be able to be an agility dog and we will have to try and think of something else to do. Either way, I love my puppy and she is not going anywhere.

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