It seems like a lot of my four and two legged friends are having health problems. So I just want to tell everyone to hang in there, my thoughts are with you all.
Jazz has been recovering much more slowly from his second knee surgery than he did from the first. I suspect it's more mental than physical. I think he's much more insecure about it all. He actually refused a teeter and acted afraid of it the other day. I don't remember him ever worrying about them in his life. We are past that now and he's getting pretty excited about them since I've been treating the heck out of them! Today he finally jumped into the SUV without help. That seems like a big step to me. (It's also a huge weight off my back - literally!) The chiropractor suggested tying something to his left leg so he will use the right leg more. I tied everything I could think of to it and he ignored it all. I finally tied a bell on a rope to his left leg so it dragged and clanged behind him. He walked into his kennel and took it off. My new plan is just to get him running and climbing as much as possible because he needs both legs to do that.
Another small health issue is teeth. Jazz has always had beautiful white teeth. They have only been cleaned once and he is going on eight years old. Very little plaque buildup or signs of redness in the gums and he has lovely breath! Coach's canines were all covered in yellowy hard plaque and red around the gums. He chews constantly, but can't chew those rope things because he swallows the rope in one piece and then it's surgery time again. I found the Busy Buddy bristle bone chew toy and in one week all the plaque was gone from his canines. I have a bunch of them around the house now and it is the only toy that both dogs will consistently fight over, drag off in a corner and chew. I'm spending a fortune on the rawhide discs, but great toy.
Coach is still big, loud, pushy and wild. He's learning two by two weave poles and is getting pretty good at sets of four - I'm thinking we'll go to six soon, but trying to be patient. We are working running contacts and I don't treat unless he runs through the yellow - any jumping and he has to do it over. Today he got to the down side of the A frame and I swear he did an exaggerated stomping motion through the yellow. I treated the heck out of it - stomp away little friend, just run through the yellow and no cheating with a leap at the end! We went to a walk through of the new AKC Beginning Novice Obedience this morning. Coach is maybe a little more "beginning" than I thought he was. He has been so good at heeling, but he was not interested today. Way too distracted. He did a nice sit stay though, so all is not lost.
I am really missing agility trials these days. Hopefully, both dogs will be ready to compete in agility again by spring time. We keep practicing, trying to get Jazz healthy and trying to teach Coach to work quietly and concentrate!
Hope everyone is well and enjoying their dogs this winter.
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