cautious optimism

Scoop, 1.15.2012, Mia Grant Photo

That is what I am experiencing at the moment with Scoop’s health. For almost a month I have been actively training him, and we have not really had one bad day. YAHOO! Scoop’s final diagnosis it seems is another one of those health problems (like aspergillis) I never really wanted to learn about. Scoop has “bunchy muscles” I am told. The MRI and ultrasound and multiple x-rays all told a story of good structure and nothing to even consider that can be seen on a diagnostic machine. The ultrasound given by an incredible radiologist, Dr. Craig Long in Sacramento, showed no tears of any of the muscles in the rear, Ilio psoas just fine and all the rest as well.  So, since he really had no injury to rehab, we went back to training.

What in the world are bunchy muscles I ask? Apparently not the kind of long and soft kind I want. When I look at him it just does not sound right. He is lean and long and doesn’t look like he has some kind of chunky muscle builder muscles. Actually he does seem to be one big long muscle, but I thought that was supposed to be good. Scoop is moving better, jump freely, and not showing the obvious discomfort of the past 9 months. I think this is because he now gets weekly or semi-weekly deep tissue massages by my human therapist.

This is the same masseuse that cured the foot ailment that almost derailed MY career last year. Each week Scoop is found to have incredible tightness and knots in different areas and the therapist is slowly working his way through eliminating them. I don’t know if we will reach a point that maybe a monthly therapy will be enough to keep him moving well, but that is what I am dreaming about.

I know he is getting better because in the past Scoop had gigantic bar knocking issues, and seemed to never be able to hit a weave entry, for this past month he has rarely taken a bar, and maybe only missed a couple weave entries, and I can tell you that I am trying hard to find every tough one there is to train.

I know the weave issues have not been training ones, he simply could not bend his body around the first gate. Especially on 90 degree entries, on a left hand entry he would make the first gate and have to skip the second. On a right hand wrap he could not get wrapped around the first pole, he always entered the second gate. The difference now is totally remarkable. And his A-frame at the moment is the one I dreamed of when I started training. Scoop could just never seem to get the oomph over the top of the frame that would drive him deep into yellow. I am asking the universe to let me have this dog, this frame, these weaves and his nice jump style!

Scoop is wild right now in training. I am having to work as hard on all the foundation skills as the agility work. After all the months of hit and miss training his excitement to be back in the field really working has him almost “off his stick” as they say. Stays and lineups and self-control are all high on our training list.

I took some photos of Scoop at Precision Body Therapy with his therapist, Edward.  Scoop seems to really love the sessions and actively participates at times stretching into the work. Interesting to observe the interaction of dog and therapist. I am sure Scoop knows that Edward is helping him.

Hope your juvenile agility dog gets to experience this kind of great therapy at some point in his life. I for one can’t wait till I can go back to spending my massage money on ME:)

NJG

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