Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chock Full O' Mishaps

Our day wasn't terrible, but it was the kind of day where you wish you could just start over and tweak a few things.

We started the day off on the right foot (pun is intended here, as you'll read in a second) and went to Wolfe's Pond Park. Louie and I went yesterday and Marge had a blast playing in the stream, so my sister and I figured hey, why not, let's go again today. We made our way up the trail to the stream, where Marge, once again, went in without hesitation. This is big for her; she used to despise water, probably after we (stupidly) bathed her with the hose way back when we got her last June/July. It's nice to finally see her get elbow-deep, and I'm hoping one day I'll have a swimmer.

Well, we were about to get going, Marge made a dash across the stream happily for one last time, and I look down to put my shoes on (yes, I had waded with her a bit) and my toe is bleeding. Pretty badly, too. I must have stepped on a rock or something - the stream is pretty clean, so I'm not too worried about it being anything hazardous. I had some paper towel with me, tried to put pressure, it wasn't stopping. So my sister and I figured we should probably head back. I limped down the trail, walking on my heel, which I have come to discover is very painful. It kind of stunk to have to go home after only staying barely a half hour, which is about the time it takes to get there in the first place.

Well, we got home, I soaked my foot. It still hurts a bit, but I'm just keeping an eye on it and putting antibiotic cream on. I'm really hoping it doesn't look funky tomorrow. Better me than Marge, though, without a doubt. I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself if Marge came out with bloodied paws.

Then, on to Rally.. I was all set for a good, successful night hopping around the course with a bum foot. However, as we pulled up and got out, Marge got to listen to the very loud, very strange sound of a metal grate being pulled up. (It allows for ventilation in the training hall, which isn't air conditioned.) That freaked her out, she wanted to run away, get back in the car, anything. It was that full-fledged panic state.

Waited a few minutes, got her inside the training hall, where a couple of minutes later she decided that she wanted nothing more than to leave. I calmed her down with the cheese stuffed Kong and she was "workable" for the rest of the class, but veryyy distractable. I had to keep the Kong with me the entire time and use it as a reward or else she'd try to pull back to the audience area to retreive it. And the noises didn't end there.. there must have been a lot of flights going out of the airports, because we heard planes (which sound quite similar to low thunder) the entire class. Marge was certainly aware of that.

We did two courses, both of which Marge did fine on. She was a little distracted, but I tried to amp her up and give lots of treats and praise. After the second run, she looked REALLY freaked so I took her outside for a few minutes to calm her down. She seemed a bit better when we came back in.

She got nose to nose with an intact GSD through my own fault - I was waiting with her right outside where the course ended. She looked like she tensed up a little bit, but didn't snark, so I praised the heck out of her. She was very interested in going over to Chase, who she knows from Agility, but I didn't allow it. Seemed fine around all people.

That's what really killed me about the class; if not for those stupid noises, she probably would have been fine.

Before going home we detoured at my grandmother's.. I figured that maybe a visit there would make her happy. She was excited to see my grandmother (and promptly decided to pee on her front lawn, which may also have contributed to her all-over-the-place attitude at class) but wasn't 100%.

She did run around the back yard, which I think she enjoyed, but overall was just very excitable. Not even necessarily in a fearful way.. but in an anxious way. My dad stopped by and she wasn't afraid of him.. she was going up to his face and giving kisses, but was whining and making these little arf noises every time he spoke to her.

Fortunately, I'd say we ended the night on a good note. We came home and practiced Agility in the backyard. She's doing very well with the weave poles and I actually did a jump, jump, weave sequence with her. I had the first and last poles bent to try to teach her the entry point. She did great.. though a little tired.

Now she's passed out on her green mat behind me. Calm, at least. Hopefully all the maladies incurred today stay in today and don't carry over into the week.

***(A BIG thank you to Rufus and Indie for shouting out to us with these blog awards!! (I think that's even French?) Thanks guys!)***


PoochesForPeace June 7, 2009 at 10:58 PM  

Sounds like she had a busy day!

I hurt my toe too! I was opening the front door and in a scurry of dogs my toe ended up getting jammed under the door...there was also lots of blood. i think my toenail might end up falling off :/

Sue June 7, 2009 at 11:34 PM  

I twisted my ankle the morning of Fudge's Rally trial last fall. I tried not to limp around the course, but it wasn't our best attempt.

The noise phobia is a tough one because you can't always control the situation. Monty got a little better as he got older, but it was always there. Just keep being there for her.

I can barely wait till Wednesday. It's going to be neat.

Golden Samantha June 8, 2009 at 11:12 AM  

Soooo sorry about the foot! (Ice, ice, ice?) Hope it's better now. Noise distractions are a pain - We do obedience, but agility sounds like lots of fun (though a bunch of focus too!) - maybe a little rally would be a great addition instead of boring old obed. Hope the swimming gets comfier for you!
Hugs and Love xo

Life With Dogs June 8, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

Not too bad, all things considered. You still have your toe, and from here it would seem that Marge is making progress!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart June 8, 2009 at 10:23 PM  

We've SO been there. We were walking into a big training barn once and some of the competitive obedience people (that really formal sport) dropped the big, rolled up rubber mats they use.


Right ... behind ... Lilly.

The other ones that get us, even in parks, are slamming port-o-pottie doors and people who let the bear-proof flaps on trash cans slam down.

Those very specific banging noises just unnerve Lilly.

In many cases, I cannot prevent or predict the noises, so we focus merely on helping Lilly "recover" as quickly as we can.

Martha June 9, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

Oh my goodness, poor toe! It does sound as though Marge is doing well. Martha also wants to leave often when she finds herself in a new situation. It does take time.
Martha & Bailey xxx

StellaStar June 16, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

I hope it's better by now! Sorry all my comments come at once, but even though I subscribe to your blog, my dashboard doesn't update it for some reason...

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