Way back in February, when the starts of Mickey's leg injury was becoming apparent, I thought he only needed a chiropractic adjustment. He had gotten his adjustment the day before his Level 1 Interior element trial. But at that trial, he was showing weakness in his hinds after we did our run. We didn't get them all. Three out of four. 75%. But what was more depressing was seeing how he was walking. I was perplexed what was wrong with him. I felt horribly guilty that my dog did not look happy afterwards. i started to think my boy's Nose Work career might be coming to an end.
As time went on, he just didn't heal and I had to take him to the vet. She said he had a border line cruciate injury. I had laser treatment and acupuncture, but he wasn't getting better. Mickey was looking like he was aging fast and looking like an old dog. This was devastating to see this dog who has had so much life becoming depressed. I took him to a board certified surgeon to see if he would need surgery. he didn't. He had a pulled muscle in a group of muscles called the iliopsoas. For the next several months Mickey went under acupuncture, more focused laser treatment and more frequent chiropractic adjustments. He started to get better. I then later put him into swim therapy. Slowly and surely that twinkle in his eye came back. My boy was coming back! In June he competed in NW3 and got his second NW3 title and October 24th, he competed in L1I again.
This trial was packed away in the San Bernardino Mountains near Angeles National Forest. The smell of pine was evident and we were at higher than 5,500 ft of elevation. When i was a park ranger for Kings Canyon National Park, Mickey was 4 months old and they allowed me to have Mickey there in the ranger housing. So Mickey was use to pine smell and high elevation. Me? i huff and puffed then as a ranger and huff and puff now.
Thank you Java K9 for allowing us to play today. Mikey's spirit is still stronger as ever!
The more I trial with my dogs, the more people I seem to know at these trials. I remember the days when I knew no one, and now I know either 30% or more. Walking up to our interior rooms I knew about 75% of the volunteers as they saw me huffing and puffing up the hill and Mickey at the end of his lead pacing back and forth in front of me because I wasn't walking fast enough. Mickey was ready!
The practice boxes were beautifully placed. At the parking lot as we left and up near where the interior rooms were located. I didn't even have to cue Mickey into searching the second set of boxes, Boom he was there and he's like "This one mom!" While I'm trying to catch my breath.
Yes, we were at a true mountain YMCA camp!
There were four rooms, level 1 hide which means one hide per room. Just like Divine's NW2 last week, I had a hard time seeing in the darker rooms. The good news however, I have more mileage with Mickey and I read him much better. I also hear this burst of air through his nose, that my hearing aids pick up crystal clear. Ahh yes "ALERT!" and I was right. With the 6 weekends of doing nose work in a row I have coming up, this was a great start in gearing up. I'm already feeling good about our NW3, going for our Elite, trial on Thanksgiving. What I would like to do is figure out a way to practice hides in a dark room or where I cannot see as well.
What I found with today's trial, as with Divine's, when I don't see the room very well, I don't remember what happened very well. I don't see the details of the room. People will start talking about details, like objects which I didn't notice. I just feel like an idiot in not remembering anything. I do know today's trial was easy for Mickey. The only blip is when Mickey bumped a wide broom on the floor. It made a noise and moved, he didn't want to go back. It happened to be where the hide was located. But after resending Mickey around the room, he went back to it and alerted. YAY he got it!He did fantastic on all his searches. I can't wait until they are uploaded to the NACSW web site so i can see his times.
We titled this day with 4 out of 4, 100%. A great kick off for or practice spree for the next 6 weeks and a victory that he got over his injury and nailed this trial. I'm so proud of my boy! He really is an awesome dog!!!