Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bored Aussie

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this blog.  Things have been pretty quiet for Iris and pretty busy for me.  I've been putting all of my free time into getting my photography business off the ground while Iris has had a relatively uneventful summer.  She's had some allergies off and on for the last couple weeks, but other than that she's doing pretty well.  She still has seizures on a pretty regular regular basis (damn 4 week mark!), but at least she's very predictable.

For the last couple weeks, my company has been moving into new building so I've had to leave Iris home during the day.  And I've been spending nights and weekends working on my photography.  The result?  A very bored Aussie.  I've noticed that the last couple nights she's been very antsy.  I think she's just really not getting enough mental stimulation.  To top it off, we've battled against Iris' weight gain all summer, and she's actually looking pretty good right now.  She's lost 4 lbs since the beginning of the summer.  I think she could still lose a little more, but right now I'd really like to get some more muscle tone on her too.  But the combination of more time by herself and feeling better physically might drive me insane before it drives her insane!

I've been thinking about ways to get her out of the house for some mental activity.  I did some clicker training with her tonight and she threw herself into it.  Literally.  Like, throwing her entire body into it.  I haven't done much training with her this summer, and it seems like someone misses that.  Our last herding lesson was in June.  It's been five months since I had her in a class (Control Unleashed).  It's been over a year since we've done any agility.  That's the one I can't believe.  My plan was to take the CU class and then put her back in agility in the spring.

Her seizures became more frequent last spring before we decided to increase her meds.  The meds have such a negative effect on her balance and focus until she adjusts to them better.  I've really gone back and forth on whether I should be pushing her to do anything.  Her last couple of herding lessons haven't really gone well.  She just really lacks focus.  I'm not sure she had the intensity ro drive for it anymore.  If we tried to take a 6 week agility class instead, it's very likely that we'll only be able to make 4 or maybe 5 out of every 6 classes because of her seizures.  I'm also not certain if the meds would have a more noticeable effect on her balance if we were doing something like agility (a rather large factor in why we haven't gone back to agility).

I've been thinking about putting her back in the reactive dogs agility class I had her in at Dogs! Learning Center.  It's about a 30 min drive from here so it's not terrible.  Something closer would be easier with my work schedule, but the reactive agility class runs continuously and you pay as you go rather than paying for a 6 week block.  So that would be a lot better for Iris.  I have NO intention of ever trialing Iris, so I'd like to do a sort of "agility lite" class for her.  I want the chance to work her around other dogs and get her some mental and physical exercise.  But I don't care of she's jumping full height or doing every single obstacle (weave poles.......)

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