Sonic has finished his Masters Agility title. Not bad for a young boy of not yet three years of age! Overall his runs over the last couple of weeks have been really good. His confidence is continuing to grow and he is reading my body extremely well. But I am still having an issue with his start lines. The first week that I kept going back and resetting him he steadily improved over the day when I think he realised that I meant it. Then at training during the week he was sitting there as still and straight as a little solder at attention. But yesterday at the trial he kept getting up again. I'll give it another few weeks before looking at plan b given that I'm trying to extinguish a behaviour which often then gets worse before it gets better. I'm just a bit worried that going back and resetting him could become rewarding in itself even though I'm being very unemotional about it. I had to blow three runs yesterday cause he just would not stay and I had to cross the start line to put him back into a stay. The next step if this doesn't work may be that I actually remove him from the ring completely if he gets up. I'm thinking it may have to be if the bottom moves he's back to the car with not so much as a 'hows your mother'.... He won't like it thats for sure, which is kind of the point I guess. We shall see.
Then last weekend the Murphster gave us a bit of a fright. I'd been at a trial all day and Colin had gone to the movies with his son. When Colin got home to let Murphy and Soda out Murphy kept collapsing. Colin rushed him to the vet and I left the trial to meet him there. All the worst scenarios were going through my head e.g. brain tumour, as I was driving there. When I arrived Murph looked really confused and was extremely unsteady on his feet. The vet gave him a good going over and diagnosed him with vestibulitis caused by a broken blood vessel in his ear. He told us it is very common in geriatric dogs. I had to cover Murphy's ears when the vet mentioned the word geriatric as I'd hate for Murph to think that the vet was referring to him. I'm fairly certain that Murphy doesn't think he's a geriatric just yet!
Apparently there is no treatment for vestibulitis, it just resolves itself over a couple of weeks and Murphy has definately improved since diagnosed. He spent the first couple of days with his head tilted to one side and regularly careering off on an angle only to collapse in a heap. Various household items have been at risk, namely the wine rack but some body blocking has protected both dog and valuables. One week on he is still very unsteady on the pins first thing in the morning but is generally pretty good. He is his normal happy bright self which is the main thing and I'm pretty sure he's been enjoying all the extra attention he's been getting.