So while I was gone, my other 3 dogs got to take walks around the field, runs in the yard, and did a bit of ballwork with my mother.
Yesterday after I got back, I went back out and worked on Kiba's aframe (yes, I'm trying to reconvert her to running for like the 5th time), and then took Drifter and Seri out and did a quick 3-minute agility play type session. Which basically means I just walk around and throw them over obstacles in a safe but unstructured manner. "go jump, now come teeter...Yay! have a toy!" Drifter enjoys these immensely and they have been his main form of "practice" for the last 3 months, just reminding him what the obstacles look like and enforcing his stop on the teeter. Seri doesn't do much more because I am always concerned about letting her pick up too much speed, with the shoulder/wrist/whatnot issues she has. Yesterday Seri did maybe 6 individual 22" jumps, about 5 aframes, mostly from a stand still at the base, and perhaps 3 each of the teeter and dogwalk, individually and not in sequence. No weaves. And 3 hours later after a nap, she was lame on her right front. Talk about a frustrated feeling - that is her "good" side! I checked range of motion in her shoulder and wrist and came up empty - they look good. I checked her toes and I think that was the problem, a jammed or bruised toe, as I got an unusual pain reaction on one of them. And her left shoulder did seem tighter than it had been when I got home and checked it the first time.
And that, in a nutshell, is why I'm afraid to trial her. This fall and winter I am noticing an alarming correlation between "doing agility" during the day, and her standing up and looking stiff or sore at night. No agility, no limping. Agility, limping. I don't like that correlation, and it implies causation since none of the other activities seem to have the same result at night, except perhaps a couple times she was running like a lunatic in the yard while I was gone (which she doesn't do when I'm home more than 30 seconds at a time when I tell her to). This makes me sad, but I will give her a bit more time of trying before giving up. My thoughts right now are that she may be my "seminar demo dog" for a while. Short bursts of agility don't seem to bother her too much, and while right now it seems true that if she's limping, she did agility, it is not also true the other way around - doing agility does not always result in limping, just more often than I like to see... so while I'm beginning to draw a conclusion about her future career in agility, I'm not ready to write it down in permanent ink yet. I still have her entered in one day of an AKC trial in March. If she looks good to my PT this week I may go ahead and run her there as a final test. If I get visible limping after the trial, or it knocks her shoulder out, or her pelvis/sacrum or whatever, then I will probably give up on running her in competition and just let her be a "play" agility dog.