(sometimes I start writing about one thing, and end up writing about another)
Poor little Kiba is getting older. A few months ago she sprained a toe somehow, and then yesterday she did it again. I have no idea what she's doing, as neither time was on agility equipment. She hasn't even done agility since mid-July. Which I was hoping to remedy with at least a couple brief training sessions this coming week since she is entered in an AKC trial next weekend!! I am going to have to give the toe a few days before deciding whether she will be able to run or not. Sucks getting older and more fragile! She's 8 and 1/2 now, nowhere near ancient but certainly old enough to be less resilient than she used to be. That's one of the reasons I am so against running dogs that get to be too old; it has nothing to do with whether the dog enjoys it or not, but if the dog's body is less resilient, then any injury that may occur will be so much worse that it might have been had the dog been younger, and I just don't want to risk that. Drifter retired at 10 primarily because he has several arthritic toes, and I felt that it was throwing his balance off on the dogwalk. I can't imagine how awful it would be to run him and he missed a step and fell off the dogwalk at 10 years old, at full speed! No thanks! He is happily enjoying lounging on the couch, growling at me for clipping his toenails, and biting the grass when we go for walks :) Other than the loss of some of his super agility condition muscle mass, he's feeling great.
Kiba is really strong still and I am sure she could compete for a few more years at 16" jump height but with her weird vision issues, tight back, and now this toe thing that is recurring, I am pretty happy to stay on the track to retire her next spring after AKC Nationals. She may still play around in some local shows, but she won't be going to either National event the following year, they are both too far away.
Seri is doing really well. She really super enjoyed her vacation at Camp Val while I was gone, and I was really happy that her wrist is now holding up to all activities again even without the support wrap. She will never compete in agility again, unless I throw her in, say P3 Jumpers or something just to play around. I feel that with the reduced strength in her wrist it is not worth the risk of injury. She does regularly enjoy hiking, swimming, running in the field, playing with toys, and the occasional agility training session where I do a few small things at a time and reward before she picks up enough momentum to hurt herself.
And of course Strafe feels great!