Friday, May 22, 2015

Slowing Things Down

Last week at the end of agility class, Barley took a misstep going up the A-frame and face planted. She quickly corrected herself and got over the top and went over the next two jumps to finish the course and then came running up for her treat. 

She was fine. Taking a misstep isn't that uncommon for her. Often, she's distracted by other dogs or people moving in the class, especially at the end of class when she can hear the door opening as the next class comes in the building. She's also generally a klutzy dog--she can't help it, she gets it from her mama.

But she's also been tripping on walks lately. Again, not uncommon. Sometimes when her lyme disease flares up, she gets a little trippy. Sometimes when she's paying attention to squirrels instead of the sidewalk, she'll miss an uneven spot in the pavement. Sometimes when it's hot, she just gets tired really quickly and that's my cue that we need to head home. 

This week, we took things a little slower than usual. 

Barley hates resting.
Rest week doesn't necessarily mean that we walked a lot less. We still got 27.91 miles--just a few less than the last couple weeks--but we broke them down into much shorter walks than usual. Instead of getting in a full three miles all at once, we took two or three shorter walks.

The weather helped with that, too. For a couple days, it seemed like every time we left the house to walk it started raining. Diva Dog doesn't walk in the rain and pulls me back towards home any time the skies open up.

I'd rather be home with my towel.
By the end of the week, Barley was walking more normally, so we started increasing our mileage just a little bit. The weather helped with that, too.

This was 10 a.m. at the end of May. What?!
The cold had really reappeared and Barley was thrilled. We kept the walk slow, stayed in our neighborhood where there were few inclines to deal with, and ended up getting in exactly 3 miles in one walk. Barley even felt good enough to do a little jumping at the park at the end of the street.


I'm not entirely sure what was going on with my girl this week. Maybe it was the lyme disease. Maybe it was the radical shifts in weather. Maybe she picked up something unpleasant while splashing in the lake. Maybe she was just tired after a few big weeks in a row. Whatever it was, she is back to her normal, only slightly klutzy self now.

This week was a good reminder to listen to my dog when she tells me that she's done walking. Seven of our 13 walks this week were under 2 miles and two of those 7 were under a mile. We might not have earned a lot of extra miles towards our goal this week, but keeping my girl healthy and safe is even more important than meeting our goals.



18 comments:

  1. A rest week is not always a bad thing. Jack has been a little slower than usual earlier this month so we took it easy this week and now his energy level is back up.

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    1. Barley always slows down a little bit when it gets warmer out, so we usually are a little lazier than usual this time of year, but I think she definitely benefited from the rest--and with a couple trips coming up the next two months, it's nice to know we have some scheduled rest coming up, too. Glad Jack is back to normal, too!

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  2. Rest can be such a good thing. We agree with SlimDoggy.

    sumskersandearlskers13.blogspot.com

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    1. Rest isn't a word that's normally in Barley's vocabulary. The cat can easily convince me to slow down and rest, but Barley's always ready to go--even when she feels awful--so I have to remind her to rest.

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  3. There are days where we are just not with it, not feeling 100%, not in the mood, just like humans. It is always good when Mom recognizes it and adjusts plans accordingly.

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    1. I'm glad your mom can recognize those signs, too! Sometimes they're easy to miss with you subtle communicators!

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  4. I'm glad she's feeling better! I sometimes forget to listen to my dogs, too. It would be easier if they could actually tell us what is wrong!

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    1. It would be so much easier! Most of the time, I'm happy Barley can't talk because I'm sure she'd be like those kids that just as "Why?" over and over again (and Soth would probably need regular reminders that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all), but it sure would be nice if they could say "hey, I'm sick" or "hey, I'm bored with walking, let's do something else."

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  5. She may have been in a bit of pain and not showing it. I think you were smart to cut back rather than push through. Have a nice weekend.

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    1. I think you're probably right. As expressive as she is in photos, she's very stoic when it comes to not feeling well. I did some poking and prodding and didn't feel/see anything unusual, but there have been a couple days recently that I've been sore from walking, so I'm not surprised if that was the case with her, too. Luckily for her, when she goes to stay with her trainer while I travel in July, she'll get a nightly bedtime massage!

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  6. I didn't know Barley had Lyme disease. Hope she's OK! Mr. N has two modes, really sick or zooming around so if he's acting slow, I get really worried!

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    1. She's fine! She got it several years ago and had ridiculously high levels of the bacteria they test for--and pretty much no symptoms. We did several rounds of treatments and our vet thinks it's just like people who have chronic lyme and have occasional flare ups, so we do yearly testing to make sure that it's not affecting her organs, but normal treatments don't seem to get her levels down to a "successful" number. We're going to keep things easier the next couple weeks just to make sure she's not in pain and if she starts tripping regularly again, we'll go back to see if there's more treatment. She's like Mr. N, though--except with maybe one extra mode: hot. She's the laziest little thing as soon as the temps hit 60, but she'll still coming running when I grab the leash, so when that changes, I know something's really wrong :)

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  7. We often take more shorter walks with Kilo. So important to listen to your body and your dog's. Seems like the easier week helped (I'm still impressed 30 miles in a week) Have a great weekend.

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    1. Barley usually loves longer walks, so we usually take a nice long walk in the morning and a short stroll in the evening, but when it gets warmer, she prefers multiple short walks. Usually, she's pretty good at letting me know if we need to head home sooner than planned.

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  8. Glad she got to have some fun! We've been enjoying some cooler weather this week, too!

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  9. Glad to hear she was ok and a little rest made her better. Have a great weekend.

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  10. So glad Barley feels better, and you're so right about health and safety being the most important. Sometimes it's best to take a step back and regroup and you're better off in the long run!

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