Bella and Her Toe

Feeling sorry for myself ...

Feeling sorry for myself …

Disappointments come in all shapes and sizes and I’m still trying to size this one. Nearly 3 weeks ago Bella badly sprained a toe on her left foot while taking a tire jump at an agility trial. Since then the toe remains swollen and she’s had to rest from most agility training and all competition since sharp turns to the right cause pain.  I could be disappointed about the lost entry fees (3 trials and counting) and fees for canceled airline tickets, or the fact that we have worked hard to get our semi-finals spots at the USDAA Nationals and cannot attend, or that now we will not be trying out for an IFCS spot to compete in the Netherlands. Instead I find myself disappointed that poor Bella doesn’t understand why she has to have more crate time than usual, and why she cannot just go out and run crazy circles in the yard, and why her most fun activity seems to have disappeared. Walks in the park and swimming in the pool to retrieve a floating frisbee can only do so much.

However, things could be worse … The other dogs are enjoying their extra training time – no excuses for not teaching Knixa the weaves and contacts now!  Also we have a pretty good idea of what Bella’s injury is even if we don’t know how long it will take to heal. There are a lot of dogs that suffer soft tissue injuries that sideline them from agility and their owners may never find the specific problem area or may not find very effective long term treatments. And, there are other skills Bella and I can and should work on, like our heeling for obedience that we need to brushed up on before our national specialty next year. As with dogs that retire from agility permanently we need to find activities to stimulate the thinking and exercise the body of our injured dogs, albeit more gently, while they regain full health. I remember after my first agility dog Maya retired her eyes took on a sadness and her body had a sagging posture in the weeks after she stopped training. Even though I knew we’d never be at a freestyle lesson much less a competition I decided it would be fun to learn some of the more challenging skills, such as weaving through the handlers legs forwards and backwards and moving away from me backwards across the room. The sparkle returned to her eyes and she awaited our short training sessions each night as eagerly as she had sat on the agility start line! So for now we’ll get back to proper heeling Bella (hopefully without the crooked sits this time) and maybe we’ll throw in the odd pirouette 😉

3 thoughts on “Bella and Her Toe

  1. Wishing Bella a good and permanent recovery. She is such a fun dog to watch. It is so hard to keep our happy active dogs confined during healing.

  2. Poor Bella. It is so hard to explain to them, why they can’t play. Also, it is so hard on you. You might be able to get some of your trial fees back. I had to pull Cricket from the SMART trial in August. They gave me a full refund. Stormie got hurt in Sept. AKC gave me 1/2 of the fees back. It is worth a try. I hope Bella gets better soon. It is not easy to give her a proper recovery time. Hang in there. Cricket had a second surgery on Tuesday. 2 lumps were found. I don’t have the results yet. Next Tuesday, she has chemo treatment #5. One more to go. Last weekend, a man who owns the business, Animals For Hollywood, took lots of photos/videos of Cricket. He is interested in featuring a pumik in a movie. Chris gave him my name. I’m not interested in doing a movie with Cricket. He needs approx. 6 pumiks who look the same for the movie. Good luck with that. Keep me posted on your pups and your life.

    Shirley and the Poodle Crew + a Pumi. “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charlie Chaplin “Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa


    • Shirley, thanks for the tip on the entry fees. I’ll follow up but I guess I’m too easy when I read on the entry forms that they won’t refund the entries for any reason 😦 Also, whatever is going on with Bella pales in comparison to what you are going through with Cricket. I’ve been there with a dog that had life-threatening illnesses. It can be a roller coaster not knowing what the long term will hold. Whatever the journey is, it will be worth it.

      Movies with Pumik … sounds like fun. I only have about 4 that look the same right. I’d just need to train them all to act the same 😉

      I’m thinking of coming down to California in December for a seminar, and would likely bring a few of the younger Pumik with me. It’s not super close to where you are but I’d love to meet up with you if we can. I’ll PM you with the details.

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