After the injury the vet said Xsara should wear her shoe for about 2 weeks. I waited for an additional week to be sure, and took her outside barefooted. And while she was playing with a friend, her nail started bleeding again.
It's just a little scratch and it doesn't seem to hurt her at all, but it's hard to know since she's one of those dogs who never show when they're in pain. That's actually something that's freaking me out, because I fear it would be so hard to notice if she got really hurt. That's why I really pay attention to her movements. I think I know them quite well (I guess agility handlers often do since they spend so much time looking at their dogs in action). I hope I'd notice if there were any changes. But when she hurt her nail, none of us noticed until she finished the course and stopped to drink - only then she lifted her paw.
That means I have to be the one who sets limits for her and sometimes it's so hard to decide. I feel like I'm torn between her desire to be active and my desire to protect her. Xsara's health and happiness are my absolute priorities, so as her handler I have to figure out how to maximize them both.
I choose to let her run and do agility, even though I know there are some risks of injury. I just can't imagine Xsara spending her life on some couch, maybe she would get used to it but a dog like her wouldn't be happy in this situation. And I find quality of life extremely important. However if she doesn't know when to stop and doesn't let me know she's hurt, I have to set limits. That's really difficult because I don't know if I'm actually doing us a favour or if I'm just being overprotective, so I rather choose to protect her.
That's why I decided I won't take her to the trial tomorrow. If the trial was outside on the grass, I would maybe consider it more. But it's in the stables again and sawdust gets everywhere so I don't want her to be barefooted on that kind of surface yet (we currently train with the shoe on). Instead, I'll take her to the seaside again and I'm sure we'll have a great time together. After Saturday there will be no trials for almost a month, which should be sufficient for a full recovery.
- Xsara and Tani
- Sava Sara Brakada, AKA Xsara was born on 06-27-2004. She was raised in Kennel Brakada spending the first two months of her life on beautiful countryside Gorenjska (Slovenia) with her siblings and parents. As soon as she came to Ljubljana we started a puppy class, followed by an obedience class. She passed her B-bh exam with 96 points (instructor Agility EO winner Polona Bonač). We now continue with Rally-Obedience under Polona's supervision. Our biggest passion however is Agility. We started our first Agility class in October 2005 (club Agility Ilirija, instructor Silvia Trkman, two times agility world champion). When Silvia stopped teaching agility classes, we switched to Daša Zakotnik. We regularly participate in Agility trials in Slovenia and sometimes abroad. Xsara also loves to learn new dog tricks, you can see some of them in our videos. Her other passions include long walks, big meals and playing with dogs, specially her pyr shep sister Tani, her crazy agility pals and her sister Sena.