July 5, 2018

White Dog put into words exactly what Steve was feeling. "That jump was pretty impressive. The gate is 31" tall and he cleared it with air to spare. Pretty athletic but so much for counting on it to be a barrier."

They had just watched Roman, gated in the kitchen to allow Nilla some after breakfast indoor wandering, decided he wanted out. He was not interested in Nilla nor was he angry; he just wanted to be by Steve.

Nilla moved to her haven in the kitchen. We are not yet ready to test Roman's reactiveness progress THAT much. "Guess we won't be leaving you in the kitchen, even in your muzzle, when we are not home anytime soon, Big Boy" Steve told him. Roman just rested his head against Steve's leg.

Later, I was talking about the incident with our behaviorist and wondered what kind physical harm our disabled boy could be doing to himself with jumping like that. "Well, he will probably develop arthritis as he ages," she said. "But he will even if he does not jump. He is young and has lots of energy. Maybe here is something to think about and ask Dr. Julia: what if you used gentle agility jumps a couple times a week for him to let off steam? It would be another opportunity to refocus his activity. Just 10-15 minutes of low and mid jumps three times a week and make doing it a reward. I think he might be motivated. Mental health is as important as the rest."

We have some jumps in the shed from White Dog's days as an agility girl...before we discovered her nerve impingement. They would be perfect for the larger Roman's restricted use. He and I talked about it this afternoon and when Steve came home, the conversation continued. This weekend, after I have had the chance to bounce the idea off of Dr. Julia's brain, we might just pull out and assemble that equipment. You know, just to get everyone used to the yard additions.

"Who knows," WD says, "Roman might end up captaining an entire TEAM of agility jumpers." At that Zso's ears perked up.

1 comment:

Random Felines said...

plus it can be all about redirection and doing it on command. I worked with my mom and their dog when he kept barking on their walks to get attention. Of course, now he stops and expects treats, but better than barking like a weirdo all the time :)