I haven’t written much in the last week because honestly each time I try to write I am overwhelmed by depressing thoughts that I don’t think belong here. I have always preserved this blog to be as uplifting as possible. However, I figured maybe by writing about what has gotten me down, I can move on to being more productive. So here I go.

Encore is lame. She has been off and on lame in her front right leg since I got home from FCI Worlds in September of last year. It was never anything terribly bad. Just a slight limp after work, but enough that it did concern me. She was off enough in October that after one day of work, I decided not work her when Greg Derrett’s was at our place. It happened again the following week doing jump grids at a Susan Salo clinic. She was not herself at all at USDAA Nationals in November where she knocked 4 bars in her first run.

Each time I have a physio, a re-hab vet, a chiropractor, or a massage therapist look at her and they seem to think they have found the little thing that caused her issue. But sadly, it comes back. After USDAA Nationals she was given 8 weeks away from agility. Did swimming 3 days a week and running in the fields. No lameness at all during that 2 month period.

When I brought her to Florida I stopped to have her annual Pro-lo therapy done on her hip. He did her right shoulder as well. She then ran in two agility trials. She wasn’t her best (she often isn’t after Pro-lo) but no limping. I have done no agility training with her since before FCI Worlds in September. My plan was to build up for IFCS Worlds slowly, but I haven’t started yet. All that she has been doing here in Florida is running with Feature.

Last week she started limping again, the worst ever. Not using the leg, barely letting it touch the ground. She was like that for 3 days. As I had to fly up to Cincinnati to teach, John took her to an orthopedic specialist her in Florida. He found nothing. I am a bit relieved. We ran a full tick profile on her and we should have the results today. I am hoping that is the cause of her issues. If that is negative, all that is left is soft tissue or neurological problems.

So with IFCS Worlds just 11 weeks away, I have a dog that has not been trained in 5 months. If there is a silver lining in all of this it is for Feature. You see should I decide Encore is not sound enough to take to England for the IFCS World Championships, Feature is the first reserved dog for our team. Not convinced a dog that is still only 2 years old needs that kind of exposure, but I know we will both enjoy the experience immensely should it come our way.

Feature, is it possible she has a master plan to get herself back to visit her homeland?

On top of all of that, those pesky Americans beat our Canadian hockey team at the Olympics last night. I know it IS only a game but it is OUR game. There you have it. End of “whoa is me” writing. Now that it is off my chest I am sure I can get back to being my normal self.

Today I am grateful for all of you sending positive heeling vibes to my girl Encore.