Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Duncan's Not-So-Spectacular Weekend

This past weekend, Duncan and I had an APDT Rally trial scheduled (four trials over two days). Normally, I would have entered him in all four trials ahead of time, but because of the seizures and meds I decided to do day-of entries. That gave me the option to enter him based on how he was doing at the time. My hope was that we would finish up two titles. Duncan needed two qualifying Level 1 runs (score of 170 or better) to finish his RL1X title. He also needed two QQ's (qualifying runs in Level 1 and Level 2 in the same trial with scores of 190 or better) to finish his ARCH.

We started with Level 1 Saturday morning. Duncan was very spacey and clearly had trouble concentrating on what he was doing. Amazingly, he still managed to get a 187. Its just as well his score was under 190, because I might have felt like I needed to enter him in Level 2. I'm glad I didn't, because I don't think he would have done very well.

Saturday afternoon, we tried Level 1 again. I definitely had Duncan back with me. His focus was great and he responded promptly to every command. He ended up with a 204, finishing his RL1X on a high note. The lady holding the two qualifying ribbons was the morning judge, and the lady holding the fancy RL1X was the afternoon judge.

I was optimistic going into Level 2, but it just wasn't to be. I put Duncan in his crate while I walked the course and then got him back out to keep him warmed up. I really think he had a partial seizure in his crate while I was walking - his behavior changed significantly within that few minutes. He was still focusing, but not like he had been earlier, and he was slower to respond. We started the course, which had a jump as the second exercise. For the second time in his rally career (the first being the first time he ran a course with a jump), Duncan refused the jump. That was an automatic NQ, of course. I decided we'd finish the course, since practice is always good. Duncan did the next couple of exercises with no problem and then I lost him. Even the judge could tell something was wrong because she came up to me and told me to take him out, that he wasn't enjoying himself. Not only was he not having fun, he'd also started having trouble with his back legs. I decided at that point that we wouldn't go back Sunday - there will always be more Rally trials.

After we got home, I figured Duncan would just rest. But no, he wanted to play with Kodiak. Unfortunately, the meds make him clumsy, and when you add in a partial seizure and balance issues, you have a problem. Duncan turned too quickly, lost his balance and fell hard, resulting in yet another rear leg injury. Poor boy, he just can't win. Thankfully, Duncan seemed content to do nothing more than sleep on Sunday. He's not limping anymore, but he's still worrying at the knee a little. I swear, I really wonder sometimes if the meds are doing more harm than good. Preventing seizures is great, of course, but the side effects cause so much trouble on their own.

1 comment:

ChaCHA online said...

What a sweet boy! Glad he did well while he was feeling good. You're right about the meds-- in general it's hard to tell sometimes whether the "help" is worth the harm.