Holly is both poorly put together and very hard on her body.
|My hiking buddy|
Her physical conformation and her way of doing everything has lead to all kinds of injuries...eye, shoulder, iliospoas, knee, lower back, etc. But she loves to exercise both her body and her mind, so we do regular conditioning and balance exercises designed to keep her shoulders, back and hind end strong. We usually do these 2-3 times per week for 15-20 minutes per session. I take her every 3-4 months for chiro and acupuncture. We do a lot of hiking. It's the best form of exercise she could possibly get.
We have always played different kinds of games at home that work both her mind and her body. Agility was just one of those games.
All of these activities help to keep her body healthy enough to keep up with her mind.But staying healthy means something a little different to me today than it did a month ago. Holly was diagnosed with cancer in January. She had a tumor on her front leg removed that turned out to be a Myxosarcoma. Never heard of it? Few have,it's not a common form of soft tissue cancer.
|Holly waiting for her radiation treatment last week|
She is currently finishing month-long daily radiation treatments in the hope of killing the rest of the cancerous cells that couldn't be removed via surgery. Only time will tell if this works.
Danee, on the other hand, is pretty much the total opposite of Holly. She's fairly well put together and is generally thoughtful with her body.
|My other hiking buddy|
While both girls immediately loved the physical aspects of agility, Holly was born with confidence and a healthy mind, but Danee was not. It has been a two year journey get Danee's mind as healthy as her body. As a result, her agility journey has been an intentionally slow one. I work hard at keeping Holly physically healthy, and I have to work just as hard at keeping Danee mentally healthy.
I have two very different dogs with two very different health needs. What are your dogs physical and mental needs? Contribute to the conversation and read what other bloggers are doing at this months Dog Agility Bloggers Action Day.