as in Tweed is lame.  AGAIN.  As I type, he is sequestered in his crate, moaning away about the injustice of it all.

I have this theory that Tweed’s agility karma is ruled by a sleepy, but mean spirited, powerful entity.  This entity sleeps most of the year away, but once every February or March it wakes up and goes “oh shit, I had better break Tweed just in time for Regionals!  Good thing I didn’t sleep through it.”  Last year this entity crashed my car, but this year, and the year before, it ruined my dog’s GODDAMN FEET!!!


It’s the other front foot this time around, and he started limping quite badly at the end of the weekend – that head bucking kind of limp where his nose bobs down to the floor with every other step.  I squeezed him in to see Dr. Bowra today, my first (and only) day off until next week.  Dr. Bowra, in turn, squeezed Tweed’s foot.  As a token of his gratitude, my gentle Tweed dog whipped his head around and tried to rip Dr. Bowra’s hand off his arm, so you know his foot must really hurt :(

“Could it be the sesamoids in his other foot?” she asks.

“It sure could be,” he replies.

And so Tweed is on crate rest and anti-inflammatories for a week, then strictly short leash walks for another week.  Should this fail to resolve the limp, x-rays and another bloody, futhermucking, dog damn cast/crate/hopefully be solid just in time for Regionals is in his future.

Spring says she is magical, and can heal him.

Healed!  You are healed brother!

But Spring is a liar.  Plus, I think she is just vying for the coveted spot of Food Lady’s Most Favouritest Agility Dog.  In class last night she was on FIRE.  Lordy, can this little dog move when she wants to!  She has even mostly conquered her fear of the teeter, since it poops cookies all the way down the other end.  We just need to start teaching her weaves this week, now that it’s light out when I get home from work, and she’ll be ready to trial in no time!

My friends keep saying things like “And you said she wouldn’t be an agility dog, boy were you wrong” etc but I think those friends fail to understand the sheer amount of work, confidence building and *willful cessation of expectation* that went in to getting Spring this far.  I mean, we are talking about a dog who would poop on the floor in terror if I so much as stepped outside the house to grab something from my truck and didn’t bring her with me.

Stop telling people that, you b*tch.

She was definitely not an “out of the box” dog – she was more like a “trying to put together something from Ikea without any instructions” kind of a dog.  I’m not complaining, because I luff her endlessly, but she was a lot of work to get this far! And I really believe we were only successful because I really had no expectations that she be anything other than the resident eyeball licker (her favourite thing to do is clean the eyes and ears of all the other dogs in the house … except Piper, since homey don’t play dat)

Do not consider licking my eyeballs.  Seriously.

… and my portable lap warmer.  Expectations were tough for her, and anyone who acquires a dog for the primary purpose of being successful at a sport has expectations of success.  It’s built into the transaction.

Enter: Dexter

Oh hai!

Poor Dex … he and I have had to take it down a few notches and go back a few steps, if not to square one then at least to a neighbouring vicinity.  I have LOTS of expectations for Dexter, and always did, and when he failed / fails to live up to them, I get super, super irritated.  Lots of that failure sits squarely on my shoulders, of course, but that doesn’t make me any less irritated about it!

So we’re working on some more basics, not trying to run full courses anymore, just trying to drill into Dexter’s frazzled little bean that I, too, am on the course and that it’d be prudent for him to remember that yes, I read the course map and I do have some idea where we should be going.  That rewards are great when he takes the obstacles I’ve suggested rather than taking everything he sees because it’s So!Much!Fun! and most importantly, that if he does not do it correctly the first time, we’ll try it again until he figures out, and The Food Lady won’t get angry.  That’s the biggest challenge I’ve had with Dex – I expected too much and I let it make me *mad*.  Now I try harder to run him as though I’m running Spring, and have no expectations, and just be pleasantly surprised when he is successful.  This game is supposed to be fun for both of us and if it takes another year before he makes it into the ring again, so be it.  As long as we’re having fun.

Don’t be ridiculous.  I’am *always* having fun!

It’s true, he usually is having fun.

TWooie would have more fun if Spring would leave him alone.

Ditto Mr. Woo.

Although I think TWoo secretly likes the attention.

Whereas The (Cheddar) Cheese Stands Alone.

When he’s not going ass over teakettle in a mad dash to get his frisbee, that is.

He flings himself around and falls down or does multiple flips like 30 times an outing, and yet remains perfectly sound.  But my careful and precise Tweedles destroys himself for no discernible reason.  It’s just not fair!

If you didn’t use up all your healing vibes on Ms “Tries To Kill Herself In Creative Ways Once A Year” Piper, please send some floating this way for my Tweedledeedee please!


  1. Tweed! Stop getting hurt!

    This post made me chuckle a few times. It’s good you haven’t lost your sense of humor.

  2. Aw, feel better Mr. Tweed.

    I know how bad foot pain can be.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Sending extra special, Scottish healing vibes. Get well soon Tweed!

  4. Thinking happy, fast-healing thoughts for the Tweed dog!

  5. Susan Bassett says:

    Hi – Your description of Dexter exactly describes my rocket child, who says “Who is she and why is she waving her arms?” as she rockets around the course. Hope everyone is well soon!!

  6. Yes Dexter, your mom isn’t just another decoration on the course, she actually has a purpose! Healing thoughts to Mr. Tweed, poor guy.

  7. There’s always enough healing vibes to go around, especially when Tweed is involved. He’s such a cutie. Hope he’s better soon. Nice to hear how well Spring is progressing too – she was sure lucky to end up with you!

  8. There are ALWAYS good thoughts and well-wishes for handsome Tweed!

  9. I have been having sympathy foot pain for Mr. Tweed today… (it started hurting out of no where and I’ve been looking for something to blame it on all freaking day :) )I hope his paw feels better soon and, better yet, STAYS feeling better!!

  10. i bet if you promise him he won’t have to run in regionals, it’ll speed up the healing process.

  11. Love–love! That shot of TWooie gambolling away from Spring. He’s totally into it. Sending healing voodoo vibes for your handsome Mr. Tweed-Pants–it’s a tough go and a rewarding one to be madly in love with an old dog.

  12. cinnamondog says:

    Aw, I too know how bad foot pain can be and how it affects every minute of your life. Feel better soon, Tweeder!

    Huh, your agility trials (pun intended!) with Dex sound a lot like my stockwork trials with Rowley. I did have expectations — I expected this dog to be able to work stock upon receipt of instructions from moi. Rowley’s disposition has other ideas. We have spent all our time, really, working on getting Rowley to relax around the sheep and not get all knotted up with frantic energy so that his shoulders lock and he bark-screams. NOW we’re making progress, but the dogs who were beginners with us are already out in the pasture doing gathers, while we’re still in the round pen and some days we’re just adjacent to the round pen, playing tug and doing the pushing exercise. Frustration, I had it! Then in a process that did not happen very quickly, I figured ‘feck it, we’ll do whatever we can and won’t even pretend we’re herding because we’re not!’ and it is fun. Will it ever progress to herding? No idea.
    Ironically, Rowley is super-biddable and fabulously athletic in agility and has been since day one. (Agility is play to him, sheep are work.) Figures, since I have no plans to compete him in that. I may have to revise those plans now.

  13. Janice in GA says:

    Holy crap, most excellent good mojo for Tweed to heal up quickly! Hang in there, Tweed, get better!!!!

  14. It’s the mud. Tweed slips in it and pulls something. Rolley has pulled up lame from time to time as do my sheep and as do I because the pastures are pure grease right now.

  15. clairesmum says:

    healing thoughts for Tweed – what a stinky thing to happen in the spring, again! Let’s hope this time the healing is faster, now that you have an idea (based on past, unfortunate experience) what the problem most likely is.

  16. Schnitzie/Andrea says:

    PAWSitive juju for Tweed!!! And listen to your Mama, Dex, you gorgeous fellow!

  17. Poor Tweed…

    But “Healed! You are healed brother!” = hilarious!!!

  18. Sorry to hear about Tweed. Best healing wishes for him. I hope he recovers soon.

    And lots of hugs for everyone else in the gang. :o)

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