September 21, 2023

Episode 322: Handler Mental Recovery After Canine Physical Recovery

Photo of Ticket running 8 weeks after her initial TPLO surgery after being cleared for off leash activity.

In this episode (36:25)

In this episode, we talk about the mental management required from the HANDLER after a DOG injury. Coming back from an injury requires a great medical team and a dedicated trainer. Rehab is hard work! But many handlers are surprised to discover that mental aspects of returning to the ring, even with the blessing of your veterinarian, is the hardest part of the process.

You Will Learn

  • Why getting back in the ring is the hardest part, mentally, for the handler.
  • Why trying to monitor your dog while you run is working against your goals.
  • That not every limp means catastrophe.
  • Five benign things that might cause your dog to limp.

Mentioned/Related

Welcome to Bad Dog Agility, a podcast helping you reach all of your dog agility goals. Whether it's competing under the bright lights of the televised finals at Westminster, or successfully navigating a homemade course in your own backyard. We'll bring you training, tips, interviews, and news about the great sport of dog agility. Are you ready? I'm ready, I'm ready.

I'm ready. The show starts with your host, Jennifer Estevan, and Sarah. I'm Jennifer. I'm Estevan. And I'm Sarah. And this is episode 322. Today's podcast is brought to you by hit aboard.com and the new Teeter TeachIt, an easy to use tool that controls the amount of tip on your teeter. So you can introduce motion to your dog in a gradual way.

Go to hit aboard.com. For the new Teeter TeachIt and other training tools and toys, use discount code BDA 10 to get 10% off your order. That's hit aboard.com. Today we are, first of all, back from our annual summer break. So welcome back to the podcast, Jen Estevan, and today we have a very special guest to the podcast, Dr.

Brittany Esler. Welcome. Thank You. Good to be here again. Did everybody have good summer? Pretty Good. It's lovely. Up in the Pacific Northwest. We had a busy summer. Ethan finishing up second grade going into third, had a birthday. It's been, it's been busy. He's at the age where it's all activities all the time. Yeah,

absolutely. And we just sent our oldest to college this summer, so that was our, our big summer event. But you know, we're in September now, consider it kind of back to school season and back to the podcast season. And so today we're going to be talking about mental management for the handler after a dog injury. So this is all of the emotions and the feelings that we as handlers are dealing with when we're coming back to competition with a dog who has previously been injured.

And I have, I have a lot to say on this topic, but I wanna set it up by talking to Brittany about the experience she had with her dog. Now I feel like Brittany is extra, extra unique here because she is a vet, like veterinary medicine vet, but she has also been on the side of being the handler with a dog who is coming back from injury.

So she can kind of see this from both sides of the equation. So Brittany, tell us a little bit about ticket specifically and everything that you went through with ticket, with surgeries, rehab, and then coming back to the ring. So ticket is a, she, she is now almost 14, but when she was two and a half, maybe just three,

she tore her first cruciate ligament. So happened, just happened sometimes had surgery, everything was perfect. Six months, like at eight weeks she was pronounced perfect, ready to go. So the first time this happened she, we went and did her rehab, we did everything and zero problems. Like her physical therapists were like, she's in like the 95th percentile,

she's great. And she did fabulous. And then six months later she came up le limping on the other leg, and 50% of dogs that tear a cruciate ligament will go on to tear the second lig, the the ligament on the other leg in six months or greater. And she did exactly that. So she needed another surgery on the opposite leg. But this time when she had that surgery,

the surgeon came out afterwards and he's like, the, it, it was a bigger injury, there was a little bit more going on than with the first one, which was just a normal partial tear. So we did the same things. We were started rehab, but she just wasn't recovering the same. And at about 12 weeks I was like, she's just not right.

We went back for another recheck and the surgeon was like, well, let's go take the hardware out. Maybe it's bothering her and kind of see how it is. So that was her third surgery, and then it did not help, if anything, she got worse. And so we went back to our original surgeon who looked at it and said, I think we need to put the hardware back in.

So she had another surgery and then we were rehabbing from that surgery and one day went in and I mentioned to her physical therapist, I'm like, she just seems a little bit worse the last week or so. And she's like, well, let's not do rehab today. Let's take an x-ray. And she had three broken screws, so they were like,

we need to take this out immediately. So she had another surgery. Oh my goodness. But when they went in, what they found was that everything was completely unstable. Her bone was not healing. And there they did not know why she had negative cultures. She had, they did a histopathology to see if she had cancer in there. Everything was normal,

but they had to take the hardware out and when they did, there was just bone pieces floating around. So she had many hours of surgery, came out with an external fixator or so. She had metal pins going into her skin from the outside. She was in a giant bandage and they were trying to stabilize her, basically her broken leg at this point that way,

which also did not work. So then they put her in a splint and were trying to figure out what they were gonna do. And ultimately what happened was she got a human product that they were using experimentally, and he's like, let me get this stuff. It helps bone healing in humans. We don't really know about dogs, but I, it was that,

or at that point, if that didn't work, they were talking about fussing her knee or amputating her leg. So, well, And I just wanna like break in here real quick to kind of set a little bit of the stage that this is an extremely high drive, very, very fast Shelty that had not only a lot of potential, but a lot of desire to do the sport.

Like this is dog is not necessarily going to be super happy being non-active. 100%. So like out of all my dogs, she was the one who like had the most potential. She was the easiest to train. She was the easiest dog I've ever had in terms of like, she was a little bit dumb. So, you know, like she would do the same thing 20 times exactly the same way.

She was never like, oh, maybe I should do something different. She was like, oh, okay, let's just keep doing it the same way. She just was like perfectly happy to do it a million times. She was, she out of all my dogs, she was not gonna be a good couch potato, right? So we're at, we're at this point where it's like,

well, we're gonna try this surgery. So we did, and it worked, the, the bone morph morphogenic protein is what it's called, healed her leg. So her bone finally healed. This was a year, this all happened over a year. So a year later she had this, this surgery where they put the B M P in and her bone finally healed,

but she had to be in a splint for 12 weeks total, which is not good because when you're in a splint for that long, you lose range of motion. So when we got to rehab again, so basically she was in a splint for another month after that surgery to just to, because we were basically trying to do everything. So did not wanna take a chance that the bone was not stable when she came out.

And we took the splint off and we went to rehab that day. That's the first time I cried because Her leg, it, it was like a peg leg, like her toes were pointed down. Like her leg was completely straight. It was devastating to see her like that. And I, at that point, I, I'd given up agility a long time in this process.

I was like, I just want my dog to have a leg. And we got in there and my physical therapist who's the same one the whole time that we worked with is like, no, no, today's a happy day. Today's the day we start getting better. And she's like, let's just see what happens. So we did super intense physical therapy and she came back,

she, you know, she, she gained range of motion. She's not normal, but again, this is a dog that had so much drive to do agility to do something that I was like, well, you know, let's just see. So I guess this was probably about a year and a half, maybe a little bit less than that after that first surgery that we kind of started like,

oh, she's walking. Oh, she's running. Oh, she's sprinting. Oh, you know, now maybe we can wrap around things and actually start to get back into agility type stuff. Right. And I, I feel like this is where when people go through something, I, so I don't think very many people have been through something like that,

like that. I mean, it's one of the reasons that I, it's so interesting talking to you because this is really kind of on the extreme end, but when people go through any kind of injury, then it kind, I, I don't know that they're always expecting how hard it is after you've finished recovery, you've finished rehab, and you're essentially pronounced healthy and ready to go,

and they think that that's gonna be the end. And that's kind of what we wanted to talk about today is it's kind of like the beginning of the next phase, and it's the next phase in my opinion, is most hard on the handler themselves. Right. The dog has now been released by the vet to do stuff, to do agility. They're happy,

they're doing agility. And so then tell us what it felt like when you take this dog and the history that your dog had and now you were asking her to do athletic things and like how that felt and like what went through your mind, like as you were doing agility, you know, after this big, long ordeal. So it was just like the very first time my,

her physical therapist was like, okay, you can do straight line sprints. I was like, can we running in a straight line? Because ticket is, ticket only does things one speed. Like right. You, you can't, she's not gonna take it easy. She's gonna, you ask her, you ask her to go get a dead toy, she's gonna go as fast as she can to the dead toy.

And she just, that's her personality. And it was, I do like two or three reps and I'd be like, okay, that's enough. You know? And even though I was supposed to do like five, you know, and then once we actually started adding agility, it was like, I didn't wanna put the bars up, you know, it was like,

well we don't, you know, we do, we, you know, really need to do that. And like, all I was trying to do was watch her like the first time we did like a baby dogwalk that was like eight inches off the ground. Like I felt physically ill, like I, and I was, it was terrifying. And it was nauseating trying to bring her back to agility because I was just terrified something was gonna happen to her.

But she wanted to do something so bad, like she was crazy all the time. Like she wanted to run around the backyard. And I'm like, well, I'm not gonna leash her the rest of her life. So, you know, we just kept, kept at it a little bit at a time. Right. And so one of the things that I wanted to talk about,

because I, I feel like I've given a version of this speech to multiple people, including by the way, Brittany way back then when Tick was ticket was coming back because Brittany used to live here in Texas with me and Esteban, and we used to be training partners. And so we were there during all of this and we would go and we would set something up and we'd be doing agility.

And I remember telling Brittany like, you cannot watch her. You, you can't watch her like look at the tape after, but you cannot both be her mom and her veterinarian watching her with those hawk like eyes and also be her handler telling her where to go. And, and so what I, I try to, the logical thought process that I try to take people through is,

in my opinion, you are more likely to cause, cause a problem with your dog who's coming back from injury by doing things weird, by not handing like you normally do. Or if you're watching, you're likely to be late on your cues. So now imagine you're asking for a turn and you don't properly prepare the dog for the turn because you're, all of your timing is off because you're spending all of your time watching your dog.

And now they try and put in this herculean effort to make a tight turn. That's when your dog is going to get injured or re-injured. So, you know, my logical argument is you are way better off running them like they're healthy and then checking the tape. And I remember telling you that at the time. Like, you just have to let go and run and trust that she's gonna be okay.

And if she, and even if she wasn't okay, what are the chances that she's gonna be not okay in a way that you could somehow do something about it in the moment, right? And so that's where I want you to now put your vet hat on and say, okay, like, we understand. And that's why I think your story is so great because you know these things as a vet,

but you also, you know, have all the anxiety of a dog mom, right? Yeah. So, you know, as your vet hat, like what things might happen, you know, and what could you do about it? Because I suspect that it's, it's not that much that you could really do anything about it. Yeah. There's very,

very little. So like if you're doing a late front cross and they wipe out right, because they didn't know the turn was coming, there's nothing you're gonna do to stop that. Maybe the only thing I can kind of think is maybe if they were like coming off the dogwalk and you happen to be right there, maybe you could catch them if it like a shey,

but like that's literally more just chance in being in the exact right spot. Right, right. But the dogwalk was the scariest thing I asked her to do. Like asking her to go up in the air was, was that was the hardest. And I remember going over to Steph's house and working on her dogwalk and just being like, I like having a really hard time doing it.

Right. Because it's just like, to me that was like the most uncontrolled, like if she lost, didn't know where her leg was and she fell, to me that was the greatest risk of injury right there. Right. It was like she fell on that leg wrong. And I don't think, I don't think I've ever asked you this, but like,

did that feeling go away or did you always, her entire rest of her career have some level of anxiety? Or did you move past it at some point? It mostly went away. Like it's just something like you, you can't stay in that like state of arousal or whatever it is, like all the time. There were a couple of times, so like the very first show back,

all I wanted was like, I wanted her to have four legs on the ground at the end of the run because that dog would run on three legs. And I may not realize it until the end, but I was like, I just want her to finish with four legs and then or four with four legs on the ground, Not, not one falling off.

And I, when, when she made Westminster finals, I was like, super, obviously there's a lot going on there, but I was very much like, please let her finish this run with four, four feet on the ground because I, it was like, it was on TV and all of that. And I'm like, please, please, like that that was the whole run was nerve wracking.

But that was, those times were probably the ones where I was like, most started to think about it again. Right. Just 'cause it, I think it's just 'cause of pressure in general, you know? Right, right. So now I wanted to talk to Jen and Savon because I know both of y'all have run dogs that have come back from some sort of injury.

And so I kind of wanted to get like the echo of like how, how that affected you. And then I know, you know, Jen and I were talking before this about being on the other side as instructors and kind of the advice that we give. So Jennifer, like what, what is, do you, do you resonate with the, the anxiety of,

of that first time back in the ring? Yeah, for me it was a very specific dog incident recovery moment in time. I know exactly where I was, who was there when I was first coming back from an injury, right? I was jumping at a lower height and for me it wasn't so much like watching to make sure that he was okay,

it was that I was just like going slow. Like I was just, I remember running tentative and I was like, oh, well if I run slow, he'll go slower and that will be safer. And that is, that was not the case, right? So similar to what Brittany said, I was running a high drive Chelsea who wanted to go,

me going slower did not make him slower. What it did is it caused my information to be late and I was, I was stopped. It was actually at a world team practice, this was way back in 2007. And they stopped me and they're like, look, he looks fine. You have a lot of really knowledgeable experienced people watching you. You need to run as though nothing's wrong.

If we see anything, we'll holler. But you being late is making things worse. It is giving him late information, it's causing him to jerk his body over the bar. It's causing him to wipe out on a turn because he doesn't know where he is going. So it wasn't that I was like watching him and then therefore getting distracted In that sense it was that I was like actively trying to go slow.

And I think as an instructor, I see that so much. I'll even see people tell me in an email for video feedback and say, Hey, I'm running cautiously, the bars are low. We're just coming back from injury. Just a little background and I can see it, I can see so much of the handling being late and I, I empathize however,

the, the being late, the being slow, the delay in information then risks, making things worse. So I told 'em that, you know, kind of my feedback for people is, you know, if you've been working with Yvette, if you've been doing rehab, if you have been given the green light and everybody from the medical side is saying,

okay, you are good to do whatever it is that you're doing, half height jump, straight lines, sequences, no more than eight obstacles. If they're saying to do it, then you need to do it for real, not halfheartedly, not tentatively. And if it makes you feel better, do one rep with the camera on pause, make sure they're sound as,

as Bri said, make sure all four feet are on the ground. Go watch your video. Does it look good? Okay, run the next drill. If you didn't see something that you liked stopped right then and there, but there's not gonna be anything in the moment that you're going to be able to necessarily do as we already discussed. So it really is doing your dog a disservice to risk all that late information and then risk making things worse.

So been there, done that, learned it the hard way and now I get to kind of come full circle and tell people the same thing that was told to me to trust the rehab, trust the recovery, and run with the best information. If you tell 'em where to go, they can prep their body. They can't do what is necessary to make that turn,

to make that line nice and safe. Yeah, exactly. And Estevan, so what, what was your experience like? Yeah, I think I've had a couple dogs come back from injury, but I think the most recent one that I'll probably remember the best is Gitchi. So she's the most recent dog I think that was running in high level competitions and golden retriever and as many goldens do had shoulder issues,

right? So I think maybe even at some point she had issues with both shoulders and I think at her peak she was in the middle of like a, a great run of like three straight like n AKC finals and she wasn't a, the kind of dog who really made mistakes, just the occasional bar here or there. And she ended up having surgery and she got it all.

I think we did P r p Yes. P r p Stem cells. Yep. And Susan, who was her co-owner, so we co-owned her at the time so that I'd be able to run her at tryouts, but rehabbed her. They worked with a great therapist, they had great veterinary care over in Louisiana and got her back into running shape. And so when she came back to me,

I think the one thing that I did do that I think was probably different from most people is I did not alter the way I ran. And That's how I remember it too. That's okay. I I just wanted to be sure. 'cause I, it, to me, it was so long ago, but I, it was like not an issue to me at all.

And so for me it was about the psychological aspect of running that dog again after injury, right? And the question was could they be as good as they were before and at what point if they weren't going to be as good, did you need to think about moving them down in height? Right? So Gitchi naturally jumped 20 inches in AKC international competition was 24 inches.

And you know, is this a dog you're gonna run at preferred or if she's not able to jump even 20 inches, should she be doing agility at all? Right? So I think there were some ethical considerations here. And so those things weighed very heavily on my mind. I I felt like after that surgery, you know, at that point, even to have the surgery I think is,

is an ethical, not dilemma, but it's, it's something that you think about, right? Like, am I doing the right th thing even to bring a dog back? I think for some dogs the very young perhaps, right? So tickets certainly falls in, in that category. You know, they, they, you you do that and you know,

they kind of have this long life and career ahead of you, ahead of them. That would be different if you didn't opt for certain, like, I guess surgical solutions, right? But Gitchi, I think she, she had just passed her prime, like the absolute peak of her career where she could run around and compete with Boer colleagues. And so practices were all about me doing a front cross and looking behind me and being surprised that she wasn't there.

And then like, I'd have to ask somebody, did she slip? Did she fall or is this just normal and old fast Gitchi would've be in the exact same spot and I just really got out there ahead or created very good separation. You know, I wasn't sure and I didn't really trust the, the spatial relationships that we had honed fine tuned. And I knew absolutely where she would be and where I could be on any course and,

and you know, we really just didn't make mistakes. So It was like less anxiety and it was more that you had to redevelop your whole visualization and understanding of where she was gonna Be. No, this is, I guess I'm not saying it very well, but there, there was anxiety about that, right? I imagine it, you know, I think all of us here have played sports,

right? And, and Brittany, Jennifer and I have done it at a very high level and serious level. It's like when you have an injury and you come back and you're a little, you're not quite sure like what you can do and how hard to push yourself and if you could really go all out, right? It's a little bit in your head.

And it was a little bit in my head on her behalf 'cause I knew she would try her best and I felt like I had to be her, her conscience, her, you know, advocate. Like, Hey, if she's not hitting x, y, and Z spots on the course, and maybe that means she's having an issue, right? Maybe she's,

and the these are dogs that like mask their pain in order to continue in the sport, right? Yeah. And so I, it, it's not like she would lying to me in a sense, right? But they just wanna do the thing and they wanna do it with you. And you know, that's what we love about dogs and that's what we love about dog agility,

right? The the bond, right. And so for me it was a real ethical question and it weighed very, very heavily on me. And I remember the last national she went to and I, I didn't even wanna run the final, like she made the final and, and miraculously kept all the bars up and, and she just plowed through some stuff in the final right.

She ran, she essentially ran it clean except for, you know, the, the five bars she dropped and, and we still came back one more year and I, I, you know, I don't, I don't know that I want, if I could do it all over again, obviously I wouldn't have done that last year. Yeah. And then I did not drop her down to p prefer,

I know she did a couple of preferred runs back in Louisiana, I think with a young junior handler and kind of, kind of like in a fun, you know, learner kind of way. Maybe some novice courses or something, but with, with me like her career, like at that point was over. So, you know, it's, I I think it's different.

So some of you're gonna be in my boat, some of you are gonna be in Jennifer and Brittany's boat. Yeah. Right. And so I think you need to have a very good sense of where your dog is in their career and you need to reconcile and really think about what your goals are for that dog and for yourself. And I think as long as we all put the dogs first,

there's no real wrong answer. Right. You might make mistakes, right. You might do something where, you know, if you could do it over again, you, you wouldn't do that. Like, I, I don't, I wouldn't have run her that last year at that point I just felt like, yeah, I don't, I I don't think I should have done that,

you know? And I think she had, she had just turned like seven and a half and seven and a half, eight by eight. She was done absolutely done. And I was like, no, she will never, you know, there's no reason to run her preferred. There's no reason she should ever do a weave pole again. And she was just done at eight and she's still alive today.

So one of two little mates left from that litter doing great. 13 years old, just had her birthday a couple of weeks ago. So happy birthday to my baby Gitchi. That's right. And I'm gonna try and get down to New Orleans to see her sometime in the next few months. So I, again, I I think it's very normal to have this kind of anxiety,

but I think as long as you go through the advice, you know, and, and, and you are taking the dog into consideration, you really center the dog and their health and their wellbeing and your relationship. I, I don't think you can really make a bad decision. Yeah. You know, even, even if it kind of doesn't go your way,

right. You try and run 'em a little bit and hey, it is not quite right and you end up having to retire them. Like that's okay, it's okay that you gave it a shot, it's okay that they had the surgery, right. And maybe if you retire them and, and years later you're like, ah, maybe I did a little prematurely.

Right? Mostly people get sad, like toward the end of their dog's, you know, life and they're like, oh, maybe we could have done a little bit more, maybe we could have done one more season. Maybe we could have been at the international height for one more year or something like that. You know, the dog's not gonna care.

You know, remember it's not, it's not the, it's not their, their reason for existence shall we say. Sure. We love, we love that soundbite, right? When the, they interview you, you know, you win some big run and you're like, yeah, they live for dog agility. They don't really live for dog agility. Right.

Even though it looks like a lot of these dogs, some of them, you know, live for dog agility, but they really live for I think being around us and working with us and that sort of thing. So, And we do make it fun. Yeah. Yeah. You keep, keep the perspective, I think you're gonna be okay. But personally that's what I struggled with the most.

So it was less about handling. And I guess related to that, the other thing that I should say, I know I took this in a emotional direction, is that I cut back a lot on reps and training. So if you set up this huge international course or whatever, getting things ready, like I, I did not run it like we did before.

Right? And then instead of taking like three turns, I would take two, if it was two turns I would take just one, you know, and then it would be good enough, like back in the day or when she's like four or five years old, you're like, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm gonna run this and I'm gonna run it a second way and a third different way and this kind of stuff that,

all that nonsense stuff, right? Right. It was just about preservation and longer warmups and proper cool downs. And was she getting rested? Did she have the proper nutrition massage chiropractor? Like we did all of that. Right. You know, and so it was, it was, the focus was very, very different. And the amount of work that they were putting in training was very,

very different. So that's what was constantly on my mind. Right. So we're gonna wrap up here, but there's one other scenario that I, I wanted to just touch on very, very briefly because in my mind the answer is exactly the same as what we've talked about. We've talked about big injuries and coming back from big obvious injuries. But I think the other thing that I've seen,

especially as an instructor with lots of of students are things that are very, very small and very, very minor. And sometimes you don't even know what it was, right? So let me paint a picture that I think maybe a lot of people have had the experience of, which is, you know, the dog just comes up a little bit lame after a full weekend of trialing,

right? Nothing obviously wrong. You take them to the vet, they get a clear, clear bill of health, they can't find anything wrong. Maybe even after one day the dog is no longer limping and owners are terrified that they're gonna hurt their dog or they're gonna break their dog or you know, what should they do? And so I think there's a couple of things that I wanted to touch on.

And one was that when you do decide to get back to agility again, my advice is exactly the same as coming back from the big injury, which is you cannot watch your dog and run at the same time. You've got to run your dog regular and then check the videotape. But Brittany, I wanted to, as a vet, I wanted you to just rattle off like,

I don't know, three to five completely benign things that could cause a dog to like have a slight limp for like one hour and then be fine the next day. Like I think we talked about this at the time and it was like, it could be an ant bite between their pads, you know, it could be like, what are some of the benign things?

'cause I think everybody immediately thinks like, like you did, right? Like, oh my gosh, my dog is about to have AKC L tear, right? But there's lots of other things that could be going on that are really not a big deal. Three To five things, you're really Putting her on the spot. I know I did know, right?

So I will say like, the number one thing that I see is just like a muscle strain. Like literally it's like they come half the time they come to see me and they're not even limping anymore, but they're like, they were limping really bad yesterday. And it's like, we do it all the time. Dogs are gonna do it too. You're just gonna step wrong.

It's gonna feel bad and then it's gonna be fine. They can like pad abrasions, so dry grass or sometimes like really brittle abrasive turf. Like you can, you know, it gets soreness there sticker like stickers. Like seriously the number of stickers I have fished out of dog's pads that were making them limp. Well yeah, so certainly insect bite or like a bee sting or something like that.

Like I, I don't know why, but we have a lot of bees on the grass around here and like I see them in my backyard and I'm like, why are there bees in the grass? There's no flowers but there's bees. So I could definitely see dogs doing that. Hmm. What else? Just this week we were out in the yard and Swift came up lame.

So he is trotting around with all the dogs and he comes up like limping three-legged. I'm like, oh my god, what'd he do? 'cause you know, he is almost 11. So I was all worried and he had stepped in like a big pile of like sap and it like was on his foot and got all the like hair between his pads.

Of course then like I was like, oh my god, I pull it off of him and then I have it all over me. He was like, thanks mom. And trotted away just fine. So as a as also B tears, her pads, like it's her job. I always check feet first. Like I always check feet first. I have a lot of experience do claw two.

That's one that always gets, yeah, people check like the main toes, but sometimes not look up high. Like right now surprise actually has a bruised, like a do claw nail. So those are always my go-tos when I first see some lameness is checking feet, Right? Yes, for sure. Exactly. Sometimes they'll fake it just to mess with you,

right? No, I'm just kidding. Right, right, Right. No, no, they don't. Seriously, the number of times people come in and they're like, I think they're just faking it for attention. I'm like, no, that's, no. Okay, so Faking it is not on the list. Faking it is on the list, but,

but the point that I wanted to make is that it's not always gonna be something catastrophic. No. So like, if you have done your due diligence, if you've checked them out, if you've, you know, taken 'em to the vet and if they're cleared to go and if they look fine, just go and run them as if they're fine. Anything else is,

is really a disservice to them as the handler, as the person who is supposed to be leading the way. You have to give them good information. So that is like, that is the 32nd takeaway that I want everybody to have here, is that if you're going to run, run for real, give the dog the best information that you can and you've always got videotape and you've always got your vet,

your rehab vet, your, you know, therapist and things like that to make sure that your dog stays sound. So with that, we will wrap up this podcast and really quickly, I will just announce that we will have the invitational prep course for those of you who have been waiting for it, that that'll be coming up in the next day or two.

So if you're on our, on our mailing list, you should get an email and you can check Facebook. But that's a really popular course that we do every year around the AKC Invitational. So it's six weeks of exercises, small space exercises with lots of demo and analysis. We have that coming up. And then we also have coming up in about a month is the A W C Agility World Championship.

We run a course with that, the A W C experience where you can follow along, we'll have five athletes that we're following, covering all four jump heights and you get to see their runs from the Agility World Championship, but also their analysis of the runs. So you get to hear directly from the athletes what they were thinking, why they ran it the way they did,

you know, analysis of any mistakes. It's a really, really cool course that we did a few years before covid. And then this is our first year back after Covid. So really excited about that. And you can find those on the Facebook page and on our mailing list. And that's it for this week's podcast. We'd like to thank our sponsor,

hit aboard.com. Happy training. Thank you for listening to Bad Dog Agility. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. For more information updates and links to all our socials, just check out our website, www.baddogagility.com. If you haven't already signed up for our email subscription, we would love to have you join the BDA community. Until next time, take care.

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