At Steve’s last rehab appointment, he was just the slightest bit sore in his ‘psoas. He’s always just the slightest bit sore in his ‘psoas at appointments. I don’t think he is sore all the time, because there are days when he stretches just fine. It’s just that those days hardly ever seem to fall on rehab days. Which I suppose is not the worst thing in the world.
I had run him at agility the night before, and he’d been weird and hesitant on the a-frame, unwilling to come down to his contact position. This was very bizarre- Steve has always been confident and powerful on his a-frame; to have him be hesitant had me worried.
Sure enough, he was sore in his shoulders and back.
I wish I’d had my camera along with me to capture how silly he looked laying on his side on their thick dog bed, one of his rehab ladies doing therapeutic ultrasound on his groin, the other massaging and then lasering his shoulders while his head lolled off the side and his eyes drooped. This dog hardly ever relaxes at home, but put him in the hands of his rehab ladies and he turns into a puddle of goo. It must feel good.
That evening, we had agility class, and what do you know- he was back to being confident and comfortable on his a-frames. Like magic.
He is basically released from rehab now, relegated to an “as needed” basis. We talked about cross-training and rest days and massage, about warming him up and cooling him down, about stretching him. But he’s good to go, provided everything continues to go well.
I am terrified.
He ran his first full flyball practice today (he’s done box work and some full runs by himself, but we hadn’t been to practice in a long time due to scheduling conflicts). We did box work up close and then a couple of full runs. Then he rested. Then he came in and ran with his team, the first time since June. Our club’s tournament is next week. He’s scheduled to run full-time in start (my request as he’s less crazy there, but he’ll probably have to run extra because of false starts, so it’s a trade-off). He has a back up, so there is no pressure on me to run him if I have any question at all.
We actually practiced with lights and timers today because they had some trouble with the lights last tournament. Steve clocked in between 4.0 and 4.3. 4.0-4.1 is typical for him. I think that he is kind of out of shape when it comes to heavy cardio workouts, but I know that his core is stronger than ever. He was a bit wide off the box, and he spit his ball early a few times running by himself, but he looked as good as I could have hoped with so much time off.
I am hopeful that he’ll stay sound next weekend. There will be a rehab person there with her laser, so I plan to get him treated on Saturday, and then I made him appointment with his regular rehab vet for Monday (I took off work to recover since it will be a very long weekend of unrolling and rerolling mats, of cleaning, of all the miscellaneous headaches that come with hosting a flyball tournament).
Holding my breath. Letting him fly.
Photo credit Jim Geiser Photography