Thoughts On Injuries

You probably read the post on how I warm up my dogs for agility these days. It wasn’t meant to be a “How-to” guide for others, but still I feel I need to say something since both of my dogs are injured right now. Both got injured as a result of an accident during a walk and as you can probably guess… I don’t specifically warm up my dogs for walks. I would say both were quite warmed up before it happened as a natural byproduct of walking, but one can’t run into a wall at great speed and expect not to get hurt. 😦

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Only let them run on perfectly manicured lawns with no holes, no ditches, no trees to run into? Ruby has managed to get hurt on walks more times than I can count. Slipping on wet leaves, landing in a hole, twisting a leg while landing,… He is such a crazy boy. Even at five years old he still runs zoomies like a puppy. He doesn’t need a toy or a buddy to do that… just him and the wind. He was doing zoomies just before that unfortunate landing over a stream.

If I had a more safety-oriented value system maybe I would leash him whenever we’re by a stream since he loves jumping over them so much. And then I would leash him whenever there is a steep hill in the woods because he’s almost guaranteed to get zoomies on such hills. And on tight paths. And over logs and branches. And in freshly ploughed fields. Pretty much everywhere where it’s a challenge to run.

And maybe a day will come when I will. I don’t know. How much protection is enough? How much is too much? I know I won’t let them run in an unknown field again… I wouldn’t let Java run there had I known there was a ditch in the middle… But what the eyes can’t see the brain thinks it’s not there. Looks can be deceiving sometimes.

It’s ironic that injuries are such a big part of my experience since normally I would never, ever want to think about what lies beneath the skin. I don’t want to imagine that beneath the soft fur there are bones and tendons and muscles and blood. It makes me feel sick when I look at anatomy pictures… I hurt when I read of injuries and invasive procedures. I have to make myself look at them. I don’t know why on Earth I need this in my experience, but it must be good for something. I have to believe it’s good for something or I will just give up.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts On Injuries

  1. Penny


    I know!!!! What are you meant to do!????

    Panshanger has spent her entire life injured. So so injured! I have learnt more and more about where the danger zones are but damn it! She injures herself despite this knowledge!! And the more you restrict them, the less conditioned their bodies are to be able to sustain slips and spills! It’s an impossible situation.

    And from what I have heard you are a very safety oriented person! VERY! So I have full faith that you have done everything you can.


    • Your comments are never unhelpful 🙂
      Yeah the conditioning aspect is what really does my brain in… no answers there, yet.
      Oh Pan the Pirate Queen… she has her plans and if they involve danger then so be it. No pirate has ever shied away from danger.

  2. Laura

    Speedy recovery for both whippets and warm thoughts for you, too!

    The chance for injury is always there, whatever you do and how hard you work to minimize the risk. Even life in a bubble plastic wrap would not help. I guess it’s part of the sighthound life, learning to deal with the fear and risks to be able to live to the fullest? To implement a careful risk management strategy and still try to relax…?

    What comes to racing dogs (probably the very same goes for agility), in addition to careful warm up, a cooling down routine is also a must post exercise: removing lactic acid, restoring, rehydrating, resting. All exercise creates microscopic tissue wounds that should be allowed to heal, otherwise they can develop into something bigger (especially if the dog is even mildly dehydrated).

    • Thank you, Laura 🙂 I hope I fill find that perfect balance between risk management and enjoyment of life soon… this is wearing me down.

      Yes, cool down is often overlooked in agility. My friend has a dog who used to get sore after trainings, but since she started walking her after training those problems went away. So cool down definitely counts for something. I didn’t know hydration was so important for recovery, thanks for sharing!

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