Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not Easy

Needless to say, Reagan's noise phobias have been a challenge and the agility trial was no exception.

First, I was not able to use my awesome dog van. The van contains everything I could possible need... chairs, slip leads, trash bags, bedding, layers for both humans and canines for all sorts of weather, poop bags, water buckets, and crates. I simply grab the dogs, some treats, water, and off we go. But I had to scale it all down and carefully pack the Honda Fit.
The Honda Fit has been such a blessing. It is very versatile and I highly recommend it for someone that needs an economical, reliable car with good gas mileage. The best feature is the back seat that folds down flat giving 2 greyhound-sized dogs plenty of room.
Two soft side crates fit nicely behind the driver (see on the left in the picture above). After that, there is not much room for anything else in the back..... so it all was placed on the front passenger seat. It worked fine, but the day Stephen came, we had to take separate cars. I guess you could say Reagan has a fleet now.
At the trial, Reagan was hyper sensitive to diesel engines and a motorized golf cart used for picking up trash around the venue. She also seemed unnerved by car doors closing repeatedly early in the morning as people were arriving and unloading. However, she is great in her crate and seems to feel safe and cut off from the world in there.When Reagan does come out of her crate, I cannot be casual with her. We have to move, move, move. She is mostly immune to her issues if she is moving briskly or working. So this means we no longer take long walks around the venue. Nor do we stop to talk to friends. No more potty walks, we trot now. If she is not moving, she has to be in her crate. It goes so against my grain. I really enjoy exploring, hiking, and playing with the hounds, but Reagan's well being depends on being purposeful and its not something I can keep up for long periods of time. Thank goodness the crate offers a safety zone.
The biggest challenge is waiting for our turn to compete. I have to be careful not to get her out too early or I run out of things to keep her entertained. Generally, the gate person would like to see the next 3 dogs lined up and ready to go, but it is just too risky with Reagan. We literally need to just run in when it is our turn and go. Regarding the affected agility run, the problem was caused by waiting no more than 30 seconds. The brief pause gave her enough time to notice the motorized golf cart.
Lastly, I was concerned Reagan was starting to have problems in the Honda Fit. She did not look comfortable traveling home. However, she has been fine since then. It may be wise to use Xanax for the ride home if the drive is rough or longer than usual.

Reagan, look at Riley. Doesn't she look so very comfortable curled up. Relax those ears, put your head down, and close your eyes.