I worked Athena on the field in obedience along with other German Shepherds. She didn’t have a good day. She broke all of her stays, lagged miles behind me in the off-leash heel, and I had to call her about three times in the recall. As for the retrieve. I managed to get her to hold the dumbbell for me at the beginning of class; however, she very reluctantly went out for the dumbbell. On one attempt I had her sit at heel and wait while I tossed the article–a bright orange plastic dumbbell. I sent her out and she promptly brought me back a discarded styroform cup.
Half way through the class, it was evident that Athena had shut down. It was not for psychological reasons, however; she was simply not feeling well. Three people whose judgement and advice I trust pointed out that Athena has not regained her strength yet, and she needs to rebuild her muscle mass. I see the dog everyday, I noticed the improvements in her, but I needed an objective set of eyes to see what really is.
Coupled with this, Athena has an arrhythmia. We made the decision that she would not be competing in the Jamaica Kennel Club’s All-Breed Show and Obedience Trials, and will retire from the obedience ring and will enjoy the rest of her life as a house pet. We were so close to that CD.