How do you know it's time to retire them?
Heidi is almost six. I know that's still relatively young, but something seems to be bothering her lower back. She was jammed up bad when she was around three (thought she was going to have to be put down kind of bad), but seemed to recover okay after a year off. As of late, it seems her old injury is coming back to haunt her. Some days she is really sore and others she seems to be fine. It seems that she has a pinched nerve in her lower back that is causing the issue. We are doing what we can to try and manage it, but are thinking this next trial may be her last. Mentally she still wants to be go go go all the time and loves to work. I just worry about her bad days.
So now, we are trying to decide what to do. I think Heidi would go crazy if she didn't get to play sometimes, but maybe if we stop trialing her it will take some pressure off. Limit the jumping and not work her so hard to be ready for trialing.
Do you think arthritis might have also set in? Does she like nose work? That wouldn't be too stressful and dogs usually enjoy it.
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