First of all, Syd's little mass was just a benign something that was irritated/infected so no big deal.
Second, Halo's agility career is now officially over. Many years ago Halo starting yipping when landing jumps. We did all kinds of stuff to try and figure it out but nothing so the best guess was some kind of injury -- probably in her neck. This is the reason that she stopped doing agility for a few years -- she just would flare that up.
I have carefully been doing agility with her off/on for the past year -- no more than three days a week and limited jumps, and she has been fine -- until a few days ago. Bless her heart -- she was whining with jumps and I thought it was her usual excitement whining at first, but after three jumps I realized it was different :( We stopped immediately and I could tell she was hurting -- we went in and I told Dear Husband that Halo was done with agility.
Poor Halo -- I had to basically sedate her that night to make her comfortable :( She is okay again but clearly she cannot ever again do agility, which is sad because she really has always liked it (except when it hurts).
I know Halo is almost nine and most people would just retire her, but Halo has always had a drive to do stuff -- she is a smart dog who loves to work. And a big part of why I do so much with all the dogs is because it is what is best for them -- it facilitates THEIR happiness.
And so Halo needs to change lanes and do other stuff, and my goals for her also have to adapt. In life stuff happens and what we wanted/planned just isn't realistic -- this is not failure at all but just how it is. I think where it becomes failure is when we fail to recognize the need to walk a different path and cling stubbornly to the "trail closed" sign, crying and carrying on about the path we thought we wanted to take.
I will give Halo some days to really recover and then I thought we would see what she thinks about doing more tracking -- she LOVED tracking to the point of it not being fun because she pulled so darn hard but maybe now that she is older we can negotiate something about that. And Halo can be Zoey's brace draft partner for the fall tests -- drafting is something Halo is very good at and enjoys a lot -- so she will soon be back to work :)
There is no shame in changing lanes when we find the one we wanted is closed. Whether it is a college major or a relationship or a dog title -- sometimes changing your mind is indeed the right path, and it reflects flexibility, good assessment skills, self-awareness, and a bunch of other positive things. However, do signal before changing lanes!