I think that Shyla is finally adapting to her new anti-seizure medicine. She's playing and training with enthusiasm.
I'm currently taking a fun training class with her. I am learning to teach her new behaviors by having her mimic me. We're still pretty early in the process but it's very fun to learn.
Until recently, most people believed that dogs couldn't learn by imitating either their human or another dog. That view has gradually been debunked.
In recent years, a scientist and dog trainer, Claudia Fugazza, figured out a technique for teaching dogs to imitate what their trainer does. For example, I put my hands onto a raised platform, and then I tell Shyla "mimic". When she mimics me, she puts her front paws onto the platform. There's a great book and DVD about this training technique, plus a Fenzi course that leads you through the steps. I hope that I can show you the training method in action sometime in the future.
In any case, the fact that Shyla is mentally sharp enough to learn a very novel training method speaks volumes about how much better she is now than even two weeks ago. Moreover, she hasn't had a seizure since starting her new medicine so I am feeling optimistic.
The one area where she is still lagging is her endurance. She has endless energy at the start of a mountain bike ride but is more subdued by the end. I'm shortening our morning rides until her endurance returns. Has anyone else with a dog on phenobarbital noticed a reduction in their dog's endurance?
Here she was today at the end of our ride. She still looked pretty good but wasn't running at her usually warp speed!