Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tamarack Lake trial Nov. 23

We went to the Tamarack Lake trial for just one day last weekend. We were entered two days, but it's held north of here, near Lake Erie and they get tons of snow and wouldn't you know it, of course there was a storm predicted for Friday night straight through Saturday. I'm not a big fan of driving in snow, so we just skipped it the first day and drove up Sunday morning.

Abby had a fantastic JWW run on a very tough course, Kittie did great too, but NQ because of.....a dropped bar, what else?! Abby's standard run was a wee bit of a disaster, she pretty much did her own thing, running past obvious obstacles and darting behind me to take others. I just can't consistently figure that little muchkin out! She's amazing when she's on, but you never know what to expect. Kittie Q and took 2nd in standard! YAY Kittie!! We've had such a dry spell lately...all because of dropped bars.

We're going to a trial this weekend and then again in mid December and then we *may* take some time off.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Collars

The dogs are getting some new collars for Winter. Aren't they great?!

Janis, who runs made these just for us. She's the best. I always come up with something totally different, than what she ordinarily offers and it's like she reads my mind. Kittie & Abby have custom made martingale leads for agilty from Janis too. She always keeps my crew looking good!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Bichon Frise, seriously?

I've been walking dogs for seven or so years now, lots and lots of dogs. Dogs of all shapes & sizes, some are well trained and others not so much. I've never been drug by a big dog, I've felt less control than I would have liked, but never out of control.

I've been bruised up, just by big dogs running into me. A lab border collie mix once came running full force at me and tried to *leap* into my arms....that was interesting, but I came out of that unharmed. My ankle got split open this summer when a dog's nail scraped it, but I've never been completely taken out....until yesterday, by a bichon frise!

The trails are wet, muddy and covered in leaves right now. I have a new dog in the little dog group, Oliver. He's a cutie, but has zero training, so he's staying on leash and I'm basically teaching him how to walk nicely, stopping and waiting just wasn't working for this guy, so I shortened up the lead so he had enough that it could slack, but not enough to go lunging way ahead or wrap himself behind me. I'm bending over to give him cookies, almost constantly right now.

Still following? Wet, muddy leaves, crazy untrained little dog named Oliver. So where does the bichon come in? That's Jake, he's an odd little dog. He's on anti anxiety medication, has attacked many big dogs when he's with his mom, but somehow morphs into this little puddle of a dog when he's with me, he's not happy, he's worried and truly looks on the verge of a panic attack, but never does anything really wrong either and yes his owner knows he's like this.

So, I'm walking on the muddy leaves, just as I turned to give Oliver his "good boy, walking nicely on your leash cookie" Jake starts pulling like a lunatic, since I wasn't on solid ground and I was already off balance from feeding Oliver, I got pulled straight forward....into a tree that had fallen on the trail. I skinned my face! right between my eyes is a giant swollen goose egg lump and it's completely scraped up. I look like a total freak, yay......all from a bichon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Abby!

Abby turned the big 03 yesterday ! What better way to celebrate than with some cupcakes from our favorite bakery.
Really? Cupcakes for me?!!!!!

I have to act civilized, I *am* 3 now. Patiently waiting.....

Cupcake? What cupcake? I can wait all day.

I didn't even notice, there was a cupcake on my paw, really....

Mmmmmm, being 3 sure tastes good.

Everyone had cupcakes. The pugs all had peanutbutter and we had smores.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Abby's bloodwork results

I got Abby's bloodwork results back the other day and everything is normal. My vet said she's in great shape! So, we're just going to wait and watch for any more seizures. Hopefully this doesn't amount to anything!

I feel better after talking to some people at the trial this weekend. It seems like a lot of dogs out there have had a seizure or two or three or more and they're perfectly fine, not on medication, not limited in any way by it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Worst Part About My Job

Andrew died last night.

He's the handsome tall dog to the right.

Andrew was one of my favorite dogs. I walked him 5 days a week for probably close to 5 years now. He was a rescue, with some health & behavioral issues. He did not like other dogs at all when I first started walking him, but we worked through it and he was a great dog, got along with every dog I introduced him to over the years. The mailman was his only enemy.

His health problems did not go away as easily as his behavior issues did. He had addisons diesease and a problem where the muscles in his face were just deteriorating. I don't understand it untirely, but from what I was told eventually he wouldn't be able to eat. That's not what caused his death though, over the past few months Andrew had a several times where he would vomit and then not want to eat, sometimes he would stay in his crate and he just shivered/shook. I'm assuming he was in pain. His owner, Alice took him to the vet several times, but usually he was back to his perky, bouncy self by the time he saw the vet, so nothing was ever figured out.

Last night, he had another one of those spells. Vomitting, shaking, hiding. Alice took him to the emergency vet and he immediately needed CPR, he was dying as they got there. Turned out he was bleeding internally and had tumors through out his internal organs. Sorry, I don't have all the details or fully understand it all. I'm just sad I won't be seeeing this dog anymore.

Monday, November 10, 2008

AX Abby!!

Woohoo!! Abby earned her AX (excellent agility) title this weekend, doing it in style taking 1st place too! She had a great time too, actually beat out some world team contenders...who knew!?

Abby's a tough little cookie to figure out. When she's really there, not too over the top or worried about something in the environment at a trial she's amazing, but it's tough to get and keep her at the right arousal level. So often, she's literally shaking before she can get in the ring. I can always tell when she's way past her ideal arousal level because she stops blinking. I do think she gets worried about the environment around her, especially at trials where it's crowded near the rings, so I had anyone and everyone feed Abby throughout the day on Sunday and I'm working my way through the exercises in "Control Unleashed" and marking her looking at other dogs (calmly of course) it seemed to really help. I also decided to ditch a lead out with her. I'm not sure if that's going to be a permanent change, or just something to play around with, I'm thinking about it and plan to write more about lead outs in the near future. Anway, I'm just thrilled with this little girl!

CLANG, CLANG!!! aaaawwwww. That was the sound of Kittie's runs this weekend. All beautiful, every single one of them would have been 1st place finishes, but every single one had at least one bar down. Ugh, the points we lost this weekend! I'm not sure I'm going to run Kittie anymore at this particular building, the floor is a bit slick and there are big colums in the building and the course is set around those colums, so in just about every course there are jumps, where I disappear from her sight for a split second behind the colums, and every single time the bar came down and then she starts to worry, and she stutter steps and flings herself at the jumps becuase she's really trying to keep the bars up, but doesn't know how to fix it. Poor kid! This building isn't good for her mental health, but I'm not sure if not running her there, if I take Abby to run would be good for her either.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Assistance Cow cow?

Abby and I were chatting last night, mostly talking about how she's *not* going to do this ever again. It scares everyone way too much ! Abby had a suggestion though, maybe she could keep her favorite cow toy, "cow cow" (the toy she goes crazy over, but will kill in mere minutes and then try to eat) with her all the time.....he could be her seizure alert cow, maybe get him his own service cow vest, he could come shopping with her, to the park, agility even fly on airplanes with Abby.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stella's 5th Neuro Episode

This very closely resembles what happened, only much shorter. Like I wrote before the first two times lasted literally just a couple of seconds. I'm not sure how long this lasted today because I just walked in and found her like this. She doesn't try to move as much as this dog though.


OK, I'm starting to calm down a bit. Something happened this morning, I'm not sure what.

Abby had been hanging out in our bed this morning while I was showering, getting ready to leave for the day and what not, like she does most mornings. I walked into the bedroom to find her laying on her side on the floor, stiff, eyes huge and filled with terror. Her body was warm and clammy feeling. I picked her up and she stayed in the same position she was in on the floor, her front legs held straight out in front of her. Gradually she started to look a bit more normal, so I placed her on the ground and she took a couple of steps, but everything was completely uncoordinated, each leg was moving on it's own.

It's been about a half an hour and she seems pretty much herself. she's always kind of quiet in the morning, (she's not a morning dog), she had breakfast, sat on my lap a while and is hanging out in the big dog bed with the others right now.

She's had two similar spells, but I chalked them up to extreme over excitement/fear. One was just after a really good agility run. Just as she crossed the finish she stiffened up and her eyes glazed over just a split second and then she was back to normal. I though she either may have had a slight cramp (had her massaged that day) or was just *way* over stimulated. A second time this happened after Kittie attacked her in the park totally out of nowhere. She stiffened up for a second and took a couple of very uncoordinated steps. I carried her for a minute and then she was fine. I thought Kittie may have hurt her or caused her to strain her back or she was just very frightened. I was pretty upset with Kittie and Abby hates when I shout.

I thought she was just very sensitive to fear, excitement etc....she's always been sort of like a little cartoon, every emotional response is way over the top and extremely animated, now I don't know what to do.....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

USDAA coverage

Wow, the coverage really has been great. Great runs!! The little 8" performance standard and speed jumping winner, "Taboo" is just an amazing little papillon and she just turned 2 yrs old!

We haven't done as much usdaa, partly because there just aren't as many trials locally, but also because of the jump heights, it's pretty cool to see the performance divison given so much attention. It's not treated as the retirement class, the way the preferred class often is in AKC, although it's a bit different since AKC's jump height are more relaxed.

I'm looking forward to watching more tonight

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bunch of Agility Slackers

We've been doing nothing, nothing at all lately. No agility classes, no trials, not even practicing in the backyard much.

We've been doing a ton of hiking though, everyday for a couple of hours. It's so gorgeous right now, there's leaves covering the trails, some are still on the trees too. There's been this great mix of weather, everything from snow earlier this week, to the mid 60s yesterday. I love all sorts of weather, with the exception of extreme of HOT and humid.

I've been doing some work with Miss Abby too. Trying to figure out just what happens some times at trials in her little head. I really believe she's somewhat worried and over stimulated when she's at trials, so we've been working on lots of impulse control stuff, and she's been going everywhere with me lately, without the others....and I think that's key. I always bring either all 4, or take 2 anywhere I'm going, never just 1. I don't think she's used to being all by herself and some of her confidence goes away when the other pugs aren't around. So she's been my helper lately, coming to help me walk nice dogs, coming along when I run errands, going for little trips in the car. She's signed up for an agility class that starts next week at Splash and Dash agility, the club I started out with.....hope that goes well, we don't always see eye to eye.

I'm going to try a little experiment with Kittie. No agility classes! Just real short practice sessions in the backyard. She knows what she's doing, I know how to run her, we just have some specific areas to improve or correct: her totally out of control teeter for starters, reminding her that come means come, right now, no matter what and really that's it, yes she has jumping issues, but not much other than some tweaks in my handling makes any difference, so we'll see what's a good time to experiment, since there are no classes I want to put her in anyway!

Things will be in full swing for the month of November, three weekends of trials and then just one (a huge one) in December. We may take most of Jan. & Feb. off. I have a little theory about when Kittie seems to peak and when her performance seems to fall off, that I may experiment with more over the next year. I do need to find somewhere to train though over the winter (it's one thing to not do classes when you're trialing regularly, but quite another if you're not), so she can bring home mach 2 next year!!