Sunday, May 19, 2013

Agility Wrapup

The kids have been doing really well in agility lately, even Pan!  She's still a bit of a spaz, but slowly -ever so slowly - she is getting her head screwed on correctly.  A few weeks ago she refused to focus on me at the start line and totally pushed my buttons in all the wrong ways, something that she had never managed to do before. I walked her off the course to prevent running the progress we are fighting for. My instructor took her at the end of class to prevent leaving on a bad note and she did well. Every week she has fewer and fewer shut down moments. This past Thursday she only sniffed the ground once and only for a few seconds and then she immediately refocused on me.

Trophy is suddenly having problems stopping in his 2o2o lately, but only on one obstacle at a time. Last week it was the dog wall, this week it was the a-frame.I don't know what his deal is. In general he is doing well. I'm pretty impressed by his weave entrances lately. Not perfect, but I'm baby sitting him less.  My biggest problem with him is thathe is in love with a classmate because she brings things like meatballs and ham. If she says his name he takes off to her and couldn't care less that we were in the middle of a course. At least I know if I ever can't run him he will do backflips for the chance to run for her.

Demo is doing really well.  My instructor says he has "contacts to die for". Unfortunately, despite me finally trusting in my dog to not kill himself and relaxing when I run him, I have inadvertently slowed down his performance. Not that he is slow by any means. Now we are working on getting him weaned off his target discs and to hold his contacts no matter what I do until he is released.  He is so much fun to work with. He's on the fast track to move out of his beginners class. He basically ran a full course last week, with a little help on the teeter. Have I mentioned how much fun he is? I'm hoping to get our a-frame out of long term storage and work on contacts at home.

Eevee (bet you weren't expecting to see agility updates about her) is learning to go through tunnels already. And I borrowed my instructor's babydog teeter board. She has once again proved her fearlessness as she ran across it several times without blinking. Then we started started working on hitting her contacts. She is one smart cookie.

I got to run my instructor's sheltie in a practice run too. That was fun. She ran him first so I got to see where his problem spots are. Then I ran him twice, the final run being pretty good, the only error being where he turned right and took an off course jump instead of heading left into the tunnel I was cuing. His mom was sitting to the right so I didn't take it personally.  It's neat running a dog who totally understands his job on course (not having to baby sit weaves at all, for example) and gives you time to set up the next obstacle, but will show you where all your handling errors are.

Always so much to learn.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Eevee at 12 weeks

I can't believe it's already been 4 weeks since we brought her home.

Demo is her current idol.  He plays with her the most, and she hangs on his every move.  

Her ears keep going up and up and up.  I wonder if she's going to be prick eared, which would be fitting with how much she looks up to Demo.  But, I like her tipped ears and I've considered gluing them down to keep the tipped look.

She's getting faster too, although she tires quickly.

This week she started showing herding behaviors this week too, stalking Demo as she chased him outside.

I had been having major problems getting her potty trained, as she would pee in her crate every single night.  I spent a lot of time trying to rule out behavioral aspects cutting down on her crate space, etc, but nothing worked. While in start contrast she was totally getting potty training in regards to pooping and even rang the bell to go out this week. At her vet appointment this Monday we brought in a urine sample and discovered she has a UTI.  She in on antibiotics and today she finally woke me up to go pee and did not mess in her crate over night.

She is learning to spin, bow, and put her back feet in a box.

I love her more and more every day.

When Your Heart Stops Beating

No one died!  I know that's a thought that may have crossed your mind reading the title.

I did, however, have a true moment of terror this morning.

I let Qwill, Shiner, Trophy, Demo and Eevee outside this morning to take pictures before breakfast as Eevee is 3 months old today.  Then I realized I forgot my camera battery upstairs and went to retrieve it.  On the way back I freed Pan and Koda from my sister's room, and let the two of them and Baxter out to join the others.  No sooner had I opened the door and the three dogs thundered past at a million miles an hour I hear screaming.  I thought someone had run the puppy over,
so I'm scanning for a little red blob, and I see Qwill  looking crumpled, sitting hump-backed, not putting weight on his left leg and screaming a death wail that I never want to hear again so help me god.  I screamed for help and carried him inside which just made him scream harder.

My mom came over to help me look at him (she's a nurse) and I totally lost it. I started bawling and sobbing and some wailing of my own.

This is my Qwillyman.  This is my heart and soul and he can't die.

He has been acting off all week, he stayed in his kennel Sunday night instead of following us up stairs and when he wouldn't come when I called I had to go get him.  My sister took him to the Chiropractor on Monday with Shiner and one of his hips was badly out of alignment.  So the first thing that popped into my head seeing him holding his paw up is that he had something like osteosarcoma and I was going to lose him.

I'm usually calm and level headed in case of emergency (we've had enough emergency vet trips with Trophy, after all) but Qwill is different.

My mom was able to manipulate his leg and he had pain in his shoulder area but she didn't think it was broken.  So we assumed broken rib.

We couldn't figure out how to move him without hurting him, and eventually he solved the problem by forcing himself to stand up.  He was able to walk to the car, although hunched and short strided, and we hurried him off to the vet.

The vet looked him over and said that they she didn't think anything was broken, just badly bruised. He may have a compressed disc in his spine/neck or a pinched nerve. They couldn't pin point a pain response in one area to warrant x-rays.

So now he is on Rimadyl and Tramadol for pain management and he is on strict crate rest for 5 days (although I let him come out and sleep on a dog bed with me because he's calm and not trying to run around).  We have a recheck on Tuesday.

I told him he's not allowed to scare me like this over a shared meal of McDonald's fries and chicken nuggets.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday Trophy!

5 years ago a dog was born who totally changed my life.

He is my everything-dog,

the dog that will try anything I put him up to.

The dog who rocks at so many challenges set before him.

The dog that has set me up to be a good flyball trainer...
(Taken at our very first flyball tournament, July 2011)
and a pretty decent agility handler...

all because of his willingness to try.

I love this dog with the very fiber of my being.


Happy Birthday Catastrophy

Here's to many, many, many more.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lots O' Flyball Lately!

(I'm not complaining, that's the way I like it)

This past weekend we flyballed in Greenville, Ohio.  Three hours in the car with 5 dogs, and the wonderful Jbiz.  My dogs were less than happy.  Since I had to bring a box with us along with all our camping gear, flyball gear, dogs, crates, etc, we had to take the truck.  I figured it was more cost effective on gas than taking 2 SUVs, and this way Jbiz and I had company on the drive, even if my dogs were a bit squished (It's a good thing they love each other).

We had some pretty ugly team drama rear it's ugly head this weekend, so I'm not going into details as it doesn't need to be aired here on my blog.

Trophy ran on the host team's Variety Pick Up Team,  and backed up our start dog on our Standard team.  I was given his TFE Level II pin, but according to the official U-FLI website he missed the title by 20 points (so, I'm not sure what's going on there...).

Demo ran singles all weekend.  He puts his all in, so running a warm up run trying to help him get his striding right wears him out and slows him down since in singles it's pretty much 4 races (plus your warm up exercises) and any false start reruns  you want to take in less than 5 minutes.  However, he still managed to log a personal best time of 4.239 on Saturday.  He ran one race on Sunday and earned the 55 points he needed to earn his TF-III Title.  Good Boy, Demio.

However, the true superstar this weekend was my Pandabear.  She not only earned her TFE-I Title, but she also thoroughly laid claim to the honor of being the #1 Pointed English Setter in U-FLI.  She gave herself a 700 point lead (exactly) over the now #2 E.S.

Not a bad weekend, not a bad weekend at all.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day Baxter!

To the Staff of the Lake County Dog Kennel,

I adopted Baxter, a border collie, from your shelter 4 years ago today. I don't even know if you still have staff there who would remember him, he was surrendered with his brother (who was adopted), then Baxter was adopted and returned because of dog aggression. I was contacted to do an evaluation for border collie rescue, and when I was called again because he was put on the Euth list because he was going kennel crazy I came back as fast as I could to get him. I originally intended to only foster him and start rehabilitating his dog aggression, Baxter had other ideas and quickly wormed his way into our hearts. While he is still extremely cautious with new dogs and he does not like strange dogs to get anywhere near his personal space, I have not only been able to adopt 2 new dogs since he came to live here, but I have fostered dogs as well. He now lives with 6 canine siblings and since he is currently on the floor wrestling I think it's safe to say he's happy as can be. I wanted to write you a note to say how grateful I am that I was called to pick him up instead of the administration deciding to have him put to sleep for being unadoptable I'm including a picture of him in our pack group photo. The image on the top left was from the day I brought him home, May 6th 2009, and the image on the top right I took in February. He will be turning 9 this year, he is getting gray hairs around his mouth, eyes, and ears, but he still plays like a young dog and loves to chase his frisbee. Thank you, again, from the bottom of our hearts for all the work you do.

~Lexi and Baxter

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pandabear The Great

Pan became the #1 English Setter in UFLI yesterday! She was tired after the day of racing. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let's Get Ready To Flyball!

I've been so rushed with everything this week that I almost didn't get to update on last week's tournament before heading off to another one tomorrow!

Jbiz and Trophy.

This past weekend was a NAFA tournament in Michigan.  3 of my dogs were signed up to share 4 spots across two teams.   Thankfully a long time ago I had requested help from my friends as I can't run two dogs on the same team, and two of my friends agreed to come to the tournament with me.  This worked out really well as back on the 16th I was bitten by a dog at work when she got her muzzle off during a nail trim and the bite got infected.  I was cleared for full use of my hand the day before the tournament.  I was so thankful that I only had to worry about running one dog all weekend.


Matty working on Demo's starts. We were being conservative on purpose, but they did really well together!
Jbiz (Cocoa's mom) was running Trophy all weekend, and my friend Matty was running Demo as Dem really likes him, and he could better take the beating that is running Demo in flyball all weekend.

There was only one major bobble with Demo all weekend, and we realized it was because we were switching boxes with him (we changed up our line ups at one point to help with making time) and he is too green to handle a change of box during a tournament.  The one race with a different box he bobbled the ball all 5 heats.  Luckily it was in the left lane and he didn't cross.  As soon as we stuck with the same box he ran beautifully.  There was also one heat where he dropped his ball early (VERY VERY unusual for him) but i think he had bit his tongue the previous heat and that may have contributed.


Trophy was my freaking rockstar all weekend.  I accidental ran him in 9 races on Saturday, I meant to switch Pan in for a few races, but in the crazy that was our schedule it somehow got overlooked.  Yay for racking up the points!

Speaking of racking up points, Demo got enough points to earn his FDCH-S (1,000 points) and Pan and Trophy took a huge chunk out of the race for their FMXes.  I also got their pins for earning 5,000 points back in February!

This upcoming weekend Demo will earn his next title (only needs 55 points), Pan and Trophy should be very close to their next titles at the end of the tournament (they both need just over 700 points to get there and I just don't think they're going to make it).

BUT  Pan will become the #1 ranked English Setter in UFLI in less than two full races!  And that is worth CELEBRATING!  WOOHOO!!