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Archive for February, 2010

Much of February

Whew – I’m almost caught up!  I wonder if my postings on Facebook help me forget about posting to my blog.

February started out with a private agility lesson with Terry.  Karl and Fringe worked on the sit stay.  And then some handling.  I worked on a few different handling things and had a few questions cleared up from recent courses.  I think I forgot to write down my list of things to work on though.  I wonder if I can still remember.  Bad handler!

Copper started having pain problems.  I would let him out of the bedroom when I got home and twice he yelped when I petted his shoulder area.  Then a 3rd time he came out of the bedroom and was whining and then fell back into a sit and his back legs were out wide and shaking.  I made a vet appointment for a few days later.  We also started crating him during feeding and dog rotation times.  He gets so crazy and barks and jumps around – on and off the bed.  He’s jumping off a high bed onto a particle board floor so it is not good on his shoulders.   And he’s wound up so he’s not thinking of taking care of his body.  That has helped alot and we have not had any episodes of yelping since then.  The vet did not find anything.  She said his spine felt good and there was no heat.  He was overdue for his 6 month checkup so it was good timing.  He also has a new lump on is butt that I just discovered.  His butt bones are not the same size since one has the lump on it.  That’s how I noticed it.  LOL  She aspirated it and found some abnormal cells so she sent it off to the lab.  It came back perfectly normal.  Whew!  We talked about increasing his cosequin and what our next pain management steps would be.  I also got an osteoarthritis DVD by Debbie Gross Sanders.  One thing in there that hit home with me was that arthritis has flare ups.  So maybe he was having a flare up at the time and maybe he is when his body is hotter.  He cooled down after we first switched him to rabbit but then got hot again.  Because of the pain that he was experiencing, I was worried about him doing agility.  So I scratched him from the ACTS trial.  By the time the trial came, he would have been ok but I’m kind of glad I did scratch him.  It was a very hard decision but that usually means that it’s the right one.  It just feels like it is time to retire him from agility.  I think it would be easier on his body and will hopefully reduce flare ups and stress on his joints.  And if he gets hurt by misjudging the tire or the dog walk or something, he could get seriously hurt.  I’ve been worried about his jumping for awhile and judge each trial on a per trial basis and that’s probably not the best thing to be doing.  We’ve got stuff we can do at home and he can do obedience.  He didn’t mind not playing at the CPE trial.  He got to go with and hang out and go for a few long walks.  The more I talked to people about him being retired the more it sank in and I was ok with it.

I entered Copper and Vada in our first ever St. Hubert’s CDSP obedience trial.  It went really well.  I was most worried about the moving stand for exam.  Vada knew the moving stand where I kept walking and she stopped.  Not the me stopping and her staying in a stand.  Both dogs should sit when I stop.  So I practiced with both of them to find out what cues each of them needed.  They both did the standing part great all weekend.  However, I forgot the exam part!  Copper did fine.  Vada has not been examined except for a few times when I was cramming for her UKC and ASCA CDs.  She was not paying attention in the first ring and suddenly the judge was there and spooked her and she moved.  So I worked on proofing her stand and not moving no matter what outside the ring.  It worked as she held her stay for the other 3 trials.  Both dogs earned their CD-H.  Vada had 2 run offs.  One she finished in the middle and got 2nd place.  The other she won for 2nd place.  Copper also got a 4th leg to boot.  His sits got less and less with each trial and his heeling got slower.  In this venue you can use food in the ring but he gets so crazy that I did not use it.  I did in the last trial and it seemed to help a little bit to perk him up.  But really, for a 12 year old dog, he did awesome!  However, I am on the fence about trialing him for his AKC CD after that weekend.  But there’s lots of time to decide.

It was weird only running one dog at the ACTS CPE trial last weekend.  I did not enter Seven as I wanted to be training him and not reinforce bad habits.  I scratched Copper.  So that just left Vada.  Saturday we did awesome!  4 Qs out of 4 runs!  Sunday I could not get it together for the life of me.  I was just off all day.  Karl and Fringe trialed on Sunday too.  They had some good moments in their runs.  Karl learns alot each time he runs her in a trial.  But no start line is really killing them I think.  It was fun to spend Valentine’s Day together at an agility trial.  Saturday night we exchanged gifts.  He did a great job as usual.  I came home to flowers (a beautiful colorful assortment) and candy (dark chocolate turtles!)  and a cute animal daily calendar and a beautiful garnet heart shaped ring.  The band is gold and silver.  I gave him a dog tag necklace that had a dog tag on it with a bible verse engraved into it and another tag that was a cross.  I heard the bible verse when we were at that church in Elk River.  The pastor has it engraved in his wedding band.  I liked how they explained what it meant.  It was a good one for Valentine’s Day.

I think I forgot to mention in my last post that Seven turned 7 yeas old on January 19th!  This month Rally turned 9 years old on the 15th!  They sure don’t act like they are getting older.

This weekend is the MAC USDAA trial.  Karl and Fringe are entered on Saturday.  Vada is entered both days in everything but Pairs.  We are entered in Grand Prix for our first time ever.  Seven is entered in Starters Jumpers both days.  I think he only needs 1 more Q to move up to Advanced.  But we’re in no rush.  Saturday is going to be SUCH a long day with tons of Masters entries that we have to bring all of the dogs with.  They can be naughty in their crates (Prozac and Rally!) but it’ll take alot of stress and worry off of us that we have to get home to potty them by x time.  It’s a long drive down to Cannon Falls too.  And they are starting even earlier due to the high Masters entries.  So we will be getting up CRAZY early!  Tonight we have Open Gym at On The Run.  I am going to pack the van before we go there so we can just go home and go to bed after our open ring time.  Sunday Karl is staying home with the dogs so I can go to the storage locker after the trial and help put equipment away.

A little over a week til March!  We’re having a stretch of warm sunny days and the snow is melting.  I’ve got spring fever BAD.  I’m so excited for the snow to melt so we can put equipment out in the yard and train more often again.


I can not believe how quickly time is flying by.  I have not posted in over a month.  Almost a month and a half!  Guess it’s good that winter is going by quickly.  Hopefully it’ll keep going fast and then slow down once spring comes back.

Narc started Super Puppy obedience classes at the beginning of January.  I debated between he and Prozac.  He is no longer doing SchH since I am taking a break and he could use the opportunity to get out and about around lots of people and dogs so he’s not so nervous.  Prozac is naughty in her crate in the van.  Narc is not.  So I signed him up.  Maybe I’ll do the next class with her if I can find a class for Seven on a different night.  She would love the class but traveling with her is an exercise in patience or yelling.  Narc is really enjoying the class.  Seven is in the class before his.  Last week I realized how much easier Narc is to train than Seven.  He’s much calmer.  Seven is frantic and always in motion and always offering behaviors.  They’re all going to make me a great dog trainer one day!  🙂

Vada had agility class twice a week for a few weeks.  I had decided to not sign up for winter session 2 agility classes.  I needed a break from the driving and I was having some other issues with the class.  Plus, the class was really late and I got home really really late on a week night.  Then I started doing a bunch of open ring time at On the Run.  I went back and forth on signing up for an agility class there since the instructors do not follow the Greg Derrett handling system.  But no group class instructors really do around here at the moment.  A friend of mine who does follow the GD system was going to sign up for a class so I figured I would give it a try.  She ended up moving to another class but she gave me the push to get into the class.  The instructor respects my choice for handling and I can tell her if something conflicts with the handling system.  She is upbeat and a lot of fun.  The class laughs a lot and we are encouraged to try different things – did a front cross last time?  try a rear cross this time.  I need some fun in my classes or I get way too serious.  I’ve really enjoyed this class.  Plus the facility is beautiful with pretty spongy blue mats and nice lighting and it’s heated.  I signed up for another set of classes.  I was going to take the summer off from classes and just train at home.  The classes fill and are hard to get into so I’ll have to decide soon, before the next session opens for registration, if I want to risk losing my spot in the class.  This class has a lot of big high drive barky dogs in it too.  Vada is a perfect fit!

On most Fridays we’ve been doing open ring time at On the Run.  I work Seven and Vada.  Karl works Fringe.  It is helping a lot.  We usually get a lot of time to work the dogs too.

We had a USDAA trial in January at Leatherdale.  I had Seven entered in Starters Jumpers at 22″.  I was scared that I should not have entered him at such a high jump height and thought about scratching him since he is only 17″.  He did really well and the more I work him at 20″ or 22″ I’m seeing that he really seems to like it.   Karl also ran Fringe on Sunday in Jumpers and Snooker.  Vada ran in all classes but Pairs – in case I needed to pull her off the start line.  We also ran in Steeplechase for our first time ever.  We did not Q but we got into Round 2 so we got to play again on Sunday.  We did pretty well on Saturday but I had a question on one part and got a dropped bar as I was late.  Sunday I had a melt down at the beginning of the course and that made the rest of our run really fall apart.  Vada popped out of the weaves and I think we had a bar down too.  We earned our first Masters Snooker Q and our first Advanced Standard Q.  I had to pull her off the 2nd Standard run for breaking her sit.  She held her stay in all of the other runs.

Luci and Sonic went in for checkups at the vet.  Luci was dehydrated and had lost weight so we did labs on her to check kidneys and thyroid.  Labs came back fine.  So Karl is feeding her more canned food.  Sonic looked fine too and his heartworm/tick labs came back good.  He got a good brushing and a bath the day before his visit.  We’re going to bring in a few animals at a time to get them checkups and heartworm/tick tests before spring.

I started a Transact SQL class at HTC in Eden Prairie.  I really enjoy the class.  And he lectures for 2 hours and then has lab for 2 hours so I can start the long drive home and work on my projects on my time.   He just teaches us what we’ll need in the real world.

We finally decided to give UKC Rally a try at a MMBC show.  It was nice since it was 1 rally trial each day and it started at 11am.  I was out of there by noon one day and 1pm the other day.  I had not practiced with the dogs at all but I read the rulebook and felt I understood the signs and the rules.  Apparently not well enough.  Saturday I was the last one  walking the course and, unknown to me, the first one in the ring with Copper.  Since I was not ready they moved Copper to the end.  So I had to get Vada ready to go in.  I totally missed a sign with her so we did not Q.  It was a sign that should could have done perfectly too.  I did NOT miss that sign when it was Copper’s turn.  He Q’d with a 91.  Sunday I was ready to go when it was my time.  Copper went in the ring first this time.  On a sign that involved a finish with no sit I let him sit.  That NQ’d us.  Poor dogs!  I did NOT make that same mistake with Vada.  So she Q’d with a perfect score of 100!  I think we got High in Trial but no HIT nor High Scoring Mixed Breed awards were offered in Rally that weekend it seemed.  So I have to wait for the results to be published in Bloodlines.  The dogs had alot of fun.  Vada did not bark in the ring during the exercises at all.  Karl video taped for us on Sunday with our camera so that was neat.  We will definitely do more UKC rally.  I think Narc isn’t far from being able to do it either.  Just have to get him UKC registered.  Need a vet to sign the form that he’s neutered though.  He’s close to being ready to show for his UCD too.

Karl and I went to the Animal Inn Annual Awards Banquet.  It’s a very nice event.  We had fun and laughed alot and ate alot of food.  I was SUPER lucky this year.  Normally I don’t win stuff in raffles.  This year I won *3* of the prizes.  I was just going for the braided leather leashes.  We got some neat stuff.

We also went to a day long seminar called Song of Solomon.  It was really good.  Talked about biblical views of marriage and  relationships and sex.  It was blunt and had tons of information along with some humor to lighten the mood.  I think we both took alot away from it.

The next day we went to the Guthrie to see the play of Romeo and Juliet.  I have to pay really close attention as I have to decipher the language.  It was set more in a ’50’s time frame but it was fun to see.  We got a really good deal on the tickets too.  I’ve never really gone to plays before Karl and I started dating.  Maybe 2 and 1 was with my coworkers.

That closed out January!  It was a busy month but it was very nice to get back into a weekly schedule of things and have the holiday craziness behind us.  And it puts us 1 month closer to spring!

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