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.