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Archive for August, 2011

UKC Agility

I did a good job last week of working Letty on 2o2o, jump grids and 2 x 2s.  Karl video taped 3 of our sessions to send to Tracy for feedback.  She gave us compliments as well as areas to refine things.  Karl and I also setup Dawn’s tent one night to figure out which poles went where.

Thursday night I took Vada to agility class.  We had also been practicing the platform jump and pause box for the upcoming UKC agility trial.

Friday I worked from home so I could leave right after work to drive down to Fort Dodge, IA, for a UKC agility trial.  That didn’t work out as planned.  I had not packed the night before so I still had to do all that after work.  I did save myself the hour drive home before I could start packing the van though.  So it could have been alot worse.  And the dogs were able to be out off and on so I wasn’t getting them home from work and shuffling them from their house crates to their van crates and then to their tent crates.  The drive went well and was uneventful.  I got to the fairgrounds about 8:30pm.  There was a bit of light left.  I was camping at the show site, a fairgrounds.  It was good that we had practiced setting up the tent so I knew what poles went where.  However, we did not see how it worked to set it up with *1* person.  It is not a 1-person-to-setup tent.  I struggled and struggled with it.  I was getting frustrated but would not let myself get mad.  So I thought about it a bit and decided to try using one of the wire crates to stick one side of the poles in.  That worked!  I was able to get the tent setup then.  Whew!  So I got the tent setup inside with my blow up mattress and sleeping bags and crates, pottied the dogs and fed them and went to bed.  We slept pretty good that night.  Unfortunately Copper fell off the mattress while he was sleeping.  When I woke him up he was on his back with his feet in the air trapped between the tent wall and the blow up mattress.  The only down side seems to be getting him out as he doesn’t like me pulling on his 14 year old body.  I think if it happened again I would just slide the mattress down to the bottom of the tent.  Also, Letty managed to pull her crate cover down and get her head out of the crate (I forgot this one is missing some wires) and ate the inside pocket of the tent.  Seven tried to tell on her but I just yelled at him for being mean.  Guess I should listen to him better and not just assume he’s always being snarky.

Tent setup by headlights and using a wire crate in place of a 2nd person

There was lots of green space around the tent to let the dogs run.  The trial building is in the background – nice and close.

The tent setup.  I borrowed it from a friend.  It’s a very nice tent.

My bed

Letty’s bed.  Seven’s was to the left but I had already brought it into the building for the day.

The tent had a nice screened in area that kept the bugs out.

Saturday Seven and Vada both ran 2 runs each of AGI and AGII.  Vada managed to Q in 1 AGI run and 1 AGII run.  Seven Qd in both AGI runs.  He would have Qd in both AGII runs if only he had done the pause box correctly.  Vada’s most common error was 1 bar down.  In one of the AGII runs we messed up the box.  And it was a learning curve for me to figure out the best way to run UKC agility.  First I tried doing way too much control and it just made Vada more frantic.  Neither dog had been on the sway bridge or swing plank but they both loved those obstacles.  Seven had a few oopses with the hoop tunnel if I didn’t put him in straight on but he figured it out.  We did not see the platform jump at all as it was being repaired/replaced.  I had trained for that and hoped our training was better than our pause box training but we weren’t able to find out.  I was able to do some fun runs Saturday after the show to work the pause box.  They did great then but it did not carry over to the trial.  Well, it didn’t for Seven.  Copper got to come in for a visit for a bit.  He trialed there with Sadie about 10 years ago!  He earned his AGI and AGII titles back then.  Letty got to come in and visit too and she fell in love with a young boy who was giving her cookies.

Seven running AGII

Vada running AGI – she Qd in the first run

Seven running AGI – he Qd in both runs

Saturday I bought some raffle tickets to help support the club offset the cost of hosting the trial.  I got lucky and won this cool dog bed.

Saturday night I went to dinner with Denise, Carol and Shirley.  It was Shirley’s 71st birthday.  She only showed on Friday but stuck around on Saturday and Sunday just to hang out at the show.  And tape most of my runs for me.  I am very appreciative!  After dinner I walked the dogs at the fairgrounds.  We had tons of open green space.  There was a fence by the road too.  So I could just let the dogs RUN.  They loved it.  Even Copper was running around with a smile on his face.

Saturday night the dogs were nice and tired from their run so I got some pics of them sleeping.  It was pitch dark when I took these pics.


Vada – chewing on herself from her allergies



Sunday went pretty similarly.  I didn’t sleep as well so I was a bit short on patience and getting frustrated with Vada being soooo close but always knocking 1 bar.  Vada Qd in her first AGI run.  We just needed 1 more to finish her title.  But no such luck – 1 bar.  Each AGII run had 1 bar too.  There are not many jumps in these courses, Vada!  Seven again had pause box issues.  He did Qd in both AGI courses.  I did not know if I could move him to B for the 4th trial of the weekend and I did not ask so we did not get any points.

One of Vada’s AGII runs on Sunday

One of Seven’s AGII runs on Sunday


Seven was pretty tired on Sunday from all the runs and camping!

Letty did some mat work in the lunchroom during lunch while I worked on my laptop.  It was VERY busy in there and she did a great job.

Sunday during the down time between runs I packed up the tent and dogs.  Before we hit the road I took the dogs on a last walk around the fairgrounds so they could stretch their legs and burn off some steam before the 4 hour drive home.  It ended up being a 5 hour drive home with construction.

Seven loved the new dog bed that I won in the raffle.

Copper was happy to go home.

I had been here 10 years ago with Sadie and Copper.  I took a picture using this building as background so I wanted to take similar pics with my current dogs.  Unfortunately the ones that I took of Copper and Vada ended up with only 1 good dog in each one.  I did not even notice that Vada had her eyes closed til we were home and I looked at them on the computer.  Oh well.  Now I need to find the one of Copper and Sadie to compare.

Vada and Copper

The 2 competitors – who do NOT like to be close to each other

Vada alone


With Vada being so close to finishing her AGI I decided to skip the MAC USDAA trial Labor Day weekend and I entered them in a UKC agility trial in Ixonia WI.  How crazy is that?  Hopefully with 4 runs she can Q at least once.  I’m really not crazy about jumping them on these thin mats over concrete and I’m pretty sure that’s what it’ll be in WI.  But it’s only 2 weekends.  We use to train on that when I started teaching them agility.

A very tired but very happy BorderJack

UKC agility is quite a bit different and alot of people poo poo it because of that.  But it’s so different that it’s kind of a different form of agility.  I thought it was alot of fun and the dogs did too.  What I thought would be problems were not problems.  I would have preferred better footing like dirt or grass but that’s about it.  The club and exhibitors were super nice and friendly and supportive.  I’m looking forward to the next trial.  I would definitely consider going to this trial again next year.  Maybe Letty will be ready to play by then too.  Or Narc.


Tuesday night Mom came over and we took Copper for a walk at Woodland trails.  When we pulled into the park I saw what looked like a small black piece of log.  As we drove by I noticed it was a kitten.  I stopped and got out and walked up to it.  It ran away into the grass.  So we continued the drive into the park.  We got Copper out and found poop bags and whatnot.  Then we started on our walk.  A little ways into it I heard a meow.  I turned around and saw a little kitten following us.  He avoided me at first but ran up to Copper and started rubbing on him.  I put my hand down by Copper and then he was ok with rubbing on me too.  I picked him up.  He was skin and bones but purring away.  I handed Mom Copper’s leash and took the kitten to the van and put him in a crate.  He stayed in there all night while Mom and I went to dinner at Northwoods – we had brought Copper home.  Then he stayed in there overnight too with a litterbox, blanket, food and water.  Just in case he had Leukemia.  Copper, true to form, stole 4 or 5 chicken backs out of the sink and ate them while Mom and I were gone.  He hasn’t changed!  Something about having Mom around makes him able to steal food and eat it!

Wednesday I went into work late as Copper had an appointment with the chiropractor there to get a checkup, adjustment and cold laser therapy on his spine for the arthritis inflammation.  I had email our vet the night before to ask if I could bring the kitten in for a checkup and she had agreed.  The kitten was a mess.  He was dehydrated, his body temperature was low, he wasn’t eating and he had worms.  He also had a puncture wound on his throat.  We wormed him and he got antibiotics and some solution under his skin to hydrate him.

I brought him home and put him in the bathroom to sleep while I was at work.  He had blankets and food and water and a litterbox but I did not take time to find a heat lamp or heating pad as I thought I had time.  When I got home from work he was lifeless.  Karl pottied the dogs and then we drove the the emergency vet so we could have him put to sleep.  He was having seizures on the way and I think he had been having them before we got home too.  When we got there they took him in the back room to put a catheter in him to give him his final shot.  They thought he was trying to take his final breaths.  I told them that I wanted to be with him when they gave him the final injection.  While they had him in back they gave him some dextrose.  It brought him back and he was purring and kneading his paws when I held him and petted him!  It was amazing!  We decided to try to save him since it seemed that he was going to fight for his life.  So they kept him overnight and gave him fluids, force fed him, antibiotics and sugar water and kept him warm.  The next morning I was able to transfer him to my regular vet for them to care for him all day.

I brought him home Thursday after work for the night.  He was doing pretty well.  I fed him a few times and cuddled with him and we kept him warm in the bathroom.  I got up early in the morning to feed him again.  He did well all night.  I brought him to the vet again Friday morning.  He was doing well and his blood sugar was up.  During the day they said he even ate twice on his own.  They did want him back the next day as his blood sugar level had started to drop again and they had to give him more sugar water.  When I picked him up and brought him home he seemed more tired than he had been the night before.  He was wrapped up in a blanket in his carrier and he just laid there in his blanket until I unwrapped him.  He got worse as the night went on.  I fed him before we went to dinner with Dad and Dianna but he didn’t want to eat and was fighting me.  We were gone for about 4 hours and when we got home he was not doing well at all.  We tried sugar water and feeding him.  His pad had turned itself off so we made sure we got him good and warm.  Karl ran to stores in the middle of the night to get Pedialite and some dextrose water.  His nose was super runny with mucousy discharge.  I tried to keep it clean but I could not.  Nothing worked.  I brought him into the dark quiet bedroom so he could sleep.  I laid on the bed with the heating pad on me and McGraw on top of it and he was wrapped in a blanket.  He took his last breath about 2am and was finally free of his sick failing young body.  We are having him cremated and we ordered the cutest little heart shaped urn for him.  He was such a sweet loving kitten.

Saturday was hard as I was really sleep deprived.  I did have some evening distractions though.  Sunday was alot easier since I had alot going on.  But today is killing me.  Work is not a good distraction!  It’s hard since he was so young and we tried so hard.  I wonder if there was something that I could have done or not done that would have changed our outcome and saved his life.  What if I had force fed him earlier like the first night I brought him home or even after he was at the vet the first time?  What if I had given him a heating pad right away?  What if his heading pad had not turned off when we were at dinner?  I wish I could have a do-over.  I wonder what kind of cat he would have grown up to be.  I was not crazy about calling him McGraw.  However I could not, no matter how hard I tried, come up with another name.  I thought about it and thought about it.  I realized that I name my pets based on how I want them to grow up and I was just not able to imagine his future.  I am scarily right about my “hunches” and I did not have a good feeling about his future.  However, I really really hoped that I was wrong.  Our vet is out of town for the week so she is not able to do a necropsy.  I’m really bummed about that as it might give us some answers as to what happened to him and what exactly took his little life.  Did he have that fly larvae problem?  Was it a lung infection?  Was it just from being malnourished?  Was it just the stress?  And maybe the simple answer is just that he was not fixable no matter what heroic efforts we went to.

He did not die alone.  He was loved by the many who were caring for him.  MANY of my friends on Facebook were rooting for him and were also very sad to hear of his passing.  Lots of compassion from my wonderful friends for this little stray kitten.

RIP McGraw

OTR USDAA Trial and a Wedding Reception

At the end of my last post I was not certain about what to do that Wednesday night.  I did end up going to obedience classes and worked Letty and Seven.  It was a good class.  Letty is getting more and more comfortable there.

Thursday night Vada had agility class.  It went pretty well.

Friday night Letty and I had a shared private agility lesson with Terry.  We worked on jump grids.  Letty had trouble with the bend grid again.  We worked it a few times at home after the last time we worked on it with Terry but it had been awhile.  She was very slow again and unsure.  Once Terry put a wing on each side to take away some of her choices she did great.  She was conflicted about her path over the jumps vs her path directly to the toy.  I was happy with how that ended and need to keep working on it at home.  We also did some bounce grid.  I was able to put motion into it.  Letty was lining up very nicely next to my side!  Our morning training sessions are paying off!  Then Terry and I worked on Letty’s contact behavior.  I got some ideas for what to work on next.  I’m also doing an online lesson with Tracy and we’re going to get her contacts going.

Saturday and Sunday was On the Run’s first USDAA trial.  I was the Chief Scorekeeper and a bit nervous about that.  For no reason really.  Terry was the secretary and between him and myself and Kelly we had no problems with scoring or keeping up.  I scored enough to get comfortable with the program and I learned what to write on the sheets too.  Both dogs ran really well all weekend and stayed sound.  I have a few videos but I need to pull them off the tape and upload them still.  Vada broke her stay in Steeplechase so the run was crap.  I pulled her after that when she broke her stay which she did on her next 2 runs.  But the rest of the runs were really nice.  I was working on being smooth and getting places in a timely manner to give her good information but without being frantic about it.  We had 1 bar down in all of the runs we ran but I was really happy with the runs.  We’re still getting the hang of Masters.  She jumped well which helped me to know that I can keep her in Masters for awhile longer.  Seven ran really well too and finished his ADP so he’s in all P3 classes now!  He picked up 2 P3 Jumpers legs too.  And he was .4 seconds off from getting a Q in Steeplechase.  That would have been my first.  We have some fast older experience Border Collies in our class.  He ran round 2 well too but for a pop out of the weaves right at the very end that I didn’t even see.  He got poopy a little bit but then got out of it.  I probably just brought him out too early.  One run I walked in and we were in so I went right in and he did great and loved that.  Karl got to see 1 of his runs and 1 of Vada’s runs.  He brought Rally in to get his hips massaged and checked out.  Rally’s right hip is painful and has been for awhile.  He hasn’t been using that leg and the muscle is wasting away.  Letty was very good in her crate all weekend.  I left her crate cover open and put a note on her crate that said “Please feed me if I am quiet”  It worked.  People fed her.  Nancy said she was a bit snarky if dogs walked by too close and suggested that I put a chair in front of her crate.  That was enough for her to be quiet!  I took her out a few times a day and potties and trained her too.

Monday I got to go to my Hip Hop Cardio class.  It was a blast.  I am quite rusty but it was coming back.  I got there early so I did some running/walking on the treadmill too.

Tuesday morning we brought Prozac into the vet to have a thyroid panel drawn and sent to Dr. Dodds because of her newer storm phobia.  I also had Copper examined as his pain is getting worse and he’s not holding his adjustments.  Dr. Heather wanted me to work with Dr. Jina too so we get him on complimentary herbs and meds and we’re all on the same page.  We decided to put him on Metacam to help with the inflammation from his arthritis.  Dr. Jina also said it feels better for him with the arthritis to sleep on the floor.  That made me feel a little better.  I was worried that it was part of the progression to his leaving me and he was weaning me from him.  He’s slept in my bed every night, touching me, for 14 years.  It’s been a tough adjustment to make.  I am getting up less often to check on him though and it’s nice to have a bit more room – when the space isn’t filled by cats.  Tuesday night Mom came over and we took Copper for a walk at Woodland Trails.  He had been up with Karl all day so he was slow and tired.  He got to do lots of sniffing and we didn’t take too long of a walk.  Mom was happy to see him and get to spend some time alone with him.  We also found a kitten, McGraw, which I’ll write about in my next post.  Actually he found us.  When we dropped Copper off at home so we could go out to eat we took some pics of him and Mom.  He wasn’t cooperating very well and flopped down on the ground.  So Mom flopped down with him.  Made for a super cute photo!

Wednesday I brought him back to the vet to see their chiropractor who comes in every other week.  Copper’s appointment went well.    The chiro does cold laser therapy too.   It was interesting to see someone else work differently than Dr. Heather.  The chiro commented that Copper seems to enjoy his adjustments.  I’m not sure if it was the adjustment or the laser therapy but he’s feeling better and carrying his tail up more and more.    I made another appointment in 2 weeks.  Dr. Jina has seen alot of improvement with her 11 year old Great Dane’s elbows with the laser therapy.  The humidity has broken too which helps.  We will do laser therapy again every 2 weeks for at least 3 sessions.  3 seems to be the key.  Karl and I will alternate taking him as it’s at 8am on Wednesday mornings.  The handout says it can reduce inflammation from arthritis by 75%.  That would be nice!

Thursday night I brought Seven to agility class.  I wasn’t in the best frame of mine and didn’t totally have my head in the game but we did ok.  Michelle was kind enough to let me come to the later class so I could pickup McGraw at 5:30pm from the vet which is the time that I would normally be leaving the house for class.

Friday night we met Dad and Dianna at Northwoods Bar and Grill to celebrate Karl’s birthday.  I was tired and kind of sad so not the best company as my mind was at home with the kitten.  I had an adult beverage which helped a little.  The food was good of course.  Sadly, that night we lost little McGraw.

Saturday we took McGraw’s body to the vet and went and ordered an urn for him.  We ran a few other errands too.  Then I went home and took a nap.  Then I took Vada and Letty to a birthday party for a 16 year old Sheltie, Wysk.  I brought both of them in separately and worked on obedience with them.  They both did well and were happy to work.  It was a building that Letty has never been in.  We walked into the building right into a group of tons of people and dogs running around loose all over.  She got low right when we walked in the door but recovered quickly and then was fine saying hi to all the dogs and moving on.  Vada enjoyed socializing on her way to the back ring too.

Sunday morning I brought Copper, Vada and Letty to train Letty with Warren’s group.  Letty was in heaven and did really well.  I really enjoy hanging out and training with this group.  Sometimes a little part of me is tempted to start to train Vada for the low levels of Mondio.  Like I have time!  But she would LOVE it.  Got home in time to turn around and head out to my cousin, Eric’s, wedding reception.  He got married in Cancun and they had a reception here in Saint Paul on the University of MN’s showboat.  It was neat and the reception was really nice.  Mom and all of her siblings were able to make it and get a group photo.

They had a video of pictures from the wedding and the reception they had in Cancun.  It looked very beautiful and like they had alot of fun.  My mom, brother, his girlfriend, sister and her husband were all there too.  We had a good time. 

The boat was on the river and had a really pretty view from it.

Karl got in the spirit and wore tropical attire.

Mom had a great time with her kids.  I love this picture of her laughing.

Here are some pics of the inside of the boat.  There is a theater inside which is pretty neat.

The unique bride and groom cake topper.

Mom gave me some really cute black sandals too.  She heard me say that I would like a pair and that I thought hers were super cute so she got me a pair.  My nails had already been painted so I put them on as soon as she gave them to me.

I woke up this morning feeling depressed.  I’ve been sad all day and thinking about the kitten.  But it’s almost quitting time and then I can get busy and think about other things like training my dogs!  I canceled Copper’s appointment with Dr. Heather tonight so I won’t have to leave work early and rush around for that.  A little part of me wonder if I should have kept it for the acupuncture part of it but we’ll see.  He is doing well and we can always make another appointment.  Someone else needed to get in today so they were able to take our spot.  I need to work Vada and Seven on the UKC specific agility equipment and I need to setup Dawn’s tent to make sure that it’ll work for us this weekend.  And I need to buckle down and start Letty’s contact training program.  I’ve started 2 x 2 weaves with her too!  She’s growing up!  It might rain tonight though.  We’ll see.

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