Katet: a group bound together by fate to achieve a common goal

Archive for April, 2012

Lots of New Agility

On Saturday the 14th we participated in the UMASC ASCA agility trial that was a fundraiser for the National Canine Cancer Foundation.  The trial filled!  The judge allowed the club to continue to take entries on Saturday since it was for a fundraiser.  We knew it was going to be a long day so we brought all of the dogs.  And since they were going to be there, I entered Narc and Prozac in a few runs.  So that put me up to having 5 dogs entered in at least 1 class each.  Vada ran in everything – 2 Regular, 2 Gamblers and 1 Jumpers.  She Qd in both Regular, 1 Gamblers and Jumpers.  She also did the first Gamble but I had to work it for awhile til she finally got it so we were over time.  I was kind of surprised that she did so well as the distances between the jumps are pretty far and that use to cause her to flatten out and knock bars (and plow thru them).  Seven was entered in Gamblers (unfortunately the hard one) and Jumpers.  I just wanted to get him out to run and have fun and not worry about weaving.  He Qd in Jumpers.  Letty was in 1 of each class.  We were having start line issues.  She was over time in Standard as she broke her stay and took the tire and then came and jumped on me to snuggle.  Lots of stress at the start line it seems.  I resat her and started from the 2nd jump.  She was also in the goofy Gamblers run (layer a dogwalk???) but I just ran it and didn’t even try to do it behind the line.  She ran it well.  She was running Jumpers really well too until she came out of the tunnel, took the next jump and then assumed position and pooped.  After she finished she got the zoomies and ran around all over and thru the tunnel like she was so much lighter.  She had already pooped twice outside.  Stress???  Narc ran well.  He had fun.  A few off courses in Standard but a nice run in Jumpers for a Q.  Prozac only ran in Jumpers but it was a brilliant run and a Q.  She didn’t even think about running off.  I was so proud of her.  Sonic also only ran in Jumpers and Qd.  It was a great course for all the dogs to open up and just run.  Fringe was entered in everything.  She Qd in Standard, Gamblers and Jumpers.  We some really goofy issues with measuring.  I had arrived at 7:10am so I could be there in lots of time to get the dogs measured.  They didn’t start measuring til 7:30am which was advertised but there were alot of new to ASCA dogs to be measured.  We stood in line for 20 minutes to get measured and then they cut us off at the dog right before us.  There was a LONG line behind us too.  We were told that we did not need to be measured?  Which did not sit right with me for many reasons.  So at the end of the day I asked again.  I really never got a definite answer.  I did show Pro and Seven’s NADAC height cards so that is on file.  Karl went out to get Sonic and Fringe to have them measured as a few other dogs were getting measured but the judge refused to measure them.  So the trial chair did.  The Dutch Shepherds jumped the highest heights so they did not need measurements.  Outside of that, which did NOT start my day off well, and some NADAC baggage that I seem to have – we had a fun day.  The dogs really enjoyed the courses and the people there are lots of fun.  And the best thing about the day – the trial raised $5000 for the NCCF!




Sunday I went to Schutzhund/Mondio training.  Then home to drop the dogs off and go out and do homework.  I went to Panara for awhile and then Perkins.  I spent hours on my homework but I got it completed and submitted by 8pm or 9pm – not midnight.  Thank goodness cuz I was exhausted!

Monday was Systems Analysis class.  It went by quickly and no group exercises.  🙂  We are doing one in the next class though.  I have 4 chapters to read and 4 homework projects to do, 2 tests and 2 classes and then I am done with the class.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  He graded my last paper even though I asked him not too and said that I would resubmit it.  I got 60/100 so at least that is some points.  And I can redo it and resubmit it to get back some of the points that I lost.

Tuesday Copper and Vada went to see Dr Heather.  She was impressed at how much better he looked than the last time he was there.  He’s been doing really well.  Thank goodness!  He felt better after he left there.  She mostly did cold laser on his acupuncture points.  She did some B12 injections in points and did a little bit of adjusting.  She worked on Vada too.  Vada had been there 6 weeks earlier I think.  She was much better than last time so she’s holding her adjustments.  She was a mess last time.  Copper sees her again on the 15th.  I tell him when we get close so he has something to look forward too.  🙂  Letty came in and did really well too.  Dr Heather was petting her.

Wednesday was IPO/MR training.  Things went ok but I really need to work on my obedience with both girls.  Vada needs to learn to do mondio defense of handler heeling touching my leg and heeling backwards.  And I need Letty to be able to find heel position with distractions (eventually the helper) around.  Letty is giving me good attention in heel position until I release her to go into the blind.  But Warren’s “SIT, SIT” is wearing off and she’s punching him again.  He wants to me pop her collar.  On a flat.  It’s not a pinch but it’s still a correction and taking away her choice and taking away from teaching her what is the correct behavior.  So I said I needed to think about it.  I have not been working it on my own with a toy.  So, after writing this I’m thinking that I might spend Wednesday working on homework and skip training.  I need to get my homework done so I can focus on training again.  I have lots of plans for alot of the dogs but just need the time and energy to get into a routine.

Thursday night was our first Thursday night of not having agility class in a long time.  We met Dad and Dianna for dinner.  I was really tired and feeling pretty bummed since I had found out earlier in the day that a guy who I used to do Schutzhund with had passed away.  I knew he had cancer and it was aggressive but you just think everyone will live forever and keep fighting.  He was a good man and loved his family and his dogs very much.  So mostly Karl and Dianna talked.  When we were starting to wrap things up Dianna decided it was time to attack me and tell me how she felt disrespected that we did not tell her that the birthday party was also for my Mom.  It’s pretty sad that she has probably made the party all about her and how she was betrayed and has totally ruined the best day of my Dad’s life for him.  Also, her need to “stick up for herself” and the way she went about it pretty much put the nail in the coffin for our relationship.  Every time we get together there is a negative story about me or something and I leave feeling crummy.  Why bother?  Family?  Is family so important that you disregard your own emotional well being to fulfill obligations?  I’m starting to think not.  And I’m starting to think that I have some confidence issues and some “independence” issues because of them.  Dad did make some comments about me being smart and that is why I got in trouble in high school.  That floored me.  He has never said anything positive about me specifically and he’s never said anything positive about me from when I was a teen.  He’s said he’s proud of me and proud of how all of us kids turned out.  He’s admitted that he’s been a bad father.  I’m done with the package deal.  I may choose to have lunch with him in the future but I am done with her and her insecurities and negative digs all the time.  What a waste of my precious time and energy.  Our dogs sat at home in their crates so we could have dinner with them and it was all a setup so she could tell me how disrespected she felt at a party that was not even about her.

Friday I loaded up all the NON-Border Collies and went to TCO for run thrus on the UKC equipment.  The 2 minutes per dog felt REALLY short.  I was not able to get on all the equipment nor really train anything.  But it was some sort of exposure for the dogs.

Saturday the agility trial didn’t start til 10am but I had entered Rally Level 2 so I had to be there at 8am.  I had quick read the new signs the night before and reviewed the Level 1 signs.  The walk thru went well and I felt pretty good about how it would go.  During our run I was doing pretty good.  We got to 1 of the new signs and the judge called a fault since Vada did not stay where I left her – the only help he said he would give us.  I went back to do it again as you can have a redo and just lose points.  My heart started racing.  I had to remind myself to calm down and read the sign and think about it and be clear to my dog on what to do.  Our redo went well and we made it thru to the end even though I was ready to die of a heart attack.  We ended up with a 97 (only lost the redo points) and our first UR02 leg!  And we were done before agility started so I didn’t have to worry about 2 rings.  I did onleash course familiarization with Pro, Letty and Narc.  It was so full in there and there was so much going on that I was getting stressed and Letty was stressed too.  It was not good.  But we got thru it just fine and the dogs did well.  Being in the ring was nice since it was quiet and not crowded out there.  The agility courses were basically straight lines down and up.  Prozac was the only dog that I could race.  The others smoked me so we had a few moments of them coming back to me or body slamming me.   All dogs (Pro, Letty, Narc and Vada) were in AGI and only Vada was in AGII.  I decided to not enter Seven as we had stress on the weaves and in the box.  It was a good decision as every AGII course had a box and no platform jump.  😦  Pro was running like a rockstar again and got 2 Qs with 2 perfect scores and 2 first placements.  Letty and Narc both had a bar down on their first run but Qd on their second runs.   Vada kept her bars up on her first run but popped out of the hoop tunnel so got a 5 point fault – a Q but not UACH points.  She dropped a bar in the 2nd run.  But she smoked both AGII runs with 2 perfect scores and 2 first placements.

Sunday was the same thing.  Vada did well in Rally and we would have scored a 100 but I forgot to have her sit in heel position on one of the signs.  I wondered as I was doing it but the sign was behind me so I couldn’t double check.  We NQd.  Such a bummer!  But I know she can do it and rally is early enough that we might be able to squeeze it in before training at the next trial.  Level 3 looks totally do able too.  I’m sure she could do AKC rally too.  For agility we started with AGII then AGIII.  It was so nice to start with less people there.  A nice quiet start.  🙂  Vada had 2 faults.  She hopped in and then out the backside of the box and also jumped over the swing plank.  She was quite high.  So it was a Q but no points.  Before the 2nd run I fed her some cookies in the hopes of calming her.  She smoked it and got a perfect 200 and first.  We reversed the height order too so I ran the DS first in AGI.  Letty was first in which was nice as I could bring her in right away and let her be there for a minute or two before we went in the ring.  She Qd with a perfect 200!  Her 2nd!  Then Narc ran.  He dropped 1 bar so no title possible for him for the weekend.  😦  Then Vada ran and also dropped 1 bar but a different bar than Narc.  😦  Then Pro ran and pulled out another perfect score which completed her UAGI title!  Then we switched to Trial 2.  Letty Qd again with a 199 which completed her UAGI title!  Narc Qd with a 200 and a first place!  And Vada Qd with a 200 also!  Vada started the weekend with 30 UACH points.  She earned 40 points over the weekend.  So now she needs 30 more to finish the title.  She has all of her AGII points but still needs 20 AGI points and then 10 from either.  Not sure when our next trial will be though.  I was very proud of how well all of the dogs did.  Especially with my not physically being able to get to where I needed to get to.  I got alot of exercise too!  Crating was tight so I worked out of the van parked at the top of the hill so I did ALOT of stairs over the course of the weekend.

No video from this weekend.  I had the camera but it’s hard to ask people to film when you’re running so many dogs.  I’m not sure that I’d want people to see the runs anyways.  LOL

Protection Training

Protection training is starting to take over much of my thoughts these days. 

Last week I got Letty out tracking a few times.  A bonus is that Copper gets to follow the track afterwards and clean up what Letty has missed for bait.  Vada gets to join Copper too.  It’s great exercise physically and mentally for Copper.

I did some research and got some feedback on what to do with Letty in protection.  I was on the verge of just slapping on pinch collar on her even though it was not fair to her.  Luckily I have the seminar coming up in May so I did not make any quick decisions.  Instead I sought out better information so I could come up with a plan.  Having a plan makes all the difference in the world.  I was so tired of fighting with her all the time and I know it was not good for our relationship and there would be alot of fall out in the future.  So now I let her drag me out onto the field so she can get a first bite to take the edge off.  Then we carry for a circle, she puts the sleeve down and I grab her harness and pull her back from the sleeve.  Then I ask her for a sit and I step a few steps over.  I wait until she gives me good eye contact and then I send her in for whatever exercise we are working on.  Mostly we are working on sending her into the blind for barking.  What has been working is for Warren to say “sit, sit” as she comes around the blind.  If she decides to go in on her own then she has the leash on to stop her and I put her back into the sit and we start over.  I’m getting really good long real eye contact now.  I’ve started moving in closer to her side.  We’ve also started asking for a sit after the down and then giving her a catch bite.  She is getting calmer and more thoughtful but this one is really hard for her as she gets mesmerized by Warren and can’t process “sit”.  She can do it at home for a tug so I know she understands but I need to find a higher value toy at home to work on it with.  I’m on 2 protection groups on Facebook that focus on training protection positively and it has really got me thinking about the exercises and breaking the behaviors down.  Some conflicts with what I have been taught so it’s causing me to think about the whole process and why we did what we did and do what we do.  I am amazed how the resources that you need to continue your journey appear when you need them.  Vada is not understanding the defense of handler so I need to start at home with teaching her contact heeling.  Robin showed me a good way to start teaching it so now I just need to make time to work on it.

Last night we had our last agility classes for the summer.  It was Seven’s turn for the early class.  He did awesome.  Super drivey and skimming jumps.  Letty did really well too.  She started out the first few jumps not super confident but then she got more confident as class went on.  I was happy that I could reinforce the contacts and put more value back into the nose touches.  We really needed that!  Michelle reminded me how difficult some of the sequences are for baby dogs too.  I forget and just expect her to do things.  It was good reminder of how well she is doing and what she is capable of.  I’d like to start jumping her higher.  Good summer project at home.  Karl is moving to Tuesdays so he can have Fringe in Nancy’s new class.  I think he’s going to love it.  Sonic will keep going too and he’ll be in Denise’s class.

Last Thursday I didn’t think there was room for Letty in the agility class so I left early and stopped at the park on the way home and worked obedience with Letty.  She was amazing.  Awesome drively heeling, great response to positions as I tried to play the game with her and I started teaching her the send out.  She is showing me her potential and I’m getting excited again about the sport.

Last Friday I made the drive to Lakeville to get the dogs in the building and on the flooring for the CPE trial that Saturday.  It was an indoor soccer field that is only for soccer a few months a year.  Otherwise it is a hockey rink.  They lie boards down and then put down the grassy turf over about 1/2″ of foam.  That is not enough give for the dogs to dig in.  At the fun match Letty and Vada ran well.  Seven slipped a few times and slipped alot while weaving.  He also launched off the dogwalk haflway down the ramp!  I marked it and carried him back to the beginning.  I don’t think I’ve ever carried him as punishment.  The next time over it he stopped a bit high so I waited him out and rewarded when he was in the correct position.  On the way out we did a tunnel to the dogwalk.  He was going so fast that I thought there was no way he’d hit his 2o2o.  He did!  He nailed it!  Brilliant!  Narc slipped alot.  He’s green and doesn’t follow my body well and I’d call him and he’s turn sharply and slip.  But his rear would go out under him and twist his body.  He also tried super hard to drive thru the weave poles but he kept slipping and twisting his rear and hitting his shoulders on the poles.  He also slipped just before the dogwalk and then fell off.  Not horribly and he didn’t get hurt but he fell off a few times.

Saturday we started with Jumpers which I do not understand – start with a class where you are allowed some mistakes to warm up like Jackpot or FullHouse.  All 3 dogs ran poorly.  Lots of slipping.  Letty was super stressed with more people and dogs in the building.  She broke her start line so I made her sit between the 1st and 2nd jump and released her from there.  She had 1 bar down but it’s Level 3 so she still Qd.  She also ran past her leash to get her tug that I had left outside the ring.  I got her back in.  Need to build more value for the leash as a tug!  But the slippery flooring did not help her confidence.  Just more for her to figure out.  I was pretty upset by the end of Jumpers even though Letty and Seven Qd – Letty is now in Level 4 Jumpers.  I figured that I’d give them 1 more run and see if they adjusted before I scratched them.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to work on the environmental stuff with Letty.  They all adjusted pretty well in the next run which was Wildcard.  They all Qd.  Although I had a super late front cross with Letty and got punished with a booby bite.  Next was Standard.  They all had really nice runs.  Vada earned another Level C Q with a lovely run.  Seven did well but for the weaves.  Letty had a great run with nice contacts and nice driving lines and weaves.  Her first Level 2 Standard Q!  The last class was Jackpot.  It was a traditional one with tunnels in the gamble.  Vada totally rocked it!  With Seven I had to send him back in which he did but then he ran around the table and we were 3 seconds over time.  😦  But I remembered what Tracy taught us about getting low to send and I did that and it worked!  Letty’s brain was fried by the time she ran and the course I planned was way too controlled and not motivating.  Dogwalk to teeter to weaves to aframe to weaves to weaves.  Then she got to open up on a line of jumps which she enjoyed and made me realize it was too much control on the other part of our path.  I tried to send her into the first tunnel of the gamble and she ran to the tape holding down the gamble tape.  I did get her in but I got too far ahead of her for the 2nd tunnel and she ran to me and past the tunnel entrance.  It was so much crappy handling that I crossed the line and popped her into the tunnel and supported the last tunnel to the table.  Lots of lessons learned.  Too bad Jackpot wasn’t first as she would have smoked it!  Her first traditional Jackpot and she’s already in Level 3.  It’s too bad the surface it so crummy.  The place is nice inside and lots of walking paths and green space outside.  I will not trial there ever again.  I don’t want my dogs to learn to run slow and it’s not fair to them to not be able to trust their footing.

Sunday we trained protection even though it was Easter.  Warren was running late so I got to get some obedience time in.  I made sure I did obedience first on Wednesday too even though I had to go across the road to do it.  A few of us went out to eat after training and we had such a fun time!

Monday I finally got my butt back to Cardio Hip Hop.  Love that class!

Been spending alot of time this week trying to get homework done.  I’m going to be cramming again this weekend though.  Stupidly!  Gonna do the online test tonight to get that out of the way.  Then tomorrow morning is the ASCA agility trial that is a fundraiser for the National Canine Cancer Fund.  It is over full!  Good be a long but fun day.  I have 5 dogs entered.  Craziness!

March 2011

Looks like I haven’t blogged in about a month now.  Lots going on and still so much to do that’s not getting done.

So, where did we leave off.  The dogs did well at the chiro and got adjusted.  Copper wasn’t too bad and he got some acupuncture done.  And we heard that Dr Heather had a cold laser machine on it’s way to her!

Vada and Letty finished up their agility classes with Terry.  One Tuesday night I hang out and watch Nancy’s impulse control class.  It was a great class.  I was able to help move a tunnel around too.  I’d like to go and watch some more of them.

Letty’s been able to go to 2.5 Thursday night classes.  She’s done really well.  We’ve found holes to work on so that has been great!  Karl hurt his leg so I’ve run Fringe in the last 2 classes and I ran Sonic in half of his class last week and Letty in the other half.  They all ran awesome for me!

Friday, March 16th was the 1 year anniversary of Copper’s last radiation treatment!

On the 10th MVSV hosted an all MN training day at the barn.  I brought Letty and Vada.  I was hoping to work both but Warren couldn’t make it so there was no one there working suit dogs.  I wasn’t going to work Letty either but then I heard that Dennis was working dogs.  So I had him work her.  Twice!  It was good for her to get on another helper.  And she hadn’t been in the barn for a year.  Due to so many people there they weren’t going to do obedience.  I’m see that is a trend these days and obedience is our weakest phase right now.  It was fun to see so many people there and dogs there.  Stefan was there but only working client dogs.  He has alot of them!  Lots of new puppy owners that are coming into the sport.

The next day we had regular IPO/Mondio training so both dogs got worked.  I have been really struggling with Letty in trying to teach her the bark and hold without her punch the helper or putting her mouth on the sleeve.  I’ve been expecting her to down while I talk to the helper or move the sleeve too and I’ve been getting really frustrated with her when she’s breaking the down over and over and over and over.  Warren wants me to put a pinch on her and I’m really tempted to since that is now I know how to train.  But when I really think about it, I would be correcting her for something she has not been taught well.  She is not good at duration behaviors (my bad training habit it seems) and I have not proofed her positions enough.  So how can I expect her to hold a down when the biggest distraction ever is right in front of her?  And then to correct her for that?  I have been doing alot of collar pulls to try to get her attention back on me.  That is adding to my frustration and causing her to ignore me even more.  I feel like there is pressure to get on the field and do stuff.  So just waiting for her to make a decision makes me feel like I am wasting people’s time.  It’s a bad cycle that I’m stuck in.  I need to make certain that I have a training plan before I go out on the field.  Just getting on to the field is always a struggle too.  I’m learning how horribly crappy her foundation is.  😦  Vada is doing really well though!

After training I drove the dogs to Dan’s place in Buffalo for a fun run of UKC agility equipment.  I wanted to get the dogs on the equipment and see how they’d do before the trial in April.  They all did great!  Narc loved all of the different equipment!  Letty struggled with the variety of jumps at first but I think it helped her confidence in the end.  She enjoyed the different equipment too.  I did not make it to the following fun runs as we started training outside and more people came out so I couldn’t leave in time.  But we have some stuff at home and I was encouraged with our initial exposure.

On the 17th we hosted a surprise 60th birthday party for my parents.  Josh, Des and I all organized it and did our parts to make it happen.  Dianna, Matt, Tom and Dianna helped out too.  I was so nervous that we would not pull off the surprise part of it but we did!!!  We had both of their families there and Dianna’s family, some of Mom’s friends and some of Dad’s car show friends.  Everyone got along great and we had a really nice turn out.  Mom and Dad were both so happy.  The cake turned out great and the pizza was good.  We think most people got enough pizza – except for Mom.  We had a nice slideshow playing on all 3 big TVs too.

The next day was our first day outside for IPO/mondio training.  So nice to be outside!  We trained outside that Wednesday too.  I really need to step up my obedience and make that more of a priority than protection.  We are definitely out of balance there.

Still working on my Systems Analysis class.  I did not get my last project done so I had to ask for my 1 allowed redo.  So I now have LOTS of reading and homework to do to get caught up.  The next class is in 2 weeks.  During the last class we had severe weather and had to go into the basement.  Made my birthday memorable!  LOL  After class I came home and Karl had gotten me some beautiful flowers, a beautiful card and a new Kindle Fire.

On the 23rd we setup for the MMBC CPE trial.  That morning Copper had a weird episode of limping on his front left.  It ended up passing.  So we cleared out the van and put a few trial things in there and headed down to Prior Lake to load up equipment and get the trailer hooked up to Denise’s truck.  We made really good time this year and got back to the barn a bit early even.  We got setup super fast too.  So Karl and I headed home to get dogs to do the fun runs with.  Karl had hurt his leg on Thursday so he pulled Fringe and Sonic from the trial.  When we got home I went upstairs to get Copper and he holding his left front leg up again.  I took him out to potty and he was limping.  He was also crying when I picked him up.  So I called the vet and they said to bring him in.  Karl went back to the barn to run the fun runs.  Thank goodness!!!  At the vet clinic they did the 4DX snap test.  Everything came back clear.  So they did x-rays of his body.  Lots of arthritis but nothing that would be causing his episodes.  So we were thinking maybe a pinched nerve.  He had an appointment with Dr Heather for that Wednesday.  She was out of town that day.  I went home and got the other dogs and went up to the barn to run them.  They all ROCKED!  Seven’s weaves were nothing short of amazing!  The best I have ever seen him do.  Narc weaved 12 poles!!!  I thought it was a fluke as he’s doing 4 poles spaced out and open at home and struggling.  So I did him from the other side and he weaved 12 again!  So I entered him in Standard Level 2 for the trial as that is all that was holding him back.

Copper had episodes overnight that night.  I video recorded the one in the morning on my Blackberry to show Dr Jina and Dr Heather. I gave him more tramadol and we went to the agility trial.  I was secretary and Karl was chair so we had to be there.  And I was running 5 dogs.  Copper had an episode about 10am when I went to get him out of the van.  He stood there crying in pain with his leg up while I tried to rub his leg and calm him down.  One of the techs from my clinic came up to the trial to watch as she is getting a puppy soon and she happened to walk by at that time.  Also, there was a vet from Duluth there.  And there were lots of my friends there who was concerned about Copper and were very supportive.  So for having to be somewhere, that wasn’t such a bad place to have to be.  I was thinking that we would have to put him down during his episode on Saturday.  I can’t stand to see him in pain like that.  We got thru the day with no more episodes.  The dogs ran pretty well.  I’m sure my handling was horrid since I was so tired from waking up to Copper crying in pain and the emotional toll of it.  Narc Qd in 2 of his 3 runs.  Letty Qd in 3 of her 4 runs.  I screwed up Snooker for ALL 5 DOGS – horrid!  Vada and Seven did ok.  Seven would not weave 12 poles.  Vada had bars.  Prozac had no Qs.  I got better about running Letty to the bucket for her leash.  After the trial we took the judge and his wife to dinner.  Yum!

Saturday night Copper had more episodes.  I don’t think he had any during the day on Sunday though.  The dogs ran ok even though I was even more tired.  Letty ran Standard for her first time ever and she completed all her Level 1 titles and her CL2-F title.  Narc earned his CL2-F title also.  Seven completed Level 5 Jackpot and now only needs one more Wildcard.  Vada needed a Jumpers and Snooker and we didn’t get either one.  Seven needs Standard Qs and he didn’t get any.  The trial ran smoothly.  Karl took all the dogs but Copper home while we were running the last Jumpers class as our dogs were done running.  Copper got to hang out with us as we packed up.  We got everything packed up and brought down to the storage locker in Prior Lake and unloaded.  Then the long drive back home.  We got home after 11pm.

Copper had more episodes overnight.  I took Monday off from work.  Dr Jina had me put him on pred and more tramadol.  Dr Heather suggested gabapatin.  Dr Jina called in a prescription for me for it.  We ended up putting him on that Monday night.  Dr Heather was able to get us in a day early so we saw her on Tuesday.  I worked from home that day.  Right before we left Copper had a pretty bad episode.  It was not ending.  I got him pulled back so he would lie down.  He came close to biting me and screamed in pain when I did it but then he just laid there on the floor kind of checked out.  Getting him to lie down seemed to help calm him.  He was spacey for awhile and then started breathing more and sniffing stuff on the floor.  A few minutes later he was outside like nothing had happened.  That felt very much like a seizure and my hopes that it was a pinched nerve were pretty much all gone at that point.  He had also leaned his head against the fridge.  I’m not sure if it was for support or cuz he had a headache.  But Dr Audrey predicted it – along with him having a brain tumor and strokes/seizures.  Dr Heather did not find anything that would cause the pain.  She looked at his x-rays, did acupuncture and then did cold laser on his arthritis spots and some acupuncture points.

Wednesday I went to work as he was doing better.  Still having episodes but mostly just lame.  A bit of crying in pain overnight but short episodes.  Thursday Karl was home all day and Copper did well.

Thursday night he had a really bad episode.  I woke up to him screaming super loud.  It woke Karl up and he was sleeping in the bedroom upstairs.  I worked from home on Friday as I was not comfortable leaving him.  We increased his gabapentin that day.  It did the trick.  He hasn’t has an episode since then.  Thank goodness!  I’ve got him on a higher dose in the evening as that seems to be the worst time.  It’s lighter in the morning to let him be as alert as possible.  2 of his meds do have some sedative side effects.

Since this started I have started sleeping in the livingroom on the futon and we’ve blocked off the stairs.  Karl made a ramp on the stairs outside.  I had been carrying him down the stairs but he does not let Karl carry him so this was a great idea!  He has alot of arthritis in his shoulders – especially the right one.  So this helps that too.

Saturday and Sunday we went to an AKC coursing ability test.  I entered Vada, Seven, Narc and Prozac.  The girls kicked butt!  They did even better on Sunday!  I only got video from Saturday.  The boys had no clue what was going on.  They got excited watching the other dogs run but it was as if they didn’t even see the lure.  I guess girls do better than boys in general.

Vada was the first dog that I ran.

Prozac was the last dog that I ran.  I was starting to get the leash handling trick down.  You can see all the steps – they tease the dog then you line up and they make sure everyone is ready.  Then they tell you to release the dog on the “t” of “tally ho”.

We’re at 3 days and 3 nights with no Copper episodes!  Let’s hope the trend continues.  🙂

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