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Archive for July, 2012

Another Month Zips By…

More than a month actually.  And it’s been a super busy one.

I met Mom for dinner one night.  It was fun to have a girls night out and catch up.  I went right from work.

I didn’t think Vada was ready to trial in Mondio so I went to the trial and watched to see what I could pick up on trialing.  I think she probably could have passed her brevet once I watched the MR1 dogs that passed.  But it was fun to visit with everyone.  I think only 1 dog failed all day on Saturday.  Pretty impressive!  After the trial I brought the dogs home and Karl and I went to the Joyful Noise Christian Music Festival.  We saw the last 2 or 3 bands.  It was perfect timing.  And Joe and Julie got there earlier and saved us a spot – a really nice spot.  It was good to see those 2 again too.

Letty turned 2 years old on June 12th!  She got to celebrate by going with to see Dr Heather and getting petted and fed cookies.  Copper went for an adjustment.  I decided to wait til next time with Vada as she seemed ok.

Then we had 3 days of a Tracy Sklenar seminar.  It was a lot of fun and I was not hosting it so I had no stress.  🙂  Friday was Learn Your Dog day and I ran Letty and Karl ran Fringe.  Our other guys stayed home.  There were a few dogs working that day that have been in class with Letty so that was fun.  Saturday was foundation stuff – Under Pressure in the morning and Foundation Skills for Handling in the afternoon.  I just audited but I brought Letty with.  She was able to be out on her mat a bit and she got to be a demo dog for an exercise too.  And we worked on her bark and hold on me across the school and she did great.  Saturday was also Prozac’s 11th birthday!  Sunday was Masters/International Handling day.  I worked Vada and Seven.  They both did awesome.  We only did a few courses but we worked each one a lot as they were hard.  Unfortunately, that night Vada was very lame in her rear.

On the 19th Narc turned 9 years old!  Vada turned 9 on the 27th too.  June has a lot of doggy birthdays – and all 3 of our Dutch Shepherds have June birthdays.

I went and watched St Croix’s IPO trial in Hinckley.  The club had special rules for where spectators could be for tracking that seemed odd.  Like the dogs were not trained with distractions even though I know they were all trained really well.  All of the dogs passed tracking.  Obedience was done at the football field in town.  I think all of those dogs passed as well.  Then we did bitework and all but 1 passed.  Nandi was quite jacked up and did not want to out.  Naughty boy.  So he failed again but at least it was on different issues this time.  So the 3 passed and one of the 2s passed – there were only 3 IPO entries.  There was 1 BH entry and the “demo” dog was injured and I had Vada with so she got to do the heeling and motion exercises and down.  I wasn’t sure how she’d be but she did awesome.  Her heeling was amazing.  I was so proud of her.  We were back in the element that we spent so much time in for so many years.  It was pretty special.  Then I got to go home and dial into work for a few hours doing service packs.

IPO training is still hit or miss with all the stuff going on and with the weather being sooo freaking hot that it’s not safe and we don’t get much out of the dogs.  But we’ve got her heeling nicely out to the field and heeling with Warren on the field (still lots of room for improvement there but it’s alot of progress) and sits and downs and giving me attention at heel.  I’ve started sending her in for barking with Warren using a bite pillow.  She’s been doing well.  Last session he moved back towards the blind and she did well til it was no longer straight on and she was biting the pillow as she went by.  I marked it and started over but she could not figure it out and it seemed that her brain was fried from the heat.  But it’s been huge progress!

On the last Monday of the month I was given tickets to a Twins game from work.  So Karl and I were able to have a date night.  They were great seats in a fancier area of the stadium.  We took the North Star commuter train there from Elk River too.  Neither of us had been on the train or to the new stadium.  And the Twins even won!

That Tuesday Letty and I had a private lesson with Terry with Kristin and Cooee.  Afterwards I had Kristin put her hands on Vada as Dr Heather thought maybe her issues were soft tissue/muscle.  She thought her hips were out and to get her in to see Dr Heather before the trial that coming weekend.  Dr Heather was able to get her in the next day – Wednesday.  She was kind of a mess and quite sore so it was good she had a few days before the trial.  So she spent her birthday getting adjusted.  Hopefully she felt better afterwards.

Letty finished up the Impulse Control class.  It was GREAT!  I really enjoyed it and really saw a lot of progress from her.  She did a great job as a demo dog!

I entered both days of the Tails In Motion USDAA trial.  I love that trial!  Karl entered on Saturday.  We didn’t enter Gamblers so we could sleep in and also leave the other dogs home.  Vada’s first class was Masters Standard.  She Qd and finished her MAD!!!!  Then we ran Grand Prix and she did well but I mishandled one spot and we had 2 bars down.  I did not have her entered in Snooker so her next class was Steeplechase.  I walked the course and got her out of her crate and she was lame.  Ugh!  I had even been walking her a lot before and after her runs.  Luckily Karl noticed that Carol M was there doing massage so I was able to have someone get their hands on her.  She massaged out a spasm in her thigh muscle but she was still lame.  So I pulled her for the weekend.  Luckily she was entered in limited classes.  It was so hot on Saturday!  Letty ran well and I was really happy with that.  Seven ran really well in Jumpers too but did not Q as I sent him off course at the end.  Since Karl was home on Sunday I was going to leave Copper home in the AC so I just had Vada join him.  I only brought Letty and Seven.   It was good for them.  Jumpers was first thing and my head was not in the game as I was worried about Vada and sad so I did not handle him well.  Letty didn’t run til the end of the day when it was freaking hot.  She ran so well!  I’m not sure which classes she Qd in but she finished her P1 titles for Standard and Snooker!  Her first USDAA titles!  And Zena was running at that trial in her class too.  They are so much alike!  We are doing Pairs at the next TIM trial.  I think Fringe did well too but I can’t remember what they Qd in.

Vada and Copper had an appointment with Dr Heather in a week so I just kept that and I also made an appointment with Dr Julia for Vada.  Dr Heather reminded me that we had talked about xrays a year earlier when Vada came up lame after the spring MAC trial so I got her in on Monday with Dr Jina for xrays.  They had to take a lot and Vada was so good.  They did not sedate her or anything.  She went with them and was man handled without any problems!  🙂  Lots of arthritis on her right side – stifle, shoulder and hip – and her lower back.  Dr Heather said she had held her chiro from 2 weeks before but she did some acupuncture and cold laser and Vada felt better afterwards.  Dr Julia also looked at the xrays and found the same things.  She said Vada was very sore all over but worst in her right hip as she did not want to extend it and avoided using it when possible.  So we are focusing on that and her left shoulder from compensating.  She’s getting gabapentin (just like Copper) and adequan shots.  We are adjusting her joint supplements a bit and doing Dasuquin instead of SynoviG3.  And I have range of motion exercises to do with her.  Lots are things that we can apply to Copper too.  I’m tempted to try adequan with him again at a higher loading dose but I don’t know.  Sometimes I wish he could talk to he could tell me how much pain he is in.  I worry that I just think he does things cuz he’s old but really it’s because he hurts.   😦  So, Vada goes in for a checkup in 2 weeks and we’ll get new exercises to do.

After Vada’s rehab appointment we met Gina Kelly to do a photo shoot with Copper.  She’s doing a personal project called Kindred Spirits which is a collection of photos of animals and their people who have been together for 15 years or more.  Copper was 15 in April so we fit the requirements!  We met at Minnihaha Creek by the Parkway.  Very pretty.  And busy.  Copper wouldn’t look at the camera and he was barking at strollers and dogs.  He’s gotten worse since I get him out so little these days.  But she got some great shots!  We are very honored to be included in this collection!  Kind of made me think about my relationship with Copper and how he keeps slowly distancing himself and that made me a little sad.  Normal progression I’m sure but sad.  It was nice having that time with just him too.

Saturday I saw Magic Mike with some doggy girlfriends.  It was fun.  Not the best movie but fun to go as a group.  We went out to eat afterwards too and chat.

I finished the Winning Process course.  Shaping a Difference is done too.  So now I’m focusing on Puppy Peaks as it could be wrapping up soon.  I think Susan is going to expand it to 18 months – when she starts trialing a dog.  But my year is up.  She gave us a month free.  So I’m trying to get caught up on that and keep moving along with the contact course.  So much amazing information!

I’ve been trying to shake things up a bit with the dogs.  I walked a group with Seven and Letty a few days ago and they did good.  Worried about each other at first but then they settled in.  When I was going back in the house Letty wanted to be in the yard with Narc and Sonic so I left her there and left Seven out and did weaves with him.  He loved that.  Wednesday I worked from home and had Copper in the kitchen with me.  Vada, Seven and Rally in the livingroom and Letty, Narc, Sonic, Fringe and Prozac outside.  Letty has really matured and is content to be with them without constantly mugging them.

Letty and I are slowly moving along in the contact course.  I’m letting equipment be my hold up.  I need to just get outside and set the exercises up.  I’m trying to get skills really good too before moving on.  But we’re making progress.  Soon I’ll have her on the target and then on the stairs!

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