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Archive for October, 2012

Limping Along

I feel like I just keep plugging away at life.  Limping along some days.  I know Copper had a great long life and I have no regrets.  I thought losing him would be “easy” because of that.  I did not realize how much I would miss him and how much of a hole he would leave in my heart.  I know it gets easier with time so I just live with it and deal with it as best as I can.  Seems like a lot of people are losing dogs lately.  And humans.  So I’m in good company in my grief but it just adds to the constant sadness.  And now we’re in the pre-winter cloudy rainy season too.  I just realized that today is the 2 month anniversary of losing him.

I plan to do a blog post on Copper’s life but I am not ready yet.  I thought I was a few weeks ago but I am not.

Life goes on.  Things are never dull at our house.  The dogs do not let us stop and feel sorry for ourselves and they are good at forgiving losses of patience or a little neglect.  And they are good reminders to just live in the moment.

Letty joined Nancy’s agility class.  We love it!  I’ve already gotten some great helpful advice.  Lots to work on!  We got off on our Contacts Course too and need to get back on track.  And we need A LOT more focus on obedience if I want to keep doing Schutzhund with her.  Lots do do with my young dog!

We took Letty to a park to watch a neat band for a city event.  She did really well with the crowd.  And I got to practice telling people to not pet her.  Mostly kids.  We met a couple afterwards that had their son’s retired police K9 Malinois.  Pretty neat!

I got a title change at work to Database Analyst.  Hopefully that will bring me more SQL work.  🙂  I took a 3 day class on SQL Reporting Services too.

I attended one of Nancy’s min-seminars on Healing Your Handling.  It was really good.  I should have taken notes though.  Things made sense at the time but I’ve probably forgotten a lot of them.  One thing I really liked was to not worry about your footwork.  Just worry about communicating to your dog that you are turning.

Karl and I ran a 5K!  It was the Mills City Suds Run.  It was Karl’s first 5K.  I brought Letty with and she was amazing.  It was a lot of fun.  I had my best time.  Lots of people wore costumes.  We had lunch afterwards and Karl even had a beer – all included in the entry fee.  2 weeks later Karl did another 5K!  The Nowthen Lions 5K.  I did it last year for their first year.  I could not make it this year so I was happy that someone from our house was able to go.  I think Karl might be addicted to 5Ks!  🙂  Sadly, I have not been on the treadmill since then.  I’m having a wart removed from my foot and I haven’t been able to run on it.  I’m hoping that next week I can get back on track.  I always feel better when I am running and doing something good for my body.

I started my final class at HTC – Client/Server Computing.  It’s so dry and boring and I don’t seem to totally understand what the assignments are asking for as I keep getting points off.  I’ve got a B going right now and usually I get As.  We have 4 sessions done with 3 more left.  Then I’ll have completed my DBA certificate and my VB Programming certificate!  This class is every other week from 1pm to 5pm so I have to leave work early to go and then make up my hours later.

I entered Saturday of the CACM CPE trial.  It was a good day.  Seven picked up a Standard Q so he needs 5 more now to finish his CATCH!  Letty went 4/4 and we didn’t have much stress in the ring.  Narc did not Q at all but he was a good boy and he tried hard and ran well.  He was so close!

Vada’s rehab has been going really well.  Dr Julia gave me clearance to do a few runs with her by take her back to class or doing sequences in the yard.  At full height.  I had already entered her in both days of an AKC Rally trial at OTR but since we got clearance I wanted to run her in a UKC agility trial the same weekend at TCOTC.  She only needed 40 points I think for her UACH.  And with some super lucky timing I was able to do both with her both days!  We got all of her AGII points that we can possibly get.  We ended up 6 points short of AGI points to finish her UACH.  I was so bummed.  But we’re that much closer for the spring trial I guess.  The jumps are 20″ and the lines are pretty straight so I figured it was a good course to start her on.  We qualified both runs in Novice Rally too.  So one more for her title!

Right after that crazy weekend on Monday we hit the road to Washington state to go watch the Working Dutch Shepherd Association’s first ever IPO Championship!  Our first stay was in Bismarck, ND then Billings MT then Couer D’Alene ID then Tumwater WA.  I got to WA on Thursday.  Friday I went and watched the BH.  Saturday was tracking for the IPO3s and obedience and protection for the IPO1s and IPO2s.  Sunday they flip flopped.  Saturday night we went to dinner with the judges.  I even got to sit at the table with the tracking judge and Shade.  It was fun to meet Facebook friends in person and to see friends I haven’t seen in awhile.  And to see some good Dutch Shepherds working.

Unfortunately on Saturday a GSD was acting aggressive in his crate when we walked by its truck in the parking area.  As we were walking away it broke out of its crate and leapt out of the pickup and attacked Vada.  He hit her from behind and pummeled her to the ground.  She had no idea what was going on.  I yelled SUPER LOUD and was about to grab his collar and pull him off of her – I was pissed – but he cowered and then ran away.  She had spit on her lower back by her tail.  She was VERY scared.  So I got a tug toy and went to the non-parking lot area and played tug with her.  I think she recovered faster than I did.  Someone was going to tell the owner what happened but she never said anything to me.  Sadly, no one asked how Vada was doing or anything.  They just wanted to know if the dog was loose and they went to go catch it.  Maybe that is normal but I think people would have reacted differently in MN.  People did see and said it looked scary – I found out later.  Different culture I guess.  We ran into a few dogs after the incident on our way home and Vada was being reactive – barking and lunging on her leash.  Then Letty is more than happy to join her so she’s learning crap too.  But I have lots of Gentle Leaders so we can work on rehabbing if necessary.  It is what it is.  I don’t know what the dog did to her body and her rehab process.  Her range of motion is good and she can do her exercises ok but her gait seems off.

Sunday after the trial we hit the road home.  Our first stop was The Dalles OR.  Then Twin Falls ID and then a short drive to Bluffdale UT.  We spent the night at Asheley and Josh’s house.  I had a great time.  When I got there we went tracking and before I left we went to the park and trained obedience.  Unfortunately Letty was a freak and barked at Dana, Josh and off and on at Asheley the whole time.  I think Vada wanted to start trouble with her momma too but I verbally squashed that idea.  From there I went to Lamarie WY and then Lincoln NE.  I got to Lincoln on Thursday night.  Friday we played AKC agility.  4 runs in 1 day and it didn’t fill!  Unheard of around here.  Vada ran pretty well the first 3 runs.  She Qd and got first in Open FAST (even got a nice compliment on the speaker from the judge) and Time 2 Beat.  Standard was nice but I didn’t support 1 jump so we had a bar down.  And Jumpers was a mess.  She wasn’t acting normal and seemed to be having a hard time jumping.  I though I walked her out well before and after and even during down time but I’m sure she’s out of shape with her jumping muscles too.  And who knows what that GSD did to her.  If her sacrum is out then it’s kind of painful.  But for the most part I was really happy with how she ran.  Saturday we drove home.  I tried to get in but it was full which worked out for the best.

My goal is to do a separate blog post on my trip later – with pictures.

Karl had a nice welcome for me when I got home with a nice note and pretty flowers and yummy Turtle cheesecake.  Unfortunately there was a lot of tension with the dogs and a lot of fights.  We had to go back to separating the dogs but it has gotten calmer and they are getting along again.  I had also set the deadline for me to move back to sleeping in the bedroom for when I got back and even though it was more work and it’s been a challenge to adjust, I did it.  Each night gets better for me and the dogs are getting calmer.  Everyone is out except for Letty but her crate is in the bedroom.

Checking out obedience classes at TCOTC tonight – never thought I’d ever say that!  🙂  Helping setup for the UKC show at the Washington County Fairgrounds this weekend tomorrow.  Showing the girls in Rally on Saturday and organizing workers.  Then training on Sunday.  Busy weekend!  I bet Narc could do Rally too.  His obedience is pretty good.  He just needs an around finish same as Letty.  I should just start teaching that to all of my dogs.

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