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Archive for March, 2014

Weekend Update

FINALLY we’ve got some decent weather!!!! It’s warm enough to be outside in a coat and even just a sweatshirt on Sunday. The snow is melting. We still have a lot to melt but there is a big enough bare spot in the front yard that the dogs can play 2-ball.

Last week I was pretty much worthless. I was so tired from the CPE trial and the stress of Vada being so sick. Plus, Vada was waking me up in the middle of the night each night to go potty and then who knows what else she wanted. So I missed the dogs’ obedience classes last week.

Thursday night I met Glenda and Laurie for dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Good food and good company. It’s always fun to hear what they have been up to. Glenda seems happy. She spent the summer in AZ since she can work remotely from anywhere and she has friends in AZ. Laurie appeared happy. She has better health this year and it’s been 9 months since she quit smoking! Sadly, her long time boyfriend whom she has known since she was 14 passed away 2 weeks ago. He is free from pain and can breathe again but it’s still very sad. He was a good man.

Friday night Karl and I went to a Christian music concert at the King’s Ranch. It’s only about 10 minutes from our house. It was well organized and it was a nice group of people. It went later than we thought it would be we were able to sleep in on Saturday. Well, as much as the dogs allow anyways. They had a dessert buffet after the concert too. Any kind of dessert you could think of was provided!

Saturday I took the dogs on a walk around the pond. I mostly stayed on top of the snow but I fell thru in a few spots. It was anywhere from ankle deep to knee deep to losing my whole leg. But the snow on the very top was soft and the dogs rarely fell thru so they had a great time. I put some fencing across the porch steps too and the dogs were able to hang out with me on the porch. I brought my laptop out and sat on the swing. Karl brought some dog beds and mats out and the dogs made good use of them. I tossed a bag of chew hooves out there too. So nice to get fresh air! Saturday night we went to see Divergent. We were going to see another movie but we got going too late. Divergent was pretty good.

Sunday I took the girls to IPO training. Letty did awesome obedience. I’m reviewing the exercises from Shade’s Fundamentals classes and went back to the basics with Letty and I’m liking it! Awesome focus! Then I brought Vada in to do some obedience. Everyone was happy to see how well she was doing after her health scares. She was happy to work. Although Letty’s heeling is better than Vada’s. Vada better step it up! I only did bitework with Letty but she did really well. Again for some things I went back to the basics and it was kind of funny to see her working thru things. I started working on the call out by having her sit and then taking a few steps back and alternating calling her to heel and sending her in for barking or a bite. I also worked on her giving me longer eye contact for permission to get sent in for barking. Wow, we need to work on that. She was non-stop – look at me for a few seconds, look at the helper for a few seconds, look at me for a few seconds, etc. It was like she was possessed. We worked on her guarding in the open and me coming up to her and asking for a sit or her getting to bite the sleeve. She seems to have very little conflict with me coming up but once I asked for a sit then she would auto sit when I walked up. So we need to do very few of those. I’d like to get to the point of cueing “fuss” and then rewarding her for focus on me. But we decided that her behavior when I cue “sit” should be to sit quietly but still watch the helper. It was a very good session. Most of the dogs got to go out and play 2-ball yesterday too.

All the fresh air and exercise was so good for all of us. The last 2 nights they dogs slept soundly all night. Which means that I did too. Vada is doing soooo good. I’m thinking that we will redo her bloodwork and UA on Friday since Thursday is her last day for the antibiotics.

Rain today and tomorrow. Temps aren’t dropping too bad though. Maybe a little snow tomorrow. I will be very happy once this snow is gone. Won’t be long. I feel like the season of death is finally over and we’re all finally starting to come alive again.

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Still Winter…

As we are nearing the end of March we still have lots of icky snow with more predicted for tomorrow. Cold, windy, cloudy and rainy/snowy. I am trying to be optimistic and positive but I’m starting to lose hope.

The last week has been crazy and I am completely exhausted!

Wednesday I had Vada’s appointment with Dr Julia so I brought her to work with me and left her in the van. My department went to a pizza place for dinner so I was able to check on her then. She was miserable. I took her out to potty and she was walking so slow with her head and tail down. I was torn on taking her to Dr Julia or canceling that and going to Dr Jina. It was starting to look like more was going on than just her sore back. I decided to stick with Dr Julia since she is a DVM but I called and made an appointment with Dr Jina for first thing Thursday morning. Dr Julia thought she looked terrible. She took her temp and it was 104.1 so she was not able to adjust her – understandably. So they gave her fluids and an anti-inflammatory (Deramaxx) and an antibiotic (Cephalexin). That helped her feel a lot better and got us thru the night until we could see Dr Jina. The Cephalexin was making Vada vomit. I probably didn’t give her enough food with it.

Thursday we saw Dr Jina and she did bloodwork and a UA. Her WBC was 1.81 (very low) and she had blood in her urine. So we switched her antibiotic to doxy as it would cover a wide range of things. She thinks it’s a bladder infection but this would cover tick born illnesses too. As the day went on she was feeling worse. I kept comparing it to Wednesday night when she was feeling so much better. Her temp was lower but she was feeling so lethargic. I brought her back to the clinic for fluids before they closed. Her eyes were looking like the bottom lids were droopy but we thought that the fluids would help with that. She got a doxy in the morning and then at night.

Friday Vada continued to feel worse and she quit eating and her face swelled up. Mostly her lips and under her eyes. We had a long day of driving down to Prior Lake to dig and chip out the MMBC trailer and load it up with stuff for the CPE trial, then drive to Andover to pickup the newly rubberized contacts and load them into the trailer and then up to Isanti to unload the trailer and setup for the fun runs and then do the fun runs. Since Vada was so sick we brought her along. She just laid in the back of the van all day. I occasionally took her out to potty and she just walked along slowly with her head and tail down. Her rear was a bit wobbly again too like it was on Wednesday. She had gotten a doxy in the morning. I emailed Dr Jina before I left to tell her about the swelling. A tech called back and told me to give her a benedryl. I gave her 1. Hours later she was still so lethargic so we stopped at a store on the way to Isanti to get Zyrtec. When she has her fall ragweed allergies the benedryl doesn’t work but Zyrtec does a little. But now in retrospect I think if I had given her 2 pills then it might have helped – 1 was only a half dose. I called the clinic to give them an update and find out what to do next. I was getting very worried and was starting to wonder if we were going to have to bring her to Blue Pearl. I asked if she could be allergic to the Deramaxx but she had been on it before so they didn’t think so. The day before a friend on Facebook said her dog was allergic to doxy. So I asked what they symptoms were. Turns out swollen lips was one of them! So I had the tech ask Dr Jina if Vada could be allergic to the doxy. I wanted to know WHY her face was swollen and she felt so crappy when she had felt good on Wednesday night after seeing Dr Julia. They didn’t think so but had me stop the doxy for the weekend. I gave her more fluids when we got home on Friday. It was such a goofy day that we didn’t get any of our crates brought up and setup nor did we get to bring our dogs to the barn to work them on the equipment. But everything with setup and the fun runs went really well and we made some money for the club to help pay for the new rubber on the contacts.

Saturday morning Vada was feeling better enough that I was comfortable leaving her home to rest. It’s cooler in the barn so I thought she’d be better at home. Karl was able to run home during the day to potty her also. The trial went really well. Letty was quite distracted by the horses. They had to be in their stalls inside since it was so cold outside. They were very well behaved. However, Letty thought they were all her friends and she wanted to go say hi to them. She only Qd in L5 Jackpot. Narc was super high. On his first aframe he caught some serious air. He settled in as the day went on. He Qd in L4 Wildcard and Jumpers. Seven ran pretty well. He was doing a little stutter stepping though. And, as usual, he popped his weaves in Standard. I forgot to prepare myself to put him back in where he popped too. He Qd in LC Jumpers – he best class since there are no weaves. I also ran Prozac. It took a run or two but then we got better in synch. I haven’t run her in years. No Qs for her. Karl ran Fringe and Sonic. Fringe stopped on most of her contacts. She Qd in L2 Jackpot and Standard. Sonic ran his heart out too. He Qd in L1 Jumpers and Wildcard. He got to run in Specialist and jump 12″. That’s the class that Copper ran when he did CPE. 🙂 We took Karl and Betty out to dinner at Manscetti’s. Our favorite place to bring the judges after the trial on Saturday.

Sunday was going to be a super long day (we ended up being gone 15 hours) and Vada was feeling better so we brought her with. The trial ran really well again. Our dogs ran better too I thought. Letty Qd in L5 FullHouse and Snooker. She also finally earned her last L4 Q in Colors! So new title for her and level completed! Narc Qd in L5 FullHouse and Colors and L4 Standard. I still can’t believe he’s in Level 5 for some classes. He’s amazing! Seven earned a Q in FullHouse. Lots of weird little things with him. Prozac Qd in all of her runs – L3 FullHouse and Snooker. Karl and Sonic Qd in L1 FullHouse, Snooker and Colors. They finished 2 new titles for the weekend! Karl and Fringe Qd in L2 FullHouse and L3 Snooker. They finished a new title too. We finished at a nice early time. We had help packing up the trailer. And we made it to the storage locker while it was still light out!!! Didn’t get home til after 9pm but we were happy with that. Next year we are adding a 5th class so we probably won’t finish as early as we’ll have more course builds and hopefully more runs. So I have to remember to take Monday off to recover.

Monday I called and talked to Dr Jina. She put Vada on amoxicillin. I picked it up on my way home from work. When I got home I gave her a pill and then tried to follow it with food but she refused to eat ANYTHING. She felt crummy all night. She woke me up at 2am with her stomach making crazy noises and she was dry heaving. I gave her a Zantac and eventually her belly calmed down enough for her to fall asleep – and so did I. Made for a short night! I had decided to not go to obedience classes anyways and after seeing how crummy she was feeling I was glad that I made that decision. It seems like something else was making her not want to eat as I don’t think that pill would have irritated her stomach that fast.

Tuesday another friend on Facebook (I know her in person too) suggested an ulcer med for Vada to coat her stomach before she gets her pills. I had decided to not give her the morning dose to let her stomach rest. She ate half her breakfast. When I got home I was able to get her to eat a little food. I gave her the magic pill 2 hours before dinner and she scarfed down her dinner. I took the food away halfway thru it and gave her the antibiotic then gave her the food back. She was feeling much better and we all slept thru the night (but for one potty break). I also taught agility class for Nancy since she was on her way to the AKC Nationals. I was tired but I had a great time. I hope I gave them helpful feedback. It was nice to be doing agility but without the pressure of running my dogs.

This morning Vada was back to being a total nut! Barking, tugging, dropping her Kong off the bed and chasing it around the bedroom. She ate with gusto. I’m so very happy. And also so very exhausted! It has been a long draining week. And now that we seem to be out of the danger zone I am feeling the physical effects. I have a cold sore in my nose on the left. And the left side of my face feels weird like it is bruised and my jaw is sore. So I am staying home from obedience class tonight. It’s the first night of the new session for Narc’s classes but it’s not usually a big class. And we’re on the card system so I don’t think I will “lose” the class.

Tomorrow night I meet some old coworkers for dinner so that should be fun. Then Friday night Karl and I are going to a small concert near home. Saturday is nothing! I get to sleep in! I’m hoping that it’s warm enough that I can take some dogs for a nice long walk. Then Sunday we’re back to IPO training (if it’s not canceled). I’m very glad that I did not get into the AKC trial this weekend. Funny how things tend to work out!

Yesterday was Sonic’s 13th birthday!!! He got to go to agility class to celebrate. And he brought spring cookies and some chocolate candies.

Never Ending Winter

It is March 18th and it’s still winter. Still cold. Still snowing. And the snow we still have from before is hard and crusty and nasty. If we could get that to melt then new snow would be much more welcomed as we could walk and run in it.

Vada saw Dr Julia almost 3 weeks ago. She was still out of whack in her back and pelvis. She wasn’t taking the adjustment so Dr J did some trigger point work with needles in her left rear leg. It was quite painful for Vada. But then she was able to adjust her. We had the next day off from agility. We trained at the barn in Hudson but I gave her the day off and just let her run around while we were packing up. Dr Julia thought she was good for another 3 months. So I made 2 appointments with Dr Heather for a monthly check up. Our next one is actually in 2 weeks since she’s booked with all the AKC Nationals dogs before and after the event. But she has had some heat in her back still. Kristin noticed on Friday that she was not jumping with her rear and she looked roached. She reminded me that if she is roached she is straining her illiosoas to protect her back. That is not a good muscle to put at risk! It takes forever to heal. Vada has been picky about her food the last few days and kind of off. So I was able to get her in to see Dr Julia again tomorrow. I have been keeping her activities limited. We did 1 AKC trial – 4 runs. And 2 agility classes – 6 runs at most. I did not work her on Warren or Bryan when I worked Letty. We have been doing obedience. She did some jumping there but not many and at 16″ or 20″. We actually don’t have class tomorrow so that works out really well. I’ve been getting back to doing her daily exercises and started giving her Traumeel. I hate how limited their exercise has been this winter. The most exercise they get is running around the house and attacking the futon or tugging with my shoes or jumping off the bed. So, we’ll see what Dr J has to say tomorrow. We have a CPE trial this weekend in Isanti. Good that they’ll be running on awesome dirt! I always am wondering if it’s time to retire her from agility or to severely cut back in order to protect her soundness for longer. But she LOVES agility so it’s hard. We’ll see what Dr J has to say. And it will warm up soon so they can get more exercise.

I’m starting to worry about Logan too. I think he’s losing weight. I need to take a stool sample in to Dr Jina. She said that is the first step to diagnosis why he’s vomiting so much. He’s been vomiting less but seems to be losing weight. Not good.

Prozac’s liver values have been off the last 3 months that we have been testing them. Her thyroid was also low and then too high from the meds but we got that regulated. So we did an ultrasound to see if there are any anomalies in her organs. Everything looked good. She has been feeling better though since 2 things happened – we put her on a new supplement and Karl replaced her crate that had a rusty pan with a crate that has a plastic pan. We’ll retest her blood-work in 6 months.

Narc has been doing really well on his cooked diet. I took him in to see Dr Jina about the hair loss on his legs. She thought it was because of the pred and the thyroid meds – one causes him to lose hair and the other prevents it from growing back. We reduced his pred in half to 10mg a day. So far he seems to be doing OK. He still had a good grip on his tug on Friday at the barn and he’d been on the lower dose for a week. Time will tell.

I did the TCOTC AKC agility trial with the 3 Dutch Shepherds. Narc was only entered on Saturday. No JWW Q for him so he STILL needs 1 more Novice leg. No Standard leg in Open either. His Std run was not pretty. It was really hard with all the poles and these courses as he wasn’t sure where to go so he would guess – wrong. His JWW run wasn’t too bad but he had 2 bars I think. The girls both had some runs that were pretty close to a Q. Letty had 2 runs where I deceled too soon for her and she pulled off the jump – the rest of the runs were gorgeous. Vada had a few bars. Amazingly on Saturday BOTH of them Qd in Excellent JWW! Letty’s first leg and Vada’s second. But I’m kind of sick to death of the 1 oops runs. Luckily I had decided to take the next 2 weekends off from trialing. I needed the break!

2 Saturdays ago we met my Mom and family in Forest Lake for dinner to celebrate March birthdays. Always a good time! Good food too!

That Sunday I took Letty to train with Warren. We were the only ones who showed up! But we hadn’t trained with him for quite a few weeks and she remembered everything and did really well.

Last weekend I was able to take Letty to train with Bryan. It was a new helper and a location that she hasn’t been in for a long time. She did really well! And I got some take-aways on what we need more work on. But, man, it was expensive between paying him and paying the club “rent”. But it was a good experience for her and necessary since we don’t have a club trial helper and club grounds to trial on. She will trial on a field she doesn’t train on regularly and a helper she doesn’t train on regularly. It’s just a lot more work to prepare them for that! And, just my luck, Warren had to cancel training on Sunday. But I got to sleep in a bit and we already had a lot to do that day for the upcoming CPE trial.

Sunday we drove down to the MMBC storage locker to shovel snow and chop ice around the club trailer. We’re pulling it out and put to Isanti on Friday so we’re hoping we helped enough so it won’t be iced in again this year. We keep getting snow and clouds and not the warmest weather so that’s not helping. On the way home we stopped at the awesome Hopkins movie theater and saw Hunger Games Catching Fire. I had just watched it on DVD but was glad to see it on the big screen. And I picked up a few things I had missed the first time. Karl didn’t know the story and hadn’t seen the first movie but he really liked it anyways.

Obedience classes are going well! We just started Seven’s second round of Obedience Skillwork last night. Lots of dogs in this class. I think it is full! After this round the next level will be offered the same night and time with a new instructor so that is our plan. Then it’ll be time to take a break for the summer and to train outside. Letty is doing really well in her Obedience Competition class too. We can work a lot of the IPO exercises as well as some AKC ones. We are working on the sit for exam for the CGC too. Narc and Vada get this week off and then the next session starts next week. Narc will redo Advanced Obedience Skillwork and Vada will still be in Obedience Competition. Narc’s last class only had 1 other dog in it so hopefully there will be a few more next week.

Looking forward to the CPE trial in Isanti this weekend! LOTS of hard work from me and Karl and Denise but I love this trial and location. And best of all, the dogs love running in the dirt.

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