Another month has gone by in the blink of an eye. But we are closer to spring.
At the end of February we had a USDAA trial at OTR. I was doing scorekeeping and I was committed to be there all weekend so I entered dogs. Vada is still on the bench. I only entered Letty in runs where I could work her contacts. I didn’t want Letty and Seven in the same class because I wanted to focus on her in those classes and there are so few performance and vet dogs that they practically run back to back. So I put him in P3 Standard knowing he won’t weave 12 poles. Narc was the dog that I had entered in the most classes. Seven hated doing 16″ again. Luckily, the trial secretary moved him into Veterans on Sunday so he was much happier. If not, I would have pulled him. Before Narc’s first run he seemed off as I was warming him up but he wasn’t limping and he was doing the warm up jump ok. I couldn’t find anyone to look at him as I was just about to go in the ring. He took the first jump and landed with his rear legs under him to the left and moved weird. The 2nd obstacle was the chute so I stopped him as he was coming out of it and walked him off the course. Kristin looked at him and felt he was having spasms in the muscles along his back. They were causing nerve overload to his rear so it wasn’t triggering the muscles correctly. She felt he had muscle wasting in the rear that was not consistent with the muscling on his front end. She did laser on his back Saturday, Sunday and after class on Tuesday. That seemed to calm the spasms down. I also made an appointment for him to see Dr Julia. I also made an appointment for Karl and Sonic to see her. So, it was a pretty crappy weekend. I just don’t seem to have good luck in USDAA. Karl ran Fringe and they had some really nice runs and picked up a Masters Gamblers Q! Fringe also celebrated her 10th birthday on Sunday.
That Tuesday morning Karl and I were both working from home. I went downstairs to make a bowl of cereal and Logan vomited a bit and then kind of collapsed on the top of the stove. I went to check on him and he walked away to his basket. He was open mouth panting and drooling and howling. Luckily Karl had not left for his car repair appointment yet. So we rushed Logan to the emergency vet. It was snowing pretty good and the roads were horrible so it took us way too long to get there. I thought for sure that another cat was going to die in my arms on the way to the emergency vet. They said he was in shock when we finally got there. They gave him fluids and put him in an oxygen kennel. They kept him overnight and got some fluid off of his heart and did some tests. They sent him home with a blood pressure type of medication. I worked from home on Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday morning he was going over to Karl and meowing for food while Karl was feeding the dogs – his normal behavior. He looked so much better. By the time I got home from work he was worse. I was having to force feeding him. Sunday morning he was getting angry and trying to bite me when I tried to feed him. That was not like my boy. He was feeling so crappy. Sunday afternoon, March 8th, he was drooling on his chin and had a row of drool on his chest. I felt in my heart that it was time to release him even though I didn’t know what was going on with him. We brought him back to the emergency vet. The same vet that released Prozac was working. We were happy to see her since we knew her more than the others and trusted her. She said that Logan’s heart sounded good. They could have force fed him with a tube in his nose to see if we gained anything by getting calories into him. But my gut said something else was going on and my heart said that I could not torture him any more. So we released him from his body. We brought him home and had Dr Jina do a necropsy the next day. She found cancer in his pancreas. Knowing there was a non-fixable reason and that I made the right decision helped me a lot emotionally. I still miss him so much. He was only 13. I did not expect to lose him so soon. I don’t know if his vomiting issues were caused by this or if the vomiting contributed to it or if they were not related. It’s amazing how many behaviors I had based around having him in the house. Things I don’t need to worry about now. It seemed like the cat baskets no longer get used. Quest misses him and is super lonely. So he sleeps with me now. I so was glad that I got a few more days with Logan after our first trip to the emergency vet. I got to spend a lot of time cuddling with him and he slept with me every night. I ordered an urn for him that is similar to the other cats but a different color.
Vada saw Dr Julia and she’s making good progress. We don’t see her again for 3 months. She’ll see Dr Heather in-between each month for a tune up. We keep working thru adding more obstacles each week. We just added weave poles successfully.
We entered the March ASCA trial at OTR. Karl ran Fringe. I ran Letty and Seven. They had a great time. Contact training was hit and miss. Startlines made progress though. Letty and Fringe finished Novice Jumpers and Gamblers titles. Seven finished the Novice Jumpers title.
I went out to Madison for the North Central Regional Training Day. I went out on Friday since I had PTO to burn. I trained with Matt and his son and daughter on Friday night. They rent the barn and opened it up to everyone to come out and train. Unfortunately, no others took them up on the offer. Letty did really well. I thought I’d just be doing obedience but Matt worked her in protection too. We worked on her drives and long bite. We ended having me pull on her line on the drives so she’d settle into the pocket and for the long bites we shortened them up and did drag, drag, pop. He also noticed she has an issue with the stick threat. She’s fine on Warren so this is on new helpers.
Saturday everyone trained in the barn. There were a lot less people than in previous years. I did not go last year and I’m not certain if they even held it last year. But it was nice out and the sport just seems to be dying out. I had a great obedience session. I was glad that Matt had a wall and jump the night before to work on. Letty worked on Matt again for protection so we could keep working on the same exercises that we worked on the night before. Vada got to do some Utility work outside. That made her happy.
Sunday we were entered in a UKC rally trial. I had both girls entered in levels 2 and 3 for both trials since they are both working on championship titles. Letty was on edge with all the weight pull dogs there. They are bigger and hairy and those dogs worry her. And the energy in the building was very different. I knew that it might be an issue and it was. Her first run was OK but on the 2nd run when we did the down stay with an OES in the ring it was just too much for her and she felt like she had to alarm bark at him. So we turned away from him and when he passed by us we excused ourselves from the ring. I pulled her from the rest of the trial. No sense giving her bad ring experiences. I worked her outside the ring instead. Vada, of course, had no problems and picked up 2 more grand legs so we are up to 9 of the required 15. It’s a long journey. Longer than the RAE it seems. And harder since you have to get super high scores in both classes in the same trial. We’ll get there! Letty needs a few more QQs for her URX and then I think she’ll be done with UKC rally. So maybe they will finish together.
Narc saw Dr Julia and we put together exercises for him to do. We did them for 3 weeks. Our recheck was last night and he’s making progress. We expanded our exercises to more reps and long times. Recheck again in 4 weeks.
The next week Sonic saw Dr Julia. She gave Karl exercises for him to do with a recheck and adjustment in a week. The first week went well and they got more exercises. But then Sonic started going downhill. So one of the exercises was stopped. He has improved since then. We also did an xray of his back since his xrays were a few years old. He’s got 2 problem areas and 1 is pretty compressed. But we are on the right path to helping him out. He might need laser added to his treatment plan.
Since it was a big birthday this year and we host the CPE trial we made it into a birthday weekend. 🙂 Karl made it a really fun birthday. I took the day off even though it was a WFH day. When I walked down stairs to make some breakfast there was a birthday banner hanging on the patio doors to greet me. The night before he had giving me a dozen gorgeous red roses. He also gave me Abdullah chocolates, a gift certificate towards a training vest (vest has been ordered!) and a gift certificate for a massage. And a super cute penguin card. During the day I took the girls to Woodland Trails for a long walk. That night was obedience classes. Karl started the beginner class with Fringe so I bring her with me and meet him there. Perfect since he works downtown. Letty and Seven have class that night too. Karl got there early and brought in a banner, balloons and cookies so everyone could celebrate with us. 🙂 I noticed during Seven’s class that he had a hematoma on his left ear. My vet clinic could not get him in until the following Thursday.
The next day we spent setting up for the MMBC CPE trial. It’s so much work but such a fun trial. We got to the locker early, there was no snow or ice. It seemed like it was going to be a great easy year. Ha! Turns out the other folks who last used the trailer put a lock on the tongue that we did not have a key for. After some calling around and weighing our options – Denise went to the hardware store and bought a bolt cutter and took the lock off. We were back in business! We even got to the barn a little early. Setup went well. Fun runs went well. Letty was a freaking rock star on her contacts. There was a vet there that looked at Seven’s ear and said it wasn’t urgent. So that saved me a trip to the Cambridge vets.
The dogs ran well all weekend. I had great start lines and lead outs with Letty. Her contacts deteriorated over the weekend and I never got even 1 rock star one. On her Standard run on Saturday she finished her C-ATCH! Karl brought a cake from the County Market on Saturday. He had sent the decorator pictures of Vada and she drew her on the cake. It was amazing! Our vet clinic had called that morning and wanted us to bring Seven in to have his ear drained. But they called the house and not my cell phone. We couldn’t have come in anyways. But nice that they tried. On the last run on Saturday Karl injured his knee. He and Fringe finished the run and Qd! They finished 2 of the Level 3 titles and completed Level 3! I ran Fringe on Sunday.
On Sunday Seven was acting weird. If I handed him a treat he would flinch like I was going to hit him in the face. He tried to run for me but was going around jumps and didn’t even try to weave. He wasn’t lame though. Sunday we had very few runs. We got done at an early time. Thank goodness! We were expecting snow that night. By the time we got to the locker it was snowing. It accumulated fast. It was very wet and slushy and slippery. We unloaded and parked the trailer without any problems. But the drive home was horrible! Karl and I had driven separately since we had all of the dogs. But that allowed us to take our time and make sure we got home safely. It was scary with all the other drives slipping and sliding around on the roads. I was so glad that we did not have to drive the trailer thru that mess!!!
Monday my vet clinic called just as I was about to call them. They got Seven in to drain his ear. They were able to look at Narc’s weepy eye too. He got steroid drops to shrink a growth on his eye. I had taken Monday off from work as a day to recover from the had work of the trial weekend so it worked well. I had her check Seven’s eyes since the barn is a bit dark. They were fine. So I had her check his right shoulder and sure enough the muscle was quite angry. So he got rest and meds for a few days.
Sonic turned 14 on the 25th! All of the dogs celebrated with doggy cupcakes from Nadia’s Cupcakes. Us humans celebrated with our own cupcakes too.
Since Karl got hurt I have been running dogs in his 2 agility classes each week. Plus I am covering for our agility instructor on our Tuesday night classes. So there has been a lot of schedule juggling going on! It ends up being 2 nights of agility then 2 nights of obedience.
IPO training is going well. It’s nice to be able to train outside again. I was able to train with the old St Croix group in Isanti a few Sundays ago. Nice group. I like training with them. Letty did much better on the jump and wall this year! Still not at full height but she’s much more confident! We trained with Warren on Sunday and she did well on his jump and wall too. I would like to build a wall. I found good directions. It seems pretty straight forward. On the jump we are comfortable at 36″ but those last 4″ are hard for her. Send out is going well. Down stay needs to be extended in duration. And practiced with gunshots.
Thursday I went and saw the opening of Furious 7. Tons of non-stop action! The send off to Paul at the end was done so well. Very classy!
Friday I went down to Cannon Falls to do fun runs to train Letty on the contacts in a different place and I helped them with setup since I was able to get there early. The first contact Letty did was the teeter and I think she stopped as an after thought. When I whipped out the tug I think her eyes about popped out of her head. 🙂 We got good training in. Short and sweet. I was able to setup my crates and leave early too. It was very nice! The footing however was not. It was not packed. It was lightly dragged. This is the 2nd time that I have gone to one of their trials there and the footing has been very loose. It’s a waste of money when you don’t have a chance to Q because your dog is dropping bars because the footing moves on them. But it was what it was for the weekend.
Vada had been doing well so I had her entered in the CPE trial. I pulled her as I do not want her getting hurt again. Turns out her muscles in her rear are spasming easily anyways so it was probably good that she didn’t run. Kristin massaged her while we were there. Dr Julia doesn’t seem too concerned though. Vada’s right hip was bothering her too. She was not happy when Dr Heather was working on it on Tuesday and also when Kristin worked on it. I iced her leg muscles and her right hip. Her hip has seemed better since I iced it.
Fringe was the rockstar of the day! She went 5/5! She adjusted her stride due to the footing so she wasn’t taking her giant strides. Granted I couldn’t get where I wanted to be as I was attempting to run and turn in the sand but I had a bit more control over her turns. I was reminded of that 80s dance move the running man! LOL Letty did well also. She Qd in the 3 runs that did not have mandatory contacts in them. She was 5/5 on startline stays. In FullHouse I planned just the aframe for contacts and just at the end of the run. It was a fast tunnel, jump to aframe. She came off. So I brought her back and just did the aframe and she STOPPED! I finally had a chance to praise her and reward her. I released her to the table and we were done and partied. She stopped on her dogwalk in both runs! She stopped on 1 of the teeters. In her first Standard run she stopped on the aframe. It was in the same place – at the end of the ring by the exit. There were still some jumps to do on the course but I just release her to her leash and we left and partied. On this day it felt like we were making progress on our contacts. I was very happy! Especially since I was feeling pretty disheartened after the MMBC trial. She is not getting poopy face so for that I am happy too. Seven ran well and did not show any signs of having problems with his shoulder. His first run was goofy and he came out of a tunnel the wrong way and was jumping and barking at me. So we were over enough time in FH that he didn’t Q. Hard to get going on that sandy beach too. He Qd in Snooker. Popped weaves at the last second in Wildcard and I was good and didn’t ask him to redo them. He ran really well.
I’ve started tracking with the girls again. We’ve been out twice. There is a TDX on May 3rd that I am thinking of entering Vada in. There is another in October so that would be our backup if we fail. And then we will have more experience on what to train for all summer. The challenges are things that I think Vada can track thru. I just don’t think I have ever tracked her on a track that is 3 hours old.
Vada was invited to the UKC Rally Invitational in MI in June. Unfortunately that is the weekend that Letty might be trialing for her IPO1 again. So we are not going but it was an honor to be invited!
This weekend is another ASCA trial! More contact training.