Sunday, May 31, 2009

Into the woods

We were inspired by out friends over at Busy Life blog and went for a hike in Mark Twain National Forest. We made this a dog free adventure since it was almost 90 degrees today. The park was beautiful-we stopped at a creek before turning around and had a snack, waded in the stream and relaxed.
We saw a lot of lizards-this was the biggest one and he let us take a picture!

The steam water was clear and cold-perfect for cooling down to get ready for the hike back. It was about 4-5 miles round trip.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Saddle Up

One of my goals this year is to ride my horse more. You would not think
this would be that tough-I mean he's right there in the yard and I like to ride. But my priorities now are getting the dogs ready for trials and taking care of the house and yard, doing stuff with Jerry, etc. And then you need decent weather and the ground to be dry and a little energy and so it just gets put off. But this week I finally did it. I worked him on a lunge (I never know if that's correct spelling) line yesterday in preparation and he was a little wild as expected but very out of shape and overweight. He was much better during lunging today except that even when going to the right he would only canter on the left lead. He's very left handed I guess. Except that when I tried to canter him under saddle we started to the left and of course he picked up the right lead-weirdo. But mostly he did pretty good for not working all winter. He only tried to buck once-when he tripped. That's his thing-he's lazy, so he trips, then he gets mad that he tripped and wants to buck. I don't think he will ever be a very well trained horse but he's ok for me. We even jumped a tiny branch down in the field. It was fun-for the little experience he's had Squirt is a good, brave jumper. He actually tries to rush to the jump too much.

The dogs worked a little tonight too. I started Zodiac with articles instead of doing them last. He seems to to well on the metal but then when he needs to retrieve the leather he keeps bringing me a metal instead. I guess we have worked so hard on the metal (since he does not like to hold metal) that he thinks it should always be the right choice. But when he does pick up the leather he's very confident about it-maybe it's easier for him to scent the leather, he just thinks it's wrong so he focuses on the metal. He anticipated signals a little but overall did pretty well. He was veering to the left in go-outs so I targeted one time and then we was much better. I did not do gloves outside today because the grass needs mowed and it's hard for him to see them!

I've been working with Legend on some discriminations with the tunnel and contacts. I"m trying to teach her to always default to the closer obstacle. Then if we need to take the far one I'm going to teach some kind of signal or command that will make it obvious she needs to take the far one. I'm not sure this if this is a good plan yet but she is really sucking to tunnels and tends to follow body language better than voice so I'm thinking if she just follows my path I can teach to automatically take whats closest by running parallel and then pushing her out with some sort of turn if the course requires taking the far obstacle. We also worked on some speed circles with distance.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Obedience update

I've been so wrapped up in agility I've been forgetting to write about Zodiac's obedience progress. First of all his signals are getting much more consistent-even outside with distractions and greater distance between us. He's getting better at not anticipating-showing a little patience! His go-outs are good. Usually he is doing most of them without any help. And the directed jumping part does not seem to phase him. Articles are hot and cold. He seems to do better inside. He struggled a bit with gloves the other day but we have not practiced them in a while so I'm sure it won't take him long to pick it back up. I might be able to enter him in the July trial. Might.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another kind of stone soup

If you have read the 20 things I've learned in 5 years post then you know that one of my favorite surgeries is removing bladder stones. It just so happened I got to do just that last week. A little dog came in with a report of blood in the urine and this is what we saw on the radiographs!

So off to surgery she went the following day

Here is the bladder

Getting ready to make a small incision into the bladder

Pulling out the stones

Stitching up the bladder after all the stones are removed

The final product-all these in a 15 pound dog! Sorry for the blood-my post rinsing pics didn't turn out well

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another photo

My dad made this cool picture of Legend from a photo he took at the trial this weekend. Pretty neat isn't is!

The rest

Novice Touch and Go (from Saturday)-another disaster, apparently she was done for the day!
Novice Weavers-too wild
Novice Chances-great until the off course tunnel that she felt needed to be done 3 times
Open Jumpers-started slow but finished well, Q
Elite regular 1-clean but 1 sec over time. NADAC times are faster than AKC times but she was definately dragging. I'm not sure she likes doing 10 runs in a weekend. I think she gets bored.
Elite reg round 2-nothing was gonna get her going-not even going through the tunnel could get her sped up so we just did a shorter course and called it quits.
So, not the greatest weekend but there's always next time. If only she could run like last week every time!

Here are some photos I took during the weekend. This is Cheri's foster dog-Wyatt. I know you can't really see his face but I love this picture. He's so funny.
Cheri's dog-Xena

Cheri's Sheltie-Vixen

And here's a video of our slow Elite regular run. It doesn't look as slow as it felt, except for the weave poles. I was supposed to have a video of our only Q-but my camera person apparently took a video of her feet walking to the ring instead! I won't name names but let's just say Cheri feels bad!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Early results

Open tunnelers-out of control!
Open jumpers-nice but with a bar down
Elite reg 1-disaster, maybe just too hot?
Elite reg 2-better but with some weave pole issues
Novice touch and go-still to come!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy weekend!

I think this picture is funny. She was looking at a bug behind me.

Anyway, we are off tonight for a few days of agility at the NADAC trial in St. Louis.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pool Party

Legend loves the baby pool-she had a great time playing it it today (we just set it up on Sunday and she hasn't got to use it much until today)

Diving for the ball

I love the way you can actually see her face and the ball under the water in this one.

Just gettin' a drink

Anybody want a hug?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not about dogs.

Most of you probably tune in to this blog for stuff about dogs, agility, or being a vet. Today you will not get any of that. For months our garage has been in terrible shape-it was a cluttered, dirty disaster. I was embarrassed and disgusted every time I walked out there. But this weekend-we cleaned. Everything. All the piles of stuff in corners, all the messy shelves, all the old paint cans left behind by previous home owners. Everything. So our driveway is full of trash but our garage looks great. Here are the "before" pictures...

And here are the "after" pictures. I know this has been fascinating for all of you but I'm pretty proud of it. Not as proud as I was of Legend yesterday but still proud.

On a more serious note...
Today I found out that the man who taught me all I know about cattle (which right now is not much, but at some point in my life was quite a bit), Dr. Jeff Tyler, passed away yesterday from a sudden, massive heart attack. His wife is also a professor at the vet school-she taught me oncology. They had several children and we are all saddened by this loss.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

SMDTC Agility results

Legend is running so well I wish we had more trials coming up! She had an awesome run in Excellent B Standard today and got her first MX leg and 14 MACH points. On top of that she even placed 4th. If you are not familiar with AKC just know that it's really tough to place in the Excellent B classes. Granted this was not a huge trial but there were 16 qualifiers in her class so I thought it was pretty good. She also had a great run in JWW but took down the triple and entered on the wrong side of the poles. But she did all the tricky handling parts great. She was super responsive to all my cues and did not even think about taking any off course obstacles. Maybe all this training is paying off. The video is of her standard run.

And Zodiac officially finished his NJP-we had 3 legs before but they were all under the same judge so we've been waiting to finish at some trial where I didn't have to wait around for Novice and then drive a long way home. This was a local trial-yeah. And we still got done early in the afternoon.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Evening off

We took the night off-sort of. I did not do any yard work tonight-didn't pull a single weed! There are some things that could be done but I've got it enough under control now that I don't need to work on it every spare minute. I did give the truck a much needed cleaning out and did a few chores. The dogs got the night off from any training and now we are just relaxing on the deck. Well I'm on the deck and Legend and Zodiac are in the yard playing. Oreo is on the deck but he's not very relaxed-he's worried about dinner. But no one is working!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

5 Years

I've been out of school 5 years today. It's pretty hard to believe that I've now been out of vet school longer than I was in. But then again looking back at all I've learned it's not that hard to believe.

So, here are some of the things I've learned...

1. Most things get better in spite of what I do (makes that education seem worth it!)
2. Some people pay really close attention to how much their pet poops
3. My 3 favorite surgeries are (in no particular order)-dog neuters, bladder stone removal, amputations (I know it's morbid, but they're pretty fun)
4. A lot of people are stupid/crazy/smelly or a combination of those
5. I hate dog spays and would complain a lot more about them if I didn't believe so strongly in them
6. More people refuse to put their dog on heartworm prevention than I would think
7. Cuterebra (look it up) are the coolest gross thing I have seen
8. There is nothing much better than lancing a good cat abscess in front of a new technician
9. Cutting off a head for rabies testing is not as much fun as you would think
10. Most dogs get hit by cars during lunch and right at 5PM
11. People are surprisingly unable to recognize that their pet has fleas
12. On any given day you might still see something you have never seen before
13. You can still buy "Gravy Train" dog food
14. The type of medicine you are allowed to practice is dictated by how much money people are willing and able to spend-sometimes you gotta use your crystal ball and magic wand
15. I like sutuing up lacerations and treating wounds-actually seeing something get better is truly rewarding
16. I don't like any kind of orthopedic surgeries. If I can't put a cast or splint on it, I'll likely refer it. Conversely I love using cast material.
17. The same few drugs can "cure" a lot of diseases (Thank you Metronidazole, Simplicef, Cerenia, and of course Prednisone)
18. A lot of people think "worms" have caused their pet's ailment, whatever it may be
19. I still hate looking at chest x-rays
20. Playing with cute new puppies is still fun

The horse doctor is in

A few times a year I get to play "horse vet." It's usually the day I decide I better vaccinate my own horses or draw blood for a Coggins test or attend to some minor ailment. Today was the day I decided to vaccinate my boys. We ordered vaccine at work, I remembered to bring an ice pack with me today and it was a nice evening when I arrived home. So even though I was tired I figured I better not put it off for no reason. Today really seemed like the appropriate day to do it-after all I only ever really worked on horses when I was in school and I graduated 5 years ago today! I have also had dewormer sitting on the kitchen counter forever that I needed to give. Squirt was easy-he doesn't care too much what you do to him. Moses is sometimes hard to catch but today just stood there and let me halter him-yeah. He's usually super hard to deworm but today I only fought him for a few minutes before he gave in. So all in all it went well.

In the spring, when the weather is nice mostly what you do is give vaccines and check on cute new babies I think I would like to work on horses. But most of the time when the reality of middle of the night colics in all weather and getting kicked or drug around or both sets in then I remember why I don't.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Action shots

I was playing with my camera today and found out, by accident, that I seem to get better action shots if I am zoomed in while using the sport mode. I don't know the logic behind that but it seemed to work. This does however make taking pictures along quite tricky-holding a camera, zoomed in on a small area, trying to get the dogs to run in the direction of said area-no surprise I got a lot of not centered, partial shots! The best ones were actually of Zodiac.

His long hair was really blowing in the wind today!

I really like this one but it's a little grainy when you look at it full size.

I actually got this one without a zoom-just lucky. She's practically sideways!

We got all this in before the rain. I also worked Zodiac's utility exercises. Perfect go-outs were apparently a fluke. Today he either wouldn't go far enough or tried to come back instead of sitting when he turned around. But it got better. Signals were pretty good-he responded to the signal every time, I just had a hard time getting him not to anticipate. He's always trying to think ahead! Articles were a bit of a struggle today. Legend had a good agility work out. We did a few things out of Clean Run and then practiced contacts.
I had two rooms of carpets recleaned today. I told everyone last night that they needed to get all accidents out of their system before the carpet cleaners came. So last night Legend puked on the living room floor and this afternoon Icy did the same thing. Well, I did tell them didn't I?

Monday, May 11, 2009

No good deed goes unpunished

Our friend Becky from work adopted a cat from an elderly woman about seven weeks ago. The woman had been feeding the cat for some time but the little kitty had a respiratory condition she couldn't manage. So rather than let a nice kitty get put to sleep Becky took her in. Radiographs taken a few weeks ago when the kitty suddenly seemed much larger indicated a special delivery was on the way. Late last week Becky was presented with these three cuties!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sun City Carnival Tour 2009

Yesterday afternoon Linda, Leslie, Lindsey and I loaded up the car and headed to Kansas City for the sold out (as usual) Kenny Chesney concert at the Sprint Center. We had such a good time-we even grilled in the parking lot before the concert-no Kenny sightings though, even though we were right across from the buses and semis.

The only glitch was we ran the radio in the parking lot too long and had to jump Lindsey's car before the concert so that it would start when we were ready to go back to the hotel afterwards!

The view from our hotel room-you can actually see the Sprint Center in the photo
Welcome to the Sprint Center

Trying to start the "porta-grill"

Maybe it takes two...

We had burgers and hot dogs with all the fixins. We even fed the parking attendants! Which was good since we later needed them to jump the car. We did however, fail to dispose of the onion before going into the concert which made for a smelly ride back to the hotel.

Everybody say "Chesney!" Our friend and client and hard core Kenny fan-Beverly came and partied with us and took this group photo.

The concert pictures never turn out that great-especially from the upper level seats we were stuck with this time but here are the best ones.