Thursday, December 31, 2009


The real horse vet came to x-ray Squirt's leg yesterday. The news was not too bad I guess. He has a lot arthritis in his carpal joint (that's the one that looks like the knee on the front leg) and she thinks he probably fractured off a piece of the proliferative bony tissue that you get with arthritis and that's what caused the sudden lameness. Now he has a lot of inflammation in the joint and so he's just hanging out resting for another 6 weeks. Not like I was going to ride him much in January anyway! If he's still lame after that may need to inject his joint to get him rideable again. I was a little surprised to hear that he had so much arthritis in the joint-it's not like he's ever been worked hard on a regular basis but then I remembered he is almost 14 and does not have the greatest forelimb conformation. I can't believe he's so "middle-aged." He always seems like a goofy young kid to me-maybe that's because of his dog-like personality and lack of professional training!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The End

Today was my last day at my "old" job. It was weird, everything was so normal and yet not normal at all. I saw patients I knew I would not be around to recheck, said goodbye to one of my favorite clients and her dog (one of my favorite patients) and finished all my files. We had some yummy pizza and cake at lunch-a little going away party! Then at the end of the day I just packed up all my stuff and left-after a lot of hugs. I'll miss a lot of people and pets but mostly I'm relieved and excited!

On another note I have found that Photoshop is not as "user-friendly" as I had hoped, so it may be a while before I have anything too impressive to share. I hope to figure it out a little at a time-there are a lot in instructions!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays

This is the picture I used on our Christmas cards this year. I wasn't totally happy with it but I was running out of time to get a perfect one so I made it work.

We had a great holiday and enjoyed many gatherings with friends and family. We got lots of nice things and all my readers will be thrilled to know I was given Photoshop software thanks to my obsession of altering/improving photos. So stay tuned for many new creations!

The dogs got quite a haul-so many new toys that I threw out some of the old crusty ones. Literally-crusty. Ew.

I don't think I mentioned this but Squirt has been lame a few weeks, he's not getting any worse, but not really any better so the "real" horse doctor is coming out later in the week to check him out.

Today was my last Saturday to work-yippee! Monday is my last official day. I have some tentative work lined up so I'm hoping to get a few actual commitments now that the holidays are winding down and settle into a new routine.

I'm also anxious to have some time to get back into training the dogs and some regular running. My treadmill would be very still except that Jerry has been using it. He's been fighting biceps tendonitis and so has been running instead of lifting weights. And of course I'll need time for my new Photoshop, blogging, reading (I have a few books sitting around waiting for me, actually I still have a few chapters left in Control Unleashed), and whatever else needs done around here.

I think those are all my updates for now. Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

What we did today

Late this morning I was presented with a pit bull who was HUGELY full of puppies. I don't think I've ever seen a dog so pregnant. Due to a number of factors a normal birth didn't look likely so it was off to c-section land for the All Creatures gang. The surgery itself was kind of a nightmare-the uterus was tearing and bleeding everywhere. I pretty much delivered the puppies through the tears! I finally got all 12 pups out and the momma spayed. Sorry no pics of the surgery-all staff were working on puppies and quite honestly EVERYTHING was covered in blood and puppy goo. I'm prery sure I've never had such a mess in surgery! But amazingly the girls were awesome and got 10 of the puppies to live. Sort of made all the extra laundry worth it. We were all exhausted afterwards but here's what we had to show for it...

Dad was only described as "big." Not sure that they are going to be very cute but we'll see. Actually I kind of doubt we will see them again. The owners are not too bright or responsible, and have no money (a parent paid today's bill) but maybe they will surprise us. They have a long road ahead with a sick momma dog and 10 pups, they may be doing some bottle feeding before long.

Later in the day we had another surprise. "Santa" from the Portuguese Waterblog brought by some presents and Sue had made me this adorable bunny! Thanks Sue-she's adorable!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gettin it done

I think I'm officially done Christmas shopping now. I've got one thing yet to arrive and a few left to wrap but no more shopping!

My mom and sister were in town this weekend and we had a good time visiting and also got in some last minute shopping with them.

We also got a few things for the "kids." Lyric finally got a coat. It does have a hood but she can't see with it up!

And the kitties got this fancy toy.

I got a bunch of stuff done around the house today and even made some cookies (I never make cookies). Now I have the rest of the night to relax before a busy week.

Here's Jelly relaxing under the tree although she is not preparing for a busy week.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Break

So you may have noticed in the last few weeks, other than one agility trial, there have been no updated on dog training. That's because other than one agility trial we have done no dog training around here! With Christmas coming, winter setting in, and preparing for a new job situation the dogs have been getting a winter break. Except Lyric who has to sit or down for her meals. Hopefully once things settle down we will get a lot more training in. I have some pretty specific goals for this year so maybe that will help. I want to get Zodiac more prepared for Utility so hopefully we can start getting some of those UD legs. And, I want to get Zodiac ready for tracking. I want to get Lyric ready for the agility ring hopefully no later than the end of 2010. Legend will keep working on agility skills and will likely start showing in Open Obedience sometime over the summer? And I need to get Zodiac's RAE finished-but we only have about 3 more legs to go!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Deck the halls

This has been a busy, but I must say, highly productive weekend. Yesterday I worked (only one more Saturday left!) and then we picked up a Christmas tree. While we were at Lowe's we picked out paint colors for repainting the master bathroom-I'll post more about that project once I get started on it. Then we went to the Springfield Symphony's Holiday concert.

Today I did laundry, decorated the house, Jerry put up a few lights outside, I did more laundry, wrapped some presents, addressed Christmas cards, did more laundry and then we decorated the tree. And watched football.

I have to mention that Jelly-who has been living in the garage has started to become much more social again. We had always planned to let her come in during the evenings when we could watch her but for the longest time she didn't even want to. She seemed to be enjoying her privacy. Lately though, she is obsessed with coming in and wants to be in all the time. So she spends most evenings with us and usually hangs out in the morning while we get ready for work. But she goes back to the garage overnight and during the day. We still don't trust her. But doesn't she look innocent napping here?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

As promised...

Here is some information about dental care for your pet. I'm starting with the many reasons to have a dental cleaning done...

Cleaning your pet’s teeth involves removing all the tartar and then polishing them so that they will be pretty and white just like after you go to the dentist.  

Better Breath
The tartar and plaque on your pet’s teeth is a major contributor to the "dog breath" syndrome. Having the teeth cleaned will improve your pet’s breath so you won’t mind as much when they give you kisses!  

Oral Health
Pets get dental disease just like we would if we never or rarely brushed our teeth. They can get reddened, inflamed gums (gingivitis) and loose or painful teeth just like we do. However, because pets cannot tell us that they have a toothache and may naturally tend to hide their pain so we may not realize that they are suffering. Regular dental care at home and cleaning by your veterinarian can prevent and relieve the mouth pain that many older pets are suffering from. Many owners have just assumed that their pet was "getting older" because they were eating less and sleeping more only to find that a dental cleaning by their vet returned their pet to an active happy lifestyle. You can imagine you would not want to eat or play either if you had a chronic toothache!  

Systemic Health
When your pet’s gums are inflamed and red the blood vessels come closer to the surface of the gum. This is important because the tartar you see on your pet’s teeth is 30-70% bacteria by weight and every time the pet eats or chews some of that bacteria can break off and get absorbed into the bloodstream. The bacteria can then go to any organ of the body (like the kidneys or heart) and cause disease. The damage is done slowly and builds up over the pet’s lifetime so that we may not see any signs until later in life when it is too late. As a result keeping your pets teeth clean is a way to help them live a longer more enjoyable life.  

So, now that you have decided to schedule a dental cleaning it's important to realize that not all dentals are created equal. Be sure to ask what all is included when you schedule your pet's appointment. You will want to make sure that the teeth are cleaned above and below the gumline in order to make sure all plaque and bacteria are removed. It's also important to polish the teeth after the cleaning is finished. A quality dental cleaning will also include probing all the periodontal pockets to make sure there are no hidden pockets where the gum is not adequately attached to the tooth. Deep pockets need to be addressed and may even mean the tooth needs to be pulled. Dental radiographs are also becoming more commonly available. There can be a lot of dental pathology that can only be picked up radiographically so having these done can really help your pet's mouth stay healthy. And as with any anesthetic procedure make sure your veterinarian is using quality gas anesthesia and appropriate monitoring, as well as pain meds if there are extractions or oral surgeries performed.

Once you have had your pet's teeth cleaned, or before they reach the point of needing cleaned home care is important. There are many products and foods than can help reduce the build up of tartar and plaque but the gold standard is daily brushing. It may take time to teach your pet to accept brushing but don't give up. It will be much better for your pet to have quality home dental care in between professional cleanings. Happy brushing everyone!

Monday, December 7, 2009

My big announcement

Some of you already know this but most of you don't have a clue. But then again most of you won't really care either since it won't affect you. It does however, have a big effect on me.

I quit my job. My last day at All Creatures will be later this month. I have not been truly happy there for a while and some recent events have prompted my to go ahead and make the decision to leave now.

I'm sad to leave my friends and patients but very excited to go on to something less stressful and less time consuming. I don't have to dread going to work every day and I can have weekends off if I want!

So what am I going to do? I'm planning on doing some relief work ("substitute veterinarian") for awhile until I find a more appropriate long term position in a different clinic. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tulsa Day 2

It's good to be home after a chilly weekend in Oklahoma! Legend had a good run in Standard today and finally got another MX leg-now we have a whopping 2! But at least we broke our standard curse! Jumpers started out great and then kind of fell apart. So there went out Double Q. But on the upside she racked several faults and still ran a surprising 14 seconds under course time. I think they wheeled the course really wide-I've never seen a 47 second Excellent JWW course before. We'd have been happy to take the points if we had got them though!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tulsa Day 1

First of all I don't why driving in Tulsa always has to suck so bad. Somehow the directions to the hotel were bad or confusing or both. We drove around forever trying to find the hotel. Subsequently we are very tired today.

Anyway, Legend had a really nice standard run, with an off course tunnel. Ugh. More discrimination work is in her future. But the rest was great-nice off side weaves and nailed her contacts-no creeping!

Jumpers was nice but she somehow got off rhythym in her weaves and missed one somewhere in the middle. That's not a common problem for her so we'll just chalk it up to one of those things you can't control. We lost our connection at one point later in the course but it didn't cost any more faults, just time.

Overall she's running with more speed, confidence, focus, and consistency than she was two months ago and I'm really happy about that. She's shown a really steady improvement all fall but now that she's getting so close I'd really love to get some Qs. It's like she's teasing me!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Would have been

Today would have been Oreo's 15th birthday. For some reason I always thought I'd have him 15 years-almost made it. I guess some times you get quality over quantity. Anyway, to celebrate I thought I'd post a few more pictures of the years we did have.

I don't know if this song was really about a dog, but it always seemed to me like it should be...
My old friend,
I recall the times we had
hangin' on my wall
I wouldn't trade
them for gold
they laugh and they cry me,
and somehow sanctify me
they're woven in the stories I have told
and tell again...
...My old friend,
this song's for you
cause a few simple verses
is the least that I could do
to tell the world
that you were here
Cause the love and laughter
live on long after
all of the sadness and the tears
We'll meet again, my old friend
-Tim McGraw

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not enough time

Seems like lately I haven't had much time to blog, which is interesting because it seems like if I'm that busy I should have something to blog about-but I don't. Today I had the day off but didn't do anything too exciting, not even any dog training. I did get some Christmas shopping done though. Getting closer to getting it all wrapped up!

Zodiac had pet therapy tonight so he had to have a bath. Legend went to hide in her crate so she wouldn't have to have one but Lyric doesn't know the drill yet. She hung out in the bathroom with me and watched Zodiac get his bath. Since she's so little and was right there I decided to give her a quick bath too. We'll see if she catches on to this next time! Anyway it seems she and Legend both suffer from "Post bath zoomie syndrome." She went nuts bolting around the house after I got her out of the tub. It was hilarious. And that was perhaps the most interesting part of my day!