Sunday, January 31, 2010

Interesting tidbits

I spent a few days at a veterinary conference this weekend and learned a few things I wanted to share.

First of all, most people with herding dogs have heard of the MDR1 gene mutation causing Ivermectin sensitivity. Data from the lab at Washington state-where they run the test for the mutation-showed that only 15% of Shelties and less than 5% of border collies test positive for the mutation. Conversely 70% of collies and 50% of Aussies are positive. With this new info in mind it's important to remember that this is only a problem when dogs are treated with high levels of ivermectin-as in the demodex dose. No dogs are sensitive to the dose of Ivermectin in Heartgard. Also bear in mind that there are other mechanisms of ivermectin toxicosis and any dog being treated for demodex should slowly have the dose increased and monitored for any side effects.

I also learned that of dogs with Methicillin resistant staph infections only 4% have Staph aureus, or human staph. The rest have Staph pseudintermedius, or dog staph. Dog staph is not transmissable to people except when they are very immunocompromised. So while this may be potentially bad for your dog he is unlikely to give it to you.

And finally, for a number of reasons related to tick biology those of us living in tick country will continue to have troubble controlling them. I now feel very lucky that we don't have a big tick problem in our yard.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vote For Happy Tails

I have a special for request for everyone today. The organization we got Zodiac from is competing to win a $10,000 grant from the Animal Rescue Site. All you have to do is click on this link and search for Happy Tails Animal Sanctuary in MO and vote! You can vote once a day, every day until April 18th.

So why vote for Happy Tails? Well, naturally they gave me a really great dog! But one reason I have always liked Happy Tails is they are a very reputable rescue. As a vet, I have seen many, many pets adopted from shelters and "rescues" and I can tell you that in 5 years we were not called by one organization who was checking vet references. Many of these organizations had minimal requirements for adopting an animal and therefore many of these animals ended up in homes where they received minimal, if any veterinary care. Some were lucky to get a rabies vaccine and many were never on heartworm prevention or had other basic care. Some lived outside tied up year round. Happy Tails does an excellent job of screening the people they adopt to, to make sure they have found a permanent, qualified home for the pet they have invested in saving. They will adjust the requirements as needed depending on the age, size, and breed of dog in order to look out for the pet's best interest. They also make sure the pet is completely vaccinated, heartworm checked, dewormed and placed on HW and flea prevention, as well as spayed or neutered before going to it's new home. All the pets are fostered by volunteers who help get the pet housebroken and socialized.

I know a lot of rescues are not doing the kind of job that HTAS is doing so please take a minute and vote! Zodiac thanks you!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Getting out while I can

I've been debating all week when to leave for the conference this weekend since they have been forecasting snow for late in the week. The conference starts Friday but the snow was supposed to start sooner. They have changed their mind about a million times about when it will actually get here so I finally decided to just leave today. Of course now it sounds like I could probably leave in the morning but I think I'll just stick with my plan. I'm sure no sooner than I change my mind tomorrow would be a disaster.

I did take the dogs out yesterday to play and found it was nice enough to do a little agility with the girls. Legend did fine-I have high hopes for her this year. We'll see if it actually pans out! Lyric was great. She's really starting to drive over/through the obstacles with confidence to get her reward. I think she's doing amazing for only a few days of training. She's starting to do run-bys as well as call-overs for the jump and did the tunnel at full length. She also remembered the tire right away. And she needed no help going over the dogwalk or A-frame. She knew there was a treat at the end and she was going to get it. Then while I was playing ball with the other dogs she did something none of my border collies have ever done-she scampered up the A-frame by herself just looking for a cookie at the end. She may turn into a great agility dog as long as there are cookies involved!

Here are some of the photo projects I worked on this week. This is a "watercolor" of Legend.

I stole this quote off of Border Collie Mom's blog. Thanks Lori!

Some of my flowers from last spring.

A "pastel" drawing of Zodiac looking sweet and sad.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The rest of the snow pictures

Well, almost. I still have a few more that may get posted over time. But I figured I needed to get these up before the new snow comes. We are supposed to get a lot of winter weather later this week. I'll be at a conference in STL and won't have to deal with it but still-it may disrupt my travel plans as I may leave a day early. Not much else going on here. Dogs are back to working inside-cold and windy outside, but at least it's sunny. We may go out an play ball later. Everyone is doing well with their respective training projects. I definitely think Legend will be ready for Open by summer. Maybe sooner but we are really in no hurry. And Zodiac is plugging along with Utility. I had hoped to have him ready for Tracking by the BCSA specialty in October but with my lack of interest in doing tracking in cold weather I'm not sure about that. We'll see how it goes come Spring.

Monday, January 25, 2010

For fun

I made all these on my phone using a variety of programs. And if you didn't see the game last night-No. It did not go well.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Football and Frost

But not on the same day. It's still too dreary and muddy here to get any good new pictures so I'm still messing with old ones. Here are the rest of my frosty tree pictures-less gross than my last post for those of you that are squeamish!

And now it's back to watching football. My husband is a huge Viking's fan and it's about to get really loud in our house! Go Purple!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The gross factor

or the cool factor, or the wow factor, depending on who you are! When I left work I copied my computer files to take with me. In one of the folders were pictures of various interesting cases we saw so I thought I'd share a few with you.

This was a huge fatty tumor I removed-it's a benign lipoma but was starting to bother the dog's movement as it was near her shoulder and elbow. For a size reference the dog is a very large Great Dane. So you can see the mass is almost as big as her head!

This was a cat that we suspect suffered a huge burn wound. This picture is in the early weeks of healing. I didn't think to take a picture the day the huge piece of skin came off but the original injury extended to near the margins on shaved hair.

Here is the same kitty-about 5 months later.

This is a photo taken at necropsy of a dog with a nasty spleen tumor-probably a hemangiosarcoma. He was bleeding into his abdomen.

This dog went missing from his house and was found a week later with horrific injuries to his front legs. The right front was so badly fractured and infected at the joint that we had to amputate. The wound on the other side took months to heal but eventually did.
Here is that wound several weeks into therapy.
Hope you already had lunch or don't mind a little blood!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cold again

It's cold here again. Not as cold as it was but back to coat weather. And it's cloudy and windy. Not a fun day for playing outside so we will continue with indoor training. I'm kind of at a loss for things to do now that the bathroom is done-but it's been nice not to have that huge project nagging at me for a few days. I got to get back on Photoshop this morning and mess around for a bit.

I have also added a new link to the sidebar so everyone (especially locals) check out Healing Paws Veterinary Clinic. I guess you can consider this my public endorsement for Healing Paws-it's where I would take my pets if I were in the general public!

And now, a few more snow pictures!

If you are wondering-yes Lyric is missing some bottom teeth!

As you can see there are some properties of photoshop I enjoy more than others-love the fancy backgrounds and fun patterns you can stamp on!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finished.....well, really close

The bathroom is almost done! All that is left is to get two new switch plates-we got some but the two by the mirror don't fit-the fancy edge is too wide and runs into the side of the mirror. Now I'll have to get the ones I didn't like as much. Also the line where the paint meets the ceiling could be touched up-some of the paint came off with the tape. But right now I don't feel like looking at any more paint.

For the larger area we decided to paint two parallel walls green and sponge paint with purple and yellow, and do the other two parallel walls like we did in the small room. We thought it would look cool and keep the room from being so dark.

The rest of my "in-between" pictures were not taken in very good light so I'm skipping ahead to the finished product. I know it's what you've all been waiting for anyway!

Other than getting a little paint on the ceiling and on the carpet I only had one significant mishap. While I was cleaning up I realized I'm missed a section of wall while doing the yellow sponging. But I had already tossed out the sponge I had been using and had to use a different one which made different looking marks in that area. Oh well. I thought the rest turned out pretty good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Watch out 8 inch dogs!

I started teaching Lyric some obstacles yesterday. I had forgotten what it's like when they don't know ANYTHING! She worked on a jump, a short tunnel, the A-frame, dogwalk, and weave poles. She was a little unsure of everything, but for food she was convinced to try it all. It's funny how they don't think twice about jumping on the couch or something blocking their path on the trail but set them right in front of a tiny crossrail jump and they insist on going around. She did catch on though and we had a big party after every obstacle.

After we were done working I was playing frisbee with the big dogs and she went over and checked every single obstacle we worked on for leftover food. And she only checked the ones we worked on-not even an extra jump or anything. Clever little thing isn't she. Then while I was on the other end of the yard I noticed her heading up the dogwalk on her own. I didn't want to scare her so I just watched and she sniffed her way all the way across the whole thing-by herself, at full height-looking for crumbs. Ambitious too.

Today she remembered everything we worked on and was eager to do more. She needed no help on the dogwalk or a-frame-just trotted right over following a cookie. She remembered right away about the jump and almost right away about the tunnel. And it only took her a few tries to figure out the tire.

Legend worked agility yesterday and today as well. She did very well. We also worked on the broad jump and retrieve over a jump. Those are coming along nicely so far.

Zodiac's signals are improving-he's responsive and not anticipating-a hard thing for him-he likes to work ahead! His articles are slowly getting better as well, as are his glove turns. He's still struggling with go-outs but I'm sure with time he'll get it. I should have done some tracking today with the warmer weather but I decided to keep working on the bathroom instead. I got the wallpaper all down today and the walls cleaned and prepped and then put on the primer which is drying now.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today is kind of a quiet day for me. I ran a few errands but have not done much else. I am taking the day off bathroom remodeling duty. Yesterday Jerry and I got most of the wallpaper off so that's a big step. I just have to finish a few areas and then get the details done and the walls cleaned and prepped for painting.

As I said before our snow is gone, but I still have snow pictures to post-they are better than mud pictures. Here is an almost psycho looking one of Lyric running.

This is not a snow picture but does anyone else see a problem with who is laying where? As long as they are all happy I guess.

And finally-"snow-face"

Along other lines-I am suddenly unable to view videos posted on other blogs, anyone else having that problem?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hitting the trails

Yesterday we joined Cheri, Steve and one of their dogs for a hike. I think Legend thought it was pretty much the best day of her life. Since she gets so excited on walks and wants to zoom around everywhere I decided it would just be easier to let her go so she could run and play like Renny was. I was a little nervous at first but she did a good job of staying close and coming when called if she got too far ahead. The park was pretty dead, and fortunately we only encountered one other hiker-who was very understanding about our renegade dogs! Anyway-she ran and jumped and splashed and played the whole time. I don't know if she ever would have got tired she was having so much fun.

Lyric and Zodiac could have probably been off leash too but they are easy enough to walk on a leash and then I didn't have to worry about keeping track of all three. Lyric did a good job of keeping up and I think enjoyed herself. Although a few times she looked at us as if to say "isn't someone going to help me over this rock?" She did a good job for a fluff dog though. I'm not sure Zodiac had that much fun. He wasn't interested in playing in the water or running free and was ready to flop down for a nap when we came to a scenic overlook for a break. I think maybe he can skip hiking next time and stay home on the bed!

When we got home everyone was filthy, especially Legend so it was doggie bathtime. As soon as Legend realized what was going to happen she threw herself to the ground and refused to get up. Why does she object to a nice warm, clean bath when she just spent two hours running in the mud and playing in the cold stream? Can it really be that bad? Funny girl. She was a little more tired than usual in the evening but would have still played if we had wanted to!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Project: Phase 2

I finally found the wall under all that wallpaper. It appeared to be in pretty good shape.

So on went the dark grey primer to prepare for the base coat of paint.

It will come as no surprise to those of you that know me that we painted the base color purple!

Then I added a layer of green sponge painting,

followed by a later of yellow/gold sponge painting to make it a little lighter and fit in with our purple/green/gold fixtures and artwork that we already had. Also our sink and tub are green.

The good news is I finished one room of the bathroom (it's a large area with a smaller separate area for the toilet and shower stall). The bad news is the small room is the one I finished. The worse news is the wallpaper is not coming off in the big room as easily as it did in the other room. So I am not very far into the big room yet.
And just so you know I have not been just painting and playing with Photoshop, the dogs have all worked several times this week! Everyone seems to be doing well, for what we can do indoors and Lyric is ready to start on some basic agility obstacles as soon as we get some nice weather!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

On the move

None of these photos of Legend were super but all were decent so I decided to just put them all together. I love Legend with a snowy background-it seems to complement her markings well. Speaking of snow, it's just about gone-so here comes the mud :(

This is my new favorite photo of Legend. I think she has an almost sweet expression in it. I have a lot of good photos of her-but this one just seems to have a different feel to it than most of them. Maybe it's just me, but anyway, I like it.

If you are wondering, yes, the "project" continues. Fortunately there was no more wallpaper under the roses. And yes I agree with the general consensus-wallpaper is evil. Right now I'm waiting on the primer to dry and then will put on the base layer of paint. Hopefully it will just take one coat-that's the point of the primer right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Project:Phase 1

We painted every wall, baseboard, ceiling, and even the basement floor in our previous house during the time we lived there. We even stenciled in several rooms. In one room I had to take down wallpaper. So, when we moved here I had zero desire to to paint or redo anything. The paint and wallpaper that was there was probably was not what we would have chosen but we didn't mind it and just adjusted our decor around it. We did paint the bright pink bedroom-that could not stay.

Other than the pink bedroom the one thing I never really liked was the wallpaper in the master bedroom. It looked like this.

I would have never, ever picked that but I really didn't want to take it down so we just added some complimentary decor-artwork, towels, etc that made it more tolerable. But after 5 years I decided it was time to take down the wallpaper and repaint. We picked the colors, had a plan and since I have plenty of time right now, I decided to get started.
That's when I discovered Phase 1 would be in two parts-there was wallpaper under the wallpaper. And it's pretty hideous. Fortunately I started in the smaller area of the bathroom and plan to finish that completely before starting in the big room. That way I won't have the whole bathroom torn apart at one time and if I can practice my sponge painting in the less noticeable areas!

Nice huh?