Monday, May 30, 2011

It worked this time

Here are a few videos from the weekend...

Legend Elite Jumpers Q

Lyric Elite Regular Q

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wind. Rain. Sun. Sweat. Agility.

In other words, it was time for our annual Memorial Day weekend trip to Purina Farms for the NADAC fundraiser!  Yesterday was wet and chilly and today was hot and sunny-so, pretty much typical for the end of May in St. Louis!

Although we were only able to spend two days there competing this year we still had a great time.  Legend had a feast or famine type weekend.  She qualified in all her runs yesterday (2 elite regular, and 2 elite jumpers-the jumpers were particularly nice runs) but none today.  Although she did come close in one of her elite chances runs which was nice.

Lyric only did 3 runs/day as I was worried about running her too much in the heat.  She finished her novice weavers title yesterday and came close in her other 2 runs.  Today she got her first Elite regular Q and her first Open tunnelers Q.  She still needs a bit of work on her discriminations but she is doing so well!

And, Ripley got adopted!  All in all a good time!

I have video but blogger is not interested in posting video at this time apparently.  So maybe later. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Believe it or not

"Ripley" needs a home! This little cutie was a stray.  He is about 10 months old and 15 lbs.  Probably sheltie and border collie mix?  He is heartworm negative, vaccinated and will be neutered soon.  He is good with cats and dogs, likes toys and is quite spunky (aka agility prospect!).  Also likes to cuddle.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Putting agility complaints into perspective

I have noticed a growing trend of agility competitors complaining about trial facilities and more specifically, running surfaces.  It's always too hot, too cold, too dusty, not enough crate space, bad food and so on.  For the running surface they complain if it's too soft, too loose, too hard, too wet, too dry, too deep, uneven, or slippery. 

Is every location or surface ideal?  Certainly not.  But is it worth getting upset over, refusing to trial at that site again, boycotting the host club or leaving early?  Personally, I don't think so.  Now if you feel that your dog is at risk of injury on a particular surface that's different.  But just because it's not "ideal" or your dog runs different or slower is that really worth getting all worked up over?  And can you really blame lack of QQ's or knocked bars on the running surface?  Let's face it, AKC does not have a high Q rate to begin with no matter what surface.  This leads me to believe there are more factors than the running surface involved.

And I don't want to sound all high and mighty like I've never complained.  Sure there are some surfaces I like better or my dog likes better, but  unless it was dangerous then I would never not go there again or hold it against the club.  It's not that big of a deal.  Remember, most of these venues were not designed for dog sports.  Therefore they are not going to be perfect.  And even the multi-million dollar venues like the new Purina Event Center which was made for dogs is not perfect.  Sure it's unfortunate that both floors they have tried are not perfect for agility, but it's still a climate-controlled facility with great lighting, lots of crate space, grass to potty dogs and a decent concession stand. 

And I don't blame NADAC for not wanting to run their nationals there this year due to the floor.  But that's because it is a national event where many very fast dogs will be running the surface for the first time.  But for local trials where not much is at stake and most dogs are used to it, no big deal.

Be real.  We are not talking about world championships, the Olympics, or professional sports where athletes and coaches are paid millions of dollars.  This is LOCAL DOG AGILITY.  It's just supposed to be fun.  Sure there are titles and ribbons and points to be earned but if you are only in it for those things maybe you need to reevaluate your motivation.

We should just be thankful we have happy healthy dogs that are willing to do this with us every weekend, that we have friends to share it with, that we have the time and finances to support our addiction and that any given weekend we can drive a few hours to enjoy the sport we all love.  So what if it's in a crowded soccer arena or dusty horse barn.  We could have it a lot worse. Just watch the news.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I think this has been on the national news but for those of you who don't know an EF-4 tornado struck Joplin, MO Sunday night.  Joplin is about 90 minutes away from where we live.  The tornado destroyed a large part of the town and damaged or destroyed literally thousands of businesses and houses, including the main hospital which was eventually evacuated.  I know many people who have friends or family in the Joplin area.  Power and phone lines are down and many people are still searching for loved ones and trying to found out who is safe. 

Most of the veterinary clinics survived the storm although several are without power.  However, a clinic where I did relief work last year was completely destroyed.  While the clinic owners are safe and no animals were injured this makes me very sad.  I do not know if they will reopen. 

This community needs all your prayers right now as many are without homes or jobs.  The fatalities have reached 116 and are expected to rise.  This makes it one of the deadliest tornadoes in our state's history.

The pictures of the devastation are unreal.  The clean up and rescue efforts are hampered by continued rain and storms in the area.

Cutest kid ever

Did you know that with a water hose, a few dog toys, and a cat you can keep a two-year old entertained for the better part of the afternoon?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Second verse, same as the first

Saturday was pretty much a repeat of Friday for us.  Legend took an off course in Jumper and Lyric popped the last weave pole.  But they both Q's in standard which gave Lyric her first MX leg.  I didn't stick around for the placements last night so this morning I found out she got 2nd place-extra MACh points! 

I'd like to say today was our best day but it really wasn't.  Lyric bobbled or missed poles in both runs (but had great entrances).  Legend had a semi-disastrous standard run but did get a nice Q in jumpers.

Also we won one of these Manners Minders in the raffle.  I think it will be great for helping teach distance stuff, sends, etc so we can really be ready for NADAC Chances courses. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

I should also mention

That after all our struggles in standard Lyric finally finished her AX in three straight runs!  I guess it all clicked.  Legend also Q'd in standard.  Lyric had a "stop and sniff" refusal in JWW and Legend took an off course on what was otherwise a great jumpers run.  More fun awaits tomorrow!

Remember this kid?

Extreme Power Trip

My little man made his big debut in agility today!  This was his JWW run and although he didn't Q doesn't he look great!  He did Q and took 1st place in Novice Fast earlier in the day.  I'm so proud of him.  I think I'm at least as excited as his mom is to see him in the ring!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Odds and Ends

Ulysses and Eva have been adopted!

Icy seems more vocal, active and mischievous than before her surgery which makes me think she was not feeling quite herself for longer than we knew.  We though she was just "maturing."  Wishful thinking.

I entered a three day agility trial and added in two days of obedience with Legend.  I may regret this.  But eventually I will get a CDX on that dog!  Maybe even a UD?  Maybe?  She's the nicest working obedience dog I've ever had-probably due in large part to her need to do everything in life with enthusiasm and gusto.  That dog rarely joins me in the obedience ring however.  So we are trying new training techniques and hopefully trying some training in new places. 

On the agility front I let them have a week off and hit it hard tonight.  Working on mostly discriminations and distance with Legend-gotta get those Chances Q's eventually.  Lyric worked small sequences, worked on her contacts and table and rear crosses.  She always turns to the right.  It's like it just blows her mind that I might want her to rear cross to the left. Her weave poles however are amazing.  She's really understanding them and taking responsibility for doing them herself.  She found some tough entrances on her own and even let me send her to the poles-doing all 12 while working ahead of me!  I'm excited to see how they run this weekend-3 day local trial!  Whoo-hoo!

I've been trying to train for a 5K.  I think I may have mentioned this before.  Agility, a cold, bad knees, and general busyness are trying to interfere but I'm still trying.  Might not be a very fast 5K but oh well.  Maybe fast will come later.

Trip will be making his agility debut at the trial this weekend too!  It was this trial last year where he met his new mom-how cool is that! I'm so excited to see him run.

We had a 30% off coupon for Kohl's this week.  Dangerous.  I now have lots of new stuff.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

More from the zoo

The giraffes are my favorite.

 There were peacocks everywhere.  This one was too lazy to get up so I was able to get really close.
 The swans were really pretty swimming around with their babies.

I actually spent a whole three day weekend not working or doing anything agility or dog related.  Except setting up a course to practice on this week but I haven't actually worked the dogs on it yet.  We got a ton of stuff done around the house and yard with some time for some fun stuff too.  We were going to go to Silver Dollar City today but it's unseasonably cold and windy so we are just messing around the house-photoshopping zoo pics!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Not that different

We went to the zoo today.  In case you can't tell, that's where the second picture came from ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dear Client...

The following is a helpful list of things you can do to make sure your next visit to the veterinary hospital is a pleasant one.

1.  Call and describe your pet's symptoms and then ask if there is anything you can do at home.  Don't make an appointment during this phone call.

2.  Call back later and say you googled the symptoms and know what your pet has and ask if you can come get some medication for it.  Don't make an appointment.

3.  Observe your pet all day and when you determine it is not getting any better call to announce you are coming in or just show up with your pet approximately 30 minutes prior to closing.  After all, you want Fluffy checked out before we close.

4.  When you arrive at the clinic allow your pet to run up to all the other animals in the lobby so they can share their diseases with each other and/or start a fight.

5.  Under no circumstances should you bring your cat in a carrier.  Especially if it is current on it's rabies vaccination.

6.  While attempting to restrain your pet, do nothing more than hold the end of the 6 foot leash.  This will be adequate, especially if your pet is hyperactive or aggressive.

7.  If you do happen to prefer holding the collar instead of the leash, be sure to let go every 12 seconds and repeatedly beg your dog to come out from under the chair.

8.  Please allow your pet to jump off the exam table as soon at the technician leaves the room to get the doctor. 

9.  Feel free to hold your pet in your lap or under your legs for the exam.  Veterinarians love this kind of closeness with the clients. 

10.  Insist that Fluffy does not need a muzzle in sprite of  the growling, barking and lunging that she is doing.

11.  Act oblivious while your intact male dog hikes his leg on everything in the clinic.  Or better yet, laugh and point out how cute it is. 

12.  "Forget" your wallet.

13.  Complain about the bill, especially when your pet's illness or injury could have been prevented by basic medical care or common sense. 

14.  Ask to make payments on routine elective procedures.

15.  Announce that your pet is not at risk for disease X, Y, or Z even though it turns out you don't know how pets acquire diseases X, Y, or Z. 

16.  Allow your children to rummage through exam room drawers.

17.  Send your friend, neighbor, or relative who knows nothing about your pet's illness to take the pet to the appointment.

18.  Allow the doctor to explain the diagnosis and treatment plan before announcing that you need to call the "person in charge" and explain all of that to him or her.  Doctors have lots of time to stand around and watch you make lengthy cell phone calls or explain everything again to "person in charge " using "messengers" covered in whose knows what kind of germs cell phone.

19.  Fail to recognize your lack of personal hygiene skills. 

20.  Listen to a lengthy spiel about your pet's medical problems and then ask "so he's pretty healthy right?"

21.  Decline all recommendations made for your pet, insist only on  vaccines that they may or may not need and then ask "so he's all set for the year right?"

22.  Never show up at your appointment time.  Those are only suggestions pulled out of a hat by our receptionists. 

23.  If your pet is having diarrhea, don't bring a stool sample.  That would be of little diagnostic value.

24.  If you think your pet has a UTI don't bring urine and please let your pet empty it's bladder on the way into the clinic.  See above.

25.  If your pet has an injury or wound please doctor it yourself with common household items for approximately 5 days before coming in. 

I hope you have found this list to be most helpful, even if not fully comprehensive.

Your Vet

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Unusual: Part 4

It's been a while but here is some more veterinary weirdness.  Or just plain old-fashioned stupidity.  You be the judge.

1. Caller inquiring about the existence of beetles who throw baskets of their babies onto cats

2.  Caller asking about the exact temperature at which she needed to bring in her new stray dog out of the cold 

3.  Client found a tooth in the house and wanted to know if it was from a squirrel and accidentally got carried into the house on the dog or some shoes or was it just from the dog?

4.  When asked how long their pet had not been eating the client responded with "since birth"

5.  When asked if their pet was spayed or intact a client responded "neither"

6.  Owner called to report their cat ate 12 inches of string (this is NOT a good thing) but they don't have much money and wanted to know what to do.  Pray?

7.  Client brings in her cat and her dog-who eats cats, on the same day.  After examining the cat I placed it back in the carrier.  While I am examining the dog the client lets the cat out of the carrier so now I am examining a dog who is trying to leap up and eat the cat every 3 seconds.  Seriously?

8.  Client brings in two rat terriers, one normal weight, one overweight.  While discussing the need for weight loss she informs me that "I know they are both the same breed but this one is more whippet and that one is more hound."  I realize rat terriers are likely derived from several breeds but I do not think that is a valid argument for why one dog is fat.

9.  Client who was sure her non-vaccinated, anorexic, listless puppy with vomiting and diarrhea did not have parvo because it had been sick for 3 days and wasn't dead yet. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Excellent weekend

The girls ended up going 7/8 this weekend and Lyric had (I think) her first perfect weekend in and it was in excellent!  She finally figured out how to put it all together and got her 2nd AX leg in a row!  And of course another jumpers Q for MXJ leg #9.  She ended up with 3 firsts and 1 second place this weekend.  Although admittedly not much competition. 

Legend had an off-course in standard.  She either thought the course was finished-as the off course jump was headed to the out gate, or it was stubborn moment.  But she did have a nice jumpers Q to finish a great weekend.  I'm pretty sure this is the most success I've had in one weekend while running two excellent level dogs. 

Sadly though, for some reason I can't Lyric's standard run to load.  Technology is weird sometimes.  Next weekend-no trials!  Sleep!


Well here are three of yesterday's videos.  Sadly it's Lyric's standard run that won't load but I will try again later. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Perfect Plus

The day started with a bad omen.  First of all we had to get up at 5:15 to get to a "local" trial.  It's only an hour and fifteen minutes away so a hotel is not worth it but it does make for early mornings.  First thing I see when the alarm goes off is lightning.  Great.  Tons of thunder.  No one wants to potty.  Maybe after breakfast.  I did get the girls out long enough (I think) to pee.  Zodiac declined to leave the deck.  So everybody got packed into the truck-I felt bad leaving him home needing to pee all day.  And since Jerry was coming I figured he could be the official extra dog holder and videographer (since dragging an extra crate along was obviously too much trouble).

Fortunately the day got much better after that.  The storm passed.  Zodiac had a great time getting everyone to pet him.  Oh, and the girls ran great!  Legend picked up her third QQ in a row and is down to only needing 160 points to qualify for AKC nationals.  Lyric finally got a Q in standard for her first AX leg and was 21 seconds under course time.  She also got her 8th MXJ leg.  I think she's going to be my fastest dog to get from novice to at least one of her master's titles. 

It was a small trial so we got finished running excellent before noon.  Since we already had all the dogs with us we decided to hit one of state parks and do some hiking and let Legend swim.  It was a beatiful day for a hike and the park was really pretty.  Then we had ice cream on the way home.  I really can't think of a more perfect day!

I will have to try and post the video in a separate post.  Blogger is being difficult.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My girls

How could anyone have given them up?

Don't Shop.  Adopt.
Save a life-find your next agility dog at a shelter or rescue!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bye-Bye Babies

The kittens are big, fat, mobile and eating cat food.  In other words, time to go back to the clinic and get adopted!  Momma-Emmy too!  But a few more pics of the cuties before they leave.

Emmy and Ulysses


Sisters-aren't they sweet?

Olivia and Eva

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More than half-way

This is weekend four of five trial weekends in a row.  And I'll admit, it started out rough.  First off I have felt a cold coming on all week.  I thought it might not materialize but instead it hit me pretty hard Friday afternoon as the trial started.  Yuck.  Legend didn't help matters by getting NQ's in both runs.  She hasn't done that all year so I guess it had to happen eventually.  The bright spot of the day was Lyric's Q in JWW for MXJ leg #6 and a third place.  Her standard run was something of a disaster.  Plus my head was so foggy I was having trouble remembering the courses.

Saturday got better.  Legend picked up QQ #11 and Lyric had a nice Jumpers run but wiped out a jump-tried to take the standard and everything.  Her standard course was again, a train wreck.  After 4 or 5 faults in the first 8 obstacles I was so tired and aggravated I decided to just cut our losses and leave.  Of course she never knew anything was wrong-she sprinted to her crate and had a celebratory cookie.

The weather was great on Saturday so we all headed to the park after the trial where Legend got to swim in the pond which, I'm sure was the highlight of her weekend.

Today was our best day yet.  Legend QQ'd again for #12-this definitely puts us past the halfway point and she sits at exactly 550 points.  I never would have thought a year ago we would already be this far.  And to think there was a time when I wasn't sure we would ever be this far!  This gives us all our QQ's for nationals and more than half the points.  Nationals are, by the way, in Reno this year.  But we had already predetermined that if she qualifies we would go no matter where they are.  After all you never know when you may get the chance again.  And while we are not there yet I think it looks favorable!

Lyric's high point of the weekend was today's JWW run where she picked up MXJ leg #7 and a second place.  And an interesting point here: Legend ran the JWW course in 33.7 seconds, Lyric ran it in 33.9.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  I'm proud of Legend and that was a perfectly average run for her but I think she should be embarrassed that she only beat a Pomeranian by 0.2 seconds!  If I could just get her qualifying in standard she'd be a true force to be reckoned with!  Her standard run, by the way, was much better.  She got through all the tricky parts before it fell apart near the end-I actually thought she might Q for a second there!  She will get it though.  And she's having fun, that's for sure.

There were lots of good pictures so I ended up getting a CD of some of their runs.  I really wanted some of Lyric but I had to get some of Legend too!