Sunday, June 26, 2011


Barney seems to be getting better.  I wouldn't say he's fully recovered from whatever he had but seems to be getting there.  I know he's not fully better because he doesn't gobble all his food right away, but he is finishing everything I give him eventually.  And he acts pretty good.

My friend came through a major surgery with flying colors and was in good spirits at the hospital when I visited last night.  She's already looking forward to running agility again.

We spend yesterday out on the lake.  Some friends invited us on their boat.  Same friends that invited us kayaking.  I must say, boat with motor, much better than kayak! I look a little like a tomato today but not as bad as I thought I might.

We are spending a long weekend (all of us-Me, Jerry and all our dogs) in St. Louis for the 4th of July weekend and an agility/obedience trial and the following week are leaving for Hawaii!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Don't scare me like that

This morning, Barney didn't eat well. He picked at his food, them just let his buddy Lefty eat it all and followed me back out into the yard. Great. His kidneys are probably fried after that antifreeze episode over the winter. So I packed him up and took him to work to find out.

And actually, all the bloodwork looked great! So, what's wrong with my cat? I don't really know. He had no fever and was a bit dehydrated and lethargic. Otherwise unremarkable. So I gave him some fluids and nausea meds and some antibiotics. The antibiotic might not have been warranted but I just wanted to cover all my bases while he was there. I also dewormed him-which really didn't go that well and I have a few claw wounds to show for it. We really need to stock that topical dewormer. It's all I would have if I owned my own clinic! Anyway, something worked because he seems a bit better tonight and ate a good meal this afternoon. Darn cat. Probably would have been fine by morning anyway, but that's what I thought last time too!

And for your enjoyment, my little pool princess!

I'm not sure she actually enjoyed this but she sure looked cute!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Better. I guess.

The day started off so much better than yesterday.  We were in the ring early, it was still cool, and Legend came out of her crate like she wanted to run.  Good signs.  Legend and Lyric both had really nice jumpers runs and Q's.  This means that Lyric has finished her MXJ just 11 months from her first trial! 

That was the day's highlight.  Standard was a repeat of our previous issues.  Legend refused the a-frame and of course went right up it on her second attempt.  So there went our QQ.  That made for 3 runs with this weekend with only one fault-both standard runs falling victim to the a-frame ghost.  Lyric refused the table.  Again.  Back to lots of table work I guess.  For Legend I raised our a-frame (it took me this long to realize ours was not quite set to full height) and work at approaching it from different angles after jumps intead of just always doing it straight or first in a sequence.  Might help, won't hurt.

Another bright spot in the weekend-they were both 4/4 on perfect weave poles!  I know that Trip got a Q yesterday in novice standard (looked great) but have not yet heard how he did today.

And, an update on Stormy...

She can, and will, jump the fence if you leave the yard or stay in the house while she is out.  She wants to be with you.  She's pretty good in the house but is still learning how to not jump on people, keep her feet on the floor and not the countertops and how to be led by her collar without having a fit and pawing your arm off.  She also has some weird social skills with the other dogs.  She's very concerned about them getting her stuff or too much of my attention but she is not really aggressive or assertive, she just always seems worried or anxious.  She really likes squeaky toys and is relaxing enough to play with them more and is starting to learn about treats.  I'm not sure if she will have any interest in agility yet (despite her obvious athletic ability) but she will make someone a very devoted pet!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The lull

We had an awesome start to the agility year. Legend was running faster and more consistently than she ever has. We were racking up points faster than I expected. Lyric was overcoming a lot of training issues and and getting faster.

Then the last few weeks happened. It's been hot, trial days have been long and warm, not much training has been getting done at home. And it shows.

We had another long trial day today. Still running jumpers at 6PM. Legend had so-so times in both her runs and refused the a-frame (then did it fine) in standard and then had a bar down in jumpers. Lyric had a bar down, a jump refusal and a refusal at the table (ugh, not the table again!) but had beautiful weave poles and a great rear cross in her bad direction. We are just waiting on her jumpers run now.

Legend still needs about 100 points to qualify for AKC nationals. And realistically there are still a lot trials to enter and she should have no trouble getting that, but a few fair to bad weekends in a row is always a blow to our confidence (not to mention the checkbook), especially when I know what she is capable of. But tomorrow is another day and we run early when it will still be cool in the building. Hopefully.

Hmmm. Does she look ready for jumpers?

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Heartbreaker (aka new foster dog)

Through the avenues of Facebook some of the local MOKAN volunteers were make aware of a possible border collie at the Nixa City Pound. She was to be euthanized Monday (today!) if she wasn't pulled by another rescue.  So I drug myself out to the Nixa pound Saturday after the 5K to evaluate said dog.  Which I had to do through the chain link fence because they said no one would be there, but it's not like we had a lot of time!

At the pound was an adorable blue merle Border Collie x ? looking puppy.  She looked about 8 months old and was wiggling all over with happiness that someone was there to see her.  There was no way I couldn't take her.  So although we weren't planning on another foster dog right now, letting this puppy get put to sleep was not an option.   It just broke my heart to think of her in the pound, probably close to the same age Legend was when her owner left her at the pound.  So, I picked her up today.

She's about 30 pounds, loves everyone, likes other dogs but has been very submissive around them, plays with toys and loves to run.  She does not like going in the kennel but so far has done well in it and has pottied outside.  She rode pretty good in the car and tolerated a bath reasonable well.  She seems very people oriented and I think will be the kind of dog to follow her person everywhere.  I've only had her a few hours but I think she is going to be moderately active and not over the top intense. She is available through MOKAN border collie rescue.  If you notice her tail is long and fluffy-I think she has been shaved and will have a longer coat eventually.



I think maybe I need a weekend to recover from my weekend. Saturday morning was the much anticipated 5k run. It actually didn't go too bad considering the general lack of training we put in. And better yet I was inspired enough to put in a little more training effort and do another one in the fall.

Sunday we were invited to go kayaking. I was a little skeptical but Jerry thought it sounded fun so we agreed to go. It took approximately 5 hours of travel time to get there, get all the vehicles dropped off in the appropriate locations, rent the extra kayaks (since we don't have our own) and then get back to the put-in site. This seemed like a lot of effort for something I wasn't sure I would enjoy. I'm not that comfortable around water anyway and that's a really little boat to be stuck in all by yourself! So I was pretty worried when we started out, especially crossing the "rapids" but I did get more comfortable as we went along. The good and bad part of it was in most places the water was barely moving so it was a LOT of paddling! The good news it at least it felt pretty safe. However eight miles (4 hours) of paddling is a bit much. Ok. A lot much. At the end I wasn't sure I would ever be able to move my arms again.

I would say I would try kayaking again but would prefer a shorter trip or moving water. But not moving too much! I don't think I see a kayak purchase in my future. Today I'm sore, tired, and sunburnt and then got to work only to find out the schedule is blocked out until 10 because the other doctor is out in a large animal call. Sure would have liked to sleep longer had I known that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Product Review: TerraPaws pet treats

I was contacted by a new pet treat company, TerraPaws, about reviewing their new line of freeze dried treats.  Since I can always use a new kind of treat, and I'm sure many of my readers can too, I thought it seemed like a good opportunity. 

The treats currently come in two flavors-chicken/sweet potato and beef liver/sweet potato.  They are coming out with a new single ingredient line later this year.  The treats are made with all natural, USA sourced ingredients and require no refrigeration.  You can read all about the nutritional details, etc at I don't want to just repeat all their information.

Anyway, I knew it was a good sign when the samples came.  They were packed in plastic and then inside a manila envelope and both Zodiac and Icy (our cat) knew there was something good inside.  Icy actually tried to tear open the package.  So, it appears cats like them too!

The chicken and sweet potato were a tad on the crumbly side but not too bad and they were easy to break apart.  The beef liver were really crumbly so not great for training but ok for sprinkling over food if that's what you want to use them for. 

Now, none of my dogs are picky but some are more food motivated than others.  Legend is the most likely to not care much for food motivators but seemed quite happy to work for these, especially for a dry treat that does not have much odor.  She was working happily doing obedience on a hot day. 

Lyric, who is not hard to impress was overly excited about them, but that's pretty typical.  Anyway, she was no less excited than normal.  She also worked happily for them on a hot day.

Zodiac, who hasn't been worked in forever, put forth a pretty snappy obedience performance for an old man!  He was very motivated and focused.

So overall, I think they were a big hit and nice to have as a treat that the dogs love but don't get all sticky and stinky.

If you want to check them out yourself you can order them online at the TerraPaws website.  During June and July enter the promo code BL20 at checkout to save 20% on your order!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Number 27

Granted, there are not a lot of Poms running agility at the Excellent B level but after only collecting points from her nine jumpers Qs Lyric is ranked #27.

She's a long way from getting in the top 5 or 10 but it's still fun to see her name on the list! Especially after running border collies-I'll probably never have a BC on the list!


AKC TopDogssm in Agility MACH Competition for Pomeranians
Considering Events Held Between January 1, 2011 and Ending June 8, 2011
But Limited To Events Processed Through Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sorted by the Score (Double Q's x 10) + MACH points

Rank Name
1 MACH8 Cheris Popeye The Zailor
2 MACH9 April May Wicket Moxon
3 MACH4 Cheri's Lil Swee' Pea OF
4 CH MACH4 Carleez Front Page News
5 Zglinski's Runaway Jeep MX MXJ
6 CH MACH6 Carleez Boom Boom Boom D
7 Edens Sunshine Angel Bear AX MXJ NF
8 MACH Boffo Barking Binnie CD
9 MACH4 Our Little Indy Man
10 MACH12 Little Polly Party Girl
11 Princess Wanna Be MX MXJ OF
12 Coco Elmore AX MXJ OF
13 Eleanor Rigby AX AXJ
14 Gemini's Raz 'Ma Taz AX MXJ D
15 MACH6 Bebe Luc Doyon CD NF
16 MACH14 Maya Mango She's A Delight
17 MACH Woodard's Blackjack RN OF
18 MACH Valentine's Cricket OF
19 MACH3 Masquerade Parti Madison
20 Valentine's Spyder MX MXJ
21 MACH2 Max
22 MACH2 Paris Da Bomb Pom Francine
23 MACH2 Pepe
24 Nipper's Godiva Truffle RN AX MXJ
25 Beau James Rotten To The Core RE MX MXJ NF
26 Fizzle's Lucky Break MX MXJ XF
27 Live Those Songs OA AXJ

There are more but I only copied up to Lyric.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Not the greatest idea

Soooo, we assumed when we entered a trial in Tulsa in June it would be climate controlled (I mean have you ever been to Tulsa in June?).  Well, you know what they say about assuming.  We should have checked the premium.  Because, it wasn't. 

So we arrived late Friday night and the first clue that this wasn't going to be a great weekend were the questionable looking people also checking into our hotel (an always classy choice, the Super 8).  They weren't really scary or dangerous looking, just not not the kind of people we really wanted to hang out with.  In other words, they were not there for the agility trial. 

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  It's already hot in the arena when we arrive.  We were not totally unprepared for this and got out the fans for the dogs. My never before used, still in the box fan didn't work.  At all.  Cheri's fans had dead batteries.  Fail.

First runs were standard.  Girls ran terrible for no particular reason with course faults ranging from knocked bars to bailing off the teeter and everything in between.  On to jumpers.  Legend knocked the triple and Lyric found it too hot to weave. Cheri's dogs were not much better. Agility fail.  It's now about 97 degrees in the arena. 

One good thing, there was a lake at the trial site (which was by the way, in the middle of nowhere but very pretty, and we only made one wrong turn trying to get there. Navigation system fail).  Legend was happy to jump in the lake after her runs to cool off but everyone else had to be dunked in the stock tank to cool off because, again, we had no fans.  So picture wet dogs mixed with horse arena dirt.  Yeah, I'm sure the hotel loved us.

So we packed it all up and headed back to the hotel.  We left the dogs in the a/c and hit the pool, then the casino.  Cheri came out a little ahead and I lost $40.  Gambling fail. Then we went back to the hotel forgetting to go to Walmart to get new fans and batteries.  Responsible dog owner fail.  Back out to Walmart.  Go to bed.

Today is a new day right?  Earlier start (no FAST classes today) and working fans-what could go wrong?  Lyric ran better but still NQ'd in standard. My timing was apparently very off with Legend (despite her lack of speed due to the heat) and I pulled off 3 obstacles.  Handler fail.  Lyric was so hot in jumpers she trotted the first half of the course-not exactly the furiously fast fluffball I'm used too.  Legend wasn't fast but she did manage to Q in jumpers.  So we gained exactly 1 Q and 4 points this weekend.  I guess they can't all be good weekends huh?

But to put things into perspective we had a chance to drive through Joplin going to and from Tulsa.  The scenes there were indescribable, surreal to say the least.  You can look at all the pictures and TV footage you want but seeing it in person is like nothing I have ever seen before, and hope to never see again. 

There were huge metal lampposts just bent over to the ground like they were toothpicks.  Businesses were reduced to skeletons of what they once were, many were unrecognizable with their name spray painted on the ruins.  Trees were just bare trunks with with all the branches and bark ripped off, many had huge pieces of metal wrapped around them.  There where entire streets were there was nothing but piles of debris where houses once stood.  Cars were everywhere-crushed, damaged, tossed on their sides and abandoned.  They looked like props to a movie set or some kind of war zone.  We drove by the clinic where I had worked.  It was badly damaged but mostly still standing.  The building next door was a pile of rubble.  I don't even remember what it was.  What struck me the most was the park across the street where I used to eat my lunch.  It was just gone.  No trees, no picnic tables, no pavilion, no trash cans.  Nothing.  It looked like someone came with a bulldozer and wiped it away.  Then we went by the main hospital that was hit.  It looked like it had been abandoned years ago and had been deteriorating for a long time-it was dark, broken, and battered, with debris everywhere.  It's hard to believe it was a perfectly functioning hospital just 2 weeks ago.  What was so eerie though, was there were large areas of devastation and only a few hundred yards or a block away would be an area almost completely untouched.  The buildings there looked like nothing ever happened and yet, so much did.

So in the end, it's not the one Q and the 4 points that matter.  It's that we got to go and have fun with our dogs. That we still have a home to come back to.  And that we can look back on this weekend and laugh about how terribly wrong it went and how that really didn't matter after all.