Thursday, November 29, 2012

The difference

I've been really lucky the last few years in that I usually only work a partial day or get to come home for lunch.  The dogs think this is really great, obviously.  But we didn't realize how great this was for us!

Apparently, even just coming home for an hour at lunch or being home in the afternoon-even if I'm not directly interacting with her does a noticeable amount to take the edge off of Legend's evening demand for attention and activity.

We had apparently been taking this for granted until this week when I worked three full days in a row without being able to come home for lunch.  By last night she was, to say the least, relentless.  So, not surprisingly she was like the energizer bunny and never wavered during our 7.5 mile run this afternoon.  At the end, instead of laying down while I stretched, she wanted to tug her leash.  When we got home she wanted to play ball.

Be very quiet, I think she is sleeping now.  Such is life with a border collie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The dog bed saga continues

Also known as, I give up.

This isn't staged, they accomplished this all on their own.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's time

Merry Christmas Grandma!

Hope you enjoy this year as much as I did

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My baby girl

...turned 7 today.  I'm not sure how that happened.  But, it was a perfect day to celebrate with a long run, cake, fetch and a nap!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Running Buddy

Am I a lazy blogger for just posting this doctored up iPhone photo? Maybe. Is it adorable? Definitely.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The house call

I only make house calls for friends.  And of the very few of those I have actually done over the years, most have been for euthanasias.  Today was no exception.  And to top it all off, the morning was cool and dreary, seemingly fitting for the task at hand.

There are few things that make my day worse than going into the home of someone I know for the purpose of laying a beloved friend to rest.  It's hard to even get out of the car.  But I keep it in perspective by remembering that no matter how bad it makes my day, it's much worse for them.  When it's over, it's not my life that has changed.  I simply go back home, back to work, or off to lunch.  For the family, the day is much different.

And I realize I could just say no.  But I know they would not have asked me to come if it wasn't important for one reason or another to have this done at home.  This is the kind of thing they don't tell you about in school, or when you are considering career choices.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  Because even though it's one of the hardest things you might do, it's also the one people remember and appreciate the most.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A scratch in the night

We were awakened about 5:15 this morning by some kind of scratching noise at our exterior bedroom door.  Icy was sitting there looking out and Jerry thought it might have been her so he put her out in the kitchen and shut the bedroom door.  Then there was more scratching.  That's a little more aggressive than Barney usually is but maybe he was really hungry this morning.  Or maybe it  was the new (or stray) dog in the neigborhood-it had followed me around in the afternoon and scratched at the garage door when I went inside.  So Jerry got up to look again and at first thought it was Lefty (our other barn cat-who is gray).  Then he turned on the light and much to our surprise it was a large raccoon!  And he did not seem particularly concerned at the two open-mouthed humans staring at him from the other side of the glass.  After a few minutes he casually crawled under the deck.  Swell.  Now we have to be on the lookout for some raccoon, maybe with distemper or rabies to get in the back yard with the dogs or fighting the barn cats.

But, when time to actually get out of bed rolled around, a quick inspection of the premises revealed no raccoon.  Even so, we didn't let the dogs stay out very long this morning.  I haven't seen him again today which is fine.  Still don't know why he was trying to get in the house though.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pet Portraits Fall 2012

I took the dogs for portraits a few weeks ago.  I used the same photographer (Uturn Studios) that did Lyric's modeling session.  Despite some challenges, she did a great job. 

Zodiac is the toughest, he always thinks pictures are torture.  I know his ears are not up in this one, but I still thought he looked so happy and cute. 

 This is one of my favorite pictures.  Ever.  Seriously-how cute is she?
 Pretty girl.  Enough said.

 The ears are up!  Sort of.
 Just plain cute.
 The whole gang.  There was another one that I liked better, but I saved it for Christmas cards.  And a large print for the house.
I could have been outside doing agility on this nice day but instead I am posting photos.  And watching the first 3 seasons of Castle on TNT.  Gotta have priorities right?  I'm also doing laundry. And I worked this morning.  It will be nice tomorrow too..

Monday, November 12, 2012

NADAC Weekend 2 of 2

This weekend we headed to Oklahoma for the Lickety Split agility trial.  I have to say-Legend had a great weekend.  We arrived early enough to do the fun run so I got to have her do the A-frame several times for her frisbee in the ring.  She thought this was just as great as doing in at home.  She ended up with 6 Qs for the weekend but I thought all of her runs were "happy."  Saturday she had a Touch and Go, two Regular Q and one Jumpers Q.  Sunday, she picked up another Regular and a Jumpers.  These were some of her best Regular runs as she averaged around 10 seconds under Elite Proficient course time.  She's never been that fast in NADAC Regular.  And to top it all off she had no contact refusals all weekend!  Granted there were no courses that started hoop, A-frame but still, we will take what we can get! The only downside of the weekend was getting no Chances Qs though.  But she did finish all the Regular points she needs for NATCH so she is officially down to just 8 Chances Qs.  And (assuming the requirements don't get changed) she is more than halfway qualified for championships in the fall.

Lyric picked up a jumpers and a tunnelers Q but seemed to have some issue with weaving in the ring this weekend.

Here is Lyric's tunnelers run.  I know tunnels are not super exciting but how cute is Lyric running tunnels?
Here is one of Legend's jumpers runs.  It would have been nice to get one of her awesome regular runs on video but my companion for the weekend is not terribly reliable with the camera :(

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's the principle

For those who don't know, Zodiac is a registered therapy pet and we make our assigned visits to the pediatric floor at one of the local hospitals.  This makes us official hospital volunteers as well.  In all their infinite wisdom, hospital administration decided to make flu shots mandatory for all staff and volunteers.  I know they would like us to believe that is an attempt to control infectious disease and protect patients but logic tells me some of the bigger reasons behind this decision are PR and CYA.

Think about this.  I spend 30 minutes once a month visiting the hospital and during that time essentially touch nothing other than my dog and the elevator button.  And if I feel sick, I stay home.

Compare that to all the visitors coming and going.  They spend hours on end with the patients, sit and sleep in the furniture, use the sinks and restrooms, touch the doorknobs, remote controls, pillows, sheets, bed trays and other public use items.

Now who is the greater risk to spread flu?  And you know they don't require visitors to get flu shots.  I realize in the overall scheme of life being forced to get a flu shot is not that big of a deal.  And I would like to have you believe I object only in principle.  But really, my objection stems from my aversion to needles.   I realize this sounds ludicrous based on my career choice, but it's only needles pointed at me that are the issue.  But, oh well.  At least it was free.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Illness, injury, and the lack thereof

I don't think I mentioned this before but I ran more than 100 miles in October.  Go me right?  Well,  I only ran about 50 miles in September.  Granted, I know this is not a good idea but it sort of happened before I realized it.  Anyway this had left me with some mild shin splints toward the end of the month.  Of course at the time I just ignored it because I was too excited about hitting the century mark.  Once November hit I took a few days off but apparently spending the weekend pounding the dirt at the agility trial all weekend does not count as "off."  So I am taking this week off as well.  Bummer.  But as it happens I also came home from the trial with a mild cold so I guess it's just as well.

And I wasn't the only one who came home from the trial with an unwelcome guest.  Although Lyric is fine in every other way she has been having diarrhea since our return.  This has required two emergency baths thus far.  Today has been better.  I love my fluffy dogs but this is not cool.

In the "lack thereof" department, Legend is rapidly closing in a year of being seizure free.  This leaves me do decide if I should try and reduce her dose of Phenobarb.  On the one hand there is the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" argument.  She is doing very well, has normal bloodwork, no side effects, and no seizures.  On the other hand, why keep her on a potentially harmful drug she may not need?

More in the good news department-Zodiac had all his annual blood and urine testing done and all was normal!  He just seems to be a happy, healthy, almost 12 year old who is currently sleeping upside down around a corner.  You know, like a normal dog.

Monday, November 5, 2012

NADAC Weekend 1 of 2

This weekend was our first of two weekends of NADAC in a row.  We didn't get as many Qs as we would have liked but for the most part it went ok.

Friday night both girls were fired up!  They both picked up a Q in open Touch and Go and Legend Q'd in Elite weavers.  Lyric almost did but had one bobble that put her over time.  Legend refused the A-frame once as usual.

Saturday Lyric rocked another Touch and Go Q-that means she got her discriminations again! But then she poked around in jumpers and knocked a bar, pretty much refused to run in weavers and had off courses (tunnels-mostly at discriminations) in regular.  I had her entered in Novice Chances just to give us the last run we needed for our pick 12 entry but fully did not expect her to Q.  As is happened it was mostly hoops and tunnels (plus the dogwalk) and the parts she had to do from a distance were mainly tunnels (which she loves).  I did have to put one foot across the line to help her to the first "out" hoop but did the rest behind the line.  Even though we didn't Q I was quite pleased.  But, I guess the judge (or maybe the scribe) wasn't watching too close because it was scored clean so we got a freebie.

Legend remained pretty fired up on Saturday and was actually borderline out of control.  But she did get another elite weavers Q to finish her title.  She had an off course in Touch and Go but did all the contacts.  However in the first regular run she had some sort of meltdown over the A-frame.  The course started with hoop, A-frame which she naturally ran past.  I sent her again and still no go.  About the 3rd attempt she put all four feet on and bailed off.  Then I stopped, petted her, backed up and tried again.  And again.  And again a few more times.  No luck.  So we went around to the other side and tried.  She popped right over no problem.  I cannot even begin to explain this.  Anyway, in round two the A-frame was at the end and she blasted up and over and right on through the down contact.  Oh well.  Chances was a bust-as I mentioned it was mostly hoops and tunnels and Legend does not think hoops are very worthy obstacles.   I do have a hoop at home that I use in my distance sequences but only one.  I never thought the whole course would be hoops!  Anyway, Legend will only "go hoop" so many times.  And apparently that number is two.

Because Lyric was kind of unmotivated Saturday, on Sunday I gave her only a tiny breakfast and broke out the salmon jerky.  It did the trick.  She was flying all day.  Not that it got us many Qs though!  She didn't quite make time in jumpers and failed to complete a full set of weaves in regular, although she did nail her discriminations again.  We pushed as hard as we could in Tunnelers though and picked up her first elite Q!

Sunday Legend continued to be fast-this was one of her best weekend for sustained speed and enthusiasm.  She took a very unexpected off course in jumpers though then another one in regular, although I really wasn't  in good position since she was running faster than expected.  She did get a Q in the other round though to finish her Outstanding Elite Regular.  She also refused the A-frame once.  And then she picked up another elite Tunnelers Q.  Our last run of the weekend was Chances and I really felt it was a course she could do but I guess we have not been practicing enough.  She tried, but couldn't quite pull it all together.

We will be off to Oklahoma next weekend!

Thursday, November 1, 2012