Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Funraiser Weekend

As usual we spent Memorial Day weekend at Purina Farms for the NADAC Funraiser.  As usual, there was rain, sun, heat, and cold all squeezed into one weekend.  But, all weather conditions aside, the girls ran very well.

We'll start with Legend.  I had her entered in 16 runs, but apparently forgot to run her in Touch and Go round 2.  So not counting that run, she ended up with 9/15 Qs.  But most importantly she got her last Q for nationals and picked up 2 more chances Qs.  She was not hugely fast this weekend but for the most part she ran well.  She take a tumble off the dogwalk but seemed ok and got right back on.  And I forgot the course in one of her jumpers runs.  So that might have been two more Qs we lost through no real fault of hers.  She had two a-frame refusals which I guess we can live with for a long weekend.  What we can't live with is that she lost another chances Q for bailing the down contact again!  Grrr.  Other than that, she ran really nicely in chances all weekend.  We are now down to just 4 Chances for her NATCH now.  So, our original plan was not to go to the 4th of July trial if she has all her points for champs, but if we go it gives us an outside chances of getting her NATCH at home (she would need to go 4/5).  So I guess we'll give it a shot.  Also, at the end of a long, weekend and hot morning she ran a tunnelers course in 6.22 yps.  I think that's the fastest she has ever been.  Or close anyway.  And that finished her Outstanding Elite Tunnelers title.

Lyric was just a little rock star this weekend.  After last year's unrewarding 0/16 experience at this trial I only entered her in 10 events.  But not only did she Q in 6 of them she ran as hard as she could in every single run.  She worked hard for me no matter what-in the rain, in the heat, in the sun, you name it.  And she was nailing weave poles all weekend long, and fast too.  I was truly amazed at her.  She only had two weaving errors all weekend.  And she even did the dogwalk tunnel discimination once when it was the dogwalk!!  The other times she took the tunnel whether it was correct or not but she did all the tunnel a-frame choices right.  There might be hope for her yet! And she finished her Elite tunnelers title.

Here are some of the videos from the weekend.  I'll post some pics later.

On the down side I was sick all weekend and Zodiac got diarrhea while we were gone.  We both seem to be getting better, although him a little faster than me.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Many of you know that I ran cross country when I was in high school.  During that time I was privileged to by coached my Mr. Joe Haug.  For generations, Mr. Haug was a mentor, coach, teacher, inspiration, hero, and Christian example for hundreds of students.  Now, after 41 years of teaching and coaching, he is retiring.  This will be a great loss but to St. Dominic and to all of the future students who won't get the benefit of knowing him.  But it is well deserved.

Tonight there was a reception to honor Mr. Haug.  There were scrapbooks, letters, mementos and other cross country memorabilia.  Here are a few pictures I took while there.  These first two are some of the scrapbook pages from my years as a runner.  There were lots more-many of the same ones I have in a box somewhere but these contain some pictures I don't think I have.

This quilt was presented to Mr. Haug during his 25th year of coaching which fell during my senior year.  I have several of these t-shirts also in a box somewhere.
Being a math teacher, Mr. Haug loved to keep stats and had a whole packet of them to look through.  Although my best times no longer made any of the lists I was still pretty high up on these.  I may not have been the fastest, but it looks like I was pretty consistent.  I didn't think this was too bad after 41 years of runners.  Oh, and I guess it helps if you knew my maiden name was Warren.

Last year, to celebrate 40 years of cross country the school sent us a request for all runners to write letters to Mr. Haug about our memories and experiences from our years on the team.  I will leave you with mine.

Dear Mr. Haug,

It is with only the fondest memories that I reflect upon my time running cross country.  When asked to write about my memories and experiences as a runner I realized it might not be an easy task to put it all into words.  I guess I could reflect simply upon the tangible memories which exist in the form of a box of medals, old team photos, and state meet t-shirts packed away in my closet, but we all know it’s about a lot more than that.  

Cross country taught me about life lessons.  I learned about the value of hard work, dedication and persistence.  I learned that it’s not always going to be easy and sometimes you are going to do your best and still be disappointed. But then there are other days, where all it’s all worth it, and that feeling inspires you to keep at it and work even harder.  I learned what it’s like to work as a team, to be supportive and proud of each other no matter who finished first or how frustrated you might be by your own performance.

I’m also left with abundant memories of all the fun times we had on and off the course and the roads.  I remember running to the park to play, exploring the trails behind the neighborhoods, and even running the forbidden train tracks (yes, we did that).  I remember the friendships that formed on early morning bus rides, team slumber parties, and overnight trips to Liberty, IL.  I remember all the unusual rituals and good luck mementos. I remember being taught and teaching others the roads we ran for practice-showing them where the 3 mile run was, the five mile run, the mile markers and so on.  I remember passing on traditions and starting new ones and hoping I was able to help new runners the way I was helped when I started out.

Through all of this I was lucky to have a coach who supported us but wasn’t afraid to ask us to push ourselves while never expecting more than we were capable of us.  He not only reminded us that our best is all we can do, he accepted that and was proud of us for doing just that.  He was quick to support us both on and off the course and when there was nothing more left to be said he sent us off (into the world or just to the starting line of another race) with simple words of advice such as “do good” and “hurry back.”  In addition to all of this he provided us with an example of what it means to truly have a passion for what you do as well as personifying Christian values.

Every fall there are always a few crisp, clear mornings that make me stop and smile, and think to myself, “must be cross country season.”  I guess some things never change.  Congratulations on 40 years, hope this one is another good one!

Gotta run,

Nicki Warren Jesky ‘97 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Photographic evidence

Since we were too miserable at the conclusion of Nashville race we didn't take our own picture. But, to remember this day forever we bought one from the event photographer. Do we look wet? Because we were.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Yesterday morning we did the Running of the Squirrels 5k in a nearby town. Apparently this town is know for its population of albino squirrels. Anyway, I was pretty pleased with how I ran-considering I had taken two weeks off and didn't want to overdo it in the race and re-injure my knee. But most importantly check out the awesome race shirts! This one definitely goes in the keep pile.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Famous last words

I was doing relief work for a local clinic a few days this week. This particular clinic is often slow when when I'm there as many people prefer to wait until the owner/doctor is back in town.  That's not uncommon in single doctor practices, especially if they don't often leave town.  Anyway, the schedule for Friday morning was very light.  So when a friend who works at a nearby clinic called to ask if we could see an emergency as they didn't have a doctor in yet I said " sure, we're not doing anything here."  You can guess see where this is going right?

About twenty minutes passed quietly.  Then everyone showed up.  Seriously, everyone.  Apparently the clinic owner and announced of the clinic facebook page that Friday would be free nail trim day.  So by 8:30 we had two exam rooms full of dogs for nail trims, two dogs who also requested exams for medical conditions, boarding dogs were dropping off, as well as drop-off appointments.  On top of this the kennel help had not gotten all the runs cleaned so there was no where to put all the dogs.  One got tethered to the wall, another turned loose in the radiology room.  It is at this time that the emergency arrived.  We knew it was a dog with labored breathing and pale gums, but we didn't expect it to be quite as bad as it was.  The owner-an older man dressed in sweats and reeking of alcohol and cigarettes, carried the dog to the back, flopped him on the table and went outside to light up again.  The dog took about two more breaths and died.  Seriously, not a good start to the morning.

I listened for a heartbeat, checked for reflexes, etc.  Found none.  Trucked out front to find the smoker and tell him the dog had passed on.  I was not quite prepared for the emotional breakdown he proceeded to have in front of the clinic.  But on our way back to see the dog I was able to extract some information from him.  Thought the dog had been poisoned (common owner concern, uncommon actual scenario).  Had been sick since last night (probably longer, but there are some things that may have only become noticeable last night). Was about 8 years old (not geriatric, but old enough for bad stuff).  I offered a few possible differentials for the sudden illness-ruptured hemangiosarcoma, immune mediated anemia and the man went to take his dog home to bury.

Back at the car the dog started agonal/reflexive breathing which is common after death.  Owner wanted me to listen again just to be sure.  Not an uncommon request.  It is uncommon to find a heartbeat still present. And yet, there was one.  I was a bit perplexed and somewhat disturbed that I had failed to make the diagnosis of "dead."  Still, I knew this dog wasn't going to live.  While not technically dead yet, he most certainly would be by the time they got home.  No real breaths, no reflex, weak heartbeat.  But I obviously couldn't just send him on.  So, we hauled the dog back in.  Nail trims still waiting.  Dog still tied to wall.  Other dog pooping in radiology.

Intubated the dog, started artificial respirations and drugs.  No response.  No spontaneous breaths. No reflex.  Weak pulse.  Dog is basically a vegetable but won't die.  Hoping for something more concrete to tell the owner I grabbed a needle and syringe and tapped the abdomen.  Blood.  High likelihood he had a ruptured tumor and bled out into his abdomen.  Nothing to be done.  Owner agreed.

Slowly, we worked through the backlog of waiting animals and by noon things were back on track.

Later in the day the man came back bearing a large potted plant, thanked us for our professionalism and apologized for his loss of composure.  He left promising to bring his remaining pets back to us for care when they needed it.  I was surprised to say the least.  For one, I didn't think we came off as looking super professional in all the chaos, and second, he didn't seem like the type to bring flowers.  But I guess my impression of both of us was wrong!

Kind of a sad story but goes to show what we get for saying we "weren't doing anything."  As far as the dog goes, maybe if he had been seen last night, had surgery and possibly a transfusion he might have lived.  But by morning, he didn't have any chance of getting stabilized.  And if it was hemangiosarcoma, the most likely differential, surgery only buys a short amount of time, assuming he survived it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

That's more like it

This weekend's NADAC trial went much better.  We were only entered in a few things but I'm very pleased with how we did.

However, Saturday morning started off with a high level of naughtiness in Touch and Go.  Legend started out great doing the hoop, a-frame opening but later on took the a-frame again instead of the tunnel.  Then she proceeded to go back and forth across the a-frame several times and never did do the tunnel.  Well, how can I be mad right?  But don't worry, Lyric made up for this by doing the tunnel about 6 extra times in her Touch and Go run when she should have been taking the dogwalk.

After this it got much better.  Lyric picked up her first elite weavers Q.  And yes, you did read that right.  It seems she has remembered how to weave as suddenly as she forgot.  She only bungled one set of poles all weekend. And to be fair I had set up a kind of bad entry and she missed the first pole.  But did them great when I restarted her.  She also picked up two regular Qs.  Both were really nice runs-fast and confident.  I wish they were all like that!  She was able to do a-frame tunnel discriminations this weekend but not dogwalk tunnel.  Still need to work on that.

Legend ran nicely all weekend too.  She had only one refusal despite all regular and Touch and Go courses starting hoop a-frame or hoop dogwalk.  At this point in time I will consider that acceptable!  She picked up 3 Regular Qs this weekend and 1 Chances! Yeah!  Plus she seemed a lot less stressed this weekend than last weekend.  Now she just needs one regular to finish qualifying for champs and 6 Chances for her NATCH.  I would have loved to get today's Chances as well, but I'm totally ok with one per weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Doggie Day Care

Just for fun I decided to let Legend go with me to work on Wednesday.  This clinic has a nice roomy area behind the reception desk where usually one or more clinic or rescue dogs are hanging out with beds, water, toys and staff members to keep them happy.  Before I even got her settled in up front she wolfed down the cat food left out for the clinic cats.  After that she had people giving her treats, playing fetch with her and giving her attention all day long.  Interestingly people who are not used to living with her think the fact that she non-stop fetches and presents them with toys to play with is "awesome" and a "cute trick."  Little do they know!  She also managed to help herself to a hot pocket left unattended on the counter.  Needless to say she had a great day and the best part is we got to watch TV in peace because she was napping after getting no sleep all day!

Thursday I brought her back with me since this had gone to well for everyone.  She really seems to enjoy going to "day care" and even "protected" us from the UPS and FedEx men.  I see more days at the clinic in her future!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Visual Aid

The first picture is of a "normal" uterus.  The second is a uterus from a large breed, overweight, in-heat dog.

Which surgery do you think is more difficult and prone to complications?  If you picked the second one, you are correct.  So maybe don't wait until your dog is in this condition to get her spayed.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Other stuff

I hurt my knee running in the race last weekend.  It's better enough now that it doesn't bother me to walk, stand, do agility and other regular stuff.  But it still hurts to run.  So I am impatiently waiting for it to get better.  I'm sure this figures into my irritation over the bad parts of the agility trial.  We all have a problem now! But hopefully in another week it will be ok.

Legend has continued to be seizure free and so I cut her dose of Phenobarb again on the first of the month.  She's now at 50% of her initial dose.  We'll see how that goes.

Lyric has had only limited amounts of soft stool lately.  I have kept her on i/d and try not to go too crazy with treats and so far it seems ok.  Only a few emergency baths.

I put Zodiac back on a low dose of Rimadyl.  He seemed really reluctant to do stairs and was limping a little.  So I added it to his Tramadol and j/d.  I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes but if he tolerates it we'll continue for now.  I've never been convinced he didn't get an ulcer from it previously but I didn't have proof either way.  But this dose is a little smaller so we'll see.

I had to break down and get the horse vet out here to give Squirt a joint injection.  His bad carpal joint had flared up again and he was noticeably lame at a walk.  The day he stopped twice to rest coming in from the field I figured I better do something.  He was a lot better by the next day but he's still limping some.  She said I could also try Previcox on him and apparently the horse dose is 1/4-1/2 of the large dog pill.  Do you know how hard it is to watch and make sure a horse actually consumes a small pill?  It's tricky.  But going better. I do think pill pockets for horses might be a good idea. Seems to be helping but I am also hoping he won't need it long term since horses are so sensitive to NSAIDs.  Hopefully after a few weeks the joint injection alone will be enough to hold him for awhile.

So that's how we are doing around here.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Saturday's weather was at least marginally better and roads were clear so we headed on down to Arkansas   As a bonus I found out there actually is heat in the arena, we just never needed it until this year.  As another added bonus Pup Art Photography was there and I really needed her to get a picture of Lyric to go with all the other ones I have from her of the other dogs.  But since the only other place I have seen her is the Border Collie specialty that had presented a problem!

Anyway, the weekend ended up with mixed results.  Legend was more stressed this weekend than she has been at the last few trials.  But to be fair she has also been acting weird at home.  Intermittently she goes through phases where she objects to going outside with the other dogs and will run and hide at potty time.  I have to go find her and make her go out.  We are in the midst of one of these spells so maybe her trial thing in related.  At any rate it's just one more thing I will probably never be able to explain about this dog.  But, despite this she managed to finish off her novice preferred titles on Saturday.  And despite her stress she managed to do the teeter and a-frame as obstacles number 3 and 6.  I was really proud of her for doing this and was sort of hopeful we were making progress.  But apparently not.  The next day she did get a nice open JWW leg but refused both the dogwalk (obstacle 2) and teeter (obstacle 4) before doing them.  Since we had NQd I decided to try a big send and layer to get ready for next weekend's NADAC trial.  She nailed it.  I don't really get how a dog can have so much confidence and yet so much stress all in the same course.

Lyric continues to run with nice speed and drive.  But it took her three attempts to get weave poles correct on each course Saturday   But she did the teeter.  Sunday she did perfect weaves in both rings.  They were especially great in standard.  She was going so fast I thought she was for sure going to blow past them.  But darned if she didn't weave them like a champ.  But she bailed off the teeter.  So close to a QQ.  Sometimes I  just want to beat my head into the wall.  She does the teeter everywhere else.  She's never fallen.  I don't know what scared her and I don't know what continues to upset her about it.  I wish they didn't both have weird issues at the same time.  I can only deal with so many unexplainable sources of frustration at once!

So, it's been better, but it's been worse.  I should have practiced today, since it's nice and I have another trial this weekend, but I didn't really feel ready to get back on the proverbial horse yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  I'm not sure how much training helps anyway sometimes.

On a good note here is the photo of Lyric.  Ironically, it's a weave pole picture.  But isn't she cute! By the way, this is a photo of the photo so it may not look as nice as it really it.  She touches them up some to look like paintings/art.
And I took Finn with me Sunday.  He was really good.  He greeted all dogs and people pleasantly and sat quietly and watched the dogs in the ring with mild interest.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Remember when I said it wouldn't last?

This is from today. May 3rd. I skipped the trial today. Wind chill of 22. No heat in the barn. Iffy roads. Time to reconsider moving to Hawaii.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Feels like summer...for now

I took Legend to play in the water at the park today.  I know that seems fairly ludicrous given that I spent the greater part of the day yesterday bathing and grooming dogs.  But, it's sunny and 80 today and it's not going to stay that way so I decided not to waste it.  Besides, we have a 3 day agility trial on dirt this weekend anyway.

And most importantly, she had a lot of fun.  I think she would have stayed all day but I don't think running on creek bed rocks all day would have been a good idea. 

 This area was bone dry last summer during the drought.  That's a big difference from today-we even almost lost the Wubba once as she kept dropping it in the current and it went floating downstream.