Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 4...a day late

Legend made finals!

We rolled in the driveway at 11:30 last night. 

By 8:30 this morning I was back at work. 

I am halfway unpacked. 

Legend went back to tracking tonight. 

Details and pictures of the whole trip coming soon!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 3 Highlights

Lyric continues to muddle along.  I think she finds the long days, warm weather and extended weekend a bit much.

The redness around my bite has spread but is less sore and the inciting wound seems to be healing.

The dogs are still getting fleas but hopefully they are dying.  Lyric is itchy.  I gave her a prednisone tablet this morning.

Team Furever Young (Legend, another border collie and an aussie) took 7th place in Round 1 of the veteran team competition yesterday.  Today they took first place in Round 2!

I was interviewed for The Agility Show-which is sort of like a reality TV show about agility.  I don't know anyone who has watched it as it's on kind of an obscure cable channel.  I don't think we get it but now I will have to check. I hopefully did not sound like an idiot.

Legend had her first fault in Round 5 this morning-an off course that may come back to haunt us later.  But then she came back to totally rock Round 6 for 2nd place!!  So  now with one round to go, according to my calculations, and assuming that 4 dogs (25%) of our group make the finals she currently sits in 5th place and a mere 3 points out of 4th.  Basically she will need to run clean and have another dog make an error as the dogs ahead of her are all faster.  Or she can make an error and have something disastrous happen to another dog.  No matter what though we are ecstatic to have had such an amazing trial and be this close.  I never expected that we would be in this position.

If there is a cloud 9, I think I'm on it!

Team round 3 and regular round 7 are on tap for tomorrow!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 2 Highlights

Legend continues to be a rock star running clean in both rounds again today and picking up 2 fifth places.  I'm pretty blown away by how well she is doing.  Not that I didn't think she could do it, I just didn't want to place expectations too high.

Lyric continues to struggle with the same issues but is for sure winning the cuteness award.

Legend's team had a clean run (as far as we know) but we are still waiting on results.

We left the trial site at 8 PM which was better than expected.

I got a good night's sleep last night.

Something bit or stung me yesterday leaving a large red welt on my leg.  I didn't see or feel anything and I was wearing jeans so it remains a mystery.  It's not very itchy but is sore to the touch.

Fleas are still a problem.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 1 Highlights

Legend was a rock star. Clean in both rounds and 8th place each time. 

Lyric does not do weave poles or distance lines. One of those I expected. 

The Red Roof Inn in Springfield, IL is not one of the finer establishments I have ever stayed in. 

There are fleas either at the fairgrounds or the hotel. Glad I treated my dogs before I left. 

We are still at the trial site and tomorrow there are team runs added in as well. 

I have had 4 hours of sleep since yesterday at 6 AM. 

Details to follow. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

And we're off!

We will be at NADAC champs the rest of the week.  As you can see the girls are ready.

I may post while we are there, but you may have to wait until we get back.  We'll see how it goes.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New career path?

For Legend, that is.  Legend loves tracking.  Like the way other border collies love agility.  She drags me to the start article and takes off.  Plus, she seems like she's getting the hang of it so she might even be good at it too!  Today was only our second day working on turns and she seems to be getting it pretty easily.  I thought  they would have us lay more food down at the turns but we don't put any down around the turn.  I guess by this time they are supposed to have the idea and figure it out on their own.  And so far, so good.  It's pretty cool to watch them work all the directions and then see it obviously click when they find the track again.

I thought she would be excited about stopping to play with the glove at the end but usually I have to stop and get her interested in it because she would rather be looking for the start of the next track.  Who knew?

Sunday, September 22, 2013


I'm not sure why two people need more space in their home than we have, but for whatever reason we felt that we did.  Really, what we did was more of a redistribution of the space we already had, but was poorly used.  

I have never liked the "laundry room" in this house.  It's a tiny space in an entryway between the garage and the kitchen and this space is also shared with the kitchen pantry.  It's really not so much a laundry room as a washer/dryer space.  There is no place to store or fold laundry.  In fact just getting in and out with a basket can be a pain.  As such, we have several baskets in our oversized bathroom that make that room look cluttered, blocks my full length mirror, interferes with opening he linen closet and provides obstacles to vacuum around.  

We have never used our garage as a garage.  We have used it for storage, Jerry's exercise equipment, recycling, etc.  But a good portion of the year the climate is not great for exercising out there and its a typical garage-gross and full of bugs.  

My treadmill has always resided in the bedroom.  This is convenient and there is enough space but it doesn't really go with the decor.

So we decided to address all these problems by making our garage a usable room.  Since June we have been working on its transformation into a home gym and laundry room.  The first step was a very long weekend of pulling everything out and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.  Here is what we started with. 
Getting everything out was a big enough job but then it had to be sorted and wiped down.  And it took hours of vacuuming and wiping down walls and spackling just to get to this point. 

Barney helped some.

 Next step-painting.
 Then a new floor and cabinets.  This floor was the easiest thing ever.  It comes in 12 foot rolls.  You just unroll it and cut it to fit.  You don't need any pad or adhesive or anything, it just lays flat.
 And some new baseboards.
After that everything that we were keeping had to be moved back in.  Next step was installing some ceiling fans, a new sink and getting the washer/dryer hookups moved out there.  We had planned to have someone do this for us, but only one person bothered to come give an estimate.  And is was insanely high.  So after consulting several people, the internet and multiple trips to the hardware store Jerry figured out how to do it all himself.  We also acquired a used air conditioning unit and heater to help keep the space comfortable.  

After all is said and done here is how it turned out!

We ordered artwork of our vacations to decorate the walls, leaving space for additional trips.
 My new laundry area
 Of course there had to be a new TV and sound system.  Also a laundry table.
Moving the treadmill out was one of the last things we did.  It seemed simple but had to be taken apart to fit out the doors.  After an hour of  working on it Jerry hunted up the original paperwork and found the tool we actually needed.  Also, treadmills weigh a ton.  I had no idea.  At least we never have to do it again.  
 A few more views.  Lyric was helping model.

It's not completely air or bug tight but we did what we could to seal the doorways.  Thus far we are happy with it.  I enjoyed my first run out there Friday night and it was great!  Although hopefully the neighbors don't mind my choice in music.  

The secondary part of this project is what to do with the old laundry room.  I'll post on that another day.  That project isn't finished yet.  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pawsitively Amazing

This morning a group of us formed a team for the Convoy of Hope 5k. In case you couldn't guess we were called Pawsitively Amazing. We made shirts and everything. Even bandanas for the dogs. 
I think everyone had a good race. The weather was perfect and the course was flat. Legend ran a PR-pretty good for no summer training!

Then we went and did our tracking assignment. It's an exercise in patience for me since I don't always know if she's really tracking or not. She just has to eventually figure it out on her own. It's probably good for us both. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

No change.

I'm still here. But nothing new to report. I work, track, and run. Repeat daily. More or less. I had a day off this week (have I mentioned I'm booked through the end of may) which was a rarity. As it was my only day off it was filled with errands, appointments, and a long run. Thursday I only worked a half day, scrapped my run and took a nap instead. FYI border collies don't always seem to understand the nap concept. 

Anyway, the dogs worked some. Legend seems to either be getting tracking or else she is getting that walking straight lines with her nose to the ground is worthwhile. I guess time will tell. 

Cade has now also done the tire and the tunnel with a curve. Plus jumps and table.  He's still uninterested in contact equipment. I don't know if I should (if I happen to have time) try to work with him in it or just leave that up to the new owner. They may not want to do agility. Or they may want to teach him a certain way. On the flipside, it's a good confidence builder. If someone would just adopt him it would be better!

In other news NADAC champs are right around the corner! We will be leaving Wednesday and I have a huge list of things to get done before then. Hopefully I won't forget to pack anything. Like the team shirts. That would be bad. 

Stay tuned for more exciting updates like this one. (Just kidding-they MIGHT get better than this!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good case, bad case

Yesterday morning we were overwhelmed with emergencies and sick pets.  Therefore, I have a little show and tell for you.

This little one decided to try and eat a fish hook.
 Fortunately, most fish hooks don't make it beyond the mouth.  Not so fortunately, most fish hooks are barbed, which I presume make them good for fishing, but not so good for puppies.  This means that you can't just pull them back out the way that they came.  Well, I guess you could but it's way worse than the way I actually get them out!

This requires a short acting or reversible anesthetic and then pushing the hook on through the way it was originally headed.
Once you get all the barbs pushed through you can cut it and remove it in two parts.  Or three, if you cut too soon.
This kid was up and acting like a crazy puppy again before noon.

The next dog was an 8 year old intact female coonhound with a suspicious vaginal discharge and a white blood cell count through the roof.  Surgery confirmed the diagnosis of a pyometra.  In fact, with this being an 85 lb dog it was a pretty spectacular example.
What I hadn't counted on is this dog also had a tumor associated with the reproductive tract.  You can't see it very well in the picture but part of it (the part I could get out) is near my hand.  Not only was this tumor attached to body wall and some other structures, it was so necrotic and friable (decayed and crumbly) that it was already leaking blood and fluids into the abdomen.  And every time we handled it little pieces were breaking off that could potentially seed the abdomen with infection and cancer.  So, even if by some miracle I was able to successfully remove it I didn't think the dog had a very prognosis.  The owner elected to go ahead euthanize her on the table.  I'm not sure if this dog was just really unlucky or if the presence of what I think was an ovarian tumor predisposed her to a pyometra.  Either way the take home message is spay your dog.

This picture is actually from today but it cracks me up.  This guy is waking up from a neuter and looks pretty hungover!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Multi-sport training.

I gave up working Zodiac in tracking and Legend in obedience because I had too many dogs in too many sports.  Among other reasons.  It was not my intention, but now I seem to have the same problem.

Legend started a tracking class last night.  I liked it.  She liked it.  It's a very intensive class with lots of homework.  The idea is to get you ready for the TD test by the end of the 8 weeks.  That's great, but it's terrible timing for me right now!  I'm in the last stages of half-marathon training, have a very full work schedule and am getting ready to take both girls to NADAC champs and keep Legend tuned up enough in Chances to finish that darn NATCH.  But, having money invested in all of these things I'm commited to getting it all done!  Oh, and Lyric is working to get ready for the CGC so she can get on the list for the spring therapy dog test.  And I'm trying to work Cade.  I think that is all.

So how is it going?  The girls finally worked some agility this weekend.  They were a little rusty but not too bad.  Lyric of course was terrible on discriminations.  I might have to resort to the "tunnel is always wrong" training theory and hope that she will then still do the tunnel when it is the correct choice at at a trial.  What have we got to lose right?  As far as her AKC training we continue to use our teeter but have not yet gotten around to others yet.  I have time for that later.  Other priorities right now.  And she's doing well with her basic obedience stuff.  Stays are hard-she gets very excited about the treats.

Legend struggled a little with discriminations but did fine when I gave her a better angle.  Distance work was a little off.  She seems to like tracking.  She did well in the first class and on her first track tonight but the second one she seemed to drift to the right a lot (we were tracking near the pasture and maybe there were better smells in that direction).  It's so hard in the beginning to tell if they are actually working or just walking on the leash.  Also, she doesn't seem that motivated by animal crackers.

Cade added the tire and a tunnel with a curve to his skills.  In fact he was offering to do the tunnel without being asked.  He's also working on better manners in the house and coming along ok.  And we throw in some basic obedience too.

Zodiac is excelling at being the resident old dog.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Slow news week

A week ago wednesday I started feeling sick.  I had to work wed, thurs and friday anyway.  By saturday all I wanted to do was sit on the couch.  Which I did.  All day.  I forfeited my 10k entry fee. Sunday night we had concert tickets. I was feeling marginally better so I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen, loaded up on cough drops and hoped for the best.  I didn't feel great but I did have a good time, despite the unreal humidity.  I didn't take any pictures so you get spared that this time.  By Tuesday I was well enough to run some and it was back to work again.

This saturday day I went ahead and entered a 5K.  I wasn't feeling 100% but had a decent race.  But we weren't all that impressed with the organization of this one.  Unless you entered early you have to pick up your shirt at the running supply store in 2 weeks.  Um yeah, I'm not going to make a special trip over there for just another race t-shirt.  There were also no mile markers and no water stations on the course.  Granted I don't usually stop for water in a 5K but yesterday I might have.  And I'm there are others that would have as well.  Also they only gave out first place in each age group (naturally I got second).  I realize it was a small race but still-if you want people to come back next year you need to do better than this.

Today I got up early again to get in my long training run.  So now that I've got it out of the way I have the rest of the day to do whatever I want.  Which hopefully includes laundry and mowing. Also, some agility since I wasted yet another week not training while I was sick.  And we leave for champs in 3 weeks!