Monday, February 25, 2013

What's up Doc?

Dr Devall was here this weekend - I've been trying to organize her coming every 8 - 12 weeks and this was her first clinic day and it was a big success. A full day of dogs for her - some new and some ol' regulars :) She was happy with the variety of dogs and that people are taking their dogs physical well-being in a proactive approach which is better than only seeing her when your dogs are injured. And thankfully for me, the last 3 visits are on the proactive approach.
The K-man checked out OK - not great, but not broken by any means. He's not getting old. He IS old. Veronica said this was the first time she's ever seen him looking like an old dog, and I have to agree. His overall condition is good, but he was really sensitive to adjustments, especially on his front end and jaw, where I have been concerned - not pain responses, but he was more uncomfortable/fidgety with that than anywhere else on his body. She couldn't pin point anything specific, but we could see he wasn't comfortable. He's due for his senior work-up in March so hopefully all checks out there is nothing bad going on.

Pleat had his first vist with Dr. Devall. I wanted him checked out because of his stroke/vestibular - and the fact that his head took the brunt of his episode (the tilt). His neck had MANY adjustments and a few in his back. But overall for a REALLY old dog, he is in good shape. She'd like to work on his neck some more the next time she sees him. She could tell he's been a hard-working dog but wasn't too worried about anything major. He loved Veronica and kept coming to see her while she worked on K and G. It was pretty cute.
Gyp was her usual bendy self. Veronica commented on her muscled lean condition - all 25 pounds of it. She worked on her main issue - her lower back/lumbar area. Psoas palpation and test was ok, which is good news. Her flexion good, and her left extension as usual was less than her right. I won't go into great detail, but I was given a few more options/exercises for treatment for dealing with her lower back and to keep her flexible in her hind end. She checked out her freaky flexible abducting shoulders - esp. right and all was good too. It's all about maintenance and watching with Gyp, knowing her physical limits so I can keep her strong and fit, and recognizing when she's had too much - and knowing how to treat it. I left happy and so did Gyp :)

And what? who's that? It's TANGO!!! My favourite little cuban refugee :) She's here for a couple of weeks and on her second night - she had already went on her first date to an Oscar Party that Pleat was hosting. He was a great host and a total party animal .... he showed us all that apparently it's OK to steal Fajitas off of people's plates, get on the coffee table with all fours and lick the plates afterwards.
Pleat and his date Tango.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My sidekick ... Ready for whatever

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

oh, right, last weekend.

As much as I love agility - it's about spending time hanging out
with the pooches and friends on a weekend away.

I went up to Calgary to do 4 runs with each dog over 2 days.
Why not just run 4 runs in one day, you ask? 

Well that would mean I wouldn't get to hang out with Jan and Dave at their place, and I wouldn't get the delicious soup Jan made - Kaleb helped me with the chopsticks:) They make us feel so much at home, I look forward to visiting with them and the rest of the gang on these fun weekends.

Each dog brought home 3/4 Qs from the runs they were entered in. Kaleb is showing his age more all the time - but as long as the boy still wants to play, we will - he Qd in Gambler, Standard and Snooker, he was 1 second overtime in Challenge. Gyp ran great and it took a bit for us to really click (I'm sadly out of practice with her), but we finally did - and we rocked our Standard, Challenge and Gamble.

Here are a few highlights from each dog ...

Friday, February 8, 2013

The most handsomemest 'ol boys in the whole wide world.

If this face doesn't melt your heart, you are dead inside.
Everytime I look at this face, I melt.
Pensive Pleat, wondering what to Pee on next.

Portrait of a nobleman. Sir Alta-Pete Pleat.
He has made a remarkable recovery from his Stroke/Vestibular, the only side effects
have been his slight head tilt, which I swear is better every day, and he's a little more blind
in his right eye (which you can see in the photo), but none of that slows him down.
Portrait of a gentleman. He will be 11 next month. And everyday I love him more.
If only he was this easy to live with when he was 3 or 4.
Don't get me wrong we still ring his neck atleast once a week - but it's not daily anymore :)
You know what they say about friends who hang out too much together ...
It's funny, Jenny and I have talked and chuckled about this UNLIKELY friendship. K would NOT have like
Pleat even 3 or 4 years ago, and I think the same for Pleat. Kaleb would have been
WAY too obnoxious for him, and well Pleat has balls the size of tangerines -
something Kaleb is always jealous of. But, Pleat is a man comfortable in his skin,
and Kaleb respects that. Kaleb is comfortable being obnoxious and goofy, and Pleat also accepts that.
They TRULY like eachouthers company, it's the cutest damn thing you will ever see.
who never had time for other dogs, are now buddies, I think they can relate to eachother.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Symphony of Destruction

My training journey with Gyp, has always involved "taking a step back, to get further ahead". The first time I saw this was when we were training for Weave Poles, many moons ago. I beaned her in the head with a tennis ball when I was rewarding her. Well dear god, the world ended, and poor Gyp wouldn't go near the weave poles for 2 days! For real. Took a step back - came back, and within a short time she was weaving fully and fine - and I rewarded with something softer ...

It's showed up in all training - Obedience, Rally, walking her in the coulees and being scared of the gun shots and wanting to run to the car. She is not a dog you can flood or force to work it out. It has to be on her terms, and I'm fine with that. In Obedience training for her CDX, most of what I did was on my own - and I dealt with many shut down moments - so we stopped, I worked K and we tried again the next day. She would NOT work in my basement, it echos, the furnace kicks in and it's weird. She also wouldn't work in my Garage near the door, esp. when it was windy. So we would stop. I would trhow the toy so it landed my door - want the toy? Go get it yourself. And reluctantly she did, then she did with no problem. Come back to it, super high value rewards with no expectations - and she worked it all out in a the matter of a week or so. And she conquered that pressure and rocked her CDX in one weekend. It's like building layers for her, and getting it through her little cute head that she can do it, and doesn't need me. It's the opposite of Kaleb - get it through his thick skull that he DOES nees me - and ya, buddy we get that you think you know more than me.

So now I am dealing with this in herding ... She ran her fist Arena Trial in November - round 1 - she placed 3rd in Ranch! Wow we can do this! Round 2 she could not move the sheep, she tried to bite a little, I tried resending, we did all the moves we know, which are like 2 moves. She would come running back to me to save her :)  I've always said, I don't care if I look like a fool - but I don't want my dog discouraged - and she was. So we've taken a step back - well 5 or 6 really. And we are getting the BAD back. We worked so much on finesse and control she lots some of her guts. We are working on Jazzing her up. So now we are trying to get that back - even better than it was. I had a couple lessons with Scott to get more boldness back. We've been trying to teach her it is OK to grip when told - and it's working and helping her confidence - so she doesn't think biting it bad (when needed) - and that feeling of walking in boldy should start to transfer without the bite. I adapted what we've been learning with Jenny and Louanne - it takes a village ...

I don't have huge goals for herding - my dog is 8. But I do want to see her be happy and bold like she is in Agility - if only I had the same dog in both sports! I hope with my next pup the lessons I've learned will make us a great team, from the get go!
Some nice bend on that outrun, good job Gyppie!
Shit. um they shouldn't look like bowling pins - someone has a leg somewhere.
I am the Orchestra conductor in this Symphony of Destruction.
HUH? I say as Louanne tells me I shouldn't use my grip command on the outrun -
hence the bowling pin sheep. OH, right.
WEE!!!!! I have the cleanest teeth in the West!
Walk up, looking good Gyp!
Um. that's maybe a bit too much.
I had to call in reinforcements because my dog was trying to kill me.
*Note my death grip on Louanne's arm.

She did good getting them out of the corners with some boldness and power.
That was fun, can we go again?
I leave you with a little Megadeath ... Symphony of Destruction ...