Saturday, July 27, 2013

It has begun!

Well, since she's staying, I figured I may as well actually start working with Kizzy on some agility stuff. Maybe one of these days I'll sit down with her and go over the other basics in life (like sit, down, wait, crate training and all of that good stuff....). But for now this is just all about play, play and play some more!

Admittedly, this is kind of new to me. Kizzy is the first dog I've had the opportunity to train with toys since day one. Guess we'll see how that turns out!

We are actually "off" until the weekend of August 17 now! So many free weekends in a row, I'm not quite sure what I"ll do with myself. With Kizzy's arrival, I decided to skip the AKC trial I was thinking of doing on the 10th (saving money is a good thing going into Champs, after all). September is going to be a busy month with AKC & NADAC here in La Crosse followed by Champs in Springfield, IL, so I figure it's not a bad thing to have some down time in August.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not too shabby!

We ended up having a fairly decent weekend at the Family Dog Center NADAC trial. The final tally for all three dogs was 16/26, which isn't the most impressive of all times, but the NQs were minor and everyone was having fun.

I don't have video, so this will be a pretty boring post.  ;o)  Secret ended up 4/6 for her runs. Her NQs were in Chances on Saturday (not even remotely close...) and Jumpers on Sunday. Yeah, an NQ in Jumpers, can you believe it? If I remember right I assumed she would go, she didn't and then she must have back-jumped something. She had a refusal in Saturday's Jumpers run as well (that is, if NADAC called refusals). I don't know if I was expecting too much and peeling away too soon or what, but I became very paranoid when another handler approached me after the run and asked if Secret had been injured. She felt that Secret was favoring her right hind. I asked a few of my friends if they noticed anything and they felt they had seen the same thing as me -- Secret's stride was off over a couple of the last jumps so she was not jumping as smoothly, but they did not feel she was lame.

I obsessively nitpicked over her when we got home, stretching and poking at her. I couldn't find anything, but I'm quite sure I was feeling apprehensive when we went to the line Sunday morning and that would explain the refusals. I cannot find anything wrong with Secret, though, so I'm hoping this well-meaning soul just didn't quite know what she was seeing.

The highlight of Secret's weekend were her two Regular runs -- one each day. HOLY BEJEEZUS, those were fun runs! Not only were the courses not as monotonous and boring as they usually are, but Secret was just on fire. The Regular classes in NADAC are not usually our forte. Don't get me wrong, her Q-rate is through the roof, but typically that's because she is steady and consistent. Speed isn't her strong point in Regular. This weekend, though, she put in some really lovely runs, winning the highly competitive and large (for our area...) 16" Skilled class both times. Saturday's run came in at 5.1 yps (I think our average for Regular is more like 3.9...) and Sunday, despite it being at the end of the day, still pulled in 4.7 yps. That especially surprised me because she found Chances so boring that she trotted through the finish hoop (that run was a Q).

I think part of the reason for the increase in speed was related to my own personal ability to run a bit faster than I have the last several trials. The last month of work seems to be paying off, as I felt as though I was able to push ahead and really go for it to keep ahead of her and driving. The courses were set up quite nicely for blind crosses this weekend, which always helps to keep Secret moving, too.

Check out this course map from Regular Round 2 on Sunday. This is not the round that Secret ran, but both of the boys did this one. Look carefully. Are you to jump 5 yet? Do you see it? It's a WRAP at a JUMP in NADAC! I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. Round 1 was backwards of this with that trio of hoops (8-6 on this map) leading into the serpentine and then wrapping the hoop back to the a-frame. We have seen wraps at hoops before; typically off a contact, through the hoop and back to the contact in Touch-n-Go. To see a wrap at a jump in the middle of the course, though, totally blew my mind. I don't know if it was an "oops" in course design that passed through by mistake or if maybe NADAC might be opening up to some changes. I hope it's the latter.

After finishing up his V-NATCH on Friday, Kaiser came back to run 4/6 on Saturday and then 2/4 on Sunday. No Chances Q's for the little guy, which figures since he's the one closest to the next NATCH (needs 4). lol  His other NQ on Saturday was in the first round of Regular where I trained his dog walk (ooooh, naughty!), then on Sunday we NQd in the second round of Regular when I handled that 3-6 sequence like crap and he ended up threadling 4-5. Kaiser's Jumpers round on Saturday was 5.8 yps, so I guess we'll see if that makes 100+. Tunnelers on Saturday was 5.6 yps, but I don't think that's high enough in that class. A Q in Elite Hoopers (numbered) finished out Kaiser's title in that class.

Luke only picked up 1 Q on Saturday (in Regular 2). His first round of Regular was kind of a mess and Chances wasn't even close. We were putting in a phenomenal Jumpers round at the end of the day but on the last stretch of jumps (on a curve) I took off while he was in the tunnel and, since he saw my butt when he came out of said tunnel, he crossed behind me to catch up faster. Oh well. It was a lovely run to that point.

Sunday was much better for the big guy. We had another great Jumpers run -- He is really impressing me with his speed in that class lately, as well as his ability to figure out my blind cross cues with really no training... I'm trying to run him more like I do Secret, staying ahead as much as possible versus my old style of handling him from behind all of the time. It's fun and he pushes me! Luke got Chances handily on Sunday and then we got a 5pt Q in the first round of Regular for a knocked bar. In the second round he fell off the side of the dog walk on the descent for a 10pt fault.  :o(  He just kind of lost his balance and seemed startled. Poor old fart. Just another sign that he's getting older, I guess. Oh well -- Luke reached a milestone this weekend! He hit the 1000 point mark in Elite Regular!

Last but not least there's Kizzy! She was a total spaz for the majority of the weekend, but there were moments of quiet as well.  ;o)  I ended up letting Kaiser stay in Luke's pen almost the entire weekend because I felt it would be more restful for him than to crate with the wailing banshee who was trying to figure out how to break out of the crate. Remember how good she was at the AKC trial? Yeah, pretty sure it was because she was on drugs. lol  The blanket that I had over her crate now has five good-sized holes in it from Kizzy pulling it in the crate and chewing on it. She also pulled in a bag of Zuke's Minis and ate them. I also had to borrow a carabiner clip from a friend after we realized just how close she was to using her tiny little paws to monkey the door open. After all of this (and the screaming, singing and carrying on she did in & out of her crate), I got a surprising number of comments on what a nice dog she is/will be with some training under her belt. Only agility people fawn over the crazy ones!

Kizzy had many moments of brilliance over the weekend, too. She met and played with several new dogs and is very outgoing. I'm quite sure that her screaming fits on leash are not aggression-based, but more coming from an area of "I want to play with you!" Impulse control will go a long way for this one. In addition to meeting new dogs we played, and played, and played, and played some more! I think it's safe to say that Kizzy does not find the trial environment too stressful to play! I got her out whenever I could and just spent time tugging and playing. We played with the practice jump and the little baby dog tunnel that was in the warm-up area. We worked on releasing the toy, which is a very hard skill if you are a Kizzy dog.

After all of that fun, Kizzy also got to come along to my parent's house Sunday night. My brother and his family are in town from Chicago and my parents were hosting a birthday party for my niece. Most everyone had heard about Kizzy by now, so I figured I'd take her along to meet the family. My brother's two dogs were there as well as my parent's dogs, so I wasn't going to bring anyone else along. Kizzy did great! The other dogs mauled her curiously when we arrived but everything settled down quickly. I did keep her on leash the whole night because I'm pretty sure she could squirt through the railings into the basement as well as the deck railings (accessible through a doggy door that she immediately tried to go out). The only Klee Kai my family has ever known is Kaiser, so they were all quite impressed by Kizzy's friendliness. Everyone was a new friend to her and she didn't hesitate to jump on any laps and give kisses.

I'm hitting a roadblock on my Champs fitness goals. Last week my left hip started hurting. It was minor at first, but it's been getting worse. It is worst first thing in the morning and then I seem to be able to walk out of it, so I don't know if it's bursitis or not. It didn't hurt when I was running at the trial, so that's good. Tonight, however, I tried to go for a run and it was not good. It was the first run in a while, as we've been doing evening walks since it's been so hot. I was compensating so much for my hip at first that my shins started screaming at me after just half a mile. Things did get better and I ended up with better splits than I anticipated (did just over 3 miles), but it was disappointing and I'm bummed about how much my hip is starting to hurt (as in, now I can feel it while just sitting down).

I've been putting in 4-5 miles a day since Kizzy came and I think my body is angry with me -- or more likely my poor options in footwear. I ordered a new pair of running shoes that should be here tomorrow, but I'm thinking maybe I need to step back and give myself a few days. Hard call since walking seems to make it feel better, but if this keeps up I'm not going to be a very happy camper.

Tomorrow we're doing a family picture night. That should be loads of fun, as we are planning to include the dogs. I realized the other day that we now have eight dogs and nine people in our immediate family.... I think we should be able to get some "family pics" of my little clan, so that will be nice! Fingers crossed that everyone behaves and that we can actually orchestrate all of this into a few good pictures.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Big News! (x2!)

Ah! Where to start even?! So much to say.

We'll start with Kaiser. Kaiser was a GOOD BOY tonight and stopped making me pull my hair out. After making me eat crow at our last NADAC trial -- where I had our bar pre-made and ready to go, and Kaiser said, "No way Jose" to Qing in Tunnelers -- Kaiser was nice enough to be a good little Klee Kai and not make me sweat it out until our final attempt at the class on Saturday. Nope, he put in a lovely little Tunnelers run tonight to earn his first V-NATCH! This also makes him the first of his breed to win this award (we really need more Klee Kai in NADAC I guess....).

I also ran Kaiser in Weavers tonight -- it was the first class of the night and I figured it wouldn't hurt to give him a warm-up. It was a nice run, but plagued with some pretty wide turns and a little "Wah???" moment as I asked him to do something we pretty much never see at trials (a call out of a tunnel with like a 45' span back to another one -- he was looking for obstacles to do between, kind of like Snooker!), so we continue on with no 100+ DRI runs in Weavers. Oh well.

He wasn't too hyped up in general tonight, though. I think life is just very exhausting these days and since I was home from work all day the dogs didn't rest as much as I would have hoped.

We are back for more fun the next two days. Kaiser is entered in all six runs tomorrow; Luke has four and Secret has three (I entered her in just the first round of Regular). I'm going to start asking the leash runner to drop Secret's leash at the end of the run instead of that stupid NADAC rule of handing it to the handler. For all I know this might be the sole reason that Secret hates NADAC, because she doesn't like those weird strangers getting in her space at the end of a run. We like USDAA because we can run out of the ring without even putting our leash on. We like AKC because I can run to the leash bucket, throw it on her and run to our treats outside the ring. We'll try that tomorrow.

And for the other piece of big news -- It's official! This little cutie's name is now Kismet (Kizzy) and she is staying with us. When it came down to it, I just could not let her go.

This morning Kizzy and I went and visited my vet again for a full orthopedic work-up. Kaiser has a luxating patella on his right hind and I knew I didn't want to deal with another sport prospect with something like that if I could help it. I figured if my vet found anything worrisome then I would just have to accept it and let Lucy move on to her new life without me.

My vet put her through the wringer and palpated her every which way (which she was not terribly fond of, I should add), but could find nothing remotely loose or out of place. He watched her gait and said she toes in a little when she moves and agreed that her elbow does noticeably turn out when she stands still, but he nor the sport therapist at the clinic felt that this would in any way affect her going forward.

He also said that he felt pretty strongly that even if she did have any mild physical things going on, that he would still recommend that she be a working dog because she NEEDS A JOB. She was at the clinic for three days, I feel that they got to know her enough to have an opinion on this. lol And I agree, I honestly feel that Kizzy would be a complete nightmare in a pet home. There's got to be a reason that her previous owner was able to let her go so easily, and I have a feeling it's because she was very difficult to live with. Since she's been here, we've been walking 4-5 miles minimum per day (that fitness goal for Champs really took off when she arrived!), we have a play/training session with toys and she runs around the back yard for over an hour with the other dogs. She is ACTIVE. And then she comes in the house and chews on me a bit and is a general spaz for a bit before passing out. Yeah. It's seriously like having a border collie puppy in the house in many, many ways.

There was a fair amount of drama that occurred this afternoon when we had to inform the person who was lined up to adopt her that it wasn't going to happen. We knew that it would not be "happy" news for them, but I didn't expect to have threats of a lawsuit thrown in my face. That whole phone call was absolutely ridiculous. Long story short, the bottom line is that he wanted another Klee Kai (he has one) and he wanted it as cheap as he would get "Lucy" (that was going to be $250-$300) -- By some miracle and by the power of the amazing Klee Kai community, we managed to find a breeder that was placing one of their females that was just spayed due to Pyo. Apparently this appeased Mr. Sue-happy and he will be taking that dog now instead. He's sticking it to me, though, for something I said in our conversation. I asked him if he'd get off my back about this if I sent him the money he was going to pay for Lucy (I know, it makes no sense but I was grasping at straws...) -- so because I said that, I'm now contributing $250 to the transport costs to get the new dog from the east coast to Wisconsin. Whatever. I'm over it. I don't care.

So that's that! Big news done! Now to try to get some sleep for the big weekend ahead of us (since I totally didn't get the nap I'd planned thanks to all of the dog drama). Oh, and yes, Kizzy is already sleeping in bed with us.  :o)  That's the kiss of death in this house -- Once they make it into the bed they do not leave.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I think I'm starting to like this AKC stuff.  ;o)

Yesterday we had a picture-perfect day at the MAC AKC trial in Burnsville, MN. Secret kept up her perfect Q-rate with 100-point Q's and 1st place in both of her runs! Kaiser finally managed to get a Novice JWW Q and picked up his third Novice Standard Q, so on to Open for him!

All three dogs were perfect little travelers. Luke held down the fort at home (he's such a good boy) and I managed to figure out the crating puzzle in a way that would work for everyone. Kaiser and Lucy ended up hanging together all day. I did stuff a spare small crate into my car just in case they needed to be separated for any reason (in the car Kaiser would have had to go with Secret, though; just no more room!), but I never needed it because they were angelic little beings all day long.

I was concerned about how Lucy would behave at the trial because she's been a little unpredictable around dogs in our limited time together. It seems to be a barrier issue (on leash, in a kennel), so I was understandably nervous about her being in such an overwhelming place as a trial at Soccerblast. Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Other than a little bit of squeaking right when we left (at 4:30 a.m.....), she really didn't do much at all. I had the crates completely covered like I usually do and I never heard one peep out of anybody (even when I took Kaiser away from her!). She talked a little at a couple of big dogs that passed by when I was holding her on the benches, but it passed quickly and I was able to easily distract her.

Great news for Kaiser, too! Turns out that one of our judges, Christie Bowers, is a VMO. This meant that Kaiser was able to get his second and final official measurement for his height card. He slouched and slunk like a good little boy this time and we actually got a measurement of 13 7/8"! Look at that, a whopping 1/8" to spare; nothing to worry about.  :o)  I was incredibly relieved to get that out of the way. I guess it's official, then -- Kaiser is an AKC dog now. Three cheers for being able to jump 8" in another organization.

Secret's Open JWW was the first class of the day in Ring 1. They were running small to tall, so we had plenty of time to settle in, go potty and go wait our turn. I brought the Coon Tail Tug with again and we had fun playing while waiting our turn. Then I got to talking to someone and completely failed to realize that our turn was approaching... We were the second 24" dog and I never even heard the height change. Whoops. We kind of got rushed to the line because of that.

This was a fun course and Secret was a very good girl. Many dogs were crashing and burning on it -- While she did get 1st place, Secret was also the only 24" dog to actually qualify; and apparently the other heights didn't fare well, either.

I did all front crosses. For whatever reason, the blinds just weren't feeling right once I got out there and started running. Secret started her weaves on the slower side but I left her to do her thing and she sped up considerably for the second half of the poles. I thought I heard a squeak out of her around jump 9 or 10, but I'm still not sure... She seems fine, but it caught me by surprise.

Secret saw her very first ever triple jump on this course. Hooray for crappy training! She did awesome, but wow, that thing looks kind of big at 24".

Kaiser was up next and was the 2nd dog to run in Novice, so our first two runs of the day were more or less back to back (with another big break between...). My biggest and only real concern on this course was that Kaiser would take the off course jump between 2 and 3. Lucky for me, the judge had parked herself pretty much right on top of that off course jump, which made it far less of an appealing option for Kaiser. He didn't appear to even look at that jump -- if anything I risked calling him off the side of 3 for over-cuing the turn.

After that I had a little fun and we might have showed off a little. I stayed on the take-off side of 8 (quite a bit off to the left so as not to step into his space bubble) and then did a nice little NADAC send through the top portion of the course while I ran to pick him up on the landing side of 12 to make that little turn to 13. It's so hard not to laugh when you hear the peanut gallery murmuring. People are just fascinated by Kaiser at these trials and are coming up to me with such nice things to say about him. It's quite a lot of fun.  :o)

Kaiser won our small class, but not by much. Our little Sheltie friend, Minit, was making his AKC debut this weekend and is also running 8" Preferred. There was only 0.04 seconds difference between their times! This is a hoot because I think they will be each other's biggest competition at Champs this year. I look forward to the friendly rivalry and having such an excellent competitor to make me push myself to do our very best.

Lucy got to spend quite a bit of time out and about during our big break. One of my Klee Kai friends stopped by to meet her and was quite impressed with her wonderful personality. Lucy enjoyed sitting on my lap watching dogs run agility. She also made it fun because I had a few people say, "How many of those dogs do you have?" lol

After a long, but not horribly-so break Secret was up again in Open Standard. The judge in this ring (Christie Bowers, the one who measured Kaiser) was one of the nicest, most positive judges I've seen in a while. It was fun to be in her ring. She cheered loudly at the end of every run. I think AKC needs more of that type of positive attitude.

This course allowed me to do a "frisbee run-around" at the start to get Secret jazzed up (remember, she only goes clockwise...), so as soon as she started around I took off running. I did a front cross before the a-frame and then pushed out to the next jump (taking care not to push TOO hard because several dogs were going off course over the start jump) and then picked her up with another front cross on the landing side of 7 before the table. Yay for happy tables!

Speaking of, I don't think I ever shared this picture -- I bought it from the last AKC trial at Soccerblast. She's just so sassy.  :o)

I ran with Secret on my left to the tunnel (many/most teams were going on the right and rear crossing the tunnel) and then took off and picked her up on the landing side before the teeter. Front cross after the weaves and then pretty much a straight run to the finish. Secret was hauling ass on that finishing line. I told her, "BIG, BIG, BIG" before the triple (I usually use that for the broad jump) and she flew over it and the panel jump and I think was a little unprepared for the dog walk entry. I felt like she scrambled slightly, but I was ahead of her and didn't really see it. Either way, she recovered nicely and finished with another 100-point Q and 1st! I'm sure some day we'll have to deal with our first NQ, but for now we're sitting 8/8 and I'm okay with that. lol

Kaiser's Standard run was the last of the day, but this trial was moving right along and I think it was only 1:30 or so when we ran this. I was a little unsure of how I was going to handle the whole sequence around the a-frame because I didn't want to risk pushing Kaiser into an off course with a late front cross before the a-frame. Front crossing after the a-frame is risky with him, too, though, because it messes with his striding.

In the end I ended up doing something completely unplanned, but I guess it worked. I led out slightly, but not enough and Kaiser pretty much broke the sound barrier on his way up to jump 4. Um, crap? I was way behind, so I just started calling him and ran towards the bottom of the course. I think I was too far ahead because he was a little hesitant on his a-frame and hit really high -- actually, I thought I saw the judge's hands go up, so honestly at this point I thought we had an NQ.

Not wanting to push Kaiser off his line, I ended up not rear crossing until he'd actually gone over 7, then we awkwardly made our way over to the table because he had no idea where I wanted him to go -- but we didn't get any table faults, so hooray for that. I got too far ahead of Kaiser while he was in the weaves and ended up rear crossing the landing side of the jump before the tunnel (yuck), but then I just took off to beat him down the dog walk.

Apparently Kaiser still has the issue of going too fast to feel comfortable hitting the contact -- and maybe I didn't actually cue the dog walk whatsoever. Either way, he ran right past the dog walk, but thankfully I was able to keep him from doing anything else on the way there.

Turns out we Q'd with 95 points with just that R at the dog walk. Huh. Seriously, I swore I saw the hands starting to go up out of the corner of my eye, but I guess not. The judge did make a comment on how much she loved him as we were on the dog walk, and before we even started our run she said she wanted to take him home. lol I told her I did have a foster sitting in a crate in the back!  :o)

Speaking of Lucy, someone visited the vet a little earlier than originally planned. For several reasons that I will not go into here, Lucy's spay got bumped up to Thursday. The only set-back was that they were unable to fit us in for our pre-op appointment on Wednesday, so I ended up dropping her off at the clinic when I came home to let her out at lunch that day. They wanted to keep her overnight to do her surgery first thing on Thursday -- I was waffling on this until she and Secret got into another bitch fight when I came home. They'd been doing very well, but Lucy was over the top excited and it just set Secret off. I decided everyone was probably ready for a break and they were.

Surgery went well and I picked her up Friday afternoon. As part of the drama surrounding how I reclaimed Lucy, the shelter fund picked up the price of her spay. That was a happy surprise. I have to say, though, I kind of think they owed it to her after losing her in the first place... Thanks to that, Lucy is turning out to be a pretty cheap Klee Kai!  :o)

I'll put it out there now. I'm waffling. I really like her. A lot. We'll all miss her when she goes. I'm going to do some hard thinking this week. One thing is for sure, though -- If she stays, she needs a new name. It is all too confusing to have a Luke (often referred to as Luke-y) and a Lucy.

I'm leaning towards calling her Kizzy. Because apparently it was Kismet that she ended up here. And I like K names. Ha!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The check is in the mail

Here it goes! My entry for Champs is finally going out. Nothing quite like putting it off as long as possible (well maybe not quite as long as possible, since entries close on August 1 or something like that).

How many entries are in that envelope, you ask?


Yup, I caved. I'm running all three. Secret's been running happier than ever lately -- never mind that it hasn't been at NADAC trials. I'm hoping that with only two runs per day she'll keep up the happy for four days. Ultimately it's going to come down to, "How fast can I run?" And that's why I'll keep pushing away at improving my fitness through the end of September. If I run, she will, too.  :o)

Holy heart attack for the amount of money in that envelope, though. Three entries and $50 in stall rental fees. It's worth it to have that stall, though. Last time I just let the three of them run loose in there the whole week and I brought a yoga mat so that I could lay down and rest between runs, too. Not only that, but this year it sounds like it's that or crate out of your car, so I didn't really have much choice in the matter. I know a lot of people will share stalls, but then you can't do all that stuff I just mentioned, and I think it's worth $50 for my dogs to not be in crates for four days.

I said I'd share when Kaiser's harness labels came in -- They actually arrived on Saturday, but obviously I've been a little preoccupied since then. I put the labels on his harness on Sunday, I think, but I didn't manage to set him up for a picture until tonight.

Personally, I think it is the most awesome harness in the world. He rocks it.

Little Miss Lucy is doing well! She looks like she's going to die in this picture because we just got done with her longest walk to date -- We did 2.6 miles in the heat tonight (around 90, I think), but she did better than she did last night when we put in 2 miles for her first time on the trail. Lucy isn't fat, but she isn't fit and there's a big difference between her stamina and that of my dogs! She's a trooper, though. I let her set the pace on the way back and the little squirt got her second wind and made me run more than I'd planned in this heat. lol

Lucy is helping with that fitness goal of mine by guilting me into taking the dogs for a walk in the morning before work. I feel bad that she sleeps in a crate all night and then spends all day in the crate as well. We've done about 1.5 miles the last two mornings before work and it's not so bad.

My dad has been stopping over to let Lucy outside at lunch so she's not holed up in a crate for 10+ hours. Somehow I don't think he finds it to be too much of a burden.  ;o)  He had to run down to Chicago tonight, though, so tomorrow I'm going to cruise home from La Crosse to let the little stinker out. I don't mind being late back to my all day meetings that are going on for three days straight...

Things are going better between the girls. I still watch them like a hawk and step in at the first hint of any sassing from either of them. It would be nice to let them play when they act like they want to, but I just don't want to risk it.

Lucy is figuring out the dog door on her own. I was kind of hoping she wouldn't... She already comes inside on her own, which means I now have to use the door lock to keep her outside when separating her and Secret. And OH! Just this very second she went outside on her own for the first time. Uh oh. This could be trouble. lol I kind of liked her not knowing how that worked.

I made Lucy's spay appointment today. We'll be going to the vet Monday afternoon for a wellness visit and all of her pre-op stuff, then she'll go in for surgery on Tuesday. Normally I'd put my foot down and say I'm bringing her home that night, but I'm kind of keen on the idea of them watching her all day Wednesday for me and picking her up after work... So I think that's what I'll do, because it's one less day of worrying about her.

I'm excited about our AKC trial this weekend! It will be Secret's first time in Open! I am a bit nervous about how Lucy will behave, though....

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Double the fun, double the trouble

My oh my. Life with two Klee Kai is lots of fun, but it's also proving to be a big mess in this house. Well, probably not so much the Klee Kai part as the girl part. We have entered the "management" phase.

I've been cautious since the first bitch fight happened, but things were going well and I was trying to ease up a bit. Yesterday Secret & Lucy were starting to have a really nice and appropriate play session full of play bows and mutual chasing. Kaiser eventually ran over to join and then Secret decided she didn't want to play anymore. She walked away and flopped down in the grass and promptly started to growl and flash her teeth any time Lucy came near.

Well, I've learned that this is all it takes for Lucy to GO OFF. She launched at Secret and it was not good. I had to hold Secret up in the air by her scruff while I attempted to fend off Lucy and keep her from going after Secret. Once I got Lucy pushed far enough away I put Secret on a down (bless her, she's a good girl) and worked on corralling Lucy once she hobbled away.

Lucy had a spot of blood on her leg -- I'm not sure if she got a zinger from a tooth there (hence the short-term hobbling) -- or if it came from the nice little gash on her lip. I didn't see anything on Secret.

Lucy has been on high alert around Secret since then and Secret has mostly shown avoidance behaviors, but still doesn't hesitate to growl if Lucy gets in her space. I'm trying to avoid letting this happen at all costs because it seems to take so little to set Lucy off... So Lucy is staying on leash in the house when not crated and the little dogs are getting separate play time outside without Secret present. All four dogs can be outside together if we're wandering around, but I can't sit down without a fight brewing because apparently there isn't enough of me to go around. At the moment I have Lucy on my lap and Secret is at my feet without issue, but the trigger is light and we are trying to avoid it.

Lucy has an early alarm and today she had us up at 6:30 (better than 5:00 yesterday, but we did have a 3 a.m. potty trip outside). I took advantage of being up and got all of the dogs wore out before the heat of the day set in -- I don't know what it got up to today, but I just ran and got a pizza at 7:30 and my car still said it was 90. I let the little dogs run around outside for about a half hour to get their ya-ya's out before I'd have to put Lucy back in a crate. Then I threw on the roller blades and took Secret out for almost three miles and Luke for just over a mile and a half. Poor dog, he pooped out on me today. We ended up walking the last block or so back.

Once we got home it was Lucy & Kaiser's turn. I took the blades off and we just went out for a two mile walk around the neighborhood, still with a double-leash on Lucy. She's a good little walker, though, so I don't think we should have any issue. Lucy isn't fat, but she's not fit, either, and the walk did a great job of wearing her out for the rest of the morning.

Amazingly enough, I actually pulled it together to work the dogs this afternoon, too. I decided to set the latest drill posted on Ann Croft's Agility Coach Facebook page. We played on the original version of this course when it was first posted, so I thought it would be fun to try the new "International" version. I thought it might be a little beyond our skills, but Secret & Kaiser rocked it! (I didn't make Luke try it) Kaiser actually managed to get through completely clean once. Secret had one run with a single refusal on a backside and then another run with two dropped bars (I was jumping her at 24" and she was getting pooped by then).

Tomorrow I guess I have to go back to work. I'm not particularly looking forward to having to leave poor Lucy in a crate all day, but my dad should be coming over midday to let her out so I'm sure she'll be fine. My evenings are just going to be VERY full, trying to exercise and give attention to four dogs, when two of those dogs can't be together....

Lucy's future is still up in the air. Hoping we'll figure stuff out this week.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Miracles DO happen

Do you know who this is? No? Maybe this will give you a hint:

Now that you are all caught up -- Can you BELIEVE IT?! Yes, the dog in the picture is Lucy, the Alaskan Klee Kai that went missing on 9/30/12. Over NINE MONTHS ago.

Lucy has now been in my possession for just over 24 hours and I can still hardly believe it. I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from the shelter worker who was helping me look for Lucy last fall. In the e-mail report that went out the day before listing the incoming dogs, she noticed that a "small/mini husky" was listed as being brought in as a stray on the 4th of July. Wondering if it could possibly be true, she went to the shelter on Friday to see for herself and sure enough it was Lucy. She called me right away.

Apparently she was brought in by a couple who claims to have found her running along Hwy 16 near Tomah. The story that was shared with me was that people at the shelter had reason to believe that these people may have had Lucy for a while and felt guilty about keeping her. There are several weird things about the story -- namely that Lucy smells freshly bathed, her nails have been trimmed and she was wearing the collar she originally was wearing when she went missing -- but minus a leash ring. It is obvious that she has been living with someone all of this time and I find it hard to believe that they would continue to use a broken/dysfunctional collar for nine months. I have a feeling that they cleaned her up and put her old collar on before bringing her into the shelter. True or not, I do not know, but it's the most plausible thing I can come up with right now.

When Lucy originally went missing we went through a huge ordeal with the shelter over who was the legal owner of this dog. The person who lost Lucy was in breech of contract multiple times over, so her breeder was taking possession of her at that point. Because this person never fulfilled her contractual obligations, Lucy was never signed over to her and the dog still belongs to the breeder. The breeder faxed over proof of ownership and informed the shelter that Lucy was to be turned over to me if found. Of course they didn't even remember Lucy when she showed up again, nor did they actually bother to scan her microchip, which is why we didn't get a phone call immediately letting us know she was there. It is that, the fact that they already showed they are completely inept at keeping her contained safely, and a multitude of other reasons that I ended up just claiming her as my own to get her out of there. She is safe now and that's what matters. I am in contact with Lucy's breeder and another breeder in my state regarding what to do next and where Lucy will get to live.

And no, she can't live here.  ;o)  As much fun as I believe it would be to have another Klee Kai in the house (Kaiser is a-okay with this plan as well!), I cannot have another dog. I do think that Lucy would make an excellent agility prospect, though, just for how stinking fast the little squirt is. She would have a long road of training ahead of her, though, as she's kind of just a naughty blank slate right now. lol  We know that her previous owner didn't do a whole lot with her and I have no idea what she's been doing for the last nine months, but she doesn't respond to any basic training commands.

She is an amazingly good-natured dog, though. Lucy is absolutely the friendliest Klee Kai I have ever met! She is a total love and is actually laying on my lap at the computer as I type this. She's a bit of a naughty, snarky bitch, though, which is posing a slight problem with Secret right now. They got into a fight last night over antlers, but the bad news is that after I separated them Lucy went right back after Secret with no provocation! That's the kind of thing that will get someone really hurt, so I've been doing a lot of managing since then. I'm giving Lucy freedom in short spurts in the house. Secret is okay with her until she's not, and then she starts growling, which sets Lucy off barking at her. And this would be a very good example of why the next dog must be a boy; I cannot have two strong-willed and opinionated females in this house (besides myself, of course)!

So.... That is our update. Lucy is safe and with me until we figure out what to do next. I can still hardly believe it happened. What an amazing story she must have; if only they could talk!