Saturday, December 21, 2013

Snow Agility

Wow, so I slacked off a bit on posting, I guess! A few things have happened, but you haven't missed too much. Secret had her yearly vet appointment this past Monday. She was a good girl, weighed in at 46.1 lbs and.... tested positive for Lyme disease. Hooray. So now that's two dogs in the house with a + test result (Kizzy being the other).

Like Kizzy, we are electing to go with the "wait and see" approach for the time being. Because Secret has been vaccinated against Lyme, Dr. Randy was going to try to submit a sample for testing. The vaccine manufacturer guarantees their product and will pay for treatment if a vaccinated dog tests positive. However, apparently in 2012 there was a four week window where Secret was overdue, so he didn't know if they would cover it. I haven't heard back anything on that....

Secret also got to take a fun little visit to the back of the clinic to get her anal glands expressed for the first time. I mentioned to Randy that there have been several instances where I've noticed her "spotting" on my car seats (lovely) in recent weeks. He confirmed that she was pretty full and one side was pretty thick and "gritty" when he expressed it. There was no infection or anything to worry about, but it's something we'll probably want to keep an eye on going forward and perhaps consider giving her pumpkin on a regular basis to try to bulk up her stool a little bit. She has wee little poos and we don't think they are big enough to empty the glands as they should be.

After talking to our vet, Secret and Luke are now getting meat tenderizer in their meals. Luke's poo eating has gotten worse than ever lately (to the point where it involves eating the rocks when he poos in the potty yard during the day) and Secret has regained her fondness for digging for poopsicles in the snow. Apparently the meat tenderizer will make their crap taste like, well, crap, and discourage the habit. I'm not giving it to the little dogs, but for some reason their poop doesn't seem as appetizing, so for now I'm just sticking to the big dogs.

We did go to our ring rental last Saturday as I mentioned in our last post. I had dug around on the internet to find a course with the contacts in the same location as they were when we were there on Wednesday and wouldn't you know it but they went and rearranged the whole arena on me. It was already set up for a game night they are having on New Years Eve and I wasn't able to rearrange anything, so we just played on that setup (I did drag out a chute and a table, though, so that had all of the equipment out).

Kizzy did super-duper awesome with everything. Kaiser and Secret got lots of practice doing "flips" from contacts into tunnels (there was one on both the dog walk and a-frame, so yay!). It was a fun little set-up that gave us several options to work with. Even Luke got to come play since the weather had been cruddy and everyone had been cooped up for days. He had a surprising and spectacular fly off on the teeter... He was much more cautious after that, poor old guy.

Today I said "Screw you, Winter!" and set up another Happy Hurdle Day course in the backyard. Snow agility is way too much stinking work and I probably do a disservice to my dogs with my cruddy handling, but we still had fun. I just used hoops and replaced the weaves with a tunnel. At least the dogs didn't seem to have too many problems getting around the course. Kaiser was much more careful than usual -- he's always been cautious about slipping and isn't a huge fan of snow anyhow. Kizzy was slightly more reserved than ususal, but I'm pretty positive that was only a reflection of my own handling issues. Luke and Secret just said, "Whee!" I bought a new Jolly Ball with a rope for Secret ages ago, but I've been saving it for snow play and today was the first time she's seen it. It's been a long time since she's had one of these because she ate through the rope on her last one some time ago. It made her very happy.

We got a bunch of freezing rain prior to our last snowfall, so walking/running in our neighborhood is pretty much out right now. Tonight we are apparently supposed to get like 4"-7" of snow or something, so we are pretty trapped for the time being. Last night I actually broke down and drove to my parent's house to use their treadmill for a run. Man, it sure would be nice to have one of those at home. I can just envision being in the basement all night long -- first for me and then a turn for all of the dogs.  :o)

Christmas is right around the corner. We celebrate with my mom's side of the family tomorrow. I'm home from work burning a vacation day on Monday. Originally I was off until after Christmas, but it's crazy at work right now and I pushed one of my days into the next week instead. I'd rather not be sitting at home five days in a row anyhow, so that worked out for the best. I'm sure the dogs will love having me home more the next couple of weeks!

I'm planning to head over to Oshkosh on New Years Day for a fun match held at the Oshkosh Kennel Club. Hopefully the weather holds out so that I feel safe making the 2.5 hour drive. It would be an excellent opportunity to run Kizzy in a new location on new equipment (toys/food allowed) and let me check out the facility to see if we'd like to start going to trials there this year. Hopefully the forecast is in our favor.

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