Monday, January 27, 2014


I'll start with one of my favorite parts of the day.  :o) I titled the above video, "How NOT to Q in Chances." Both of the boys managed to squeak out a Q in Chances yesterday (the streak is officially over!), but only by the slightest of margins (especially Luke, who was very close to the 40 second mark). Both were marvelous at their redirects, which you obviously wouldn't want under ideal circumstances.... Kaiser normally does not redirect well, or he takes bonus obstacles on the way to where you are directing him, so I was especially proud of him for listening as well as he did. He is now just two runs from NATCH 2! Luke is now 4 runs from NATCH 5. Oh.... Plus three Jumpers runs. I should probably remember that!

Those are the rest of Kaiser's runs for the day. We didn't manage to get any Jumpers Qs this weekend, which is a little out of character. This NQ was completely and totally my fault, though, as I both dropped my arm and turned my head away from him -- So, with all of the blind crosses I've started to throw at him, what else should I expect than for him to cut behind me? Yup, that was all on me.

There will be no 100 DRI runs from yesterday, as Kaiser was having some wonky issue with a hoop in both classes. I think it took like four tries to get him to go *through* the hoop in the first round. He actually had a fault called in that round and I was like, "Umm...?" I asked the judge if he could remember what he called (they had just finished running the first round of Open at this time, so some time had passed) and all he could remember was "something out there" as he indicated the center of the ring. I asked if he'd like to watch the video to see if he could be more specific and I was told they aren't supposed to do that. That is completely absurd because NADAC rewards entire Qs based off video now and he did end up appeasing me (I swear I wasn't that pushy) and agreed that he did not see any faults in the video.

Kaiser had a really screwy jump in the 2nd round for a bar and one of those god forsaken 5-point Qs. I hate those. Not sure what caused the bad jump as it wasn't the typical scenario of me being way too far ahead. It was his last run after three days of agility, though, so maybe he was just getting tired. His weaves in that round were definitely dragging more than usual, too -- I actually saw him double-stepping a couple of them instead of hopping, so I'd say he was pooped.

Kizzy was not pooped. In fact, she was just as wound up on day three as she was on day one. She wanted to play and she wanted everyone to know it. Thankfully on Sunday we start with Jumpers, so she didn't have to wait quite as long for her first turn.

In general, what you see on the video is a vast improvement upon Saturday's performance. Kizzy was much less distracted in the ring, save for her obsession with the yellow lab, Mallie, who ran before us in each class. Mallie has been to a couple of our open agility sessions and I know Kizzy is highly interested in her for some reason. For the record, Mallie apparently does not like other dogs, so Kizzy has chosen a very poor object of obsession. Every time you see Kizzy run to the ring gating in the video it is because of Mallie.

I will say, apparently we won the battle on Saturday with regard to the exit doors --- but the game changed on Sunday to the ring gates in the middle. It's a little harder to guard an 80' span than two small doorways... Kizzy decided yesterday that she would no longer cooperate in being caught after our runs. I tricked her in Jumpers by acting like I was going out the door without her, then snatched her up as she started to skitter past me.

Score one for Kizzy in Hoopers (her most distracted run by far, as Mallie must have been standing RIGHT outside the ring the entire time) when she shot under the gating and ran straight for Mallie. Bless that dog's heart, but she wasn't reacting at all while her owner held her head way up and away from Kizzy. I'm just going off what I've heard that she's bad with other dogs, but there must be some history since her owner freaks out so much... Kizzy avoided a couple of people who tried to grab her and then went and jumped in the lap of our friend, Jim.

After round 1 of Regular there was much standing still and refusing to come anywhere near me before Kizzy turned tail and scooted under the gating again. This time Mallie and her owner were by their crate and the owner stuffed her in the crate before Kizzy got over there. Here's where panic set in, as Kizzy started heading to the back of the building -- by the door -- that people were going in and out of because Novice was the last class of the day and everyone was packing up to leave. By some glorious fortune I managed to grab her up before the door opened. And of course remember that NADAC doesn't allow collars, so she would have been out and about with no ID. That would have been fun.

So after all of this Kizzy seemed to finally realize that she wasn't getting very far with these tricks, so she actually stayed with me for the ENTIRE run in Regular 2. And here's where I get to admit the unexplainable thought that went through my head and the horrible thing I did. We're going through the course and I was all like, "Holy crap, she's staying with me!" Sure we missed a hoop and I didn't correct the weaves after she slid into the first pole with her hip (ouch...). With absolutely no forethought or plan, when Kizzy was on the dog walk it popped into my head, "I need to grab her at the end of the dog walk to end this run on a good note and praise her heavily for not playing keep-away." Yes, in my head this sounded like a fantastic idea.

Sigh..... I blame delirium and lack of sleep over three days....? I made a quick snatch towards Kizzy that missed as she scooted through my hands and she ended up toppling over. It looks bad. It is bad. It's the sort of thing that if I did it to Secret she would probably never set foot on the dog walk ever again. I was instantly crushed, knowing what a moron I was. I was just SO frustrated by the end-of-run behavior we'd been dealing with all day and I did not want that run to end the same way. I will kick myself for a very long time over this.

Of course Kizzy wasn't going to come to me after that, but she did run straight into the arms of the person leash running. I could not, absolutely could not, end our day that way. Kizzy was the last dog of the day so we called it quits and I took her back, put her down, had her get on the dog walk and then asked her to stop at the very top where I picked her up again and praised her profusely. We exited the ring, ate lots of treats and then went back into the ring and did the dog walk a couple of times (on leash) to make sure that I hadn't ruined her forever.

I am so not about the Q with Kizzy right now. That is the least of my worries. I am fully aware of how much needs to be worked on, but much like I went through with Kaiser, much of this can only be worked on at trials since that's where we see it. I do need to see if I can get back in for a ring rental soon and have a good, happy, positive experience with much putting-on of the leash. I don't think there is a trial this weekend, so I should probably see if we can go down. I should also probably strongly consider trying to get her into a class -- any class -- to help with working through the distraction of other dogs (although like I said, there really was just that ONE dog at the trial this weekend).

Regardless, there is probably little point to entering Kizzy in the March trial if we aren't able to train in the next month. As it is, I find it downright miraculous that Kizzy performed as well as she did this weekend considering that aside from the fun match in Oshkosh on Jan 1, she has not been on equipment since the beginning of December. For a dog who has not been doing this very long, it's pretty darn impressive how well she has retained what she's learned -- and what she hasn't learned, because did you see that rear cross in Jumpers?! It was beautiful.  ;o)

Novice dogs.... So much "fun," especially when they're a Klee Kai. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this. I think part of why I'm a little more down than I'd usually be was because I was missing some of my most supportive trial buddies this weekend. We had a lot of cancellations due to weather and illness and the Kizzy support crew was pretty light. Perhaps with a few more hands on deck we could have prevented those escapes. lol  What we really need are a whole slew of fun matches. Right now I'm almost desperate enough to drive over to Oshkosh for their February Friday night fun match. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and I'd have to drive home after (the last one went what, four hours?). Yeah..... That doesn't really sound fun. Why does FDC not have fun matches?!

I have to figure out what our next trial is. I'd really like to try to do a day of AKC in February or else Secret will sit for a long time. There's a chance I'd just run Kaiser at the NADAC trial to try for those two Chances Qs. We'll see. Much thinking to do about many things.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh Kizzy....

Today was NADAC day! Kizzy's technical "third day of trialing" and second time running more than one run. She was high as a kite this morning. I'd hoped that she'd be more settled after our long day yesterday, but she was just screaming and screaming and screaming this morning. Even when I had her out on leash and kept her with me, she continued to scream.... I was getting so frazzled. I had gotten to the trial quite early today so I spent as much time as I could trying to completely wear her out. This helped, but she was still quite vocal for the first half of the trial. It did seem to get better after she got to run.

Kizzy's first run was great! We had a couple of space cadet moments and I knew that the "out" tunnel next to the a-frame was going to be an issue for her. Hindsight being what it is, I should have just gone on as soon as she hit the a-frame, but I wasn't positioned well for it and I did want to try to get her in the tunnel. Oh well. But she NAILED her weaves on the first try, so HOORAY!

Run two was when the fun started. I did not have anyone at the doors today because things were going well and it was a small trial. Kizzy left me halfway through the run and just stood there contemplating what to do -- and she choose to run out the door. She did come back into the ring, which is good, but she still left and from that point on the idea was in her head. For Tunnelers I elected to block the doors from the beginning, automatically taking an E for training. And I'm glad I did, because she tested both doors before coming back to me and finishing the course together (I did shorten it by a few tunnels to end on a good note). I didn't elect to block the doors for Jumpers because historically she likes jumping and it's not so much of an issue, but I did lose her on the first turn and a helpful person quickly moved to block her exit. Kizzy came back to me after that and stuck with me for the rest of the course, so there was improvement!

I suppose tomorrow I should cover my bases and make sure the doors are ready to be blocked. I try to remember that I went through this exact same thing with Kaiser, and look how far he's come.  ;o)  It's seriously no wonder that this dog is such an escape artist, though. She is too stinking clever for her own good, and she doesn't ever give up...

I'll share Secret's runs next since this is technically her blog.  :o)  Secret did great and had fun, but she must have used up all of her Q's yesterday. lol  Both NQs were due to her taking off course obstacles, and I always say that it's a good day when the cautious and overly perfect dog gets a wild hair up her butt and decides to take extra obstacles. The one in Regular was a bit more understandable than the one in Jumpers, but whatever. She was happy, it was fun. I have debated entering her in a couple of runs tomorrow, but why push it? I loved her weaves again today!

Kaiser was a good little Klee Kai today. His first round of Regular was absolutely fantastic right up until the end when he took the tunnel instead of the a-frame. He was just coming around the corner too fast and chose the easier option, I guess. When he gets running really fast like that he has a tendency to fly past the a-frame, so I should have known to check him up there. Round 2 was also very nice, if you don't count the broken start line. The highlight of that run was his super fantastic dog walk contact!

Kaiser finally broke the Chances dry spell today! I looked it up and his last Chances Q was in June and Luke's was in July -- not a single Q in Chances since then. I was starting to feel like we'd never Q in Chances ever again... Today's course was pretty basic, but he did a great job. I decided to enter Luke in Chances this weekend since our friend didn't put him in it, but unfortunately Luke took the tunnel under the dog walk.

Luke did great today, too! He and Erika had a really nice run in the first round of Regular for a Q there and almost got one in Tunnelers but were just over time. And watching that run tells me that I don't think Luke will be playing in Tunnelers anymore. Another sign of aging, but that many tunnels in a row was just kind of hard on him, I think. It started out all fun, but you could tell by the end that he was getting to the point where he was wondering if it was done yet. He gets to play in Hoopers tomorrow and I know he'll enjoy that far more.  :o)

Everyone is super-pooped here tonight, so we're just going to crash and rest up for tomorrow. Hopefully the weather isn't horrendous, as they are calling for "blizzard conditions." Yay... Is winter done yet?

Friday, January 24, 2014

QQ #1!

It's after 9 p.m. and we just got home from Oshkosh, but I have to do a quick post to share that Secret got her first QQ today! Woot! Woot!  :o)  One down, nineteen more to go. On top of that, she had a firecracker up her butt today and brought home 41 speed points! Can you even believe it?! She more than doubled her Jumpers points from the last trial with 15 (and was only 0.15 away from 16) and 26 points in Standard. Holy crap. She had a great day!

Judge Rod Ramsell came through and brought us more interesting courses than we've seen the last couple of trials. There wasn't anything super crazy or technical, but they offered plenty of chances to have fun. The theme of the day was, "can you take the correct tunnel entrance?" Unfortunately that bit Kaiser in the ass.... I led out with Kaiser on this course and there is absolutely no reason I shouldn't have been able to beat him to the tunnel, but I released him far too soon and got behind.

After that he launched the dog walk contact after I tried to be all fancy and sprint ahead to do a blind cross at the end. Because we'd already NQ'd the run I pushed the table a bit and he did bounce off -- BUT he seemed to actually realize/care that he'd made the mistake and instantly sprang back on by himself, so at least I think he knows what he's supposed to do now. lol He had a nice a-frame hit and finished strong. And.... I just realized that I totally failed to even look at his course time. Hmm. I suck.

With Secret I opted for the running start along the bottom of that first line, so I rear crossed the tunnel with her. I did the same blind cross at the dog walk that I did with Kaiser and she was a good girl. Nailed her teeter, nailed the table, didn't creep the a-frame and her weaves were smoking (well, for her at least!). It was a super nice run. The Malinois in the class smoked us by like 5 seconds, but then we smoked the 3rd place dog by like 4 seconds.  ;o)

I don't know what the hell I did with Kaiser's JWW run. I ended up doing stuff that I'd been thinking about in my head for Secret, but didn't walk at all during Kaiser's walk-through. I led out to jump 2 with Kaiser and did a blind as he came over 5 (not planned with Kaiser...). Then I took off and somehow managed to beat him past 10, so I threw in a front cross before the tunnel. The real "you're a moron" part of the run came on the top line where I somehow managed a blind between 14 & 15 -- and then he ran straight through the weaves on his way to the tunnel. Drat. Why don't I stick with my plan? You think I'd learn my lesson by now. I got way ahead of Kaiser on the weaves and he ended up crashing the next jump.  :o(  Don't get so far ahead of the Klee Kai...

It was after 5 p.m. by the time Secret did her second run, but she was READY! I got her out a smidgen too early and we had to kill some time waiting for our turn. I was sitting on the floor with her and she was play bowing and voluntarily grabbing her leash to tug with me before the run. Crazy.

I started on the left with Secret and ran with her from the start. Rear crossed at three, blinded as she was going over five and then did a blind between ten and eleven. The blind up on the top worked with Secret, but she's far less likely to suck into weaves than Kaiser. I waited for her to come out of the tunnel so that I could race her into the weaves and she had another really nice, driving set of weaves. I made sure to support the last few jumps to make sure I didn't throw the run away. Hooray! We did it! QQ #1 in the bag.  :o) Secret was actually the only 24" dog to qualify, so she won this class.

We can't forget about Kizzy! Our day started out with Novice FAST. You know we have worked on zero distance/sending skills when you look at this map and realize I knew instantly she wouldn't get it. lol There were only two Novice dogs that NQ'd and Kizzy was one. I mean, who doesn't send into a tunnel? The Kizzy dog. Oh well.

But it was a GREAT experience for her! Kizzy did awesome! We started at the jump before the a-frame, did the frame, the tire, failed at the send to the tunnel (because apparently if they refuse it's an NQ, so I just kept going), picked up the jump after the tunnel (I crossed the line), she curled in on me at the next tunnel and I kept going to the weaves. She ran by the weaves the first time, but she got them on the second try! I was handling like a moron and put myself into position for a rear cross at every turn. So, awkward turn over jump after the weaves. NAILED the teeter. She was going so fast as she came up to it that I thought surely she'd fly off the end, but she stopped and rode it down and stayed on when it hit. Maybe she was just surprised? Much cheering! Then we did the jump to the left of the teeter and started heading out. We were somewhere around the double when the horn sounded. Kizzy did the finish jump and then I thought for sure she was going to let me catch her quickly.

Here's where I get to gripe. They let the next dog start before I had Kizzy. Come on, this is Novice. I had a moment of panic as I worried about her running into the ring when the other dog was running. I started slapping her harness on the ground to get her to chase it -- hooray for all of those harness/leash games we played in the basement... It took a couple of tries, but I finally snagged her and it probably felt like it took longer than it did, as the other dog had really just started. Phew. She got 35 points total, so it would have been a nice score had we gotten the send bonus.

I got a couple of (friendly) complaints about Kizzy in the morning, but thankfully she settled down after she got to run (and I spent all of FAST wearing her out). I gave her a chicken foot while I ran Kaiser the first time and after that I really only heard her squeak a few times when there were dogs right by our crates (it was so crowded in the crating area, everyone was on top of each other). The people who had said something in the morning actually commented to me later in the day how much better she'd gotten, so I appreciated that. I'm hoping she'll be so stinking tired at NADAC this weekend that she'll just sleep and not scream.

And with that, we must go to bed.... I'm glad for the 9 a.m. start tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fuzzy Feet and Stupid Winter

All weekend long my number one goal was, "Shave the dogs' feet." We are running on the turf at FDC this weekend, and on mats this Friday, so I knew I had to get them cleaned up a bit. I'm pretty sure nobody has been touched since the beginning of December, so it was time.

Unfortunately every time it crossed my mind they had either just been outside or would go suddenly dashing out the dog door. Wet feet are not fun to shave, so I kept putting it off. Tonight we are back to being stuck indoors thanks to another "polar vortex" going through, so I made sure to bring out the clippers as soon as I finished up with everyone downstairs and before they'd have a chance to go outside.

Apparently I lost the before picture of Secret's hind feet, but the after sure are pretty.  :o)  Granted, Secret's back feet don't get nearly as bad as her fronts for some reason. I swear she's like a yeti with those front feet. She's got hair coming out the top and bottom on all four. It's so bad that the little toe clumps will actually get matted, so I whack them off, too.

Kaiser's feet are not nearly the abominable snowman scenario that Secret's are, but I've always said he gets little hair slippers. It grows from the middle and curls up over his pads. So that, too, must come off. At least I don't have to deal with the tops of his feet.

And yes, I am completely embarrassed by the nail length. I was all set to trim those tonight, too, but I decided to save some fun for tomorrow since we will be stuck indoors all week.

Klee Kai feet are the cutest. Like Secret, Kaiser's back feet don't get quite as bad, but I still try to trim him up as well as I can because he really loses confidence when he slips. I tried not to go overly short with anyone this time because of the cold and snow outside. They seem to do fine.

We got another 6" of snow on Saturday. Seriously. I'm so done with winter. At least it got up around 30 degrees on Sunday, so we were able to go for a run for the first time in almost two weeks. The roads were sloppy and loose, though, and it was not terribly fun and I definitely felt that I've been pretty lazy lately! Yesterday it was only about 15 degrees, but I still managed to sneak in a walk with everyone before taking Secret to her (long overdue) chiropractor appointment.

I'm pretty sure that when you run out of room to push snow off the deck, that means it needs to stop snowing. It's not quite up to the deck on the side, so I guess I need to start pushing that way more often. The dogs don't mind it a bit, although I'm getting tired of digging out the gate and trying to get it closed every day. It stopped latching a while ago, but I'm able to get it wedged shut most days. Last winter I just left the gate open all winter, but I just don't really want to give Kizzy and the crew full run of the yard every day. Not only do I prefer having that extra fence between Kizzy and the outside world, but Secret has kind of proven to me that she has the tendency to go overboard when given too much room to romp and play with the littlest member of the household. I don't think they get so amped up when confined to the small space.

Kizzy is doing well recovering from her bout with Lyme disease. She is enjoying the twice-daily treats (peanut butter or canned food) that come with her pills. I pulled her off the Tramadol after a couple of days because she was doing fine, so we have a small reserve of that to keep around for whomever now. Whatever was up with her right front resolved itself along with everything else and she's been moving great. We've played in the basement several times and she hasn't had any issues with jumping or weaving, so we should be good to go for this weekend.

I've really been working with Kizzy on the whole coming to the leash/harness deal, so we'll see how that goes. At least we can tug at the AKC trial, but we'll have to see how it goes at NADAC.

It will be a busy weekend! We're driving over to Oshkosh on Friday (11 a.m. start, so we don't have to leave home until 7:30, hooray) where Kizzy will run in Novice FAST (hahahahaha, new for both of us!) and Secret and Kaiser will both run Standard & JWW (Kaiser just needs one more JWW Q to move into Masters!). Then we drive home and try to get ready and get some sleep to go play NADAC on Saturday. Luke is running a few runs per day with a friend. Kizzy is entered in Reg 1 & 2, Jumpers and Tunnelers on Saturday and then swapping in Numbered Hoopers for Tunnelers on Sunday. Kaiser gets to play in his usual four core classes. I felt guilty and stuck Secret in Reg 2 and Jumpers on Saturday, but nothing on Sunday. There's no way she'd want to run three days in a row anyhow, so I'm giving her a break.

I elected not to send entries for the AKC trial in Oshkosh on Feb 8 & 9 due to the recent unexpected expenses (pretty much all Kizzy-related, between her new harness and the vet bills, lol). That means we'll have another big break after this weekend.  :o(  Boo.  I hope spring comes early this year so we can at least get back to playing agility at home again.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kizzy vs Lyme Disease

Poor Kizzy-monster. I felt so terribly bad for her yesterday.

As I wrote last time, Kizzy and Secret got into a tiff on Sunday when their play session escalated a little too far. Secret nailed Kizzy in such a way that while she had no visible injuries, she was not wanting to use her right front leg at all. By the time we went to bed she was getting better at hopping around, but was still a bit mopey.

I gave Kizzy another aspirin before bed that night and hoped that there would be improvement when we got up in the morning. Unfortunately she was as three-legged as the day before and seemed pretty stiff when we first got out of bed. She was getting around better when I left for work, but still hopping on three legs. I elected to crate her during the day to limit her activity, but mostly to segregate her from the other dogs as she had a bit too much of a "woe is me" attitude going on and I feared the other dogs could turn on in her a wounded bunny scenario. Who knows. Better safe than sorry.

I hurried home from work, feeling bad that she'd been stuck in a crate all day. I fully expected that after a day of rest SURELY her leg would be feeling better and she'd come bouncing out of the crate. Instead, what I came home to was a dog who would barely prop herself up into a sitting position and wouldn't walk.

I grabbed my phone as I carried her outside to go potty. It was 4:59 and my vet's office closes at 5:00. Thank god, I got through before the answering service was turned on. I was asking about getting an appointment first thing in the morning or leaving Kizzy there all day if I needed to, but while the associate was checking the schedule and talking to the doctors I realized that things were worse than I'd thought.

Kizzy would NOT move. If I propped her up she would fall over. She just huddled in the snow shivering. When the girl came back on the phone (I feel so bad, my vet's office has several new faces and I don't know everyone anymore...) I butt in on her and said, "I'm sorry, but can I just bring her in right now?" There was no way I felt comfortable waiting until morning when I realized just how bad it was. Was it neurological? Had something more happened the day before than I'd realized?

We zipped right over to the clinic and they got us in right away. I felt bad when Kizzy fell over on the scale... By the way, the little porker is up to 13.3 lbs now.  ;o)  Dr. Randy came in pretty quickly and started checking her over. I explained the fight from the day before and gave him the back story. Then as I was talking it suddenly popped into my head -- is this Lyme? I know it can flare up in times of stress and she had that positive test back in July that we opted not to do anything about at the time.

Randy took her temperature and it was over 102 even with aspirin on board. He found a bit of swelling in the hock joint in the right hind and she was tender/reactive to manipulation back there. After a bit of poking and prodding Kizzy also decided that it hurt terribly when you touched her front feet. Pretty much all you could do was rub her belly while she laid on her back (yeah, I think that one might have been planned by her, lol).

With everything we knew and what we saw in front of us, we figured it was a pretty safe assumption to go with the Lyme diagnosis. Randy didn't see any reason to jump to x-rays or blood work at this point and we decided to go forward with Tramadol, aspirin and 4 weeks of Doxy. Kizzy just laid out on the table while we waited for her pills to get put together for us. What a sad, sad Klee Kai.

I gave her the first dose of everything when we got home around 6:00. I couldn't get her to stand up to go potty, so I gave up and we went inside and laid under a blanket together on the couch. Around 8:30 I tried to take her out again (because mind you, she hadn't gone to the bathroom since before I left for work that morning!) and she managed to totter out, using the fence to help her balance, and went potty. We went back inside to lay under blankets again with the plan of staying on the couch until around midnight, when Randy said I could hit her up with more pain meds to get her over the first hump.

Of course I fell asleep, so it was about 1:00 a.m. when I woke up. Much improvement! Kizzy was starting to put her hind leg down a bit more and was able to stand on her own and hobble around outside. She was just eating snow when we went out, so I decided to leave her for a bit to see what she'd do and she found her way back inside through the doggy door. I gave her another dose of Tramadol and aspirin and we went to bed.

This morning she was back to having full use of her hind leg again and was starting to use the front leg again and put more weight on it. She was moving so well by the time I left that I decided to leave her out for the day. The roads were really bad from a snow storm blowing through and I knew my day would be a long one, so I didn't want to worry about her not getting out all day again. She got another dose of meds right before I walked out the door.

Tonight I came home to a spunky, sassy, FULL of energy Klee Kai. She was running around like a loon while I shoveled (we have a good 8" so far....) and then was back to chasing Luke while I threw the Jolly Balls around in the snow a bit for everyone. She's pooped now and back in my lap, but I think she's feeling pretty good again. It's amazing to see the turn around from just 24 hours ago.

I hate ticks and I hate Lyme disease. How ironic that a fellow blogger just wrote on the subject, just in case any of you aren't terribly familiar with this stupid illness. You can check it out here!

This episode has given me pause with regard to Secret's positive diagnosis. Kizzy literally thought she was dying. Kizzy weighs 13 lbs and is easy to scoop up and carry to the vet. Granted, Secret is 47 lbs and that's not the end of the world, but still considerably more difficult to get around if she decides she cannot use any of her legs. It just amazes me how fast and hard this hit Kizzy and with how sensitive Secret is it would not surprise me if she did the same.

Alas, I'm recovering from this bill right now, so I think I'll push off treating Secret right away.... My vet has a compounded form of Doxy since the prices are still nuts, but Kizzy's dose was still $50. I remember when I could treat Luke for less than that!  :o)  But if we go with that, we're still looking at $200 for Secret. Hmmm. Yeah. We'll see how long we can push that off.

The one good thing about Lyme, I will say, is that it responds to treatment incredibly fast. It's still scary, though, to see them that miserable.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Still no QQ

Wouldn't it just figure that the dog who sailed through Novice, Open and Excellent with a single NQ now can't seem to get a QQ? And what's even sillier is the fact that I feel like this has been plaguing us forever, until I remind myself that this was only our second time running in Masters. Oh. Oops. lol  Why does it feel like it's been way more than that?

Yesterday I packed up the crew (minus Luke, he got to go play at Grandma & Grandpa's house) and we drove to Cannon Falls to go play at the Belgian Malinois Club AKC trial. It was at Simon Arena, which is one of the few opportunities we have to run on dirt around here. The Minnesota Agility Club decided not to have their February USDAA trial there anymore, so we don't even have that as an option anymore. I get so jealous of all of the dirt trials available in other parts of the country. Well, until I pack up to go home that is. Then I have to clean all the dirt and shavings out of our stuff...

We had a little winter storm roll through Friday afternoon/evening. The roads were completely snow-covered when I got home around 7:00 p.m. and it was still coming down, so I was not really looking forward to the 6:00 a.m. drive. The road crews were out doing what they could overnight, but when I hit the road the interstate was still very icy. The lanes were mostly clear (except where they weren't, which is always an exciting guessing game), but there were random black ice spots everywhere. This pretty much limited the drive to between 45-55 mph for the majority of the trip. It started to get better around Rochester and I was able to start going the speed limit again. The trip to Cannon Falls normally takes 2 hours on the nose. It took us just over 2.5 hours yesterday. Thankfully I padded time into our trip, as they were running T2B to start and our first class wasn't expected to run until close to 9:30.

Our Standard run was up first. We ran under this judge (Joan Mullen) in La Crosse and I knew her courses were pretty straightforward. Secret was up first and the only part of this course that I really gave thought to was the opening with the weaves. I knew I could lead out and get the weaves with me on the right, but I also knew that would be demotivating. I ended up with a plan that I didn't see anyone else do, but I stuck to it. I started on the left and stayed on the left while Secret was in the weaves. I kept running ahead of her so that I was almost on top of the number 13 jump when she finished, then I pushed right and ran around the top of 4 and to the a-frame. It worked, and it kept Secret happy.

She face-planted in the dirt after the double at 11 for some reason, but picked herself up and carried on to the dog walk -- where she had a very nice contact (hooray!). I sent over 13, picked her back up for 14 and then took off for the teeter -- and totally failed to support 15... Secret had landed long from 14 and wasn't able to catch her self in time for 15, especially when I'd failed to actually indicate it, so she ran just to the inside of the jump. "Aw crap," I said to myself, and just kept going. I probably should have said something while Secret was in the last tunnel because she came out heading in the wrong direction and spun around looking for me, then ran for home when she spotted me. It was a nice run, just that darn failure on my part.

Kaiser was hot to trot yesterday and had ants in his pants. He was so eager for his turn that he kept trying to leave the crating area on me before I had any of his stuff on. I did opt for the lead out with Kaiser and it worked, but I peeled off the weaves early in anticipation of trying to get in a cross before the a-frame and Kaiser pulled out early. "Aw crap" again. From there it kind of went downhill in a spastic Klee Kai sort of way. lol I went for the blind cross between the jump and the a-frame, but all of that fun table work we've done made the table a huge draw and Kaiser went straight for it. Then, because he had no momentum on the a-frame, it's entirely possible that he got called on that, too (his sheet has many letters on it, I couldn't tell you exactly how it broke down...).

HOWEVER, here is where I get to tell you that the little man came running out of the chute, over the jump and NAILED the table! Highlight of our day right there! Good, good job little man. I think they were walking the course in the other ring when he was on the dog walk, causing a bit of distraction and he stopped high to look at them, then pretty much self-released to charge off to the next jump -- pretty sure he got that contact, though. He almost went through the weaves on his wide turn, but did call back and then I made sure he'd get the turn that Secret missed. After the teeter he shot to the right to take the off course finish jump and when I called him back to do the tunnel he decided to run around the back side of it. Okay... What a little goober he was, but he had fun.

Our day went pretty quickly, as I had to walk our JWW round almost immediately after running Std with Kaiser. It worked out well, though, as I'd worried that they'd be walking before I'd finished and that I'd miss out. Honestly, though, I don't think it would have mattered. Seriously, look at this course. Come on. I get so jealous of the fun courses that get posted online by friends -- courses with fun wraps and back sides and opportunity to try some fun handling. Why is it that I go to trials and always see stuff like this? Sigh. I want the fun stuff.

This opening allowed me to do a throw-n-go and run with Secret from the start. I started fairly far to the right to get ahead and easily got in a blind between 3 & 4. I actually got too far ahead and ended up having to wait for Secret, which is not ideal. As a result, she wasn't moving her fastest when she hit the weaves. Combine the already lagging speed with weaving into the wall and me not being able to run ahead and yeah... Those were some pretty slow weaves.

I put my blind in between 8 and 9 to get her chasing me again. Then I got a little stuck in that 11-13 pinwheel before being able to take off for the tunnel. I waited for Secret to come out of the tunnel and raced her to the finish. It was a clean run and a Q, but placed near the bottom of the pack of the 13 qualifying runs at 24". It was 7 speed points. Darn weaves. In Secret's defense, I also think she is overdue for a chiro adjustment, so I'll be trying to fit that in before the next trial.

I knew Kaiser would like this course. I led out to get that first front cross with him and then I hung back and opted for the rear cross at 10 to avoid pushing him off course. It worked and he had a lovely run with a time up there with all of the fast big dogs. This was his second Excellent JWW Q. Were he in Masters it would have been 19 speed points!

We were actually done and on the road at 12:30! Thankfully the roads were fine on the way home and it was a much more relaxing drive.

Kizzy came along for the ride, but I didn't end up getting her second VMO measurement. Things were just really crazy and busy and I didn't even see the measuring table anywhere. I decided it just wasn't worth it and figured we'll get it some other time.

Kizzy did manage to get herself a new harness this weekend, though. Sigh. I didn't have a ton of time after doing Kaiser's course walk for JWW, but I was going to try to get him and Kizzy out for a quick potty trip before running him to the arena. That is, until I went in to grab for Kizzy's harness and instead got a handful of chest. She gnawed right through the front of her harness. Dang dog...!

Lucky for us, Jason and the Best for Pets booth was set up right next to us. I scooped her up and hustled over there, asking what he had in mini-mini that would go with our existing (red) labels. Argh, why did I have to pick a label color that doesn't go with anything else? He didn't have any red in mini-mini and as I stood there contemplating if we could make mini work (I'm sure not, since we felt it was too big on Kaiser), I noticed a black harness on a top hook. Jason had thought that it was a baby harness, but someone had stuck it in the wrong spot and it was, indeed, a mini-mini. Score! That's mine! I bought it and then stuck Kizzy back in the crate (minus the harness) to go run Kaiser.

Her red harness had the smallest notch out of the front straps from a previous chewing episode, but that was months ago and I honestly thought we were past all of that. Unfortunately I guess this means that I have to go back to taking her harness off when left unsupervised in the crate.

It got up over 40 degrees today, but we've spent a very quiet day in the house. This morning Kizzy and Secret were outside playing and enjoying the nice weather. There was much chasing going on and I would bet that Secret got too rough and Kizzy told her to back off. I was standing there watching, just about to go make something to eat, when all of the sudden Secret pinned Kizzy against the fence and just started laying into her.

I ran outside in my slippers screaming for Secret to stop and she completely ignored me. That does not make me happy. I got about halfway across the yard when she finally stopped and Kizzy came running towards me just screaming her head off. I scooped her up and she continued screaming as I carried her into the house. There are no puncture wounds or other visible injuries, but her right leg is hurting her. It seems to be in her shoulder/bicep area. Nothing is broken because everything moves, but she definitely has a very tender spot and now, many hours later, she is still hesitant to put weight on it.

I took everyone outside a couple of hours ago to pick up the yard and then played frisbee with Secret and Luke to burn off some of that crazy excess energy. Normally Kizzy chases after Luke the whole time. She did try a couple of times and then remembered that she hurt, so then she pretty much sat in the snow and watched. A bit later when Secret & Kaiser were playing she seemed to forget that she hurt and tried to join in, but then when she saw Secret she instantly shut down.

Poor girl. She's been sleeping on my lap as I type this. I'm not sure how much of this is hurt feelings or really being hurt. She's been pretty clingy after some of the other scraps she's had with Secret, but this is the first time we've had any lingering injuries.  :o(  I'm hoping it passes soon, but I'm guessing she'll have to take it easy for a few days. We'll see how she is in the morning. She's a sad little Klee Kai right now.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I finally caught one of Kaiser & Kizzy's wrestling sessions on video the other morning. They do that literally every single morning I'm in the bathroom getting ready for work. And quite a bit all weekend long because we are all going stir-crazy.

This is not a good sign considering that today was "day one" of a stretch of weather where we are not expected to get above zero until Wednesday. Yesterday it got all the way up to like 28 (with a wind chill of about 15) so I made sure to get everyone out for a run while I had the chance. Running on the treadmill (by myself) has really given me a new appreciation for running outdoors (with the dogs). We all enjoyed ourselves and had a pretty quiet evening.

I'd hoped it would tide everyone over for at least a day, but no luck there. They have all been bonkers today and there has been much wrestling in the house. I took Kizzy downstairs to wear her out a bit and it helped for about an hour.

Ever since our little catching issue at the fun match I've made it my mission to get Kizzy to think of her harness as the BEST THING EVER and the road to all things wonderful. I take her into the basement when she is at her absolute highest and craziest and work on repeatedly asking for something, going crazy, putting on her harness (which took a little while at first) and then playing. I vary it up as much as I can and I think I've made a lot of progress. I also have been working on just having her settle and come to me for pets when she's high as a kite.

We have a few more weeks to keep working before Kizzy's next trial experience. And, umm... Here's where I admit what I did. lol  I decided to enter Secret & Kaiser in the AKC trial over in Oshkosh on Friday the 24th (there is a NADAC trial in La Crosse that weekend, so I knew I wanted Saturday & Sunday for that). Like most Friday AKC trials, they are only offering the Exc/Masters classes -- Except for FAST. They are offering all levels of FAST. And... errr.... I may have entered Kizzy. Aw hell, it's just going to be a free-for-all and a chance to get out and run in a ring. I realize that she has absolutely NO distance skills whatsoever. I spent a little time looking up Novice FAST courses online and most of them are quite basic, but some of them still required skills that I haven't broached on yet -- like, you know, rear crossing into a tunnel. lol

So Kizzy will have a busy time of it that weekend, as I'm planning on sticking her in a few runs both days at the NADAC trial as well. Luke will get to play with a friend of ours, as my trip over to Oshkosh limits my funds a bit and that's a win/win plan for all involved. He will love having so much attention! Maybe I'll stick Secret in another run if she's getting dragged along... She seemed to enjoy her one Regular run at the last NADAC trial. I want to be greedy and enter her in Chances, but I won't. I have no dreams of multiple NATCHs for her. But Kaiser.... It sure would be nice to pick up a Chances Q or two for the first time in lord knows how long.

Next Saturday we get to play AKC in Cannon Falls! Blessedly the cold spell is supposed to break and the forecast currently calls for 30 degrees on Saturday. That will feel like a day at the beach after this week! I have thought about leaving Kizzy at home for this one, but there is another VMO present at this trial and it would be nice to get her height card out of the way.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday, Luke!

Yes, right on the heels of Kaiser's birthday, but happy TENTH birthday to the big black dog! Luke hit double-digits today! Diagnosed with Addison's Disease in 2009 and doing as awesome as he ever has. Luke thinks that posing for pictures is about the worst thing in the world, so I was pleased as punch to get a nice shot out of him.  :o)  Thankfully it was dinner time, so my repeated murmurs of "Dinner?" got him to perk his ears up for me. You know he's miserable when "frisbee" doesn't even do the trick. lol

So Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Luke!

The weather behaved (aside from being freaking cold still) and we were able to make the drive over to Oshkosh to play at the fun match. It's a nice little drive on all two-lane roads, which is kind of a nice change-up from the boring Interstate driving that I always have to do to get to trials. And despite it being a 2.5 hour drive each way, thanks to the lower speeds and lower mileage, it sucked up a lot less gas than usual, too! That will be another nice bonus to going to the Oshkosh Kennel Club for trials in the future.

It's small, but it sounds like their trials stay fairly small, too, and crating doesn't get too bad. There was obviously plenty of room today, although the fun match was pretty well-populated. I counted about 40 dogs on the run sheet for the first run and a few less on the second. Considering that every dog got two full minutes in the ring, it ended up going a bit longer than I'd planned/hoped for. We rolled in shortly after noon, the run-through started at 1:00 p.m. and we left a bit after four, getting us home at about 6:45 p.m. I was hoping to not have to drive home in the dark, but we "only" saw three deer, so it could have been worse. That's the one downside to that drive -- the entire trip is deer country!

The course we ran is shown above, with the modifications they made drawn in by me. Instead of the pinwheel after the jump under the dog walk they had us run across the arena into a tunnel and back across the top of the arena. Other than that it was pretty similar to what you see. The teeter was aimed more at the weaves, though, and the jump after the weaves was much more of a back-side than what is pictured.

Secret ran GREAT at this facility! I was very happy with her speed and enthusiasm on both runs. She was fast enough that we got through the course twice during each of our turns, including stopping to reward several times. I was using one of our new food-stuffable tug toys from Clean Run and while Secret was happy to tug it while waiting our turn, I appeased her and fed her pieces of food from it during our runs. This worked for her and she stayed happy and up. Her fastest parts each time were the sequences following the table -- she just rip-roared through that section and thought it was lots of fun.

We got in lots of blind cross practice. Blind cross before the teeter, after sending to the back side after the weaves, between a-frame and table and I even threw in a fun little blind cross while she was on the dog walk. Her dog walks today were, by the way, vastly improved. That was nice to see. She could have been naughty on those blinds, but she wasn't.

Kaiser was kind of hesitant on his first run for some reason. Part of it seemed to be that he was trying to get a feel for the floor, but I have no explanation for his creepy teeter. Hmm. No idea what that was about, but he got over it. His second turn was much more confident and he was a zippy little boy. Lots of good dog walks from him today and I also threw in an unnecessary rear cross at the weaves just to test him. He also nailed each one of his tables and he was coming at it with pretty good speed, too! Maybe we're catching on there!

Kizzy did great, too! She did awesome on the new equipment, which thrills me to no end. This was a quick/light teeter and that seemed to take her by surprise at first, but we finished up our first round by doing it several times and she was fine with it. Tunnels were a bit tricky on the first turn, with her coming back out of the entrance of each one. On her second turn she was fine with them, though.

The weaves weren't perfect, but she did do a full set of 12 on each turn. I actually didn't get a chance to go back to them in the first round, but I was going to finish there on the second round. Kizzy was very distracted, and I soon found out why.... They called time on me and Kizzy shot off to the far back corner of the ring and squatted. Oops. Poor girl, maybe I should have taken her outside again... I should have grabbed her while she was pooping, but I didn't figure that would be a very good experience for her -- and then I spent the next couple of minutes trying to catch her again. Sigh. That was probably our biggest issue today, as in her first run I was having problems getting her and then they had the next dog start. I don't think they realized that I didn't have Kizzy yet and she took off to go say hi to the dog -- it was a Doberman running at 12", but thankfully it's handler was quick and grabbed it's collar as Kizzy went to sniff it's butt. I think this issue is just going to take some time.... But it's probably something that will keep me from wanting to stick her in an AKC trial any time soon. I might have to look at doing some drop-ins at an upcoming class at FDC just to get her some experience at working and then being caught. I've also considered putting her harness on before each meal, but she likes her harness and I don't think that's necessarily the issue. She just doesn't want the fun to stop. Ever.

It was a very nice group of people in Oshkosh. I knew several of them from their trips to the AKC trials in La Crosse, so it was nice to see some familiar faces -- though I was still too gutless to ask anyone to video.  :o(

The bad news of the day is that I'm pretty sure my other set of wheel bearings are finally going on me. Ugh. I need to sit down and do some serious thinking as to whether or not it's worth it to replace another set or if I need to bite the bullet and replace my vehicle (with a van!). The sad part is that I think I really need to look for a part time job if I'm going to take on a car payment, and that is like the last thing I want to do. Or give up trialing -- and okay, THAT'S the last thing I want to do.