Monday, July 14, 2014

Paranoia/Peace of mind

Ever since a fellow Klee Kai owner shared with me that the clip on her dog's Julius K9 harness just up and popped off one day, I have been EXTREMELY paranoid about Kizzy's harness. I admit that I have looked at it in the past and wondered, "Hmm, what if that ring ever popped off," but it was in the very back of my mind and I didn't actually think it would happen.

And then I heard that it HAD happened. To a Klee Kai. Fortunately to a Klee Kai that is very well trained and nothing bad came of it. And while Kizzy is surely a million light years ahead of where she was when she arrived a year ago, I still consider her a flight risk. If that silly little ring did just up and pop off during a walk one day, I honestly couldn't tell you what would happen. Probably depends on the day and circumstances, I suppose.

My paranoia hit an all-time high upon hearing of the failure of one of these JK9 harnesses and I immediately started walking Kizzy on two leashes again. Well that's not super fun, as I already had four leashes in hand to begin with.

What about a coupler, I thought? Hmm, that could work. I could attach one end to the harness and one end to her collar while only having to attach one leash. Sweet! I casually glanced among the collar & leashes when I worked last week but never saw anything. I was quickly growing tired of the extra leash thing, though, so I looked harder when I worked on Saturday (and since I was working Service, I actually had opportunity to do so). Bingo! Found one!

This morning was the first time trying out the new rig. I'm surprised I didn't think of this sooner! While obviously any of the harnesses could theoretically fail on me, Kizzy is the only one I really worry about, so I don't expect to go out and buy stock in couplers any time soon. I pretty much instantly felt more at ease on our walk this morning.

The coupler was too short to knot one end, so initially it appeared that the strap furthest away (attached to the collar) would end up carrying the most weight -- obviously not ideal and completely voiding the purpose of using a harness. I sat in the garage and fiddled a bit this morning (brain power at 5:30 a.m., that's asking a lot...) when I had the brilliant idea of clipping the coupler ring to the harness ring via the leash clip and then having the extra strap attached to the collar. As you can see by the first picture up there, this was pretty brilliant and worked out just swell. Additionally, the stabilization of the coupler ring resulted in no bouncing, clinking or jingling noises, which is pretty much perfect.

This set-up probably wouldn't work on one of the big dogs, but it will be perfect for Kizzy! And I'll stop having a panic attack when we see a bunny and she starts scrambling towards it....

Not just entirely due to the ring failure issue noted above, but I just ordered new harnesses for the crew this morning. We are trying "The Original Fleece-Lined Harness" from Clean Run. Many people have praised the Walkeeze harness, but Clean Run said they have stopped carrying them due to a decrease in quality that they've noted recently. According to the list owner, Monica, the Walkeeze was based on The Original harness. Clean Run has a limited supply of Walkeeze harnesses remaining, but unfortunately none of mine fit into a size 0 (for $20!!), so we had to go with The Original for everyone.

I do love the Julius K9 harnesses for so many reasons and will likely continue to use them at trials due to their excessively easy on/off nature, but assuming they fit well I plan on transitioning to the new harnesses for walking. Secret has a completely bare patch on the bottom of her chest, which I can only surmise was caused by rubbing from the nylon strap of the JK9. Kaiser's harness has ALWAYS pulled to the side on walks, so I'm hoping the design of The Original is better for him. Kizzy hasn't experienced any problems with the JK9 -- there's just that ring paranoia now -- but I will likely continue the coupler thing with the new harness, too, just for safety measures. Secret gets pink, Kizzy gets purple, and Kaiser gets royal blue.  :o)  Luke thinks harnesses are stupid, so he gets to keep his collar.

Luke was his own source of paranoia for me recently. He checked out fit as a fiddle at his wellness exam back in May, but then a few weeks ago I found a lump on his underside, around the bottom of his rib cage. It was squishy, not attached to anything, and didn't seem to bother him. My gut told me it was quite likely just a fatty lipoma, but my head wasn't going to let me stop at that without having it checked out.

I brought Luke along to Kizzy's wellness visit this past Thursday and thankfully my vet was able to confirm that it is, indeed, a lipoma. The first of Luke's "old man" lumps. My vet said most labs of Luke's age usually have several by now and that if Luke carried an extra 10 lbs on his frame I probably wouldn't have even found it. In other words, "no big deal." He said if it gets big enough that it bothers me we can have it removed, but it shouldn't ever cause any problems for Luke. It's always a relief to get good news.

The dogs are in for a pretty cruddy week. I'm working at Petco for the next three nights, so they are going to get no activity this week aside from the morning walk (which I must commit to for that very reason....). Then come Thursday nobody gets to do anything fun because that's my rule for the day before a trial.  :o)  That means everyone should be good and psychotic come Friday!

We are running AKC on Friday and Saturday, and then coming home to play NADAC on Sunday. Yes, I'm nuts. Ultimately I'm doing it because I want to get Kizzy in the ring again (not sure why, considering we haven't been training agility lately whatsoever!). She gets to try Jumpers and Tunnelers this time. Luke will get to run as well, and Kaiser gets to take advantage of the free day I won at the last trial. Two days of agility is enough for Secret, so she will be off on Sunday. I am going to be so tired on Monday -- when I believe I'm down to work at Petco again.

I did a last-minute entry for Kizzy for the AKC trial in La Crosse. IF they have the trial (the first weekend of August), it will be very, very, very small. I figured if it's going to be that small, why not enter the crazy one in JWW. The trial may still get canceled, but I haven't heard anything yet -- but nor have I gotten a confirmation for Kizzy, so.... Hopefully we hear soon because if that trial gets canceled I have to figure what I'm doing for August.

I'm looking forward to running the ISC classes on Friday. Unfortunately not many other people felt that way about entering these classes. Out of 130 Master entries, only 38 dogs are running in the ISC Jumpers class (36 in Standard). I'm disappointed to see that, because I'd like for this type of class to take off and go somewhere! It's also disappointing that they stuck the ISC classes at the end of the day, following the Open and Novice classes. Had they placed them immediately following the Master classes, at least then there's a chance that more Master handlers would have stuck around to check them out and maybe entered next time if they thought it looked like fun. But seriously, it was $10 to enter both classes (that's $10 for two, not $10 each) -- why would you pass that up? Not me! I can't wait.

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