Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's on the SHOW SIDE!!!

Arghhh.  This morning I realized that the leg they shaved yesterday for Sam's IV is on the show side!  Why does this matter?  Because also yesterday I got confirmation of his veterans entries for the National - 25 days away now.  How fast does leg hair grow???

Pardon the dirty feet - it's spring in the land of red clay.  Note the super short toenails though.  I had the vet do them while he was under and gave her instructions for "Doberman" nails. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Poor Sammy

Sammy spent the day with Dr. Hillary today.  His tear ducts needed flushing and while he was under (the first time he's had any procedure done since I got him nearly 8 years ago) I had her check his teeth too.  His teeth are actually in good shape for a nearly 12 year old but there was some routine maintenance that needed to be done. He had a couple of fractured incisors and one fractured pre-molar - all on the right side.  So I guess we know which side he chews on.  All 3 teeth were pulled.  Oh and she did his toe nails too - Doberman short :)

So tonight my man isn't feeling too good.  He's had pain meds and ice cream (the doctor said soft food) and lots of water.  I'll soak his kibble into mush before I feed him.  There's a crate set up in the living room so he can hang with the family but do it in a man cave, out of the way.  I'm going to go lie on the floor with him for a bit too.

Poor old man.  Getting old sucks.

She Got the Broad Jump

Where to begin....

Saturday morning I got up, had breakfast, loaded the car and took off on the 2 hour drive to Woodbridge.  I arrived at the show site only to find that this was an organized, well-run trial and I had missed my JWW class - by probably 40 minutes.  Arghhhhh!  Fortunately, Taryn, Wilson and Jimmy from A Tail of Two Cardis were there so we had someone to hang with.  Our STD class was ok - still some refusals but she did take and clear the broad jump.  Apparently the pit on the other side of it was covered at this trial :)

Also there was Aggie DeLaGarza.  Aggie is a Cardi person but she is also JMB (Joint Master of Bassetts) for Ashland Bassetts.  In VA, hunting with hounds is the norm.  Most folks know of fox hunting and, in some parts of the country, beagling is popular.  In VA there is also Bassetting.  Bassetts hunt rabbit and the field is on foot.  For a great on-line article go here.  No, they don't look anything like the Bassetts you see in the show ring.  Anyway, I talked with Aggie about the possibility of "capping in" next fall when they start hunting again.  What that means is that for a small fee, a non-member of Ashland Bassetts can attend a hunt.  I'm so excited!  She also invited me to walk-out hounds this summer.  That's the summer exercise program for hounds - early in the day, before the heat, you walk the pack as a whole.  It's not about hunting, it's about exercise and teaching the pack to move together.  It's also the first step for puppies to enter the pack - they have to be walked out.  So it's possible I will have a busy summer learning about another dog sport.

Sunday I was up and on the road at 0' dark thirty so I wouldn't miss my JWW class again.  We got there in plenty of time and had a decent run - 2 refusals but way over course time so no Q.  We lost a lot of time at the weaves so I know that's something that still needs work.  The excellent news is that she is jumping clean at 12".  Taryn even commented on how nice her jumping form is.  STD was a disaster.  Ra doesn't like noise and the horse barn was incredibly noisy.  I thought she was handling it ok but, when we got into the ring her eyes went wild and I lost my dog.  She blew by the first obstacle (tire), I pulled her back and sent her through it.  The 2nd obstacle was the dog walk, she blew by that, I called her back and sent her to it again and she wandered off, head in the air, sniffing and just generally not seeing or hearing anything.  So I thanked the judge and called her off.  Oh well.  Given her noise issues, she may never be a good indoor trial dog and that's ok.  I like outdoor trials better anyway.

It's rainy and foggy this morning but by the end of the week we are supposed to be in the low 80s for temps.  Yay!  Thursday is our first outside agility class of the season.  It will be nice to have a full-sized ring and all the equipment again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

Geez, it's been over 10 days since I last posted.  Georgia has moved on to Maryland - Bogey was devastated - and her new mom tells me she walked in the house like she owned it, hasn't had an accident, gets on with the other resident dogs and is perfectly happy to entertain herself if no one wants to play.  The Chesapeake Cardigan Club is having a B match this weekend so Georgia will make her "show" debut there.  I can't wait to hear how she does.

I won't be at the Chesapeake club meeting because Moira is entered in her second agility trial this weekend.  We will be about 2 hours north in Woodbridge, VA.  This trial is being held at another horse arena; this time a fully enclosed one.  Hopefully, Moira will be ok with that.  She can be a little odd about new places, especially ones where the sound moves oddly - as can happen in big, open buildings like that.  We haven't practiced a lot since the last trial due to my work schedule, a bad, bad cold and a cancelled agility class.  We did go to class on Wednesday and she did pretty well.  Although she was feeling her oats a bit and decided to completely blow me off at one point in favor of running to our instructor who was sitting next to the tasty, super-high value meatballs.  I even got woofed when I called her back - very impertinent!

Monday Mr. Sam goes to the vet for some minor surgery.  All winter we've been fighting goopy eyes and red, irritated skin around his eyes.  It would get better and then it would get worse.  He was on antibiotics for something else and that cleared everything up.  When the antibiotics were done, it came back.  We finally figured out two weeks ago that his tear ducts are clogged.  The red, raw irritated skin around the eyes is from the skin being wet all the time with the tears that aren't draining away properly.  So Monday he is having his tear ducts flushed out.  Hopefully, this will do the trick and it won't be an issue again but because it's been going on so long, there's a chance that the ducts are scarred now and will never drain properly.  In which case, I will just have to take extra care with his eyes - wiping them 2x a day with a warm, wet wash cloth.

Updates over the weekend on Moira's trial.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Puppy Breath

This weekend I drove down to NC to see the most recent Sam litter.  What a pleasure!  This litter turned out to be quite nice.  The 3 girls are all show quality and incredibly consistent.  The 2 boys are fluffs but incredibly cute - and available if you are interested!  Liz has 2 litters right now that are ready to go.  All the pups had the most wonderful, solid, outgoing personalities/temperaments.  One of the girls, Georgia, made the ride back to VA with me.  She won't be staying here, she'll be moving on to her final home in MD this week but her visit is giving us a reminder of what having a puppy is like.  Mr. B just adores her and has been playing with her all night.  He absolutely dwarfs her (no pun intended) but plays so gently that we're not a bit worried that he will hurt her.

Here are some pics from the weekend.  No stacked shots, all just fun ones.

The available puppy boys, Luke and Johnny.

Two of the girls practicing their mud wrestling moves

Georgia getting a drink and taking a foot bath.

Georgia and her big brother, Bogey, playing tug.

Georgia playing w/Mr. Duck

Lilly - Good night all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So, I put Moira and Bogey out tonight after they ate.  For a change, Moira was being quiet.  I started reading a book, watching TV and doing laundry (yes, I'm an excellent multi-tasker).  Moira was still being quiet.  I was engrossed in my activities and didn't realize it was raining.  Moira was still being quiet.  I suddenly realize, it's raining really hard.  Oh crap!  Moira and Bogey are still outside!

I ran to the back door and beheld two very soggy dogs staring at the door trying desperately to open it through the power of their minds.  I locked up Sam and Gin and brought the baby dogs in the house.

Have I mentioned that Bogey has a rather luxurious coat?  The length is correct but there is scads of it, it's wavy like Sam's and it's very soft.  Do you know what happens to a coat like that when the humidity is high?  Immediate puppy afro!  He looks 3x his normal size.  Understanding House Mate is at a meeting tonight so she hasn't seen her baby boy yet.


PS - I'm grateful that the baby dogs chose to stay on the deck rather than run around in the red clay mud pit that is now the back yard.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 2 and a Q for Pu!

Moira got her first agility Q!  It was the last class of the entire trial, Nov A, 12" JWW.  We had a few faults; a refusal and slightly over time but her score was still an 88 so it's a Q.

We didn't arrive until around 12:30 today and still didn't run until after 3pm.  I think that helped her relax and realize that this isn't always going to be an exhausting, all day event.  For standard I chose to just do half the course and then run out.  There were some challenges in the first 6 obstacles that she had expressed concern over yesterday so I wanted to be sure we kept it all fun.

JWW was a nice, flowing course.  The only real challenge was off-side weaves (every course this weekend had them so, it's nice that she is ok w/weaving from either side).  She actually made the entry the first time but pulled out to come back to me.  So I sent her in again and she got them the second time with no trouble.

Here's a couple pictures from today.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 1: No Q for Pu

We are finally home from Day 1 of Moira's first agility trial. It was, to say the least, a LONG day. We got there around 7:30, got measured around 7:45 (11.75" by both measuring judges so we have a permanent card now) and then we waited, and waited, and waited....

Novice didn't start until nearly 3:30pm. Our standard run was pretty much what I expected; lots of off courses as Moira finally realized why we were there and got some yahoos out. She was happy though and I kept it light and happy. I think it was, overall, a good experience for her. I was very pleased that even when she was going off course and losing connection w/me she would come back when called. For a dog that a year ago was not reliable off-leash, that is a huge accomplishment.

Jumpers didn't get started until nearly 5pm. No Q there - again, lots of off courses but she did get the weaves on the 3rd try so I was thrilled with that. She was also very, very fast so I know she was having a good time.

We are entered again tomorrow but I won't bother driving over until noon at the earliest. It's hard on both of us to wait all day. So I will have a leisurely morning at home, indulging in my favorite weekend breakfast (bacon and grits), and doing some of my weekend chores. Moira will get to hang out with Sam, Gin and Bogey and relax until it's time to go.

Now, off to change clothes and set myself up in the living room with a heating pad on my lower back. All that standing has tightened everything up. Getting older sucks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Today our wonderful vet, Dr. Hillary, made a house call to perform acupuncture on Sam. Sam has had acupuncture treatments on and off since last winter and, I think, he responds very well to them. Today Dr. Hillary did something a little different though. She tried electro-acupuncture on Sam. Basically, she inserted all the needles and then attached a machine to the needles that sends a very low voltage of electrical stimulation through the needles. It is supposed to enhance the treatment and actually make the results last longer. Sam must have thought it was feeling pretty good because after about 5 minutes he lied down and rolled over on his back with a groan. Unfortunately, that caused all the needles to be dislodged. He seems to be feeling pretty good tonight so we'll have to see how long this lasts.

Moira got to have a few needles as well. Moira's needles were aimed at helping take the edge off. She can be pretty intense and a bit high-strung. I have to say, I think they worked like a charm. She has been so quiet and relaxed tonight.

Ginny got some attention too - no needles, just loves and belly rubs. We did notice she has a small lump near one nipple though. About 7 years ago Gin had benign mammary adenomas removed. One was very involved in the mammary gland and they ended up removing the entire nipple. I try to give Gin a breast examine every month. The lump we found today is small but will bear watching. If it starts growing and/or changing, Miss Gin will need to go in for a lumpectomy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Masculine Contours

Lately, Sam has taken to expressing his displeasure in a most disgusting way. He's marking in the house. I know it's not a physical illness because when and where he marks are very predictable. He marks when he's left in the house while I take other dogs outside. He marks when I take Moira to agility and he's home with Understanding Housemate (who really earns the title on this one). Basically, he's marking when he feels he is not being treated as the center of the Universe. Save me from crotchety old men.

He's earned himself a new piece of apparel to combat this issue; a belly band. His is a stylish and reasonably masculine model in faded denim and he wore it for the first time this weekend - after I finished laughing hysterically over the directions for use.

The directions started off just fine - remove from package, wash first with the Velcro closure closed, use the brand name absorbent pad and place it over the mesh area on the inside of the band ( I cheated and used a human incontinence pad) and then things got a little strange. The next portion of the directions indicated how to place the band around your dog's midsection - being sure to cover his "masculine contours." What? His WHAT? There are probably a million euphemisms for that particular piece of male anatomy - my personal favorite is wenus - but MASCULINE CONTOURS????

Once I finished cackling, I carefully wrapped the band around Sam's mid-section - being sure to cover his masculine contours - and turned him loose. Several hours later, when I removed the band I discovered it had done it's job. Guess the directions were right.