Sunday, September 25, 2011

Poor Rylie

Earlier this week Rylie woke up in the middle of the night.  When I went to let him out he had already peed in his crate.  This is the second time in a month or so that it had happened and I am pretty convinced he was sleeping when he actually peed.  He was soaking wet  both times when I went to let him out and I'm a pretty light sleeper so I think I would have heard him had he woken up and asked to go out.  After the first time we had been very careful about making sure he actually peed on his last outing before bed so I figured that a vet visit would be in order.  It turns out that Rylie has a UTI complete with crystals in his urine.  The only other "symptom" he had which I didn't think too out of the ordinary until he stopped doing it was lately as soon as we got up in the morning he would ask to go out.  My food hounds had always insisted on breakfast first.  After a couple of days of antibiotics I try and let him out first thing in the morning and he looks at me like I've lost my mind.

We went to an agility trial yesterday and Rylie ran by ALL of the contacts (dog walk, A-frame, and teeter).  This is very unusual for him because they are normally his favourite obstacles.  I initially put it down to being a baby dog and nerves on his part but a fellow competitor watched one of his runs and asked if he could have a sore back.  Her dog will refuse contacts when his back is sore.  After she mentioned that I felt bad for calling him back to do each of the contacts (which he did do on the second pass) because I suppose a UTI could cause back pain.  Also he had had a chiropractic adjustment to his shoulder on Friday so it might have been a bit tender.

I think I'm going to limit his activity until our class on Wednesday.  By then he should be feeling 100% better from the UTI and if he still hesitates (he's pretty unlikely to refuse outright in a familiar environment) I'll take him back to the chiropractor.

Max did well in both of his runs but we are running into challenges that show what we need to train so we didn't get any Q's.  Last week we had done a lot of sending to tunnels and building value for the tunnels at home because nine times out of ten I will have to send him to a tunnel in the gamble.  I built so much value for the tunnel apparently that when faced with the choice between tunnel and aflame or tunnel and dog walk he consistently chose the tunnel even though I think I was pretty clear what I was asking for!  Next training challenge will be to work on obstacle discrimination!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

CFSO Picnic

We attended the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern  Ontario picnic today.  What's better than a yard full of Cavaliers?  Why new snoods of course!  Thank you Mary Beth.  Mom also won an awesome prize in the raffle.  It was a good day all around.

We were at an agility trial this weekend.  Rylie was in his first standard runs and ran awesome - although I can see that maintaining criteria for him will be important.  This was the most relaxed and "himself" I've seen him in a trial.

My handling skills (or lack thereof) are just not doing Max justice.  I have a plan of action to work on handling because I better get it together before Rylie moves up.  While Max is more forgiving of my bobbles Rylie expects clear concise and TIMELY direction from me.  If it's not forthcoming he'll make his own choices.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Joint Supplements

I have been giving my guys Sasha's Blend joint supplement since I took Max to Say Yes puppy camp when he was about 15 months old.  I will confess that my reason for using it was very unscientific.  Susan Garrett uses it for her dogs from the time they are puppies.  Even though my vet felt there was no evidence that using a supplement preventatively will do any good he also didn't think it would do any harm.  I ask my dogs to do a lot of jumping and I want to keep them them healthy.  I use this instead of the glucosamine chondroitin that I had been giving them.  Of course it seemed only fair to give it to Mindy as well (she was 11 1/2 and although she didn't show any symptoms of stiffness or pain I figured it wouldn't hurt).  When I ran out of the first batch I didn't reorder right away.  What I noticed was that Mindy was a bit slower to get up out of bed and didn't move with quite as much pep.  That sold me on using the Sasha's blend and I've used it ever since.

About a year ago I complained to my chiropractor of having a sore big toe.  He told me I was probably of an age that taking a glucosamine supplement would be helpful (and yes he said it exactly like that - no beating around the bush from him!).  I did and I did find it helped.  One day when I was on the website to order my Sasha's blend I noticed the company made a human joint supplement.  I decided to live on the wild side and ordered some.  Within two weeks of taking the Joint XL the pain in my toe had totally disappeared and I was able to reduce the amount I took.    Of course with no pain I sometimes forget to take it ;-) and I get reminded soon enough of why I'm taking it in the first place.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Trial Weekend

This was the first trial where I ran both dogs three runs a day.  I think Rylie is FAR FAR happier being able to do more than one run.

Saturday was VERY hot.  I got to use my brand new silver shade sheets.  Man do they work well.  I covered my mini up with the sheets, left the windows and doors open and it was so pleasant inside with the dogs crate fans going that I didn't even bother putting up the shade tent.

I put Rylie in steeplechase which was the first event of the day.  He knocked a bar which surprised me so much we missed a jump but it was a nice run anyway.  Both dogs were in advanced gamblers.  Both of their contacts were really good but neither got the final gamble.  I have to work at sending them when I am stationary.  I can't remember much about their jumpers runs but I was happy with their speed and focus.  I made a handling error that caused Max to back jump a jump.

Today Rylie's steeplechase was really good but Travis was there and because he is still a bit nervous  he decided to go visiting twice.  Even with that we were clean and just a couple of seconds over time.  His weave entries were awesome and his 2o2o aflame was really good.  Next was gamblers.  After Rylie and I argued about the course yesterday I decided to let him do the dog walk and we were all happy.  He got the final gamble which amazed me because it was tough and we don't have directionals.  Max did well in gamblers as well but I couldn't send him to the tunnel which was the fourth obstacle.  Max ran a lovely snookers run and that Q gave him his Starters Game Dog title.  His jumpers run was lovely but the course I sent him on wasn't quite the course the judge set and we threw in an extra tunnel.  Rylie was a very good boy in his jumpers and got a Q there as well.

Tomorrow we have half day seminars for both dogs.  Looking forward to it.