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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Drum Roll Please.....

We did it! Still can't believe it! Blast & I qualified to go to Nationals! It wasn't pretty, but we actually finished with 423 points I think!

I really didn't think I would qualify with Blast or Bizzie & was disappointed not to be running my steady guy Boo, so it was a huge surprise to me that we made it. Anyone who knows Blast will understand that it's been a difficult road for us - although he tries hard, he is so easily distracted I have to try to keep him with me the entire run. The only faults he had on Sunday were time faults, incurred by running to the fence to check out the dog who was barking, etc. What a good boy - I'm so proud of him.

Bizzie didn't quite make it - one off course too many. She was not running well at all & I could tell she wasn't feeling good. I finally took her to the chiropractor on Sunday & she had a huge adjustment (jaw, neck, shoulder, mid back & pelvis). I did have her adjusted before we left but it was a minor adjustment, so not sure what happened in between. Between that & really soaking her down to cool her off, she finally started to run in gamblers - did 14 obstacles, but got distracted in the final gamble by the spectators & dogs ... too bad since it was a gamble she could have done. Anyhow, it's OK, she's still fairly inexperienced & I didn't expect her to qualify.

We did have a great time, the courses were not easy, the judges were great, & it was wonderful to see some friends have great successes!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off to Regionals

Well, we're off to Regionals this week. It will seem odd to not be running Boo this year, but I'm now sure that I made the right decision. I was worried about running 3 dogs, so now I'm down to 2 dogs, which will be plenty. This is their first Regionals, so I don't have high expectations, we're just there to have fun.

I had Bizzie at the chiropractor today (another adjustment) so hopefully she's feeling better.

While I was there, I had Catharine look at Boo's Xrays & she did confirm what my other vet told me. She also thought he had some involvement in his neck. Although I feel better about my decision, it still seems unfair that such a young dog should have his career end so early. But as I wrote before, he's first a pet, then an agility dog, so now he gets to live a life of leisure! Well, he's also the fun police when the other dogs get too unruly playing!

I sure hope the weather cooperates... it's been so cold & rainy this spring, we've hardly had any chance to practice outdoors. Anyhow, wish us luck & hope the courses aren't too daunting!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tough Decision

This post is about my little guy Boo. He just turned 6 last month. I got him at 9 months & he was not the easiest dog to train. He was a show dog but didn't have the best nature & was dismissed from the ring for growling at the judge, etc. He knew nothing when I got him, & he was very spoiled. He was probably not the best candidate for your first agility dog!
We worked a long time together before things started to mesh... he would only do a couple of obstacles, then leave or refuse to do anything. He was very slow & velcro & wouldn't leave my side. Then at the end of the run, I could never catch him. Slowly things started to come together. We went to 4 AAC Nationals together... the first year we didn't qualify at Regionals, so we drove out to BC to volunteer, & I entered Boo in Steeplechase - he won his division! Huge surprise!
Then the next year we qualified to go to Nationals, so we went to Ontario & he came 3rd overall in his division. Another huge surprise! He also won the Steeplechase final for the 6" dogs! Money & everything!
I won't bore you with all the details, but the next 2 Nationals he placed 4th & 7th & finally got some gambles. He has since become a pretty good little gambler!

Boo has always hated the teeter & I always suspected that the jolt at the end jarred his back. He would always do it in training (when the treats trumped the pain) but not in trials.
I did start taking him to a chiropractor, who adjusted his back, & he seemed to run quite well.
Last week his back seemed to be really sore & he started screaming when we picked him up, etc. Off to the vet we went. After xrays & much poking & prodding, we determined that he has a protruded disk in his middle back. He's on crate rest right now, as well as muscle relaxants & medicam, so he's feeling much better. The vet explained that he could probably still feel well enough to run agility, but if he had a jar to his back, more disk could leak out & there would be a possiblity of paralysis. I just couldn't see us having fun running courses anymore if I was worrying & he was hurting, so I made the tough decision to retire him from agility. He may still run the odd jumpers course if I feel he's really itching to get out there, but otherwise he's done - no more teeters for the little guy. With AAC Nationals here in Calgary this year, it was disappointing to not be able to run him here if we qualified, but it's just a game & he is first & foremost my pet Boo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Weird, The Worriesome, & the Wacko

The Weird - I left the house for a bit yesterday & crated the dogs as I always do. (We just got Critter back after her maternity leave.)
When I came home, I let the dogs out & Critter was crying in her crate, kind of sitting with her front paws in front of her. I encouraged her to come out & she couldn't walk... Everytime she tried to walk, her front legs sort of collapsed & she went down on her face. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, but I was really concerned. I put her on the couch on her back to try to assess the problem & finally realized that she had her two front dew claws hooked together! Don't know how she did it, but of course everytime she tried to pull them apart, it hurt. Anyhow, we got them unhooked & she's just fine, but isn't that weird!

The Worriesome - I thought Boo was a little sore on sunday morning, so I didn't take him out to our CAA practice. He's had some chiropractic adjustments on his back, so I thought I'd make him an appt for this week. But yesterday, when I went to pick him up he just screamed & was shaking - he was definately in a lot of pain. I took him to the vet & his mid back & hip are both extremely painful. He's on crate rest for 2 wks, as well as Medicam. I'm having him Xrayed on Thurs, so hopefully it's not a disk problem. Keep your fingers crossed. With Regionals in less than 3 wks, I'm quite concerned he won't be able to run.

The Wacko - well, that's just Blast! Lovable as ever, but he sure has his quirks!