27 September 2010

Another short point by point post.

The seminar with Ria went well, I learned a bit, most people learned a bunch.

Drifter's hamstring is *good* but he was a bit stiff all over. Guess that's what happens when you can't do any normal exercising for several weeks. He's cleared for off leash hiking and increased ball work.

Drifter turned 8 on Saturday. Hard to believe. I feel that he should be both 4 and 12 years old, like he's been running forever with me, but he's still ready to be in his prime, still not quite mature. While we've never been awful, it's been a bit of a long road to find consistency with him, and I feel like we've still got more to do to finish our career.

And on that note, last Monday my regular vet heard a heart murmur while doing a quick listen to Drifter, and so Thursday I saw a cardiologist. He had an echocardiogram (ultrasound) done, and he has developed slight thickening of both the mitral and bicuspid valves. So far, there is a bit of leakage but no enlargement of any chambers, and he is pretty asymptomatic, I mean, he hacks/coughs maybe once every week or two, and doesn't seem to be overexerting himself any more than usual. Anyway, he needs a chest x-ray every 6 months and so far is on no medication. I did order all the good heart supplements I could research over the weekend. Sigh. It's always something, no?

I am seriously considering applying for the WAO team. It sounds like it shouldn't be a conflict of interest for the AKC Team, so assuming Drifter stays healthy, I could attend Tryouts, then fly out to England if I made the team, with no negative consequences except to my wallet.

Speaking of my wallet, I put in my 2 weeks notice at work. Our new manager, not nearly as personable as the last, and his new stiffer policies added to me needing extra time to myself to condition and train myself and dogs, plus I need to begin packing and cleaning for our move (don't know when yet, waiting for zoning to clear for training building before we buy). So I am relying on teaching money from here on out. I have a lot of things waiting to be scheduled so I'm hopeful I'll be alright, but I'm strongly considering cutting USDAA out of my schedule for next year to save money, since I'll be focusing heavily on AKC World Team anyway... we'll see.

No picture today, sorry. I'm off to bed now. This was a heavy hitting entry, no?

18 September 2010

Drifter's healing well from his hamstring strain. He's up to 2 twenty-minute leash walks every day, and tomorrow we're going to attempt a leashed 45-min hike to see how he does with a bit more elevation change. I can see he's still unstable when he steps on things like rocks or walnuts, but overall his gait is vastly improved over even 3 or 4 days ago. I think he should be just fine by the time we leave for USDAA Nationals in Kentucky.

Seri is doing well in training. I've been running her in class to get her into a more exciting situation. I have decided to buckle down and just have the argument, and stop her dogwalk. She is not the same kind of naturally tight-turning dog that Drifter is, and I'm worried that she will never turn "on a dime" off the contact if I allow her to run 96mph off of it like she does when she runs. This would be just fine for US competition, but europe right now is trending towards really hard DW approaches and exits, and I'd like to have the consistency, control, and independence to handle things like backsides of jumps after the DW without having a foot race and an argument. Consistency has always been something I've struggled with, with my particular set of pushy dogs. Seri carries a LOT of ground speed, more than Drifter, and should be perfectly competitive with a really fast stopped DW contact. I will work the run a bit before big national events and maybe let fly in the Finals now and then (she's freakin' fast!).

Now that the weather's cooled off, I'm getting back to hiking more regularly. Poor Seri after her 3+ month hiatus, is still very out of shape, and a mere 50 minute walk has her dragging along tired at the end. So therefore we're doing it 4 times a week or so until she can go longer. I prefer to walk about 90 minutes or so when I go out, but this summer was SO HOT I just couldn't do it. We'd have all melted. This probably contributed to Drifter's injury, unfortunately. I'm hopeful that by leaving my "real" job, next summer this won't happen. This is the 3rd time Drifter's suffered a minor injury at the beginning of the fall season, so he was layed up before Nationals, and I'm thinking that makes a pattern, and I'm guessing the lower conditioning level is the problem. Next year I can get up at the crack of dawn and go out for a walk/run every day, just around our property if nothing else. And swim, hopefully!

Kiba's doing well, nothing much different to report there. She's even calmed down a tiny bit in the car and has ridden in some wire crates lately - normally she's spins and drools and looks a little "out there" if she can see out the top of her crate and out the windows.... crazy little dog.

My puppy is growing quickly. Because of Danish Kennel Club registration procedure, I have to submit a name by Wednesday, which is very weird for me, I'm usually a "make a connection and learn the puppy's personality before naming it" type of person.

09 September 2010

Good News: Seri ran at her first trial in over 4 months, and while I expected only insanity, I actually got some decent runs from her, and she Q'ed in JWW on Fri and Sat to finish her AXJ. Kiba QQ'ed on Saturday but tripped and hit a bar with her face on Sunday. Drifter loved the new positionless table, and turned in a 5.33YPS standard Q at 26", that's our fastest ever.

Bad News: Drifter's toe was hurting so badly Friday after his runs that I couldn't run him at all Saturday. Then on Tuesday, toe looked great, did some dogwalks and BAM he's limping in the rear. He strained his medial hamstring on the right side. So now he's off till USDAA Nationals in KY.
Good News: My puppy was born on Tuesday Sept 7! Male. I have to go to europe to pick him up. Should be fun! (pic is one of the pups, don't know which is mine yet) Good News: I *think* I will have enough teaching business and cleaning/moving stuff to do so that I can quit my job. Soon.

Bad News: I don't have a full-time indoor for the winter so may have to make do with workshops every week or two. I'm available for teaching!

Good: Have tentatively scheduled a seminar in Oregon (will be my first time in the PNW) and should be back in NC, and possibly TX in the winter/spring.