26 December 2010

Pretty Puppy, More Ramblings

Friday I take Strafe to the vet for his final round of DHLPP. I will hold off on the Rabies for a couple weeks so as not to stress his immune system too much. I will also schedule Drifter's neuter. That's something I've been considering for a while. Drifter is 8. He had one litter, and I don't plan to breed him again. He has never been an issue and has a pretty solid temperament, so I always just left him intact because I like the easy muscling of the intact male, and I don't feel a dog should be neutered for no reason. But now with his valve disease, I am worried that if he develops a prostate issue after his heart has enlarged, then neutering will become difficult and dangerous due to the risk posed by anaesthetizing a dog with a cardiac issue. Right now he should be fine. he also has a small benign bump on his eyelid I'd like to have removed. So poor Drifter will get the ole "snip snip" in a few weeks. He should be recovered in time for a few AKC trials mid-late February.
Did a little bit of training with Drifter at 16" this week, no weave poles and only a couple aframes. He looked good, although he seemed a bit sore that night after a bit of agility plus an hour+ hike with friends. Overall I think his soreness is dissipating nicely, and he is beginning to get fit again. I am looking forward to the last full year of competition with him, and without having to work full time during the best hours of the day, I am hoping to get in the habit of regular exercise and keeping him as fit as possible. I hope to add a 2 behind both the NAC and the MACH titles before he retires in early 2012. And perhaps a gold medal or few at the WAO this spring.
Seri did some training. I am encountering some confusion in the switch BACK to a running dogwalk. This is only to be expected, after all she started with a stop, I switched to a running, then went back to a stop, and now back to a running. The good news is, at trials she totally forgets she ever knew how to stop at all, so it's only in training when more of her brain is active that we have the confusion problem. Her jumping is improving in leaps and bounds, and she is starting to adapt to the tight distances she has traditionally had issues with. The new handling style around tight corners has cleared up most of those knocked bars (in training at least). I even got *too much* collection the other day, which is almost unheard of for Seri, so I was happy.
What's with all the Xtra Normal videos suddenly? I find most of them mildly amusing, but not wildly funny like some seem to think they are. Oh well. Whatever.
Oh, and here's an example of the types of videos I spend my time watching. Pay attention to how she manages every single jump the dog takes - where the dog takes off is of special import to great european handlers, as if you manage the takeoff, the landing will go in your favor, so you can actually move on earlier rather than standing in the landing area for a while to get the turn. (this is Lisa Frick who won the FCI individiual WC the last 2 years in a row).

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