Last winter I made a decision to have Drifter neutered this year. He is a fantastic dog and I think many people don't appreciate him for his non-agility-related qualities - he has great structure aside from his short, low neck, he has a rock solid temperament, he is not bothered by much. However, he and I do butt heads sometimes, and he did have trouble with 26", more than I'd prefer. He is a fast, powerful, intelligent, and generally healthy dog. But unlike many people, I don't feel a pressing need for all my dogs to be related to my "famous" dog. I'm perfectly OK with finding something I like that doesn't share blood with him. That said, his daughter is still intact and may be bred in the future. She is a nice dog, not as pushy as Drifter in some ways, but has different faults that are probably from her mother (locks onto lines of obstacles once in a while). She is more careful with bars though, and that is fabulous.
Anyway, if he's not performing stud duties, and he's on the decline as far as number of competitions and how much he's travelling, and I've got a young male coming along behind him that will be staying intact. . . time to neuter! i also want to avoid having to do an emergency type neuter later on, in case of prostate issues or something. His heart is still strong so he got the OK for it. His neuter was on Tuesday. But last weekend i noticed a small fatty-type lump in his armpit. It felt a lot like a small lipoma ("fatty tumor") but I had them check it out while he was in. It displayed most earmarks of a regular lipoma, except it seemed to swell a bit after manipulation, and the vet thought he spotted some mast cells in the smear of material when he aspirated, so they went ahead and removed the entire lump to send to Univ of Penn for a biopsy. The vet said he was pretty sure it was just a lipoma, but better to be sure. So I am waiting on a call with biopsy results sometime in the next few days.
Anyway, he went through the surgeries fine, and is now missing a total of 3 "lumps"... he's walking quite well, is already trotting on leash and lifting his leg to pee, and when the cone wasn't on his head he was even sleeping upside down, so he isn't in much pain. The stitches in his armpit area don't look too comfortable but he doesn't seem to be avoiding use of that leg in any way, so they probably look worse than they feel. He should be fine to come back for our next AKC trial the first weekend of October, and then USDAA in Ky 2 weeks later.
Today was only the 2nd chance I've had to work on Strafe's 2-by-2's, so he hasn't made much progress yet, but he's getting some more mild angled entries, so his understanding is getting better. I also worked his see-saw again today - he's been doing the low one for a while, and he's been doing the full height one with me holding the end, but today I faded out me holding it and got him running up it all by himself, rocking back and holding his position. I was very pleased - it looks how i want it to look! Yay! Hopefully more video this weekend since I'm home.