Saturday, October 31, 2009
I do know, from talking with friends who suffer from depression or some other anxiety disorder, that finding the right "cocktail" is tough and takes trial and error. I am going to keep at it.
I am exhausted thinking about why all this is happening with the poor dog. I try to find a pattern to the stress. There is no pattern that I can see. Sometimes he gets stressed at home and has peed in the house (he has been wearing a belly band, so it isn't really in the house - we call it his straight jacket) when life seems so normal and quiet. Then we have construction activity going on and he is fine, where before that might have put him into major worry and start him shaking in our laps.
There is one thing I plan to try (I make it sound like it is just ONE thing, easy, just ONE thing) - I think, if I am remembering right, that his BEST performance work was when Colby had her knee surgery and was out of commission. Roscoe got to do seminars, trials, classes all by himself. He thrived and was so happy!!! We were having times when he was that good before her surgery, but that was also before Spur. So, lately Spur has taken a lot of my time. He is two and at the peak of his start in training, working on getting behaviors solid. The MinPins have solid behaviors and simply need maintenance. I think that's not enough for Roscoe. He needs more. He is brilliant and brilliant minds left un-exercised start to rot. Is that a metaphor that makes you barf, or what? But, I mean it, I think he may be rotting. His brilliant mind needs more activity. New tricks, more constant work, more attention. I can't just settle with maintaining............I'll do just this one thing.
With all my free time............bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..............I am going to work Roscoe more and be mindful of making sure he gets special time. Just telling him he is special isn't enough. He is special, you know? Delaney says he is "special". She's right! I think special has different meanings. You decide, what does it mean? I just think he is - special. My special project, a special case, maybe just a case? Hmmmm, I think both.....he is a special case, for sure.
Friday, October 30, 2009
It was fun at agility class with all the novice folks there asking..... "what's a MACH?". LOL!! I remember those days. I remember the first MACH I ever saw anyone get. It was like..........HUH.........what's the big hubbub about? Everyone was running ringside to clap and cheer the victory lap. I had to ask what for, back then. And I remember having the whole MACH thing explained and what it takes to get a MACH and thinking.........oh well, that's out of MY reach. Hmmm, guess not!! :D Good little MACH Colby Carlson! Who knew? Well, I do now. She did it, we did it, the party and celebration continues. It's such a big deal!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
My MinPin friend did the post mortem biopsy with her second dog because after the first one she had mushroom specialists come out and tell her it wasn't mushrooms, that the mushrooms in her yard were not the poisonous kind. Opps, she has four other dogs!! Well, the next dead dog proved them wrong, sadly. These two dogs were dead within 5 days of symptoms. Really, really sad. She has other dogs. She always has. They have always gone into this yard, it's her fenced in back yard for the dogs. Luckily, she does have a fenced in front yard, so since last year her dogs are only allowed in her front yard. This fall she thinks she found the mushrooms in her back yard - With confirmation from some other mushroom specialist, these are called "Death Caps" and what killed her two dogs. They look so "normal", so benign. She wants to move. She has lived in this family home for many years. It's an awful situation. Getting rid of them isn't easy, so they say. Basically, one would need to bleach the whole yard, remove all plant material and start over with different types of growth. Here is what the mushroom person said -
" It appears to be a species introduced from Europe over the years, and she has done some elegant tracking studies. Amanita phalloides has an ectomycorrhyzal association with trees, often oaks or other hard woods. This means it may well be helping your trees. My closest connection to it is that it is easily confused with the paddy straw mushroom that southeast Asians eat in Asia. They tend to find phalloides here, assume it is fine to eat, and get poisoned. Every year we seem to hear of a poisoning or two. I teach lots of southeast Asian 3rd graders, and make it my business to tell them *not* to let their families collect mushrooms here, unless they talk to me! There is reading, writing, and 'rithmetic, and there is survival!"
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I have a call in to my regular vet asking if there are not more intensive medical tests we could run to COMPLETELY rule out ANY medical reason. Waiting to hear back. The test we ran, blood panel and simple urinalysis were totally normal.
My gut tells me this is all mental. He's a mental case. I know that. He's not right. He's Roscoe. He's messed up. He's not normal. He's special. He's nuts. He's kind of sad and confused and not feeling right and it bums me out. Then he's all happy and playing and making new friends. What's up with that?????
Why now? My gut tells me it's all about Spur. Spur has matured, challenged Roscoe on occasion, is now a two year old male. I don't really know. I am guessing, it's just a guessing game. His mind is too complicated and messed up to know what's really going on. I just want him to feel better. NOW! And stop peeing in my house!!! But, maybe it has nothing to do with that. Maybe his brain is getting signals from the aliens on Mars, or Venus, or Utah. Or the little voices in his head are arguing and can't stop. I don't hear those voices and I don't know the language anyway. Maybe he needs re-wiring. How does one re-wire a dog? I wish I had an answer.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The indoor shots during our celebration came out blurry, so yesterday I took some outside. Somehow these shots don't quite look right? Colby, hunting moles while wearing bling? The congratulations keep pouring in. It feels good! I am just glad she got her MACH before something broke down on her. She is so fragile. Her eyes are starting to break down, notice the squinting. She is only 10, which for a MinPin is quite young, but she has always had more health concerns than a MinPin her age should. She is a puppymill dog, after all. Born at a puppymill in MI, sold through a pet store in RI to a collage kid. He couldn't handle her energy or housetrain her or keep her out of the trash, so he was going to dump her at the shelter, but thought better of it and called rescue, thank goodness. I got her at 5 1/2 months old for $75. Look at her now, MACH Colby! I love this dog! What a wonderful partner!
Our cloud is so comfy - Cloud Nine!
Monday, October 26, 2009
She got raw steak when we got home! And a pearl bling necklace! (Thanks Lisa and Donna!!)
MACH Colby, forever! Love that little girlie!! The best partner anyone could ask for! My little Champion!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Yesterday I visited with Maybell-Camo-Kitty.
She blends in with the leaves! I can never get a straight on photo of her because she just keeps walking up to me, rubbing on my legs. Sweet kitty!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Your comments and critiques are welcome. Remember, though, that this is the most basic program. I have very little I can change or make better. I really don't like the photo page, but I will keep working on that. There is no way to load a bunch of photos without using that strange scroll pattern. It's all they offer.
I don't know if I will make any kind of announcement about it. Still wondering about that. You know, there are folks who do that, like public service announcements in small, gossip papers. Good grief that seems so........um..........arrogant? Probably just good business sense, but when ever I read such things I am all like.............Oh, lah-dee-dah for you! Although, I then do go check it out.
I will be swapping the photos around. I can't decide which ones are best. I love the one of m and Kojak, the pit bull out walking that I put on the front page. He is one of my FAVORITE dogs, the best dog EVAH............and I love his happy smile! He's a "snowbird" and gone to Florida and I miss him terribly.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I just signed up all three dogs, yep even The Spurminator, for a Rally-O trial at www.wagitinc.com the first weekend in November. Just Sunday, but Colby and Spur get two routines and Roscoe will get three. Which means if he qualifies in all three it will be his level-1 title. Roscoe and Colby are both in Excellent level in AKC Rally-O, but none of them have done APDT. It is very similar, but there are a few differences. Honestly, I am not even really sure the differences, but hopefully we can figure it out. We have, what, two weeks? Three weeks? We can do it. Heck, if Roscoe can get a perfect score in AKC Rally after having not practiced for three months, I think we can do this. Spur might be a challenge, but I kind of figure it will be good for him to give it a go. He has matured SO much this past summer, I feel like he is ready for ring time.
Next week we start our Rally-O classes again, weekly. I don't do them in the summer because I am at agility class two nights a week and poor Rich would like he didn't have a wife if I did THREE nights/week. When I retire that's what I want to do. Dog class every night, LOL!!! I guess I need to financially plan for that? Rich's dad said to us last week that one thing he didn't plan into his retirement program was dental costs. OK........so, once I add that, then I must add my three weekly dog classes to my retirement plan. I say that as if I have a retirement plan. I have a plan, that's for sure. Just may not be like what most people think of when they think "retirement plan". I plan to have tons of money, tons of time, lots of animals, a huge farm, someone to maintain it, a big RV to go to dog shows in, someone I trust to stay home and tend the farm. Asking too much?
"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?" Hmmm........, what was Pink Floyd really saying? I need to make money so I can retire? How can I retire if I don't make any money? Hmmmmmmm.............really? Damn!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
It was AWESOME! We got to about 40 feet and I felt like that was close enough. We walked along side by side for a while, then it turned around and we walked side by side the other direction. It wasn't worried. It ate, drank from a wet area, didn't seem concerned by Jewel at all. It must know the horse isn't a predator?
It, or one like it, came last year, too. I kind of think it must be the same one.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Now you tell me, which one should I submit?...........
So, yesterday I launched my website. www.amysanimalcare.com NO critiques, thank you very much, it is still work in progress. I can't figure out how to get it to change pages without opening a NEW page and that is making me NUTS!! The contact page opens just fine, but all the other pages end up with a new page. Rich said he would help me later. My computer is such a dinosaur and SO PAINFULLY, DREADFULLY, TORTUROUSLY slow it takes me FOREVER to do anything with the website, so I am kind of proud I got done what I got done and frustrated that I can't figure it out better. I think Rich is hesitating helping me because he knows my limited patience with this sort of thing. I am trying to be chipper, really I am. It will be tweaked and tweaked some more. Kind of like Cindy setting up our agility classes..........adjusting the course, and adjusting and adjusting and ADJUSTING. OCD? Maybe.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
In the morning we walked with Nate and George. Kathy is still "under the weather" after having wring surgery. It has wrecked her, really. Down and OUT!!! So, Nate had George tied out in the sun while he cut wood. It's all about wood these days. When he saw us he removed his hard hat and gloves and let George loose to join us. It seemed like the path was littered with poo. All kinds of different poo and Nate and I had to stop and check it out. Fall brings out all the critters, busy stocking up for winter, and their poo is everywhere. Lots of poo. Different poo. Of course, there were also the deer guts from the kill the bow hunter had the night before, but I didn't photograph those. Just poo. It was all about poo on this late morning farm walk.
This poo was some sort of "claim", I think. It was in the middle of a bunch of feathers, obviously from some bird kill. Like the animals was saying........."Hey, look, this was mine, all mine." Why would they do that? The body was gone, it was just feathers? But, it was obviously some marking territory or some sort. It has seeds and corn and I think eggshells and bones in it. Raccoon? Skunk?
This is probably from skunk, possom or raccoon. I suppose it could be from fox or coyote, they are omnivours. It is full of corn.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I decided it was time to check in with his trusted behavior medicine vet, Nick Dodman at Tufts. It was a good appointment because Roscoe had a MAJOR meltdown. The waiting room is pretty intense at Tufts. Often dogs at the end of their lives, there for last chance help, or treatment. We walk in and sit next to a HUGE golden retriever with an ENORMOUS growth on her nose, making her mouth all deformed, her nostrils all strange looking. Poor thing looked absolutely miserable and was there for some radiation treatment or something. Stress, stress, stress...........the room oozed stress. There were some small dogs, but mostly HUGE dogs. I sit in a corner seat, facing him away from everything and basically shove Charlee Bears into his mouth to keep him from stress barking. Next in comes a HUGE Spinone/Doodle/Irish Wolfhound type dog and plops down next to us and I have to tell the owner "He IS NOT friendly", so she pulls the dog away from sniffing Roscoe's ass. Roscoe just about implodes. I shove more Charlee Bears in him, trying to break them up into tiny bits so he doesn't get STUFFED/FAT! I thought I was going to implode.
FINALLY, they come get me. We enter the room, Dodman's office, and Roscoe is a shaking mass of nervous energy, woofing under his breath, reacting to every sound outside the door. I try to get him to sit and focus. Lasts about a second each time. Dodman says something about Roscoe being pushy and demanding his cookies from me. Hah, he is always demanding cookies, but this wasn't about the cookies, I explain. This is about the sounds outside the door and how intense the situation was in the waiting room. I explain our meltdown in the waiting room and how uptight he is. Not sure he agrees with me, he is of the mindset of these types of dogs being dominant and pushy, no matter how much shaking the dog is doing sitting in front of him "demanding his cookies". I have to just work through that with him.
We chat about what's been going on. He explains I should make sure to let Roscoe know he is top dog over Spur and to remind him of that often. Letting Roscoe get resources first, etc. Elders rule, he is very firm on that deal. Yeah, I have probably been praising Spur more in front of Roscoe a bit too much, which doesn't help my relationship with Roscoe. I will be more mindful of that. He thinks if we increase the buspirone the marking may go away and some of the anxiety may diminish. We will try it for a month or so and re-evaluate. He gave me a script for Clonidine, a blood pressure med. I WISH I had that yesterday for the waiting room! It can be giving regularly or situational. Situational, say for trial stress, I have to give 1-2 hours to take effect, but can give 3-4 times/day. Sounds good and I can do a test of that next weekend at Sunday's trial, if he melts down in the first class I can give it and see how he does the next class.
We can also try stopping the buspirone, and starting just the clonidine. That's a possibility. Ultimately, the drug of choice would be prozac, but we tried that years ago and it diminished his play drive which is essential for his performance work. Something very important to both of us. It's what we do, and it helps him tremendously.
At one point we decided to test his urine, since I had not done that. I had a blood panel done, which was all good, but had not tested his urine. The attending student was going to take him out herself to get that. I was like..................."Uh......NO, I will be doing that", LOL!! I am not sure they fully understand the extent of his aggression. A stranger taking his leash, shoving a tray under him to collect urine would surely have been bitten!!! I do think Roscoe suffers some from little, cute dog syndrome. There was even a point when Roscoe was working on a stuffed toy we gave him to keep him occupied, that Dodman reached down as if to pat him. He didn't and I didn't say anything, but GOOD GRIEF PEOPLE!!!!! This is an AGGRESSION case!!! Oi! It can be a struggle working through these things with people and the cute factor is a big issue. I am always on edge in public, ready to blurt out "NOT FRIENDLY", but in an office with the country's top behavior medicine veterinarian I didn't think I had to. Sigh..................... I was exhausted by the time I got home. It was a long drive, during rush hour traffic, the waiting room scene drained me, the visit was difficult. I wish we had thought to give him the stuffed toy first thing. But, at least Dodman got to see the crazy, uptight version I talk about.
Started his increased buspirone this morning.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
What a FUN weekend!! Colby teamed with Jones, the schnauzer and Tiki, the papillon for a DAM Team Q. We were in FIRST place the whole day until our last run and we had one tiny mistake. How cool is that?? First place among ALL the big, fast border collie team, first place of EVERYONE!! We were the littlest team, ending up finishing 7th overall for a very respectable finish! What fun!
Spur - he ROCKED!! His debut was all I thought it would be. Happy, happy, happy and NO issues with the teeter at all, he was pumped to finally get to run at a trial!! Even when the alien took over my body yesterday in his Gamblers run. What was I thinking entering him in Gamblers? Like I am good at Gambles? NOT! Well, OK, me and Roscoe are, but that's because we own them now! Spur? I handle him like I have never handled a dog before, like really, never - green horn, stupid novice, dumb ass wierdo out there, and Spur just takes it in stride. The alien takes over my body and I turn into a flapping, uncoordinated, mushy, dumb-ass whack job that hasn't a clue what I am doing. Wait don't I have a Master Gamble dog? How can I be such a loser in a Starters class???? Poor Spur! Damned if he didn't run beautifully anyway. Zooming for his teeter, running to the end and not freaking at the recoil. I'll load the video later. It isn't great because I forgot to tell Blanche how to zoom in, so he looks like a tiny black ant with a fluffy tail, but at least you can see how happy he is how fast he flattens into a down on the table, how fast he zooms onto his nemesis - the teeter. Seems the teeter just isn't an issue any more. What a good little man!! I could not be more proud!!!! Spur - agility dog. Who knew? I did, I knew he could do it, I knew it was in there. I KNEW it!!!!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Things I learned yesterday......If you can't find Juno, you might look on the seat of the tractor. I called and called her yesterday morning, shaking her junk food jar and no Juno. I sat there for a few minutes, really quiet and felt eyes on me. Like Zombie eyes, creepy and weird feeling. Has Metis come back from the dead, over-seeing the new addition? I looked up and there she was on the seat, looking at me like I was an idiot. :D I am off to the BARK trial early tomorrow, so I won't be blogging until at least Tuesday. I am pretty excited about Spur's debut!!!!! His REAL trial debut! Although, I am a little worried about those darned contacts. He launched his A-frame both Tuesday and Wednesday nights at class. My running dog walks haven't carried over like Sylvia Trkman said it would. I don't know how she does it. Her Border Collie had FANTASTIC A-frame running contacts at the Worlds. She could even peel off and leave her and that dog ran right to the bottom, never stopping, never launching.
Yesterday I messed around with four-on-the-floor. For you non-agility people that is when the dog drops into a down on the ground after running over the A-frame. I worried that stopping Spur's momentum would worry him and slow his whole performance. When I asked for a definite hit on his hit-it board on the dog walk contacts, demanding that performance he got slow and started trotting his dog walk, worrying about making sure he was right. So, for that I have slacked off and started using the hoops to keep his head low and will just have to hope we get contacts on the dog walk at trials. At least, for now. The A-frame is different, though, and he seemed to really enjoy his "FLAT" at the bottom of his A-frame. That's my cue word........FLAT. I thought a different word might be helpful? Probably makes no difference at all, but I may not demand a held position, instead ask for just the behavior then move on. When I ask him for a "down", I want that behavior until I release him, like when he has to go down on the table. He must stay there until I release him. I have to mess around with this some and see what I want to do, but at least he isn't bumming out and seems to love running the frame then dropping into his "FLAT"! I'll take that, for now. He is such a project.
Last night at Rally class he looked like a different dog! We haven't done Rally class all summer and the other students saw a difference in him. He looked happy, motivated, working hard and not the worried little paw-wringing, melt down punkin head he was last spring. I was VERY proud! He is absolutely adorable when he heals. His fluffy fur flies, he prances along with his tiny white paws marching along to his beat, he loves it!!! He has come a long way this summer!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The geese in the newly planted winter rye. I guess they are probably eating that? Fresh, thick grass?
Roscoe isn't too impressed with Fall. It means morning dew, colder temperatures and many morning he has to endure clothing, which he HATES. But, look at him!!! He is pathetic and perhaps I should have put his coat on? It is a fine line, most of the walk was in enough sun for some warmth, but in this photo we had just gone through some thicker wet grass, so he got cold and wet. Pathetic.............
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Here is why I am "moving to Slovenia" -
This is Sylvia Trkman's tricks class. HOW MUCH FUN are these dogs having????? My dogs all love tricks and this just makes me want to teach more. She is such a fantastic dog trainer/teacher. She was one of the World Team members I watched run a few weeks ago in Austria (video on demand - no I didn't go to Austria!!). I watched her runs over and over. I just love how her dogs work. They are happy and brilliant. Trick training may seem silly, but it teaches the dog to think and strive to learn more. Silly tricks are also so much fun for us!
One thing I look forward to with winter arriving soon........more time indoors to just play with my dogs doing tricks. Right now I have wood to bring in, perennials to cut back, windows to wash, agility to train before it gets to cold, pastures to tend to, lawn furniture to put away and the list goes on, so I haven't focused much on tricks. But, I do have a three day USDAA dog show coming up this weekend that looks like a HUGE trial and that means I will probably have plenty of time to hang out between my runs and work on some tricks with my dogs. Colby knows the head shake from side to side, but she doesn't move it that much or quickly. I need to tighten up that trick and get her shaking her head further from side to side. I'll try working on that this weekend, but she is on a Team which means she will be running the most this weekend. She doesn't have a Team Q, so that would be nice to get this weekend. We are teamed with two great dogs, so hopefully we can pull it off.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
It's pouring rain today, so it was a good day to get started. However, my ass hurts, my head is spinning, and I bow to all of you who sit at a desk all day. HOW THE F#@K do you do it???? Seriously, I have been yelling at my dogs - the little rocket scientists have decided to re-arrange my living room, or so it sounds like from my office chair - I snap at Rich when he walks by - he did after all talk me into this and set up my account, and I REALLY don't like the color of the couch he just bought for HIS office (it is his office he should be able to chose whatever color he wants, but I still have to look at it and it really is like Barf Beige and very well made so I will have to look at it for 30+ years I suppose!!) - and I still don't like what I got done!!!!
People say rainy days are good for this sort of thing. Up yours! You may never see my website up and running. Click on the link, it will just say something like "work in progress". Yeah, that's right, it's work in progress. Not "fun event coming soon", or "for a good time call", or "what are you lookin' at jerk?"........no it will say something like ......"site in construction". Well, my construction abilities rival Winnie The Pooh, who couldn't get his head out of the honey jar.
Oh, you want to see the couch? So far I have had several people say they actually like it. They must really like Rich.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I finally got some videos of his hit-it board, running contacts. Since he now runs with SPEED for a ball I wanted to make sure he got it and started using hoops. OH MY! He can still launch right through the WHOLE THING! However, I would say we have 90% success rate with at least ONE toe hitting the yellow zone. Probably 30% he gets it with both feet. Computer illiterate as I am I messed up the launching, flying through the whole thing videos, darn it. And I have no idea how to do these in slow motion, but if you manage to stop them at JUST the right time you can see how he hits it.
At this point I am just going to go with this work. I need him happy. If I start to manage the zones he starts going really slow, even trotting it like you saw in his Debut videos. Worry, worry, worry, he starts to wring his little papillon paws. I know this is risky, judges are not good at seeing back feet hit the zone, as we saw with Colby's photo a few posts back. That contact was called as a missed contact, but clearly in the photo her back foot hits the zone. That's all it states in the rules, one foot must hit the zone.
Luckily, Spur runs with his head down, even without the hoops, so that's nice. Colby runs with her head up. I think all my Sylvia Trkman running board work on the flat and low height helped that. He has so much practice running head down as a youngster. I just do not want to ask him to stop at the bottom, like many people do. I think that will end up with worry, worry, worry and trotting. I want him happy and RUNNING. I am just going to go with this for a while because at least we have speed back and that's a good thing. Happy, happy, speedy, speedy, that's certainly a good thing.
These first to show good hits. All four feet. Perfecto!!! Just what I want, every single time. World Champion!!
These two show one or two back feet. First one shows both back feet, second one just ONE back foot!! :OOh, not perfecto. Would take a very savvy and focused judge to call that a good hit. But, he's happy, he's fast, he DOES hit it, technically, his head is down. All good things, right?