Saturday, September 22, 2012

A trip to the emergency vet!

Well, the eve before we go to Colorado, just as we are leaving the house to visit family, Kel yells, "Vici, Vici, somethings wrong with Maddie!"

Come running down the hall and Maddie can't walk.  Her leg is sticking out funny direction and she lays down and bites it.

I get on the floor with her trying to find the sticker and realize this is really weird.  Her leg is retracted and she will not straighten it out and shows pain at the elbow.  I look at Kel and ask, "What happened?"  He says he didn't know, he opened the door to let her go out to sun herself and next thing he knows she is like this.  He didn't see her fall or anything.

I massage, I look for stickers, I lay her on her side, she clearly is in distress. 

I immediately called Laura to tell her what was up and she recommended calling our vet that he still is open.  I called right away and they said, "bring her on in."

While in the vet office waiting for the vet, my sister Trish and Eve show up.  Kel had stayed home to keep Olive entertained.  Shocked to see them, they said they were driving from Gilroy and called to see if they could stop by to pick up something and Kel told them where I was.  They decided to come.  Good thing too, cause I was slowly loosing it wondering what I was going to do.  Kel works long hours.  What if Mads needs care?  Do I stay home from Colorado, do I take her with me.  How would a 20 hour car drive impact her? What is wrong with her...etc...etc.  You get the picture.

Vet comes in.  After an exam, thinking it is a pinched nerve.  Found swelling in the area of the lymph nodes, but didn't think the two were related.  Wanted to aspirate the lymph nodes.  I decided against it.  If it isn't related, why put her through it.  If it is related, we'll know soon enough.

Trish and Eve volunteered to keep Maddie next week and take her to the vet if necessary.  HUGE!!!

Kel will watch her tomorrow and if she needs to go back to the vet on Monday, Eve will take her. Seems like all bases are covered.  Why do I feel so guilty for going?

Maddie update.  She is doing great.  The pain meds have made her comfortable and she is actually using the leg.  She rolled on the grass and tried to wrestle with Tazz.  Eve is going to check on her during the day and Kel has got it handled. 

Sucks that I set up the yard so they could use the doggy door.  Now I don't want her using the doggy door so they'll have to stay inside.  Ah well.  Could have been very worse!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Find It! Games to tire out a JRT Puppy....

I play find it games with my dogs.  Fin is a champion find it.  Rocky is also really good and enjoys the game, but once Fin learned this game, she ruled it.

Olives first time on Find-it was impressive.  Her ability to stay focused on the find is amazing.  The second video shows her keeping up the search for almost 2 minutes.  For a novice search, that shows that she is really good at this.  I am looking forward to doing some nosework with her.

When I toss the ball, I hide Olives line of sight so she doesn't see where the ball goes.  This is all by scent.  Watch her tail.  Shows she is loving this game.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Little Bit of Crazy!

Team T-Shirts for Nationals are done.  A Little Bit of Crazy is ready to hit the Nationals with all they have.  Each shirt has a custom front with an image of that teammates dog.  The back is a rectangle with all the dogs images in a collage.  For the back each photo was remastered to be more like a painting then a photo and it worked really nice for the T-Shirt.  For the front, I drew a running dog and customized it for each participant.  Especially love Lily's stub tail!
First our 22" team member!  Einstein (aka The Big E).  He is our secret weapon.  If ever a team needed a secret weapon, this team does.  Our weapon is untested, so there might be a few surprises, but we expect great things from this guy.  We'll be looking to Einstein to grabbing all the points he can with his crazy speed.  No one will expect him coming at em'. He is quiet when he runs, just like a stealth bomber.  Just like with many red heads, he has moments of crazy speed but always, always, he trys his best for his mom.  He and his team mate Penni are very special and we are so proud they decided to be on our team! 
Team member #2, the most adorable, sweet, loving, speedy machine of mine running in the 16" group.  Fin and I can rule our runs in a spectacular fashion, or we might end up having a spectacular NQ.  Anything can happen with the Vici/Fin Combo.  We will try our best to be the cornerstone of our team but whatever happens we are having a good time and that is what matters.  The goal of each run is to be calm, quiet, and enjoy the ride.  If you happen to hear a "FINNNNNNNNNN!" coming from the heavens next week, don't worry, that's just me forgetting about being quiet (probably during snooker) and trying my best to call her off a tunnel.
Last but absolutely not least is our super speedy bullet Lily and her sidekick Jeanine. Lily will be out there racking up the points as her mom yells, "Lil, Lil, LILY!!" Lily is a Rockstar and takes no prisoners.  Jeanine may yell "Lily!", but Lily gives it right back at her.  I can hear Lil now, "Arf "Faster Mom", BARK!  FASTER MOM!  Bark, Bark, Bark, MOM! Where am I going???!!!"  As our veteran on the Team, the little stub of Lily's tail never stops going as she shows us how to run agility.  Her job will be to show the youngsters how to get out there and give it all your heart.  That's all Lily can do — run for the joy of running.
Of course, we want to WIN!!!  No one goes to these events without the thought that they want to be in the relay finals and compete for that coveted first place title.  Hey, it could happen!
However, our teams personal goal is to truly enjoy the competition, run every run calmly, intelligently, and with joy.  We are not going to be disappointed in the occasional knocked bar or off course.  If we didn't make mistakes, that would mean we weren't trying our best.  We are going to "GO FOR IT!" and be thrilled with our performance and enjoy the ride.  If occasionally the wheels fall of the bus, we'll get roadside assistance to put those wheels back on and go along our merry way.
Life is too short to worry and regret.  Our motto is get out there and leave it all on the field.  No disappointments!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sun Goddess

Tazz, also a sunbather.  He is a VERY good boy and has been very nice to Olive.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

ALMOST a trip to the emergency vet

A little scare yesterday.  A little too much freedom for one mischievous puppy.

Why Olive why?!?

Walked into my bathroom yesterday around noon.  On the floor was my razor (I leave it in the shower).  Missing from the razor was the top (the part that holds the actual blades.) 

Chew marks told the tale.

I ran around looking everywhere for the top.  Saying, "OMG, OMG, OMG, Olive! OMG."  She looked great.  Jumping in the tub, jumping out of the tub.  Chasing me.  Jumping on the bed. Squeaking her toy.  Rolling on her toy as I ran past to get the phone.  Barking at her toy as the phone connected.

I said, "I have to bring my JRT in RIGHT NOW!"  She may have eaten my razor blade off the top of the razor.  We have to get her to vomit immediately!"  Picture Olive rolling on my bed with a toy under her barking.  Me rushing round the bedroom bath looking on the floor to find the missing piece.  Four shelties following me around looking concerned.  Olive looking up, then returning to her toy mashing.

Receptionist said, "One moment please, I need to go find the Dr."  She gets on the line and says, "You need to bring her in for an Xray."  I say, "OMG, alright I'm on my....wait, I FOUND IT!!! OMG, OMG, OMG!  I found it!  Thank you, thank you , thank you!"  She quietly said, "oh good, take care." Then she hung up. 

I picked up the missing piece to make sure all the important parts were there and just sat on the floor.  Four shelties gathered around me giving me comfort.  Olive continued to bark at her toy as she smashed it into my comforter.

Naughty, naughty, naughty.  Later that day, playing in my office while I worked, she jumped into my lap and sat watching the computer as I typed, giving me kisses.  When she is sweet, she is sooooo very sweet.  When she is naughty......

Monday, September 17, 2012

On the road again....

Leaving on Sunday. Started getting all kinds of info - running orders, crate spaces, walk through times, etc.  Such a thrill to be going.  Fin and I are going to run our best!  Hoping for some good luck, fair weather, and judges that like us.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The 5th Element

I love the fifth element.  I almost called Olive Leeloo or Milla considering she was #5 in this household.  Tickle was also a name considered for her.  But she truly is our little "Olive the other reindeer."  Officially now, Olive Whisner (one of the Whiz kids).

Yes, that is correct.  Despite the fact that she is here for training and supposed to go back, despite the fact that I have another 2 months to go.  I adore her.  My husband thinks she is funny any loves her snuggles (I've made sure the keep all the naughty hidden from him!).

Today I asked Alison from Kimberlight if I could keep her (hoping beyond hope that she would be happy that Olive would stay with me).  "Yes," she said.  She wasn't going to let this special girl go to just any home, but she thinks that right here in Morgan Hill is the right place for Olive.

I think everyone knew but me.  Olive, love ya babe!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Oh how I hate barking.  One or two barks, A-OK.  Alerting me to evil, Righty-O.  Randomly barking at something and not shutting!

How could I miss in the description of JRT that they bark.  I don't think I've ever seen a JRT bark.  That streak is over.

Maddie:  As a youngster, quite the barker.  UPS, garbage men, and evil cats would get her going.  Now a days, the only time she truly barks is when she smells a squirrel.  Then she is relentless.  Loss of hearing and a bit of confusion has caused most of her barking to a minimum.  But when she is the trail of a squirrel, relentless barking!

Rocky:  Never been a big barker.  Barks at the pool when solar kicks in, barks at the pool sweep, barks at strangers (even when he sees them every week), and barks at things passing the front door. He will also bark at me when I'm getting dressed or putting shoes on.  But his barking is minimal.

Tazz:  Barks only when the other dogs are barking.  The quietest dog I have.  His silence hides the inner turd.

Fin:  Barks at the other dogs barking at something.  Alert barks when she is scared.  Barks when I walk from the kitchen to my office.  Barks when I walk from my office to the kitchen.  Barks when Kel turns out the lights, Barks when I let the dogs outside.  Barks when I put my hand on the door to the garage.  Barks at me when I put my shoes on.  Barks at me when I am getting ready to feed her.  Have I missed anything.  Possibly the worst barker I've ever had.

Olive:  pretty quiet.  Doesn't bark at the other dogs barking - nice.  Alert barks to perceived danger (last night the bush was evil...that got a ton of barking).  What Olive does bark at is her toys:
  • She wants a toy that is out of reach.  Barks.
  • The toy is in her bed and she barks at it.
  • She hides her toy and then lays there barking at it.
  • She buries her toy and stands and barks at it.
  • She rolls on her toys and barks
Since the dogs bark at different things, it seems there is always barking going on.  It has gotten that when it is quiet, I wonder what is wrong.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

15 Days

Fin told me a secret..

....she said, "Olive is a naughty dog and I am a good dog."  Can't argue there!

We all have many stories to tell.  Honestly, life can be very interesting and funny. 

Olive has at the same time both complicated my life and brought it humor in the most unlikely places.  I seriously doubt that my other dogs feel the same way I do, but alas, I've fallen head over heels.

It has been five years since I had a puppy.  If I were honest, I haven't really had a complicated puppy in more than 8 years and I seriously can't remember how difficult it was with Tazz.  Fin just wasn't that difficult.  She was easy around the house and fun to train. 

Olive on the other hand, well lets just say, she is a handful.  Some Olive moments:
  • Tomato zoomies!!!! Olive no longer climbs the xpen fencing.  She now clears it with inches to spare.  She will jump the fence, run to the back, grab an unripe grape tomato off the vine, and then, with the tomato in her mouth run around having zoomies.  I don't bother with trying to call her.  She's not coming when in the throws of the tomato zoomies.
  • The toy will be mine!  I do put Olives toys up.  They must be put up high enough so that she can't get to them, or my putting them up is just a new physical activity that she will find fun.  Lately I put her new "sock" toy on my dresser.  I will walk into my bedroom and find Olive sitting like a statue staring at the toy that is on the dresser top.  Often the staring involves loud barking.    Maybe talking at the toy will bring it closer.
  • Dog bed back rubs!  I work from home.  Sometimes I need to let Olive have some free time in my office.  I put a gate up and the older dogs sit or lay staring into my office.  Olive basically is bouncing off the walls, free and enjoying herself.  She will gather all her toys, plus many things that are not hers and place them all in the dog bed.  Then she will jump in the bed and roll on top of the entire pile of toys, shoes, diet coke bottles, paper, socks, etc.  She will do this for a very long period of time.  Every once in a while she will stop and just bark at the bed.  Usually these barking fits are timed perfectly when I'm on a conference call.
  • Morning cuddles!  Olive sleeps in a crate at night.  In the morning everyone goes outside to potty and the older dogs go into their crates so Olive can have some free time.  Most mornings we'll get back in bed and allow her to give us morning cuddles.  Kel said to me this morning, "Vici, this is really endearing.  She is so cute when she rolls on her back and rubs all over us.  She must really love us."  I replied, "I would be much more impressed if I didn't see her act exactly this same way when she rolls in cat poo."
  • Bug hunter!  At night I take Olive out just before I go to bed.  She is so sleepy that sometimes it is hard to get her out of her crate for her evening ritual.  Often, I carry her from the crate to the grass.  Once on the grass, Olive is immediately awake and chasing bugs.  Even on leash it can take 10 minutes to get her focus enough to go potty.  Can't wait till it starts raining.  That's going to be fun times.

We've now had this little entergizer JRT for going on 10 weeks.  I can't believe how time is flying by.  She will soon be 7 months old.  Sometimes she is very focused....and sometimes she is not.  In all cases, she is hysterical. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thanks From MHDogSports

After the fence was put in, Laura and I wanted to thank the people that helped us get that darn fence up.  We had many volunteers that spent their weekend making our field look nice.  Some of those people even stayed after the fence was up and weeded, filled in squirrel holes, brushed cobwebs off of the shed, moved equipment....and the list goes on.  It truly was a group effort.

I played the role of the short order cook.  I whipped up eggs to order (as long as you wanted them scrambled) and breakfast burritos were the result.  Friends brought champagne and mimosas were played a huge role in the thank you breakfast.

Yummy deliciousness!
Wait, these two didn't get a burrito!  What is wrong with me, I'll get right on it.

After breakfast, what did we do?  We played agility!!!

Some of us sat around the new measuring wicket and had important conversations.

Others sat in the shade with their feet up.
Overall, it was a LOVELY day.  Full of friends and fun.  I guess MHDogsports is in full swing now. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What to look for in your agility trainer.....

The time has come for another Blog Action Day! 
The topic, "What makes a good coach/trainer" is one that is extremely appropriate in any kind of dog training. Today, there are many experts out there.  Seems to me if a person has one dog that they've trained and have watched a few episodes of the Dog Whisperer, they are experts and want to pass on that information.  For me, a dog professional, should have trained MANY dogs, many breeds, and have education in the area of their expertise.  An agility trainer is a person that understands the process of learning for both people and their dogs and is able to understand how to teach  safely and humanely with multiple different dog personalities. 

When I asked agility students what they thought, they all came back with similar traits:
  • An expert. (knowledge/experience)
  • Provides positive reinforcement to the students (not just the dogs).
  • Give clear instruction enabling the person to complete the exercise correctly.
  • Provides demonstrations with student dogs or dogs at the same level. 
  • Does not work their dogs during class.
  • Helps each person at their own level
  • Fun/Humor - students are coming out to enjoy themselves after all
  • Flexibility- being able to make training plans appropriate for different individuals and what those individuals goals might be.
  • An agility instructor knows that teaching people to train their dogs is what it is all about
  • Provide information about what the next steps are (e.g., where am I going with all this foundation?)
Some of the responsibility for agility trainer selection lays with the student.  Make sure you are a good champion for your dog and do the research to find a trainer that suits both of you.  Don't just assume that the person training down the street from you is someone that will work.  Some of the things students can do to ensure their experience will be one that meets their agility goals:
  • Interview the trainer over the phone.
  • Go out and observe a couple classes.
  • Shop around to select a class that works for you.
Learning should be fun. A GREAT agility trainer knows how to make a class fun for everyone as well as teach people to meet their goals!

Check out all the posts for this blog action day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wow! What a Fabulous Weekend!

Ride em' cowgirl!  We had a rip roaring time at the first ever Western Regional!  The show committee did an amazing job!  I was vendor coordinator and we had 13 vendors!!!

This was the view from our front porch all weekend!  Some fog in the morning, fog in the evening.  Sun all afternoon.

Tent city to our left, tent city to our right!

We all got into the western style and we even had a rodeo clown show up on Sunday!!  He and his dog Paxton got their ADCH!!

After much romping around Olive found  resting on the blanket that was covering the cooler a good spot.  Who knows what motivates this girl to do some of the things she does.  No sheltie would ever sleep on a cooler.  Give em' a chair and they are happy.

There was much wrangling of naughty JRT's and Pig E Smalls is the one to wrangle that cute little outlaw!
Fins team did really well.  4th place in Gamble and Fin had a couple of very high individual placements in team.  Unfortunately we didn't do great in the tourney classes and for GP we'll be in round 1 going into USDAA Nationals. 
Fin doesn't care.  She had a GREAT time!