Saturday, December 26, 2009

One Year Later

Most of the ONB English Shepherds are in new homes, and adjusting to life in the "real world".
About 40 are still in foster.

Article from the Billings Gazette.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rear end suspension...again.

Chan did something to his hips running away from a doodle on August 8th.
He hasn't been getting much better so I took him to a canine physical therapist yesterday.

She was quite nice about my tale of woe, although there was a miscommunication with my vet, and she was a bit surprised that Chandler was not an Old English Sheepdog. *long suffering sigh*

So far, she is the only person who has been able to lay hands on Chandler and say which muscles are bothering him. Apparently his pectineus, iliopsoas, and lower back muscles in the lumbosacral area are all really owtchy.

We've got homework to try to get his muscles back in working order.

1. Steep hill walking. Go up and down a steep hill 3-4 times, every other day.

2.Exercise ball work, and not of the kind Chan likes. This is going to take some +R training. He put his front paws on the ball a few times, and then decided we were totally bonkers! I'm going to be borrowing one of the "eggs" from a friend, so he's got a delay before we try it again.

3. Daily leash walks, and I'm supposed to apply an ice pack to his hips for 10-15 minutes after we get home.

4. Backwards walking. Whee! More R+. Chan will at least be liking the treats. His "back" command is all rusty since my Mom uses it all the time without making sure he actually backs up. She's fine as long as he gets out of her way.

5. Absolutely no playing fetch, fence running, quick turns etc.
(Urgh...managing him in NC is going to be FUN!)

6. Come back in about 3 weeks for a recheck.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I have to do some veterinary research.

I took the cats in for their yearly check up today.
They're both looking great at 14 years of age, although Ash does need a dental soon.

I had been expecting to get their three year rabies shots, but apparently they are no longer giving the three year shot and only offer the one year version.

Supposedly the three year version has some additive that irritates tissues and was causing vaccine sarcomas.
The vaccine that does not have the additive supposedly does not last longer than a year.

Now, I don't want to risk the sarcomas (hugs to Tango, who is fighting a similar problem),
but I also don't want to be constantly stressing out the immune systems of my two 14 year old cats.

(I'm sorry to say I've had some past bad experiences with vets that make me less than trusting.)

So the questions are:
Is the one year version really safer?
Is the three year version safe?
...and where the heck do I find this out?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Montana English Shepherds- Final Sentencing

According to the judge, Kapsa can have:

3 altered dogs
3 altered cats
20 chickens
4 horses
10 goats
2 cockatiels

She'll be under state supervision for 20 years to make sure things never get out of control again.

More information can be found at the Billings Gazette.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Well, that's it for agility for now...

We're skipping the last two classes.
Chandler was still limping slightly in the rear last weekend,
and there's too much chance he'd injure it again in class.
So we're concentrating on building up muscles.
Luckily he loves to swim.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bad news.

I took Chan hiking to tire him out and then to class.
It was our first night outside, so of course I had Mr. Distracted Dog.
However, he got really revved up at the fast dogs and was lunging...
...and he hurt his rear suspension again.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Monday's Agility Class

Not much new. He zooms way ahead of me and steering is still an issue.
Reactive to fast moving dogs on the course.
Still having a great time however.

Monday, April 13, 2009

*sigh* No agility tonight

We're missing class.
Chandler did *something* to his hindquarters while playing chuckit yesterday afternoon.
By 8 pm he was whimpery, generally collapsed, and standing hunched over when coaxed to stand.
I was afraid he was bloating or had done something to his spine.
So, at 9 pm my dad and I headed out to the emergency clinic with him.
(Interestingly, when let out the back door, Chandler shuffled immediately to the car and loaded himself into the back seat.)
We had the usual long wait, and the only thing the vet could find was that his hind legs were really tensed up.
Diagnosis was a soft tissue injury that stiffened up.
So now Chan's on Metacam for a few days, and has been ordered to be a "couch potato".
(Honestly, it did say that on the sheet.)
He's better tonight, and is getting around, but I'm still going to make him take it easy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

3rd Agility Session, week 1

Well, it was a yucky, rainy day, so all the dogs were wired.
I'd gotten Chan out for his full walk, but he was still energetic.
He went back to lunging and barking when the border collie was running. *sigh*
He finds the sound of a dog running through the tunnel to be very stimulating.
I also need to work on his stays, since he broke due to eagerness a couple times.
The trainer said something about impulse control.
As usual we faked our way through the weaves, were told we had to practice, but were not told how to teach them.
(That is unless she wants us to teach by moving beside the dog and directing it, which tends to result in slow weaves, from what I understand. I thought that wasn't the idea?)
Otherwise, the usual steering problems, but less of them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility Week 6

Well, Chandler did get a little stimulated and barky over the dogs going through the tunnels, but it was overall a good night. The steering problems seem to be settling down, and I was also able to send him over two jumps and onto a table just with verbal directions. The main sticking point is the weaves, which he hasn't really learned yet.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility Week 5

Hmm...Chandler must be improving, because I have less to talk about.
I reinforced him some more for going over jumps, which does tend to make him get in front of me then whirl around. ("Wasn't that great Mom?") But we were much less lost on the course. He did launch himself off the side of the a-frame once, and twice off the baby dogwalk. I think I might have caused that, because he started climbing it earlier in the class when he wasn't supposed to, and I told him "off". So he probably got into his head that he was supposed to go partway up then leap off. Oh well.

Plus we still have to really learn to do the weaves. It's a bit tough with none at home to practice with. Hopefully I'll be able to borrow some that belong to a friend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Rowan!

14 years of being an utter brat, and still not slowing down!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility Week 4

Overall, it was a better week. Honestly, I slacked off on training Chandler except for attention exercises, and it seems to have helped. Maybe it was the two week hiatus because of the snow cancellation.

Anyway, we got there early, and I took him into the bathroom so he wouldn't be overly stimulated by the previous class finishing their lesson. I took this time to do a bunch of "look at me, and then go find the thrown treat, and then look at me, and then go find the thrown treat...etc...etc exercises. The upshot is that he was more focused on me in class, and we had less whining and crying because we were busy working on his attention. His steering ended up being a little better too, and now that I finally had some time to watch the other students, at least some of them have similar problems, so I don't feel too bad.

Now I can't wait for next week.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's a good thing the neighbors like him...

Chan did a little breaking and entering today. Or at least entering, I don't think breakage was involved. BAD dog, regardless. I guess this is part of the curse of having a curious, intelligent pet, although frankly, I think he's been waiting for his chance because he's run up to this neighbor's front step several times, and wagged at the front door.

Anyway, we were out for our afternoon walk and ran into Mrs H., and her family's elderly but spry miniature poodle. As we were talking, another neighbor, Mrs. G, was returning up the street to her house. Mrs. G had her son's Newfoundland with her, as they are apparently dog sitting this weekend. Chan loves the newfie, so I let him off leash to zoom around the H's front yard with the other dog. After a bit, I look away to help with the poodle who can't be off leash, and when I look back, Chandler has disappeared.

I call his name a few times, and he doesn't come, which is odd, so I walk down the driveway to check the back yard. Nothing. As I turn to go back to the front yard, I notice Mrs. H has left the door between the garage and the house open.

Yes, Chandler must have seen his chance, and shot into the garage and straight into the house. He did finally come when called-straight down the stairs to the house's basement and the exit to the garage. Oh yes...he was also grinning and had a stolen rawhide in his mouth. I expect that Mrs. H found her poodle's dog bowl was empty when she finally got upstairs.

*sigh* He's such a goofball.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility, week 3

Once again, we had the whining and high pitched barking session before class.
At the least, I suppose I can say that Chan is really enjoying them.

We just did a few runs over some of the obstacles this week.
As usual, Chandler bounced all over the course and ran around in circles during the first one.
I think it is a combination of excitement, and needing more practice getting from one obstacle to the next.

I also think I need to practice his obedience commands a bit. He doesn't listen well when excited.

Later runs were a bit better, but I was giving him a treat after each obstacle, which at least kept him better focused.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Advanced Beginner's Agility, week 2

(Better late than was last Monday.)

I should have known Chandler would be in rare form for class the minute we walked into the training room.
We were about 5 minutes early, and he started to whine and cry. "Whiny boy" was a tad bit impatient to get out on the obstacles. So I dragged him into the bathroom, where he couldn't see the action. He cried, and cried, and cried.

We finally did get to our first practice set of three obstacles. One jump, the pause table, the A frame, and then two more jumps. Chan bounced over the jump, sprang onto the pause table, and immediately bounded off-something he had never done, since he is used to jumping up on Kit's photography table and staying there to pose. It took a couple tries to get "excited boy" to actually lie down on the table, and then we heeled to the A-frame. Up and problem...except there was a plastic lid target at the base of the other side. Chan thinks targets are long as you're not using them to target, that would be BORING. Yep, one second and he'd snatched that target up and was proudly prancing around putting tooth-holes in it. I did get him over the finals jumps, but he had to take a break to sniff around and investigate that portion of the training room...after all, those bags on the bench might have treats in them!

Have I mentioned that my dog is sometimes a silly juvenile delinquent?

Next on the schedule was an introduction to the baby teeter. Its end was set up to land on the pause table, so there really wasn't a big drop, and the instructor was also slowing the drop. We did a few repetitions, systematically adding a tunnel, a jump, and another tunnel to the beginning of the run. Chan seemed to settle down a bit, and I'm very pleased the teeter didn't seem to freak him out, although he did jump off and have to restart once or twice. Yes...he did successfully steal and attempt to take off with the target the instructor had placed at the end of the teeter. I think I'm going to have to quit using them with him, or make them too boring to play with.

Hopefully he'll be a little less wild next class. I think I'd better take him out for an afternoon run or something.

Friday, February 20, 2009

...and on an amusing note.

The "Adult size XL 14-16 footed pajamas with glow in the dark Pterodactyls"
seem to be a hotly contested item in the silent auction.

Of course, the amiable bickering over them on the Yahoo ES forum is the MOST amusing part. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Be careful where your donated pennies go...

I know I said yesterday that I won't give money to the HSUS because I don't like their policies.
I usually recommend supporting local rescues and shelters.
However, I was just reminded that you should also check these out before donating.
Find out what policies the shelter has before donating.
Does every animal get a fair behavioral assessment?

These cats didn't.
Hat tip to Smartdogs.

Another question to ask is what are the conditions at the shelter?
Hat tip to Raised by Wolves.

Neither of these shelters would get my support...aside from removing animals to rescue groups that are prepared to foster them.

Just something to think about. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why I will never send money to HSUS

Chander had a pit bull girlfriend down in Naugatuck. They're great dogs, in my opinion, and probably more emotionally stable and resilient than my beloved herding breed. It is a shame they attract so many irresponsible dog owners. They can be dog aggressive, but so can English Shepherds, Akitas, and a lot of other breeds.

I'm not sure if I will ever own one, however. Frankly, people want to kill them, and my heart would break if anything ever happened.

If Chan got lost, most people would probably say "Hey, there is one of those dogs from the movie "Babe", here boy...don't be shy." If I had a pit, I'd have to worry about people panicking and shooting it.

There are around 300 English Shepherds in Montana that got removed from a bad situation. People have been working their tails off to save and socialize these dogs so they can hopefully be placed in homes after the trial.

150 pit bulls in Wilkes County, NC that had been removed from a bad situation got their trial recently. Yesterday, at a judge's order, they were all killed without any kind of temperament evaluation. This includes 60 puppies that were born while the dogs were in custody waiting for the trial date, and pups nursed to health in a foster home.

Vick's dogs are very, very lucky. Because of the high profile of the case, they had a chance. These North Carolina dogs never had a chance...and the HSUS pushed for their deaths.

They will never get any of my money, and I will tell others to NEVER give them money.

More information and bloggage links on this situation.
Hat tip to Lassie Get Help.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Silent Auction for the Montana Dogs!

The American Working Farmcollie Association is holding a silent auction to benefit the seized hoarding/puppymill English Shepherds in Montana.

Go to their website
...and click on the link for the auction.

(Edit: the scroll bar seems to be appearing and disappearing, you may need to use your down arrow to view all auction items.)

There's a bunch of books in there,
some naturally colored yarn,
goat milk soaps,
and hamburger from pastured/grass fed cattle.

Heck, I think I would go for the hamburger if I had my own place...
that stuff is supposed to be good. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Ashke!

14 years of cattitude!
I love my mew.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First Advanced Beginner's Agility class

There's not so much notable this time around.
We still have lots of enthusiasm and no steering.
Chan wants to move at 50 miles per hour-
when he wasn't searching for fallen treats.

He's going over 16 inch jumps with no problems, as far as I can tell.
Last night was our first try with 6 weave poles.
The instructor pretty much ended up offseting them so there was a channel down the middle.
Chan did a lot of popping out of the weaves...
I'm wondering if he was getting too excited about the food lure.

The Border Collie is back in class...Chan did well with him last night.
He's actually a very nice smooshy dog...if a bit BC ocd. *laugh*
He got really growly/barky and upset over one of the goldens, however.
She (the golden) was looking at him.
I'm betting it wasn't a nice look,
as this is the same golden that had a puppy upside down and screaming in one of our family dog classes.
She doesn't seem to mess with Chan, but I'll keep an eye on her.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Last Beginner's Agility Class

Well, Monday was the last beginner's class.
The border collie wasn't there, so Chan wasn't as revved up.

We did a sequence of two jumps, a tire, two more jumps, and the tunnel.
The first time around Chan proved he was faster than me, and still has steering problems.
He kept whirling around to look at me.
The instructor thinks he's herding me...I personally think it was an enthusiastic "WHAT"S NEXT MOM?!"
Evidence for my view is that on the second run, (reverse order, except for the tunnel at the end again)
Chan zipped over the first three jumps and through the tire,and only whirled at the last jump.
I interpret this as him having figured out what the sequence was.
I don't think he knows any vocabulary yet but "tunnel".

Afterward we started preparing for the teeter with a plank with a block put under it.
Chan did have a slight tendency to step off to the side at the end, but didn't seem freaked out by the arrangement, so I'm happy. I'd expected more problems with footing shifting underneath him.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The veterinarian called.

...of course she called right when we were outside finishing up our walk, and Chan was barking up a storm because the mailman was arriving. The mailman brings biscuits. Yes, he ate the mailman's biscuits. Sheesh.

She said the doxy could be bothering him a bit, and it would be ok to humor him a bit regarding food until it is gone.

So, I wrapped his pills in the cats' cooked chicken breast, gave them to him at 5 pm, and then shredded more chicken into tiny pieces to mix with his uneaten kibble.

He ate it. looks like we're going to be spoiling the boy for close to two more weeks.
Thankfully, the chicken is on sale this week...

Minor Chandler Update

No call from the vet yet...

Further muddying the picture:
He'll eat his tiny turkey dog biscuits.
He'll eat his Old Mother Hubbard peanut butter biscuits.
He'll eat his cottage cheese with probiotic mixed in.
He'll eat Casey's (neighbor's dog) kibble soggy and abandoned on the sidewalk, if he finds one.

He WON"T eat his Eagle Pack Holistic lamb kibble, or the Evo beef kibble.

I don't know if he's just being fussy (very atypical), or if he doesn't feel well and is making exceptions for treats. This would be so much simpler if he wasn't on meds. :(

Call in to the veterinarian...

So Chan has had an "iffy" appetite for about a week.

Of course, last Sunday was perhaps due to eating a lot of meaty refrigerated dog treats, meatballs, and cheese while working on his focus during Libby's class...

And Tuesday morning perhaps from having a bunch more treats during agility...

But he was mostly fine the other days.

But he didn't want to eat this morning...and the only think I think he got into was about an eighth of a can of Instinct cat food yesterday evening, which should not be enough to throw him off.

I did get him to eat his doxycycline wrapped in 1/2 a slice of american cheese, but that is it.
I'm wondering if almost 3 weeks of the antibiotic is messing with his system...?

So, hopefully my vet will call back soon...I don't know if I should just let his stomach rest, or take him in.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekend and Monday

I headed down to Hamden with Chandler on Saturday, to visit my friend Jenn.
She let us tag along for her youngest dog's agility class, because I wanted to work on Chan's focus.
Her class is held in a covered riding arena on a farm.
It was COOOOOOOOOOOLD, and the temperature was dropping.
Chan was fine in his new coat, and I spent some time standing near some heat-throwing propane torches that they had.
Chan did great, with hardly any whimpering; he's shown tendencies to get overexcited in class.
After we left, we decided it was so cold that we didn't want to head out again, so we picked up dinner fixings on the way home, and tossed together a nice salad and some slow berry cobbler when we got back to her house.

Jen had been getting Chandler's cousin Nixie therapy for whatever issue has been causing her to become very sore whenever she does agility, and apparently Nixie was feeling better. She used to like Chandler, but since having bad experiences with other dogs, and feeling so bad, she's hated his guts. She wasn't totally happy about having him around, but she didn't nail him this time around. They actually ended up crashed on the floor about six feet from each other for part of the evening. Nixie may never be thrilled at having "outsider" dogs around, but this visit made me hopeful that she'll tolerate Chan.

Monday was Chan's 5th agility class, and it looks like the two hours of freezing during Libby's class on Saturday practicing attention paid off.
Chandler was very focused on me (and my cheese), so we only had a few difficulties in class.

The biggest hurdle still seems to be the OCD border collie in class.
We were in line next to him at first...the dog lunged out when the havanese started her run on the other side of the room,
and Chan lunged toward the BC. I caught him and told him that HE WAS NOT TO TRY TO TELL THE BC WHAT TO DO!
(Which I think was what he was doing.)

The BC moved out of line-he was getting majorly stimulated, so things calmed down, except when the BC was running.
Chan gets stimulated by the sound of a dog running through tunnels, but the BC seems to send him straight over for some reason.
Chan lunged out once with his tail slightly raised and a semi-deep bark-but that was the worst of the evening.

The instructor had three tunnels curved and set up in a triangular pattern with a jump in the middle.
Chan's enthusiasm and ability to refocus on me were great, but we need to work on the steering.
He'd pop out of a tunnel raring to go and get confused about what the next obstacle was...
...and then get there after a false start or two and sometimes a twirl to look at me.
I need to get better at signaling him.

However, I was very proud of him for IGNORING the BC on his last tunnel run, as it was bouncing around onleash in the area just past the last tunnel.
(Ok, he might have considered going over there, but he decided working with me on the obstacles was more fun.)


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Rescue Rainbow Bridge (for self reference, and because I like it.)

The Rescue Rainbow Bridge

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as
a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All the recent arrivals were
confused and concerned. They had no idea what to think for they had never
experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had spent some
time waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was happening and began to
gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge to watch. They knew this was
something special.

It wasn't too long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung
heavy and low with tail dragging along the ground. The other animals on the
pathway...the ones who had been at Rainbow Bridge for a while...knew the
story o this sad creature immediately. They had seen it happen far too many times.

Although it was obvious the animal's heart was leaden and he was totally
overcome with emotional pain and hurt, there was no sign of injury or any
illness. Unlike the pets waiting at the Bridge, this dog had not been
restored to his prime. He was full of neither health nor vigor. He approached slowly
and painfully, watching all the pets who were by now watching him. He knew he
was out of place here. This was no resting place for him. He felt instinctively
that the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be. But alas, as
he came closer to the Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an
Angel who spoke softly to the old dog and apologized sorrowfully, telling him
that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their
special people could pass over the Rainbow Bridge. And he had no special beloved
people...not here at the Bridge nor on Earth below.

With no place else to turn, the poor elderly dog looked toward the fields
before the Bridge. There, in a separate area nearby, he spotted a group of
other sad-eyed a animals like himself...elderly and infirm. Unlike the pets
waiting for their special people, these animals weren't playing, but
simply lying on the green grass, forlornly and miserably staring out at the pathway
leading to the Bridge. The recent arrival knew he had no choice but to join them.
And so, he took his place among them, just watching the pathway and

One of the newest arrivals at the Bridge, who was waiting for his special
people, could not understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of
the pets who had been there for some time to explain it to him.
"That poor dog was a rescue, sent to the pound when his owner grew tired
of him. They way you see him now, with graying fur and sad, cloudy eyes, was
exactly the way he was when he was put into the kennels. He never, ever
made it out and passed on only with the love and comfort that the kennel workers
could give him as he left his miserable and unloved existence on Earth for
good. Because he had no family or special person to give his love, he has nobody
to escort him across the Bridge."

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what
will happen now?"

As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the
all-invasive gloom lifted. Coming toward the Bridge could be seen a single
figure...a person who, on Earth, had seemed quite ordinary...a person who,
just like the elderly dog, had just left Earth forever. This figure turned
toward a group of the sad animals and extended outstretched palms. The sweetest
sounds they had ever heard echoed gently above them and all were bathed in
a pure and golden light. Instantly, each was young and healthy again, just as
they had been in the prime of life.

From within the gathering of pets waiting for their special people, a
group of animals emerged and moved toward the pathway. As they came close to the
passing figure, each bowed low and each received a tender pat on the head
or a scratch behind the ears. Their eyes grew even brighter as the figure
softly murmured each name. Then, the newly-restored pets fell into line behind
the figure and quietly followed this person to the Bridge, where they all
crossed together.

The recent arrival who had been watching, was amazed. "What happened?"

"That was a rescuer," came the answer. "That person spent a lifetime
trying to help pets of all kinds. The ones you saw bowing in respect were those
who found new homes because of such unselfish work. They will cross when their
families arrive. Those you saw restored were ones who never found homes.
When a rescuer arrives, they are permitted to perform one, final act of rescue.
They are allowed to escort those poor pets that couldn't place on Earth
across the Rainbow Bridge. You see, all animals are special to them...just as
they are special to all animals."

"I think I like rescuers," said the recent arrival.

"So does God," was the reply.

(author unknown)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Agility update and other stuff...

Last night was Chandler's 5th agility class.

The dogs were all revved up for some reason, so it was a bit harder to keep his attention on me. He kept on wanting to zoom out while the border collie was working; it seems to have a bit more frantic excitement going, so that may be why. The little havanese took off around the room playing "catch me" twice- I talked to her owner and suggested playing "gotcha" during the week, so her dog is less likely to dodge during leashing up. The mudi was barking, as usual. *sigh* I really think that dog has figured out that if he barks a few times and then is quiet, his owner feeds him.

We started off with that weird exercise where the dogs jump on the table then hop onto the adjacent A-frame. Chan was enthusiastic, but really didn't understand why he wasn't just going up the A-frame. He actually did better when doing just the A-frame. However, his enthusiasm was such that he'd run over it when I hadn't told him to do so. (Note to self, work on listening, and STAY.) At least his targeting was better after a week of practice; he didn't really try to play with the targets. I still need to practice keeping his hind feet on the contacts, however. He had a tendency to bounce off.

Then it was off to try the dogwalk for the first time. It was only set to three feet, and he scrabbled a bit while I held his collar for the first try. Ofter that his "I've got it Mom!" attitude kicked in, he zoomed quickly across it on his own. The only problem here was that his front end seemed to be stopping faster than his rear, so one hind leg would pop off the end ramp every time he stopped at the contact to target. For the last two runs over the dogwalk, we then continued on to the tunnel. He ran right through and came out looking for me-the only problem was getting him in, as he would tend to linger by the instructor at the end of the dogwalk, probably trying to mooch more treats.

Overall, a decent night for a beginner with a clueless owner, I think. :)

Other stuff-

Urgh. My car's radiator is leaking coolant when put under pressure. I hate car repairs. I had to borrow my parent's car to get to agility last night; luckily I noticed the "check coolant" light before we got onto the highway.

I'm volunteering one day a month at a local all-volunteer library. It's fun, and will hopefully be good for my resume. Also, there is a chance that I'll be able to help the "official librarian" out with some of the cataloging and other such duties.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Veterinary Updates

Last week:

Ashke went in to check out something that felt like a fatty lump behind one of his shoulders. Lipomas are not so common in cats, and he's 13, so I figured a check was in order. A needle biopsy resulted in mostly connective tissue, and nothing serious. After thought, we tried the microchip scanner, and sure enough, his microchip was in there. We tentatively concluded that Ashke had built up tissue around his chip, and decided just to keep an eye on it for changes.

Chandler went in because he'd been shaking his head to flap his ears, and cleaning them hadn't helped. He had some wax plugs and one of the ears looked a bit irritated upon examination. The vet used some stronger ear cleaner and sent us home with some ointment to use for a week.


Second opinion on Chandler's anaplasmosis issue. After going over the facts, this vet noted that Chandler's CBC results were a bit harder to read because the clinic had used week-old blood, but he was a bit low on platelets, which she found was a possible indication of anaplasmosis. Given my paranoia and the status of my checkbook(being a full time student is not good for it) I elected to do a course of doxycycline with him, and run a titer around June.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Charges filed in Montana Case

I need some hugs after reading this.
I want to cry my eyes out again.

Here's a link to the charges filed by the Yellowstone County Prosecutor against Linda Kapsa.

WARNING. The above link contains very GRAPHIC descriptions of the animals seized and the conditions they were living in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Agility Class Update

Chan has been to three weeks of beginners agility class so far.

Week one, he was great. He started off a bit overwhelmed-its a large class of about 10 dogs, but really perked up when we took out the jumps and started practicing with them low.

Week 2- Debacle.
After Chan's first run through two tunnels, he broke away with me to zoom around the training center with the dog who went through the tunnels after him. He had a great time, but was so wound up afterwards that he really couldn't focus, kept popping out of the tunnels, and even jumped on top of one. Yeesh...crazy dog.

Week 3- Better.
I decided to keep Chan busy with various "fun" commands while we were waiting. (Pay attention to are not breaking loose and joyriding this week!) It worked really well, and the lesson suffered more from my inexperience and clumsiness than Chan's "vroom" this week. He did really well, except for one little snafu. Chan is too smart for my own good.

About halfway through the class the instructor decided that she didn't want us leaning down to reward the dogs on the target,
because that could become an unintended cue.
So she walks purposefully across the classroom, with Chandler avidly watching because instructors rarely do that.
She goes to the refrigerator that has the REALLY GOOD homemade treats.
( I think Chandler MIGHT have seen me get treats from there once, months ago.)
Now Chan is a bit of a food hound, and he also does things with gusto...
so when it's our turn, he shoots to the end of his leash in overdrive,
much more eager than he'd been all night, although he'd been enthusiastic and willing.
All he wanted to do was DRAG ME to the obstacle and do whatever he can to get those REALLY GOOD treats!

Oh well, it is just his third class.
I think we're going to keep working on focus. ;)