Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Karen Holik Seminar

Today I went to a Karen Holik seminar. It was just a 1/2 day seminar. We started around 9am. It was kinda chilly this morning but once the sun came out it quickly warmed up to about 70 degrees. There were 6 people and dog ( BC, Rotti, lab, boxer, boykin spaniel , and miley) teams . All the dogs were a little crazy at the beginning of the seminar. Miley was over the top. Taking jumps, tunnels and just doing her own thing. Then when I tried to get her under control and bring her to me, the circling started. Ugh! It was embarrassing. Everyone elses dogs seem to settle down quickly except Miley. I'm suppose to take her to our club trial this weekend and boy was I having second thoughts . I have no control of my dog and I'm sure everyone there agreed. The guy with the border collie was glad I was there. His dog kept running away, so with Miley circling, he didn't look to bad. Miley finally settled down by 11am. After that she ran great. Karen asked me, it that she usually runs. And I said yes. Even with all the circling, Karen did say she thought Miley was going to be a great dog.
One of the biggest things I got out of this seminar, was I need to do obedience with Miley. But really, I had already come to this conclusion. This just brought it home. Ive always hated obedience but I need to become a better team member. She thinks I should put the circling on cue. Her dog Sizzle did do tight circles around her ,but she could stop it, and I cant. Tonight she is giving a lecture and will talk more about getting herding behavior under control.

Another key point that she teaches in all her puppy classes it to get your dog to look at you. Call you dog's name and when they look at you, click and treat. Once you have that, start moving around and call there name, click and treat for them looking at you. After the dog really gets the hang of this and they are out in the yard or doing other things, call their name. When they look at you, click and they will start coming to you to get their treat. And when they start coming, then put the word "come" in there. That's how you teach your dog to come to you. ( I thought that was a neat way to teach come). One thing she told me was to teach Miley the difference between "Here" come close to me vs "here" come all the way next to me. Like if you are walking and you just want your dog to come along "here" or you are on an agility field and you want them to come between two jumps so you need them right to your heel. ( I hope that makes sense) So "come" with in 10-20 feet of you, or "come" right to your side. And of course you need a different word for both.
We did lots of small sequences. Ive got to get my arm flapping under control. Karen asked me, "what are you pointing to? Your arm is way up here and your dog is little. Do you think she can see your arm?" Good point. So that is my goal for this weekends trial. Keep my arms under control. Point to the jump , but point to the bar, not over the top of the jump. Also to keep my shoulders straight. We did a sequence with a serpentine and Miley did it correct . But she wasn't as fast as she could be and she seemed unsure. Well that's because I was running next to her. When running the serpentine, I needed to get ahead of her , so she can see my arms. I ran it again, making sure I was about a jump ahead of her in the serpentine and she was much faster and more confident.

Off the to the lecture. WooHoo!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

AKC Nationals

Its been raining for the last 4 days. Saturday it wasn't raining first thing in the morning ,but we were suppose to have a down pour all day. So first I took the dogs to the State Park for a nice long walk. Right when I got back to the car it started raining. My timing was just right. Then I decided to go watch some nationals on Saturday because what else could I do with all the rain. Stephanie decided to go with me and we left around 10am. It rained all the way up but not so bad you couldn't see out the window. We got there about 12:30. They had signs up that said parking was 3 dollars but no one was taking money when we got there. We sat in the main arena, but I couldn't see the weaves from where I was, but I didn't want to move. Stephanie was excited because the dog, or one of the dogs, from "Marley and Me" was there and you could meet him. She is obsessed with fame. Marley is famous and of course he was touched by Jennifer Aniston and Owen Williams. That made me laugh. I told her there was someone more famous then Marley walking the course right now. She said who. I told her Greg Luganis. She said, "Who's that". So then I told her, she wasn't to impressed. You know the dog was touched by famous people. Hard to compete with that. The picture above is her with Marley, which I'm sure you guessed.

Anyway , I got to see a lot of runs. Its so fun to watch people's dogs who are smoking the course. I wish I had tape some of the runs so I could analyze them when I got home. Like Marcus Topps run. He makes it look like he isn't even working hard. Yet he dogs gets such a fast time. I love how his dog reads him so well. I wonder if its all body language or if he is giving verbal cues too when he is running a jumpers course. I also saw this lady run a golden retriever that was awesome. She had some type of disability and couldn't run. Her dog had such distance. They were running to the final jump and the dog couldn't see the handler and stop right before the last jump ( which was a double or a triple), then he must have seen here coming and jump over and didn't even drop the bars. And to top if off had a fast time too. One thing that I saw happen a lot which was concerning was dogs going for their leashes. AKC has this new rule about the leashed not being on the ground for the dog to get. Most clubs have gone to putting the leashes in a bucket and then on a chair. But at nationals, the leash was sitting on the seat of a metal folding chair. So the dog would run to the chair to get his leash and would clothes line itself. I hope none of the dogs got hurt. It really seemed dangerous to me. The other thing I saw a lot of was running backward into a front cross. I can barely do it running forward. I'll kill myself if I have to learn that. But it seemed to work really well for the people using it.

We stayed there about 3-4 hours and then left to go eat dinner and go to that outlet mall to shop. We ate at a place called "Razzoo", I think that's how you spell it. It was Cajun food and I was worried Stephanie wouldn't like it. But I wanted to try something new , at a place we had never been before. The food turned out to be good and the restaurant had cool decor. We did do a little shopping but finally I told Stephanie we needed to go home so I stop spending money. It was still pouring down rain when we left at 7pm. We got to the other side of Charlotte and it had stopped raining and the sun was out. The buildings from the city looked wild with the sun reflecting off of the windows. We tried to get a shot of it. This is the best we could get.

So today (Sunday)is sunny. Yea. Also on a high note, Miley has not broken her start line stay since last Tuesday when I posted about it. First I relaxed about it. Second, I started making her stay when we go out the gate to the front part of the house. And before we go in to see the ferrets. She is always very excited about both of those things. So I'm not sure what it is, but it is better. Yea!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Im a worrier!

You think? On Wednesday I took Miley to the underwater treadmill and she did terrible. She walked really slow. And then after 13 minutes she refused to walk anymore. But while in the UWTM ( underwater treadmill ) her gait was normal. I had brought Natural Balance Rolls dog food. We use that a lot when training agility. She usually likes it. But not when doing the UWTM. She wouldn't come to me. It was so weird. The vet had a piece of chicken that seem to work somewhat. But then when I had to go back to my stuff, she (Miley) made a terrible face like I gave her tar to eat. So we took her out of the UWTM and called it a day. When waiting to pay, I saw blood on the floor. I didn't think it was Mileys blood but she did stop in the treadmill a few seconds before it was turned off. The building also does orthopedic surgery , so blood on the floor wouldn't be unheard of. I checked Miley's foot. There was nothing there. But then the vet saw me checking her and got concerned and came out and asked if she was limping. I said ,"no, I'm just a worrier". But when I got home I was freaked out. Did she refuse to walk because it was hurting her? Did I run her through agility to hard the day before? I gave her 1/2 a Rimadyl and didn't let her do anything that night. Then next morning I walked her and didn't see anything wrong. Then the real test. I took her to the park. The one with the steps that are wide and will show a problem , if there was one.

Side story: I had this cat when I was a kid. After she would eat, she would go around her bowl , scratching the floor like she was covering up her food. She would make a complete circle and then turn around and look at the bowl. Well, of course the food wasn't covered up. So she would start again. She would do this about 4 to 5 times. Each time turning around to see that the bowl wasn't covered. So the final time she would work, scratching the floor all the way around the bowl and just wouldn't look back. She probably thought, "If I don't look back, it must be covered".

That's how I wanted to feel about Miley's leg. If I don't take her for a walk and I don't do the steps with her, I wont know if anything is wrong. Like the cat. But I'm not the cat and if I don't know what is wrong I cant fix it. So I took her to the park and everything was fine. No weird gait down those steps. No skips on the walk. Everything seems fine.

Today, back to the UWTM. This time I took a hot dog. Miley loves hot dogs. I told the vet about seeing the blood on the floor on Wednesday and that is why I was checking Miley's foot. She felt better. I told you, I think I made her worry too. So maybe Miley is bored or just doesn't like the UWTM. The vet decided to vary the treadmill speed a lot more. So she would go a few minutes at 1.2 mph and the one minute at 1.6 and then back down again. Miley did great. I'm not sure if it was the hot dogs or the varying of the speed. Miley has definitely build up her thigh muscles. I always thought she was in shape, but man her thighs are awesome now. Of course you cant see it because of all the hair , but you can feel it. Even the vet said, "wow, huge thigh muscles" today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breaking her start line

So, Little Miss Miley has bee breaking her start line a lot. Is she just so excited to be running the course she cant control herself? Is it something I'm doing? Ive been really trying to reward heavily when she stays. I try to be mindful of walking back to her when she does stay. I'm sure the dogs learn that the farther out you go, the less likely the reward. Ive been just doing a two jump lead out , at the most. So yesterday she broke several times even with rewarding when staying. I finally started throwing the chicken to her, which seem to help. I could tell her body relaxed when she leaned over to find the chicken. The only problem is that if your throw isn't great, your dog may move. One time she did have to stand up to get the treat but did stay in the same spot. Is that ok? I really don't want this to become an issue. And me worrying about it, makes it an issue. Maybe she isn't trusting me because I'm not trusting her. Ive been reading through Clean Run looking for something to jump out at me as the problem, but nothing yet. I do make her wait in her crate to be released and sometimes we practice waiting at doors , but all the time. Any suggetions?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Miley handling

This was a set up I did today with Miley. Keep in mind we really haven't practice for a couple of months. She did pretty good. My handling needs help. I don't like the arm flinging thing I'm doing. Its very choppy looking. Its probably confusing to the dog. She did drop some bars, but the were all on crosses. I did more than what is on the video. I first did the set up that is from clean run March of 09. Its the Power Paws Drills, Seminar Sets by Nancy Gyes, set number 3. In the end I change the bottom of the sequence to be a pinwheel. ( not on video) One thing I noticed that I did was try to rear cross after the jump to turn her into the pinwheel. You wouldn't rear cross in front of the jump the dog just took. So I let the dog go by and then rear crossed. I don't know why I did that. I didn't even realize that is what I did until I watched the video. I know I also did that at the trial in January , with the same results. The dog didn't understand the cue. Ugh! I will have to watch that.

My computer is still having problems. The audio device keeps deleting its self. Plus other problems. I may have to send it in to be fixed. I probably wont get much practice in the next 5 days, its suppose to rain everyday. I hope they are wrong. On Sunday I may go up to North Carolina and watch the AKC agility nationals. It wont be that close again for a long time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dogwalk success

So I took Miley to the training field on Sunday. I ran her across the dogwalk 4 times. The first time I was so busy watching her gait that I forgot to say "touch" and she ran off the end of the dogwalk. I was thinking,"crap, what happened?" But then I remembered that I didn't tell her anything. She was so proud of herself too. So we repeated it. The next three times she stopped. I didn't see anything abnormal in her gait. The only thing I may have noticed was she didn't run as fast as she use to. But that could just be from not running it in such a long time. Plus it probably didn't help that I messed up the first time and that made her slow down the rest of the times. I did do some sequencing with her. She did very well. She only dropped one bar and I think that was my fault, I was late. We are very rusty and I was way late on many of my calls. She ran by the weave poles the first time but then did them all the second time. We were only there a total of 15 minutes and she wasn't working the whole 15 min. It was definitely the longest she had worked in a long time. The rest of the day she seem much more a peace with her life then she has since this started. She did break her start line stay several times. Ugh! The only other thing that I thought looked weird was her gait at the end. I'm trying to post it here. We will see if it up loads. I tried all day to up load the video and it just wouldn't work. The first video is of her gait at normal speed. ( I know she is circling but I wanted my husband to be able to get it on video with her gaiting naturally) If I can I will up load the slower gait video too. But the video will be much shorter because blogger cant handle the video. I couldn't up load the video of the slow gait. I watched the above video frame by frame. I didn't see anything unusual. She was using her foot/leg normally. Both extending and contracting completely normal. I don't know why it looks so weird. I will show it to the vet today and see what she thinks.

I took Guiness to freestyle class last night. He did really well. Only two of us showed up. She kinda tested us. We had to go out into the ring and she told us what we had to do. Guiness did really well. He did most things with only a verbal command. It really makes me realize how much in agility your dog is going with your body language. It takes a lot of work to make the dog just do something by verbal. Things I need to work on are having the dog side step. We cant do that at all. The other is having the dog turn and then back between you legs. He can back between my legs if I set him up but I need it to look more fluid. So if you make them half circle and the back up , it looks better.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

More a-frame work

First I would like to say I'm going to have to fire the house elfs. They didn't come last night and clean my kitchen. What is up with that!

Next here is some a-frame ground work I did last night. The first run her back leg wasn't inside the box but I rewarded because I didn't notice it until I watched the video. The next run I started adding equipment. I added a tunnel. She jumps over the box. WooHoo, cant slow down. But after that she seems to get it together.

Today I took the dogs for a long walk at the park. It was freezing when I first got there but then got better once we go moving. Later in the afternoon I worked Miley for a short session. Just some weave poles and once through the a-frame ground work. Here is that video.

Do anyone know if its ok if you dog is just getting into the box. Should she be jumping right in the middle of the box? Anyway, tomorrow is D day. I'm going to take her to the training field and have her get on the dogwalk and see if she does that weird gait.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pacing gait

Ricky asked what a pacing gait was. It is when the dog moves the front and rear leg on the same side of the body at the same time. Here is a youtube video of a dog with a pacing gait. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af6QV0Rt1os A trot is what you see most dogs doing in the conformation ring. Hope that helps.

Running A-frame

Someone posted a message to me about the running A-Frame. She didnt want me to post her message on my site. I tried to email her my reply but it kept gettin rejected. So I hope she doesnt mind but here is my reply.

So far I like the running a-frame. I had tried it before but I used the information from an article in Clean run and I didnt have all the information I needed to teach it properly. I now have the DVD which has a lot more information in it. She also added more ground work to make sure your dog really knows what they are doing. Right now I just have her doing the 2 jumps to the box. I would recommend video taping it every session. You think they are doing it correctly but when I went back and looked at the tape she wasnt. Rachal tells you what to look for in the DVD and how to fix things that happen. Like if the dog jumps the box or if they are putting to many strides in between the last jump and the box. I wont put the box on the a-frame until I can do front crosses and rear crosses with the stuff on the ground. She also says you need to run sequences witht he jumps and box on the ground. So, send your dog to the tunnel and then into the ground work set up. She definitly gives you a lot more ground work to do with the DVD then she did with the first article that was in clean run. Thats as far as I have gotten in the DVD. I hope that helps.

Weird Week

So Tuesday everything seemed to be going a usual. I had to be a a nursing staff meeting a 3pm. I figured,no problem. The kids leave school at 2:30, so I should be able to leave school and get to the meeting. Well at 2:15 I get a call that there is a student in the stair well with chest pains and cant breath. ( you wouldn't believe how many 6th graders have chest pain) At the same time I get a call over the walkie that there is a student in the gym that maybe having a seizure. Well I cant be in both places at the same time. I decided that breathing comes before seizure especially since it sound like if it were a seizure, is was a staring seizure. So I figured I would go by the stair well, check on the breath kid. If she is truly having problems I would call 911 and then send someone to go see the other kid in the gym. Well I assess the breathing kid. She seems find, breathing wise, I think she was just hyperventilating. I have someone take her in the wheel chair to the health room and I go on to see the sizure kid. I don't think she had a seizure since even thought she wouldn't talk to them she would follow commands. You cant follow commands when your having a seizure. I had her walk with me to the health room. I called her mom and she agreed with me that it wasn't a seizure. The other kid calmed down and was sent home. I finally got the the meeting. When the meeting finished at 5pm, I went home. That's the day Guiness got so muddy. When I got home I let the dogs out and started grilling chicken on the grill. I don't know how Guiness got so muddy. He must have fallen in this big mud hole at the bottom of the yard. I finished cooking dinner and then decided I would clean Miley first since she was only dirty on the bottom half and then get to Guiness. I had Miley in the shower cleaning her up when my son came home. The back door was shut , so he thought I was in the back yard working the dogs. He opened the back door and Guiness come flying in and runs through the house. Jumps right on my bed. It was chaos at my house. Stephanie is screaming at Lou, Lou is trying to get Guiness. I can hear all the screaming but I'm in the bathroom with the door shut so I cant figure out what is going on. Finally Stephanie gets Guiness and brings him in the bathroom. All I can say is, WOW.
Yesterday I really wasn't feeling very good but managed to make it through the day. I took Miley to her treadmill treatment. She was just off. She was in the tank and I'm in front of her and looking down. I can see her hips are doing something weird. So I ask the vet what Miley is doing. She not limping or anything like that but she is pacing. I know there is a lot of controversy about a pacing gait. Some poeple do not think it is normal. This vet and the other rehab vet both think is a normal gait for a dog. We dont want Miley pacing in the tank though because she isn't exercising her legs the way we want. So the vet wants me to work more on getting Miley to trot. I think that when Ive been seeing Miley's hips being weird on our walks, she must have been pacing. But because I'm behind her, I couldn't see it. So that is my homework. Get Miley trotting more so that she can do that in the underwater treadmill. Its weird how sometimes she does great and other days she just seems off. I think I will have to bring different treats, so if she is having an off day that I have more motivating treat.
Then there is today. I'm still feeling bad. I'm not sure what it is but I woke up at 4am with everything hurting. I managed to drag myself to work and figure I would make it. I'm not sure what was going on but I saw 67 kids not including medications. They just kept coming for , I sorry, dumb reasons. When you see 67 kids and only 5 go home. Then there are a lot of kids coming for no reason. I thought I was going to have a breakdown. I don't mind taking care of kids that are truly sick or injured . But when they aren't , it drives me crazy.
My poor dogs haven't been on a really long walk in almost a week. Things have got to start looking up.


Does anyone know how you can read someone's blog that is not in English? thanks, Diana

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Running A-Frame ( ground work)

It took forever to get this to load. I first tired it with my other program and had it slowed down but it just wouldn't upload. Ugh! So anyway, this about the extent of our agility training right now. I decided to try Miley with a running a-frame but then a 2o/2o dogwalk. We will see what happens. Right now things are looking good. Ive been video taping all the sessions. After watching the first session with the two low jumps and the box, I saw that she was putting an extra stride between the last jump and the box. I want her to be a 2 stride on the down because I know when she goes to a trial she is excited and will change to a 2 stride. Well really, she would like it to be one stride. Hit and jump off high. But I'm hoping for a 2 stride on the down. I can now really see what holes were in my training last time and hopefully I'm fixing them.

Last night at dinner I asked my husband and my daughter if they saw Miley limping when she has been running around the house. Do you know what they both said at the same time, "she's a maniac". Then my husband said, "She runs around as fast as she can, jumping, spinning, who the hell can see anything she is doing". Not really the answer I was looking for. I really wouldn't use the word maniac to describe Miley at all. Guiness, yes but not Miley. She is just excited and happy. You can make her stop easily by calling her name. Now Guiness, a bike goes by and he is crazy. Try calling him off, not to easy. Someone comes to the door, maniac dog!

Today Miley's underwater treadmill session went really well. I brought a harness for her and it worked great. She really didn't like the life vest from last week. Today she was focused and moving. She didn't have any problems. To bad I have to work tomorrow. The rehab and Vet. referral service are taking pictures for their web site tomorrow at 9am and they wanted Miley for the pictures. Ahh to bad.

Three days of rain. Im really hoping is stops tomorrow.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

20th Anniversity

Today is my husband and I 20th Anniversary. So I posted some pictures from when we got married. I couldn't get them to scan in right so I just took pictures of the pictures with my camera. We went to the justice of the peace with a few friends and family. Then we all went out for a nice dinner. Our honeymoon was in Cancun. Its hard to believe its been 20 years. My poor husband has aged but I look exactly the same. LOL Just kidding.
Love is: Your husband spending over 2 hours on a Saturday night fixing your computer. You some how deleted the audio device on your computer. Your husband tries to fix it then has to go to a HP chat room to get technical support. After emailing you 2 audio devices, it works again. That's love. I'm the luckiest person in the world.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cant chew gum and walk

Here is Miley with her life jacket on. We put her in the pool first. She did ok. I wouldn't say she loved it, but she did swim. But most of the time she didn't use her back feet. I think the life jacket kept her so buoyant that she didn't really have to try very hard. Next time we might just put a harness on her and see how it goes. The good news was she did much better in the underwater treadmill. We got the speed up to 1.4 mph. I had treats to keep her moving forward. ( I did last time too, but it wasn't as effective.) One thing Miley needs to learn is to chew and walk. I would break the treats into tiny pieces. Once she ate one, she would stop walking and ride the treadmill to the back. She couldn't walk and chew. It was kinda funny. We are hoping next time we can get her up to a trot.
On Thursday I let her just run around the backyard and chase Guiness. I wanted to see if it made any difference when she would go for walks the next day. I left her be wild. The next day on the walk, no skips or weird gaits. So today, because its cold and rainy, Ive been throwing the toy down the hall. We haven't done that in about 7 weeks. So far everything seems fine. I have been doing a little agility. Just having her run the down part of the contact of the dogwalk. Going to find the entry of 2 weaves poles that are open at 8 and 2 o'clock. Once this week I let her run a a pinwheel of low jumps with one rear cross and one front cross. Its so funny, when I tell her "all done". She just stands there staring at me like, "what, you are kidding me right? Hey ,where are you going we just got started".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What is wrong with people?


I dont know who I feel worse for, the hyena or the purple dog.


Its been hot this week. I think its been about 85 degrees all week. Tuesday it was so humid the dogs were just laying around. I kept thinking maybe Miley was hurting because she didn't want to run around or play. But I think it was the humidity. Yesterday it was still 85 but no humidity and the dogs seem back to normal. Miley even stood in her little pool a couple of times.
Yesterday Miley went to rehab . She really isn't enjoying the underwater treadmill. I don't know how to make it more fun for her. They tried to increase the speed and she just couldn't get it. She would speed up, like she was trying to catch up to me and then go back to her slower pace. And that would make her fall behind and end up at the back of the treadmill. The vet felt she just didn't understand what she needs to do. So Friday we will put a life jacket on her. This will give us more control of her so that we can encourage her to increase the speed. We will also let her go in the pool and see if she thinks that is more fun. I don't want her to think this is torture.

This morning I was walking the dogs and we had walk passed the usual spot where I usually see Miley have an off gait or skip. Guess what, I didn't see anything. We walked up into the cul-de-sac and I was thinking to myself, "Maybe she is getting better". Right when I thought that, she took a huge skip. Ugh! I looked down at the ground and there was a large pebble on the ground. Did she step on it? I don't know. I saw two tiny skips farther along in the walk. Now, I don't think I over did things yesterday. The only thing she did yesterday was go to rehab. I didn't do either walk. The morning one, I was just to tired and decided to sleep an extra hour. I didn't do the evening one because she had done the underwater treadmill. I did let her run in the yard a bit, but nothing excessive. But...... When I looked at my notebook where I keep her progress recorded, I read something that I forgot about. Tuesday I decided to let her do a little agility. I figured the teeter was safe. ( I know, everyone is laughing) But there is no jumping or turning . It wasn't like she ran across the yard to the teeter. She was maybe 4 feet from it. Some how she wasn't straight getting on and came off sideways but at the beginning of the board. It was very ugly and made me cringe. She seemed ok afterwards. But maybe that has something to do with the skip.
And poor Guiness. His skip is so much worse since I restricted all the dogs activity. I'm hoping is will get better as I'm letting him run more in the backyard. I tired to work with him last night on tricks but he gets so excited about food that he is almost crazy. He can hardly control himself. I guess I need to work on that because I couldn't get much training done. I did get him to go into a bow and tell him to wait. Then I put the food about 12 inches from him. Then release to the food. I'm training the bow that way because he really isn't getting the bow without me keeping my hand by his hips. If I don't put my hand there, he goes into a down. So I'm hoping that making him wait in the bow position will help him learn what he is suppose to do. Will see. I also worked on alternating lifting his paws. He was really crazy, slapping my hands with his paws. It made my hands hurt. I think I'm going to teach him to touch a stick with his paw instead.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This is a small sample of my daughters room. Talk about creativity. If you could see the whole thing you would think I was crazy.

But out of that comes this:

She made this at school today. Its a picture of my mom and dad. I thought it was great. (Please dont copy unless you are someone in my family.) Thanks

Monday, March 9, 2009

whats up with that?

So Miley did well all weekend. I didn't see any problems. We went to the park again on Sunday and walked even more of the up and down hills. No problems. Today we went back to rehab and I was warming her up in the parking lot and she skipped. Maybe her foot is sensitive. She did the treadmill ok but really didn't seem into it. She kinda lagged behind and had to be encouraged to come forward more. But not limping or off loading weight. She just seem distracted. Go figure.
Last night I took Guiness to the freestyle class. There were only 2 of us there. We worked on sequencing which helps the dogs learn the tricks better. My big mistake was cutting Guiness's nails that morning. We also worked on alternating paws touching my hands and then legs ( with your hands on your legs). So now my hands are all scratched up. He wasn't trying to be rough, it was just his nails didn't have time to get the ruff edges off. That's was a big mistakes. Looks like Ive been in a cat fight. Sometimes I have to make myself go to class but once I'm there, I have a good time and enjoy it.
Also last night Micky had a seizure. I hate seizures, in dogs and people. Its just such a helpless feeling to watch them go through that and there is really nothing you can do. It is usually over in a couple of minutes but it feels like forever. Poor Mickey. He hasn't had one in over a year so I'm not sure what was up with that. He is awake during his seizures and just gets really stiff. No jerking. Although last night he cried for the first time during his seizure. I just hold him until its over. Then he gets down, shakes himself off and trots away. Its kinda funny. Like, "Man, I'm glad that's done."
This next part is for Dawn who asked me what box work I was talking about. Sometimes in agility, people refer to box work when they are talking about jumps. Setting 4 jumps up so they look like a box and you practice front and rear crosses and other things. But also there is a way to teach a running contact where you build a box made out of PVC. First you teach to dog what to do on the ground and then you put the box on the a-frame. If you go to this link you can see an old post of mine where the box is on the a-frame. It teaches the dog to hit the yellow zone.
(I couldnt get it to link to the post. So just go over the the labels on the bottom right hand side and hit the one labeled "box a-frame".)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Park

This morning we walked the state park. ( I guess you figured since I posted a new blog header) We got there around 9am and it was packed. Even in South Carolina they are having spring fever. Its not like this is the first warm day we have had all winter. The first parking lot was full. I figured, "Great, tons of bikes". I thought we would be ok if we just stayed mostly on the spider women trail. The bikes don't go on that trail to often because its very hilly and some of the paths are narrow. But today we had 8 bikes on the spider women trail. It makes life difficult because Guiness goes crazy when the bikes go by. So much for a nice, peaceful walk. We did see a beaver swimming in the water. The water looked rough, I guess all the rain and snow was coming through. It didn't seem to bother the beaver. We walked most of the spider women trial but not all. I didn't want to over due Miley. We finished without any skipping or leg flicking. Yea. It was already warm this morning and I wasn't well prepared with water for the dogs to drink. Several times they went down to the creek for water. Both Miley and Guiness went and stood in the creek. I figured Guiness was hot. He never gets his feet wet. He will always walk around any puddles of water. Miley always trots through them.
I let Miley run a few jumps this morning. That made her and me happy. I didn't see any problems. We also did some box work. Which she must remember from before because she picked it up easily.
This afternoon its very hot, 85 degrees. The dogs are in shock. Miley is looking for shade so I filled up the baby pool for her. That's how it is in South Carolina. We usually don't have Spring or Fall. Just Summer and Winter.
I did watch some of the activities at Crufts. How great is the computer and technology that we can now watch Live dogs shows in England. I watched some of the freestyle competition. I really only like watching the dogs and people that have fast music. The slow stuff is boring to me. What I really liked was the guy who gave a small demonstration on teaching tricks to your dog. He has won some freestyle competitions with his dogs. His boarder collie just seemed so happy and excited to be doing the tricks. That was nice to see. I also watch the semi-final and part of the finals for the large dog agility. I didn't like the second course set up as much as the first. They really like those tight twisty courses over there.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rehab today and other things

Today I still let Miley run around the back yard but only for a few minutes. I did have my husband video tape her when she chased a toy. I wanted to have the rehab vet watch the video and make sure her gait was ok. Sometimes I think she is bunny hopping. So I got the video and off we went to the rehab vet. When I got there I walked her around outside to warm her up. Its on a paved parking lot and I noticed some little pebbles. So guess what happened? She skipped a couple of times. So off we go into the building. I talked to the vet about the foot flick yesterday and the skip just now. she had me walk her again and watched. But you know that weird thing that happens when you go to the vet. The dog doesn't do it. LOL Then we put the dog in the underwater treadmill. She did great. Nothing noticed in the treadmill. You can look under the water and watch the feet and gait. Perfect the whole time. She even increased the speed the last 2 minutes. I also had her watch the video. Once I slowed the video down you could then see that the dog was not bunny hopping at all. It was just hard to see when she is running and stuff. She thought Miley looked great. Had great extension and she didnt feel this was a dog having
pain. She feels that there is just a little laxity in her knee that may sometimes cause a funny feeling in her leg. Like something is off. She also told me Miley could have a sensitive spot on her foot. And next time check her foot and see if anything is on it. Make note of what surface we are on and what we were doing then and before that. Which I feel like I have been doing. Have a note book that I keep Miley's daily activities , exercises and symptoms in. I have been charting it since Feb. 21st. I told the vet that it has now been 6 weeks since this started , should I be worried. She said not at all. It can take months to build the knee up to what we need. Also she told me to do a little agility but nothing repetitive. I think she is a good vet. She did her rehab training at the University of Tenn. and so did her tech. She has a regular vet practice too. And she works at the spay and neuter clinic. She always ask me how Miley did after the last treatment. Watches her in the treadmill, carefully watching her legs and feet and gait. But lets be real. Its a dog and they cant talk. So some of it is a guessing game and see what works. I'm not sure about the agility. We will see how the next few days go.

Next I bought the DVD, Running a-frames by Racheal Sanders. I had originally taught Miley a running a-frame with this method and gave up. Now that there is a DVD, which I felt was a good price , I realize a bunch of mistakes I made. Some of them were not making sure she made the correct number of strides into the box. My jumps were to high. I wasn't far enough away from the box to make sure she understood the box cue. And other things. Good thing I had those videos I made of training to go back and watch and see what I did wrong. Plus she states you are going to have failures in the ring when you first start and you need to expect this. You know what my problem is? I'm impatient and then change what I'm doing. I need to give things time. Oh, you mean like rehab? LoL

I found this helpful.


This is a very good book on orthopedics in dogs. One thing that I found interesting was when he did an x-ray of a joint and then did the x-ray with the jointed stressed. The first x-ray looked normal but in the stressed x-ray , you could see the problem. Anyway, in case you have nothing better to do then read a text book on canine orthopedics. Here is the site.

Set Back

Miley seemed to be doing really well. She had her underwater treadmill treatment on Wednesday. She did well and didn't seem sore or tired that night. She actually seemed to feel better than she had in a long time. She was a little crazy in the house and maybe that was the problem. I have been increasing her activity. On Tuesday I let her run around the backyard for about 2 min and did that again on Wednesday. So since she had been doing well, I let her run around the backyard for about 10-15 min . I watched her the whole time and I didn't see anything. Later that evening I took her to the park to walk. Within the first 1/4th of the walk she did something. It was hard to see because she is walking in front of me and she has all that fuzzy butt hair. But it looked like she picked her leg up and shook it. I saw the butt hair fling out twice. I didn't see anything else the rest of the walk. That night she could still sit in a nice tuck sit and a nice sit up with again her legs tucked in nicely. Was able to stand on her back legs like usual. So I don't know what happened. This morning when I walked her, her gait was a little off on the first part of the walk. Not the whole time, just for a few seconds. Nothing that I can really tell you what she is doing. So I guess we have taken a step back. I don't know if she over did it on Wednesday when she seemed to feel so good. Or if me letting her run to much in the back yard did it. I guess I need to be more careful. (I'm trying to be positive and not let this set back take me over the edge- which is really what is happening. LOL)

Monday, March 2, 2009

No Snow!

That's right. We got no snow. Not one flipping snow flake. So now I have to make up another day for nothing. Ugh!!
I changed Miley's rehab appt. to this morning since I didn't have to go to work.
Well Guiness just knocked the pan of spaghetti sauce off the stove and on to the kitchen floor. I called for help from my family but they didn't come. Good thing I wasn't dying. I finally gathered up the dogs so there wasn't a feeding frenzy and locked them up. I cleaned it up the best I could. There is a big throw run in the kitchen and I cleaned it with a carpet cleaning vacuum. Well now there is no dinner for my husband and daughter because they hadn't eaten yet. And Guiness is locked in his crate because I'm mad at him.
Back to Miley's appt. She examined Miley and couldn't get her to react to anything she did. She got great extension and flexion in her legs. She looked at the x-rays. She had me walk her up and back to watch her gait. She said she didn't see anything abnormal in her gait. She feels its either just a stretched ligament or maybe a muscle injury. She also thought it could be a luxating patella, although she said the patellas were tight , with no movement. She wants me to increase the Miley's activity level. She gave me a bunch of exercises to do with her. I'm to alternate he exercises on different days. She also wants me to start her on the physio ball to strengthen her core muscles. This will help with jumping. She will use her core muscle to help her jump and not make her legs do all the work. We put her in the underwater treadmill. She increased the speed to .8mph and the water level was at 7 inches. Miley did really well. She didn't limp or show any signs of any problems. Afterwards I didn't see anything either. But when we go home , she off loaded some weight off the leg a few times. I put a heat pack on her leg for 10 minutes. ( and she let me and just laid there) after that she seemed good. She did take a nap, which probably helped too. Then this afternoon we walked at the park. The one with the hills and all the roots on the ground. She did really well. I didn't see any problems. And when we go home, I did see any problems. Things are looking up. ( I hope I didn't just jinx it)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More Rehab

This video was from Friday appt., second time on the treadmill. They put a leash on her because in the morning , she was riding the treadmill to the back and stood where it wasn't moving. Sneaky huh? She did really well on Friday. Friday night at home she seem very good. I didn't seen any leg problems. Saturday I cancelled my appointment. Where were suppose to get severe weather and I didn't want to be driving in it. But we just got lots and lots of rain. It stopped for a short while and I took the dogs for a walk. I really didn't see anything specifically wrong with her gait. Just this little hop, but not with her feet it was more in her hip. It was so slight, I kept saying to my husband, "Did you see that?". "No"
I think I'm making myself crazy. I did decrease the Rimadyl to once a day on Saturday. On Sunday no walks. Its been raining a lot.

We are suppose to get snow. They are saying between 1-5 inches. So guess what? They closed school already. Its been raining all day. What if they are wrong? And I cant believe it but this school system has no emergency days built into the calender. So the last snow day they called off , I have to make up on my own time. Stay late and make up the time or take a personal day. I don't have a personal day for this type of thing. My personal days are for agility , dog or kid stuff. An now they have called school already and I will have to make up this day too. I get seven personal days for the year and they think I should use two for this. They better hope it snows!!

Has anyone used or know someone who has used Cartrophen for knee injuries?

Day 3 of Rain

"Cant you make this stop?"