Monthly Archives: March 2012
Sure doesn’t feel like it. The last few days have been chilly – far from the summer like weather that the rest of the country has been experiencing for March. But even when the wind picks up it’s all good with a hot beverage so we planned our walk today to conveniently stop for a hot tea before dropping into the Elbow River Valley from the Britannia slopes.
This was the first real walk we’ve taken Kona on that he hasn’t been carried. I’m really happy with how his leg is faring in the tensor he has now. It’s flexible but supportive at the same time. Unfortunately he’s regressed to a few bad habits from being confined again (ahem barking) he was actually pretty quiet on this walk.
We’ve been working on CB’s sit-stays to get ready for Red Deer’s Rally trials. I entered him in Advanced B thinking that we could have a chance to practice and measure our progress but we would have the entry so that I could move him up if I thought he was ready. Not sure if he’ll get through the honor exercise but at the Rally Drop-in last week I was talked into moving him up to Excellent – so that’s what we’re doing. I’m hoping the dog after us isn’t slow as our stay times are not that long. I feel for the dog that has to honor him — we’re a tad slow.
And these weeks of confinement have made Kona go a little stir-crazy. It was nearly impossible to get this picture of him. Instead of a stay he did his rooster dance where he scratched at the ground in circles. It’s cute but far from picture perfect. I do find it funny though – he was totally covered in grass.
This morning I took CB to the Shiba Inu Club’s Canine Good Neighbor Test. This is the second time we’ve done the test and this morning he PASSED! Where we failed before was with the Supervised Isolation part of the test because he barked once. This time he was a little whiny but not overly stressed and he got his CGN today. To celebrate he got a cookie and a nice walk along the Bow River. I’ve been playing around with some of the iPhone apps and thought that the Hipstamatic app took some really interesting pics. They really remind me of the Instamatic camera photos I used to take as a little girl, back in the days when we used film. Here are some photos of Mr. Canine Good Neighbor!
I know some folks wouldn’t think this was all that exciting but one the reasons I am so thrilled about the CGN is that I did most of the prep for the test on my own. We’ve done a lot of training so he’s so good at so many things, and when I read through the Exercises on the CKC website I realized we could do a lot of them so I just went for it. But I have to admit I’m also happy about the fact he’s a good well socialized dog despite what so many people have told me about their opinion on toy breed dogs – specifically their thoughts on poms. I find it quite strange but for as many people as there are that love toy dogs and are so excited to come up and meet CB and Kona, there are also those that feel that they are yappy little land sharks. It really is no different than folks having preconceived ideas on the behavior and temperament of a Lab or a Rottie just because of what it is. It really doesn’t matter what the dog is – it matters how you treat and train it.
One of the reasons I like going to dog shows is that a lot of the Judges, ring stewards, other Obedience and Rally competitors are genuinely excited to see us competing in events. I’ve never had anyone at a trial (or at an agility or rally obedience class) ask me why I thought I needed to train my dog – they’ve just been happy to see him. We do sometimes get a little more attention before a trial than I ‘d like, but that’s what his crate is there for.
In September of last year Kona’s left front leg was broken in an unfortunate accident. A quick lapse in someone elses judgment and we were in a months long ordeal of vet visits and surgeries.
It was a very bad break – both the radius and ulna were broken and after two surgeries to repair the break, months of rehab, physio, trips to a vet that is not in Calgary (we could not get in with our vet in the city quickly enough) and quite of bit of money, we are finally at the point where the plate that was placed over the break could be removed.
While the plate was in place his foot started to turn out more and more to the side at the pastern – so much to the point that I was a little concerned that the judge at the CKOC trial would think he was lame and not let us participate. We don’t know exactly why that was happening but the current thought is that the plate was interfering with the tendons in some way. We were doing daily exercises at home but it didn’t seem to make much difference.
The plate was very large in comparison to the size of his bones and held in place by 4 screws straddling the fracture.
On Monday Kona had the surgery to remove the plate. The surgery went very well and as can be seen on the x-ray the bones are nice and straight and well healed. So again we are on the same regimen as last fall. His leg is splinted however we have to restrict movement which is resulting in more confinement as we wait for the holes to fill in and before we can begin rehab and physio again. He’ll be splinted for 4-6 weeks but we’ll have to be careful for many months more. Training will have to be on hold for a while but I’m so glad my little pup is okay and hopefully on the mend.
I must be crazy, I have just signed CB and I for a Kathy Keats Agility Seminar. Not sure if we’re actually ready for this level of seminar but I guess we shall see. Our agility instructor Shannen said it was a huge opportunity that we could get in so we’re doing it. Hmm – I kind of had a little plan on focusing on Rally to get CB’s next title but Agility is just so much fun and we’re getting better at it.
Monday’s course was really good. First half of it was pretty good, challenging but well within our abilities. The last half was tricky tricky tricky. Some awkward direction changes and sneaky tunnel entries. A pretty tricky course for starters level students, but Shannen likes to challenge us and by the time we’re ready to trial we should be more than ready. That was the last class out of 8 and we now have a two week break until the next session starts up.
Here’s the course map. We were great on the weaves, teeter but the chute is still not our friend. We also had some trouble entering the tunnel (8) from the correct side.
Today was all about fun. We live close to a wooded area along the Bow River. It’s amazing that we can walk to this from our house and feel like we’re not in the city. Edworthy Park is quite extensive and most people tend to hang out in the offleash area above the river valley, but we find the the valley itself to be quieter and protected from the wind – and it is quite windy today. We also have a different houseguest this week, Storm, and she had no problem keeping up with CB and Kona.
Maybe they weren’t keeping up with her! Here she is in the lead!
And again, right up front with me.
And then it was time to play a little ball.
Oh boy – well it was an interesting trial to say the least. It was judged by Larry Tanner and he had two really nice courses for us and there were definitely a few firsts. First time I took two dogs to a trial, first time Kona was in the ring, first leg for his Rally Novice and the first time we’ve (CB and I) have been NQ’d because he peed in the ring. Wah.
Kona did well and had a score of 83 (not bad) and came in third in class. There were 7 dogs entered and 4 qualified. The judge was very nice but pickier than I have seen before. 3 dogs NQ’d so even though the course was pretty easy he was not as generous as some on scoring. We didn’t loose points for tight leash (I’ve worked that – oh yes I have) but for some dumb things. Him lagging behind me on a couple of exercises and a moving into position slowly on the Call Front – there were two, one with a finish right and the other with the finish left halt. It’s funny because Kona is way quicker than CB and we’ve never had that deduction. I won’t quibble with that and if there is one thing I don’t do is argue with a judge. Considering that I was still flustered from CB’s turn in the ring I don’t think we did too bad. These are the best pics I could get of him with his spoils – the ribbon is way bigger than he is.
I did learn something today – make sure I keep track of water intake on Trial day. I didn’t realize it this morning when I filled the water dish for the 3rd time that CB must have drank a half liter. Makes sense in hindsight considering that he had to pee 3 times in less than an hour. Sadly one of them was in the ring — just before the start sign. Oh well you win some you lose some.