Saturday, December 2, 2017

First AKC agility Qs!

Chimera was entered into his first AKC agility trial yesterday. We did a standard novice run and a jumpers novice run and qualified in both!

I had been sure that Cai's height was just under 12" and therefore he would need to jump 12". However he measured in at 11" with one rep and 10.45" with the second, so he's all set to only jump 8" in AKC! That's a relief - it's easier on his body, and of course he'll be faster on the course.

Jumpers was one big counter-clockise loop for #1-9. Before #10 I did a rear cross, and a second rear cross before #13. After #7 I was glancing up ahead and heard Cai give a loud squeal. I looked back and he was standing in one spot, hunched over awkwardly. The bar was still up, so my best guess was that he had landed oddly. I asked him to take the next jump, and he did it normally. So I decided to finish the run unless he showed me that he was hurt. He did the rest flawlessly. After we finished I asked the judge if he saw what had happened. He and a couple people from the ring crew all confirmed that Cai squealed as he jumped over #7, but since the bar was still up, he mostly likely had barely caught a toe on the bar.

I don't think that he was truly hurt as he would have been limping and/or slowed down for the rest of the course. Instead he sped back up and finished with enthusiasm. He didn't limp as I walked him around afterwards.

I put him back in the car for 90 minutes until it was our turn in Standard. He was sound asleep when I went back for him after the walk through and was slow to perk up. I worried that I hadn't given him enough time to wake back up and warm up.

Terra chewed on the map a bit.
I did a front cross after the teeter and again after the weaves, making sure to go deep so that he would have a straight approach to the broad jump.

He hesitated at the top of the a-frame, which was unusual. No problems with the tire or teeter. I saw him hesitate just slightly and look closely at the panel and broad jumps, which he hasn't seen in a long time, but I repeated the cue "hup!" a few times and so he trusted me and jumped them. On the weaves, he got distracted and looked off and popped out. Fortunately novice allows a redo and on the second try he was perfect.

So all in all I'm quite happy with how we did. I'll keep an eye on his toes (and let Dr Wallace know at his next chiropractic appointment next week). And I'll continue to work on figuring out just the right balance between letting him acclimate and warm up but not tiring him out.

Time to check the calendar for our next trial!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Vet practice

We took a break from practicing handling at the vet's office after I brought Terra home. I scheduled another one and had the tech run through a typical exam with him. She checked his eyes, ears, teeth, pulse temperature, lifted his front legs to look at his chest/belly, and palpated his abdomen. Later I had her stretch and feel all four legs. Here and there he gave mildly stressed body language (tail down, yawn, and/or tense face), but he tolerated it. He only tried to avoid her when there was a dog on the other side of the door that he needed to bark at, and when she picked him up (which I should have told her not to do). We had previously also worked toward getting a voluntary blood draw, but we're close to the limit of what we can do without actually drawing blood. Maybe one more session with that to come. Aside from that, I need to do practice a lot more with settling calmly on his side.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Monthly chiro adjustment, rally-free failure

I brought a cheese and salmon Bark Pouch for Cai to lick at during his monthly chiropractic adjustment. He loved it and was so enthused that he didn't growl or even fidget once. Dr Wallace was impressed. As usual, she had to fix up his pelvis and front left shoulder. She noted that his back left leg was also a little off, which was probably from hitting it on the agility tire on Tuesday. No injury to his toes, though.

I asked if she thought it would be okay to raise his jump height back to 12" and she said no reason not to. That means we can finally compete again!! We'll be doing AKC since it's the venue I'm most familiar with and is very common. (I'd love to do more TDAA as well but the one club that hosted events seems to have given up due to low entries and lack of volunteers to help run things.)

I signed up for a Rally-FrEe video event and we went to Sherry's to record. Cai was distractable and imprecise in his tricks. I stopped partway through our first run. We tried again and he was better but then he left the "ring" to follow a scent, which is an automatic disqualification. He's never good for more than two runs so we stopped for the day. We came back a few days later but it was raining so I had to scratch our entry.

I signed up for the world wide video event next month. I'll do more training in the meantime and hopefully we'll do better. I had expected too much from him after a long break without practice.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Foot owie

Chimera has never been good at the tire. He tends to misjudge the take off point. This morning he banged his back left foot against it and came up limping. I examined him, walked him around a bit, and then he was putting weight on it. I ran him over a small sequence but he was still compensating for it, so we went home early. I'm pretty sure it's just a little owie rather than a real injury - he's always been a drama queen.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Agility update, recent pictures

We've moved up to 8 inches in agility class. (We'd been doing 4 inches for a while so that we could get back into the groove after our long break.) Cai is flying over the jumps, and we're much more in sync now. Only thing that's still lacking is Cai's drive forward if I am not moving quickly. I have to be very careful not to slow down early on sends, which pulls him off. I'll move up again to 12 inches after his next chiropractic adjustment. If things still look good, we'll finally be ready to enter AKC Novice.

Here are some recent pictures:

We've both missed our regular off leash hikes.

Belly rubs while watching his sister play.

So suspicious.


What are you doing

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fast CAT

Chimera now starts barking and lunging with excitement when we're close to the lure. I'm glad the enjoys the chase but man is that annoying.

He ran full out and reached an estimated speed of 16.40 mph - consistent with his previous runs. The time to run 300 yards was 12.47 seconds. That earns him 32.8 points, bringing his total to 121.29. We need only 28.71 points to get his BCAT title - one more run! Of course I don't do this for the titles, but because he LOVES it.

This time I had another person release him at the start and caught him at the end. I squeaked his favorite ball and tossed it ahead of him as he crossed the finish line. The squeak worked to get his attention but he looked so disappointed that I didn't throw the ball very far. Then I scooped him up and fed him many many pieces of chicken to make it a memorable, pleasant event. We'll see if that holds up for next time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Chiropractic adjustment

Cai had his monthly appointment with his amazing chiropractor. It was the same problems as usual - sacrum and left shoulder.

He had lost weight, which surprised me. Down from 10 pounds to 9. Dr Wallace said that 9 is better for him.

Last time we were at agility class (two weeks ago), Cai had had trouble with the backwards circles and pivoting I use as part of his warm up. This morning, he had tight, fast circles and pivots. There's always a clear improvement after his monthly adjustment.

And that's why she gets so much of my money. Thank goodness for pet insurance.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Loft bed

I purchased a loft bed when I moved into my current place, as it's a tiny apartment. Chimera quickly adjusted to being carried up and down the ladder. Sometimes I put him up on the bed when I have boarding dogs that he doesn't want to be around, and he just chills.

There's a ceiling fan that is positioned halfway over the bottom side of the bed. It's a very good thing that Cai is short. I have gotten my head and shoulders whacked multiple times when I wasn't being careful.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Larger than life

Sherry knew that despite our twice-yearly trips to dog events plus 1-2 family vacations each year, I've never bothered to buy my own luggage. I've always just borrowed from other friends and family. For my birthday/puppy/house warming party, she surprised me (and boy was I surprised!) with personalized hard-sided luggage!

It's a picture of Chimera from when we were waiting our turn at our first TDAA trial. Practical AND sentimental; it's a wonderful gift. Thank you, Sherry!

How did Cai react? He sniffed it, suddenly jumped back when he recognized the face of a dog, then realized that it wasn't real and ignored it.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Success with vet training

I am SO proud of Chimera. At our last training session at the vet's, he held still with the chin target while getting his temperature taken in his ear - a first! Then he did the same while the tech shined a bright light in his eyes - another first!

Next items to work on:
- More with blood draws; we're to the point that we need 3-4 hands to draw blood from a front leg so I'm not sure how often we'll be able to practice this. (It was explained to me that one hand needs to roll off the vein and the other needs to gently pull the paw forward in order for the vein to be in the right spot. And then of course you need at least one more hand to work the syringe.)
- Teeth/mouth examinations. (He currently allows this and is fairly relaxed but I'd like a stronger +CER.)
- Settling onto his side and staying, for examination of his side or belly, or for getting an ultrasound or x-ray done.  (I need to do more work with this at home as well.)
- Getting poked with a needle for a vaccine. (I'm not totally sure which party of the body various vaccines are given in, d'oh.)