Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BUMAS muzzle

Chimera's custom-made muzzle is here!

It's slightly long and wide, but it's hard to get these things right with tiny dogs - a single centimeter makes a big difference. He wore it happily for these pictures, but we're still working on wearing it while walking.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Much fluff

I brushed Cai with his regular slicker brush to remove debris and tangles. Then I forced him to put up with a thorough brushing with a flea comb, which pulls out much more of the loose hair.
He is significantly less fluffy now, but hopefully cooler in this hot weather (100+ degrees F).

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vet visits

We moved onto a farm property last month. Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of flea pressure. Chimera has always attracted fleas. During Clicker Expo a few years ago, Cai picked up fleas while Jacques (Sherry's Papillon) came through unscathed. Cai was on Advantix II and I've been keeping the house clean, but they still wouldn't leave him alone. When he ended up chewing at his side badly enough to pull out hair, I took him to the vet.

I had already decided that I wanted Happy Tails Animal Hospital in Vacaville to be our new clinic. I had gone onto the Fear Free website to see if there happened to be a nearby clinic with certified techs and vets, and was thrilled to find one!

Cai has always been quite good at the vet's but I wanted to make sure that things stayed that way. He is a little nervous about getting man-handled by strangers (understandably). And I definitely wanted to support a clinic that went to all that effort.

The longer appointments offered by Fear Free clinics are great - they allowed me to get to know the tech who worked with me (Shawn) and the doctor (Dr Diedrich). The doctor asked for my business cards and gave me some of hers. They gave me a tour without me even asking.

I got a free trial of Nexguard and some medication to temporarily lower his body's response to itchiness. Both helped and the potential hot spot healed up.

The doctor noted that he had enough of a plaque build up on his teeth that a dental was recommended. I went ahead and scheduled one asap - I had noted that his breath was awful lately and I didn't want to neglect his dental health. The pre-dental x-rays revealed that Cai had a couple of molars in the back of his lower jaws which are normal in big dogs, but small dogs usually don't have them because of the lack of room. There was bacterial build up around these molars and the doctor removed them. She said they came out easily and he should recover quickly, which was true.

A week later, we had an appointment with Dr Wallace, his chiropractor. We hadn't seen her in a few months because I'd had to reschedule an appointment and she always books up way in advance. Once again Cai had to have an adjustment around his sacrum. He was PISSED when she pressed in that area. He whipped around and tried to snap at her hand. I had to hold his head and he kept growling and whale eyeing. But finally she got him adjusted and was able to feel him up with no reaction. And that evening, he was much calmer during brushing around his back legs. I hate that he keeps having problems in that area even when he hasn't been very active. I made an appointment one month out and another two months out. Poor guy.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

First Fast CAT run

There's a new type of AKC lure coursing event, called Fast CAT. CAT stands for "coursing ability test." The regular CAT events are 600 yards for big dogs and 300 yards for small dogs. Fast CAT is a sprint of just 100 yards. Chimera loves to sprint and chase things, so I decided to give it a try. My mom joined us since a "catcher" is required to get the dog after he finishes chasing the lure.

I was worried that Cai wouldn't chase the lure (a plastic bag on a string, which zips along the ground), or that he would go partway and then return to me (which many of the other dogs did). However he took off like a shot the moment he saw something "running" away from him, and ran all 100 yards lickety-split! My mom reported that once the bag stopped moving, he approached it, but then she called him and he ran to her and got chicken treats. What a good boy!

He ran the 100 yards in 12.34 seconds, which is 16.58 mph. There aren't a lot of Papillons who have done the sport yet, and the fastest one is 19.76 mph! However the second one is only 15.27 mph, so apparently Cai is still very fast!

Since he is under 12", I multiply the mph by 2, and he has earned 33.15 points toward the BCAT title (needs 150 points total).

I wish I had gotten a video of him running all out. It was very cool to watch. There is another event very close to me on July 8th, and I'll definitely sign up for it.

Only downside was that the event was poorly managed by the club, and we had to stand around waiting for a full 2 hours before our turn - and we were #43. In fact, this really highlighted how silly these dog sports are: I drove 2.5 hours south to my parents' house, spent the night, got up early and drove 40 minutes to the event, and waited 2 hours in the cold, so my dog could run for 12 seconds. I then drove 40 minutes back to my parents' house and then 2 hours back home. On the bright side, I had a lovely time visiting my parents, and I would do it all over again! But I'd bring a chair, blanket, and good book.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Running at the beach

Since we're about to move an hour north, this was probably our last trip to the Albany Bulb. Chimera likes to run run run on the beach.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Muzzle measurements

I've been wanting to train Chimera to wear a muzzle, in case of emergency, to help reduce the stigma and normalize muzzle training, and as good practice for me. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a mass-produced basket muzzle that is small enough for his tiny snout. I was excited to learn about the BUMAS muzzle KickStart campaign and ordered a custom-made, colorful muzzle for Cai.

They wanted pictures of the dog at nose level, showing his head from the front and from the side.

Then they wanted a picture of a tape measure around the dog's snout, taken while the dog is panting, or while he's eating a treat. Here the tape measure is at 18 cm.

Finally, the length of the dog's snout, from just below his eyes to the tip of his nose. Cai is about 4 cm, so his muzzle length should be 5 cm (to add a little space in front).

 They weren't sure about the measurements I had sent them for the circumference, and asked again for me to exercise Cai until he was panting, then place the measuring tape around his snout. However Cai does not pant a lot, and he closes his mouth any time he is uncomfortable or concentrating. Putting the tape measure around his snout both made him uncomfortable, and made him concentrate on holding still while I took a picture and then gave him a treat. So I took two pictures of the tape loop next to his face while he panted, and a few more of him wearing it, mouth closed.

The final measurements the BUMAS team suggested were 16.5 cm in circumference and 5 cm in length. I can't wait to get it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

First Rally-FrEe Advanced leg

Scored 163, which was a bit higher than I was expecting. Obviously Cai hadn't fully learned the Back Thru x3 or the Turn Back Thru yet, but I went ahead with the run because I wanted to support the video event.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Agility match

Our first agility match in a long, long time! Chimera was SO happy to be running again! He was zooming! In fact, at one point he did a quick zoom around the ring because he was so happy to be running. I stopped and held my hand out, and he ran back to me with a strong nose touch. We then continued our practice.

My focus was on getting tight turns (which has always been a weak point for us), particularly by giving Cai plenty of heads up without pulling him off a jump. I saw progress but we'll need lots more repetition on this front. I also worked on setting clear lines and using an "open" shoulder to direct Cai to jumps at a distance. This went fairly well. Our rear crosses were worse than usual.

I skipped the weaves, dog walk, and a-frame. We did the teeter once and he did okay, though he stopped at the tipping point rather than going all the way to the end. We had managed that in training at one point, but this is another area that needs plenty of review.

I'd like to get back into classes at ACE but I'm moving to a new area in mid-April. On the bright side, I'll have a giant grassy pasture in which to practice with my mini-equipment, and one of my friends will be setting up a full-size ring later this year. So for the first time, I'll be able to practice outside of class!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Guard dog

My landlord had a plumber come down while I was away. She didn't realize that Chimera was home because he was being quiet. He came into the living room/kitchen after a minute, stopped and looked at the plumber, then retreated to the bedroom again.

Good job, dog.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Paw stand

This is an older video that I just uploaded.