Long time ….

… no blogging. Just a lot of stuff going on. The highlights:

Amelia got her ARCH-MX! In APDT rally, you get an ARCH-MX when, having completed the ARCH, ARCH-X, and ARCH-EX, you then get 10 triple Qs. That’s a score of 195 or better in Levels 1, 2, and 3 at the same trial. Amelia is getting up there, and we’re only showing in one trial a day, so it took a while. Actually, she finished the title at our January trial, but I miscounted legs and didn’t realize it! So at our March trial she got her ribbon (it’s huge and beautiful) and applause. And there may have been a cookie or two in there, too.

In August she turned 12, and in September she finished her BN title at the specialty in Wisconsin. She also got a first in Rally Excellent and a third in Rally Advanced, and was part of the second-place team in rally relay.

Shortly after we got home, she had all her remaining teeth pulled. She’d been having trouble eating, and when the dentist knocked her out, he found that she had a lot of infected teeth. She had quite a few teeth pulled a few years ago, and where there was no opposing tooth left, the remaining teeth were causing sores in her mouth. So we decided to have all the rest of her teeth pulled, since she’s probably not going to get younger and it likely would have to be done sometime. Recovery was a little rough for a couple of weeks, but she’s now back to normal. And she can still flatten the puppy when necessary. But she never used teeth on him, just force of character.

Joey turned 13 in December. He was great on the roadtrip to the specialty, accepting all the traveling and all the strange hotel rooms without problem. His biggest adventure came in October. We were in West Virginia, at Amelia and Professor’s nosework class. I walked Joey and Professor, and when I took them back to the car, Joey caught his eye on the hook of his wire crate. Lots of blood, lots of screaming, Professor having vapors and running around me in circles, Amelia having hysterics in her crate. The folks came running out of the building, somebody took Professor and Amelia, Joey stopped screaming (but continued spouting blood) and we stuffed him into his crate. Kitty came with me, and we drove to the local emergency vet, about 20 minutes away. I loved this guy–the first thing he said was “let’s get some pain meds into him and then we’ll talk”. By this time, Joey was swollen from just below his left ear almost down to his nose, and the eye was essentially swollen shut. The vet’s best guess was that he’d punctured the eyeball and it would have to be removed. Problem–this place is an hour from my home, and I’d have to pick Joey up by 8 am. So we decided to get more pain meds and some antibiotics into him, and take him to my ER which is not only close to my house, but by day is a specialty practice where Joey’s ophthalmologist practices. The emergency vet there also guessed that the eyeball was punctured. The following morning, the ophthalmologist calls me, and surprise! the eyeball ISN’T punctured, he just cut the conjunctiva, and she’s sending him home with antibiotics and painkillers and anti-inflammatories and eyedrops. Whew! In a week, it was impossible to tell which eye it was. She said he’d probably nicked a vein that runs next to the eye, and that’s why there was so much blood.

Joey’s second big adventure is that he started a nosework class at the place I usually train, and he’s loving it. He started on odor early (generally, the dogs start searching for food, then paired odor and food, then odor alone) which made a real difference to him. He doesn’t have the visual clue of the boxes and containers, and is working totally on scent, and the building must just reek of food with all the classes in there. The birch is a distinct scent, and he does much better with it.

Joey and Liza at the MABC Christmas Party, Dec. 2011

Professor is… Professor. I am so stupid in love with this puppy it’s ridiculous. We had a great time at the specialty, even though he was in an awkward teenage phase, physically. He travelled beautifully, and had a good time, no matter what was going on. I was very pleased with how he acted in the ring. Not so much when he decided that coursing wasn’t interesting enough, although the recalls from waaaaaaaay across the field were pretty gratifying. And he enjoyed the straight racing, I’ve got to look into that. We’ve been doing a lot of focus work, we did two classes and are now taking privates from the instructor. He’s developing more and more self-control around other dogs (although still desirous of meeting a young lady to make whoopee). He took a step toward that goal by testing clear for Fanconi, yay! He’s loving nosework, and will be trying for his ORT in February. We put him on a limited ingredient diet of duck and potato, and it’s made a tremendous difference. No big things to report, but he’s doing well in his classes. The maturity fairy has come and sprinkled brain cells on him. And we’ll be trying the show ring again in January.

Liza retired in July, and I’m still trying to figure out how on earth I ever found time to work! But I’ll try to do updates a little more frequently!





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