Tuesday, June 21, 2011

cone head

I am wondering if miller's old dog bump has been bothering him more than I really knew. Since it has been removed, he has been acting a little differently, almost more pep in his step. Unfortunately, we have pretty much had to keep the cone on for almost a week and a half as every time you take it off, he goes to mad licking the leg. The bottom part of the incision, where the staples actually stayed in, has healed all up, but the top part where the staples came out or should I say he pulled them out, is still a little bit open and red. Last night was probably the first night that he left it alone when the cone was off so i let him sleep without it and I also left it off today while I am at work. I hope this wasn't a bad decision. Tony removed the remaining staples this weekend while I was gone to the show and did an excellent job. He has now removed stitches and staples from our dogs quite successfully. Miller is shedding yet again and he is dropping hair like you wouldn't believe. This is the third time this year he has full out shed. Berry did that too as she got older so must be an older dog thing. Need to take both him and Deuce to Dr. G for adjustments. Money has been a little tight with hubby not working but now he is back at work for at least a year so I can start going back to splurging on the dogs.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the old dog bump

Miller had an old dog bump, has had it for at least a year if not more. Thursday before the trial, he started licking and chewing on it. By friday it had become irritated and bigger but didn't seem to affect his gait or jumping. Called my vet on saturday as he couldn't seem to leave it alone. I just wanted it taken off as it was still relatively small. Now mind you, I had the original bump looked at when it popped up, but my vet said it was nothing, to leave it alone until it grew. This was of course based on an aspirate of the bump. I took his advice and left it alone. Tony dropped miller off yesterday to have it removed and miller had issues coming out of ansthesia, something that I always worry about, esepcially with old dogs, so he had to stay overnight. This is the very reason why when berry got sick that we never did x-rays because I didn't want to have to even think about the possibility of surgery. Anyway, my vet sent the bump off to be biopsied and I just don't even want to know what it is. I really wished he had asked me before he sent it. I just don't want to know. I do not want to put miller through any treatments that might possibly make him feel worse or prolong his life if the quality of life isn't there. I feel like such a bitch by saying this but I just want him to live his life out happy and not in pain, not drugged up feeling the side affects of the drugs. He has had a great 10 years with me and I will not put him through treatments that will make him feel worse or not himself. Keeping my finger's crossed that it is nothing and that we can just go on our merry way of agility dog retirement. This is for sure the part of dog ownership that I hate the most.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The perfect dog walk

I entered this weekend with alot of emotion. I knew this probably would be miller's last runs and I wanted them to be good and for him to have fun. I still had a small hope that we could get that last P3 gamblers Q and also finish up his P3 standard title. I have long since given up on super Qs because the lack of P22 in our area, and was glad I did because there were 2 of us there all weekend. Anyway, I had entered him in two classes a day and figured he would have a good time since it was on turf. Of course a day before we were scheduled to leave, he started licking his leg and a little old dog bump as i call it began to get irritated and bigger. I was worried, but it didn't seem to affect his running or jumping. I tried to keep him from licking because it seemed more just irritated than anything. He is an obssesive licker of legs anyway and always has been. I think he gets that from me, I am an obssesive finger nail chewer so he has to have the same flaw since he is my kid LOL! We thought for a while that he might have food allergies but the chinese med vet said it was just his element that made him do obssesive things like that. Surprisingly, he has never had any hot spots or lick granulomas with his obssesion.

We had gamblers and standard on saturday and gamblers was first. Miller has NEVER been a distance dog so I didn't have big hopes we would get it and it was a tough, tough gamble. The part about the run that bothered me wasn't that we didn't get the gamble, but he wasn't running like his normal self. He was ducking behind me, refusing jumps and just being overall weird. I was super worried and almost pulled him, but we stretched him out and massaged him and couldn't find anything wrong. I decided to go ahead and run him in standard and if that run was not good, I would pull him from the rest of the weekend. Of course, he ran like normal in standard, got a Q and a first and had a beautiful dog walk. I could tell he was a little slower but I am getting faster due to all of the running I do now and I think running baby-d also skews my perception of how fast miller runs. That finished up his P3 standard title so I was really happy, but more than that, he seemed back to normal. Sunday I had entered him in three runs accidently, snooker, standard and gamblers. Snooker would have been a good run with the 7 being a serpentine a, b, and c and the ones were all close by. He knocked the first bar in the first 7 so I knew we were toast as far as any hopes of a super Q (plus the fact that there were only two of us total in P22) so we just had a good time and ran. He missed his weave pole entrance in the closing which was the 6 but I didn't care. He ran and had fun and that was what mattered. We had gamblers next and it was a very doable gamble, jump, jump, teeter, jump. The problem was the dog walk was the 5 and I didn't want to chance him not getting it and us loosing time and points. I had that happen previously where we did two dog walks and he didn't get either and then he got the gamble but didn't have enough opening points. I also wanted to stay away from weaves just in case he was sore. So my option was two a-frames and tunnels and jumps. I had a good plan and he for once let me lead out (we have lost our lead out since I have been running with to get speed). We were in perfect position going into the gamble, but for whatever reason, he just refused the second jump and came in and barked at me. Typical miller man so we didn't get that last gamblers q we needed. I was bummed because that was our last chance. I don't think it is fair to him to not play in akc, not go to class and then expect him to jump 22 in USDAA in the fall. I have already pulled his summer entries from AKC and just plan on doing veterans in USDAA. Anyway, was a little emotional and had to go out and be a baby and cry. Mom wanted to come with me but I just needed some alone time with my mill man. Came back in after a brief few tears and someone said something to me about it just being a stupid title and I lost it. Yes, I was bummed about not getting the title, I am human and I am competitive, but I am most bummed about this being possibly our last time in the ring. He has given me so much, so much more than I could have ever asked for or expected of a dog that started out HATING agility. I really am going to miss running him:( Got it back together and cooled down and decided to go ahead and run him in standard one last time. He laid down a beautiful run with the PERFECT dog walk. What a way to end his career! After so many years of having a crappy dog walk contact, thanks to me and that being the sole reason why it took us so long to get a MACH and he gives me the most beautiful two on two off you have ever seen. I decided that was the run, the one to end it on. Did he Q, no, but he ran like I know he can run and we ended with lots of cookies, a massage and lots of butt rubs and cookies from his friends. He was wagging his nub and wiggling for everyone. I like ending on a good note. He will still go with us and I still hope to run him some in veterans at 16 inch in USDAA.

Thanks miller man for 7 years of agility giving it your all, making me laugh, making me cry, and making me a better handler. I love you and always will:) No one can bark as loud as you, can wiggle as hard as you, or can run an a-frame like you can. Still think it is funny that you ended your career with the perfect dog walk:)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

retirement, the dreaded decision

Okay so those of you who follow my miller blog know that I have been really wrestling with this decision. I had previously had miller to an animal communicator and we talked about what his signal would be when he was ready. As silly as it may sounds, he told me that when he doesn't pull me to the ring, that means he is done. Well, this weekend at USASA nationals, miller did not pull me to the ring at all and when we would get back to the room, he would zonk out cold and not stir until the morning. I had him checked out to make sure he was okay by dr. connie and she couldn't find anything physically wrong. So i think he was trying to tell me it was time. He Q'd in one run every day, even getting an excellent FAST send that I never in a million years would have thought he could have gotten but I felt like he was running because I wanted him to, not because he wanted to. When I would let him out of his crate he would just look at me with a little gleam in his eye but not his normal jump out, wiggle, and bark at me. I went ahead and pulled his entry from the July show and am leaving his USDAA june show entry in. Maybe we can get that last gambler's Q we need for his P3 title and then he can just do veterans now and again. I am not starting over in novice in AKC, unless I could find a junior handler to take him, so he will probably retire from that venue altogether.

Last night I was working deuce and miller had come with. I like to let him just run around while we work as he likes to hunt and forage. I put the jumps down to 16 and had him come over and do what deuce and I were working on and he loved it. I still think it is time though. I have decided to do tracking with him to keep his mind busy and keep us doing stuff together. We will probably never compete but just getting to interact since he isn't a cuddly, loving, in you face dog will be alot for him. i wish he was more like my other dogs, more toy driven, liked to do certain other things like obedience or rally, but agility is his thing. I love this big red dog with all my heart and soul and i want what is best for him. To go from a dog dumped at the shelter, one day away from being put to sleep, to a MACH and various other top titles USDAA, NADAC, AKC, and ASCA agility is amazing. To go from a dog that I had to drag out of his crate just to get him to go potty to a dog with so much confidence is wonderful. I owe it to him to give him the best rest of his life I can. He has given me so much joy, so many friends and so many memories as well as so much heart ache, so much frustration, and so much worry. He has been a great first agility dog even though I had berry and did some before he came along. He has taken me to 5 nationals (USDAA and AKC) and taught me the mental game and how to handle (and soemtimes how not to handle). I hope we can ease into retirment and he can be happy being retired. Would love to find a junior handler to maybe do some nadac with him or maybe even akc preferred but if not, oh well, he can just lay on his dog bed and go out to the farm when i work deuce and hunt and forage. I love you my big red Miller man!!!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My new jumpers dog

Okay so for years, Miller has been a Q in standard dog, not in jumpers and all of the sudden, we can't buy a Q in standard but jumpers is spot on. GO figure! The last two shows we have been 100% on Jumpers and in an 0fer in standard, mainly due to weave poles. He popped out of the poles again in standard on saturday so I had him massaged thinking maybe it was an injury bothering him and she checked him over and he felt fine to her. Went out and Qd in jumpers, no problem. So weird! I got two Qs this weekend, both in jumpers. The funny thing was though, I had talked to the massage/rehab lady and she had told me it was time to retire him. She felt like he was in great shape but that it was time to let his body rest. I have been wrestling with this for months now, especially with the fact that I do want to do more with baby-D and that costs more money. Well, after that whole talk, he went out and placed third on a very,very tough JWW course and had a 5.18 YPS run. I know most of y'all probably run courses alot faster than that but dang, a 12 year old dog running 5.18 YPS is pretty cool. I know it has alot to do with the fact that I am running faster since I am training to do a 5 K but wow! He got 10 MACH points which for him is pretty great. I am so proud of him and how much fun he is having, even if he is costing me double Qs. I have him entered through June so we will just go with the flow. He is still pulling me to the ring like mad so I don't think he is ready just yet to become a cheerleader.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

agility-mine that is

I have a separate blog for me but I thought i would put this on miller's blog because it does pertain to me and running in agility. I am pretty sure I talked about this before on this blog but I am hugely over weight right now and it is really, really effecting my runs. I have tried a long list of diets and exercises programs including weight watchers and taking classes through our school's rec center but nothing really sticks. I get bored easily or I fall off of the wagon or get injuried or just give up. I have been super successful at WW but it turned me into a food freak and I just can't go there again. I was totally addicted to their products, spending a ton of money, and feeling guilty about EVERTYHING i put in my mouth, thus causing me to binge. Now mind you, most people look at me and think there is no way she is over weight and I did encounter alot of people not liking me at WW BUT, I am 5 foot even and every little extra pound is really hard on my body. Right now, I weigh 143 lbs and am in a size 8 (tightly) and this is WAY too much for my little frame. I did the whole personal trainer thing last year and loved it and was pretty gung ho until i got injured and got out of sync and then just plain ole gave up. Winter clothes can hide pudge so I just started buying hoodies with pockets in the front and going about my business. I had been avoiding the scale for a while and then Lori decided to start a fitness challenge for people of all star. You know, it is funny, I know how to stay in shape, I have been athletic all my life. I know how to eat right, I have been through years of WW and of course I did get an MS in food science so I know these things. I have just been choosing to ignore all of this. We have been eating out alot and that will stop now that tony is laid off again. I have also been ignoring portion size and drinking a beer with dinner every night. I have been doing 0 amount of exercise. Why, who knows. I haven't been motivated at all for some reason. Usually changing sizes of clothes gets me to going, but nope, not this time. So here I am, getting ready for the fitness challenge and trying to figure out what my goals are. I do want to exercise more. Miller isn't getting any class time so the more I can do with him walking/jogging wise the better. Tony is severely overweight so the more I can get out with him the better. I worry about his heart, especially with the stress he is under. Anway, I found my motivation, I hope i can stick with it. I am doing the couch to 5 K program and already have a couple of races in mind to enter. Will I ever win, hell no but wouldn't it be fun to say I actually ran a 5 K and didn't die LOL? So here is to starting again, getting the weight off, sticking to something and making a change in my life. I am READY!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Miller FFF, Wichita and Carthage

Well, we were on a roll for a while getting one or two double Qs per show and now we have hit a slow down again. We got 0 Qs in wichita and only got Qs in JWW in Carthage. I guess for me, if we get those last 9 QQs, great, yippeee, but if we don't, he is having so much fun right now that I don't care. I am not going to move him down and start over as I thought I might, am just going to let him run and have fun. Even though I am not doing any hardcore training with him right now, he is still keeping bars up and still sound. He gets to run alot at the farm I practice at and he LOVES it. I was a little worried after the Wichita trial as the mistakes he was making were a little indicitive of the last injury he had. He didn't want to go out on any sequences that required me getting some lateral distance, and then fell off of the teeter barking at me. We are trying these running starts to see if that keeps him reved up and running but I think they are not the thing for us as I am not getting into position quick enough, especially if it is a front cross I need to do and I am having some mid course collisions with him. My fear is that his start line stay is probably gone at this point so I would have to go back and re-train it and at this point, I am not up for re-training with him. His dog walks have been funny here lately too. He stops when I stop (which is usually far out from the dog walk) and then he boings off. The good thing is he is usually in the yellow LOL! I just want him to end his career having fun and not worrying about much. He knows what to do:)

My greatest fear is what to do with him when it is time to retire. He isn't a cuddly, in your face kind of dog, has always preferred to be on his bed or in the other room for that matter. He is the first dog I have that prefers to be in a crate over being out and in my lap. However, having said that, he is very much a momma's boy and will jump through fire to get to me if he thinks I am leaving him. I do not think boarding him will ever be an option. He doesn't play well with others so doggy daycare won't work but I would hate the thought of dragging him to shows and then him not getting to play. I know I can get him out and do a practice jump or something but he is still dragging me to the ring at every show. I open up his crate and ask him if he wants to run and he comes bounding out, jumping up and barking at me. That is our signal, when he no longer does these things, he is done. I am hoping that I am not going to retire him soon but I keep on thinking about these things. What to do. When Tony stays home, he can keep him but Tony has been coming to alot of shows here lately thus all the dogs have to come. The other issue is the famous money issue. I would like to do more with Deuce in the way of more USDAA shows (which means traveling distance), more seminars, and more classes at shows like FAST. This takes away money from Miller's runs:( I am hoping that money won't decide when he retires. I am still just doing two shows a month and only two days a show even though it is KILLING me. I want to do more and I know it will be worse when Deuce gets into Excellent. I guess at that point, I will really have to re-evaluate my goals with miller. Am doing a few shows without him so I can travel with others to USDAA, but want to try and get that last P3 gamblers leg to finish up his P3 title. He now has his P3 jumpers title and still needs one or two legs for standard so will probably continue to do at least standard and gamblers and snooker for fun. I hate having to make these decisons, who gets to run, who doesn't and who gets classes left out. URGH!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First blog of the new year for the mill-man

I guess I have been doing it again, blogging about miller in deuce's blog instead of in his own blog. We have had two trials in the new year, SKC AKC trial and the Casa de Canine USDAA trial. I am a little happy and a little not so happy with our performances. Two things, start line stays and his dog walk contact. These both seem to be erroding at a hasty rate and i had to pull him on one his runs at the USDAA trial because he was being so naughty. I have started running with him on courses instead of lead outs so that he takes off running but now I can't get away from him at all on the start line. I feel like I am on borrowed time again so I hate pulling him for anything, but he was jumping the dog walk contact in gamblers, even when I had him do the dog walk twice. I NEEDED gamblers so let him get away with it and it sure did bite me in the ass. On sunday, he missed the first one so we went back and did a second one which he got. Got the gamble but because he took up so much time in the opening, he didn't get enough points so again, no gambler's legs. I may have to abandon even doing the dog walk in gamblers. I usually use it for training but if he misses it, I always re-do it and it may not be worth it. He has four P3 standard legs so it isn't like I need to work it for that. He did get his P3 jumpers title and so that is one less class for him to do. Really, really thinking that just getting his P3 title is the way to go and then maybe retire or let him play in the veterans class for fun. I can just run him in standard and gamblers and see how it goes. We got lumped down in with the P16s again this weekend for super Qs and our scores just weren't good enough with those awesome P16s like Roxy, Pilot, and Gator kicking ass. The other issue is that i want to travel for some USDAA shows for Deuce and to be able to make it economical and ride with others, I can really only take one dog. Poor miller, as my training goals shift with Deuce, so do my goals with him and his entries into shows or lack of. It really sucks because Miller is half way on double Qs for his MACH and he has been getting about 2 a weekend in AKC so i do see that it is a viable option for him to complete it this year. it is funny, i got him massaged at muttfest and the lady said if i didn't know his age, I would assume he was 6 or 7 based on his muscle tone and his structure and looks. Made me feel good and I hope that he can stay in good shape. He sure was back talking this weekend for sure! Tried to have Lori run him in P3 Jumpers on sunday but he wasn't really very happy about it. I tried hiding and wonder if it would have been better for him to know where i was instead. He ran most of the course with her but very slowly and quietly and then as soon as he was done, saw someone who looked like me and took off. What a character and what a momma's boy! To go from someone who loved his Daddy to someone who can't be without his momma is just funny. We have a three day trial coming up this weekend (actually has four days of showing available but only showing the old man two of the four and the baby three of the four) so excited to see how the mill man does. Another QQ or two would be nice, but if not, I still love my big nub and am so proud of all of the things we have accomplished together!