Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy b-day Wall-e!

It's Wall-e's 5th birthday today. Wow! It still feels like he's the baby dog.

Here he is enjoying a walk at the pond; I edited the leash out.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wall-e's routine bloodwork results -- B12 injections in his future

So Wall-e had routine bloodwork done a few weeks ago. It showed that he has a very low ALP, of 7! Because of this, our vet thinks that he has low B12, so he'll be getting B12 injections 4 times yearly, starting this week if we can get an appointment. As well as health reasons, it'll be interesting to see if this affects his behaviour, since B12 is supposed to increase energy.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Products we've been using/going to use

Excuse my lame title, I'm not feeling very creative today :)

So Mika and Wall-e have been getting a new joint supplement since April 30. It's called Lakota Canine Joint Care Formula. Wall-e has been on other joint supplements in the past for his old knee injury (Glyco-Flex I and Dr. Maggie's), but I have never put Mika on a joint supplement regularly. (I slipped her the occasional supplement as a treat when there were no other rewards around, but that's it.) I can't say if this supplement has been helping or not (and it's just a preventative for Wall-e anyway), but time will tell. It's meant for arthritis, but mainly because of it's anti-inflammatory properties, which works for Mika's sore shoulder anyway; and there's a good chance Wall-e could develop arthritis as he ages because of his old knee injury, so this supplement could prevent that.

I also need to get a harness for Wall-e; he's been coughing more often. Sometimes during training (not too often -- maybe once every couple of weeks -- but more than he used to), and after lunging at cars on walks. I'm currently walking him on a collar. I posted on a Facebook group asking for recommendations on harnesses for Wall-e, and these are the ones I'm now considering:

CTC Shoulder Harness  (couldn't find it on the web site, but found a picture of the harness on the Facebook page)

I need a harness that won't break, won't restrict his movement, and will encourage him to continue pulling for conditioning :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Training May 14, and thoughts on aging

On Tuesday we went to the field for the second time of the season. I set up part of a sequence from the "Backyard Dogs" article in the May 2013 issue of Clean Run, for Wall-e. I also lined up two sets of 6 weaves, about 15 feet away from each other, because Wall-e popped out of 12 weaves at our trial last weekend, and I'd hoped this exercise would help. (His entries were fantastic at the trial though, really happy with those!) 

We did more work on the weaves then I'd planned (just 3 reps, but I'm trying to keep sessions short with Wall-e because he's been less drivey lately), so I opted not to do the sequence and instead end the session. 

Then I took Mika out. I've been resting her because I noticed a couple weeks ago that she was bearing weight unevenly; she was very slightly lame in her front right leg. It's probably a sore shoulder; I gently felt around her shoulder and she started blinking when I felt the part of her shoulder near her elbow

But after training Wall-e this day, I took her out of the car and let her explore the field. It was her first time on the field this season, and the look on her face was awesome. She was just so, so happy to be out there. I loved watching her cheerfully galloping around the field (a slow gallop, not a frantic race that would re-injure her shoulder), around the 16" jumps that Wall-e had been using, then turn, smiling, towards me, with the sun shining behind her and lighting her fur. That was all it took to fully convince me that no matter what Mika's age, I'm never going to stop doing agility with her as long as she wants to do it too, and as long as it isn't hurting her. I want her to feel young for as long as she possibly can, and agility does that for her like nothing else. 

The only thing that I'm unsure about is trialing. I've entered her in a lot more trials this year in the hopes of making her feel important. I just want to keep this dog with me as long as possible while still being happy and healthy. If I thought that trialing was bad for her, I wouldn't enter her in any more ever again. I just want to do what's best for her, and I'm still not exactly sure what that is.

On one hand, trialing is stressful and involves a lot of waiting around between runs (and before and after). But then I think of how, although Mika is dog-reactive, her reactivity lessens at trials. She knows she's there for agility and that's what she's focused on. And trials get her out of her familiar environments, which is a good thing? Maybe? I don't know, there's just so much to think about and I'm hoping the answers will come to me. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The agility field's opened for the season!

Wall-e enjoying a post-training gallop around the field.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Enjoying yogurt "pup"sicles

Every summer we freeze yogurt into "pup"sicles. This year I mixed together yogurt and water and then froze it. Mika starts off licking it, then moves on into chewing it. Wall-e starts chewing right away.