Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Project

My second blog is progressing nicely, one on the topic of raw feeding for Dals. I've planned for a long time to do that. I'm also finishing up a booklet on the topic, one that I started quite a few years ago. Maybe get it done, this time! Raw Feeding Blog

Our new dog fitness ball arrived yesterday, a peanut ball. It took forever to inflate and is as big as the fridge, but Argus thought it was such fun. I got him used to fitness balls using a regular round one about 60 cm. high. He learned to put his front feet up, and rest comfortably, but it was not large enough for him to sit on it safely. The peanut ball is long enough for him to stand on comfortably - actually long enough for a St. Bernard to stand on - think I could have bought a bit smaller one! He caught on quickly, ate his treated, lashed his tail, and kissed me whenever he was close enough to my face. It's a lot easier when your subject is such a willing participant.

Made another appointment with the Sports Med Vet for next week. We'll do an adjustment, and I need to ask some questions. Was very tempted to enter two shows yesterday before the deadline, but I have to accept the fact that this may take awhile, if it works at all.

The poor fish were somewhat neglected during our busy mid-August to mid-September period, but I've been busy playing catch up for the past two weeks.  All tanks have had major water changes, I've removed and discarded gallons of duckweed (and to think, I once PAID for some duckweed).   Sadly, I lost one of my older fish, the Knight Goby known as "Argus's fish".  That was the first fish Argus always visited when he came to the fishroom, a large silvery fish with black spots, and exotic finnage.  I'd had him for at least 4 years and he'd been looking pretty rough for the past few months.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alright! Who Stole My List?

This picture should be called "Dalmatians Live Here"!  A nice combination of dog hair and dust.

What would I do without my list(s)?  Seems I am always starting a new one because I mislaid the old one, but they do make my life go somewhat more smoothly.  Because of short term memory deficits, in my case not necessarily age-related, lists allow me to function is a more-or-less normal fashion.  Generally less than more, I might add.  Of course lists are only useful if you can find them and if you check them over regularly, but I do find that the process of writing something down often helps me remember it, list or no list.

Right now, my list is in the car.  Does a lot of good out there, but when I get to the office I can check it over and will be pleased if I actually did a few of the things on the list!  It always contains a shopping list to remind me of ingredients for recipes I might want to try.  It also contains things that are always on every list, such as "brush dogs", "cut nails", "sweep & vacuum", and "dust".  Not sure why I bother to put those on the list as I can gotten very good at not seeing those items.  We talk about dogs (and husbands) as having "selective hearing loss".  Guess I have "selected reading loss"!

There is a lot of satisfaction in lining out most of the items on a list, which I am sometimes able to do on weekends.  I know I can cross off, "buy grass seed", "fertilize lawn", "pick tomatoes", order "Arthrisoothe Gold", and "work with Argus on therapy ball".  BUT, the nagging reminders to "brush dogs", "sweep & vacuum", and "dust" will STILL be there.  On every list.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Someone Needs Therapy, But It Might Be Me

Sitting on my fitness ball, working at the computer.  We'll see if doing this really helps with nagging lower back pain.  It's actually pretty fun.  Because a fitness ball has been suggested for Argus on several occasions, I decided to take the plunge and try one myself.  We've already been told that we can not use them at work, which actually would have been a hoot!  The suckers take forever to inflate with their dumpy little hand pumps, but seem to be worth the effort.  Need to do everything I can to stay healthy and keep my spirits up as we've approaching the time of the year when I have to battle the gloom.  As long as I stay on top of it, I'll be fine, but a few years ago when things were so awful at work I ended up on medication for a short period of time.  Must be related to the shorter days and the fact that fall is so often cloudy in this part of the country.  Too early to know if it helps, but had someone tell me that by replacing her home desk chair with a fitness ball, she got rid of nagging neck pain.  Hope it works for me as well!

Because a judge friend AND the Sports Med Vet both suggested a fitness ball for Argus, he's learning the basics with mine and seems to enjoy it.  Puts his feet up and will rest on his chest while eating high value treats.  Last night he really wanted to sit on it, but we'll wait for that until his peanut ball comes - that will be long enough for him to stand on.   The theory behind this is improving core strength, the muscles in his body that are hard to exercise otherwise.  I downloaded a great video on ball work from the Clean Run website - this is really popular for Agility dogs.  If nothing else we will have fun with it, as Argus seems to be a willing participant.

Only time will tell if this gets Argus back in show shape.  I still wonder if there is a piece missing from the diagnosis puzzle.  I could see and feel the arthritis in his stifle, but am not convinced that is the only thing responsible for what he is doing with his topline when he moves, and why does he still sometimes pick up the other foot when he is standing?  I got the picture back from the Amanas and can see these issues in the stacked shot too.  Something is "off" with him.  The x-ray of his back looked great, but of course that is only the bones.  What about the muscles and such?  Ball work sounds logical, and improving core strength might be the key, but I hate to think that I might be missing something here. Guess my problem is (and has always been) impatience!   We are both going to miss the dog shows this fall, but I won't show him again until he is 100%.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What A Weekend!

Although I sat home this weekend, I had a great dog show weekend. We had all decided that the judging panel in Rochester looked good for Pauli, so she was entered and I kept checking my cell phone for a text message. Pauli's co-owner Wendy was at the show of course, but Jess & Don were camping. Wendy always keeps Jess posted. About 2:00 I heard from Jess that Pauli had won the Group! Wahoo! Her first group win. I texted Rosie, Pauli's breeder, to advise her of the good news. About an hour later I got a call from Jess who informed me in a cracking, shaking voice that Pauli had gone Best In Show. I thought she was joking at first, but the tone of her voice was way too emotional for a joke. Wahoo! I called Rosie to share the exciting news, then called Ginger to tell her that Argus had a Best In Show winning daughter. In the meantime of course, both Jess and I we were on Facebook, sharing the exciting news. Pauli went on to win the Group again on Sunday to make it a MOST successful weekend.

Penny spent the weekend and it was a long one for both of us as she is extremely bored.  All she wanted to do was get out and chase the squirrels that are terrorizing the neighborhood this year.  They are everywhere, which made walking her almost impossible as all she wanted to do was get a squirrel.  Because Argus is on restricted activity, she was not allowed to wrestle with him, and she hated being out in the dog yard. She's a bit of a whiner too, and I am tired of yelling SHUT UP.  God, how I hate whining.  I never keep whiners - let someone else deal with it.  Most people don't mind, or consider it "talking".  Not me.  I don't like it from either dogs or people. This morning Penny came over the dog yard fence - argh.  Her mother did the same thing when she was here.  Good that Penny is going back to Jess this morning.  I won't be so quick to offer my dogsitting services again.  She is now officially known as Bad Penny - perhaps that will help her show career!

If you're a long time reader, you'll remember that Pauli was a challenging puppy and that she & I were often at odds. She always had a terrific temperament, but I found her personality difficult.  For some reason, I always connect better with Dal boys and find most Dal girls do NOT appeal to me.  Marla, Josie and Gemmie were exceptions though.  I could have easily kept Gemmie who was a doll, but when the right home came along for her I let her go.   My feeling is that the dogs one keeps should always fit your home and your personality.  It's best for all concerned.

Pauli grew up as Bad Pauli, but I always felt she would be a wonderful show dog and could have a fine Specials career, but not shown by me.  Jess finished her with a wonderful record, and Wendy wanted to give her a try in the Specials ring, and was willing to pay a good handler to show her.  Wendy had seen Pauli when Jess showed her at some UKC shows, and although Wendy is a Labrador person, she liked Pauli from the beginning.  This is Pauli's first year out and she's been shown very sparingly as she is still young.  She seems to have justified our faith in her!