Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mystery Solved!

As many of you know, we feed our dogs a raw diet, and that occasionally includes chunks of pork neck which has a harder bone than their normal fare, and requires a bit more chewing.  Dogs always eat in their crates or outdoors.  Fern isn't a big chewer or a big eater, and occasionally sets her pork necks or chicken back aside for later, under the edge of her crate rug - so Josie always checks Fern's crate in case it needs a bit of "housekeeping".

I'm absolutely paranoid about doggy odor, having visited too many breeders whose houses smell, well, doggy, something I would hate to live with.  When I walk in the door I always do the sniff test and can tell if a pup had an accident that Ron missed, or if anything else is amiss. I can't rest until I've solved the mystery.

When I came home from Waukesha Sunday night I noticed an "off odor", as if one of the dogs had barfed up half digested chicken.  All the rugs were clean, all the furniture throws were just washed, all the crates smelled fine, all the dogs smelled like warm fur.  I checked the fridge, the potato bin, everywhere.  Nothing.  I noticed it again on Monday, not a strong odor, but something "off", and again I checked rugs, crates, furniture throws, dogs, fridge, everywhere.  Nothing.

Tuesday it was too wet to mow when I got home from work, so I decided to sweep and vacuum the family room and kitchen which had not been done over the weekend as I was out of town.  As I pulled out one of the chairs in the family room, the smell got stronger.  I didn't notice anything at first, but when I took the broom out to sweep the corner, there was  something dark pressed against the baseboard.  Ah hah!  I grabbed a paper towel and picked up a very stinky chunk of pork neck!  Someone (that means Fernly, who inherited Grandpa Argus's habit of burying things) had squeezed between the chair and the wall to find a safe place to keep her uneaten dinner from being stolen by someone else.  We had pushed the chair back in place, effectively keeping her prize safe.  Ugh!

Mystery solved!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Much Better, Thank You

This was my post to Facebook last week -

Whew! A call from Ron to tell me Fern had run into the rabbit fencing and had a WIRE IN HER EYE! Needless to say, I was home in record time and off to the Vet's. The wire went between the eyeball and the skin - in the socket but down and out. A tiny scratch on her cornea, a skin puncture and some bruising. Dr. S says it SHOULD heal uneventfully. Please say a prayer for Fern and now I will start breathing again.

Fern's eye continues to look good, but she goes in for a recheck on Tuesday to make sure that the small abrasion on her cornea is healing properly.  The injury did not keep her home this past weekend, and we attended shows with good sized Dal entries despite all the excitement.  Fern didn't win either day, but we both learned a lot!  She's still a bit immature and would probably benefit from sitting out for a few more months, but I need to be back in the ring.  Although I have shown for many years, I have not seriously trained and shown a class dog since 8 year old Argus was a pup, and haven't shown a bitch since 10 year old Josie was a youngster (other than just a couple times in the ring with Amery but Jess did the training there).  The shows this summer are more about training (retraining?) ME.  Once Argus was trained, he was very easy to show - which Fern is NOT, at least not yet.  Her ring behavior was MUCH better on Sunday, with a LOT of extra work after her lousy performance on Saturday.  (Most of which was my fault, I might add.)

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 I came home to a nice surprise last night when I found that Fern's UKC Championship certificate had arrived in the mail on Saturday.  I hadn't even realized that she'd finished as I've never figured out how UKC counts points - I just use their shows for fun and practice.  In four UKC shows Fern had three Group Ones and a Group Two - guess that was enough for a Championship. 

Hopefully we can add an AKC Championship to that this year.  Then on to Coursing for Fern.

Max came along with us this weekend and did so well.  He's such a sweet boy and tries so hard to please. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Day 2, Waukesha weekend. This has traditionally been one of my favorite show  weekends, and one we rarely miss. It's always hot and humid, but judges, entries and shopping are normally good and we've picked up lots of majors and finished a number of dogs here over the years.

The judging panel was satisfactory this year, so Gemma and Fern were entered and we were delighted to find the entry  included a 4 point major in bitches and 6 Specials - fun!  Things went downhill from there when Jess developed cellulitis in her leg from a bad reaction and subsequent infection from some kind of plant - like Poison Ivy on steroids.  Gemma was put out of commission too, when one of her housemates (a mixed breed rescue) punched a few holes in her. Then Fern got a wire In the eye (long story) but after a BIG scare, it turned out to be a relatively minor concern and I decided  to make the trip anyway.  With such a nice entry there was sure to be out of towners to chat with, Fern had shown well the previous weekend, Groups and BiS are always competitive, and I needed to purchase some supplies from vendors who are always at those shows.

Wrong on all counts! Cold and windy, overall show entry was way down, vendors were down, Fern showed like an ass, half the entry (and all the winners) were with handlers (which is really taking a lot of the fun out of dog shows), and the Groups were boring. What a disappointment!

A nice lunch with a group of Dal friends was fun, the collar guy was there so I ordered a new collar for Argus, and one of the stands had the 16 inch chain collar I wanted for Fern.  That's about it. Nice motel too, though it represents money I could have saved had I stayed home.

Fern's ring behavior was a combination of cold wet grass, wind, 8:00 judging, but mostly bad judgement on my part.  "Bad Sue, bad, dumb Sue.". How much had we practiced stacking and gaiting in the previous two weeks? Not at all.  Did I get to the show in time to work her? Did I take her for a long walk to settle her down? Did I stand with her in the ring area for long enough?  Nope to all of that.

I can't do much about the weather today, but Fern and I put in a lot of work yesterday and we'll do more of it today. She stacked fine yesterday and was solid on the exam, but her feet rarely touched the ground when she gaited. Hopefully we got that problem resolved. We'll see. Maybe she only shows well outdoors when it's hot! Hope not