Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time for a new plan

Jenny is once again going through some itchy spells. She sometimes gets hives and sometimes these weird little sores on her belly. It got bad right before the trials so I put her on some Temeril-P. It is a low dose steroid and NOT something I want to use long term. But I needed to give her some relief from the itching and the benedryl wasn't enough so I admit I caved to a fast solution. Once she got better I weaned her off it and she was good for about a week. Then she went swimming so I gave her a bath afterwards and that seemed to make her itchy again. It is fustrating. I hate feeling helpless when she is uncomfortable.
She is better overall right now but not 100%. To keep her busy, and in theory her mind off itching, I got her some extra recreational bones. (photo above) Because they are so big I remove most of the marrow to prevent a diarrhea blowout. Marrow is yummy but rich for some dogs. It does seem to be working though because she has been itching less when she's not distracted by her chewing the bones.
Because of her issues I am going back to a full raw diet with her to see if that helps. I am fortunate to have a full freezer full of deer meat that my husband saved from meat cutting season just for the dogs. I have been lazy lately and had backslid to feeding kibble full time. It was grain free in case the grain was a trigger for her itching due to her being allergic to grain mites per her allergy testing.
The first batch is thawing now. My plan this time is to mix it up with the stuff I add (like calcium because it is bone free, pre-biotics, fish oil, etc.) and pre-freeze it into the amounts that each dog needs per meal. Then I can take each days out to thaw in the am and go from there. I thought this might help in the long run. A few days of prep work that should make it easier in the long run. Especially for days when the kids or husband end up feeding the dogs. This is one reason I like Primal brand raw so much. It comes in ready to go nuggets or patties. If I could afford it I'd probably just feed those. Have I mentioned I am lazy?? In my defense I do have TWO jobs on top of kids and all that a busy life brings to the table.
I also signed up to a Natural Healthcare for Dogs e-mail discussion list so I can get some feedback, ideas and hand holding as needed. I second guess myself a lot so having like minded people to bounce things off is helpful. I'm also thinking about a visit to a Holistic vet to get their input. I just need to research the two nearest me to see which one I should go to. Both are about 45 minutes away from me. (in opposite directions ironically) While I do like my vets, I work for them so I know them well, I think it never hurts to get a second (or third) opinion when things aren't working the way you would like. We do differ on the raw feeding debate and have come to a respectful understanding to disagree on the subject. I feel like I am at a point of nothing ventured nothing gained.
Wish us luck.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is your dog a throwback?

Check out the fabulous post about "Throwbacks" over at Ruffly Speaking. I cannot express how much I love her blog for all the great information about breeding and training. (and the reality of living with dogs and kids) If you haven't see it before take a few minutes to check it out. The photos alone are always amazing and well worth the time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Breed Matters?

Check out my blog post over at one of my all time favorite sites Dog Star Daily: Breed matters? Besides the fabulous blog they have FREE training advice. Go, sit, surf!

And if you missed it I've updated my blog roll. I try to clean it up on occasion by deleting those that don't keep up with their posts and adding new stuff I find interesting. Check out new additions Gooddogz Training, (who used to be A Dog's Life but that blog is broken) The Daily Puglet (a site that makes me lust for a new camera) and Pawcurious. Wow this blog makes mine look like I use paper and a pencil! (Hat tip to Dr. K of Dolittler who is now Fully Vetted for that addition.) I also changed some blog names that were long overdue. Underdogged is now Save the pitbull, Save the world as it was originally titled. There may be more but that's all I can remember for now.
The cutie in the photo above is Biscuit, a former stray that is available for adoption at my local shelter. I don't have details but I saw Biscuit at a public event today and he (she?) was fabulous and sweet. Just saying.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Are you kidding me? Sorry, I don't eat anything with the word pee in it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No longer a rally newbie

On top of my sister getting married Saturday I also entered our very first APDT Rally Obedience trial on Sunday. Yeah not the best planning on my part. For the record I don't recommend it. But we survived and we are no longer a "Rally Newbie" team. Our first official trial is under our belt and we did pretty darn well. (If I do say so myself.)

Besides being tired due to the running around that a wedding requires, it also means little time to practice. Little practice can add to the stress of any trial let alone a first one. I have to admit that my first thought upon waking up was, Do I have to?? To be fair I'm not a morning person on the best of days. Then my husband reminded me how much I had put in to it and how close it was. Having a trial within a 25 minute drive IS a luxury and I know it. Thanks to Wag It for hosting an awesome trial. They even ran out to pick up our ordered lunches for us. Now that's service! (I had the BEST turkey sandwich.)
I was worried about the weather being hot so I froze two 2 liter bottles with water to put in Jenny's crate just in case. Of course I drove away without them. (Doh!) Luckily I had a plastic bin in my car with training equipment that I emptied out and added 3 bags of ice from the local convience store. That worked just as good if not better. Besides lying next to it she could also lay on top of it. Fortunately I got a good parking spot in the shade and there was a nice breeze. The afternoon got a little warmer but it wasn't an issue at that point. Thankfully the trial itself was inside.
I have to admit I was very nervous. Driving there I was wondering why I was doing this to myself again. Thank goodness for tums. The weird part is that once I am in the ring I am not nervous at all. I'm to busy to worry at that point. I'm not even worried about messing something up. I just hate the waiting part. I was hoping that after our first run the nerves would go away. They did right up until my second class started. Then the butterflies came back. If I want to keep doing this I really hope this gets better. Everyone there was wonderfully supportive and nice to us. They even said the nerves will go away in time. Our hostess reminded us that there is enough stress in life for free, there is no need to pay for it as well. Rally is supposed to be a fun hobby after all. If it is stressful we should take up some other hobby. Great point! Lucky for me I don't typically get stressed, just nervous.
The best news is that we qualified in both trials we entered. Our first run resulted in a score of 199 (out of a possible 210) and earned us a 4th place ribbon. Our second run gave us a 205 and a 2nd place ribbon. Needless to say I was THRILLED with Jenny's performance. Heck I was just thrilled that we qualified!
Now I have to decide which trial to enter next. There is an AKC trial coming up in my area at the Mid-Coast Kennel Club show and another APDT trial coming up at Finish Forward Dogs. (They are also hosting a UKC rally show but I don't know anything about that version of rally.) Then Wag It is hosting another APDT trial in November. (Hmmm November would be a great time of year to take Jack to a trial.) So no shortage of trials. Its funny how right after I've been in the ring I feel good about doing it again, yet when I am about to get into the ring again I get nervous. Gah.
Anyhow here is a video of our first run. My biggest mistake was moving both hands for the finish right exercise. Ooops! I think I could have moved faster too. She has a better heel than I give her credit for. And I definitely need to stand up straighter! Or she needs to get taller. VBG

And if this links works, here is our second run.

I know, I should have cued her for the sit on the last exercise when she got to my side. All things considered I am darn proud of her and how she did. Way to go Jenny!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Here comes the bride

I have the best excuse ever for not blogging this past week. My sister got married on Saturday. Needless to say I was kinda tied up with other things.
It was a beautiful day for an outdoor wedding.

The dogs were not only in attendence they were part of the ceremony.

No worries, she didn't have to wear it for very long. Pink is her color don't you think?

Minos and G.G. were the ring bearers. They attached the wedding rings to their collar clips. It worked out great.
It was a lovely day all around. Congrats to my sister and her husband on their new life together.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pretty in pink

Jenny's new collar came in last week. I tried to get some really great photos to show it off but I failed. Here are a few I got anyway. It is from and is called Dragonflies Turquoise. I almost got her Pink Lotus and still may in the future. (I find myself becoming addicted to collar shopping.)

We have an APDT Rally show coming up this weekend she will debuting it at. It is the 1 inch martingale style. I love martingales because dogs cannot slip out of them yet they can wear them loosely. I thought it was beautiful and girly. Every wannabe diva needs to wear something that makes her feel pretty after all. To many people think she is a boy just because she is a pug. I'm hoping the pink will help give people a clue.
Now don't you have collar envy? I'm planning on getting Jack the POW collar next. For being a Super Dog he deserves a Super Hero collar after all.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Camp Jenny and parade news

I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July weekend. My family was invited up to a friends camp on a lake. My daughter wasn't feeling well so she stayed home with Jack while we went up with Jenny. It was her very first camp outing. (Jack has been before.) Here she is with Alamo, the GSD, and Maddie our friends dogs.
She did excellent. I wasn't sure if I would be able to let her off leash or not. She is pretty darn good with her recalls IF she isn't following her nose. Being in the woods with lots of critters around I wasn't sure of her attention span. Fortunatly she did great so she got to enjoy some extra freedom. She even met 3 other dogs (all females!) and was on her best behavior as were they.

She also surprised me by going into the water on her own for a swim a couple of times. I'm extra glad I ordered her a lifejacket now. Between the activity and gobs of table scraps she scored she was a very happy camper at the end of the day.
Our Humane Society float was a hit. We won an award for the float that best represented the theme of "People making a difference". We also raised $250.00 from donations from the crowd! Not to shabby! We had a great banner that let people know that our shelter covers 22 towns. I don't think many people knew that.

I'm sorry I didn't get any photos of my invisible dog. We got lots of laughs. I drafted my son to hold the boatyard dog sign. He was a good sport. And check out this guy:

Parker agreed to be our cat litter kid. Talk about a good sport! It was a great time and we have plans to do it again bigger and better for the Lobster Festival parade as well. Hope to see some of you there!