Rock Bottom

Well the Toller has not been doing so great recently with life.  We were on a roll there, having reached a 2 month streak of panic free car rides and less anxiety in general at work and out and about. It crashed a bit in April and then became kinda better in May.  And now we've crashed again.  This time all the way back to the bottom.  Car rides have trembling and panting so hard it's like he's going to have a heart attack.  Doesn't look much difference than 2011 did.  And we're about 100% of the rides now being in a panic.


More of a freak at work.  Whining at being left.  Getting easily worked up and frantic. Continuing stress at the obedience club with doing some whining in his crate and crazily frantic when let out of his crate.  Even being panting and having this neurotic energy at home.  It's almost like if he's not sleeping he's neurotic.  

I increased his Sertraline to 1.5 pills in the morning last week.  Will see if it helps.  Other option is putting Vito back on Clorazepate and spending way too much money.  But I don't know if that would help anymore either as when we weaned him off it over several months I noticed almost no difference in his behavior.  It did seem to help him on our car ride to Rochester this past weekend.  Although it also seemed to sedate him.

I alternate being wanting so badly to strangle him and slap him out of his panic attacks and wanting to burst into tears as I can't imagine what it's like to be so worked up you tremble uncontrollably.  And I think how he's having at least 2 panic attacks a day right now if not more most days.

And before you comment I'm going to stop you and warn you that if you are thinking about asking if I've tried this supplement or that plant or something I'm going to feel like reaching through the screen and punching you.  Please hold back your helpful suggestion.

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Zumi Disc Dog!

The majority of our weekend was spent at the disc dog event playing Up Dog games!  Goal was just having fun and getting Zumi more experience with working in front of an audience and around dogs.  But since Up Dog actually allows rollers for anyone who thinks that is the best choice for their dog, Zumi was technically competing in all but the Frizgility game where she had to run as FEO since she's not doing jumps yet.


Zumi waited politely for her turn to take the field each time, did beautiful sit stays for the timer count down, and didn't run off with a disc once!  Usually the first roller had a loopy I'm thinking about running around feel to it, but every other throw brought her immediately back to me.  Considering she still is not even close to being reliable with that at home I was very impressed!  

Zumi played 3 games on Saturday and 4 on Sunday.  And in some crazy world she technically met qualifications to go out to Up Dog's World event!  I find it humorous that due to the allowance of rollers Zumi could compete in a national event without ever catching a flying disc.  Safe to say we will not be going :)

Frizgility
It was fun to get to practice baby agility and reward with a roller!



4 Way Play
Look at the distance drops and easily switching to the new disc!  

I can't wait until the Duck is old enough to start doing real frisbee!  I doubt we will go to any more disc events this summer as the other organizations don't allow rollers.  But next summer hopefully!   

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Camping!

This weekend Adam and I took the dogs down to Rochester for a disc dog weekend and camping!  The original decision to go was due to Adam wanting to take a little break from work and the disc event being offered was Up Dog.  Up Dog is the newest disc dog organization and they allow rollers to be used in competition!  Since Vito's forced early retirement from disc 3 years ago (since I could not get him to safely collect for the disc versus insane launching underneath it) I thought this would be as super fun way to get him back involved.  Disc + Vito = pure happiness.  No worries, no motivation issues.  And then Vito injured himself last weekend so is on exercise restriction.  :(

Ended up deciding to go anyway and let Zumi have fun.  While I'm doing an occasional actual throw in the air for her to catch, 90% of her practice is with rollers.  I wasn't too worried about her focus with playing in front a crowd, and she only did the occasional loopy return on the first throw.


Bonus reason, I got to eat at Fazoli's for 3 days :)  I don't know why the chain isn't present in the Twin Cities!


Vito got some extra drugs for the long-ish ride down and did very well.  And then had a few panic attacks on all other trips.  And Vito got to check off a goal from his bucket list.  Neurotic dog + super loud thunder + tent = anxiety achievement unlocked.  Sigh.  Knew it was just a matter of time before Vito added another issue to his list.

Lance was a good dog like always.  But we noticed a disturbing reversal in his partial nerve paralysis.  His right side of his face has been doing so well and barely noticeable.  This weekend the left side of his face decided to collapse.  Not blinking in his lift eye, drooling lots, ear way down.  Identical to how it first started on the right side.  Not good news at all.  I'm afraid to find out what this means for Lance and if he needs surgery after all.  I don't see how it can't be related to that herniated disc.   Only positive is that it has improved from Friday to Sunday.

Always a happy dog though.  And not seeing any issues at all with his back legs.  

Will post later about Zumi's actual disc runs!



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Rat Agility Progress

Penelope is starting to get angled poles in her weave pole training!  I realized after making this video earlier this week that I should move the 2nd set further away from the 1st set.  That helped a ton and now we have even more angle than shown below.


And look, Evee is playing more!  Really I should train her separately since she is further behind than  Penelope, but eh.

Interspecies interaction is always interesting.  Kitty is mostly behaving himself.


And somehow Zumi was lucky enough to actually get to play with Penelope!  Only happened once but super cute!

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Day 2 of Obedience, Rally, Agility

Sunday the trio returned to the 3 sport cluster!

Vito
After we got home from the trial on Saturday Vito started to do some whincing when getting up from a down :(  I don't know how he managed to injure himself, but it might explain his last run of agility on Saturday where he didn't want to go in the tunnel or take the frame when sent.  I was thinking it was just Vito being Vito and possibly worrying because he was "wrong" on the discrimination.  Sorry Vito.

So Sunday I was luckily able to get him massaged by a good friend and he got to visit the chiropractor before his first scheduled run.  Both thought they identified some tight muscles in his front, especially his right, but worked it out and should be fine.  So I decided to do his first agility run and evaluate.
I then almost pulled him as Vito was reluctant to jump on me and cringed into a puddle if I went to ruffle him, but again he's Vito and he's so hard to tell if he's being weird because he had just been proded a billion times and didn't want to be touched again, or if he was hurting.  Of course I show him a toy and he magically turned fine again.  So I ran him.   It went OK.  No weird striding issue and his time was right in his "good" range.  Not Sad Toller, not amazingly fast toller, but still a fast run.  And I know my handling sucked because I was worried and didn't push as hard as i usually do.  I actually had to do 2 rear crosses because I wasn't driving as hard as usual.

Since he didn't seem to bobble at all I decided to do the obedience run about 15-20min later.  Again he didn't want to be touched but wasn't showing any other obvious signs of dicomfort.  Apparently I made the wrong decision.  Vito worked hard and it was his 3rd time of entering utility instead of our usual open runs.
Heeled fairly well for the short pattern, but did look away at the judge.  Sat on the down signal but laid down when I gave a 2nd signal.  And then on the come he did quick cry as he collected into his sit :(   I kept hand touches pretty low for all most between exercises activity and he did pretty well with that.  Tried to see if he would jump up a couple times and sometimes Vito would, sometimes not.

Articles he needed a second command to leave me and then when he did he looked loss..  And then quickly found the correct one and promptly took it to the judge.  Can't say that's happened before!
Go outs were fairly straight on both sends.  On the 2nd jump he started to come straight to me but I was able to step out and redirect him.
Gloves he needed a 2nd command to go on the 1st glove.
On the moving stand he needed a 2nd command to come to heel.
Clearly a recurring theme and I don't know whether to chalk it up to confidence or discomfort.


Scratched the rest of his agility runs and saw the chiropractor again.  He was very tight again and she was puzzled.  More massaging, icing, and now we're on exercise restriction for a bit.

Lance
The corgi was entered only in the first trial for utility.  Did his down signal!!!  And then sassed at me on the sit signal to let me know he desreved a cookie for his great down I think :)  I did metal today for articles instead of leather, no issues.
Nice go outs, but he did give me a small heart attack when he slipped a tiny bit on the first jump (at 4in).  Seemed to recover very well and no issue with the 2nd jump.  I am so guarded of him now!
Gloves were nice, a quick cute little head toss on the pickups, but no dropping of either glove today.
Moving stand he moved a little bit on the exam again.  All 3 trials this weekend.
Good enough for high in trial!

Zumi
The Duck only had 1 round of puppy rally today.  Didn't want to push it!  She started off a bit more distracted than Saturday, but still very nice focus.  Couldn't be happier with her performance.  Certainly crushed my goals of happy attitude and good focus!

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Obedience, Rally, AND Agility!

Day 1 of a combined CDSP Obedience, WCRL Rally, and NADAC agility trial!  All 3 dogs got to do something!  I think it's the first time I have ever done agility and obedience/rally at the same trial?  Vito apparently loved going into the obedience ring after agility!

Vito
3 Agility runs.  Another amazing jumpers run, continuing our streak of happiness about non-contact obstacle courses!  The course seemed odd for NADAC as well as I counted 6 crosses, and even the opening didn't have 3 jumps in a straight line!  Regular was next with another super happy Toller and 5.44yps for his 3rd fastest Regular run of all time.
Jumpers- http://youtu.be/JNy83wk-aUc
Regular- http://youtu.be/BAD1ecObgMc

After 2 runs of agility he headed into the obedience ring for Open.  Super super happy Toller!  Handed off the leash with focus!  Great go out!  Fast drop on recall, and I was brave and used hand signal only versus the simultaneous verbal allowed.  Fast retrieves and even had to call him off during a rethrow.  Engaged heeling, minus one look away towards the judge (steward?) during the first turn.  No cutting corner on the broad jump, but a horrendous finish.  So, so proud of his attitude and happy transitions between exercises.


Long break, then back to the agility ring for Chances.  I knew we didn't have a shot at all with the 2 turn aways on the course.  Vito almost made it the first one, and then became sad and weird.  I tried to put him in the tunnel but he wouldn't go in, then pulled off the aframe.  Not sure what was up with him, but luckily we were done for the day.

Lance
The corgi had 2 utility obedience runs.  First run was very nice and he did his down signal.  So happy!  And then confidently grabbed the wrong article, so I played with it and pretended he was correct.  I think that's only the 2nd (3rd?) time in a trial he has ever brought back the wrong article so I'm not going to sweat it.  Horrible arching left on both go out sends.  Some playing with the glove on the 2nd glove exercise.  Fronts were also pretty bad for most of them.

Round 2 was sassier.  Great, straight, go outs!  Bonus jump when sent for the article pile- confident ran to the middle of the ring, hesitated and took a jump, then excitedly saw the pile and quickly found the correct one.  Major forging on stand for exam.  Dropped the 2nd glove send not once, but twice due to too happy pickups.  But sadly only went 3/4ths of the way down on the down signal :(  Frustrating problem.

Zumi
Zumi's 2nd trial!!!  She did puppy rally in April, a few days after her 6 month birthday and did very well then too.  This trial had even more focus and I didn't have to fake my way through anything, other than the around finish.  Her first lesson on arround was in the parking lot at the last trial, her 2nd lesson was outside the ring at this trial.

Round 1 had only 2 total sits and the rest was all straight heeling.  I think Zumi had 1 small glance away and 1 other time when she seemed to be doing a small gag on a treat.  Overall amazing attitude and happily did bouncing in and out of the ring when asked.  Earned a "perfect" 210.

Round 2 also had great focus and the course was a little bit more complicated with some extra call fronts, and finishes.  Kept her focus up well minus one spot where she got distracted by a gigantic painted "target" on the ground.  I decided to backup to get her focus on me although I don't think re-doing the sign was necessary.  With the redo we earned a 207.

Love this girl so much!

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World's tiniest set of 2x2s

Why yes that is a new weave pole set!  

Of course it has a velcro base which allows the configuration of 2x2s.  And it might be safe to say that this is the only set of tiny 2x2s in the world?

Let the training beginning!  Method will be a highly butchered version of 2x2's, channel, and luring.  My plan was to start with the 3 sets of poles squished together to form a tiny channel for the first lesson, gradually pulling them farther apart but not angling them in any way.  I thought this would be the easiest as it would kinda be like a tunnel for Penelope.

I quickly learned that Penelope is bigger than I thought!  But thankfully the spacing will still work, just not as ample room as I was picturing as I cut the wood.  I also learned that it's way easier to reset a rat than a dog!  And discovered that weave poles taste delicious to the ratties!

But Penelope did learn the "reward line" :)  And for the most part she's  rockstar at 3 sets set up in a channel even if there's room in between to cut out.  So recently I started angling the sets.  Lots more errors!

Oh and Evee occasionally pokes her head out and wants a free cookie.  I try and lure her a little bit, she's certainly not ready to offer any behavior!  But Evee is getting a bit more pushy about the treats each session so I have hope!

Video of a session earlier this week, I think it was her first time with anything angled and you can see I'm super indecisive of how I want to progress.

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Zumi Running Dogwalk update

The journey continues!  Took an unplanned full week off her RDW training but picked up right where we left off.  After the last blog post I guessed we would be at that height for while.  I was wrong as the 2 later sessions that week both went fantastic.  Almost no jumping being done, and only a few extended strides over the zone!  This Monday I raised it a teeny bit at the end, and Tuesday we started with the new height and then moved it up again the last 2 reps.

More excitement of a dog running a plank.


I would think we have to be at baby dogwalk height now, so the plan is to do another session at the newest height and then re-attach the board to the dogwalk and lower the whole thing to 2ft.  Backchain it slowly until she's doing the full baby dogwalk.  I know the added speed will destroy everything she's learned, so fun times ahead!  Vito never got to do this step and I suspect it will be super painful for me as well as very beneficial in the long run.

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

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