Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big grins at the agility fun match

Dax is such a good girl! Yesterday evening we went to the Agility Fun Match hosted by the Lyons Dog Training Club. My goals were pretty basic - make sure Dax did the A-Frame (which she avoided like the plague at the trials we entered) and get the bar-setters and tunnel-straighteners to discourage her from visiting (okay, I went up and begged them to scream "no" at her if she came visiting.)
She was wonderful! The first run I decided to start with a jump and then the A-Frame to make sure we had time to get it done right. No problem. Dax jumped and headed straight for the frame like it was her favorite obstacle! She stayed with me the whole time, didn't even glance at the other people in the ring. We managed to complete the whole course. Almost. I was so happy she was with me I didn't notice that Dax ran over the broad jump instead of jumping it until we were well past it. I figured I'd fix it on the next run.
As it turns out - I didn't need to! She jumped the jumps, touched the contacts, listened to me and grinned from ear to ear. Me, too!
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Saturday, October 25, 2008

More than just a river in Egypt

So we look at Ceilidh and can't believe anything's wrong with her. If I hadn't seen the EKG for myself, I wouldn't believe it. But there's not much arguing with two separate tests with scarey flat lines that seem to go on forever before that reassuring little bump that says - not done yet!
And she's not. Not by a long shot. Because Ceilidh has no symptoms, her vet says we can work with medication, trying to get her dosage right, seeing what effect it has, etc. Another EKG in three weeks and we'll see where we are.
In the meantime, we intend to ignore the situation entirely, aside from giving her the pills. There's a lovely view from this wonderful place called "denial." Visit anytime!
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Quality it is!

Here's the good news: Ceilidh's blood pressure is normal!

And the bad news: not only are Ceilidh's heart valves bad, they're really bad. And she has arrhythmia - her heart stops beating at times for several seconds.

There are pacemakers available for dogs, but if we had one implanted in Ceilidh, her activity level would have to be restricted. For a normal, couch potato dog this wouldn't be a big deal. But for Ceilidh, who only knows full-speed, this alone would kill her.

So we hope to be able to treat Ceilidh's condition with medication. The vet also said that any new stress factors are to be avoided. Keep doing the things Ceilidh loves to do - play with her beloved Latex Soccer Ball and go to Agility Class - but if I ever had any dreams of competing with Ceilidh, that's out.

Hopefully, Ceilidh will be around for a very long time, wanting to play, play, play...
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Facing choices

I'm off to pick up Ceilidh at the vet in a few minutes. She spent the day getting checked out - the vet said the heart murmur she found last year had worsened considerably - from a grade 1 to a grade 3. Ceilidh's only seven years old, and we don't even want to consider the implications if she has exercise restrictions. Not the full-speed, party girl! We're dreading having to face the choice - quantity or quality of life?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Golly!

Today is Golly's 13th Birthday!
Happy Birthday, baby princess!

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

New member of the family

Yesterday I did something I only do about every 10 years. I bought a new car! It's a Blue Honda Element. It's cute, distinctive, and rated the best dog car around. (Sort of the leitmotif of our lives, isn't it!) Tomorrow I'll be measuring and planning and building a platform for the dogs' crates in the back. And removing the back seats - probably not to be seen again until I go to trade it in in 10 years.
I don't know how many people name their cars, but I tend to. Strange names - the last one was Broccoli (Green Grand Vitara). So I'm talking to Fran and ask, "what should I name it" and she says "Blueberry." It stuck. So - welcome Blueberry!
Buying Blueberry was sort of surreal. Last time I bought a car the internet wasn't really a factor. This time, I built it online, asked for quotes, went to the dealer with the best one, got a good deal (I think - please don't disabuse me of this fondly-held notion), great financing, and drove away in my new car. Weird. Pleasant, but weird.
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Friday, October 17, 2008


I'm taking this session of Agility classes off - hopefully rest my knees and hips. Because, as fun as it was, walking miles around Disney World and then a trade show did not help. Fortunately, Ceilidh doesn't know that yesterday was Thursday, the day she usually goes to class. As long as her routine doesn't vary, she's pretty happy. I'm the one feeling the guilt. But, I know in the long run this will be better for me, and better for us.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The raking begins...

and continues for months.
Because this is the tree in front of the house this morning:
And this is the tree in the back today:
The front is the first one in the area to lose its leaves, the back hangs on until New Year's Day some years. Whoever planted these - what were they thinking?
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

It's been a fun, busy time around here. We grabbed a few vacation days when we could, came back to the shop for two days to catch up (thank you for your orders!), then dashed off to the Pet Industry Trade Show. It did seem smaller this year - a sign of the times. So maybe instead of getting together with 10,000 of our closest colleagues, it was only about 9,500. An intimate gathering.
It was, as always, fun, fascinating and totally exhausting! The best things about going to a trade show in your home town are not having to travel and not having to spend a fortune on lousy convention center food. The worst thing about going to a trade show in your home town is that you have to go to work before the show. Imagine two floors, each floor with 30 aisles packed with vendors. And we have to see them all, or we might miss something wonderful!
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Back to the routine

I like routine. You pretty much know what to expect. You know what you have to do, and customers know where and when to find you. Of course, I love vacation and am looking forward to the next one! But I feel good knowing that I helped some people's little dogs today! There are going to be some happy little dogs when their mail comes with their Bow Wow Beanies. And some little dogs are going to look pretty spiffy in their new Soft Harnesses!
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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

What we did on our autumn vacation

We had our portrait done. That's Fran on the left (slightly blue that day), Hope on the right. And yes, if you were wondering - those are absolutely our abs. Jedi never lie.
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