Friday, June 11, 2010

Long, Long Hiatus

Needless to say it has been a while. The reason being:

Makin and Tessa have a new sister! We have had to do a ton of work on the house in order to prep. As a result we have taken a break from agility for financial reasons. Hoping to start back up again soon. The girls have not and will not be neglected with the addition of their sister (Livia). This you can be certain of! I do believe I will be making more posts now as well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NYC and the Eye Exam

We recently took a trip to NYC. My third time there and the most enjoyable. We went down on Sat morning and promptly headed to Katz' deli where we partook of some pastrami sandwiches and pickles. We then walked north to Union Square where we did some shopping and had warm apple cider. We then continued to walk and shop for the remainder of the afternoon. Dinner was at the Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay) where we had an amazing meal. Lots of southwestern flavors and spices. We had tamales with garlic and shrimp for an app. Lael had a honey glazed salmon and I had a spice encrusted pork tenderloin which was the best I have ever had. Nice and spicy. As sides we had another tamale with sage butter sauce, cilantro pesto mashed potatoes and a chile releno. The releno was very spicy and Lael couldn't handle it but I thought it was actually the highlight of the meal. You just don't get those at many restaurants. In the past I was never keen on visiting NYC as I found it overwhelming. We did the city at our pace and I am looking forward to our next trip. The hardest part will be to find another dining experience to match the Mesa Grill.

Makin's ojos (spanish for eyes)

Today I took Makin to the Animal eye specialists because her left eye has had a bit of cloudiness that I wanted looked at. I am still trying to digest all of the information and am thankful that Lael can understand the biology. It also doesn't hurt that Lael's dad is an optometrist!

Information from the visit is as follows:

Makin has intraocular inflammation (anterior uveitis) in both eyes which causes both pressures to be lower than the normal reference range and her internal health will be evaluated with blood and urine evaluations including evaluation for the three most common tick related diseases. With previous history of lyme is is possible that she has experienced the ultrastructural changes in the endothelial lining of the blood vessels in her eyes. Those changes can possibly cause leakage of proteins normally found in the blood stream to leak into her eyes even if the initial insult has been resolved. It is also possible that, based on epidemiology, that she has a current active infection that can cause of the bilateral anterior uveeitis.

The cloudiness in her left eye is the result of corneal endothelial degeneration. Essentially there has been a degeneration in the corneal endothelial cellualr anatomy which is causing a decreased surface area to volume ration of the endothelial cells causing increased corneal thickness which is causing increased refraction of light in the corneal tissues which appears blueish. There is no way to affect change of the damages cells as they are nerve related but we may be able to influence the physiology of the cells by altering the biochemistry of the fluid inside the eye with the combined use of Predisone Acetate and Flurbiprofen (apririn like med) as well as AK-NACL (ointment) to osmotically draw fluid from the surface cell layers of her cornea. If there is sufficient fluid accumulation it is possible for corneal ulcerations to occur.

Needless to say all of that information was tough to process. Makin is on four different meds, the three mentioned above and doxy. I am glad we made the visit although the check book isn't. Makin was great during the exam. When we had her on the table I thought she was squirming because she was uncomfortable but it turns out that all she wanted was to roll onto her side becasue there was an opportunity for three sets of hands to rub her belly! Silly, silly dog.

Makin will be on the meds for three weeks with a lot of attention spent on looking at her eyes to see if we are causing problems or discomfort. We then have a recheck scheduled to determine how she is dong. I feel a little bad for not being more on top of things but feel we are on the right track now. It is also a funny thing that both of the girls have more medical attention than Lael or I combined since we have gotten them. I think this is the normal case with our devotion to our pets. I wouldn't change a thing and only hope that we can do the best we can for them. They are definitely my buddies.

Again, a gratuitous picture. I think Tessa is smiling because she is snuggling Makin!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Busy, Busy

Well we have been busy, clearly. House renovations, classes and Lael's ability to keep the schedule full have contributed to a lack of posting.

We went hunting with Makin about a month ago. I thought she did great. She is not steady on the point and does not hold when the shot is made but for a dog that has not worked a retrieve for me she sure does it pretty darn well. She also has a one track mind when we get out where there is a scent. I am sure working on that even a little could improve. Two birds were planted for us. She found them and one other. We ended up with two birds one of which was a beautiful rooster. It was a great time made even better by the fact that we finally met the Regal Vizsla team which includes one of Makin's offspring, Momo. Andrew's take on the the adventure can be found here. The event was run by the VCCNE and as always it was a great event run by a great group of people who are fun to be around.

We also have just completed our fall classes with both of the girls and will have a bit of a break for December. We resume next session with Makin while Tessa takes a break from class and then Tessa will have her weave pole class.

Tessa has been doing great. She is a very literal dog though and reads you like a book. Give her body language and she will use it, even if its wrong. Different dog, different challenges. Keeps you on your toes.

Makin has also been doing great and I think that I am finally starting to get the switch thing. FINALLY. Now we can practice that without me worrying about totally screwing her up. Lets just hope the snow stays away so we can work in the back yard.

The only bummer recently has been that our new morning romping grounds have been off limits for a while. There was a coyote sighting. Not just a wandering but this little devil was hanging out in a field eating a neighborhood pet. Just not worth the risk. I understand that they are probably in many of the places we go but when they are out mid-day and not worried about the people around them it makes me nervous that there is something other than them just being hungry. So I will have to scout the place out before we go back.

On a completely different note, Lael and I are heading to NYC this weekend. We have a food crazy tour where we plan on visiting a famous delli for lunch followed by the highlight of eating at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill. So excited! I love to cook and must admit the Food network gets a fair amount of viewing in our house. In particular I enjoy Bobby Flay's shows and am a big fan of the spices he uses even though they are quite difficult to obtain. I will be sure to post about our weekend adventure even though it will have nothing to do with the girls as they are spending the weekend with my folks.

And just because I can, a gratuitous puppy shot. They sure are silly.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Makin's Agility Debut

Today was a very exciting day. Makin entered her first agility trial! We did a jumpers and a tunnelers run at the Act-Up Trial in Wrentham. Registration was at 7:30am, so Neil went early to scope the scene while I stayed at home to do some housework. At 9:30, I got a call telling me to jump in the car, we'd be up soon. So, I arrived at ~10:15... and we had our turn at 2:30. I have a new appreciation for my mom's attendance at my swimmeets growing up....

I got to run Makin in the jumpers, which basically consisted of 14 jumps, with only 1 rear cross. I nervously awaited my turn, trying to keep Makin and me warm by trotting around. We thought it would be best if Neil was out of site, but Makin kept searching for him- and for Tessa. There were two other Vizslas there (who did a great job)- and Makin also kept looking over at them- I'm guessing looking for Tessa. When it was our turn, the starter women said something to us- honestly, I thought I was in Nicaragua again and someone was speaking spanish to me- I wanted to understand, but I had no idea what she meant. She understood my blank stare as a lack of understanding and translated her agility speak: "go thru the starter gate and wait for the current jumper to finish"... duh- can you tell I was nervous? Makin certainly sensed my anxiety; when I took her up to the first jump and took off the leash, she turned her back on the jump and tucked her tail bigtime. Oh boy. After a little coaxing, she went over the jumps- not quite like I had envisioned, or like she was capable, but she did it. We got to the rear cross and I thought- this was my small goal, something we'd be practicing. But... didn't quite get it right, so as we continued through the next jumps I remembered what my actual goal was: to just complete the run, which she did. So I was very happy. Not the best run, but a start! And to make us feel better, Makin won a second place ribbon :)

Then, Neil and Makin did the tunnelers course. What a difference! She was on fire! They worked very well together. Neil said his trick was keeping Makin distracted until right up to the when they had to start, then he jumped out on the course. There was only one time when Makin started to jump the tunnel, but after she put her front paws up, she remember to run through the tunnel, not on top of it. She did fabulously and seemed to have fun. Very proud of her!

Looking forward to working more in class and entering another trial soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crisis Averted

As I write I have two snuggling V's next to me. Tessa has had a very long 24 hours. She is zonked. We will never know what she got into but we do know that she was in rough shape yesterday, underwent a battery of procedures and could have been in real trouble. Thanks to the doctors at Tufts she is now home safe but still very tired. We can only gather that she got into something at the park by the BC law school which is now off our list of places to go in the morning. She was on a drip all last night and under close watch as they thought she may have a seizure. Lots of rest and care allowed her to decontaminate. When I picked her up she was acting like herself, lot of kisses and excitement. So good to see. She chowed dinner and her motor skills appear fine, walking fine and not "drunk" looking. We are so happy to have her home. Thanks to everyone for their good thoughts and wishes. As I sit and write I wonder if I was a little dramatic, but I don't think so. She was in a bad way and things could have been real bad had I not come home at lunch. Knowing where a facility was located was also critical. I will do a dry run to Angel Memorial hospital in the next couple of days as I think it is a little closer, but the Tufts folks were great, again. We need to keep her calm for the next couple of days. Happily Lael is home during the day tomorrow.

On a happy note, Makin will be going hunting in November. We last took her two years ago where we able to see her birdiness. She caught one that was missed by the gunner. She tracked it down, brought it to me and let it run away. The second she retrieved for us. Below is her bringing the bird back for me. This should be a fun event where we get to finally meet the squad from the "Regal Vizsla".

Makin is also entered in her first agility trial this weekend. Should be fun but I am nervous. We probably could have used the work last night at class. Our goal will be to have fun. No pressure this weekend, not worried about q's, just trying to get our feet wet and enjoy this experience. In the trials to follow we will have more concrete goals but I think having fun will be just fine.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Rough Day for Tessa: and still not out of the woods

Today started like any other day. Makin, Tessa and I went to the park. We went to run the trails by the BC law school, a place we USED to frequent often. We came home, had breakfast crated up and and I went to work. I came home at lunch to find Tessa out of sorts. It can be best described as a drunk sort of look. She wasn't walking correctly and for a girl who likes to give kisses, she was not giving any. Totally out of sorts. We immediateley hopped in the car and headed for the emergency vet. Her heart rate was low and her temperature was down. I am fairly certain she didn't eat anything funny at home so my best guess is she got into something at the park. Her symptoms closeley resembled symptoms that Joszi had a while ago. She has since improved. Her heart rate is back up and she is warm again. Anti freeze has been ruled out and pictures show nothing evident in her belly. She is more active and seems more alert and doesn't look like she is gonna pass out at any moment. She is on a drip and will not recieve food tonight. She is on a close watch at the hospital.

Needless to say I have been a wreck al day long. The drive to the ER was nothing short of scary. The forester has not and probably will never go that fast again. Thankfully there was no traffic. Lael works in the ER tonight but we are going to visit when she gets off of work. The hospital, Tufts, seems very accomodating. We have had good experiences there in the past. I am certainly going to do a dry run to Angel in the next couple of days. I had directions but didn't want to risk getting lost so we shot out to Walpole. A ride that would normally take me 30 minutes took less than 20. Yikes.

I know we are not out of the woods yet and the morning could bring something new. But I am more optimistic now than I was this afternoon. Please throw some good thoughts out there for little Tessa. She needs them and she needs to come home and take advantage of the new fence that will be in full effect tomorrow. Makin is defineteley wondering where her buddy is and wondering why we are not at agility tonight. I figured it would be safest to keep Makin away from other dogs even though she has no symptoms or issues. Better to be safe than sorry.

You may be wondering why I post now. Bottom line is I just don't know what else to do and I can't stop thinking about our little girl. The house seems kinda quiet right now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Agility 10/07/2008

Two awesome classes tonight!

Tessa is quick. I know there is a Mr Enthusiasm out there but I think we may have found Miss Enthusiasm during Tessa's class. She was having a blast working. During her class I was impressed with how much distance we can get between us and her. This is something that she just seems to get. We worked the teeter and the A frame a bit. Tessa is doing great on the teeter and does a great wait for us so that she hits her contacts. The A frame was also good until something spooked her. That is the funny thing about Tessa. She spooks easily and can shut down but she is also getting better with breaking the funk. She is loving working in the barn and seems to be having a lot of fun.

So, we have Miss Enthusiasm but tonight we had Mrs Enthusiasm as well. I know, I know Makin isn't married but she has had offspring which will allow me to give her the Mrs title. Makin was full of "piss and vinegar" tonight. It was the first time we have seen her get so stoked to run a course that she picked a line and went ahead doing obstacles in the order she wanted. Was I upset by this; hek no. I was so pleased to see that joy and excitement in running and working the course. The courses in Makin's class are definitely getting harder and are challenging. They require a lot of forethought and planning in order to handle things well. I must remember to relax and breath and trust Makin. She is fun.

So we were also issued a little challenge. We were told that we should try a trial out...soon. Well, in reality we have been at this for less than a year so this is a little scary. We are still weak on the weaves so we would do a run that does not require us to do them. (I know, bad handlers for not practicing them more) I am going to look into this a little more. It could be very fun. The first event is the hardest and will come with all the nerves and jitters. Breathing will help!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back Yards...They are FUN

In the past Makin has never been one to play with other dogs. It is clear though that she and Tessa have formed a bond. Tessa is the only dog Makin will play with and they love doing so in the back yard. I think the reason they have not played like this a lot is because when we go to the park there are a lot of things that Makin is more interested in (e.g. birds). Below are a few shots mid tug-o-war and wrestling for the squirrel. The chase game didn't photograph very well with the phone. In the chase game Tessa dominates with speed but Makin can turn on a dime and would make a heck of a fullback with the way she avoids pursuit.

We have also been doing a bit of yard work but have taken a bit of time off as we are waiting to install the new fence and don't want to have things undone during installation. Makin decided that we were slacking and started to tear up some roots for herself.

On another note we had a great agility class with Makin last night. I am actually going to wait to discuss it more once I can "pirate" Blue's drawing of the course (she has been putting them on her blog)! Suffice it to say Makin did well but we need to do more work on switch. Tessa came in and did some jumps and the tunnel and shows much promise. Her foundation course for obstacles begins soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hello again!

Oh my goodness! See that picture below, the one from the last blog about 60 days ago- that has turned our worlds a little upside down. Packing, moving, turning off internet, then holding off a while before turning the internet back on (lael's scheme at saving money to help pay the mortgage....ha!)- all of this is why we have not posted a blog in a while. But now school's back in session, and although none of us are in school and we are only affected by longer commuting times due to bus traffic, we still have a sense of re-organization and motivation. So stay tuned for Makey & Tessa's (mis) adventures!

Today for example, we had a ~good~ agility class with Makin. Actually, it wasn't good in the sense that we did well, but it we learned a bunch. Now that we have a yard, we have to actually start using it for practice!

And, our beloved roomate, Kelly, moved out today, which we are all very sad about. We knew it would happen someday; she's moving onto bigger & better things. Makin & Tessa will miss snuggling in her lap (usually both at the same time), Lael will miss her fashion advice and chit-chat and Neil will miss her cooking camaraderie. But, really she's not too far & better come visit often!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crazy Weeks

We haven't had much time to make a post in the last couple of weeks. Time has been precious, work busy and keeping the girls active instead of taking time to post has been a priority over posting. So sad. We have some good news though; for us and the girls. We found a house made an offer and it was accepted. We have had the the inspection and are continuing on with the purchase. The only thing remaining is the commitment by the lender but all seems to be in order. The house has a great back yard (which will need a little additional fencing) but will be great. The yard is flat and we will be able to set up some agility equipment. Although I will still be going to the park with the girls a lot we will be able to let them loosen their legs in the new yard. The house is small but perfect for us and it fits all of our needs. I actually can get to work in less than five minutes and Lael's commute will remain almost the same. I will be able to shoot home at lunch and let the girls have a mid day break on most days.

We have had a few communications classes with Tessa. The first class was great but the second can only be considered a disaster. She is a very touchy little thing and sometimes it is hard to determine what shuts her down. The last class she was completely spooked and we could not get her to shake her funk at all. I feel very bad for her and hate to see her so stressed. We need to somehow figure out how to help her.

Makin has had two five directions classes, one of which we missed because we were on vacation. She is doing great though.

Our vacation was awesome. We went to a friends house in Chatham and the girls were able to swim quite a bit which was nice. They do love to swim and the ocean on Cape Cod was quite warm. Again we were on a private beach where we were able to let the girls swim without being worried about getting in trouble.