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!