Saturday, September 3, 2011

Training Update

I've had a really satisfying training week, mostly field, but with some obedience with Ty tossed into the mix. It is probably the most training days I've been able to string together since July. We were up north on vacation in early August, then the following weekend (Aug 20) we went to Wisconson for my nephew's wedding (probably the coolest and most joyful wedding I've ever attended, not to mention dancing up a storm with my extended family - fun, fun, fun!), and last weekend was my club's hunt test weekend. I coordinated one of the 2 Master flights, so was there from Friday early afternoon until Sunday afternoon. I got a chance to use my travel trailer again, and Gryff unexpectedly ran test dog. I had considered entering him in the test back in July, then when he bloated**, that idea went right out of my head. The person who had said she'd run test dog wasn't there on time (note to self: don't ask a pro who has a jillion entries to run test dog - just not gonna happen), so I pulled Gryff out. He hadn't seen a triple since last September, and needed to be handled to the long bird, but we managed it. His afternoon work wasn't much better, but Ty got to run bye dog (there was an honor in the 2nd series, which means an extra dog is needed to run the test while the last entered dog does the honor), and did a lovely job on the water double, much better than Gryff, actually. Sunday's series was a land/water triple with a double blind, both under the arc of the falls, one on land, one thru the end of the pond (middle mark had landed out in the pond). It was an extremely well designed test (Mitch White and Joe Smithberger were the judges), and my friend Corinne who was marshalling said she'd never heard so much discussion of how to run a test. There was a lot of variation in how people did it, some successfully, some not so much. It was so much fun to run, and I could tell Gryff had shaken off some of the rust from Saturday.

Best of all, he was sound after running the test, and has been doing well with the work thrown at him this week. So I'm looking to enter tests the last two weekends of September, with the hope of camping in the area (the tests are both in Ohio) and training all week.

Little, the young Flat-Coat I borrowed from my friend Helen back in June when she was 9 months old, came back last Monday for another month of training. But she came in season yesterday, so we'll see how that goes. I am really enjoying having the green dog to demo with in classes, I gotta say.

My Suburban customization is working out wonderfully. I love training out of it with the 3 dogs. And it is still organized, even after several weeks!

And I have my name on a litter of FCRs that will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. They are all the way out in BC, so, oh, no, I have to make another trip to Vancouver Island :-) (I was there in Feb). I don't have firm desire for boy/girl/black/liver (there are 3 brown puppies), which will hopefully make the choice broader.

** Gryff bloated on the morning of July 27, just after coming out of a pond from his 3rd water retrieve of the morning. I've never seen a dog bloat before, but it was pretty clear to me - staggering around trying to vomit (but failing to do so), looking shocky, abdomen swelling up). Ironically, given that two of my frequent training partners are vets, he bloated on a day when neither was there. With the help of Maria and her cell phone's GPS, we got to a vet within about 20 minutes and they got him back on his feet. His stomach had started twisting, so they had to do a needle aspiration to get enough air out to get a stomach tube into him. He ejected a lot of pond water and air, and reappeared looking tired but back to normal size. I took him home and kept an eye on him locked in an x-pen in my kitchen all afternoon, allowing him only small amounts of water at a time. That evening at about 7 PM, he started bloating again. Apparently he didn't want to wait for the stomach tacking surgery I'd scheduled for the next day; he wanted it on an emergency basis that night. I heard from the vet at midnight that he'd come through the surgery just fine, with no involvement of his spleen or pancreas (apparently, if the stomach twists in a certain way, it can wrap around other organs). His stomach lining looked good and the silver-lining to the whole thing, no sign of any cancer. I picked him up the next evening and took him home for recovery. He had about 20 staples running from breastbone to near his penis, but was being a good boy and mostly left them alone. Helen kept him when we went on vacation, and took the staples out the day we got back. I've been gradually ramping up his exercise and he doing great. Since he loves field more than anything in the world, that is what we are doing as much of as we possibly can.

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