Monday, September 30, 2013

Home Again, Home Again

Back-to-back show weekends are grueling. What was I thinking when I signed up for that?! I don't think I'll do it again. (If I do, you may certainly call me on it!) I'm exhausted both mentally and physically, and so glad to be home. It was a tough weekend for all of us and I am thrilled to walk away with two second place ribbons. I met a bunch of nice people this weekend. Because this venue was so spread out I think people were more comfortable walking around and socializing. Two professional handlers and a judge said Jedi was a good looking dog and should do well. I hope they were being sincere. Or maybe it was code for "You really need to get your shit together." (Let's go with option number one.) I'm getting better at spotting and avoiding the jerks too. Surprisingly, I see the same group jerks at nearly every show. Small world, hunh? I recognized one woman from the West Palm Beach shows who bitched for six hours about the judge not picking her beauceron. I noticed other people avoiding her too.

I learned a lot this weekend as well. For example:
  • Think ahead. We were at an outdoor venue and subject to the elements. Saturday was overcast and it sprinkled off and on, with the sky opening up just as we were leaving. We didn't have any rain gear so we're fortunate the weather held out. Sunday was sunny and humid -- not pleasant for any of us. I'm glad we packed plenty of water, but a beach blanket would have been nice to keep Jedi off the grass (or rather, keep the grass off Jedi).
  • Stock the tack bag. Jedi was limping and I didn't pack his Rimadyl. We found a Petsmart and bought some overpriced canine aspirin, but it didn't do much. We were in a bind too. One dog didn't show up, leaving seven dogs -- the minimum number of dogs to make a major. If Jedi didn't show then we would have broken the major (a Cardinal Sin in the dog show world). I had a more experienced handler share some Rimadyl and show me a way to present Jedi that reduced him limping. One of his dogs won on Sunday, so I guess it helped him out too.
  • I need to run more. Seriously. The Saturday judge had us run around the ring twice before looking at the dogs. I thought I was going to die.
  • Keep track of judges. I need to write down the judges I show to and what I think of them. For example, I didn't care for one of the judges in Deland (even Jedi shied away from her) and would rather not show to her again. But two judges have told me that Jedi was "typey" and "will do well when he fills out." Those judges would be worth showing to again. See, I'm getting it!
  • I need to pack food. We ate the stuff sold at the concession stands -- overpriced and underwhelming. And then we ate out in the evenings. My doctor would cringe if he saw all the crap I put into my body over the weekend. And it significantly added to the cost of the weekend.
  • And on that note, I need to put Kaopectate in the tack bag. Jedi and I could have both used it this weekend.
  • Practice! Jedi and I really need to work on stacking. The bitch that won on Saturday just walked into the most beautiful stack. It was impressive. And I need to lean forward and take long strides to show Jedi's best gait. Easier said than done. Hubby broke out the video camera so I can see what I'm doing.
  • Find ways to keep Jedi entertained. Jedi gets bored in the hotel. I need to pack the 20' long line so he can run more outside without wearing me out. And maybe a few more puzzle toys.
  • Get better sleep. I should get a room with one king-sized bed instead of two double beds. Jedi doesn't want a bed of his own, he wants to share ours. And maybe if I was better able to wear him out beforehand he wouldn't be up and down all night. But then again, who sleeps great in a hotel room?

Jedi approved of the beds.

So we have a lot to work on before our next shows. I don't know when that'll be, but apparently there are LOTS of shows between now and May. And there are two handling classes weekly that we can go to as well. In addition to the Creekside Obedience and Handling Group on the other side of town on Tuesdays, K-9 Obedience Club now offers one on Wednesdays. I think it would behoove us to take advantage of them before entering another show. My biggest problem: follow through. I make a hundred plans and they always sound great. Then life happens and my plans go by the wayside. If I had done what I planned 6 months ago we'd be doing so much better right now. UGH. Any thoughts? Suggestions? -- K

Friday, September 27, 2013

Here We Go Again

I'm writing this on the go. Sorry in advance for any typos. Sometimes my smart phone ain't so smart. (Or, more likely, my fat fingers aren't as nimble as I'd like.)

Hubby, Jedi and I are on our way to Ocala for the Jacksonville Dog Fanciers Association shows. I'm rethinking the decision to enter back-to-back shows. I wanted to work on stacking, pacing and baiting between the last show and this one and I haven't done a damn thing. It doesn't help that my new partner started this past week. I'm grateful to have him and I think he'll do well, but training someone to do my job -- while I'm actually doing my job -- is a lot of work. Throw in all the last minute projects my boss (and my boss's boss) want completed before the end of the fiscal year (TUESDAY!) and I have no time or energy left for myself.

I was able to shop, pack and iron my clothes. That helps. And this morning I washed and blew out the dog by myself. We found a folding cart on sale at Harbor Freight that we hope will make things easier. Unfortunately, Jedi started limping again just before we left. I'm hoping it'll stop by morning. I can't show a lame dog! 

There are 8 dogs showing this weekend, one of them a gorgeous 11 month old puppy bred by my GSD Club president. I'm nervous. I'll post our results when I get home. But if you're near The Greater Ocala Dog Club Show Grounds, stop by and say hi. We'll be in Ring 8 at 1:45 on Saturday and in Ring 7 at 12:45 on Sunday. We could use a friendly face. Wish us luck! -- K

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I can fly, I can fly, I can fly!

Jedi ran the Doggie Fun Zone after the dog shows this weekend. Do you think he had fun? Check out the blogs on this hop to see who else is having fun. -- K


Monday, September 23, 2013

Pet Peeves About Pet Owners

I deal with people everyday. Sometimes people say and do things that drive me nuts. My frustrated rants about abuse, neglect and callousness are justified and reasonable. But then there are those annoyances that are just me and my "anal retentive" ways. (Hey, I know I have issues!) Here are some things from category two. 
  • Full-Blooded -- I hate it when people ask me if a dog is "full-blooded." Uh, yeah. Nearly every animal I deal with is full of blood; anything less than full is usually dead. And please note, horses are "thoroughbred" whereas dogs are "purebred" (and not "purebread" like I saw on a sign outside the flea market -- unless they're made of pumpernickel; that would be appropriate and punny.)
  • Rockweiler -- I cringe when I see "Rockweiler," "Chawawa" and "Datsun." If you're going to own a specific breed, please learn to spell it. And on that note, I own a German shepHERD (as in bred to herd sheep) not shepard (a common last name). I have seen many animal control officers mess these up. I carry a cheat sheet with breed spellings under my ticket book so I can properly spell dachshund, schnauzer or vizsla on the citation. 
  • Canine -- Do not use the word "canine" when you mean "dog." It makes you sound pretentious. Cops are notorious for this. I keep telling them: think of canine as an adjective, as in canine teeth or canine behavior. Technically, canine refers to the entire dog genus. If you are referring to the species canis familiaris (the domesticated dog) just say "dog." You can also refer to a dog by it's breed -- but you'd better spell it correctly!
  • Designer Dogs --You know: labradoodles, chiweenies, morkies, puggles. They're mutts -- not that there is anything wrong with mutts. I like mutts! But these are overpriced, intentionally bred mutts. And I despise designer dog snobbery. It's like "My mutt is better than your mutt because it has papers."
  • Spaded -- The past tense of the word spay is spayed. If you spayed (sterilized) your dog I will think you're a responsible dog owner. However, if you spaded (used a garden tool upon) your dog I will charge you with animal cruelty. See the difference?

So yes, I have grammar and spelling issues. Be happy this is my DOG blog, because I could go on for days about "I could care less" and "irregardless." Anyway, I hope my quirks have entertained you. Even more, I hope you've learned something. Now watch, the next time you hear that someone "spaded a full-blooded Rockweiler" you'll cringe too. -- K

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bark Box #6

Our September Bark Box came as we were getting ready for our first show. I did a quick peek, but haven't been able to go through the box until now. Want to know what was inside?

The first thing Jedi pulled out was a venison ear from Superior Farms. Jedi says forget pig ears, he likes these better.

Sticking with the venison theme, there was a Crunchy Deer Chew from Etta Says. Jedi loved it! Bark Box shared several duck products from Etta Says in our first Bark Box and Jedi loved them as well. Even picky Roxy liked the meaty chews. Note to self, buy Etta Says products for the dogs.

Another company used often by Bark Box is Barkworthies. Last month they sent a bag of bully flakes. The dogs loved them but the smell made me gag. This time it's an angus tendon. I haven't opened it yet. I'm hoping it smells better than the bully stick stuff!

An interesting thing in the box was a box of Tuscan Pizza Organic Dog Biscuits from Wagatha's. They're wheat free, crunchy biscuits. Roxy refused to eat it. (She doesn't like any crunchy biscuits, so I'm not surprised.) Jedi didn't know what to think either. He took it, held it in his mouth, dropped it, then held it in his mouth again before eating it. We had just had pizza for dinner, so I think he figured out it was not the same. BTW, Jedi prefers Domino's.

My favorite thing in the box was the IQ Treat Ball. I love puzzle toys (as seen here and here) and have reviewed a half dozen or so. No joke, this is the one that Jedi has liked best. I pulled it out to entertain him while we were packing for the show. It worked! We even took it with us last weekend so Jedi could bat it around the hotel room.

The last thing in the box was very interesting: Liquid Bandage from VetraCare Pet. I spent a good 10 minutes surfing through their website and find it interesting. Coincidentally, Jedi has an irritation in his armpit. The site says that this product will provide a breathable barrier to promote healing. We're going to try this one out today!

Sadly, this our last Bark Box. Although fun, Bark Boxes are a bit pricy. We are spending a lot of money on showing these days, so I'm cutting a few things out. We've enjoyed sharing our Bark Boxes with you over the past six months. If you want to know what's in next month's Bark Box, you'll need to get your own here. Let me know if you do. -- K


Saturday, September 21, 2013

We Did It!

Jedi and I competed in our first dog shows this weekend. WOW. Not only did I meet my goal of not throwing up in the ring, we also won first place for the 9-12 month German shepherd dogs and Best Puppy on Friday! The judge, Nan Bodine, was very nice too. When we had our picture taken she said "You have a very typey dog, and when you pull it all together you'll do well." I thought that was a kind thing to say to a newbie. Later I had a professional handler ask if he could give me a few tips. Uh, Yeah! He showed me how to get a longer stride to better show Jedi's gait and an easier way to stack my dog. I'm trying to remember it all. I do know that I need to walk/jog more!

Saturday was a bigger show and not nearly as well organized. Still, we got first place again (it helped that nobody else was in the class this time). Jedi was tired so we packed up early. Hubby too. I would have liked to stick around to see more, but I wanted to leave on a good note so that Jedi (and Hubby!) will think of dog shows as fun.

Lessons learned for this experience:
  • Some dog show people are friendly and kind, willing to offer help and advice to newbies. They are gracious, good sports and kooky dog people. MY PEEPS!
  • And some dog show people are self-absorbed, inconsiderate jerks. They don't pick up after their dogs (yuck), are poor losers and complain about everything. Their dogs are usually jerks too.
  • A cart or dolly would be very helpful for toting crap around. There is a surprisingly large amount of show-related crap.
  • Bring a towel.
  • Drink more water.
  • Pack a lunch.
  • Catalogs can be expensive.
We're going to try it again next weekend in Ocala. I've been told that those rings are outdoors and bigger. I'm praying for clear and cooler weather. And will try even harder not to throw up. I'll keep you posted. -- K

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who's Limping Now?

Chili (Jedi's brother) still high after surgery. Poor Puppy!
I was so worried about the possibility of Jedi being lame at the upcoming shows that I never thought of myself. I probably should have. I've been walking Jedi and working him through his paces without thinking. Yesterday morning I could hardly walk. And today wasn't much better. I went to the doctor this morning to discover that I have trochanteric bursitis. Great! The doctor gave me some steroids and pain meds. Hopefully I'll be better tomorrow. I just need to be good enough to run around the ring for a few minutes. Cross your fingers.
Fortunately, Jedi's limping has stopped completely. I would bet that it was something benign. We're keeping an eye on him and are looking for another vet. I cancelled his UF appointment, but will definitely get a second opinion (and x-rays) should the limping return.
Yesterday I went to University of Florida's Small Animal Hospital in Gainesville with the Breeders and a few dogs. They wanted to have Jedi's sister (Pinky) and half brother (Trump) looked at. Pinky's been limping off and on for a while, always on the same leg. And Trump had a bad elbow diagnosis from the OFA and Breeders wanted a second opinion before removing him from the breeding pool. Jedi's other brother, Chili, had horrendous breath and the Breeders wanted to get that checked out as well. (It ended up being a stick jammed between two teeth in the back of his mouth. Go figure!) I went along as a third set of hands, but I was limping so badly that I don't think I was much help.

I was really impressed with the hospital. It rivals any human hospital I've ever been to. It's a teaching hospital so several people look at your pet, providing a built in second opinion. There are also specialists on hand and all the equipment you can imagine. Need x-rays or a CT scan? Need cultures or blood work? It's all done right there. It's awesome, but definitely not cheap!
OK, I need to cut this short. It's already 10 PM and I am not ready for tomorrow -- the BIG day. Meet me back here in a couple days and I'll share pictures and stories of our very first dog shows. -- K

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Choosy moms choose Jif

Hubby always saves the empty peanut butter jars for the dog. Jedi likes it and it amuses Hubby. A Twofer! What kind of silly things are going on in your house? -- K
P.S. Want to see who else is crazy brave enough to blog their shenanigans? Check out the hop!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Three Days and Counting

Our first show is in three days. THREE DAYS! I'm in full blown panic mode. What am I doing? What should I be doing? What do I need to pack? What do I need to buy? -- I'm driving myself nuts. Lucky for me, Hubby has lived through my panic modes before. This time he did something that I thought was sweet (and kind of funny). He downloaded a list app on my phone. So now when those random thoughts pop into my head I can add them to the appropriate list. Even better, I can cross them off when I'm done! Yesterday was my last day off before the show. Thanks to modern technology I was listing and blogging as Hubby drove me all over town to:
  • Pick up pants from the tailor
  • Buy motion sickness pills for Jedi (yes, that's still an issue)
  • Go to work to feed/walk dogs in the kennel
  • Tote son to and from class (twice)
  • Return bolt cutters (don't ask)
  • Buy groceries
  • Clean out the Expedition

Other things on my lists include:
  • Iron clothes
  • Clean shoes
  • Groom Jedi (we're going to Breeder's on Thursday night to wash and blow him out)
  • Find camera
  • Pack clothes
  • Pack tack box
  • Program Garmin
Yeah, I'm a little freaked out. In between all this chaos I still have to work, pay bills, clean the house, do laundry, wash dishes, make dinner, put together the GSD Club newsletter . . . And did I mention that my new partner starts next week? Somewhere in here I'm suppose to be writing a new ACO training program. I'm a hot mess. If I don't implode, Jedi and I be at the Volusia County Fairgrounds this weekend. We'll be in Ring 2 at 10 AM on Friday and Ring 3 at 9 AM on Saturday. Wish us luck. And if you're in the area, come out and say hi. -- K

Sunday, September 15, 2013

If I Could Speak Dog

When you stop and think about it, dogs are amazing. No other species has inserted itself so completely into the human world. It's easy to forget that dogs have their own thought processes, feelings, drives, motivations and priorities -- sometimes contrary to ours. Yet our dogs willingly go against their nature to please us. (Seriously, what dog wants to smell like pina colada shampoo?) Dogs don't speak human, yet they learn to understand that certain sounds mean sit, shake or get out of the trash dammit! I try to remember this when teaching Jedi to stack and heel. It's not going well and I often get frustrated. I tell myself that it's my fault, that I'm not communicating what I want clearly. I wish I could talk to Jedi in a language that he understood. If I could speak dog here are a few things I'd like to tell him:
  • The cat is not "playing" -- she really, really doesn't like you.
  • Thank you for greeting me at the door every night. Those few moments are often the best part of my day.
  • You don't need to bark at the doorbell on television.
  • I've loved you since before you were born. However, I'm trying really hard to let you be Jedi, and not compare you to the dog in my fantasies. Please forgive me when I fail.
  • The toilet is not a giant water bowl.
  • And the cat box is not a snack basket, so please stay out of the bathroom.
  • Just because it fits in your mouth doesn't mean it's edible. Quit chewing my stuff!
  • I know we should walk more. Keep asking.
  • The vacuum cleaner is not your enemy.
  • Sniffing my underwear is rude, especially if I'm still wearing them. Pulling them out of the hamper to sniff them later isn't any better.
  • Yes, I mean to close the bathroom door with you on the other side. I promise to let you know if I need help.
  • I know you hate having your ears cleaned. I'm going to do it anyway.
How about you? If you could speak dog, what would you say to your pets? -- K

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Things to Say to Guarantee a Ticket

My primary job as an animal control officer is to enforce local ordinances. Part of that job includes writing citations. Yes, I have a little bit of discretion, but not as much as people think. (Bosses review the audio and video in my truck and I've had to justify why I DIDN'T write a person a ticket. Big Brother is watching us both. Spooky, hunh?) Should we meet up under work-related circumstances, please know that often you are going to receive a citation regardless of what you say, so the best thing to do remain calm and take it graciously. I'll do my best to make it as quick and pleasant as possible. On those occasions when I do have a little leeway, here are 10 things NOT to say to get out of a ticket (and what I'm thinking when you say it):
  • "I pay your salary." Really? Because I could use a raise. I did the math; your share of my annual salary is roughly $1.37. I can't even get a Coke out of the vending machine with that.
  • "Your job is to . . . [fill in the blank with something you're not doing at this moment]." Actually my job is to enforce City animal-related ordinances. If I'm writing you a ticket, chances are you violated one of those ordinances.
  • "I don't have to listen to you, you're just a dog catcher." Yes, you do. I'm a sworn code enforcement officer and I have the authority to detain you and request identification while performing my duties. If you're uncooperative, protocol states I call a police officer for assistance. Trust me, neither of us really want that. If you show your ass to him, you could go to jail. Is it really worth it over a $30 ticket?
  • "Sweetheart," "Baby" or the like. I'm not stupid, I realize you're being condescending. I will smile, remind you that it's "Officer," and write you the ticket anyway. And I'll tell everybody about the prick I dealt with today.
  • "Can you just speed this up? I don't have time for this." Really? Because I can slow down. Fortunately, I keep my passive-aggressive tendencies in check 90% of the time -- but I'm willing to make an exception for you.
  • "Don't you have something better to do?" Probably, but I'm going to smile and tell you "No, not really."
  • "What about that guy? Are you going to write him a ticket too?" Truth is, I saw you first. Sometimes things just work that way. If we can finish up here quickly then maybe I will write him a ticket as well. I'll make sure to tell him that you pointed him out to me.
  • "Are you really going to write my dog a ticket?" No. I only write tickets to people. You're the one who should know the rules. By the same token, cops don't write your car a ticket for going too fast or double parking. It's all you, Sweetheart.
  • "I'm a responsible dog owner." Maybe, but the evidence says otherwise.
  • "I've been doing this for years, why haven't I gotten a ticket before?" Sometimes people just need to shut up.
I realize that getting a citation isn't fun. And often it's embarrassing. Sometimes otherwise nice people can be real jerks under these circumstances. I try to ignore bad behavior and give people the benefit of the doubt. I also try to be as polite and professional as possible. (And I'm on audio and video, so I really do try to keep myself in check.) But sometimes . . .

TRUE STORY: It was a crowded summer day and I was on beach patrol in my big-ass truck. A man in his early 60s flagged me down. When I rolled down the window to talk to him he put his hand on my arm resting on the door and said "Oh, you're the girl. I've heard of you." [I should note here: 1) I had a male partner at the time, and 2) I HATE being touched by strangers.] Remembering I was on audio, I didn't say the first thing in my head. Instead, I smiled, gingerly patted his hand, and in the most obsequious tone I could muster I said "Oh Sir, you should have your eyes checked. I haven't been a girl since 1984." I paused for effect and then asked "How can I help you?" Yes, that video was reviewed. It was worth the "talking to." Asshole.

So, if you see me in uniform, let's be nice. If you see me out of uniform, let's have fun. Deal? -- K

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

It's all fun and games until someone gets the cone.

What day is it? It's Wordless Wednesday! I thought I'd share a laugh from the past -- Roxy in the cone. Surprisingly, it didn't slow her down a bit. It's been over five years since this picture was taken. Roxy is nearly 8 now. She's a bit heavier and a lot grayer (me too!) but she's still a goofy ball of energy. This picture always makes me snicker. How about you? A snicker? A titter? How about a chortle? Want to see some more funny animal pictures? Check out the others in this hop! -- K

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jedi Update

First off, thanks for all the well wishes. I appreciate all the love sent our way. Jedi is doing better. His limp seems to come and go without any rhyme or reason. And yes, we're getting a second opinion. I still think it's probably Pano but we want to be sure. I have a dear friend who works for UF and was able to get us an appointment in Gainesville next week. How's THAT for a second opinion? If it is something is serious is OCD I feel more comfortable having the University of Florida's veterinary department look at it. I'll keep you updated. -- K

Monday, September 9, 2013

Jedi's Dark Forces

Like Luke and Anakin Skywalker, my Jedi has Dark Forces he needs to resist. Not rage or hate or jealousy though. No, my Jedi needs to stop chewing stuff that doesn't belong to him. His latest victim: my reading glasses. And look at him, no remorse whatsoever. Other things Jedi can't seem to leave alone include:
  • the cat
  • the kitchen trash can
  • my stuffed bear
  • pens and pencils
  • headphones
  • paper towels
Seriously, I am beyond frustrated. He's 11 months old now, so we can't blame it on teething. He'd better stop soon else I'm going to sell him to the next band of Jawas that come along! -- K

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why is Jedi Limping?

I know I promised you an update on Jedi. It’s been a frustrating week. I sent in all the money/paperwork for the 4 shows last weekend. I’ve already received confirmation for the first two shows (that are in less than two weeks). On Tuesday afternoon we noticed Jedi was limping. We checked his leg and limited his activity. Thursday morning the limp was significantly worse. He saw the vet Thursday afternoon.

The vet I really liked is no longer at the clinic. I’m not sure how I like this vet. Her people skills could definitely be improved. Anyway, she seems to think that it’s OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans). If she’s correct, it’ll require surgery and a specialist. We’ve got him on carprofen (generic Rimadyl), a non-steroidal pain reliever and are limiting his activity, hoping she’s wrong. She also sold us a joint supplement, hoping it’ll help.

Here are the two best articles I found on the condition: One is from VCA and the other from Doctors Foster and Smith. This is a condition where cartilage develops abnormally at the ends of the bones. The excess cartilage cracks or separates from the bone. It causes pain and lameness. It is most often found in the shoulder joints. It requires surgery to fix it, but afterwards a dog can live a normal life. It requires x-rays at specific angles to definitively diagnose. The vet didn’t have her x-ray book, but said that she does physical therapy with dogs and her touch is more sensitive than most. By the way, she didn’t give us any documentation on the condition, but did say call ahead before coming in for x-rays so she can bring her x-ray book from home.
What I find frustrating (besides the timing and the potential $3000 vet bill): All research indicates there is a genetic component. His mother, Zasha is fine. She’s 5 years old and has never shown any symptoms. Neither have any of the puppies from her first litter. Breeder works really hard to breed the best possible puppies, for both health and temperament. As I've said before, she put more time and thought into finding the right sire for my puppy than I did into selecting a father for my children! And I don’t see how his father, Cowboy could be where he’s at with OCD. He’s a champion from a reputable kennel. Mar Haven has produced two Grand Victors and one Grand Victrix. A kennel that takes the time to check which studs don’t carry the coat factor (a minor fault) would surely not breed a dog with something a serious as Osteochondritis Dissecans.

All my reading also suggests that weight and diet may be a contributing factor. I’ve worked really hard to keep Jedi’s weight gain slow and steady, mostly to prevent putting too much stress on his developing frame (hoping to avoid any hip and joint issues later). Jedi’s at exactly 80 pounds and has a perfect body mass. He is on a high quality food, designed specifically for large-breed puppies. I watch his diet and weight more than my own!
So I was upset. And tired. And confused. After a small pity party I started talking to people and doing some more research. Just a couple weeks ago the owner of Jedi’s brother, Dozer, said he had Pano. I looked it up. Like OCD, Panosteitis is a condition that affects young, rapidly growing dogs, most often large breed males. I found the most helpful articles to be this one from VCA and this one, also from Doctors Foster and Smith. Sometimes called “growing pains” Pano is a painful inflammation of the long bones of the legs. It’s characterized by sudden lameness that comes and goes and shifts from leg to leg. The cause of Pano is unknown. The good news is that Pano is a self-limiting condition and disappears as suddenly as it starts, usually between 18-24 months of age. And every article I read said that Panosteitis is most common in German shepherds. And after talking to Dozer’s owner I found out that Pano, which may also have a genetic component, it very common in the Golden Breed (mother’s) line.

And then I got pissed! Why would the vet jump to the most obscure, worst possible scenario? Why not start with “Hey, it could be Pano, but if not we’ll want to check XYZ?” If she ruled out Pano, why didn’t she tell me why? Why didn’t she give me something in writing? Even printing out one of the articles I found would have been helpful. By the way, Jedi’s limping was almost gone on Friday and a little more pronounced today, but not as bad as Thursday.
So here’s the game plan:
  1. Look for another vet and get a second opinion.
  2. Continue with the pain reliever and restricted activity.
  3. Continue with plans for showing in Deland, taking it day by day (not easy for me, btw.)
  4. If things don’t improve (or get worse) get x-rays.
Any thoughts? -- K

P.S. I had hoped that writing all this out would help me formulate my thoughts. sigh. I'm just as confused and frustrated as I was an hour ago.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Now?!

I've received entry confirmation for the first two shows we entered. We're good to go there. But now we've got another problem: Jedi is favoring his right front leg. It started out as a slight limp on Tuesday and has gotten significantly worse over the past 48 hours. He doesn't show any pain in his shoulder or elbow, but the pads of the foot seem to be tender. What's frustrating is that I can't see anything. Nor can I get him to calm down and relax for a little bit. He wants to run and play and annoy Roxy. And did I mention that our first show is in two weeks?! I may be a newbie, but even I know that lameness is a disqualification. We have an appointment with the vet this afternoon. Cross your fingers that its something simple. And quick healing. And not too expensive. Lord knows I'm already spending a fortune this month. Showing dogs is not for the frugal! I hope to come back with good news soon. -- K

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Hump Day, Doggie Style!

Not my photo, but definitely worth sharing! I actually got it from The German Shepherd Dog Community. Want some more laughs? Check out the other blogs on this hop. Happy Hump Day! -- K

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tack Box

I sent in the premiums for Jedi's first four shows this weekend. Jedi is going to be a bona fide show dog. We're doing:
  • the Sunshine State Herding Group Association show on Friday, September 20th
  • the West Volusia Kennel Club all-breed show on Saturday, September 21st
  • and both Jacksonville Dog Fancier's Association all-breed shows on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29th.
I even reserved a hotel for the night of the 20th. Whew. I'm excited. And a bit anxious. So now I'm trying to prepare. It's hard when you're not sure what you're doing.

Hubby picked up this bag at
Target to hold Jedi's show crap.
A good friend of mine suggested I pack a tack box. I said "A what?" She kindly explained what it was and then sent me an email that said "Here is a list of crap I keep in my tack box." 
  • Treats, toys, poop bags
  • Neck coolers or Misty Mate
  • Spray bottles with water and other coat products
  • Toenail trimmers or grinders, nail file
  • A shedding blade and/or slicker
  • Brush/comb
  • Scissors, tweezers, magnifying glass
  • Traveling dryer, washcloth and hand towel
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes
  • Leave-in coat bodifiers and conditioners
  • Extra leash, collar and lunge line
  • Black and brown magic markers
  • Water jug (most show sites don't have a good and easy access to water)
  • Copy of dogs’ paperwork and shot records
Also, a first aid kit with:
  • Thermometer, Vaseline
  • Book of matches
  • Antiseptic liquid, Benadryl, Hydrogen peroxide, Bag Balm
  • Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate, Aspirin
  • Liquid bandage, Steri strips (they come in all sizes)
  • Sterile eye wash, plastic syringes
  • Sterile non-stick pads, roll of gauze, self-adherent wrap
  • Silver nitrate sticks and Quikclot
  • Medical tape, rubber gloves

All this zips up into a
little red bag!
Now I'm off to buy my own "crap." I found this neat first aid kit in the automotive section of Wal-Mart for under $10. It has half the recommended stuff and I can supplement the rest. Plus, it's a handy little bag.

How about you? Do you have a "tack box"? And if so, what do you keep inside it? I'd really like to know! -- K