a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Things Become Clearer

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Things Become Clearer

SUMMARY: Boost is not ready for prime time. Tika's backside is why she's been pissy and clingy. Probably.

Boost and Tika chasing the Frisbee Friday evening.

Boost weaves

Well, practicing weaves Friday night by finding ways to get Boost to pop out paid off. On Friday, it was 7 sets with 6 popped out early. On Saturday, she reversed it: That morning, I decided to risk Snooker with all weave-pole #7s to see what would happen. She nailed all three attempts perfectly.

Then she nailed them in Standard.

In Grand Prix, she popped out early and I made her lie down and then finish them.

In Pairs Relay, she nailed them. And in Steeplechase Round 1, I *think* (but it's getting hazy) that she did TWO sets nicely. So I believe it was 7 perfect and one early pop-out.

Today backslid a bit in a couple of ways; started missing or skipping entries (or making the first pole and then circling back to see why I was behind her). Popped out once or maybe twice. So, of four attempts, one good one and three with either entry or pop-out problems.

So much work to do!
Boost loves stalking other Border Collies more than she likes playing frisbee. With her ears turned inside out for that tough street-wise look.

Boost otherwise

Boost's runs for the most part looked like barely Novice runs. Or, excuse me, after watching one round of Novice Snooker, I apologize to the Novice dogs: Boost isn't even ready for Novice yet. If there's a chance at a runout or refusal, she takes it, and the rest is fraught with knocked bars. In fact, in today's Jumpers run, we were such a disaster that the judge finally asked us to leave the course. It WAS a difficult course--for example, only 3 of about 28 dogs in 26" earned qualifying scores--but we made it look nigh impossible.

We got lucky on Saturday with Pairs Relay and her half did NOT have runout/refusal setups and she kept her bars up and we Qed with our partner's also clean run.

And today's Gamblers layout allowed me to pick a course also with no runout/refusal setups, just straight lines, calls to me, front crosses, and contacts, and one beautiful set of weaves. She scored 2nd highest opening points and if she hadn't skipped the weave entry TWICE the second time around, we'd have had 4 more points than the highest opening points. But we had a little issue with the gamble itself, so it wasn't a Q. (Too MUCH independent out!)

Tika's Friday and Saturday not bad

Recapping Friday, turns out that she was 6th of 24 dogs in Team Snooker and 3rd of 24 in Team Jumpers, and slightly better than average in the other Team events. So that was OK.

Saturday, she had a really beautiful Snooker run, completing a 4-red strategy with a 6 and three 7s in the opening (based on watching the first half run, where only one dog managed to do four 7s and successfully get through the end) for a total of 58 points--and then in the second half of the group, another 7 managed it, and there were 7 super-Qs, so even one of the "perfect" dogs ended up without a super-Q. (That was in the 26", with 27 dogs--compare to the 22", where I believe only 2 dogs of 49 earned the full 59 points and all the 58-pointers got Super-Qs. Tough competition in the 26"!)

Her Jumpers run was beautiful, too: Fast, excited, tight turns, kept all the bars up, except I forgot the course in just one spot (couldn't they have overlooked that) and put her over a wrong jump before I figured out where we needed to go. Sigh. But I celebrated with her like crazy because we never slowed down and I think she never knew that anythinng was amiss, since it wasn't her fault.

She and her partner ran very nicely in the Team Relay, placing 7th of 32 teams--beating out Boost's team who placed 9th.

And her Steeplechase Round 1 run was really nice and fast again, but with a 5-second penalty for one knocked bar, she was half a second over time and missed qualifying! Argh! Dang bars! Why pick THAT event in which to finally knock a bar?! Why not the one where I went offcourse?! Shoot.

So only 2 Qs for the day out of 5 chances (Standard we also had a bar and a refusal of some sort I think).

Tika's backside

Then, when I dragged home about 9:30 last night after a VERY long day (dogs running til after 7? with 6 classes for the day), she started dragging her behind on the ground and the carpet and having trouble eliminating. So, knowing that she'd had an infected anal gland a couple of years back, I put on my rubber gloves and checked, and sure enough, one side was very swollen and hard. I couldn't get it to do anything useful.

She was restless a good part of the night, lots of licking. (Why didn't I get these indicators of a butt issue EARLIER? In retrospect, now I'm thinking that the clinginess and pissyness towards Boost, the completely insufficient, difficult, and overly soft poops during the day Saturday, and the occasional yelping she's been doing, have been because of this and I wasn't clever enough to figure it out. Or at least why couldn't it waited to become critical until SUNDAY night?)

Tika going all out for the frisbee Friday evening.

This morning, she was delighted to play some frisbee between bouts of trying to poop, but when I got her out again a little later, she wouldn't do anything--no frisbee, no toys of any kind, no jogging, no running. Low-key interest in food, which is still interest in food but unusual for her. I set her at the start line of her first run anyway, thinking that maybe the usual excitement and adrenaline would overcome whatever she was going through, but she barely got to her feet and hunched forward a few steps, so I scratched her from the rest of the day, dammit.

A very nice vet who was also competing took a look at her and confirmed that it was the anal gland and it was pretty ucky and that it needed to go in to a vet's office where someone could do something about it.

I ran Boost in the rest of her runs, which was mostly a wasted effort (although Gamblers was a Booster Rocket fast, fun 25 seconds of super-Border-Collie), and took Tika out occasionally. She was extremely subdued, didn't want to stand up, would put her head right down as soon as she lay down, and so on. I felt so terrible for her! (And for the vet bill $$ that I could see racking up in my near future, but every time I saw her my heart just ached for her obvious misery). Put a damper on the rest of my day, although everyone who knew about it was very nice and offered to help me in whatever way I needed.

After Boost's last run, I abandoned my score table and others took that over for me, too.

Took Tika to the emergency room after we got home, which is $105 just walking through the door. And a long wait while the REAL emergencies were seen to--like the Boston Terrier who spent too much time on this hot, smoky day romping in the sun with the kids and all of a sudden couldn't breathe. Fortunately OK once put in oxygen.

Came away with antibiotics, rimadyl for anti-inflammatory to try to get some of the swelling of the whole area down, tramadol as a painkiller/sedative. Add another $80 to the bill. Plus I'm supposed to be using a cool compress to ease the pain as often as I want, and call my regular vet in the morning, and we'll probably have to anesthetize her again to take care of it (which is what happened last time, because she's so insane at the vets. Regular sedation didn't work).

And adding a couple spoonsful of pumpkin to her meal to help her move her solid waste.

Friday afternoon, Gadget Guy plays with his kite and Tika chases it, barking. And Boost's brother, Derby, catches some air trying to reach it. (Boost couldn't care less about it.)


  1. Poor Tika and poor you. What a horrible problem for both of you to have to deal with. Hope she recovers soon.

    Hopefully Boost was just having an off weekend.

  2. Tika is still pretty subdued (but it could be the drugs, too, now), but doesn't seem to be in as much pain. Have a vet appointment for tomorrow early in case they decide that they want to put her under again.