a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Another Week Gone

Friday, July 09, 2010

Another Week Gone

SUMMARY: More about last weekend's agility trial, and just stuff.
Don't you hate it when you start having a major hot flash just a little while before bed time so you're suddenly craving a long cold drink but then of course you have to get up in the middle of night from all that last-minute liquid you consumed? If you don't know what that's like, well, pfui on you!

I have been so tired this week--recovering, recovering, and then recovering some more.

Last Saturday, the 5:00 alarm put me into my usual "why the heck am I doing this again? Can't I just lie here and sleep a few more hours?" mode. But no--paid my entry fees, committed to being score table czar, gotta go.

Fatigue and damage

The hole in my eardrum certainly didn't help. Imagine filling one ear full of water and then stuffing an earplug into it; that's sort of what it feels like, all the time. When my teeth click together, feels and sounds like my whole head is full of water, that weird underwater echo sound. And accompanying it is this always slightly vertiginous feeling. Not dizzy, not actually off balance, not really disoriented, but something that feels like i ought to be. And a little tiny wee bit queasy to go with it. That's wearing, all by itself.

Throw in that I'm so much more out of condition than I was last year. I set up MUTT MVR on the far south side of the field under the trees so I could crate out of there instead of having to haul and set up canopy and gear. Saved my time and back and shoulders, but that meant that I walked a LOT. Almost 11 miles on my pedometer friday, 9 Saturday, 7 Sunday. Seems like I often put that kind of numbers on it, but--not doing my walkies! So that really wore me down.

Not doing well in the competition was wearing, as well. Or at least, not doing what I wanted to do.

And my muscles were just so so tired by the 2nd day and positively leaden by the 3rd day. Out into the ring and I felt as if I could barely move. No wonder Tika was spinning when I couldn't keep up with her.

On top of that, for some reason my left running shoe dug into my ankle and bruised it. Same shoes I've worn for agility for quite a while; don't know what that's all about. Eased it by taking the laces out of one row of holes (which then made the shoe a little loose), but by then the damage was done.

Sleeping challenges

I also had decided to not move the crates out of MUTT MVR and sleep in the van across the width, rather than the full length as usual. Can't do it well with the doors shut, but if I can slide them open six inches, they pop out about 6 inches on each side, giving me plenty of room to be able to stretch full length. Because it was going to be really hot, right?

Well, WAS hot--in San Jose, 45 miles north (nearly 100F/37C). But the advantage to our site in Prunedale is that it gets the mitigating coastal weather. There was sun for a few hours each day, but the wind carried an arctic chill. Brr. Not a warm weekend.

So although I tried very hard to sleep with the door popped--even tried clipping blankets over the openings, but noooo still way too cold--I ended up closing the doors, which made for two cramped nights of sleep, and Sunday night, my one knee couldn't get comfortable for nothin'. By Monday morning, it had achieved a good solid ache whenever I walked that never really went away.

I was a pitiful sight, lumbering slowly across the field to get my dogs by the end of the weekend.

The emergency room visit that didn't happen

The piece de resistance was Boost's Sunday night bladder issue, or whatever it was. We all settled in to sleep for about half an hour, and then she got restless restless restless. I thought maybe it was the fireworks all around us (go figure--we're out in a wooded area, fire planes already had to put out one fire a couple of ridges over the day before--). But finally got half dressed, took her out. She peed once a little, then kept trying and trying and not doing any more. Wouldn't settle back down. Convinced her for about 15 minutes, not comfortably, and then wanted out again. Up and down every 20-30 minutes until 1:00 in the morning, when I finally called the emergency clinic.

The closest one was well over half an hour away, and I so VERY much did not want to have to pack things up, rearrange the van again so it was driveable, drive half an hour, wait an hour or two or three, pay a couple hundred bucks and be back in the morning. The first one I called said it sounded bad and I should probably bring her in. The second one I called (first clinic referred me to a closer one) said it didn't sound like a medical emergency to them, maybe a bladder infection although you never know.

Then I had a flashback to something like this happening before. Couldn't remember the details, but when I got home, I found it in my blog here, as well as a follow-up note here, where I note that my vet thought it might have been "some kind of noncalcium bladder stone".

Anyway, I decided to tough it out. Took Boost out again after the call, insisted on her settling in. She was restless for half an hour but finally slept for an hour or so. Then out again around 3, restless for a while, and then thank goodness slept until the alarm went off at 6:30. So I got maybe 3 hours of sleep at the end and a few scattered cat naps before that.

And that was the end of that. (Although since we've been home, she's needed to go out at 3 in the morning twice. Hope that's done with now.)

Other than that, how was the show, Mrs. Lincoln?

So I don't mean to sound like all I have is complaints. Agility friends are good friends. Had dinner with the judges and trial committee and a few others on site Saturday evening. Chocolate cake twice in one day, woot! And dinner sunday evening on site with a few other friends in their big ol' motor home.

An amazing number of championships were awarded this weekend, and lifetime achievement awards, huge things like that. And Bernie the Beagle--not the fastest or most driven dog in the universe, but he keeps on keepin' on--he earned his championship, something like only the 3rd beagle ever in USDAA to earn a championship. Yay Bernie! It's so cool that everyone always claps and cheers when these things are announced.

Also, Boost's littermate Derby earned his ADCH over the weekend. That might make Boost the only one of the USDAA littermates who doesn't have hers yet. Not positive about Gina or Beck, but pretty sure they've both got it. Bette definitely does. Ah, well. But mine's got the best name. ;-) (Hi C-Era Interstellar Propulsion. But you knew that, right?)

I love the names that people are coming up with for their dogs. Making their debuts this year: Space Monkey and  Tricky-Woo. Then there's Jenn, the party girl, whose newly debuted dog is Tonic, so they're appropriately Jenn and Tonic. (Tonic is another half sibling to Boost.)

We were done around 4:30 both Saturday and Sunday, and 2:00 Monday, thank goodness! I needed the rest! Although mostly the dogs got to do a lot of running off leash.

Boost goes off to play with her friends

My SMART club had a meeting Sunday afternoon. Had both dogs with me on leash. Tika's OK to hang out and get scritched and rubbed, but Boost couldn't stand it that there were border collies out running around in the field and SHE WASN'T THERE TO HERD THEM! I finally let her off her leash and she ran wayyyy out to join them (her half sister and my teammates from this weekend).

She came running back a couple of times, suddenly remembering that I wasn't there, just to check up on us. After that, she didn't worry about me at all and just hung with them. Got a lot of good running in that day. (I wondered whether that could've caused her problems that night, but not sure how.)

It was funny to me that I could do that with her, just let her go, and know that she wouldn't run off randomly or get into trouble. Unlike Tika.

Who, when she was off leash, spent most of her time scrounging around on the ground for minuscule tidbits of one sort or another, particularly around people's canopies. Must have been many good crumbs. Or else hunting gophers. She stalks them so professionally! But hasn't caught one yet.

End of the weekend

Not many ribbons to bring home this time. Although, dang, realized I forgot to pick up their Pairs Relay Q ribbons. Dangies! My hoard of ribbons is now incomplete! What shall I do?!

The drive home Sunday was very slow. As in, about 20 minutes at a literal complete stand-still. When we finally started inching forward again, eventually we came to a collection of police and tow trucks at the side of the highway. There was a huge drop-off there, and I suspect that someone went over the edge. 


I have slept very soundly and very long every night this week and it has never felt like quite enough.

Tiring myself some more

Tuesday I was so sore and tired that I did nothing (no agility class this week due to a funeral in their family), and Wednesday also did nothing. THEN I figured that a  nice strenuous hike Wednesday evening with the Sierra Club would be fine, right, because I was all rested up?

We drove up to Skyline and parked looking out over the valley. Not the clearest air, by far. But can make out the blimp hangers at Moffet Field although the hills on the far side of the valley and bay are iffy.

Then we walked to the cutoff down into Coal Creek Open Space. And went down--down--down--at a fairly rapid clip for over half an hour. I knew I had some sweaty miles ahead of me coming back up!

The area was amazingly lush, filled with ferns and other big-leafed plants (and the ubiquitous poison oak). The uphill was a lot of work for me; as soon as we started climbing, I realized that my muscles were a very long way from recovered from the weekend. It would've been challenging for me at this time even without that, but, wow, whew!  I was *not* the very last person--one guy who used to hike a lot but hasn't in a few years beat me on that score--but we weren't that far apart.  I was glad for a quick rest at a trail junction.

I didn't take photos most of the trip to avoid falling even farther behind. When we crossed the creek, someone said later that there were newts, but I hadn't even stopped to look at all. Maybe some other time.

Just a leetle tiny hike Friday

Thursday I was so tired that I didn't do much of anything at all. My friend with whom I've been walking on many fridays came by this morning and we walked at least a couple of miles, but at a leisurely pace and all on level paved paths along the Los Alamitos Creek trail with the Merle Girls, who think it's something fine to do in between REAL exercise.

I had thought I might get some good hiking in this weekend, but am rethinking that plan.

This afternoon I took a nice comfy, although short, nap. All my muscles are still telling me that they want more rest, not more activity, and I'm inclined to let them have their way. Fortunately, no agility this weekend and I've got time to recover before the following TWO weekends of agility.

And now, yes, it's time to:  SLEEEEEEP!  Hear that, Bladder o'Boost? Let there be no midnight runs!


  1. Look into my eyes...
    You are getting sleeepier and sleeeeepier!

  2. Wow, I'm amazed you were able to run at all, given everything that was thrown at you, from ears, to ankle, to achy sleep, to no sleep -- oye.

    Thanks for another fun post, always an entertaining read. Hey I love your crate emergency-info tags! Think I'm gonna make me some. Do most people in your area have such things? I don't think I've ever seen one before, in my parts. An excellent thing to have though and I'm ashamed I didn't think to do this before.

    P.S. "Mountain lion habitat"!?!? Whoa!

  3. I forgot to mention the huge whack on the head when I forgot where my hatchback door was located. It's still a big lump 5 days later. Not among my hardiest of weekends!

    Mountain lions, yep, they're pretty much everywhere. The good thing is that they mostly don't want to have anything to do with people.

  4. Emergency tags: I don't know how many people have them. Some people do. I bought these from a vendor and they're kind of cool, but they were pricey. You could just put similar info in a plastic page protector or something, or even just paper.

    My friend who has very small dogs in small crates has signs that say something like do not open door if at all possible, take directly to vet if injured, I or my estate will pay all vet bills.

  5. Here's an example card; look at the front and back to see what kind of info you can put there, along with a photo.