June 11th, 2008


I Feel Pretty/Jaime retires from agility

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity
Any BC who isn't me tonight.

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real.

See the pretty BC in that mirror there:
Who can that attractive dog be?
Such a pretty face,
Such a pretty ruff,
Such a pretty tongue,
Such a pretty me!

Jaime got a new "do" yesterday. I had to take him to the vet for his annual physical so I decided to get him groomed, too. And it's been so hot that I asked the groomer to thin his coat with the thinning shears thinking he'd be able to dry off faster after being in the water. Usually he doesn't fully dry off between dips in the water and winds up smelling like a moldy towel so we'll see if this helps.

He got an almost clean bill of health from the vet. For the first time ever she heard a slight heart murmur and he also tested positive for Erlichia for the first time. She ran a CBC which came back virtually normal so we're not going to worry about it. Even though I put Frontline on my dogs every 30 days, they still get tick bites (as do Chuck and I) on a regular basis. But he seems to feel just fine so I guess his body has produced the antibodies to deal with it.

I've been thinking I'd retire Jaime from agility this year anyway and I think this most recent physical justifies that decsion. He gets so wound up doing agility that I worry about him now that he's over 10 and 1/2. I think I'll just let him have fun doing all the doggie things he loves doing like swimming, hiking and snoozing on the couch rather than try to keep him in good enough condition to not get hurt jumping and weaving repeatedly.

I sure have learned a lot from Jaime. He certainly hasn't been the easiest dog to train or trial but he surely was one of the most athletic. He taught me a lot about timing, about handling and training and he always, always, always gave 110% effort. I'm looking forward to spending more time with him just goofing off and hanging out.


Meet Zodi

Zodi, aka Zodiac, aka Ableaim Aires Mountain Zodiac, is our new seven and a half week old Doberman puppy.

OK, well, I know I have a little 'splainin' to do.

About two months ago I was sitting at my desk wondering what to get my husband for his birthday which is June 10th. He's hard to buy for since what he likes best is Porsches and he has everything in that line that he wants anyway. And he's really been missing Haven and having a sweet cuddly dog to follow him around when he's at home. Both Devon and Jaime are affectionate but not exactly the type to sit quietly and be petted for very long. So I thought, What better present could I give him than a sweet cuddly Doberman puppy?

So I started searching for a puppy and finally was able to find one who, as luck would have it, was only about 40 minutes from where we live. She's from a trio of very reputable breeders who checked me out very thoroughly before they would consent to even letting me see the puppies. Luckily (or was it more than luck?)one of the breeders is a very good friend of my vet who knows me very well by now since we've been through a lot together with my two previous Dobes.

I was especially excited because one of the breeders told me I could have her with natural ears but when she asked the other two, one of them was adamant about not letting any of the puppies go without cropping their ears. Since I'd already seen and fallen in love with my puppy, I couldn't imagine walking away in the hopes of finding another breeder who would be any more agreeable than the ones I'd already talked to.

So when I picked her up last Thursday she had already had her ears done and I was just left to feel guilty about it without really being able to do anything about it. And although she didn't seem to be in pain, it looked awful and barbaric. I gave her the Rimadyl that the vet who did the ears prescribed for the first few days but only because I didn't see how it could not hurt and not because she seemed in pain.

She's also on antibiotics to prevent infection and I use a warm compress on them three times a day to soak off the scabs that form along the incision. I think the cup is what really bothers her. It's a styrofoam cup that the ears are glued to so that the incision doesn't pucker (I guess). But the whole thing does kind of wobble forward and backward as she runs which really seems to bug her. I've never had a Dobe puppy whose ears were still up on a cup so I wasn't prepared for how nasty it looks and I've really hated that part of the experience.

Of course, the rest has been wonderful. Puppy breath on demand 24/7. She's really sweet and cuddly but also not afraid of anything and has the teeth of a Great White. I swear she has more teeth than any puppy I've ever seen. And she likes to chew on everything. So far I've been able to distract and re-focus away from the Persian carpet and toward the ligament chewie but I have a sinking feeling that before it's all over I'm going to have to get really good at carpet repair.

She also really likes Jaime's tail as it sweeps past and over her. Poor Jaime has decided to stay as far away from her as possible to prevent any reoccurance of that first attack on his tail that made him whip around shrieking while she was still attached to his tail and sent her flying across the floor.

Devon, on the other hand, acted like I'd brought her home just for him. I've never seen him so delighted as when he first saw her through the crate door. And ever since he's been such a good boy. He's gentle with her (and I've never seen him gentle with anything) he's patient and she follows him everywhere. He did draw the line when she tried to get into his crate while he was eating dinner (which didn't seem to have the least effect on her) and I'm pretty sure the love affair will be over as soon as she gets big enough to take him down. But for right now it's really sweet to see him playing the big brother.

And of course Chuck is also delighted with her although he doesn't really know what to do with her while she's this small. I really wasn't sure if he was going to go for the idea and I totally sprung it on him by only telling him about her 48 hours before I was going to pick her up. At first he didn't seem all that thrilled with the idea of a puppy but I pressed on and told him it would all be OK and that we (meaning I) could handle having three dogs again. But the first time he let her out of the crate and lifted her face up to his, she kissed him lightly on the nose and it was all over. Anyway, it would take a lot tougher guy than my husband to withstand the charms of a velvety smooth Dobe puppy.

So what about the Standard Schnauzer? you may be asking yourself. I discovered that when it came right down to why I was getting a puppy, the ability to excel in agility came way down on the list. I would still really like to get a BC puppy, not just for agility but because I love how versatile they are, but he will have to wait awhile.

And as for the health concerns with a Doberman, well, I did my best to find reputable breeders who care about health and longevity more than conformation wins and who test their breeding stock for everything that can be tested for. As for the rest, I'll just have to believe that she will live as least as long as Haven although, as we all know, even 16 years isn't long enough.

Changing My Name

I've been thinking about changing the name of my blog. It's not really so much about training as it is about agility in general, my life outside of work and my dogs. I'd love to think of something clever and catchy but I'm not good at that. So I've decided to call it Cedarfield's Chronicle.

:chron·i·cle (krn-kl)
1. An extended account in prose or verse of historical events, sometimes including legendary material, presented in chronological order and without authorial interpretation or comment.
2. A detailed narrative record or report.
3. Chronicles (used with a sing. verb) Abbr. Chr. or Chron. or Ch See Table at Bible.
tr.v. chron·i·cled, chron·i·cling, chron·i·cles
To record in or in the form of a historical record.

This also covers the addition of Zodi to the family and any other additions that may happen--you never know, right?