Monday, July 25, 2016

MOTC Trial - Maddie

Maddie double qualified on the first day..... the only day that did not get videoed, of course.  She is being silly again and running by weave poles a lot.  She never does in training so I go to trials with all of the confidence that she will nail them in competition and then she doesn't.  Hopefully it will subside soon.



Maddie now has 7 double qualifiers and 5 of those count towards Nationals.  I believe we need 2 more QQs and 200 more points to be officially qualified.  We have until November 30th, I believe, so I feel good about our position.
At this trial, we camped in a tent in a barn.  The girls and I are pretty experienced at this and have been doing it for years along with several friends.  In the middle of the night we awoke to rain pouring down on the metal roof.  It was deafening!  So I checked radar and was not thrilled to see what we were in for.
All those severe thunderstorms headed right for us.  Again, thankfully we were under a roof.  I considered whether to pull the van in and load the dogs into the van, but it was already pouring down rain so I decided it was best for us to stay put. The storms were quite loud and Maddie was nervous. She does not have any noise issues (and I want to keep it that way), but she is not fearless like Seven and Riley are. So I sat up with her for a couple of hours just keeping her calm and reassuring her that the storm was no big deal.... even though I was a little worried about it.  We survived and I think all in all Maddie handled it great.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MOTC Trial - Riley

In June, we competed at the MOTC trial in Tennessee.  I was hoping for a double qualifier so we could grab a bar and a MACH ribbon for Riley's 3rd Master Agility Championship that I skipped over, but it did not happen.  Always one little thing.
But Riley ran great! I had toyed with the idea of retiring Riley. We don't have any goals, she's 10 years old, and sometimes in practice she seems a little disoriented.



But she was so much fun to run and appears to still be having a great time so we will continue for awhile longer.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Bikejoring in New Zealand

How awesome is this!?!?!  Christina Rock, from New Zealand, sent me a picture of herself and her greyhound, Ali, bikejoring.  I had to know more!

Christina got started when she was fostering Harry, an unnamed, unraced, untrained Greyhound that was available for adoption via Southland Greyhound adoption last July. He was young, full of energy, and in need of an active job. Christina had seen my post about bikejoring and knew there was a local sled dog club (Southland Sled Dog Association) that maintained and groomed trails for Canisports (canicross, bikejoring, and skatejoring). The club is very welcoming of all dogs including the non-Nordic breeds.  I am so jealous!
Christina started Harry on canicross (cross country running with your dog) and bikejored him a couple of times.  Thankfully, he was adopted by a lady who is equally active so he continues his active lifestyle.

So Christina eagerly awaited another foster greyhound with similar energy levels to Henry.  In comes Ali, a 3 year old ex-racing greyhound, who she has since adopted.  Ali has really taken to bikejoring!

Ali wears a Front Range Ruffwear harness, a straight shoulder harness. It keeps her back free when she is galloping and distributes weight really well when she is pulling.  The harness is attached to a bungee line, made by a local musher, that is connected to the front of the bike.  You can peddle the bike to help the dog out and use the brakes when you need to slow or stop the dog or to stop the dog from darting off the trail.

Christina was nice enough to use a GoPro on a recent outing.  The first clip is Ali following a pair of huskies.  Christina said she was pulling like a “beast” so she gave her a break after this clip. 

After walking half of a kilometer, Ali had settled into a more moderate pace.

In total, the run was 2.5 kilometers.  Top speed was 29.7 kmh or 18.5 mph for us Americans. 

Recently, Christina and Ali competed in a local sled dog scarper where they have canicross, bikejoring, and relay races open to all breeds.  Ali outperformed a number of huskies in her class on a 2.8 km course with an average speed of 17.3 kmh (10.7 mph).  Go greyhound!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Misc.

Everyone has had another birthday.  They are all in the same week.  Riley and Seven turned 10 and 8 years old on June 28th and Maddie turned 4 years old on July 2nd!
We got an update on our favorite foster from two years ago. We saved and fostered Jai, a Shar-Pit mix. I saw this picture and just could not get her off my mind.
It broke my heart that she followed her owner OFF LEASH to death's door and he just left her there! There are no adoptions at this county shelter... the dogs have to be pulled by a rescue if they are to be saved. I asked Road Trip Home if they could look at her that I would foster and pay for everything if she passed the temperament test. Thankfully she did and Animal Welfare Society in Maine agreed to take her.  We fostered her for about a month and then she transported from Georgia to Maine and was adopted a couple of weeks later.  Her adopter sent me some pictures and an update on her new happy life.  I shared Jai's history with her.  Then recently, out of the blue, Jai's adopter sent me a few more photos and reiterated how much they love her.



Warms my heart!  I just couldn't be more happy for Jai!
And then on a sad note... my sister's greyhound, Peanut, passed away at the age of 13. She was just one of the dearest of all greyhounds and just such a perfect match for Denise.  My sister would take her to a farm almost everyday.  She would stick close to Denise while she did barn chores. She loved running in the pastures and wading in the ponds. When it was hot, Peanut would stand in a wash rack asking to be hosed off. She didn't swim much, but she loved floating in a life jacket or on a raft in a pool. She would lay on concrete barn aisles, wasn't bothered by flies, and happily accepted butt scratches from my sister's horse, Lester. She was an excellent playmate to her mixed breed dog. So many great pictures, videos, and memories. Here is Denise's tribute to Peanut:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Seven's Toe Amputation

Seven's toe was amputated on June 14th.  I painted the nail so the vet would definitely amputate the correct one since it was not otherwise obvious.
Surgery went well, but her nails were not cut as short as I had wanted while she was asleep.
During Riley's toe surgery a couple of years ago, the vet cut the nails on the same foot very short to take the pressure off of the toes and especially off of the toe that had been injured.  It was a bit of a pain in the butt initially. The nails bled off and on for a several weeks, but eventually they grew a little and I have since been able to keep them very short which has helped keep her foot sound.
So I was hoping for the same scenario for Seven.  However, the remaining middle toe was not cut as short as I wanted. That was the toe I really wanted to try and protect since it will likely breakdown and get flat over time.  The one nail that was cut super short is on the side and nearly a month later she is still limping from it.
Thankfully it is summer time, so I have been swimming Seven 2 or 3 times a week.Such a great way to exercise a foot sore dog.  We have some lake spots very close to the house.  I had not swam Seven much before, but she is very funny. She is the most awful swimmer!
Despite all of her effort, you have to keep your hand under her belly so her rear end does not sink. All my other hounds were able to keep level. She was very happy to try her hardest for treats.... so much so that during our first session (we were in a pool) she came back down the ramp and tried to swim to me when I was working one of the other dogs. Very adorable!  So now I swim her with a life jacket and that keeps her level so she can actually swim and not just tread water.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Maddie's QQs

Maddie's last two agility trials have been successful earning one double qualifier at each. She now has six!  Needs 3 more and 300 points before December to qualify for Nationals! Come on, Maddie! You are my only hope!  You can do it!
We did not pop out of the weave poles so I am not sure who my friends were watching. And here are some other good runs from the last two trials. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

AMK9 Canine Biathlon - Maddie

Recently, Maddie and I ran the AMK9 Canine Biathlon.  It was a 3.66 mile run with obstacles and challenges along the way.  We had a lot of fun and Maddie did great!
We ran with Chelsey and Ryder, Brandee and Titus, and Jason and Tizzy. Most of the dogs at this event were military and police Shepherd type dogs so it was fun to have our band of misfits.... a Labrador Retriever, Pit Bull, Greyhound, and Jack Russell.

Unfortunately, I do not have many pictures of us.  So what you see below are photos from Facebook of friends and strangers.... but at least it gives you and idea of what we did.
The race started easy enough with sand dunes. Maddie loved this section!  Next was sort of a dog walk type apparatus with deck steps and missing boards.

Maddie did not appreciate the missing boards so she bailed off early and made me do it alone. She waited for me though. :-)
Then into our first water obstacle.
Maddie had a Holy-Crap-I'm-Not-Doing-That moment and I said "yes, you are". She did great and was quite pleased when she survived.
Then into the stream we went. We had to go under several railroad ties. Big sections of the race were through the water. Maddie was definitely the right dog to bring with her huge pillow pads on her feet. She is bred to run on rocky ground and handled the rocky stream bed with no problems. 
I think we climbed over the cars next.  This was pretty easy for Maddie.
Next, we had to crawl through sand.  This was Maddie's first time crawling and she did great!
Maddie was on a 15 foot long line.  So on the jogging parts of the race she loved to get ahead and try to pass our running buddies and making me run faster.  She jumped through the window jumps perfectly.  She was just trotting up ahead of me and I told her to "jump" and she did.
And then back into the water we went and through a drain pipe. Thankfully the drain pipe was bigger than the agility tunnels, but it was kind of scary and Maddie balked a bit, but then followed me in.
Unfortunately, the reward for her bravery was a drop into deep water on the other end. Sorry, Maddie!
At that point, she did not really have a choice and I just pulled her out.
 She was again thrilled when she survived.  Tail up and happy again.
Then onto a familiar obstacle. An a-frame. Although this one was much larger than an agility a-frame. Maddie got up and over willingly with no problems.
Then we had some nice big tunnels that she recognized as such.  Without thinking she went right through instead of trying to go around.
I believe the another drain pipe was next.  It was much longer than the last one, but at least there was no drop.  Maddie followed someone else and went ahead of me.
Then lots of stream trekking and trail running.  We had to throw 2 balls through a tire.  And drag a tire to a certain point and back.
We had a couple of sections of climbing or jumping over things in the water.
We also had to jump/climb huge wooden spools and large round hay bales.  I had to climb, but Maddie easily jumped on and off.  I would tell her to jump and she knew what to do and she impressed the jump judges. We then had some exhausting hill work for the last third of the race. Serpentines straight up and straight down a steep hill side.  The 15 foot long line was great because Maddie could go ahead and then wait for me. Towards the very end, we had a long climb that was very tiring. Even Maddie started to look a little less peppy and was not pulling ahead as much.
The last hill we had to climb was not that big, but they covered it with tires.  Maddie resisted, but once she got going, she got through it.
But then surprise!  A ledge to jump off into deep water!
Maddie does not dock jump so I did not pull her off the ledge.  I allowed her to go around. Then into one more set up tunnels.
That emptied into this.
This was not a fun crawl and it was pretty low for big dogs.  I ended up pushing it up with my back so Maddie could crawl through the last section.
Then one more small a-frame and onto the finish line.  I believe our final score/time was around 1 hour and 20 minutes once penalties were factored in.
After the race, I was thinking I would not sign up for it again, but a few days later and I'm thinking... I just might! :-)

Pictures stolen off FB from Friends and strangers. Ha!