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!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oh and Then This

Remember a month ago when Seven earned her fourth agility championship? Yeah... well... Riley earned her third one... on the same day... April 22nd.  It is so Riley Greyhound for this to happen. Always over shadowed. Always the bridesmaid.
There was a time when I purposely stopped counting Riley's Double Qualifiers.  At her age, I just did not want to put unneeded pressure on us.  Once I thought we might be getting close to finishing MACH3, I updated my records to reflect all of the QQs and I started counting again. Except, I missed 2 QQs when I recounted.  So it worked perfectly. We finished with no pressure. Ha!

So I am pleased to announce that Riley is only the second greyhound to earn three Master Agility Championships. We will definitely be on the hunt for a nice ribbon and bar at an upcoming trial. Here is her secret 60th QQ:
All in all, I don't think Riley is too concerned about the oversight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


After earning her forth agility championship, Seven started to have problems. She had a perfect day on Friday, April 22nd and then she popped out of the weave poles early three times on Saturday and Sunday. On video, she mostly looks fine, but she did not feel right.
This whole time we were thinking it was her shoulder causing the evening limping, but I am now certain it has been her foot.

I expected Seven's wrist to be her final downfall. That it would eventually become sore and arthritic, but it is a stupid pressure sore between two middle toes that are forcing her into retirement.
The knuckles are pressing firmly into one another.
They did not always do this.  I took pictures of her feet back in 2012 and there used to be a nice space between them.
But for whatever reason (compensating for a bad wrist, perhaps?), they have changed and now there is a pressure sore on the inside of each knuckle and the toes themselves are hurting. There was never an injury (sprain, break, or dislocation), but I think over time she has just put wear and tear on them and they are getting gnarly.
One sore has been there since February, but has been mostly manageable. I often could put a small square of non-stick sterile wound pads and it would stay there for hours and she left it alone.
But now both knuckles have pressure sores and Seven won't leave them alone. So now I am contemplating surgery. Fusion podoplasty. The skin between the toes is removed and the toes are basically sewn together. The ortho vet and rehab vet think it is a good idea. The only other options are amputating one of the toes or keeping her bandaged and on a pillow for the next 3-5 years.

I am honestly not very comfortable with the surgery, but we could still amputate later if it does not work. And if we could heal the sores, any kind of protective taping or bandaging on a daily basis to prevent the sores from coming back is so impossible with greyhound skin and being out on wet grass all of the time. It is just not feasible. So I think I am being forced to try this surgery. Our appointment to discuss further with the orthopedic specialist is on June 1.

All I want is for her to be able to go for walks and train on her balance discs. Any kind of running or doing limited backyard agility is probably past us.

Monday, May 23, 2016

And Just Like That...

It is over. Seven is retired. I have tried to deny, delay, compromise, and negotiate, but through lots of tears I have finally accepted it. Seven is retired.
There will be no MACH5. The Invitational invite will be declined.  We won't qualify for Nationals. There is definitely no more "just one more year". There is not going to be one more final run. Seven is retired.
We have battled Seven's soundness issues since 2012. I am grateful that we gained almost 4 years despite the first vet looking at her carpal joint x-ray and saying that she would probably have to retire soon. She did not at that time, but now....... Seven is retired.
I assumed that eventually the wrist would become too sore and arthritic, but it came down to toes. Seven has two middle toes that now rub together on her already troubled left front (I will explain more in another post).  I just wanted to get it off my chest that Seven is retired.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

MACH4 Seven

I am pleased to announce that Seven easily finished her 4th Master Agility Championship on April 22nd, 2016.  She is the first and only MACH4 greyhound!  She really has been so amazing.  My fastest AND most consistent.  She is my only greyhound to ever get 14 QQs in a row.  She is my only hound to exceed 6 yards per second on course numerous times. She is at times challenging to live with, but she is a dream come true in the ring.  Here is our last Double Qualifier.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pretzel Pup

Monday, May 9, 2016

ORKC Trial - Riley

No double qualifiers for Riley.  Knocked a bar on day 1 on Jumpers and on the second day had a WTF run in Standard.  It is the third run in the video.  She jumps a tunnel, knocks a bar, comes off the dog walk, and jumps off the teeter early.  Yikes!

Better luck next time hopefully!  Fun photo though.... all feet off the ground in the weave poles.