Monday, October 6, 2014

#1 Greyhound

Seven and I had a perfect weekend! At the end of September, we competed in a local two day trial and smoked it!  Here are the four runs.
Other exciting news, Seven is now the #1 Greyhound in American Kennel Club Agility! It only took 6 years for me to finally top my other greyhound, Travis. Travis got a late start as I adopted him at age 3 and had issues to work out before he could compete. So his first trial was not until he was 5 years old. But he was super sound and athletic. He was extremely consistent his last year and a half in competition. He competed until he died at age 10.
So it is exciting that Seven is only 6 years old and hopefully has several more years to go.  The bad wrist is always a factor though. We did have a recent set back.  I spoke with the ortho vet and we made some tweaks to our plan and Seven has been doing great ever since.... knock on wood.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Maddie and Harp

Maddie got to have two play dates with her Golden Retriever boyfriend, Harp last weekend! They had a blast and tired each other out!

A happy, dirty Mad Dog!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Maddie Agility Match

A week or so ago, Maddie had the opportunity to participate in an agility match. I actually hosted it as a fundraiser for the Road Trip Home Animal Rescue group after one of our local agility trials. Agility match for Maddie and we raised $1,390 for RTH!  An evening well spent!

Maddie had some really fantastic moments.  My favorite is in the first run. She is feeling pretty wild, but she collected herself and nailed the weave poles. In our second run, I was not very pleased with her zoomies, but in Maddie's defense, I was running around crazy making sure the match was running smoothly.  Maddie should have had a lot more exercise earlier in the day. In the third run, I wanted to make sure she got on the dog walk, table, and went through the chute.... and she did!
Maddie had another match on October 18th and I may have accidentally entered her in a trial or two. I don't think she is ready for a full slate of classes, but with Riley out I thought I might attempt a soft debut.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Toe Surgery

Riley's toe ended up needing surgery. I really wish we had done it sooner. Oh well.  Our vet put a suture inside the toe. It basically pulls the toe in tight since the ligament that used to be there is torn and it makes the tissues angry so as to stimulate lots of scar tissue. Hopefully we'll get a tight, tough toe from it.
So Riley is to be leash walked only for the next 6 weeks and then we will rehab once again.  Hopefully this is the very last injury.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Go Big or Go Home

Seven and I recently competed at an agility trial in Tennessee. We did pretty well.  We earned QQ #42 and 2 extra jumper legs. Here are those runs:
Seven did make one huge error of mistaking the teeter for the dogwalk.  She does this sometimes when she is excited and rushing around course.
However, this time a photographer was perfectly positioned to capture it. I love my thrilled expression.

Monday, August 11, 2014


True to her nature, Riley has yet another injury. The hound is so accident-prone. You would think she would finally start to chill out in her 8th year, but not Riley Greyhound. She must twirl, spin, run, dart, stop, start, and zoom in every direction. It is one of my favorite and least favorite things about her.
I am actually quite surprised it took this long for Riley to dislocate a toe. It is such a common greyhound injury and since Riley has fractured a hock, seriously punctured a joint, bowed a tendon, sprained an elbow, and had a minor strain to the iliopsoas.... it only seems surprising that she has only sprained a toe once up until now.
So while running and playing about a month ago, the outside toe of the right rear foot dislocated at the P1 and P2 joint. The nail pointed towards her foot and the joint jetted outward. It immediately popped right back into place and it appeared that it might just stay that way. But then when she stepped out onto a very soft surface, it immediately dislocated another 3 times in a row.  I taped it to prevent it from happening again. My vet thought we would need to do surgery, but when he saw it a few days later, it was tight and not painful. So we opted to rest her.

I have not been resting her completely.  The toe now has a nice fat knuckle on it (scar tissue to hold it in place) so I exercise her, but carefully. No agility and no crazy stuff. Also, I have filed and continue to file her nail as short as possible. Every night I file the nail down to the pink of the quick... close, but not to the point of making her bleed. Riley gets lots of cheese for the slight discomfort.

I am about to start Riley back to work.  I plan to tape it for awhile.  Fingers crossed there is plenty of scar tissue to make it hold.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


We are still fostering here and there for Road Trip Home.  We just got done with these two rascals.  Beau and Arlo were found together and no owner was located so Road Trip Home took them. They are good boys and will be adopted quickly.

Maddie is still the best foster sister ever. She loves to welcome the newbies.  She and Beau were quite cute playing together. She was so gentle with him.

I also got an update on our shar-pit mix foster that I personally fell in love with when I saw her in the rescue album for that shelter.
I normally do not get involved with which dogs Road Trip Home pulls from shelters, but remember it broke my heart that this dog had followed her owner into the animal control facility off leash. Such a loyal, trusting dog just tossed away. RTH pulled her for me and we fostered her. Later she was sent to the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk, Maine and was adopted a couple of weeks later.
I received an update from Jai's adopter. Jai has a stay-at-home mom and 2 young boys. She also has a canine sibling that she plays all day with except for when they are napping together. The boys are really cute and bring blankets and pillows into the living room so they can all nap together. So sweet! Jai is just such a sweet and deserving dog. I am so glad we saved her.
At the same time we were fostering Jai, we were also fostering Dinah, the lab. She ended up having a few issues that needed to be worked on. Animal Welfare Society did a great job working with her. However, after a few months, she still had not been adopted. Sometimes when a dog is not getting adopted for whatever reason, they will send them to another shelter. Being a new face at a different shelter is all it takes in some cases. Dinah was sent to the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society and adopted the following weekend. In fact, the 4 dogs the two shelters traded were all adopted that weekend!
We also fostered Pinta, a painfully shy, little, yellow lab for a few weeks. 
Pinta made a lot of progress with us, but she was still very fearful of strangers. Because of her shyness, I was worried she may go unnoticed at the shelter so I made this little video of her to show what she is like once she is settled in. I thought it turned out great! I am not sure if it helped her get adopted, but she was adopted quickly and I really appreciate Jen at Animal Welfare Society taking extra good care of her to minimize her stress of the big change.
Right now we are foster free for a few weeks.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mad Dog

Miss Maddie got spayed 2 weeks ago right after a 4 day agility trial so we have not done much in July.  But I do have some photos and videos from May and June.
My friend, Beth Bradshaw took the above photos and those of Maddie and Teg below.
Look! Maddie and Teg have synchronized strides!

 A typical Maddie facial expression!

We also had some fun on 4th of July weekend at Summerwind Farm.  The landowner is so gracious and wonderful to let us play there. Are you happy, John? :-)
 Maddie takes full advantage of the fields!

Here is a training clip from way back in June.
Since then, most of the guides have come off the weave poles.  Right now, Maddie is prone to popping out of the poles early so I usually have the last 2 guides on there.  I am still not sure when her agility trial debut might be. I really do not want to rush her. She is sensitive and does not handle making mistakes very well so I definitely want to make sure she is pretty solid on the weave poles.  I want her to be set up for success. We have 3 or 4 opportunities to do matches this fall so that will be a great way to get her some agility practice at some of the venues we will be competing at in the future.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pre-Open - Riley

I really have not done much obedience in the last few years.  I am kind of torn about it. Agility really is so much more fun than obedience. But with the right hound, obedience can be fun too!
Riley is one of those "right" hounds. She is just so precious. But ever since she fractured her hock, her sit just has not been the same.
She is trained through Open level (second out of three levels), but she cannot physically do the 3 minute sit stay anymore and I don't ask her to. Generally, she is fine with all the brief sits for heeling and fronts.
Since Riley cannot meet the requirements of the Open level, we have now shown twice at Pre-Open. It is scaled down version of open.  The jumps can be lower and there are no stays.  I figured why not?  She is already trained in all of the exercises.  I might as well show her off.
Last time, we got away with no practice and qualified anyway... and with a borrowed dumbbell because I forgot mine.  This time it showed that we had not practiced.  Riley did pretty well on all of the exercises and her drop on recall is always fantastic.  But her heeling left much to be desired. On certain ribbed matting, she will get picky about her sits and well... she was picky about this matting.
  Oh well, she was super cute anyway and I guess next time we will practice.

Photos by InMotion Photos.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Like Seven, Riley also knocked out her 39th double qualifier on day one of a 4-day agility trial. I had thought it would be fun if they both earned their second Master Agility Championship on the same day or at the same trial, but it did not happen. Riley wanted her own trial.
Riley qualified in Jumpers everyday, but we just did not have lots of luck in the Standard class. A dropped bar or bad handling on my part. Seven benefited from me getting to practice with Riley before her runs because Riley was first in the running order. Here are Riley's runs:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MACH2 Seven

Well, Seven had an excellent 4-day agility trial last weekend and earned her second Master Agility Championship. She is only the third greyhound to do so. My Travis was the first and Helen Hamilton's Whisper was the second.

To earn MACH2, your dog has to accumulate 40 Double Qualifiers (running clean in the Standard and Jumpers classes in the same day) and 1,500 points for seconds under standard course time (Seven had 2,552 points).

On Thursday, Seven knocked out Double Q #39 easily making Double Q #40 over the next 3 days appear achievable.  Well, she did it the very next day. Here are those videos.
Here is Seven clearing the last jump.  Look at my friend, Beth, in the background.  Love her! :-)
The bar from the last jump basically becomes your trophy.  All of your friends and supporters sign it.
And how about the ribbon?  This club has the best MACH ribbons! Gorgeous!
Seven qualified in Standard the next day, but got sucked into a wrong course tunnel in Jumpers. But then on Sunday, she earned her first QQ towards MACH3.  Will she be the first MACH3 greyhound?
So 7 clean runs out of 8 attempts. MACH2. Definitely an amazing weekend for us!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MOTC Trial - Seven

Seven also competed at the recent three-day trial.  She and I had a very successful weekend with two double qualifiers.  As you know, a double qualifier is when you run clean in the standard class and the jumpers class in the same day.  Here are our Double Qs:
I also shot this funny video of Seven complaining.  Whenever I return to my set up at agility trials, Seven looks at me very hopeful that it is finally her turn.  Most of the time it is not and she will complain when I sit down next to her instead.
I find it amusing.  Wish us luck this weekend!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

MOTC Trial - Riley

We recently attended a 3-day agility trial.  Riley ran well, but we only qualified twice and it was not a double.  Here are those two runs.
Hopefully we will have better luck at our upcoming trials!  Just two more Double Qs needed!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Birthday Girls

Riley, Seven, and Maddie recently celebrated a birthday.  Riley and Seven turned 8 and 6 on June 28th and Maddie turned 2 on July 2nd.  Time flies!
Riley gets zapped by the heat sometimes, but mostly she is as silly and precious as ever.

She is closing in on her second agility championship, but we have been stuck on needing two double qualifiers for a while now.  We are just having an unlucky streak.  Hopefully we will bounce out of it soon.

Riley is also about 141 points away from taking the #1 lifetime achiever from Travis.  He is still the number one greyhound in AKC agility even though he has been gone for 6 years now.  Overall, Riley is doing great!
Seven is also closing in on her second agility championship.  She too needs two double qualifiers.  She was quite a ways behind Riley, but because of Riley's unlucky streak, Seven has caught up.  We have a four day agility trial this weekend....
Seven's carpal joint has done pretty well in agility.  She did come up lame for a few minutes at an agility trial in May.  So disappointing because she was just 3 jumps away from a Double Q.  She came back and got one the next day. Such an odd, chronic problem. She just torques it, is sore for a few minutes, and then walks out of it.  Kind of like a twisted ankle.
It seems like Seven has maybe figured out how to avoid tweaking her wrist in agility most of the time.  She does some pretty hard, tight turns to the left without problems all of the time.  However, when playing in the yard, chasing Maddie or a toy, you would think her life depended on it.  She is way too intense and often will twist her wrist.  I hate treating her like an expensive, fancy, show horse that has to be kept in the barn, but sometimes she does not give me an option.
Maddie is coming along. She is still quite a challenge at times, but I am pleased with how she is progressing. I still do not have a debut date in mind.  There are several opportunities to practice her in matches this fall so I think that will be the focus.  If she can do well in a match, then a trial should have similar results.
Right now, we are taking a weekly, group agility class that highlights how fantastic Maddie can be, but also exposes the weaknesses of working with more pressure and distractions.
Class will be a great way to fill in the holes and strengthen areas we need work.  So no rush still.  I honestly do not need to be competing three dogs at one time anyway.
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend!