Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fancy Yard Dog

Maddie LOVES the yard and being outside.  Never before have I had a greyhound that just wanted to sit outside and watch the world go by.  It definitely does not hurt that she sees deer, rabbits, other dogs, and people from her domain.
Maddie also loves to bake in the sun!
Our new house is great because we can supervise the backyard from the kitchen, the couch, the living room, and the master bedroom so we can comfortable leave her outside for as long as she wants, but still keep an eye on her.
Her barking is funny.  I have never had a greyhound that barked as much as Maddie. On walks or from the backyard, she will bark usually only once at people as if to just say hello.  She loves to bark and bounce across the yard at nothing just  to get Seven and Riley excited.
Maddie is still a stalker.  She stalks me and other dogs all of the time.  It is very funny!
She is a very good fetcher.  Loves to catch and retrieve Zanie Flyers.  Loves to tug too.
Maddie often has a toy in her mouth around the house that Riley and Seven like to yank out of her mouth.  I think she likes it because she continues to grab toys and walk right by them.

Maddie also loves to sleep with her stuffed animals.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Riley's Career

Riley Greyhound is closing in on her 10th birthday.  Time really does fly.  I hope she can earn three more Double Qualifiers for her third agility championship, but it would be totally Riley Bridesmaid to retire with 59 QQs.
Overall, she is doing great! Riley is healthy and sound, but every little bobble makes me wonder if it is about time for retirement.
I wonder if she will be able to handle the heat this summer.  Occasionally I have to rally her more than usual at the end of the day or if it is sunny.  But then other times she runs like a 5 year old and wins her class.
Just 3 more QQs or could I possibly hope for another whole year?  The Invitational in December is in Florida again and Nationals in March are only a 2 hour drive!  How fantastic would that be if all three hounds could compete in both?  But I definitely will not insist she keep going if she is not running great.  It has to be great.
I will just have to see what Riley says. The only thing that matters is that she is safe, happy, and having fun and she definitely still is. With all the setbacks her career has had from accidents and injuries (fractured hock, dislocated toe, bowed tendon, sprained elbow, and punctured M/P1 joint), I just can't believe she is still running. It really says a lot about how tough she is.
Travis is my only greyhound who ran agility as a 10 year old. He did for only one month.  He honestly did not appear to be anywhere near retirement, but he became ill and passed away.  So he never really retired. I am hoping for many runs as a 10 year old and then a long retirement afterwards for my Riley Greyhound.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Seven's Career

At times I wonder if Seven's agility career is in the final chapter. Her left carpal joint has always been a problem although manageable, but now she is having problems with her shoulders and the surrounding muscles.  Her exams used to uncover minor chiropractic adjustment needs, but now they periodically expose significant shoulder pain.  Our working theory is that she is compensating for the bad wrist and injuring other areas in the process. We had the lattisimus dorsi strain on the right side a few months ago and more recently there was pain just in front of the left shoulder and then near her withers.  Now the pain seems to be underneath the shoulder and against the rib cage.
For awhile, Seven was limping... a lot... especially in the evenings.  I even x-rayed her shoulder for bone cancer just in case.  So now she is on Deramaxx daily.  I figured eventually it would probably be that way. The Deramaxx has helped a lot and her limping at night has almost completely ceased.... even after training sessions.
Agility is mostly the same.  Seven LOVES it and I dread ever having to tell her no more.  It is her favorite thing in the world. She runs fast, clean, and sound. My agility friends probably think I am crazy because they never see her take a bad step. She frequently places high in her classes and she double qualifies all of the time. She never runs like there is a problem.

We recently attended a two day agility trial.  She never took a bad step at the venue, on course, or at the hotel, she ran clean four out of four runs.... and then she limped when we got home Sunday night.
The most recent visit with the rehab vet exposed pain underneath the shoulder somewhat up in the armpit. We discussed whether to really rest her for 2-3 months and try to knock it out or would that be a waste of time. If it is a compensation injury, she is just going come back and continue compensating for the arthritic carpal joint.  Plus she would be very difficult to rest. She is a terrible crater and would be even worse with no exercise.  She would probably do more harm to herself spinning and trying to get out.  And 2-3 months of rest turns into 4-6 months out of commission simply because you have to take time to get them back in shape.  My philosophy has always been to rehab for as long as they rested.  So if they have 8 weeks off, you take 8 weeks to bring back to the prior fitness level. With her being almost 8 years old, I am not sure I want to attempt resting her when she is closer to retiring than not just due to age. So we will probably keep doing what we are doing unless something gets worse.

Seven really has been an interesting journey. It is such a shame that the carpal joint has been such an issue for most of her career, but has it really?  I've learned so much about core workouts, warm ups, cool downs, strengthening exercises, supplements, exams, and treatments.  So much of that benefits the current and future dogs. And through it all, she is still the #1 greyhound of all time in AKC agility, the only greyhound to earn 3 agility championships (soon to be 4), and she the most consistent AND fastest greyhound I know of.  So with the letdowns, there have been many more triumphs.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Core Workouts - Balance Discs

Here is another installment of the core workouts courtesy of Riley.  I love using the balance discs. Much easier to use than the peanut. All of my hounds enjoy working on them and are great at it. With Riley closing in on the age of 10, I am doing all I can to keep her fit and strong with minimal impact.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Takes A Village

At the AGRC Trial in South Carolina in February, I sprained my ankle running a friend's dog first thing on Saturday morning.  I was simply running in a straight line and BAAM!  I even fell down and then barely hobbled out of the ring.  It was ridiculous, awful, and very painful.  However, I decided the show must go on..... since I was already there, the money was paid, and it would be fun to see how the girls would do with other people..... so I asked other people to run my dogs.

Jerry got to run the Best... Seven.  However, she looked for me more than I thought she would. The dog would sell her soul for a crumb so I figured with a lot of treats during the warm up that she would be all his.  So it did make me feel good that she loves treats and ME.

Jerry and Seven's runs resulted in the only clean run.... Jumpers.

Brandee ran Riley.  Riley is so wonderful and was more than happy to follow Brandee's directions.

Maggie ran Maddie.  That was a given! Maggie has taken tons of pictures of Maddie as she grew up and especially when she was playing with Maggie's Dutch Shepherd who is the same age. When Maddie was a puppy, there were times when I felt she loved Maggie more than me.  It was ridiculous when the two would see each other at trials.  Well, I am happy to report that Maddie loves me now and did look for me.
I am really proud of how the girls did with other people.  Despite the crappy circumstances, it was fun to see them run. Later that day, I got an x-ray and confirmed there was no fracture. It has been nearly a month now and my ankle is doing really well.

Monday, March 14, 2016

NDTC Trial - Seven

As always, Seven did not disappoint. She qualified 5 out of 6 attempts. Truly amazing and I am so lucky to have her.

Seven is just 3 Double Quailifiers from being the first greyhound to earn four agility championships.

Here are the runs:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

NDTC Trial - Maddie

Maddie and I had fun at the NDTC Trial at the end of January.

 Like Riley, she qualified twice also with no Double Qualifiers.  She is running really well though so I included some of our non-qualifying runs on the video.
Hopefully, 2016 will be the year we get more consistent.

Monday, March 7, 2016

NDTC Trial - Riley

This trial was at the end of January.  Riley only qualified twice and no Double Qualifiers, but I continue to be thrilled with how healthy and sound she is at 9 years old.
She definitely has some hind leg weakness when she is fatigued, but we definitely fight it as much as we can to slow/stop the progression. 

We did not get much video from this trial, but did get a number of pictures. 

Lots of spit flying in the picture below.  Lots of drool when Riley runs!
And hanging on by only one toe in the next photo.  Thankfully she did not miss a step.

And finally, the one run videoed.