Monday, February 1, 2016

Core Workouts - The Peanut

So one of the great things about the new house is that we designated one of the extra bedrooms as a canine workout room. Now I have plenty of room to store and work with the hounds on the peanut, balance discs, wobble boards, and paw pods. It is a great way to work with the hounds when the weather sucks outside!
The Peanut is a great way to work the dog's stabilizer muscles. As the dog shifts, rebalances, and catches herself, she is using muscles to hold steady. Seven LOVES the Peanut and I have to be very careful to prop it back in the corner when I am not hanging onto it.  I have also had to work on her only being allowed to jump on it when I say HER name and not anyone else's. Riley likes it and does very well.  It was great for rehabbing her fractured hock several years ago and for keeping her rear end from getting shaky.  Maddie hates the Peanut and will only do one exercise on it unless we force her up there and make her do it. That is okay. There are other core exercises that she is very good and her methodical, thoughtful nature makes her a quick study on new stuff versus Seven who literally throws herself at everything.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ORKC Trial - Maddie

Maddie had her best trial yet at the ORKC trial a few weeks ago!  She Double Qualified 2 days in a row!
AND she did not have a single weave pole error the entire weekend!
So hopefully this means Maddie is really starting to grow up!  This is the trial right after Maddie fell and hurt herself on the dogwalk.  I was ready to scratch her from the trail if she appeared hindered at all, but as you can see she was moving really well:

Monday, January 25, 2016

ORKC Trial - Riley

Riley and Maddie competed at a trial at the beginning of January. Riley earned 1 double qualifier which puts her 3 QQs away from earning her 3rd Master Agility Championship.
The courses were a lot of fun! Some good challenges, but some areas to open up and run as well.
Here are Riley's runs:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2015 Agility Invitational - Riley

Riley also competed at the 2015 AKC Agility Invitational.
She had a much tougher time with the turf surface and found it to be slippery. We discovered that in the warm up run.
A friend of ours had "Show Foot" spray. I sprayed Riley's feet prior to reach run going forward and it worked! Her traction was much better and she was able to move out.
Riley kicked butt in Round 1 and 2. She placed 14th and 11th out of about 130 dogs. Not bad for a nine year old!
Unfortunately, Round 3 and 4 did not go as smoothly. I always seem to have a great first day and then a mediocre 2nd day. I am not sure why that is. I really do not feel especially nervous about the 2nd day.

We joked about Riley always being a bridesmaid and wondered if Day 2 would finally be Riley's wedding day.
We even borrowed Maddie's blue collar for the something borrowed and something blue. Alas, it didn't work and Riley is still the cutest and most wonderful bridesmaid there ever was!
There still appears to be no end in sight. Riley still runs like she is 4 years old. But I know she is not and I am grateful for every trial and ever run we get.
This was likely Riley's last big National event.... but who knows. If she is killing it as a 10 year old, she will be back!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015 Agility Invitational - Maddie

Back in December, Stephen and I took Maddie and Riley to the AKC Agility Invitational. The Invitational is an event that invites the Top 5 dogs in each breed. My girls were #1, #3, and #5 (Seven, Riley, and Maddie).
I did not take Seven because the event was supposed to be held on mats and I was not going to risk her wrist on a new surface. However, a month prior they switched the surface to turf which now that I have experienced it, I think I would try Seven on it.
Maddie handled the surface fine, but she worried me the first time we did a practice jump on turf. She was acting very strange and appeared to not be pleased with it. Dang it! Thankfully, Friday's run is a warm up run and does not count. Once she got moving, Maddie did not have any trouble with turf. In the warm up, she did jump off the teeter for some reason. Thankfully, she did not in the more important runs.

The next day was Round 1 and 2 and Maddie ran fantastic! We had been having trouble with the weave poles in the competitions preceding this one, so I fully expected it to still be a problem. However, she was very professional and handled the new venue, the crowds, the new surface, and nailed everything including her weave poles. She was 19th and 20th out of about 130 dogs.
Unfortunately, Rounds 3 and 4 were not so clean. The weave pole errors popped up again. Otherwise, she ran very well and the weave poles were her only error. Here is Round 3.
I believe next year's event is in Florida again. It would be so fantastic if all three dogs could go!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Odds & Ends

The hounds and I are doing well. Seven took all of December off to heal her latissimus dorsi strain. She has since been cleared to return to work. It does appear that both wrists are giving her some issues now. We will just see how long we can get away with doing Agility.
All three hounds were invited to the 2015 AKC Agility Invitational, but I decided to only take Riley and Maddie.  It worked out since Seven took the month off anyway.  I will post about that trip soon.

The crazy thing is that 6 greyhounds attended! Usually we are the only ones there. Very exciting!
I have been wanting to get some really nice dog beds for a while now. I finally splurged and got the girls some seriously nice beds from Orvis. They have 4 inches of memory foam, bolstered sides, and they are 50 inches long. 
 The hounds do not spill out of these beds.

Seven never sleeps on her back so I think she approves of the new comfortable bed. 
Recently, Maddie had a bad fall on the dogwalk.  She climbed it crooked with too much speed.  It was the worse fall I have ever seen. Lots of twisting and struggling to hang on and then finally landing flat on her side. Holy crap! My first thought was that she will never get back on another dogwalk. She is the most sensitive and cautious of my hounds and I figured this experience would scar her forever..... but like a good trainer, I hid that fear. Told her how freaking awesome that was. She was obviously hurt and stunned. I gave her a canned dog food jackpot because ... well... canned food makes everything better. It was cold, so I put her coat back on and walked her around. And then she started to get that look like "are we going to do some agility?" So I asked her to do one teeter and one dogwalk.  She did both like nothing happened.  I couldn't have been more happy or proud of her. Unfortunately, she did have some pretty significant wounds and bruising.

Of course, Maddie was entered in a trial three days later. The next day she was gimpy. The wound was especially sore especially when she was lying down and getting up. On Thursday afternoon, I asked her to do some agility. She appeared to be just fine and did not come up sore later. If there had not been a trial, I would have given her more time off. But she was bouncing around and ready to go so I decided not to scratch her........AND she earned TWO double qualifiers!  
The bruise moved further down her leg each day. So thankful the fall was not more serious.

Monday, December 28, 2015

CDCA Trial - Seven

Seven was her usual perfect self in the ring, but she came up a little lame in her Saturday Jumpers run so I ended up pulling her off the course before we were done. Otherwise she Double Qualified on Friday and Sunday.  She needs 5 more Double Qualifiers to be the first greyhound to earn four Master Agility Championships.
Here are her runs that were videoed. I left the one where I pulled her off:
I have decided that Seven does point out every little ache and pain. The only thing I can liken it to is I will often twist or pop my ankle and it hurts for a minute, but I just keep running and it goes away.  I think the same sort of thing happens with Seven's left wrist, but unlike me she will immediately yelp and limp.... and then a minute later it is as if nothing happened.  You rarely see a problem in the next run.
However, I was starting to see some issues on her right front which was new (usually it is the left). I took her to the ortho vet and he diagnosed a lattisimus dorsi strain near the insertion point.  So she is taking the month of December off and will be rechecked in early January. In some ways it is probably good that she points out all of her issues early so we can address them before they become huge issues.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CDCA Trial - Maddie

Maddie is still on a One-Run-Wonder streak. She qualified only once out of six attempts.  Weave poles continue to be our nemesis. She is doing really well on the rest of the course, but just does not want to slow and focus on weave poles. In fact, sometimes she will even accelerate past them as if I won't notice. Silly hound!
We actually almost had a Double Qualifier. We had already run clean in Standard, but she just ran around a jump in Jumpers.... and of course that was one of the runs she got her weave poles.  And then we had another nice run where she got her weave poles and was flying through them, but the popped out towards the end.  Here is the video:

Monday, December 21, 2015

CDCA Trial - Riley

Right after Thanksgiving, we attended a trial in South Carolina.  It is my favorite venue because the footing is really nice and there is a lot of green space right outside the building for walking and playing with the hounds.
Riley was clean 5 out of 6 runs. Just 4 more Double Qualifiers are needed for her to earn her third Master Agility Championship.

Here are her runs. The last run was 6.13 yards per second so that tells me she is still running at an excellent pace and was not tired on Sunday afternoon.
I keep holding my breath and hoping that Riley will continue to run as well as she is for a while longer. Her rear end is definitely shakier than ever after fatiguing. Agility runs usually do not cause it, but zoomies and playing with her toy definitely do. If I start to see shakiness before exercise, I will retire her.... but we will continue to fight it as long as we can with exercise work on balance discs and the peanut.

Monday, November 30, 2015

QQ Streak Ends

Seven's streak of Double Qualifiers finally came to an end at #14... and totally my fault! If I had just kept my mouth shut.  We, of course, ran clean in Jumpers and QQed again the next day! So amazing! Here is QQ #12 and 13.

And then here is the streak ender..... if only I had not said her name and called her off that jump.... or if she had just ignored me this one time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Old Age

Riley is settling into being an old dog......... okay, not really! I just love how funny and silly she is. She makes 9 years old look really good. I saw a couple of hounds recently that were younger than Riley, but I thought she looked younger and fitter than they did.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

One Run Wonder

Maddie did not have as good a weekend as her sisters. She only ran clean one out of 6 attempts. But it was a super nice run!

We definitely need to get back into agility class which we are on October 7th. Not enough excitement on my field to challenge her like a trial does. Class on chilly evenings with an audience should help. Lately, she has been flying out of chutes and tunnels like a cannonball and running past whatever the next obstacle is. That is our most common problem. Until we are back in class, we will be practicing lots of tunnels to weave poles and chutes as the second to last obstacle. Silly hound!

09-28-2015 Update! Maddie QQed yesterday! Of course, there is no video evidence of this, but she did! Ran really well both days!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kicking Butt at 9

Riley also did very well! She earned two double qualifiers! I am just so happy she feels great!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On A Roll

Seven is on a roll with 7 double qualifiers in a row!  Here are the three perfect days from the last trial.

The only thing though is that her right wrist appears to be causing some problems now. Several times now, she has pulled up acutely lame and then appears fine a few minutes later. Just like her left wrist. It is disheartening, but we have been dealing with the left wrist for 3 years now... nothing appears to have changed in that time. It does what it does. Hopefully she will keep trucking along.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Another Chiweenie

Maddie liked the last Chiweenie (Chihuahua X Dachshund mix) foster so much that we got her another one. Charlie was only supposed to be here for 4 days, but that turned into 3 weeks.  But last Thursday, he finally headed off to Animal Welfare Society in Maine.
Charlie was relentless and tireless. He also grabbed skin and ears. He would bounce off sleeping greyhounds as if he was running bases for a home run...... have I mentioned how nice my greyhounds are?
Super nice!
 And yes, he is humping Seven's head.... don't worry, I saved her!
So Charlie did not get to play inside very much. We took it outside and he and Maddie had a blast.
She could easily avoid his nips and grabs.
And take him down a peg or two when he needed it.

Have a great life, Charlie!