Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Week 33 and 34 - Odds and Ends

I am so behind and swamped right now.  My own agility club is hosting an agility trial next weekend.  Then we have the AKC Agility Nationals.  Work is busy.  The dogs are busy.  It also appears that I will be doing another movie with either Riley or Seven.  The details are not all worked out yet.  This one is much smaller than the last one, but thankfully local and I think the scheduling will be kinder.
Maddie is doing great!  Her food motivation has been excellent.  She has always eaten what I have offered, but only recently has she been seeking it out, nosing around, and asking for more.  I love that!
The weather has been cold and deary most of the time.  Its hard enough taking pictures of a black dog, but even harder when the light is not good.  Action shots are always blurry.
However, when the weather is bad it is a great opportunity to allow Maddie to run free and to practice recalls.  We have access to some awesome private properties and when the weather is cold and wet we have them to ourselves as I do not trust her completely to respond to me in the face of other people or dogs.  However, one day my husband brought the older dogs separately and so it was a perfect chance to run into his group and to see if Maddie still had a good recall.  She did and came to me without greeting the others! Canned dog food is still the reward I am using and in this instance she got to greet the other dogs and Stephen.
Maddie has gotten very good at picking up dumbbells and scent articles.  She will often take things I hand to her and hold it until I take it back.  She has also started retrieving toys which is a very nice change.  She has always been more interested in playing keep-a-way which I will not engage and lately, when I want her to chase me, she will often stand there and watch me run around.  Challenging little bitch! :-)  But retrieving and trading the toy for a treat is showing me that she is indeed getting more food motivated and being cooperative.
It is funny that some of you worry about Maddie not getting to play with other puppies without earning it first. Maddie has a more active, more stimulating, and more interesting life than probably 95% of the dogs on the planet.  A lot of folks will say that their dogs are a high priority, but not many dedicate as many hours everyday. And on top of that, Maddie has probably played with more dogs, met more people, and traveled to more places than most other dogs ever will. Plus she lives with five dogs and plays with them.  So do not cry for Maddie.  There are plenty of dogs out there that could use your help, but Maddie is not one of them.
Another reason for scaling back the rough and tumble play is that I noticed Maddie was crooked when she was in a down like this (see above).  One knee was always higher than the other.  That seemed strange for a puppy so I had her looked at by a chiropractor.  She was indeed out of whack and was very sore when manipulated.  I had her adjusted again a week later and the same issue was found again. The third time we returned she was much better.  Slightly out of whack, but was no longer painful.
Maddie ended Week 34 as an 8 month old puppy.  She is definitely bigger than Riley and Seven, but she still looks so small (when she is not standing next to them).  She definitely has some filling out to do.  Maddie weighed 56 pounds on her 8 month birthday.  I am beginning to wonder if the husband is going to win the weight guess contest with 68 pounds.  But I am still hoping Diana S, Brittany B, and K-Koira get it right with their guess of 62.  Or my dad with 61.7.