Monday, August 19, 2019

Major (pt'd) Jack

Jack (Zephyr's Jack Be Nimble) and I traveled to Muncie, IN last weekend for the Ice Tea Cluster. Jack surprised me and greatly exceeded my expectations for him by going WD/BOS both days, which gave him a 3pt major each day. Wow! Jack is from my Striker ex Lark litter, whelped in 2013, the year before personal family issues started taking my time and attention away from Tollers. For Jack, this may have been a good thing. Some Tollers, particularly N/Ns, often mature slowly. At six he appears to have matured quite nicely. He has a lovely head and very clean movement from all sides. Outside of the ring, he's pretty laid back, though he does have one skunk and multiple rabbit kills under his belt so is no slouch when it comes to patrolling his property. His co-owners take great care of him and his housemate Finn (Dux ex Tilia - whelped 2010) and walk them miles and miles every day. Sunday's judge commented on his excellent condition and I gave credit where credit was due.

Sunday's judge also asked me if I was nervous. Apparently, she thought I was shaking a bit when I was first setting Jack up in the ring. I do get nervous sometimes when showing, and I think I was feeling particularly emotional about Jack, having lost his mother this spring. He reminds me of her in many ways, even though he looks quite a bit like his sire Striker. As it's been a few years since I've taken a dog in the ring with the expectation of trying to earn a championship, I was also feeling emotional in general about getting back into the breed ring, and wondering if I was right in thinking he was nice enough to finish. Last weekend's wins helped dispel the notion that he's not, even though I don't anticipate every show will be as successful as last weekend.

Jack enjoying a well-deserved rest at the Red Roof in Anderson, IN.

Jack at Culver's on his way home from the 2019 BYC.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A lesson in staying off your dog's line

After having a remarkably clean record in regard to NOT falling in the agility ring, last December I actually went down twice in one weekend. The second run was captured on video, so I've posted it here. In retrospect, it was all my fault. Baco is a very fast dog and I was clearly on his line. I just couldn't get out of his way fast enough because I did not handle the initial line of jumps correctly with him. I should have worked him on my right and let him get ahead, which he has no problem doing. As you can see, I got right back up and finished running him. I think we even Qd as it was CPE agility.

The day before Baco knocked me down, Koan took me down coming out of a long straight tunnel and cutting straight left across my own line. I was trying to beat her to the end of the tunnel to be sure she went to the table to end the timer. In an effort not to step on her I ended up tripping over her and falling. But just as with Baco, I got right back up and told her to "go table" which she did.  

I guess I was lucky. I know a lot of people who have fallen in agility and then ended up with torn ligaments, sprains or broken bones. All I needed was multiple trips to the chiropractor to work everything out, plus a lot of T-Relief. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Losing Lark

CH MACH Zephyr's Evelyn Echo WC CD RA MXB MJB NF (Lark) - 3/23/08 - 4/23/19

Lark had a significant seizure on March 18th. George was home and he rushed her to our vet. He called me and I met him there. Her initial blood work was pretty normal but because she was having trouble calming down after the seizure and had some minor neurological abnormalities, our vet advised us to take her to the Veterinary Specialty Center for overnight observation and additional diagnostics. After I left her there, they took chest x-rays and determined she had three large masses in her lungs.
The next morning they did an ultrasound of her abdomen, which came back normal. We had determined if there were masses in her abdomen that would have been a decision point to let her go, but because the ultrasound was normal we decided we would like to spend some quality time with her while we could because other than the seizure she seemed pretty normal. However, because of her seizure presentation, it was a certainty that what was going on in her lungs had already metastasized to her brain. We opted not to do an MRI to confirm this since the additional information wasn't likely to change her outcome. We took her home with steroids and anti-seizure meds. She did pretty well for about a month, but started to decline over Easter weekend, losing left side awareness, doing a lot of pacing and bumping into things, and going into corners and not being able to get out. Based on these symptoms, we think it was the brain tumor vs. the lung mets that caused her decline. We let her go on April 23rd.

It is still difficult to describe the loss I feel. She was the em-path of the house and helped my husband and I through many personal family issues in recent years. She was the giving tree of dogs. She did everything I ever asked of her. She was my first BBE champion and my third Rusty Jones award recipient. She earned her MACH last fall, waiting for me to be ready to run her again and running better and faster for me once I figured out she wanted to be handled with blind crosses as much as possible, to give her the illusion she was chasing me around the ring. But most of all she was a true companion. I treasure our many walks and time hanging out on the couch as much as her many accomplishments. I miss her so much, but am fortunate to have her son and her niece to love and to train. And although I'm very sad, I also feel some peace knowing we did what we could for her as long as we could but also tried not too hold on too tightly or too long.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Kicked off the cruise ship life and learned to swim!

Tobago (Zephyr's Flusher of Dux CD BN RI JH NA NAJ WCI) is quite an accomplished fellow. He got a bit of a late start in his performance career, preferring to spend his early years socializing. When Kathy G. finally convinced Amanda to kick Tobago off the cruise ship life he was living, he proved he was the working dog we had promised her. 

I'm very proud of what he and Amanda have accomplished together and know they aren't finished yet!

OFA Clearances: (CDDY N/N)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

It's been a while...

On and off since the fall of 2014 I've been dealing with personal family issues that have taken my time and attention away from Tollers. That's pretty much Koan and Baco's entire lifespan, so they have not received the amount of training and attention I expected to devote to them when I made the (somewhat crazy) decision to breed two litters in 2014 only seven weeks apart in age and to keep a puppy from each. I can't really make up for the time lost and don't intend to stress myself out trying, but in the past year I've slowly been able to get back into some of the dog sports I love, primarily agility. Koan and Baco have a lot of drive and biddability in this venue and in the past few months, I'm finally starting to see things come together when we are trialing.

Koan recently finished her AXJ title and got her first leg for her AX. She is speedy but relatively steady and likes to keep her eye on me while running.

Koan's AXJ title run
Koan's AX first Q run

Baco is something else entirely, but what an interesting something else he is! It still amazes me that he has turned into such a crazy agility dog. He gets many compliments from people who watch him run, even when he doesn't Q, which is often!

Baco AX run
Baco AXJ run

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A tomato by another other name...

I realize it's been well over a year since I've posted anything. Aspects of my life not pertaining to dogs took precedence, really since the fall of 2014. Very slowly I've been trying to turn my time and attention back to the dogs, who along with my husband, were incredibly supportive in the past 1.5 years. My attention was so focused elsewhere I completely forgot to mention we ended up keeping one of Lark's puppies from her 2014 litter, a litter I neglected to even blog about, I was so busy with back to back litters, even though the first litter consisted of only one pup.

Keeping a puppy from Lark's litter after deciding to keep Koan wasn't planned, and certainly wasn't a very prudent thing to do, and had I realized how much was going to be heaped on my plate of life since he was born I might have had the good sense to find him somewhere else (anywhere else) to go, but I liked him enough to think he deserved a show home, and then wasn't able to focus on that for a long time, and now I'm not certain I'd be able to give him up, he's become such a fixture. 

The last puppy born to Lark was a beautiful dark red male with white in all the right places. Unfortunately, the puppy before him didn't make it, and he seemed in danger of following suit. From the start, he was rather flaccid and not very engaged in nursing. I spent a lot of time in the first few days of his life rubbing him and making sure he had good access to Lark. Because Lark's 2014 litter was named after tomatoes, the last puppy was known as Mr. Stripey, a type of heirloom tomato (I swear!), christened with that particular moniker due to the lovely white stripe gracing his head. The others were Roma, Cherry, Big Boy and Sun Gold. Within a week or two, he had plumped up to match the other pups and was a very contented puppy. That's him in the middle, on his back in the whelping pool. 

I think he was over 6 months old before I registered him as Zephyr's Lively Baco Noir with a call name of Baco though he is still called Mr. Stripey, or Stripe and answers to that as well. Baco Noir is a type of grape found in the Finger Lakes, NY area but also in Ontario, where Baco's sire resides. 

Starting in the fall of 2014, I managed to get both him and Koan through puppy and basic obedience classes, and then through my agility club's Level 1 program.

Baco's coming up on 20 months old this week, and doing well in agility though his debut in the ring a few weeks ago left a lot to be desired! He also picked up his first major in January at a local show. I must admit it's been a bit strange to have a male Toller in the house. I've always kept bitches before. He's eager to please and engage but goes about things a bit differently than the girls do. I fondly refer to as my blockhead. So far I'm enjoying the journey with him.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Snow Falling on Tollers

Sounds like the title of a haiku. Here are some pictures that didn't make the holiday card this year...