Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Okay, I know I'm not very good at keeping the blog updated, especially seeing that i haven't posted since July! Quick catchup - went to the trials in Kingston in August. The dogs ran pretty well, all 3 placed at least once. Had some unfortunate luck in the first round at Kingston with both Bill and Zac so only mediocre scores to go along with nice ones in the second round, and no double lift for either of them. We also went to the Fetch Gate Farm trials in NY in July, our first trip to that one. I ran Bill and Zeke there and both ran very well. Bill ended up 3rd in the first round and Zeke came oh-so-close to placing 3rd in the second round. He had a beautiful run but it was during a stretch where no one was getting the shed, including us. We had one quick shot at it but just couldn't get it. It was unfortunate especially since I was trying to get him qualified for the Finals and that one shed cost us that. Funny how often it can come down to one tiny thing like that. Zac wasn't able to run because he was recovering from a neck injury that he suffered in early June - it ended up being a bulging disk in his neck, but was pretty mysterious to pin down. He did run in Kingston and seemed fine there and after.
Since returning from the Canada trip, it seems like I've been just trying to hold the dogs together. Devin has been recovering nicely from his July 1st OCD surgery, and hopefully will be ready to resume his training after the Finals. Zeke injured himself in mid-August training at the farm. It appears to be a bad muscle strain but it's still not healed up, so we're working on figuring out what is going on with him. It doesn't look like he's going to be able to run this fall at all. Bill is nursing an old injury to a rear leg, and as of yesterday Spot is now gimpy on a front toe. In late August, Zac came up weak and wobbly in his rear end suddenly. After trying every diagnostic available (MRI, spinal tap, etc., etc.), we have no concrete answers on what it is/was. It's possible it was an FCE, but we have no way of knowing for sure. He's mostly recovered though still has an odd gait in the rear at a walk, which hopefully will go away with more time. It was horribly scary and i was really afraid i was going to lose him or he'd never walk again. But Zac's just kept going - I swear he'd drag himself around the sheep field with just his front legs rather than give up. I can hardly express my admiration for the heart he's shown during this (and always has shown).
So, other than trying to keep everyone up and on their feet, and doing lots of doggy physical therapy, most of August and September has been about conditioning and training for the upcoming National Finals and the fall trial season. Bill seems pretty fit right now. Zac could be more so, but at least he's going to be able to run i believe. It's still a day-to-day thing with him but he's been doing a good bit of work and ran well at the Longshot Farm trial that we went to this past weekend. I'm tweaking some diet stuff with both competing dogs and just trying to hold everyone together for the big show next week at the Finals. We're heading out on Friday to compete at the Montpelier Fiber Festival trial. It's a small course and should be a nice relaxed kind of weekend. I want the dogs to rest their little bodies up so they're fresh for the Finals, and I think this little course won't be all that taxing on them. It'll be good for sharpening myself up a bit I hope. We'll move over to Belle Grove on Sunday night or Monday morning, and on Monday I get to help set up the course for the trials. I'm lucky enough to be on the Handler's Association trial committee again this year, a job I really enjoy. Bill will run on Wednesday morning, and Zac runs on Friday. I'm really looking forward to the whole week, seeing some great dogs run, visiting with lots of friends from far and wide, and seeing how my guys do on the big course. I feel like I've already won, just having the chance to be there and run my boys!
Here's another wonderful video production by Michelle Dobbs for the Finals --