Monday, January 25, 2010

Dog Expo

On Saturday our obedience held their second Dog Expo. What a wonderful event for a Saturday in January! There were mini seminars and demos scheduled throughout the day along with breed booths and two parades of breeds. Spectators were admitted for a donation of food for the local shelter, no fee. Vendors had toys, artwork, treats and dog food for sale. Kate and I did a book signing which went well. The club held an extensive raffle to help cover costs.

This gave people a chance to check out obedience, rally, agility, tracking, freestyle and carting/weight pulling. Presenters gave demos and then were available for questions. Most had handouts as well. Seminars covered nutrition, health topics, grooming and massage. One family had driven almost 2 hours to attend and stayed all day. Just a wonderful way to give back to our community!

Flash (Corgi) and Baloo (Aussie) did carting, plus Flash represented Pembroke Welsh Corgis in the breed parade. She and Dani (Terv) did tracking, plus Dani helped with my health talk and represented Belgian Tervurens. Lots of fun!
Deb E

From Hokey:
Man, I do NOT care that it is raining and very grey outside - it is still Chemo Free Monday!!! Deb is not sure what classes we will make this week but I am happy just to get to skip the clinic this morning. She found out about a new supplement from other dog owners who have dogs with the Big C and that should come today. I understand it is liver flavored so that would be great. I will let you know how it tastes. Deb will let you know the medical stuff on it I am sure. It all goes over my head but into my belly!
I am putting in a plug here for the Orbee Company (and no, I don't get a commission). We ALL, as in all the Eldredge dogs, LOVE the Orbee Mint toy. And so far, it has survived all 6 of us chomping on it at various times. Now, that's a real toy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Surviving Mondays

I guess our current goal is to simply survive Chemo Mondays. Hokey is calmer when I bring his breakfast (at least the kibble part) for him to work for after his blood is drawn. So we go into the clinic, he has his blood drawn & then while we wait for the blood count, we do obedience & tricks for his "treats". That does help. Unfortunately his veins are hurting after so many weeks of chemo & it took 3 tries to find a good one this time. Plus the doxorubicin has to be given slowly (over 10 to 20 minutes) to minimise cardiac side effects. He hates being still that long, especially with the catheter in a rear leg. We made it though & just 4 more treatments to go as long as he stays in remission! His full blood panel was perfectly normal once again!

There is a wonderful community sense among dog owners who have dogs with cancer. We all share tips, treatment things that worked, the small successes & the hopefully infrequent losses. It does bring out the best in the human halves!

This did mean Hokey couldn't do classes this week so I took Tia to agility. We have fun together - she is good & not too fast.
Deb E

From Hokey:
This STINKS!!! *I* have to get the needles & then I miss out on class & fun too! At least I could come home & run around in the snow with Queezle while wearing my stunning blue coat. Deb thinks my hair may be growing in a bit - doesn't really make sense with the chemo continuing but I know I am handsome no matter what!
My sister T has a camp up in the Adirondacks & she got to play in LOTS of snow this weekend. Some of our snow melted but I still had enough to chase Queezle through & dig into.
Ooops. Deb said I can do my obedience training here at home - yay!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Smashing Saturday!

Yesterday was a 5 gold star day. Hokey, Dani and I went to Agility League. We had a GREAT time - both dogs did quite well and our team ended up tied for FIRST place! Due to time faults, our final placement was second but a huge leap from our dismal (and distant) last place the last time!

Then Kate called from Hamburg, NY where she is showing Queezle in conformation and they went Best of Breed AND took a Herding Group ONE!!! No Best in Show yet but they are close.

Hokey has had such a great week that it will be hard to take him in for chemo tomorrow - but only 5 more treatments if he stays in remission. Tomorrow is doxirubicin which is hard - a catheter, slow injection over 20 minutes or more with fluids. He will probably have the catheter in a rear leg as his front leg veins are a bit scarred from his earlier treatments. He hates this but we need to stay a course a bit longer.

I also heard from another person facing lymphoma in their dog - this time an 11 yr old Golden. Hopefully she will respond as well as Hokey.

Well, off to put the snazzy blue coat on my buddy and head down for barn chores!

Deb E

From Hokey:

Who, who, who is THE dog?!! Hokey, Hokey!!! I was flying at agility - one little error - Deb was late with her rear cross but I was smoking AND hit all my contacts! And yeah, Queezle got a Group One but that is just for looking good. She probably even got a cheeseburger but I say, let's lay it down and see who does better agility runs.

I heard Deb mentioning chemo on Monday. Darn! She says just 5 more. I can do it - I know I can - but I want it to be over. I want to just go to the clinic to say hi to everyone, get petted and admired and then go home. Oh well. But, right now I am off to see my ducks and sheep!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time flies or humiliation on the run

I think I put off putting up a new blog because I would have to mention the obedience trial last weekend. With distance, the humor is more evident. Kate's Aussie was less than stellar (check out The PawPrint Chronicles). My Terv Dani is a wonderful dog, very talented, very clever. I actually thought that, despite minimal training, we could pull off a respectable showing in the Utility Wildcard class. This is a nonregular class at the highest level of obedience. I figured she would do at least one article & do her go outs as well as glove retrieve & the moving stand. Instead, she decided to be really funny. I will leave it at that. It is amazing that an almost 11 yr old BelgianTervuren can still leap & dance! :)

One of the best parts of the trial was working as a ring steward in the morning for Novice B. I was assigned to cover for someone who was absent with a very nice woman - hi Deb! - who had never done obedience herself or watched it very much. She was enthused & learned very quickly so that was fun, plus it was nice to watch so many friends & get to cheer for them. Too often at obedience trials we are off in our own mental "competition zone" & miss some of the camaraderie.
Deb E

From Hokey:
Well, all *I* can say is, they left the best dog home. I am somewhat selfishly glad there were no cheeseburgers for Dani or Tia. I did get a little popcorn & got to watch a Terminator movie. It is a guy thing :). And, ta da - this is a chemo free week, so *I* get to go to agility class today, plus obedience class tomorrow AND agility league on Saturday as long as all stays well!
I had thrown up my supper once or twice so Deb cut my Essaic Tea for this week in case that was upsetting my stomach. Seems to be the case as I have been fine since.
Whew, gotta go get "in the zone" so I can outshine Queezle at agility class. I just hope Deb is at her best - she does tend to hold me back in my exploits.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dealing with life

OK, time to just suck it up as my kids would say. I had miscalculated and thought this week was a "chemo free" week for Hokey. This fit brilliantly with my hopes to do the local obed trials this weekend, especially when I saw Wild Card Open first thing with Open A afterwards (sort of like a true practice chance!) BUT, it was a chemo week, so I have to go, be supportive of friends and my daughter while wishing desperately that Hokey and I were competing.

In the midst of my internal whining (so, maybe a few external whines but not many), I have to admit that given the choice of having Hokey's company for 3 more years, even 3 more months, or finishing his CDX, the extra company would win hands down. So I laugh at my semi nude dude who smiles, pokes his head into his blue coat himself and bounces on the way down to the barn for chores. Lesson One from your dog - live in the moment - totally, completely :))
Deb E

From Hokey:
Yeah, well, the big problem as *I* see it, is that if you finish a title you get a cheeseburger - at least I think you deserve a cheeseburger for a CDX which is SO much harder than a mere CD like Queezle got. So there goes my chance for a cheeseburger. I can't even go watch as the whole point is to keep me home, warm and safe. I am not really into watching anyway, I prefer to be the big star.
So, my backup plan for the weekend is to get Tom, who is also home, to watch some cool movies with Baloo and I. Maybe Narnia or a Star Wars or Harry Potter marathon. We could have popcorn, maybe some fresh bones, a turkey sandwich or two. Healthy party food of course. And when Baloo leaps off the couch to attack the TV like he always does during Narnia and exciting moments in the other movies, *I* can steal his treats! Sounds like a plan!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Agile Hokey

Saturday was a wonderful day for Hokey and I. Our obedience club holds an "agility league" in the winter. Six weeks of agility - two runs each with one run a game and the other a regular run. Since it had been a chemo free week Hokey got to go. We had a blast! Our team, the "Bar Hoppers" (quite ironic since only 1 of the 5 members drinks at all) came in last but Hokey was the star of our team. Lots of fun!

While we were at agility, Tom's Aussie Baloo managed to get the dog food and dog treats closet open. He had a little feast and apparently was hiding food for "hard times" as he put a couple of bags in the back of his crate! This led to a couple of bouts of diarrhea Saturday night and Sunday but he seems fine now.

Then snow, snow, snow all weekend. Unfortunately with really cold temps and lots of wind. The drift is getting near the top of the fenced yard so dogs won't be able to go out to play alone at all for a while.

Sadly, it is back to the clinic for Hokey today. Vincristine is on the protocol today which is one of the easier treatments in his mind I think.
Deb E

From Hokey:
Man, I was THE DOG on Saturday!!! I flew over jumps, zipped through weaves, dashed through tunnels and hit ALL my contacts!!! Just amazing and quite fast if I do say so myself. Deb needs work on her handling - especially figuring out times as we finished our game in 38 seconds and could have used 12 more seconds to add even more points.
Oh, and all the cute chicks thought I was hot, hot, hot in my blue coat! I don't wear it to run of course though - strip down to my aerodynamic best.
However, no breakfast this am which is not a good sign. I am really starting to hate this chemo stuff but Deb tells me not too many more as long as I stay in remission.