Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Vashon Sheep Dog Trials: The beginning of a day

Beautiful foggy, rolling hills early in the morning on Vashon Island.  Handler's walking the course, handler's meeting describing the course and answering any questions.  First dog getting ready to go to the post.  There is proof I am here in the PNW.  Champ and I appear in this video :)

Friday, September 26, 2014


I am sure this is how my Border Collies feel about me!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jet on Prednisone

A dog with good taste!

Jet is back from the dead for the second time in about 16 months.  In 2013 he was diagnosed with a kidney mass by x-ray and ultra sound.  Primary tumor neoplasia of dogs are usually highly metastatic with surgery being the only possibility of increasing survival times.

There are a variety of different types of renal cancer.  There is also a rare kidney hemangiosarcoma.  For all of the different types of renal cancer, survival times didn't differ significantly by diagnoses.  Average survival time was 16 months for carcinomas, 9 months for sarcomas and 6 months for nephroblastomas.  Looking at this study, Jet is doing relatively well as far as survival time.

We don't know exactly what type of renal tumor he has, but we do know that he bled into his peritoneum this time.  Some steroids and a watchful eye and diligent care brought him back to life. 

At the moment i have him only on 2 1/2 mg. of Prednisone a day.  At least this is keeping him hungry and thirsty.  He lost 4 lbs. in 2 weeks.  That's a huge loss.   I am now trying to feed him three small meals throughout the day.  Sometimes he will eat them all, sometimes not.

I'm not a huge herbal pusher, but I really have nothing to lose.  I know that the next big bleed will probably kill him.  A distant friend of mine has a Golden with a hemangiosarcoma that they are treating her with a Chinese herb.  It was recommended by two of the Vet oncologists.  I am going to give it a try with Jet.  I will put the link here.  It's an interesting read.

Sorry, I don't know how to make that a link with my iMac :0(  

                                            Yunnan Baiyao Capsules

You can google it.  I will be doing some traveling this month meaning Jet will have to come with me.  I hope I can keep him comfortable.  I carry an ER doggy kit with me.  My Vet in Sequim is now on the same page with me.  That was a huge issue at first.  Now I can relax a bit more and enjoy our time together.  If he goes down quickly at home, my Vet will come to the house.  Since we aren't sure exactly what we are dealing with other than I'm pretty darn sure it is cancer with mets, we will take it one day at a time.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Setting Goals

I'm setting goals for Champ and myself.  I would really like to get to the finals, if not next year, the year after that.  Champ will be three years old the end of this year.  Anyway, I'm going to do my very best to try to make it happen.  I have qualified nursery dogs in the past and this year I had at least 6 qualifying scores on Champ at some big trials.  But, it just wasn't in the stars for us.

I was blessed when I moved here to have have a five acre farm to work my dogs at Patricia Pedersen's home.  It is the same distance I used to drive to Task Farms in Leona Valley, Ca.  It takes me about 15 min.  She has 18 sheep of every variety.  Plus, her place is like working on a golf course because she has irrigation.

I am in no way ready to consider getting sheep for our place here in Happy Valley.  I have had enough on my plate with getting the house finished, the forest behind the house excavated, Champ with Lepto, and Jet on the way out.  It seems it has been one calamity after another since I have arrived. It always makes me laugh when someone asks me, "When are you getting livestock?"

But, do I love it here in Sequim?  You bet I do.  We never had a temperature hit 90 degrees all summer here in Sequim.  I think we had two days at 87 degrees.  I'll wait until Spring to tell you what I thought of the winter :0)

I have joined the Washington Stockdog Club and the Oregon Stockdog club.  The Washington website is the best sheepdog website I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.  Every thing you could possibly want is on that web site!

I have been working Champ 2-3 times a week over at Patricia's.  He is coming along fairly well.  He's a team player that would work ALL day if given the chance.  There is NO quit in the dog.  I am now broadening our horizons by looking for someone to give me lessons with him.  Plus, I'm looking for other places to get him to for experience.  We need different fields, different sheep.

I was pleased how he performed at Lacamas, Vashon, and Fidos.  But, we can do better :0)  I just need another pair of eyes to give me a bit of direction with Champ.  I think he will be able to move up to open this year.  That's not really pushing him, because he really enjoys shedding.  Outruns are no particular problem for him.  We just need work on pace and driving.  Most of our problems I'm sure stem from me.

I have been working with him on shedding a large flock, a couple of sheep (then have him walk them off) a couple of more sheep (and, I might run them off while leaving him to watch the bigger group) and a couple of more until we get down to one or two sheep left.  He still needs a bit more finesse and a harder hold when challenged, but I am very pleased he enjoys shedding so much.  We are getting a little system down.

The other thing I like about Champ is that I TRUST him.  He just doesn't do stupid stuff.  (Oh Yoko…did you hear that?)  Yoko keeps me humble.  Champ can go nose to nose if he needs to, he can bite a nose if challenged and he has a lovely low heel bite when needed in crowded pens or loading sheep.  I never had to teach him.  It was just natural to him.

Not too many upcoming trials on our plate other than a few one dayers at Fidos, but we are going to the Fire Ridge trial in mid October some 6 1/2 hours away because I was told it was a difficult pro-novice course, plus he will get to run three times.  The more difficult, the better I like it :0)

So, I will see if I can line up some lessons and keep my eyes looking forward. Enjoying life to the fullest.  Might as well.  You never know when your time is up!