Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One Down & One To Go

Last week it was confirmed that Kona is indeed pregnant with at least 6 puppies sired by the most handsome Boy, who's name really is Boy, or Boy Wonder as he is known.  He got his name as he was the only puppy in the litter & he was sired  by Jett, the famous Flatcoated  Retriever who won Best In Show at Crufts in 2011!  Hows that for an awesome pedigree?
Now we are all crossing everything in hopes that Cava is also pregnant!  Her ultrasound is booked for next week :)  I am so excited I could burst!

Here is Kona with just under 4 weeks to go....oh hey Liz, I stole your pictures :)

The proud dad to be...


The famous Jett, grandpa to the puppies.....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Just Like That, We're done

The last thing I thought I would hear when picking Kort up from the vet clinic was that he had Spondylosis, but that is what I was told.

2 years ago Kort had 2 episodes where he was overcome with some bizarre pain.  I thought he was having a seizure as it happened so fast, one minute he was fine, the next he was screaming in pain.  I took him to a chiropractor who said the vertebrae at the base of his neck were all out, she adjusted him & he hasn't had another of those episodes.  He has had the odd episode of stiffness in his pelvis, he has also had limping on & off  on his front legs as well, most likely due to the Spondylosis. This past Sunday after Scenthurdle practice he was sitting & turned his head & yelped.  I knew that this was something bad so I booked him in to the same chiropractor he had seen 2 yrs ago.  His back twitched in pain when she touched him and the heat coming off it was unreal.  He needed to be adjusted as his spine was out but she knew more was going on then she could see.  She said that I should maybe have xrays done on his spine just to be sure.  

So yesterday I had the xrays done & they showed one bone spur for sure, right behind his shoulder blades.  As soon as I saw it I knew Kort was done jumping in Agility & Obedience.  I am on the fence with Scenthurdle.  He only jumps 6" & it is not the same as jumping up & over & coming down hard on his front.  Many people who have dogs diagnosed with Spondylosis continue on with their dog sports, but I cannot do this to Kort knowing it may cause more harm.  There is no guarantee it will, but really, he has a bone spur, this bone spur could potentially break off as they are brittle, there is absolutely no way I am risking it .  

I am sad, very sad. Kort has been a struggle in many ways, but he has made me more aware then any other dog I have owned, how to be a better handler & to look at my expectations of my dog.  I am sad to see my dream of my first UD dog disappear, & my first Agility Excellent dog,   Kort was going to be that dog, I know this in my heart.  He was the one.  Kort wants to please me more then any collie I have had before him.  Yes I know I will have other dogs with which I can hopefully fulfill my dreams with, but they won't be Kort.  I have never ever wanted to say this out loud, because I really didn't think there was such a thing, & I didn't want to take away from my other collies by what I thought would be choosing one over the other, but I will say it now, Kort IS my heart dog.  He has touched my heart like no other dog before him, there is something different & special between us, a connection.  So it is hard to let all of this go, not because of the titles he will not get, but because of the difficult journey we have had together to get to the point of getting the titles.
We have other things we can do of course, but Obedience is the dog sport I love the most. Scenthurdle is second & Agility is third.  I think Kort likes Scenthurdle the most & Obedience the least lol!

Here is Kort's xray, the circled area is the bone spur, it looks like a nasty claw to me & I hate seeing it :(
You can also see how the vertebrae is narrowing & closing together.  I also think the next 3 vertebrae look as if they have narrowed as well :(

This is a medical description of Spondylosis.....

Spondylosis is a chronic condition in which bone spurs form on the spine due to progressive disk degeneration.  As the bone spurs grow, they form bridges from one vertebrae to the other.  Trauma can snap the bridges of bone fusing the vertebrae causing pinched nerves.
Most Spondylosis is found in later years, it is usually a result of hereditary factors, or due to repeated stress from certain activities on the dogs joints.  
The disease gets worse as the dog gets older.  There is no cure.

For now my plan is to keep his spine in alignment by going to a chiropractor with him, & to have regular acupuncture done to help with any pain.  
I know Kort will have a long life and I am thankful I found out before it became worse & he had more pain.

Friday, July 19, 2013


This month has been crazy busy!  Every weekend I have had some sort of function to attend.  If we are not at a trial we are at a demo, or a practice for something !  I would really like to have one entire weekend with nothing at all to do, just to hang out around the house with Brad & the dogs.

Speaking of Brad, he got a job :)  It will be a fresh start for him, both of us really.  He is very excited about it & he starts on Monday!

Tomorrow we are heading to Waterton to spend the day together, we will be leaving the dogs at home this time as it is going to be super hot.  We want to go up to Red Rock canyon & walk around as well.  The last time we were there was Canada Day & the crowds were awful!  We are hoping it might not be as bad this time , we'll see. It will be nice & relaxing anyway & I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Couple More

Just a couple more pictures of Kort from last weekend, because I am so very proud of him ♥

Friday, July 12, 2013

3 Years

Mom visits Dad in the Nursing home, the love of his life ♥

Today marks 3 years since my dad passed away, at 10:45 pm he took his final breath while I held him & told him it was ok, mom had gone home just 45 minutes before, but she had said her goodbyes, many times :(
I don't think about it until this Anniversary, it's too painful, and then only on this day do I allow myself to feel the pain, to remember his last day on earth, to grieve.
I miss you Dad ♥

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


You all know probably by now how well Kort did on the weekend so I will not bore you with details :)
Instead you can watch tragically long videos of us !!! .........

But first , here is a picture of Kort at our tent.  When I wasn't running him I was volunteering, Kort hates when I leave him, he really really is a mommas boy.  I thought that if he was allowed to just sit free in the tent rather then his expen he would be happier.  I was pole setting in the ring when Amanda calls out to me to look at my tent, this is what I saw! ...apparently he had been just laying there watching me, hahaha!
My friend Vicky took this picture & sent it to me :)

Must watch my momma ! ♥
Now for the videos!......

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mirror Mirror

I was excited to write about Kort's Agility weekend but changed my mind & decided to do this post today.  The wonderful thing about a personal blog is you get to give your opinion without anyone telling you not to :)

Some of these things I was thinking about on Saturday, but on Sunday it bothered me even more so hence the post .

I had Kim video Kort in his 2nd Excellent Jumpers run on Sunday.  She came up to me after to tell me I would hear comments in the background from people watching so just to be aware.  I listened to the video, it really was nothing too bad, they actually commented on what a nice dog Kort was & how wonderful he was in Scenthurdle.  There was one comment in there about how I should have done a front cross at one of the jumps instead of the way I  chose to handle it.  See, nothing too bad.

What I take issue with is the fact that they felt they  needed to comment at all.  They know nothing about me or Kort,  they know nothing about the fact that I pulled myself out of agility for almost a year as I was too hard on my dog.  They don't know that I struggle with confidence in my handling & beat myself up about it more then anyone knows.  They don't know that this was my first time ever in the Excellent ring , or that I suffer from Fibromyalgia which makes me unable to remember things sometimes, never mind an Excellent Jumpers course, which by the way was so very hard for me .  They don't know we struggle financially at times & can't afford to take every class which would  help make us a better team.

The other issue I had this weekend when overhearing general conversations, was that alot of people feel CKC Agility is a walk in the park,  It is so easy you will Q every time, all straight lines, not challenging at all like AAC Agility.  I myself have thought this aloud a time or two but have changed my mind. I saw many AAC Agility exhibitors that are in the Masters level in AAC, NQ , even at the Novice level, but does it really matter?  For some people such as myself, Qing alone is a HUGE deal, or sometimes even not Qing is a huge deal.  For instance Kort & I NQ'd our first Excellent Standard run, but wow was I happy!!! Omg it felt good to be in the ring running with Kort, man we have come a long way!  When in the ring a fellow exhibitor came up to me while walking the course & said,  "Welcome to Excellent! "  & then helped me walk the course :)
It doesn't matter what organization I am competing in, the fact that my dog listened to me, followed my direction & managed to Q in spite of my sometimes poor handling, or bad timing, is a very big deal to "me".

Also, do you remember when you were a Novice?  How did you feel when you made mistakes with people/peers watching you?  Sometimes you might advance faster then your original core group & move up while members of your original group may be still struggling at the Novice level.

For example there is one girl who started with her dog the same year Kort & I started,  She is still in the Novice level.  Do people watching know she just had a baby 6 months ago so she can't train as much anymore?  Do they know how hard she tries & struggles with that dog?  Do they know that her dog finally laid down on the table this weekend, something she has not been able to get him to do for 3 yrs in competition?  For her, this alone was huge...did you tell her congratulations?,  or did you just not say anything because you have moved up the ranks & why bother?  This particular girl is always positive, is always smiling & is always there cheering on people.
This is just an example of  something from this weekend, but similar situations go on at every trial.

On Sunday Kort came close to getting his first Excellent Jumpers Q, the weaves were the 2nd to last obstacle, he got his entry but then missed the next pole & then missed the 11th pole.  If the weaves were at the beginning he probably would have got them, but they were at the end & he was tired, he just couldn't do it.  I was disappointed, I made sure to give Kort big big hugs & praise before leaving the ring, actually when he finished his weaves in the ring I said a big "yes ! " to him even though he did them wrong, I saw him glance sideways at me, he knew he had not done them right, he was disappointed he didn't do them for me,  I know this because I know my dog.  After in the tent I talked with Brad, we talked about how I remembered the course! & how really awesome Kort did in the ring.  I worked on getting the disappointment out of my mind, positive energy only!! I struggle so bad with that!! Then Amanda & Sarah came up to the tent to tell me how awesome Kort had done.  My instructors since Kort was a puppy were proud of us.  They have seen our struggles, they know how hard it is for me.  Just that praise alone made my day & helped to ease the disappointment.

My point is, next time you go to a trial, take a look in the mirror so to speak at yourself, make sure you are not in your own little world of self importance, or feeling you are better then everyone because your handling is better & you are a better handler.  Maybe seek out those that are truly struggling & tell them good job, well done, as they leave the ring, it may just make their day.