Thursday, January 30, 2014

2 Months Post Accidient

Yesterday I saw my Dr to discuss what the orthopedic surgeon had to say.

I found out some things that I was not previously made aware of.  For one, it could be 6 months for my fracture to heal, not 6 weeks like I had been told.  Here I was thinking that either I was a big fat baby, or something was very wrong.  I was also told to not use anti inflammatories such as Advil or Motrin as they can inhibit the growth of bone.  Interesting, perhaps I should have been told this , lets say, 2 months ago????

The orthopedic surgeon also looked at my xrays & said my fracture is healing, there is some deformity there, but as long as it heals that is no biggy.  The problem will arrive if the deformity causes me to continue having pain, or if it is actually the deformity that is causing the pain to begin with.  They won't do another CT scan, which would tell them for sure,  for 6 months from the date of the accident, so that would be May 20th.  If I am in pain still at the end of May I will get a CT scan.  I am hoping I will not be in pain still, if I am that is another big can of worms.  He mentioned opening up the thoracic region to repair the deformity, ewwwww!!! No thank you!

I can do most day to day things now which is a relief.  I feel pressure/pain when I do anything like try to open a stuck pickle jar lol! Anything that pulls at my chest.  I take my time doing things like making beds or vacuuming, everything just slow & easy & I'm ok. Walking the dogs is a bit scary still, Lync is a puller but he is making great progress in learning not to.  I am getting him used to having a halti on so I can walk all 3 boys together.  We are just in the "put it over his nose & head stage", click, then take it off.

Coughing, throat clearing or sneezing continue to the scariest things ever imagined, I panic if I feel the urge to sneeze.  I find grabbing & plugging my nose is the easiest way to stop the sneeze.  The coughing/throat clearing ends up making me sound like a little old man who has smoked one too many cigarettes in his life, I have to do short teeny little coughs to avoid the pain.

I am battling a bit of depression/anxiety though.  I just don't feel myself, everything is a chore, especially if it involves leaving my house.  I don't mean I am sitting in a state of depression, I am actually quite happy right now, more then I've been in awhile.  I think that there has been so much that has gone on in my life in the past couple of years, that I am just done, totally & completely done in mentally, burnt out.  Right now there are no demands on me to do anything and I think it is slowly helping, I'm just not quite there yet.
I don't want to leave the house unless I "want" to leave the house.  Not sure if that even makes sense.  This involves everything from, dog classes to Dr appointments.  I have struggled with this for awhile now, nothing new there, it's hard, I can't make people understand it, make them understand that going out of the house doesn't always help me, sometimes it just makes my anxiety worse.  I do however enjoy leaving the house to travel for dog shows, I'm a seriously messed up gal, ugh
I do of course do all of the above things, I go to my dog class, I go to my Dr appts, but I can't wait to go back home, here is where I am the happiest.  I enjoy the quiet, no tv, no radio, just birds chirping.

So there you have it, the update 2 months since the dreaded accident. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hip Hip Horray!

Three cheers for my sister Joanne who had her last radiation treatment today, now to get through chemo ....

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Solid Foundations

Tate gets his Agility Dog of Canada Title
 Yesterday I signed Lync up for the Performance Fundamentals class with Denise Fenzi.
Denise is an amazing trainer, she believes in all positive training. This particular course is being taught by Deborah Jones however, a great trainer in her own right.  I have so much to learn & I'm eager to work with her methods.  I signed up for the bronze class, I have full access to all the video, questions asked, but I don't have to actually video my homework, nor do I get feedback on what I'm doing , but that is just fine.  I have amazing trainers around me that I can ask questions of if needed.

One of those amazing trainers is my friend Amanda, & last night was Lync's first class with her.   It was fun but man I had forgot how difficult it is to keep a puppy brain engaged for an hour! Lync did awesome however, he only had a few moments of realizing their were puppies scattered about the room that he could have fun with!
Lync will be the 5th dog I have trained in obedience.  I said obedience & not performance because when I trained my first Collie back in 1975 there was no such thing as Agility, Rally, or Nosework, there probably was Scenthurdle but I had no idea what it was.  I took Ben to one puppy obedience class, we needed to bring our choke collar & were taught how to pop them to heel properly, in Open we were showed the correct method of an ear pinch to take the dumbbell, so very sad, I wish I could have a do over with Ben, he was amazing.

With Drake my second Collie, I only did conformation classes, he was my first show dog & that is all I really wanted to do with him.  I did eventually get his Am. & Can. CD, he finished his Am CD when he was 8 years old !

Tate only had conformation classes as a puppy as well.  I never did put a CD on him, my only dog without one, we do however have our Rally Excellent title & I really had to work for his last leg, he was so not an obedience dog lol!

Kort, oh Kort, he was my first dog that I started off in a positive training puppy class.  I remember the first night, he barked & whined,  he still barks & whines.  Kort is my first reactive dog.  He has taught me so much, most importantly the need for a solid foundation, without it you are just asking for trouble later on.

So back to Lync, I can tell he is going to be amazing, it is up to me to follow through with all the necessary training & homework to give him the best foundation I can.  I think we are off to a great start & I am looking forward to our future in the world of performance events.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

AKC Show

Picture take by Liz of Lync competing for Best Baby Puppy In Group
 Slowly getting caught up on everything since last weekend at the AKC Show which was held at the beautiful Spruce Meadows.

Lync was such a good boy, handling the noise & new smells & hundreds of dogs, people, & general madness that goes on at a dog show in stride.
He was a good boy in the ring, behaving so maturely and came home with Best Baby Puppy In Breed.
He had his first hotel stay but stayed with Liz in her room as I was competing in Scenthurdle with Kort until late that night, Liz says he also handled that well too.  What a good puppy he is.

Scenthurdle went very late, we finished at 11:30 pm, it was a long day for Kort as he was also at the dog show all day with me.  He was quite tired near to the end of the racing, he had to run in every single race as we were down one of our teammates.  When we got back to our hotel room at 12:30 am. he jumped on the spare bed & didn't budge until morning, poor guy!
It was worth the trip and Kort came home with his Scenthurdle Masters title!! He even got extra points that will be toward his Masters Bronze title.
The Scenthurdle Masters title requires 500 points!  Well done Kort, well done!

While I had a wonderful time it took alot out of me. Gone are the days when I take 3 dogs along and compete in various events.  I will have to do better planning that way I think.  I'll figure it out though, nothing is going to stop me from doing what I love, I just have to plan things better next time.

Lync in the ring with his handler Pat

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Doggy School

Last night was orientation for Lync's puppy class that starts next Wednesday.
I am super excited to get out with him & start the learning process.  He already has a pretty good understanding of what the clicker means.  He knows quite a few commands, sit, down, stand, come ( not reliable yet ), wait, crawl, sad, & back.
I have been working on the coming to heel position as I am walking, as well as the sitting at heel position.  Basically just rewarding him for being at my left side right now.
We have worked on leave it and I can hold a handful of treats under his nose & he won't touch them.  I have started focus work, so if I am standing up & he is sitting in front of me, he knows to look at my eyes to get the treat.
He works just as well for toys as he does for treats.  He enjoys tugging & has a pretty good "out" command.
Of course all of this is great at home, I will have to work twice as hard in class with the distractions of all the other puppies, but I am looking forward to it.  He is such a fun puppy to work with.
I think we are going to have a great adventure together!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Afternoon Walk

Lync surveying his surroundings

This afternoon I met up with Wendy and her 2 dogs Coulee & Lacy for a walk out at Park Lake.  I brought Kort along & left Tate home as he was sound asleep with Brad.

Wendy takes the most fantastic pictures, she took baby pictures of Kort from the time he was 8 weeks old & on and many of them are still my all time favourites. She just has a knack for capturing the beauty and personality of the dog.

The more I look at the pictures the more I can't believe that Lync is mine.
So many things had to happen in order for it to become a reality.  It is so surreal to me.  I know I keep saying I love him, but it is more then that.  I keep trying to put it into words how it feels to have Lync, a new breed in my house.
He is amazing, he is quiet, gentle, snuggly, funny, crazy, smart, independent, brave, & handsome.  I have never had a dog feel so right so soon, does that make sense?  Lync feels so right for me, he is a perfect fit in every way.  Kort loves him! Tate tolerates him :) I am happier then I've been in a long time.  I wake up in the morning excited for the day. Please don't think that I love Tate and Kort any less, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Lync just feels like that something that had been missing, a new beginning for me, last year was so hard, but I am so looking forward to this one & all the new adventures that I will have.
It is a good feeling.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fun Match

Today I took Lync to a Fun Match for the first time.  He did so well, I am very proud of him !! It was in a building he has never been in, there were lots of dogs & breeds he had never seen, and he took it all in stride.

I showed him in the Puppy Sweepstakes and his breeder Liz took him in for the regular match.  He moves much better with Liz handling him, for one she can move much faster then I can, & two she knows how to set up a Flatcoat to get the best out of them.

I am so happy with him, he has stolen my heart, no doubt about it, I'm in love!  I am excited to have a dog back in the conformation ring, I am happy I don't have to show him too!  I just get to sit back and watch.  I think he will do quite well from what I see right now, and he is only 4 months old!   He reminds me of my first conformation collie, Drake, they just had a presence in the ring you know, it was hard not to look at them.

He was a good boy in his crate as well.  I am so looking forward to next weekend in Calgary.  We have lots of work to do though.  He needs more experience being examined, it is so hard for a Flatcoat to stand still while they are wagging so hard :) 
I need to practice having him show his bite, I'm not worried about that, eventually all dogs are accepting of this. 
We need more experience with dogs running behind us as well .  Show classes are starting up on Jan 21 so Lync & I will be going to those once a week.

Here is a video of today's match if you would like to see it :) ......

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Bit At A Time

Handsome boy after his groom :)

Today I had the windshield replaced on Lucky.  While it was there they installed a new wiper motor, so now I have front wipers, hurray!

I found out my cruise control doesn't work, ugh, just add it to the list , my heat however came on after a half hr of driving & stayed on for about 20 minutes before going cool again.
I made an appointment for  Monday to have the coolant system flushed,  as well as getting the thermostat checked. I have also asked them to check for leaks in the fuel line as it smells quite strongly of gas.
Even with all the crap wrong though,  it still feels fantastic to be out driving in my own vehicle, I was able to do some stuff with Lync, I felt happy & sad at the same time.  Sad because there is so much wrong with this van, it's just sucking away any money we have tried to save. :(
One thing at a time, that's what we are doing, it will get there eventually.   Poor Brad has a bunch of work to do on his own car that he has been putting off while working on mine, he needs his car to work properly as he has an hours commute each way to work.

Tomorrow Lync is in his first Fun Match!! I am so excited!  I had Brad put him up on the grooming table for me & I did his ears , feet & nails, he looks so handsome.  I just can't stop staring at him.  For one I can't believe he is mine! For another he really is a handsome Flatcoat & I can't wait to see how he does in the show ring as he matures.  My main focus for him however is still obedience.  I can't wait to begin doing more.
Next weekend I will be in Calgary overnight.  Liz or Pat will show him there.  I think I will just let them show Lync in the regular shows all the time.  I just can't move fast enough to make him look as good as I know he will look if someone else shows him.  It works out well as I get to videotape :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Round 2

Joanne & Mom, Mother's Day 2013

Joanne started her radiation treatments again yesterday, she will have 15 of them.   Then she will have 6 chemo treatments , shitty :(

Monday, January 6, 2014

Too Much Thinking

My brain hurts from trying to remember everything right now!

If I get my van back today I have an appt. first thing tomorrow morning to have the interior cleaned.  Then I have my xray on my chest at 3:35, then my chiropractor appt at 4.  Then I need to remember to call & bug my Dr to look at my xrays before he goes on holidays, he is ALWAYS on holidays!

Pixel is coming tonight for dog sitting, I have Scenthurdle practice on Thursday, there is a Fun Match on Saturday that I am putting Lync in but I need to groom him before.  I will not bath him though as the following weekend he is in a 'real" dog show in Calgary, entered in the baby puppy class.  This is a relatively new class for puppies 3-6 months.  I also will need to clean Kort up a bit too.

I think I will stay overnight in Calgary, I have Scenthurdle with Kort on Saturday night , & Flatcoats are on at 8:30 the next morning,  so it makes sense.  The problem is I didn't book benching & now I will have 3 dogs in tow & no where to put them.
Hopefully we can snag some benching in the area they have put aside for those who did not pre order.

Tate does not do very well away from home anymore but I will have my own room so he can wander around & not bother anyone.
This will be my first time driving this distance since my accident, so if the weather is at all bad I will not go, I'm not ready yet to travel on anything other then dry roads. 

Once my van is cleaned inside I need to make an appt. to have the windshield replaced. I can't book that appt. until I know I am getting my van back, ugh, see , too much on my mind.

There are so many things that I need for the house, I really really need my wheels, like now! please & thank you!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Brush Brush Brush

Silly Tater dog hamming it up for the camera, photo by Andy Hurly

This afternoon I decided to try and do a bit more grooming on Tate.  It was not an easy task given my painful sternum and the fact that it is very difficult to groom a dirty coat, especially a Rough Collie that has been neutered..  In my experience as a professional dog groomer, clean coat is way easier to groom. 

As you know I skipped Tate's last bath thinking I would wait until Christmas to do it.  He is old now & it is hard for him to stand in the tub.  I had my car accident on Nov 20 and any plans of bathing him went out the window after that.

His undercoat was so thick it was horrible, the poor dog.  I feel so awful for him.  It is packed & thick & very hard to get out now.  Also Tate is so stubborn, worse then ever before.  He does not want to stand still at all, he refuses to lay down if he is not on a grooming table & I can't get him on to a grooming table by myself.  So I just thought I'd work a bit on him in the livingroom, well 1.5 hrs later I was almost in tears!  I made a dent in the brushing but I have so much more to do!  His left side, right at his stomach, was so thick I just cut it all out with scissors, it looks horrible but I couldn't pull out undercoat in that spot without hurting him.  Old dogs are much more sensitive to being brushed. His skin is also in horrible shape!  Very dry, most likely due to the fact that it can't breathe with all that undercoat on it.
I will definitely have to come up with a plan and soon. This has got to be taken care of.

The other problem is that I may have some complications with my sternum.  I saw my Dr on Thursday and he sent me for an xray, long story  but I won't get it until Tues now.  He is wondering if my sternum has not healed properly, that the bones have shifted instead of healing straight, super.

Anyway, fingers crossed I will be able to get more coat out of Tate, I will have to wait a couple of days now, he was tired after today, poor guy.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Van

Today I found out that my "new" van will be ready on Monday!!  Rick still needs to do a bunch of body work on it as there are still a bunch of areas of rust he needs to take care off, plus the van will need to be painted, right now it has a silver hood and the rest is blue. BUT if there are no issues I will have wheels on Monday omg! I can't wait!!!  Rick leaves Monday for the Philippines & won't be back for a month so fingers crossed. 

I will then take it in to get the windshield replaced & the interior cleaned, I can't wait.  I have been thinking & thinking of a name for my new van, it came to me today....

My new van will be called "Lucky", that's what I am, in so many ways .

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!!

 Happy New Year Everyone!

Today started out very cold but warmed up beautifully by noon!  I was sad that Wendy, Amanda & I were not able to do our New Year's Day walk today.  I don't have a vehicle & no one has room for 3 dogs in there's :(

At noon I went out with Kort & Lync for a walk. It was a long walk, about an hour & a half.  We walked down to our local park & all the way around it, stopping for a bit of an off leash run in the middle.
Lync had so many new experiences today and I took full advantage to do some training on his reaction to new noises.  I have learned from experience with Kort that I need to do something right now or it will get worse.  I love the book Control Unleashed, I have learned so much from it & I still use some of the methods with Kort.  I also love the clicker, Lync has some started clicker foundation so he knows that a "click" is always followed by a treat.  If you don't have a clicker a marker word such as "yes" will do the same thing.

The idea is to click when the dog is looking at something he might be worried about, for Lync it is new noises, he folds his ears sideways to his head & his eyes dart around.  Today I had soooo many opportunities to help him. 

 The first one was not even 10 minutes into our walk, a dog behind a fence, bark bark bark bark!  Every time Lync looked at the dog I clicked, he heard the click & looked for his treat, reward.  He looked back at the dog, click, treat, when I could, I moved him further away from the dog.  It has to be his idea to a certain point, pulling him away will not help him deal with his worry.  Within 1 minute he was just staring at me while the dog continually barked in the background.  It sounds crazy, to click for the "undesired" behavior, but what you are actually teaching the dog is , it's ok for you to look/worry but its going to be fine, , nothing bad is going to happen, look, you always get treats when you are worried, how fun!!! Eventually, like with Kort, anytime he encounters a barking dog, or a noise that worries him,he will look to me for treats instead of reacting to the dog, does that make sense? 
Lync saw, people, joggers, kids, skaters, tobogganers, hockey players, other dogs walking, he heard birds  and booms & watched a magpie, it was an awesome awesome day for seeing new things!

When I got back home I put Kort in the house, grabbed Tate, & took Lync & Tate for another walk.  This was just around the block but a good experience for Lync as this time we walked by a busy street & there were many cars whizzing by, & because it is melting there was alot of "swishing" from the cars,  Lync did so well walking with Tate who reacts to absolutely nothing! 
We had to walk by one house though that has a dog that jumps at his window barking, I had to do my click/ reward stuff & Lync bounced back much quicker then our earlier experience.

It takes alot of fore thought when going out for walk with a puppy!  You need pockets full of treats, everything is an opportunity to train, so never go out thinking it will be a quick walk, it never ever is!

I am now relaxing with a glass of Drambuie while all the dogs sleep, it's a good day :)