Sunday, February 22, 2009

No Seminar, Hike, Dirty Dawg Wash

Yesterday I was planning on attending a seminar hosted by the agility club I belong to. Unfortunately my FIL has been in the hospital with a heart related condition since Wednesday night. The doctors feel they will be able to take care of everything, but it is scary.

After a lot of thought I decided that I was too distracted by what is going on to be really present at the seminar. I didn't feel it would be a good learning experience for Carmen or myself, and it wouldn't be fair to the trainer that travelled so far to work with us. It was a disappointing decision to make, but I think my time is better spent with my family at the moment.

The doctors originally tried to do a cardiac catheterization and angioplasty with my FIL. This was not successful as he has a slightly uncommon aneurysm in his heart. The drs need to do some paperwork to receive approval to use a special type of stent. He is only at risk when he exerts himself, so they sent him home yesterday and plan on doing the surgery as soon as the paperwork is approved this week.

With a cardiac catheterization and angioplasty the dye enters through the femoral artery in the groin area. Family pets can be a hazard. If a pet jumps up or onto the person they can loosen the incision and the patient could bleed out in a matter of moments. As a precaution Bug and Ike were not allowed over last night.

Since I felt badly the boys would be stuck alone all night I took them for a quick hike at the Bradley Estate. We were SO lucky - yesterday was beautiful and there wasn't a SOUL there!! Ridiculous! But good for us as it meant I felt comfortable having the boys completely off leash for the walk.

I decided to use this opportunity to practice Bug's recalls which are among the many skills I have neglected. Prior to taking his leash off - when he had already lost his mind to the various scents - I stopped and asked him to come. I highly rewarded with lots of small yummy treats. We did this three times before we reached the turn where I feel comfortable removing leashes. And off they went!

Bug is the best thing we ever did for Ike. Bug loosens Ike up and allows him to just be. It was awesome to watch them roaring ahead of me by more than 200 feet at times. In the past Ike would stay close to me, which is a good thing but is also an aspect of the uncertainty he generally felt. Bug gives him a lot of confidence.

Ike has a stellar recall, in fact he checks in so frequently it is hard to actually have an opportunity to recall him! However this is good for training Bug. I would call "Ike, Bug, COME...." and Ike would come roaring back. Bug definitely thought about ignoring me, but he came every single time and he had a big jackpot with lots of praise and cooing. Ike hopes Bug pretends to NEVER figure out the recall game. Then I would release them to tear off again.

We had a couple of hairy moments (in my mind) with two small ponds that were still iced over that Bug wanted to explore. Fortunately he was super responsive to a quick "uh-uh" and request to move on. I highly rewarded both times.

After the Bradley Estate I took the boys to the Dirty Dawg Wash. Bug hasn't had a bath since early January and with all the grit on the road and his brother peeing on him a bath was definitely needed! (They try to mark the same thing at the same time and invariably someone gets peed on; Ike is taller so it is usually Bug.)

Bug was excellent and I now have a sparkling corga-muffin and two very tired dogs. After all that I did not feel guilty about leaving them home alone while I spent time with my family.

1 comment:

Blue said...

I'm sorry to hear about your FIL. I hope the Drs can get him feeling better soon.

Glad you were able to get the boys out for some doggie fun time.