Monday, April 2, 2012

The Prince and the Pea

Ike says, "Always insist on 5 beds layered for the ultimate comfort."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Irie Update

I am very remiss in my blogging!! Here’s the big news, Irie had her elbow x-rayed last Tuesday and nothing has changed! As long as we do not see signs of pain, I am not to worry about it.

The other big and surprising news is my puppy wants to be an obedience dog. It’s crazy, and yes I am serious.

We have been taking a competition obedience foundations class with Katrin. I am taking this class primarily to prep for Rally but with the understanding that we are laying the proper foundation in case we do want to do “real” obedience at a later date.

Two weeks ago we starting working on right finishes and, I kid you not, I lured Irie to do “around” twice and then she started offering it. She thinks “right finishes” and “left about turns” are SOOOOO much fun.

This past weekend we also worked on “moving downs,” “stand,” and “sit-or-down walk around your dog.”

Her brain BOGGLES my mind. The speed in which she acquires new skills is fabulous. I suppose, this is the beauty of starting work with a puppy and of course, she is whip smart.

She is not even 7 months old and she can work for a solid hour and still be ready for more.

Given how much she loves obedience, I need to reconsider how much time and attention I am willing to devote to it.

There are a few agility trials coming up and I am planning on taking her to work on being calm and working in a distracting environment. I am thinking Wrentham Outlets might also be a good place to hit up because there will be kids there and kids make her nuts with excitement and “squeee-ness.” My library is also next to a Little League field, so that’s another option. We have to work on proper child greeting. Irie wants to lick them all over and some kids are afraid. This is a fabulous thing to work through, much easier than the opposite. Ike is afraid of kids and Bug would like to herd them!

I have to say, with all of the personal crap that has been going on in my life recently, having a brilliant puppy to work with is more than a bright spot, it is a blessing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dear Bug!!

Happy birthday to my favorite blue boy, my dog-husband, and fun-times only (aka no serious conversations allowed) guy, BUG!

I will have to figure out a very naughty treat to celebrate the big S-I-X!! And a happy birthday to all his litter mates!

Play Date Wrestling

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Is she blogging as Joanna suggested, or placing an order with Clean Run as another friend suggested? Either way, little Miz Smarty-Pants is up to no good! This girl is certainly a different creature than my boyz!

Long Overdue Irie Update (not training related)

Long story as short as possible, in addition to Bug being lame, Ike losing 20% of his body weight, and me dealing with some very serious personal upheavals, Irie’s left foreleg started showing external rotation aka “turn-out.”

I sent stacked photos of Irie at 5 mo, 1 week to Joanna and she had some helpful supplementing suggestions. I had the chiro adjust her and discovered her accessory carpal joint, above the stop pad, was locked laterally.

I imagined (because I was watching her like a HAWK) she limped on it one day shortly after reaching out to the chiro and Joanna. So, I had the chiro take a second look at it, she then had the PT look at it, who then suggested we make an appointment with the Rehab vet.

The vet ordered x-rays and we discovered that Irie’s left distal radius growth plate is closing prematurely. 

 Prematurely closing growth plate (above)

 Open growth plate (above)

CRAP! What did this mean? The vet said it can be hereditary but it is more likely caused by a small trauma. With dogs that are dwarves, the growth plates are very fragile. This is why many breeders recommend waiting one year before allowing corgis to do stairs or jump off of things. I did try to limit Irie’ jumping off of things and do not allow her to go down stairs, however, she is a wild child and I cannot keep her in a bubble. At some point, some small trauma likely occurred.

The rehab vet said that surgery was a possibility in order to limit the impact on the elbow and consulted with one of her favorite surgeons. He does not do that surgery so she had me make an appointment with another surgeon she thinks highly of, Dr. Knapp at Angell.

I was prepared to be told surgery needed to happen ASAP and was sick to my stomach. I was sick at the idea of putting her through surgery and rehab and sick at the cost, both monetary and in terms of dreams. What would this mean? Did it mean I would not be able to do everything I dreamed of doing with Irie?

The consult was fabulous. The orthopedic vet was calm, knowledgeable and NOT a scaremonger! He is also not over eager to cut just to make something look “nice.” Dr. Knapp said that as long as her elbow looks the same as it does currently, and shows no sign of pain, there is no need to do surgery. If the ulna moves out of place then surgery would be necessary. To not do surgery would cause arthritis in that joint (the elbow), a notoriously difficult joint to rehab and one which carries 30% of the dog’s weight.

The best news was, as long as the angulation of her left foreleg does not change significantly, it will only be an aesthetic issue and she could still do agility and herding.

If the elbow does change and we do need to do an ulnar osteotomy (taking a small piece of bone out of the ulna so that it relieves the pressure and allows the leg to correct and grow straight), after the lengthy healing period and PT, she would be able to do agility and herding.

We will be doing our next set of x-rays next week. Please say a prayer to any gods that you believe in that nothing has changed in her elbow. She is going through a growth spurt, and is ravenous. If change is going to occur, it will occur now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finally, Class! and an Update

We have missed three weeks of class: week 1 K was sick; week 2 I was sick; week 3 Bug had PT.

Last night, even though things are still topsy-turvy in my personal life, Ike and I went to class. When we pulled in and parked, Ike started crying in his crate. I almost didn’t go, so it made me happy he was so excited.

Class itself was a bit weird for me. I felt foggy and initially had a bit of trouble keeping the course clear in my mind. Ike didn’t mind though. He thoroughly enjoyed himself.

We were both EXHAUSTED when we got home.


Bug’s lameness seems to have finally improved. Thank doG! He is NOT appreciative of the restricted activity. There is still a very, very slight hitch and I am continuing to limit his pavement walking. He has acupuncture and PT on Thursday (and hopefully Chiro). I am hopeful the practitioners will feel the difference I am seeing.

Poor Ike. Due to the stress of the past 3 weeks, he has lost 2 pounds. For a 17 pound dog that is 10% of his body weight and it is concerning! I did not schedule a vet appointment. I am 100% convinced that the weight loss is related to the stress in our house; very much like Bug’s lameness is aggravated by the stress in the house. The only one to escape unscathed, KNOCK ON WOOD, is the puppy. She doesn’t realize I am stressed out!

I weighed everyone this morning and Ike is up a pound since the startling 2 pound weight loss. Bug is holding steady at 31, still a little below where I would like him; and I think the puppy is going through a growth spurt as she is ravenous!

Friday, February 17, 2012

3 Weeks on Monday

Monday it will be 3 weeks since Bug came up lame on his right shoulder. He is MUCH better than he was, but he still has a very noticeable hitch in his step. My mind is boggled that this has been going on for 3 weeks!

I am only taking him on short walks and he is not allowed out in the backyard loose. When he feels good he tears around like a maniac and then his shoulder is then MUCH worse. Obvious cause and effect. I do not inhibit his indoor frapping. Maybe I should be stopping him from frapping, but he is not doing a ton. After he is dosed with the remedy the CVH recommended or after seeing the acupuncturist, when he feels good, is when the frapping happens.

He has been seeing the acupuncturist weekly, as well as the Physical Therapist. I have been doing moist heat at home with him. He has been really funny about the moist heat. Sometimes he is very good about it and other times he very clearly asks that I apply the moist heat on his other shoulder or his back versus his right shoulder. It is odd, but the acupuncturist has agreed I should listen to him.

On Tuesday the physical therapist and I could feel something clicking in his scapula, so he definitely needs to see the chiropractor. Unfortunately, she is away this week continuing her education. Darn her for having a life!

Corgis are such stoic beasts. Even though he is lame he will try and play with the puppy and run like a maniac if I do not prevent it. If the Schnauzer were hurt like this he probably would not even come out of his crate! I have always thought Buggie was very honest about pain. He doesn't pretend he is not in pain, but now I realize he doesn't care that he is in pain with a puppy-playmate.

It makes me think about the puppy and when she starts working. I will have to be hyper-alert because she is not a dog that has a ton of consideration for her body. She is what I would call "balls to the wall" in terms of physicality. I need to do some TTouch on her in hopes of making her more thoughtful about her body. I have done a bit of TTouch on her mouth because she loves to bark. When she arrives in a new situation her first response is to bark-bark-bark. Truthfully I am not even sure what it means other than she is SO excited and a bit over stimulated. Within minutes of arrival she starts working her tush off for me.

Hopefully Bug will continue to improve. I am just shocked by what slow going it is.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Too Much for One Post?

When I last posted (before the acu-stoned picture), Bug had just been to PT and was not putting his full weight on his right rear. Everyone was a bit concerned and we made an appointment with the new acupuncturist who also does Reiki.

Over that weekend I got some very bad personal news. By Monday morning Bug was completely lame on his right front, almost non-weight bearing. In the morning I gave him some arnica and he seemed to walk out of it. John went to the house at lunch time and called me to tell me Bug was moving very gingerly. I called Windhover and left work to take Bug to the vet. I was terrified it might be related to his back.

The verdict, Bug over did it over the weekend. Dogs carry 60% of their weight on their front, because his rear was hurting he was carrying even more weight on his front and hurt his shoulder. We went directly from the vet to physical therapy where Bug had moist heat applied, massage, ice, and cold laser.

Thursday he saw the new acupuncturist, and she is AMAZING. Bug LOVES Reiki; LOVES IT. I have never seen the acu-stoned response before, and we did a LOT of acupuncture when he hurt his hip. It's amazing. I actually made an appointment with this woman for myself to do some energy work on me because I feel like my energy is screwed up and it is responsible in part for why Bug is lame. He is incredibly attuned to me and he does not respond well to stress. I feel like the emotional pain he is picking up on is presenting itself physically.

Bug was greatly improved after the acupuncture, Reiki, Chiro, and cold laser, but he was still lame. We did the whole thing again this Thursday (with PT) and I am happy to say he actually looks pretty darn good this morning.

I am skipping Ike's agility class next Tuesday to bring him back to PT. Given how lame he has been I feel two weeks is too long to go without PT. I am not available on Thursday of this week because my best friend is coming up from DC to spend time with me over President's day weekend.

Due to how well Bug is responding to the Reiki I have decided to take a 2 day seminar with the acupuncturist's Reiki Master. Bug is a dog that needs a lot of maintenance for his hips. If I can treat him energetically myself, that would be fabulous boon, and Reiki is also all about self healing. That would be a fabulous boon for ME.

There is also stuff going on with the puppy, but that is another post and I am out of steam!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Bug is seeing a new acupuncturist who does Reiki and acupuncture. He REALLY loves the Reiki. He seriously gets stoned from the combination of treatments. I have never seen anything like it, and this did not happen with his previous acupuncturist.

Carol starts with Reiki and you can literally see Bug's eyes get soft. As the treatment progresses he gets glassy eyed and the acu-stoned effect occurs.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Oh, Buggie Powers

Bug had PT last night. I expected it to be pretty unremarkable, instead my boy was quite ouchie. Gah!

His right hip, which is the one that looks better radiographically, is very tight and sore. He did not want to allow Julie R. to handle it. He is not putting his full weight on his right rear leg, even in the underwater treadmill. He was also out of alignment in the “stair” position. He does not seem to be able to hold this particular adjustment.

Julie immediately commented on the muscle atrophy in his rear that occurred with the odd weight loss after Hush left. I know now is the time to turn more firmly to homeopathy as all tests have come back normal, but he is still not 100%

I am going to schedule an appointment with a different acupuncturist who also does Reiki. This particular acupuncturist is known for being uncannily intuitive. I am very hopeful that she will pick up on something with Bug. Julie recently completed her Level 1 Reiki training and Bug was asking her to perform Reiki on him. He also sent her some healing energy and her hand, which had been bothering her all day, stopped hurting.

With his increased rations he is still only at 31 pounds (should be 32 – 33). Bowel movements are normal and appetite is healthy. Thank goodness he is at least in coat so I do not have people telling me how skinny he is constantly. He is getting a kong with peanut butter and Orijen kibble every day, plus raw, canned food and lots of treats. He is also getting both salmon oil and coconut oil. I am going to stop at Especially for Pets tomorrow. They carry Canine Caviar which has a canned Venison Tripe (good for digestion) and also canned Beaver. The canned Beaver is very calorie dense.

We skipped swimming and only did 15 minutes (vs. 17) in the underwater treadmill (at .5 mph versus 1.4 mph). After the treadmill we iced and used the cold laser on Bug’s hip.

I think it is time to reconsider the Adequan injections. A year ago when Dr. M recommended them Bug was very clear he did not want them. He still does not want them, but I don’t think he knows what he is talking about. They are reasonably priced and I think they are worth a shot. I know other peoples’ dogs that have benefited hugely from them.

Recently there were a few comments online about Cardigans <10 yo not showing clinical signs of HD. I was very frustrated to read those statements given my personal experience with Bug. And yes, I know Bug is just one dog, but I know other Cardigans who also show clinical signs at a younger age. Bug started showing signs at < 5 years old. Personally, I think people tend to not see the signs their dogs are hurting until they hit them over the head (if at all), and I am not talking about just Cardigan people, pet people, or performance people.

I have a blog post about the Amanda Shyne workshops last weekend to write, but I just haven’t had time. Hopefully I will do that this weekend. Ike and I had an awesome time and came away with some really helpful tips. And of course I have puppy posts! I also haven’t been commenting on many blog posts because I haven’t had a time to read many! Hopefully that is something I can catch up on this weekend, too.

If anyone has any tips for Bug I am all ears. I will hopefully have an appointment with both the acupuncturist and the CVH next week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sun Splash

Obedience & Nosework

Not much blogging going on here. We've been busy though!

This weekend Irie had her second Foundation Obedience/Rally class. I am so pleased with her work ethic. She has great focus for any dog, let alone a 4.5 month old puppy. We did some "about turns" in our "choose to heel" and she seems to really understand that game. Her "about turns" were quite nice.

We worked on fronts, and if I do not ruin it, she currently naturally gets into a pretty straight front. Please don't let me ruin it (Ike and Bug are both hopelessly crooked!).

Perch work made a leap forward and she is really understanding moving her rear feet independently of her front feet.

Bug had his second Nosework lesson this weekend. A few years ago my friend Marie and I attended one of the first Nosework workshops on the east coast. She started taking classes and I did not. Since Bug can no longer do herding or agility, and we are not that excited about Rally, we were looking for something to do together. My commute makes it hard to be taking two weeknight classes, so Marie offered to give us some private Nosework lessons on the weekends.

Bug is a natural hunter and is really, really enjoying this game. I LOVE seeing him so excited to play. I thought his lack of excitement about Rally and Obedience was due to my lack of excitement about obedience. However, I now see how focused Irie is about Obedience/Rally and I no longer think that it's me. I think Bug just didn't really care for Obedience/Rally. So, we will focus on Nosework together and possibly tracking. I might still do some Rally with him, but I am certainly not going to plan on focusing in it with him.

I was sick last week, so Ike missed Tuesday night class. This week will focus on him, though. We have class on Tuesday and are attending two Amanda Shyne workshops over the weekend. Saturday is a 4-hour workshop on Jumping Skills and Sunday is a 4-hour workshop on Building Drive. I am a bit nervous about Sunday's workshop. I am not sure it will be a workshop Ike enjoys (he really only plays with toys at home and only with select toys). I wish I could do it with the puppy, although I don't think I will need to do a lot of drive building with her! I am mostly going because it is a topic that interests me and I have had to work really hard with Ike. I know there will be other dogs I have to work as hard with and I'd like more tools in my toolbox.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Foundation Competition Obedience and Rally

Yesterday Irie started a foundation competition obedience and rally class. There are two other dogs in the class and they are both fairly young, too. There is an 8 month old terrier and a 1 year old Berner.

Irie was very vocal when we first got there, but she settled down fairly quickly. The first thing we worked on was heel position against a fence. Have 5 treats in your hand, click and treat your dog in the correct position, heel out of it. Irie is not pressure sensitive at all and did a great job with this.

Next we did some "Choose to Heel" and I was very please with how she did since we were outside in a yard that sees a variety of dogs.

We finished with some perch work. At home I use a dictionary, but I would like something I can bring with me to class and use in different location. Last night I went to target to see if they had any small stools that might work They did not, but they did have yoga bricks! I bought a cork yoga brick and I think this will be the perfect size for Ms. Irie. And, since it is cork it is not slippery!

We both had a good time and I am looking forward to practicing and seeing where this takes us. :)