Archive for the ‘Nina’ Category

Cover Girl Nina!

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Look who’s the cover girl on the AKC Dog Agility Community Facebook page today!

Clarion Canine Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

Zhora still off due to needing several sports bras. I cost Nina a double Q today but she is SO HAPPY to be back running. We got a Jumpers Q. Always love judge Candy Nettles! Thanks to Zap as always for videoing!

Jumpers (first place, 18 points):

Standard (NQ, nice run):

Tamarack Lake AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

Nina and I have been off since the end of September (basically she got her MACH on a Saturday, another double Q on that Sunday, and then we were off for puppies). But since we’re going to the Invitational in December, which is getting extremely close, we really need to start getting back into practice. Since the puppies are still nursing a lot, I scratched Zhora, but still ran Nina. I crated out of my car and only took her into the building to warm up and run, to hopefully minimize exposure to other dogs as much as possible.

Nina was AMAZING! Over the course of her career, she’s had some periods where she hasn’t had three double Q’s in a YEAR, and she came back after 12 weeks of and DOUBLE Q’D! That’s three IN A ROW, she’s never done that. 10 year old Nina was so excited to be back she couldn’t stop bouncing up and down and barking. When we went to Sue’s on Wednesday just to at least try and remind ourselves how to play agility, she was so happy she zoomed!

This was our first time showing under judge Bob Jeffers, and I hope it won’t be our last. His courses were challenging but very fun, they ran better than they walked, and Nina double Q’d! So NO complaints!

Jumpers With Weaves (Q, third place, 4.9 YPS, 20 points, the top 3 dogs were all within half a second of each other):

Standard (Q, second place, 4.06 YPS, less than 1/10th of a second behind the first place dog):


Day 43 – The Pudgening Begins

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Zhora Day 43

So unlike almost everyone else on the planet, the camera actually SUBTRACTS weight from Zhora. In person she looks quite pregnant and round, her belly is almost touching the floor when she sits, and she is so long and lean I described her to a friend as looking kind of like a snake that swallowed an antelope. But in pictures she manages to look quite svelte still. She weighed 28.2 lbs today (her agility lean weight is 24.5), and the mothering hormones are in full swing since her blood draw for her weekly progesterone check today was the easiest, most laid back blood draw she’s ever had (she is a bit of a beast for blood draws, ask Simone). She is very content these days, happy to go for a walk (we just returned from one, in fact), but also happy to just snooze. She is snoozing a lot.

Her progesterone today was 10.2, still perfectly normal and safe number per the repro vet, so retest in a week unless something changes I don’t like. Fluctuation is normal too she says.

Poor Nina has confirmed pancreatitis (we had an ultrasound with the awesome Dr Linda Homco in Rochester yesterday and she confirmed that Nina’s insides mostly look quite healthy, but her pancreas is unhappy). She had a GI panel sent to Texas A&M last week which came back as consistent with pancreatitis, and she was painful in her upper abdomen so we were quite sure, but best to check there’s not something else brewing (I’d planned to take her to Dr Homco for a screening ultrasound soon anyway, since she turned 10, just to make sure there wasn’t anything I needed to do something about, so this forced my hand).

So she continues on her regimen of low fat food (she loves the Royal Canin one), famotidine (Pepcid) 10 mg twice daily (for indigestion), gabapentin 200mg three times daily (for pain, it’s quite painful, she was squirming when the doc was pressing on it with the ultrasound probe), Galliprant 20 mg once daily (for pain and inflammation) and simethicone as needed for gas (her digestive tract is unhappy). She seems to be feeling better and more herself today, so that’s good. She enjoyed her walk and was demanding treats like usual. We’ve been treating it for two weeks now, and the doc thinks it may have started, then started to heal, then come back, and may have been going on for 4 weeks. Poor Nina! She will get the best care.

Day 35 – Never A Dull Moment

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

So about a week ago, Nina was barfy and off her food. Took her to work and did some bloodwork, on examination she was quite tender in her abdomen near her pancreas. Bloodwork showed pancreatitis. She is considerably better today thanks to medication and a low fat diet. But she’s going for an ultrasound next week just to make sure everything looks OK (I was planning a screening ultrasound anyway, since she is 10 years old). X-rays today looked fine, and her spine is in very good shape for a very active 10 year old long-bodied dog (just one area with some mild degenerative changes, but nothing serious). Whaddaya know? Keeping them lean and fit throughout their lives actually helps! In addition to a prescription low fat diet, she’s on gabapentin (for pain), Galliprant (for inflammation and pain), famotidine (for acid reduction) and Cerenia (for nausea, it also has a mild pain management aspect as a positive “side effect”). She’s also getting Gas-X (simethicone) as needed for gas. Better living through chemistry! She is much more comfortable and seems to be feeling quite good.

And then, just to keep the rollercoaster rolling, we are running progesterone on Zhora weekly because she resorbed the last litter (one cause of resorption can be inadequate progesterone, since progesterone is needed to maintain the pregnancy). This week was our first check. Her progesterone on Tuesday was 9.6. You normally want it over 10, and over 20 or even higher is not unusual (although, some dogs, as I have learned this week from friends who weighed in to help me, do just fine with lower levels, so “normal” can vary). As this is the prime risk period for resorption (they cannot resorb as a general rule once the fetuses’ bones have calcified, which happens around day 45, although they can still lose the pregnancy), I was quite worried.

So I emailed the results to Dr Gray, and Kelly (her technician) called me back and said to recheck in a couple of days. They also said that the gold standard for progesterone testing was IDEXX (we used Antech), but I decided to take the recheck sample to their office, as they run progesterone in-house and they are familiar with their machine (plus, that way I’ve paid them for the consult too, so I don’t feel guilty). Well today’s sample was 11 ng/mL on their machine. So she’s fine per Dr Gray (who kindly commented on the results while she was on vacation), recheck in a week. PHEW!

Just for reference: they can supplement plummeting progesterone with an equine product called Regu-Mate. Regu-Mate is a synthetic progesterone that works the same way as natural in the dog’s body, but it doesn’t show up on blood tests, so you can see where the dog’s natural progesterone would have gone. You don’t normally supplement unless the progesterone drops below 5 ng/mL. Supplementing does mean that there’s a 50/50 chance that the bitch won’t go into natural labor and you may need to C-section her (of course, that can happen anyway!).

So, at this point all is well, she is definitely looking round. She is still not eating well in the morning, but is more a Lady Who Brunches just now.


Sunday, July 30th, 2017

The last time we showed to judge Howard Etzel, we had a no Q weekend. This time Nina earned her MACH, earned QQ #21 (#1 towards MACH2), and had a perfect day today! Her tally for the weekend was two QQ’s (one of which earned her MACH), two Premier Jumpers Q’s, a Time 2 Beat Q and a Master FAST Q. Her best weekend to date.

I was crying so hard when I went to hug the judge I could barely see. This MACH has been a long and amazing and educational journey and there were times I thought that we might not get there, and that would have been fine anyway!

Every single run with Nina is a joy, Q or no Q, and I try very hard to never forget to feel grateful for each and every one, thanking her for the privilege of her effort is part of every run). So very, very proud of this little dog.

At 10 years old she is running faster and smoother than ever, she loves this game more than anything, she is still bouncing with excitement at the start line, and she was a qualifying machine this weekend. This might have been our best qualifying weekend to date!

She is just an amazing dog. And I think HER favorite part of her MACH was that she got another turn to run!

Bert was awesome too! He earned his first NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers) leg, and is really starting to get the hang of the game! He goes home in September and I will really miss him, I look forward to seeing how he progresses!

Nina Friday FAST (Q):

Nina Friday Premier Jumpers (Q):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (MACH part 1):

Nina Saturday Standard (MACH!!!):

Bert Saturday Standard (NQ, but really coming along nicely!):

Bert Saturday Jumpers (first Jumpers Q!):

Nina Sunday Premier Jumpers (Q):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #21):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, bonus scritches at the start):

Nina Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #21!):

2017 Invitational, Here We Come!

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

My girls did it again! They are such amazing dogs and they run their hearts out for me every time, and they LOVE the agility game so, so much!

Zhora qualified in first place again, Nina in fourth. This will be Nina’s fourth year in a row being invited, and Zhora’s third in a row (she’s only been in Masters for three years).

SO proud of my girls! And huge congratulations to my BFF and training/traveling partner Sue Verbocy, who also qualified with her two Vizslas! Orlando here we come! Look out!

Alaskan Malamute Club of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Nina was on 19 1/2 QQ”s today, but I overhandled a tunnel entrance in Standard and cost us the MACH. Oh well, it could be next weekend, it could be next year, but I am so happy to be here with her and running with her. Michele Fletcher’s courses were very technical and challenging but fun, you really felt like you’d accomplished something if you qualified on them! And Bert made his agility debut and did AMAZINGLY well! For a dog with just a few weeks of training (and not daily training either), he was wonderful, brave, focused, willing. What a good boy! He wore Tish’s pink Brilliant K9 harness all weekend and didn’t seem to mind, too!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ because she slipped in the weaves, tried to keep going but had already slipped out. I had no idea how I was going to handle the opening, and then I did a blind cross which was not ANY of the different ways I walked it, worked nicely though!):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ thanks to handler error that sent her to an off course):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 29 points, really tough weave entry and she drove ahead and nailed it!):

Bert Saturday Novice Standard (NQ, but what a great very first run, I was telling him all the way around what a good boy he was and what a great job he was doing, you can see on the table when I tell him how awesome he is and his tail starts wagging faster, what a sweetie):

Bert Saturday Novice Jumpers (NQ, but very nearly a Q! And he’s so focused on getting going at the start that he doesn’t want to sit):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place, 20 points, the first four dogs were within a second of each other, the handling error that caused the near-refusal cost us time, this was a tough course!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ # 54, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (not MACH….you can hear me call to videographer Zap “Did we Q?” at the end, after we destroy the course, the line after the non-wing jump after the aframe ate a number of teams alive, that…wasn’t where we had a problem, I called her even though she was headed to the right end of the tunnel after the dogwalk and earned a refusal):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #54, third place, 29 points):

Clarion Canine Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Our dear friend Sherry Jefferson was the judge this weekend and her courses were awesome. Zhora earned QQ #52 and Nina! Nina earned QQ #19!!! Video camera issues mean I missed some runs :(.We had 19 1/2 today but the deceptively tricky standard course got us (especially since I didn’t handle it the way I’d planned to). Nina was 3/3 in Time 2 Beat AND 3/3 in Jumpers, PLUS she earned another Master FAST Q. Nina’s best qualifying weekend to date! Zhora was awesome but caffeinated! Overall a very, very fun trial. Oddly, I am much more sanguine about sitting on 19 QQ’s than I was on 18. Now I believe that MACH will actually happen. Maybe next trial, maybe next year. It IS Nina after all, and no matter what, it’s amazing to be here with her! I am SO happy with how they are both running, they are both so eager and joyful about playing this game with me, that’s worth 20 MACHs to me.

Nina Friday FAST (76 points):

Zhora Friday Standard (QQ 53, second place to world team Keebler, 4.101 YPS, 32 points):

Nina Friday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (QQ 53, 4th place, 5.085 YPS, 20 points, one of her best runs to date):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, 4.943 YPS, 20 points, LOVE her drive!!!):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points, her happy bouncing around at the start line is the best thing):

Nina Saturday Standard (QQ #19, second place to world team Keebler, 4.17 YPS, 32 points, good good girlie, this course was so fun):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, should have led out further so I could get the front cross in and keep her out of the tunnel!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place thanks to wrong turn, 4.789 YPS, 18 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, third place, 4.805 YPS, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, not-MACH (love my awesome friends all groaning when we NQ), intended to front cross after a-frame, should have…that set her up for the bar down on the awkward rear cross and off course tunnel):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ, fixed the near off-course at a-frame with Nina with a front cross before the table, remembered to cross after a-frame but stupidly did a BLIND cross, showing extension and forward direction, thus sending her towards the OFF COURSE TUNNEL again…also she ran right by the final tunnel because she was in a hurry to get cookies. And I LOVE that you can see her interrupt her regularly scheduled barking on the table when she recognizes Sherry’s voice and turns to look at her):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Our second time at the Sportsplex and much better than last time. Zhora earned QQ # 52 on Saturday, and both girls set career-high points on Oksana Syrkin’s awesome Standard course on Saturday (the dogs could see the running lines perfectly and just ran flat out the whole way). It was hot and sticky and while Zhora managed to be the only 8″ dog to qualify on Mary Mullen’s challenging Sunday Standard course, stupid handler errors cost us in JWW with both dogs.

Nina Friday JWW (Q, first place, 23 points, 5.52 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #52, second place, career-high 37 points, 4.57 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, first place, career-high 39 points, 4.82 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #52, second place, 17 points, a bit distracted still in the JWW ring but getting better):

Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, first place, only 8″ qualifier, 32 points, 4.068 YPS, quite a challenging course!):

Zhora Sunday JWW (NQ, she is very distracted by the crating by the ring and I needed to support the tunnel much more than I did, you can hear Nina barking, the crating is way too close to the ring here for my liking):

Nina Sunday JWW (NQ, nice run, I overhandled and got in her way and caused the bar down, you can hear Zhora barking, I only had 5 dogs between them and she had only just finished running and got chucked in the crate with a cookie and a promise for more when I got done running Nina!)):