Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Mischief: No Corgis!

I have to confess to having blogger's block or missing mojo or some such mischief. When it comes to dog pictures right now, "everywhere I went it seems I'd been there before" (to steal a line from a James Taylor song). I carry my camera as always, but I don't seem to be finding shots that interest me. Of course it doesn't help to do dog-free events on the weekends either. 'Tis the season of the county fairs right now and sadly they are not welcoming to dogs. I totally understand why, but, oh so many missed photo-ops! Let me share some sights from the past weekend.....

Classic American pastimes......

As you can see, I was facing into the sunset. The monster trucks were kicking up a huge amount of dust, and I noticed this scene playing out in the background....Dad trying to catch his fleeing little boy.....Snag!

And what is a county fair with out all of the midway entertainment?

And of course the animals....This next guy looked best in black and white.....It's a wonder he can even raise his head from the ground!

I'll leave it here since I am so far off-topic. No worries though, there is already a Wordless Wednesday post in the queue!


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Weekend Report: Deja Vu!

I was thinking of titling this post "Three Out of Four Ain't Bad".....again, because we just had a repeat of our last agility weekend. We were successful in three out of our four runs with two 1st places, and a 2nd place. This time the trial was given by the Hyattsville Dog Training Club. It was a one ring trial so the days were a bit long, but that just means extra time for socializing and no worries about ring conflicts when running or volunteering to help out.

Saturday started with Jumpers. There were a few tricky spots but mostly straightforward......

Then Standard.....Jimmy and I lost our connection (as in my butt was probably blocking his view of where to go next!) as he left the table. I think the judge was very generous in not calling a refusal going to the next jump.......

Sunday started with Standard and this was the run we disqualified in. For some reason Jimmy skipped a jump that should have been pretty obvious. I think the tunnel entrance to the chute must have been calling his name! The ending didn't work out quite right either, but once you are disqualified, what are a few more mistakes?

 Probably our nicest run of the weekend didn't make it onto video. The  trial was running Tall down to Small and Jimmy was almost the last 8 inch dog. My videographer (Thank you, Sandy!) , who runs 16 inch dogs, was already finished and was packing to leave.

A couple of things of note for the weekend...Jimmy's yards per second were pretty impressive in his Jumpers runs....4.57 and 4.74. He was moving! And did you notice something missing in the videos? This was the first trial where I have run without wearing my knee brace! YAY! It felt great! Now I just need to smooth out my stride a bit and all will be good!

Finally, here are the maps for anyone who wants to try these courses at home....



Tracking Jimmy's PACH progress:
Very 1st Double-Q: Saturday 06/21/2014
Masters JWW legs: 5
Masters STD legs: 6
Double Q's: 4
PACH Points: 252

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Give Cancer the Paw: All I Wanted Was for Dylan to Die of Old Age

I am joining Jackie's blog hop on Giving Cancer the Paw . My story is a tribute to my first Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Dylan.

I am not going to re-hash what I wrote in that earlier post. I didn't even mention his cancer in that post. And there is a good reason. He beat it!

Here's his story:

At age 14, Dylan was still a pretty spry old man. He was still going for nice long walks, he was perky and happy. One day, we noticed a raw spot on his lower lip. It sort of looked like his upper canine tooth was rubbing that spot into a sore. We kept an eye on it for a while but it wasn't getting better, and, in fact, it looked worse. Despite being the lead in to the busy holiday period, we knew we'd better get him to the vet and have it looked at. They agreed with us it looked odd, but wanted to take a conservative approach, so we treated it with antibiotics and a topical ointment. Ten days later there was no improvement whatsoever so we opted for a biopsy to be done. This is no small decision with a 14 year old dog, but he was in apparent good health, so he had the pre-op blood tests, and then had a small surgery to remove some tissue. The sample was sent off to the lab and we waited. Just five days before Christmas, we got the news. Dylan had cancer, a rare and fortunately slow moving lymphoma. Luckily, the prednisone (a steroid) he had been taking in small doses for his IVDD had probably been helping to retard the cancer. The vet explained our nothing and let cancer take its course (Dylan was, after all, an old dog already), or up his prednisone dosage to try to further slow the cancer and maybe buy some more time, or third, they could refer us to a veterinary oncologist. John and I both felt it was worth at least meeting with the oncologist to hear what they thought.

We met with the vet sometime after Christmas, and she explained to us the protocol she would use to treat Dylan if we so chose to go forward with it. She never tried to talk us into or out of treating him. She listened to our concerns, such as not wanting to put Dylan through chemo hell when obviously he was an old guy with a limited future in the best of circumstances. She explained that often dogs did not suffer the same discomforts that we humans did while going through treatment. He would not lose his fur, nausea would be minimal, and being a dog he could happily live in the moment and not brood on the diagnosis. And of course there were no guarantees. With no treatment he would probably live 6 to 9 months more, with treatment it could possibly buy him a couple of years. Truly, when your dog is 14, what more can you ask for? All I knew was that I wasn't ready for him to leave my life. Damn it!  I wanted my dog to die of old age, not from some nasty disease!

So, we opted to treat him. Luckily for Dylan (and us), his chemo came in pill form. At first he took his pill every week. He would sort of lay low for a day, not much energy, not very hungry. But that was it. The next day he would seem like himself. Little by little the dosage was spread out, once every two weeks, then once a month. He also took other drugs to help his organs withstand the assault that chemo is. By the end of a couple of months, the sore on his lip started to shrink! By the time his 15th birthday rolled around in July, he was determined to be in remission! The sore was GONE! There was no telling how long it would stay away, but at 15 he was cancer free! He was no longer in danger of dying of cancer, he was in danger of dying from being so freaking old!

And that's exactly what happened. Dylan lived almost another two years after finishing his treatment. He missed turning 17 by a mere two weeks! We helped him across the bridge when it was obvious he was ready to go. In the very end, it was his kidneys that gave out. Cancer did not take his life. We had won, even in the heartbreak of losing our old man.

Lots of people thought we were nuts for treating his cancer. Why spend so much money on an old dog? And I can see where that thinking comes from. But for me the answer was simple: LOVE! We both loved that dog like crazy. He had been our faithful friend for so long, he deserved to get all of the years of life due him. Luckily, we had the financial resources to go forward with the treatment. It was expensive. There is no denying that. This was way back around 2000 or 2001, so I can only imagine what the cost would be now. I hope I never have to find out! Jimmy and Wilson are strictly forbidden from getting this awful disease!

A sassy boy right to the very end!

Wilson Went Where Water Once Was on Wordless Wednesday

We need rain!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

100 Countries!

I am well aware that my blog fits in a small niche, one of dog topics and photos, and is even further narrowed down by being about just my Cardigan Welsh Corgis. And when it comes to dog blogs, mine is decidedly not a trend setter! But it makes me happy and that's the point, right? But, nichey or not, it is still fun to think of all the people from around the world that have stopped by to check out my blog, whether by a misleading search engine result or deliberate hit. Well, for the longest time the little Visitors widget at the very bottom of my screen has been sitting at 99 countries having visited my blog. I look at it every couple of days and there it sits....99. Imagine my surprise (and delight) when today hit the nice round number of 100! Yay!

I don't usually dig any deeper than the above little flag summary, but today I figured it was worth looking at some details.....(Click to enlarge the fine print....)

There is even a complete list of all 100 countries but I don't need to post that much detail! The internet sure has made the world a much smaller place! It was a lot of fun reviewing the information. If you want to add this neat little widget to your blog, you can get it here. The basic one like mine is free.

So, for those of you viewing this blog post....
Where in the world are you from?
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