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fanconi health Important NEWS Oct 2011sinbajé advertising Visit my favorite photos. Enjoy.
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See videos of my guys (puppies included) doing performance events (and other odds and ends)
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"The trouble with letting people know where you stand is that you become a stationary target" -unknown
sinbajé articles of all things basenji
DREW'S Story (©2009) - So impressed with Drew's accomplishments minus one eye, I was once again asked by Jan to write something for the May/June 2009 issue of the Basenji Club of Victoria (Australia) publication.
FOUNDATION Article: Building Blocks (©december2008) - I was asked to write an article on training after Jan Robert (Tamsala basenjis) saw my basenjis in action at the 2008 National Specialty. This was publish in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of the Basenji Club of Victoria (Australia) publication.
HARK A SNARK!: Did historical basenjis really bark? (©june2008) - a 1947 historically recorded account of how one barking basenji silenced London's Trinity Hall.
THINKING: The truth of the matter is (©march2008) - do as I say, or do as I do? That really is the final question here.
THE BREED STANDARD - Another Point Of View (©january2008) - having been a diligent student of the basenji standard for the past 14 years, I continue to wonder just how the standard came to be when it bears little, to no resemblance to the native progenitors of our breed - HELP!
REFLECTION (©march2007) - in recent times native imported stock have really taken a beating by breed "purest" despite their proven track record in the whelping box, the breed arena and the health testing databases. Special thanks to Eunice Ockerman for the professional layout of this article
Breed Standard - Old Gilkey Letters
¤ Scooping the Litterbox ¤
Next litter planned for 2013/14.
Momma to be:
Daddy to be:
Here at sinbajé our focus is quality, never quantity. Read our philosophy here.
2000 / 2006 / 2010
Regarding Fanconi disease of the basenji dog. We now have a direct DNA test. All breeders are encouraged to use this test prior to any breeding. Every basenji personally owned by sinbajé basenji will be tested whether they are a beloved pet or future breeding prospect; please refer to their individual pages for links to all health results!
Please note: sinbajé basenjis will ONLY refer to those ethical BCOA member breeders who are actively using this tool to safely eradicate this disease from the gene pool.
Click here to see how a line "avoided" the tri color gene for close to 20 years. This is a visual model to show how, and why, fanconi is a simple recessive and how/why it could be avoided in a tightly line/in bred pedigree while still being within the pedigree.
There is no legitimate reason in today's world, with today's knowledge and advancements in science that ANY fanconi basenji should ever be created again. Please support those ethical breeders who properly test for known genetic problems within our breed; fanconi, PRA and hip dysplasia. Don't just take their word for it - visit web sites such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and LOOK for dogs bearing the kennel name of the breeder you are researching;see for yourself if they are truly testing their breeding stock or sending you a sales pitch. Sadly there are many "reputable" breeders out there that say they are testing, but have nothing to show for it or have expired results! Do your research or caveat emptor!
So what's the big deal about Fanconi Syndrome? Learn what the AKC Canine Health Foundation has to say about the disease and the recent DNA test or read this valuable flyer, courtesy of sinbajé basenjis. Feel free to print either/or if you know anyone who owns, or is considering, a basenji.
To see a visual of what can occur when clears, carriers and affecteds are bred to each other and how, statistically speaking, the genes could express themselves, click here.
2008 ¤ 2007
2006 ¤ 2005
Feigh and Drew make BASENJI HISTORY! On March 2nd Feigh earned her final double Q to become the breeds first MACH, she sealed it by earning another doube Q that same weekend. Two days later, on March 4th, Drew earned his necessary points to become the breeds first PACH and TRIPLE AKC champion, with points to spare in case my tallies were off. WOW!! Baby Ph'nx is able to get her first title the following weekend, she earned her Novice Preferred Jumpers (NJP) title.
is shaping up to be the year of the Champions. V
has started the year off nicely, finally finishing her AKC breed Champion
in her first show of 2012. She is my third homebred champion and
my first girl champion. Drew only
needs 25 points for his PACH title. Since he is also close to getting his
PAX2 (he needs an additional 20 double qq's) Rand will keep him in the
game long enough to get that title as well. Feigh
is only needing one, yes ONE double q for the breed's first MACH!
We are averaging one qq per month so looks like March is the target month;
we will show in a four day trial early March then a two day trial the following
weekend. I will probably try for a MACH2 on her but will not spend
too much time or travel doing so, taking it slow since all she will need
is more double q's. At some point I want to drop her to preferred and get
her in place to go for a PACH when she gets much older.
Clay and V are still rotating classes, showing
one class a day. Clay is at the half way point towards his master
titles in both Standard and JWW, V is still needing quite a few.
Baby Ph'nx is still getting her feet wet.
She has two NJP legs and one Preferred Fast leg. She needs a lot
more exposure to a variety of show sites and smells.
¤ Dec ¤ Nov ¤ Oct ¤ Sept ¤ Aug ¤
Drew currently has 610 of the necessary 750 points to become the breeds first PACH and first AKC Triple Champion. Rand is getting nervous which is spilling over into their running so I have not let Rand know how much Drew really needs. It will come as a total surprise when he gets it since he will think he is no where close. :O) Drew has one again qualified for AKC Nationals, Feigh is close to qualifying for the second year in a row - she only needs around 90 points. I am not sure we will go, even though it is technically in our neck of the woods (Reno), we'll have to wait and see.
Feigh is currently at over 800 points and 15 double q's - she only needs 5 more for her MACH. I am determined we will have it before the end of March 2012. She and I will be headed to Florida next month. Nancy (Shaman and G.'s mom) will be going with so I expect to have a terrific time! I can not wait for Alyce to get to experience it.
The best news this month is V she finally got her first major, so all she needs is one more. I am determined she will be a Champion by the end of this year. She has been such a good girl in the ring. Could not be happier. Baby P only shows on occasion, I will get more serious with her once V is finished. P has dipped her paws in the agility ring, fast class only for fun and she has done ok. It is obvious she is a very, very green dog but she has so much potential - I just need to take it slow and have tons of fun.
Clay is still a big goof ball. I am only showing him one class at a time. Hope to get his Masters titles eventually but it will be a slow process. As long as he is enjoying it, I say.
My oh my, where has the time gone and oh, the drama! I have been a busy beaver, so busy in fact the idea of updating my web site was just too much to think about! I am the national breed club (the Basenji Club Of America - BCOA) Treasurer, my dad has been dealing with bladder cancer and all the complications that go with it, my mom has been dealing with my dad's cancer and all the complications that go with it, and six out of twelve people quit at work within one month of each other leaving us rather strapped; my hours increased by greater than 60%! Amid all this Rand and I have been diligently trying to reach our goals with Drew, Feigh and V! A truly wild ride!
Thankfully my parents are doing ok, through my Dad still had a number of treatments to go, work is starting to get back to being the best little clinic in town and we are getting closer to our performance goals.
On the agility front: The AKC pushed forward the PACH (Preferred Agility Championship) title to July 2011 (from July 2013). All double qualifiers and points will be grandfathered in, which means Drew only needs (roughly) 200 points to become the breed's first PACH, which of course would also make him the breed's only AKC TRIPLE champion. What a milestone this will be!
Feigh is closing in on being the breed's first MACH (Master Agility Champion). She has 748 (out of 750) needed points and only needs 8 more double qualifiers. It will be a race to see which one becomes the breed's first Agility Champion - be it from the Preferred or the Regular classes. I am truly blessed to have such awesome dogs that will put me in basenji history.
On the conformation front: V is minored out, to mean she only needs two major wins to become Champion V. She came so close up in Flagstaff in June where she went reserve to the 4 point major. The next day her daughter Ph'nx stole the show and the points! While I would never begrudge any of my dogs a major win and am very thankful for P's win, I can not help but be disappointed V missed out. We will actively pursue her majors this fall so she can be spayed next year.
continues to amuse us with his antics in and out of the agility ring.
He did manage to end up #5 Basenji in the AKC Invitational rankings.
Speaking of which - sinbajé basenjis owned and/or bred 4 of the
top 7 dogs with Feigh finishing as #1 for the second year in a row, by
a landslide. She and I will head to Florida in December, with Max
and Alyce (#3 basenji) to compete in the AKC/Eukanuba AKC Invitationals.
We hope Nancy (owner of Shaman and G. can join us). Looking forward
¤ Dec ¤ Nov ¤ Oct ¤ Sept ¤ Aug ¤ Jul ¤ Jun ¤ May ¤ Apr ¤ Mar ¤ Feb ¤ Jan ¤
Saying we have been busy is an understatement. We have been swamped. Almost every weekend we are doing shows, going to CE, attending football games (Rand) or working. Thankfully it has been a productive couple of months.
The big news of course is Drew earning his PAX title - a breed first. This makes him the first and only basenji to get 20 double qualifiers. Drew finished his agility career with Rand at the 2010 AKC Invitational with a perfect clean run! I hope to get the videos of his PAX runs and his Invitational runs up soon.
Feigh ended the 2010 agility season in great form. According to my records she now has 8 double q's (she needs 20) and 506 speed points (she needs 750) in only a year and a half of eligibility. We will really focus on her MACH in 2011 - when she gets it - she will be the breed's first as well. Feigh also finished as Top Basenji at the 2010 Invitational. Out of 97 dogs in our class, she ended up 46th with 385 out of a possible 400 points. Though there are times I could bury my head in shame, she is mostly a blast to run!
V has been pretty inconsistent in the agility ring. Some days she is speedy, other days slow as molasses so I am just trying to focus on her future performance by keeping it light and happy with lots of atta girls and cookies at the end. Hopefully it will pay off long term. In obedience she is doing well. She has two legs towards her CD - scores of 198 and 195. She did NQ on a very hot day when she laid down on the long sit - who could blame her? Her 195 was good enough for 2nd place out of 15 all breed entries. The first place dog (198), a doberman, already had its CD and belongs to multiple OTCH handler Sandra Davis. The 3rd and 4th place dogs were also dobermans. If V's tail had been docked - she might have passed for a doberman too <haha>.
Surprisingly in the breed ring V did well on her last outing. She went BOB for 2 points over the bitch who won winners bitch at the 2010 National specialty, whom also has 3 or 4 major wins under her belt, as well as over other multi-majored basenjis. This win minored her out so now we are on the hunt for majors - assuming I want to spend the time and effort in getting her finished. Will have to see.
Clay has had some near misses in the Excellent agility classes so we are encouraged he will eventually get it together. Now that Drew is retired Rand will be running Clay full-time so I expect them to start becoming more of a team.
Baby P and her brother debuted in the show ring and did not embarrass Katy or I too much. They do need a lot more work and to grow up a bit.
Next up - nothing! At least not until mid January. It's nice to take a break.
We have been busy the past few months. July marked an end and a beginning as the pups left for their new homes. Here is a little ditty I wrote to commemorate their leaving:
Bye bye babies
Sad to see you go
Onward life adventures
A new family in tow
A part of my
Goes with each and everyone
May Sage look down upon you
And be pleased with what I've done
From what I have heard back from Dixie's people (Rosie's owners are not communicating with either me or Katy (the co-breeder)) everything is going well. Denise and Tim took special care to introduce Dixie to many different dogs and basenjis, creating the perfect companion for their dog Seti. Good job guys! Katy is of course enjoying the Ra-man and I, of course adore baby P.
Prior to the pups leaving, Rand and I, and all the crew (including 2 of the pups), went to Cloudcroft NM for some agility. Katy stayed home and took care of Ra and Rosie. In addition to having a blast in JB (the RV) we had a very successful trial. Rand and Drew picked up QQ#16, Feigh and I picked up QQ#5 plus quite a few MACH points. Clay finished a title, as did V.
In August we prepared for our longest trip yet in JB. We were headed to Nationals in Greeley Colorado but first a long weekend in Windsor (Colorado) for a three day agility trial. This meant almost 2 weeks in JB with 5 dogs! Believe it or not we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and JB was an awesome place to set roots and hang out a while. Our Windsor trials were also quite successful. The facility was an indoor soccer arena on fake turf. Being from Arizona where there is no such thing as an indoor show, much less fake grass and well - who knew what would transpire. Despite being in a state known for snow, it was around 92 degrees with much greater humidity than we are used to.
Inspite of the dogs having no exposure to the indoors or to fake grass they did great! Most, if not all errors were human. Rand and Drew garnered QQ#17 - just 3 more to go for the first and only PAX basenji. I think Rand is feeling the pressure cos he and Drew have (sort of) fallen apart. He is crowding Drew and baby-sitting far more then he ever has in the past and therefore causing Drew to balk at things - causing refusals (or non qualifying runs!). I hope he settles down soon.
Feigh was her usual speed demon self and had some great runs and spectacular runs. She earned QQ#6 and a host of MACH points. She also got a lot of compliments on how good and fast she is - being a basenji of course! Clay did not fair too well but he tried hard. V only ran twice and she had a terrifically fast clean course for her OAP title.
Ph'nx enjoyed going inside to meet different folks and their dogs; really enjoyed getting lots of treats for her efforts.
Onwards to Nationals. We arrive a day and a half early which left us time to settle in and stretch our legs before the onslaught of activities. I was Specialty treasurer so I had a bit more responsibility then just showing up and having fun.
First up was ASFA lure coursing. The course was LONG - in excess off 850 yards. This would be hard for a lot of dogs not from the area due to the altitude. Feigh and Drew are both entered in Veterans where there are 4 total entries. Drew - who really did quite well considering he was the oldest Veteran running and not really in prime condition to run such a long course - ended up 4th. I was surprised as he really did run well the second course. Feigh - who continues to exhibit blazing speed - cheated terribly and caught the line once or twice. She ended up tied for 2nd; since I knew she and I had much more to do that week (agility, obedience, rally and the ASE match) we opted to forfeit for 3rd place. Both Drew and Feigh won some terrific pottery pieces depicting basenjis.
The next day we had agility. Prior to the ring being set up both Feigh and V saw a squirrel running around in the general agility area. I had reservations on how well either would do. Thankfully there was snow fencing encircling the ring (a must since roads framed the area as well) in case one or more basenjis decided to "do their own thang!" which they did.
Feigh, Drew and Clay (plus all the other Excellent contenders) were up first in Standard. Drew had a great run but with one R he was out of the game. Somehow I was able to keep Feigh focused and though she scared me early on (thought she was going to take the dog walk for a wrong course) she ended up completing the course perfectly - with 15 seconds to spare. Sadly she was the only excellent dog to qualify the whole day and the only dog to qualify in Standard giving her, her second High In Trial Standard at a national specialty. Every excellent dog baubled the JWW course - though watching videos I am unsure why Drew was called for a refusal. Feigh ended up with 30 MACH points for that one run and 71 MACH points for the week. She's awesome!
V's standard run - if you can call it that - was comical. When we approached the start line I could not get her to focus - her head was turned back like the Exorcist looking to where she last saw the squirrel. I knew this would not be good and I was right - I practically shoved her in the first obstacle (the tunnel) but she was having none of that, she ran past me to the end of the fencing, trying to figure out how she could get out to visit the tree. So what did I do before JWW - I took her over to the tree and let her "be a dog" - she was allowed to satisfy her curiosity and I hoped it would pay off in JWW.
Well it did! She had a perfect run for High In Trial JWW.
Thursday was the African Stock Exhibition where both V and Feigh won their classes (with competition - even Champion competition). Both showed well for Carol (the judge) which is all I can ask. That night was obedience and rally. Feigh would be trying for her second CDX leg (her first being earned at the Dallas specialty). V would be debuting in Novice B. Both would then be in various Rally classes with the finale being the boys in Rally Relay with Katy and Khonsu.
First up was Feigh and Khonsu in Open A. The trial was indoors (again - not something we are able to practice here in Arizona). Khonsu did really well but had a few NQ errors. Feigh too did well and ended up going in to the sits and downs (her bane) with a qualifying score. Thankfully (and I was not too sure she would) she did both her sits and downs perfectly for her second CDX leg and 194 score.
Next was V. There were two absences and she was the last dog. She did an awesome job. I could tell because the judge actually moved on the figure eight to score it - I have found if you have a so so heeling dog the judge will not need to move very much as the errors are blatantly obvious. The other dog ended up getting up on the long down so V had to lay there all alone. I was worried but she stayed with her weight shifted to one side vs. a true sphinx. She qualified as well. The question was - did she do well enough to beat her mom's 194?
Not only did she beat the 194 - she blew past it for my highest ever AKC obedience score - a 198 out of 200. V became sinbaje's 3rd Specialty High In Trial basenji and sinbaje's 2nd homebred basenji to take top honors. Incredible.
Rally was fun. V got first in Exc. B (with Feigh close behind) for her RE title. Feigh then took first in Adv. B for her 5th RAE leg (needs 10). I will have to decide if I will continue to pursue this title; its expensive and I really want to get her CDX then concentrate on her MACH.
The boys did awesome in Relay Rally along with Rand, Katy and I. We were told by the judge she would have given us a perfect 100 had we not done the wrong exercise - so we placed second with a 90. While we put the signs away the judge realized the mistakes was hers - she put the wrong sign out for us to do. In other words we did what the sign told us to do therefore the error was not ours. The judge apologized and asked if we wanted to change the scores. We chose to keep them as they were.
Lastly was the breed ring where V was entered in the American bred class. She showed like a dream but was not Mr. Delaney's cup o'tea. I would much rather lose, knowing my dog gave it her all then lose while she is being a dope. I was very proud of V and all my dogs considering we had been on the road for almost 2 weeks under pretty stressful conditions.
Ph'nx, meanwhile, got lots of opportunity to strut her stuff on the sidelines, acclimating to the many sights and sounds of dog showing. She handled her self well, met a few fun basenji boys to play with, decided she did NOT like Stari, the brindle puppy that was also there getting treats from me and decided to carry a grudge against Stari the rest of the week. She also received a number of compliments which pleased me no end. In some ways I can not wait to get her in the ring, and other times I am in no hurry wanting to fully enjoy her puppy hood.
Next up - a
mini NADAC trial at the end of September. After that - no trials
until Halloween - then trials almost every weekend thereafter.
We have been busy with our 2010 litter therefore we have been homebound this summer. We plan to jump back into the fray mid July when we plan to travel to Cloudcroft NM for a three day agility trial. We will be traveling with 4 adults and 3 eight week old pups (Ra will have already gone to Katy's house) - call me crazy but I thought it would be too good of an opportunity to show and socialize the pups before they leave home at nine weeks. We will be sure to post about our trials (and probable tribulations) once we get back in the swing of things.
17th-18th: V was able to garner her last Open leg for her new OAJ title. We only entered her in JWW since I figured she would be pregnant and kind of lazy - and I was right. Feigh and I typically fell apart, I am hoping for a better day on Sunday. Clay, Rand and I (we share) did not do well today either. Drew on the other hand got QQ#14. If he gets #15 tomorrow then I will have accomplished my goal before the summer break! At this rate he will once again qualify for AKC Agility Nationals - two years in a row!
Sunday dawned overcast but still warm. Drew had two beautiful and qualifying runs for his 15th QQ! Only 5 more to go. Feigh and I almost had a QQ. While the run did not feel that smooth, we were qualifying up to the second to the last obstacle in standard. I did a cross in front - which is NOT how I walked it or planned it and inadvertently sent her into a tunnel. What a heartbreaker! She did a lovely JWW run for 14 more MACH points. Clay was not in his best form today - acting kind of punky so he did not Q in either class. Soon to be momma dog sat out since she finished her OAJ title the day before which was my goal prior to her having a maternity leave.
Next up - nothing by way of trials or shows. We will be on a break until after the Drew/V pups are on the ground.
9th-12th: We have a four day agility trial and breed show in Phoenix. Rand did not get off Friday or Monday so I will be traveling up there alone in JB, setting up and breaking down and running two dogs in Agility while trying to get V to the breed ring. Feigh and I have a rough start to the weekend but end with a bang! No q's on Friday though she had some stellar moments. On Saturday she Q'd in her JWW for 11 MACH points and her MXJ title. Sunday she Q'd in her Standard run AND placed 2nd for 1.5 times the speed points for a total of 30 more MACH points. Monday was by far the best day ever, she double q'd for her 4th, earned 17 points in Standard then got another 2nd in JWW for 27 more points for a total of 44 MACH points, for a grand total of 85 MACH points and 1 QQ! Awesome. Clay garnered two Excellent JWW legs and only missed his standard runs by one obstacle. Drew as always the most consistent earned QQ #12 with me, then QQ#13 with Rand. The other two days he had one clean run and only minor errors that cost him two more QQ's. What a guy. V was able to snag herself a point in the breed ring, then placed 3rd out of a large BBE class twice. We skipped the Monday show.
Due to our minds being elsewhere (on getting V bred), I have lost track of what we did this month in regards to performance events. I do recall that we headed east to Tulsa for AKC Agility Nationals where Drew was the first and only basenji to ever qualify. We peaked early, double q'ing in the team rounds (and helping Arizona finish 10th out of something like 20 teams) then slowly got worse as the weekend progressed. I was proud of Drew though, the tension in the air was thick as the fastest dogs in the country vied for the final runs - too much for my sensitive boy. The highlight of the weekend was getting to spend time with my brother Brian and to celebrate his brithday!
We had some agility trials this month, some successful, others not so much but I can not recall the finer details.
25th: YIKES! Say it ain't so! When I put V on a mat for her sit stay practice outside I noticed a rust colored spot she left behind. She is not swollen, but when I wiped her a little later there was a small amount of a slightly rusty color discharge as well. In hindsight Drew has been checking her and clacking for a couple of weeks - more so than usual (the clacking). Could she be coming in to season - MANY MANY months earlier then planned? Katy and I will need to scramble to get our ducks in a row and get ready - just in case! Yowser. To learn more about V's nuptials, read here.
23rd: Tonight was our NADAC mini weavers trial. Drew and Rand ate up the course and Q'd in both their runs. Clay ran AWESOME for Rand in both runs with only one minor but NQing thing in the second run. I was so proud of them. They will be an agility force once they fully get it together. The first course was too much to ask the girls to do - three tunnels in a row, with a call off into the weaves after the second tunnel - yeah right! Sure enough both girls did the EXACT same thing and ran through all three tunnels, then back through the second one before checking in with me to see what I might want them to do. Too funny!
The second run was much better for both girls and they each earned one leg. Yeah! Next up - R&R this weekend while prepping JB for our 4 day trial early March.
20th: Today we went to Phoenix where Feigh is entered in Open A, V in Rally Excellent A. The forecast was grim - with heavy chances of rain. I hoped it would not rain until after we were done, but I only got half of my wish. V was first up with Excellent Rally and while she did ok on the cold, slightly dewy grass, I know she can do better. She had to be told twice to lay down on the honor so we took some major point hits there. Luckily we managed to walk away with our second leg and a first placement. Yeah! Then the skies opened up and let loose a torrent of rain. Lots of Open dogs (A and B) were falling by the wayside. I had not picked up my armband and ended up going over and telling them I was scratching Feigh. It would not be fair or in her best long term interest to ask her to perform in these conditions. The forecast was for continued showers throughout the evening and into Sunday so we decided to just stay home. Next up - a mini NADAC trial on Tuesday then gearing up for the big four day trial early March. I can not wait to get back into Agility, I just hope Feigh is still in top form. Not sure when we will finish up V's RE title. Soon I hope.
5th-7th: February is obedience/rally month. The girls and I head to Phoenix for two days (of a 4 day show). Feigh is entered in Open A, V in Rally Excellent A and in the breed ring. Entries have become so expensive that I can no longer afford to enter everything I would like, as often as I would like. I was disappointed to find that the club was charging $10 a day for parking. That's outrageous and will probably keep me from entering next year. The good thing is - we got to the show site nice and early the first day and did not have to pay the $10 entrance fee! Yeah.
This would be an indoor trial - not something we are used to in Arizona, much less prctice for. So I made sure I walked the girls around inside and out. Unfortunately when we went inside the building it was not good. I think both totally remembered what happened to Khonsu last year (see February 2009) and wanted nothing to do with the crates so neither would settle in them; the obedience elite were frowning heavily on us - instead of just saying something they kept whispering and pointing. All of this before 7:45; I quickly went with the girls - got the car and pulled it around next to the building - deciding the Fairgrounds could kiss my derriere if they had a problem with it. I left V in the car while I concentrated on Feigh who was still fussy if I left her in the crate (with the elite snickering - as though barking dogs is any better) so Feigh ended up watching the other Open A dogs perform.
Ten out of twelve showed up with the hound group being well represented; two afghans, one Rhodie, one dachshund and a basenji. (In novice there was a Pharoah and another Rhodie plus a Whippet and Dachshund and another basenji in Rally). Can you imagine?
Feigh lost 31/2 points in the heeling. 1/2 point on the flat retrieve, 3 points on the jump retrieve - not sure why so heavy penciled here - she did not hit the boards, she came in crooked and finished crooked but not worth 3 points! and 1/2 point for the broad. She came on the first command (yeah!) for the drop then proceeded to sit on the command. NQ. She then sat stellar-ly for the out of sight sit but the minute I left for the down the judge says she went up and stayed in a sit the whole time. Ugh. Only one dog Q'd (a flat coat) and she only Q'd by the grace of a very nice judge.
I then was told I could not move V to the end of Excellent B 'cuz she has to stay in her A class (of a whopping 3 dogs). So I went to the breed ring figuring I would miss out and will have wasted a $30 entry. But no - I ran back and she was next up however I did not get a chance to walk the course and only got a brief look at the map. So off I went, blindly, starting with what I thought was a serpentine once but then I could not find station 2. The reason being station 1 was serpentine twice. So I sat V at the end of the last cone of the serpentine and went looking for station 2 - found it after about what seemed like 20 minutes - went back to get V and off we went again assuming I took a major point hit for that blunder. V actually did quite well considering. We then went to do the honor where no one told me to leave - I then realized I should have left, gave V the signal for stay and she slightly stood thinking I was asking for the stand (since we had the stand during several stations) - told her to sit - which she did and then she stayed the rest of the time.
Our score ended up being an 88 - found out that I did not get any points off for leaving her while I went hunting for the station but got hit with 10 points for the honor slip up. So technically we only lost 2 points on a course neither of us were ready for. Oh well. I was proud of her and Feigh.
In breed I did not do V any favors - moving her too fast on the down and back. She took 2nd out of 3. On Sunday we left Tucson a little earlier than planned due to rain, got there at 7:30 - still no one available to collect money so we once again beat the parking fee. Whoo hoo!
This time we were in the middle ring - the ring Feigh was in when Khonsu hurt his leg. She started her heeling okay for about 20 steps then refused to go near the back end of the ring - she met up with me with about 1/4 of the pattern left. Ugh! She then decided to not do the figure eight either. She came on the recall, dropped (yeah!) then stared at me when I called her to come again. She did everything else in the exercise portion. (I did not get my score so I do not know where she lost points).
Not everyone showed so it looked like I would make breed BUT they decided to hold the ring for another person in breed. What?! I explained my dilemma - asked the judge if I should just excuse myself. She said to wait it out and see. If I need to go it would be okay. So I am supposed to be at the ring at 10am with 7 beagles before us. We go in for our stays at 9:55am. Feigh sits fine. I go back in for the downs and decide I am going to put her in the settled position if she is slow. She was, so I did and I left the ring - not sure if the judge NQ's me or just hit me with a lot of points. While she did shift to the sphinx position I believe she held her down stay the whole time. I had to run so I do not know for sure but assume yes since I can not imagine her popping up then going back down when her MO is to just sit up and stay up.
Afterwards I race to the car, race to the ring which of course is MILES away but we manage to get there in time. Phew! V showed like a DREAM. She was first in line and she just flew around the ring. I walked her on the down and back and she won the bred-by class. She then lost to a puppy but she took what ended up being a major reserve. I sure was proud of V.
Next up - more obedience in two weeks - outside this time.
January: We started the new year with a BANG! A four day agility trial in Phoenix to help support the Make A Wish Foundation and boy did we haul in the ribbons. It must have been the best weekend ever for us! Feigh ended up with something like 53 MACH points and another QQ (her third in three weekends). Her most points (20!!!) were earned on New's Year Eve where she made a valiant attempt to take over the #1 one spot of the top AKC Basenjis. I had no idea they had such a thing - only finding out when the owner of the #1 one dog was fishing to find out how many points we had and how many shows we had left. Silly me I thought she was genuinely interested in my dog. <lol> Clay showed well for both me AND Rand - surprise! and finished his preferred Open titles. We plan to keep him in the class for a while as neither of us are ready to run him in Excellent. Drew as always did us proud. He and Rand garnered QQ#9 and various other legs towards his MJP2 and MXP2 titles. We should be in good form at the Agility Nationals. V also did well but that last OAJ leg remains elusive. For the next couple of shows I plan to drop her to the preferred classes, finish up those titles before bumping her back up to regular classes and into Excellent. I am just not prepared to run three dogs, sometimes four dogs in Excellent.
Sadly our mid January trial was canceled due to extreme Arizona weather so we are on a month long agility hiatus. Bah humbug.
¤ Dec ¤ Nov ¤ Summer/early fall 2009 ¤ Jul ¤ Jun ¤ May ¤ Apr ¤ Mar ¤ Feb ¤ Jan ¤
December: Our focus this month was to prep for and attend the 2009 AKC Agility Invitational in Long Beach with Feigh. In November I also purchased a used 2000 Jamboree Rallye Class C motorhome. Neither Rand nor I have ever owned a motorhome and I have only spent a small amount of time in one many years ago so this will be a true learning experience for both of us; the Long Beach trip would be our maiden voyage. Yikes! I was asked to write about our Invitational experience for the Basenji Magazine so instead of repeating it all here - just click your mouse here to read all about it. If you would like to see visuals of these runs - visit my youTube page.
November 13-15: We get to stay home and do local shows this weekend. Of course we still have to drive 45 minutes to get to the show but its better than a couple of hours. The highlight of the weekend was Agility. Drew and Rand earn QQ #8. They would have had QQ #9 but Rand got a little to far ahead, worrying about speed when speed was not necessary, pulling Drew around a jump. Rand says he has learned a valuable lesson. I hope he's right.
Feigh started the weekend off much like the old Feigh would - all over the place in the JWW ring. Thankfully the "new and improved" Feigh showed up for the standard run but unfortunately I did the EXACT same thing I did last weekend, pulling her too hard off a tunnel then not giving her any direction before she spins around for a refusal. Argh! But she had an awesome run. Sunday dawned very cold and damp due to frost. The table was saturated and was in full shade. I quickly grabbed some towels to dry the table off in hopes it would help but I had serious doubts. Since the day before was a sit, we all assumed it would be a down this day. The judge however was very nice, and considerate and kept it as a sit. Right before our run, the sun came up and landed right on the table, warming it. Phew. Feigh and I had a clean run, though it felt like we were all over the place. Our time reflected just how convoluted it felt. Our JWW run was much better and Feigh earned her second QQ in as many weekends. Awesome job, Feigh! She is now around 75 MACH points and 2 QQ's in only 9 weekends of trials.
Clay was even worse than usual. He actually stayed more focused then in the past but he started to balk and refuse jumps. All four runs he went around every last jump! Prior to the finish he would head right towards a jump and then purposefully veer around it. At one point I thought he was scared of the funky panels since those seemed to be the major jumps he avoided. Who knows. One minute he was jumping some, the next not. I will drop him back to Open P and see if we can not get him back on track.
V did okay, no Q's but trying hard. We had Rand run her in standard both days - the first day she stayed with him (I was clear across the arena hiding) but they made some mistakes. The second day she started fine but then decided to try and find me. Rand was able to call her back but decided not to finish the course. In JWW she was her old self, running slow and acting concerned. It's possible she is more stressed than I think running with Rand so perhaps she is not quite ready. In breed she took RWB one of the four days but was dumped the rest of the time. She showed well, did not wilt like she has in the past. I was pleased with her. Three of the four judges were quite thorough, the 4th looked rather bored - seems he forgets we PAY to have him look at our dogs, not just point his fingers and yawn. With costs what they are, judging what it has been in recent years, and my interest in agility and obedience once again peaking, its very possible I will no longer pursue this venue. Never say never but that is where my thoughts are at this time.
Summer/early fall 2009: We have had a tremendously busy summer/early fall. We have traveled to California several times, even as far as Northern California for some private obedience instruction with the renown Judie Howard. What fun we had and boy did I learn a lot! I was able to get it on tape too so now I just need to buy some gadgets that will allow me to watch the videos on the computer.
During the past several months we have added some new title notches to our belts. Drew finished both of his preferred Master agility titles in short order and he now has 7 double Q's to his name in only 19 days of trials. Drew only needed 6 QQ's in order to qualify for Nationals (see July 2009 for the announcement of this special achievement!). The qualifying period has not ended yet.
In early September, we took a little detour after our private obedience lessons to try and get Feigh's last 3 points for her GRC (LGRA Gazehound Racing Championship title). The race meet had 16 basenji entries and Feigh ended up (once again) undefeated in all heats, good for 5 more points and her GRC. Sadly an altercation between a seriously aggressive basenji and Drew (then Feigh the next day) has ended my desire to travel to California for any more coursing/racing. The owner does not care how many dogs this bitch ruins and I will no longer support clubs who allow her entry. Read the story submitted to the BCOA Bulletin January 2010 regarding this.
Feigh also ended June 30th as the #7 Agility basenji having only entered the qualifying "B" class in early March. The top 5 get invited to the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational. In order for Feigh to be invited, at least two of the top five needed to decline the invitation. Well 'lo and behold, what do you know, two did; so, as promised to Renee Meriaux, I accepted Feigh's invite for December 12/13th in Long beach, Ca. I told Renee I was only doing this as a favor to her and her basenji Aspen so they would not feel alone. Feigh and I would most likely be the entertainment for the weekend as we do not have it together quite yet. Since my acceptance Feigh and I have been practicing diligently and doing more trialing in NADAC and AKC hoping to not be total laughing stocks. Well it seems to be working. Just recently Feigh had the most amazing agility weekend EVER! It seemed like it took us years to get out of Excellent A, then within 2 months we had 2 Excellent B JWW legs, then a major (MAJOR) drought of nothing. Then this incredible weekend where she Q'd in JWW all three days! Add to that one Standard leg for her first official double Q! She was also smokin' hot on speed putting us over 60 MACH points - an average of 10 seconds under course time per qualifying run. The scary things is - if I had not messed us up she would have had 3 double Q's that weekend. Each error was mine, not hers! Wow!
Throughout it all we have dabbled in some Rally (she now has 4 RAE legs in 4 attempts with multiple placements) as well as some Graduate Novice. I am trying to get her back in a positive frame of mind with Obedience before I go back to Open A.; I am finding Grad. Novice is just the ticket. Sadly I proofed her too well recently on recall anticipation so when I called her, she sat steady as a rock both days so no Q's. <gotta love her!>
Clay has had some problems recently. While he and Rand have perfect practices in Agility, it does not carry over into the real world and he runs awful for Rand. He is not much better for me but I can get his focus back better than Rand so I am officially running him for the moment. Each run he seems to get worse though. I know he likes agility but its like running an ADD kid. The winter sessions of obedience will be starting soon and I want Rand to practice Clay in Rally so they can start coming together as a team. In the meantime I might drop Clay back to Open preferred and see if we can't get him to focus better.
V has been rocking, much like her mom! She earned her Open Agility title recently. For some reason she does not seem to like Open JWW too much so we are struggling there with only 1 Q. She ran with Rand a few times and did amazingly well except when she decided to leave to find me. :O( We need to practice this more. We do not have obedience matches in Arizona so I decided to enter her in Graduate Novice for ring practice. She has made typical green dog mistakes but all in all - she handled the advance exercises quite easily. I was proud. By the time I am ready to put her into Novice - she should be awesome!
June: During June we went to So Cal once for some agility. Drew was able to garner QQ#5. Feigh had a heartbreaker of a JWW run - just one fault away. Clay did okay for his Excellent debut. Thankfully he did manage to finish his Open JWW so now we have three in Excellent with V bringing up the rear in Open.
May 29-31st: Everyone sans the cat heads to Pinetop, Az for some agility. Despite torrential rain, wind and even hail on the last day we did quite well. Rand and Drew ended up 4 for 6 with another double Q. He missed out on two double Q's when Drew baled off the A-frame - something he has done in the past, so something Rand needs to watch out for. Drew now has 4 DQ's (QQ's or 2Q's); he needs six to qualify for AKC Nationals - which would be a first for a basenji. Feigh and I end up 1 for 6 but hey - this is a girl that usually does not qualify most weekends so to get one leg is a good thing. Watching us on videos later shows she is not nearly as bad as she feels. I think we are coming along and once we both get it together she'll be awesome - she might be 13 years by that time but awesome! Clay and Rand continue to struggle 0 for 2, while Clay and I do well 2 for 2 and one title. V and I do okay as well. She debuts in Open JWW and we had weave issues which she is known for. The second day when it was pouring rain we had tunnel issues - namely she saw the tunnel and headed straight for it - smart girl. We did manage to Q in both her Novice standard classes which completes her NA title. I planned to keep her in Novice in the Escondidio trial on Saturday, see how she does then move her to Open the next day. Turns out that she has decided to come into season 4 months early and will not be showing at the Escondido shows in a few weeks. Too bad.
May 14-17th: I head to Dallas for some family fun. I say the word fun lightly 'cuz oftentimes when the whole family gets together - it is not always fun. The last time my immediate family was all in one place was back when ReAnn graduated high school - May 2000 - in Dallas; it's not from a lack of effort on all of our parts, its the lack of effort on my oldest brother that keeps the family get togethers so few and far between. Since Mark would not have to travel further then his figurative backyard, we were able to once again come together for Cori's wedding. At the same time ReAnn graduated from Dental School becoming Dr. ReAnn. Boy does time fly. All things considered we had a great time. I enjoyed spending time with Colleen, Ken, Brian and the "kids" who are not kids any longer.
April 11th: I entered Feigh in one day of obedience locally - to once again see where we are with regards to training. Sadly the weather did not co-operate and about 20 minutes after I picked up my arm band it began to pour! Rainy weather is not something we can really proof in Arizona as it happens so infrequently. To be honest I doubt I would ever train in the rain unless there was no choice. I certainly would never want to show a basenji in the rain but here I was stuck, having picked up her armband. By the time we got into the ring the rain had stopped but the grass was saturated. As you can imagine, and I fully expected, she fell apart so I took what positives I could. Namely she started her figure 8 stronger then she has in the past (she has been known to just sit there!) and made at least one good revolution before she quit. She went looking for her dumbbell and even though I had to double command her, and she searched valiantly until she found it; same for the high jump. She did a nice broad jump, crooked front but a LOVELY finish to end the exercises. I'll take it. As luck would have it - the minute we prepared for the long sits and downs, the rain and wind once again picked up. Oh dear. It's hard enough to keep her in a down stay in normal weather - how the heck am I supposed to get her to lay down fully in this kind of weather.
As we lined up I had to physically place her in a sit three times before she would stay seated. Her front leg was up off the ground which means she is in conflict between two behaviors - listening to me (against her better judgment) or running for cover. As we left the ring I looked back and both front legs were on the ground - no longer in conflict she was holding her ground. Poor thing looked miserable and I did feel bad. Her ears were at half mast, eyes squinty while being pelted with cold rain. By the end of the 3 minutes the rain abated and we returned to all of the dogs still sitting.
Now for the down stay. The past few weeks I have been teaching Feigh and V to "settle" down - this means they are to shift to one of their hips and tuck a front foot. Training this has been going well at home since they have to do it for breakfast and dinner but we have never really tested it except a few times in class. Today would be interesting. Once directed by the judge to down our dogs I proceeded to tell Feigh several times in a quiet voice to settle. She was very slow to do it on the wet grass but after several seconds she settled. We left for 5 minutes. About 2 minutes into the stays the steward said the dog immediately to Feigh's right (a Australian terrier) was sitting and scooting forward. The next minute we were told the dog to Feigh's immediate left (a Canaan) was up and inviting the terrier to play before both dogs decided to exit the ring and find their moms. What was Feigh doing amongst all this chaos? Apparently when the Canaan (a good friend of Feigh's) got up to play, Feigh slowly lifted one elbow about 1/4 inch off the ground then just as slowly went back down and held her stay. The judge did not see it so gave her qualifying stay scores. Those ringside felt that had he seen it - he probably would not have NQ'd us due to the circumstances. All in all I am very proud of Feigh for doing such difficult stays in the absolute worse possible weather, amidst chaos with a dog she knows and plays with on occasion. Good job Feigh.
Next up - a wedding in Dallas. No dog shows/trials until the end of May. Yee haw! A much needed rest.
April 3rd-5th: Off we head to the Phoenix Cardinal Stadium aka University of Phoenix Stadium for three days of Agility and two days of conformation. Originally it was believed all venues would be held indoors but we came to find out that agility and obedience/rally would be outside. The grass was super short but a bit slouchy in places where you know they over water to keep it lush. At the time we did not realize the field was at a slant but by the end of the second day and numerous runs, up hill, it became obvious.
Drew once again was the star pupil of the weekend. Despite his current eye care regime he ended the weekend 5 out of 6 and two Double Q's (DQ's). This is only his 4th weekend running in the Excellent B classes and he has 3 DQ's already. What a guy. He only needs 17 more for his PAX - hahaha.
Feigh was her usual self. She managed, by the grace of the judge only, to garner one JWW leg so she was 1 for 6. We came close a couple of times but more often then not we were way out in left field. On her one qualifying run we started out great, hit the weaves perfectly and then spooked at a noise mid way and stopped. The judge raised her hand for an R but I was able to put Feigh back in the weaves with a hand signal and we finished the course cleanly. The judge then told the scribe to remove the R and she ran over to let me know that because Feigh did not have to back up to go through the weaves, i.e. she did not cross the plane of the next pole, she did not feel it was a refusal. So we Q'd. I have a video of this run which I will post and you can see what I mean. I personally felt the judge was being very kind (both of the judges were so nice and were really wanting folks to Q - especially novice folks - it was nice to see versus those judges who's goal is to make the hardest course with the least amount of Q's). Who am I to complain.
Clay was an enigma this weekend. He and Rand started their first course fast and furious and then Clay shut down and did his air sniffing, "I can't hear you" behavior. Both he and Rand ended up 0 for 4 for the weekend. Clay and I ended up 2 for 2. We will continue to work with him and build his confidence with Rand.
V and I continue to have fun. V is still quite distracted but when she is on, she is on and gives me hope for the future. We had too many faults and/or too much time most runs so we only managed 1 Q out of 6 (Rand ran her once in JWW on the last day and did okay despite never running her in practice). The one Q we had was absolute perfection. It was her JWW run on Saturday. We ran third in line because we had to go into the building for breed. She ran the 40+ second course in something like 28 seconds. Wow! Luckily Rand was able to film us so we have this on tape as well, which I hope to get online soon.
We then ran off to the breed ring where she went WB/BOW for 2 more points. Whoo hoo! That's three wins at two points a win for a total of 6 Champion points. Nice. On Sunday we had a similarly hectic day and only managed a RWB in the breed ring. No complaints here. The bitches she beat all have 4 and 5 point majors so I know we must be doing something right.
March 21st-22nd: Once again we got to stay in town for some Conformation and Graduate Novice obedience. Sadly it was a rather disappointing weekend. V showed well on Saturday, won her class but was dumped in the winners class. On Sunday she was really dragging and deservedly placed 2nd in her class.
On Saturday Feigh was entered in Graduate Novice. She was so awful that I pulled her on Sunday. Did I say how awful she was? If not, rest assured it was the worst performance of her life. :O(
We have started some classes on Wednesday night for both of the girls and after two weeks I already see a huge improvement. I worry about V as there are some very obnoxious, out of control at the end of the leash dogs in our class with some equally inexperienced and/or ignorant owners. V has been lunged at multiple times, which she does not like but has handled it rather well - all things considered.
The Open obedience instructor for Feigh is very good, very positive based, so I am enjoying the class immensely. She is just what we need until we can get to Judie Howard at the beginning of September for our private sessions.
Next up - three days of Agility in Glendale at the Phoenix Cardinal Stadium, along with two days of breed for V - assuming I show. My focus now will be agility, in the fall it will be agility and obedience. Breed will have to take a back seat for now - its just too expensive and the dogs currently winning are not my idea of the breed standard therefore it is discouraging when they continue to win over other, more standard specimens.
March 14-15th: Whoo hoo! We were allowed to stay home and participate in a local AKC agility trial. Saturday was a weird day weather wise; we had sun, heat, wind, rain and clouds. Of course it rained just as V was due to do her down on the table in Standard!
Feigh was doG awful - even more then usual - not listening, acting like the weave poles were not something she has EVER seen. Ugh! I will admit to screwing her up on her last JWW run (where she of course did the weaves perfect - the only time all weekend). One step forward with her must mean 6 months back.
Drew tried hard despite his eye issues. The triple and double were into the sun on the first day and he knocked the triple on JWW and missed weaves on Standard. He ran his little heart out for Rand though. Sunday he Q'd in standard and had a perfect JWW run until the weaves - and missed. :O(
Clay and Rand had a doG awful JWW run. Rand 'gregged' him. I then ran him in Standard and he started to act similarly but I was able to snap him out of it and while we did not Q (time plus a refusal) his attitude was much better. I ran him first on Sunday in Standard (Rand wanted to run him in JWW). We Q'd and he had a good time. He ran better for Rand in JWW but due to an R and time faults (a little voyeurism towards our tent!) no Q. Game plan is for us to share him with me running him on the first run of the day.
V was V, one minute a speeding demon, the next ADD but we had fun! I kept it light and whoo hoo'd her a lot. We did not manage perfect JWW's runs but we did mange two Q's in JWW. On the cold wet day, she got sucked into the chute 3 times - trying to get out of the sprinkles. That was enough for an NQ. She did do her down on the table though - I was pleased. Her weaves are distracted but she managed her A-frame with no problem (all of her contacts actually were quite good - whoo hoo!). Sunday she would have Q'd in Standard but I did not run through the jump like I practiced and she turned mid air and knocked the panel.
Strangely Rand volunteered during this class(!) and had she Q'd, she would have been automatically DQ'd when she ran out of the ring at the end to jump in his lap. Note to Rand: no more volunteering during any class we run in!
All in all though a good weekend. We got some videos but I will need to tweak them and get them online.
March 8th: To Chandler (just me and the girls) for a very disappointing lure coursing day. Firstly I tossed and turned all night due to the girls fussing in their crate in anticipation of traveling. I got up long before the alarm went off, which meant I got to the coursing grounds with more then enough time for the trial, as the JC's took forever. Sadly we were the only basenjis entered. I did not want to run them together - which looking back - was a mistake. I was asked to hunt master, which I did and even had two people compliment me! V only ran the first half and the second half totally ignoring the middle part of the run and somehow got a great score????? Feigh was her usual bad self but not as bad as the second run where she was doG awful! V too was much worse her second course and could not even get a qualifying score which meant neither got an MC leg I am not sure how the point works since Feigh won BOB by default. I then had to run Feigh in BIF for the MC leg but she knocked into the whippet, who then rightly ran through her, so she stopped running and came back into me. Since she did not finish I doubt it counted as an MC leg. Bah humbug. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell me to focus on only a few things at a time (namely training and agility!)
What an awfulish day. Next up - AKC agility practically in our back yard - yeah no travels to Phoenix ('til the end of the month!). UPDATE 3/31/09: Feigh did get 1 point and her BIF run counted towards an MC leg. Phew.
February 28th-March 2nd: To Scottsdale. This weekend was supposed to be three days of agility for all dogs and 3 days of breed for V. That was the plan anyway. Sadly on Thursday, after a week of fighting with myself on whether or not Drew's eye was in fact red plus a quick stop into my own clinic where they were not 100% convinced of a problem, I finally took him into the eye doc and she confirmed my worse fears - his Uveitis is back, and blood work would show his Valley Fever titer rising. Whaaaaaa! Back to the high doses of medication to keep any secondary conditions at bay while his body works to fight off the Valley Fever. It has been implied on several occasions that Drew's loss of one eye is somehow genetic in nature; or contagious. This could not be further from the truth, Valley Fever is caused by a fungal spore found in the soil of the Southwest region of the US. All mammals are susceptible to Valley Fever with dogs being more at risk then say humans due to their close proximity to the ground and their propensity for digging and disrupting the spores within the soil. Contracting Valley Fever has nothing to do with genetics. A good place to learn more can be found at website.
So back to the disappointing news that Drew's remaining eye is now at risk and he is benched for the 3-day trial; $100 bucks down the drain. Ah well. A summary of the weekend would be: V got totally dumped two of the three days in the breed ring She did manage a nice BBX class win, over 5 BBX bitches but no points or even reserve. In agility she managed a paltry Novice Standard leg, with an awful score and yet it was good for 2nd place. She is just too distracted at this time in her life. She came close a few different times but again rain over time while she checked out the photog, the judge etc. To heck with legs - they will come eventually as she is normally so proficient, for now my goal is to keep her relaxed and having fun in the ring.
Clay had one of the worst weekends imaginable. No matter what Rand did to get him focused or motivated, Clay was having no part of it. He was slow, he was insolent, he was just and outright bad dog! Poor Rand, with his most consistent partner sidelined he had some high hopes for Clay, which was quickly snuffed out. Not sure what to do here to get them back on track. In practice they both do terrific. Hmm.
Feigh and I started the weekend quite slowly. She and I have been doing better. We used to have multiple R's and W's, in recent months we have narrowed that down to just a few here and there. One of the days she was not doing too well so I went ahead and "Gregged" her instead of perpetuating her inattentiveness. On Monday Feigh and I clicked and once again earned a DQ (double Q) from the A classes to finish our AX and AXJ titles. Seems we either get no legs or we get DQ's - the hardest legs to get which are worth "nothing" in the A classes. (Her 2nd legs towards her Excellent titles were also DQ's.) Now we get to move to the B classes and can spend the next 7-8 years hanging out vying for master legs and who knows, maybe some "real" DQ's and MACH points.
February 21-22nd: To Phoenix....again and again and again. This weekend was rally and obedience with V, Feigh and Clay. V is in need of 1 Rally Advanced leg, Clay two Advanced legs and Feigh is still searching for her two CDX legs. I just returned from 5 days of CE so no chance to practice and work the furdogs which can be a good thing as they tend to burn out rather easily I figure it is all good practice and just an expensive match like setting.
Feigh was scheduled to do Wild Card Open on Saturday and the real McCoy Open class on Sunday. I was hoping to get a chance to do her out of sight stays the first day, after her last traumatic sits and downs, to see what she would do. Sadly some competitors, despite my waiting 15 minutes for them to finish their "important" class, became unfriendly and refused to wait for me to do Rally with V and Clay; Feigh missed out on the stays. (She did not do her regular exercises very well either so perhaps it was a good thing. On Sunday she once again seemed nervous, especially on heeling an practically froze. It did not help that her daughter was in the next ring doing rally with Katy (brother Khonsu was in the ring on Saturday at the same time as well). Freezing on the heeling means a bug fat NQ. The positive thing; she did the remainder of her exercises perfectly INCLUDING her sits and downs. Matter of fact when I came back from the long down she had actually tucked her front leg back, setting in. Good job Feigh.
V was able to squeak out a 4th place in Advanced A and finish her title. Her Wild Card Novice class on Saturday was so so, not what i want from her though she did get 1st in the class (a token basenji win??). On Sunday I had to rush her to the ring and she proceeded to sniff the whole time so I immediately asked to be excused.
Clay on Saturday did a horrid performance in Rally Advanced B. He absolutely refused to stand and stay - he kept wanting to sit. We took some major hits for that and barely got a leg with a 70 or so. On Sunday though he fully redeemed himself and earned a 97 - good enough for 1st place out of 13 Advanced B entries. Wow. As you can see, some highs and some low, low, lows! I really need to get off my butt and start working these dogs to the potential I know they have. It is getting embarrassing (and expensive) to keep doing as we are.
Next up - three days of Agility and breed in....you guessed it - Phoenix (okay its really Scottsdale but the trip is the same).
February 6-8th: Back to Phoenix this weekend - three times actually since we decided to drive down and back instead of staying over night. Since we would be done fairly early each day there was no point in spending hours either at the hotel or the show grounds and nothing beats your own bed for a good night's sleep. I was on my own Friday, Saturday Katy and I drove together and Sunday Rand and I went up, meeting Katy there.
Friday was just conformation. The bitch major held, another large BBX entry of six. Once again judging was rather discouraging - not the real word I want to use but its best I don't say too much in a public forum. V was pulled into second place but the judge ended up liking the outline better on another and bumped V to third; another placement in a competitive class but no points. :O( Not sure where I want to go with the breed ring, should I pursue my other interests or persevere in conformation? Here is a really good article that sums up my dilemma regarding the breed ring today.
On Saturday, we had conformation and Rally, Advanced A; V's debut in the Advanced classes. Katy is going for RAEs on Nut and Khonsu and only needs one leg for Jane's Rally Novice title (Katy messed up and ultimately NQ'd Jane on Saturday but got back in to her grove Sunday and now Jane has her RN title as well). I had to go to the breed ring first so I was unable to watch Katy with the more advanced classes. V showed her little heart out on Saturday and was aptly rewarded with WB, BOW and Best Bred By Exhibitor for another 2 points - we were so close to major numbers. I am so thankful for our win that I imagine many people thought we had won a major <lol>. Quickly we ran back to the obedience rings and while V's advance run was not very pretty, certainly much lower then what I know she is capable of, we did manage to Q for our first leg.
Sunday dawned wet and cold, a far cry from the 80 degrees earlier in the week. Feigh goes along as she is entered in Open A today. V is once again in Rally Adv. A and the breed ring. This time all the obedience/rally classes are before breed, V first, then Feigh. V does a better job this morning, not as good as I would like but then I messed her up once as well so perhaps we both need to practice <lol>. She does Q for her second RA leg with a 2nd place and a 98 score. Open A was next and it was a very small class (of two) due to folks not coming. Strange since this was an indoor trial so no risk of getting caught in the rain. Feigh does a credible job, going into the long sits/downs with a qualifying score.
She does her sit perfectly and just as we leave the dogs on their long downs the most doG awful blood curdling scream you could ever imagine reverberates throughout the building. I look over to see that some part of Khonsu's leg is trapped in his crate and he is fighting to free himself. I begin to go towards Katy to help her as he continues to scream and fight when the steward tells me to "get my dog". Both Open dogs broke their stays, Feigh was trying to get to me when one steward stopped her from exiting the ring. She became even more spooked, tail down, hackles raised and she paced around the ring like a wild animal cornered. The second I called her though she came in to me and we went back to where I put her on a down. The judge told us both to re-leash the dogs, exit the ring, try and get them focused and we would try the stays again in a few minutes. I, of course rushed over to Katy, who by this time was bleeding quite nicely from the puncture wounds she sustained trying to free Khonsu. We truly feared he had broken his foot/leg due to how twisted it became while he struggled to free himself. Katy learned a valuable lesson, always secure the head on an injured animal, no matter how much they love you or how much bite inhibition they have, when they become trapped and injured, they become wild and unpredictable.
Once Katy left to wash and tend to her wounds I did a few minor things with Feigh in roughly 30 seconds and basically told the judge to "Let's just do it, it is what it is." We went back into the ring, put the dogs on a down stay and proceeded out of the building. The steward came out about a minute later and told me Feigh briefly raised herself off her elbows (about an inch) then settled back into the down - which is where I found her upon my return. The judge was very disappointed for us but I was actually quite pleased. Why would I be pleased knowing she just blew a qualifying score? Because of the very fact that after having heard her brother sound like he was being murdered, being scared by the human in the red bib trying to catch her while listening to her brother being murdered, my girl, who has had issues with the long down stay, was resilient enough in temperament to go back into the ring, and except for a few second/inches lapse, stay for the full five minutes, alone in that "scary place". That shows me she was thinking about what her job was and decided, after her initial lapse, that her job was to trust in my request and stay put until I got back. Good job Feigh!
We have a couple of weeks off to do a fun match, then I head off for some CE in Vegas. Upon my return we have some more rally/obedience shows.
January 16-18th: At this rate, we should just move to Phoenix since all the shows, trials, races, meets, etc. we attend are held there. I am getting so used to the two hour drive, it no longer seems quite as long as two hours! This weekend we tried out the UKC conformation venue with V. V was able to win BOB all four shows, with male and female competition to finish her UKC Championship in one weekend. After a long (very!) day we went back in the BIS ring and came close when the judge pulled us out of the lineup first. But alas, it was not meant to be. We plan to show UKC in the coming months for some ring experience.
Next up - Super Bowl, then some indoor breed, rally and obedience, up in, you guessed it, Phoenix.
January 16-18th: Back to Phoenix, where the temperatures are nothing like January. Can you say warm?! Clay absolutely bombed this weekend. He was the worst he has been in a long time. I felt bad for Rand but I know he needs this to perhaps come to the conclusion that he needs to work the boys more often then once a week and stop relying on me to work them for him the rest of the time. Drew was a champ as always. This was his first weekend out in the B classes and he managed three legs and his first DOUBLE Q! Yeehaw Drew. Just 19 more to go for his PAX or Preferred Agility Championship. <hahaha>
Surprisingly V did all right. She earned another Open Preferred JWW leg and finally, finally somewhat did her A-frame and finished her NAP title. One leg was quite ugly really - she got hit with every 5 point penalty she could get and still Q with an 85. Luckily she did not waste any time or we would still be searching for the last leg. I still have to trick her somewhat to do the A-frame and she still gets distracted which I am beginning to think is more nerves then anything else. Onwards to the regular classes for her.
Then we have Mizz Feigh who only needs one leg each for her Excellent titles. Do you think she could do it? NO! I will say this, she started the weekend off horrible, her classic run like the wind, I am deaf to your calls sort of run. So I decided right then and there that my goal for the weekend would be start line stays and some semblance of control; by golly I got it! The next 5 runs we only missed Q'ing by one refusal each run (none were for her weaves - she nailed those all 6 runs); one of which was a heartbreaker at the LAST jump! We might not flow like many other teams but by doG! she did some tricky, tight courses listening to me and in control. Priceless. I will continue to run her like this and eventually, one day this year perhaps, it will pay off and we will get our titles and move to the B classes.
When we returned home we had some good news awaiting us. V's hips graded good, elbows normal (still waiting for the patella cert) and she is now CHIC certified. Jane's hips graded excellent, elbows normal (still waiting for her patella cert as well) and she too is CHIC certified. To top it off, on the various lists they were discussing Top 10 or 25 rankings and what do you know. Feigh was #8 LGRA (in a whopping 3 meets), she was also #11 AKC while V and Jane were tied at #20 in AKC (in less then 10 trials all year). Jane ended up 15th I believe in ASFA in only one trial. Awesome job for the sinbajé girls!
Next up - back to Phoenix where we plan to try our first ever UKC show. Then we will have a break and watch the Super Bowl, then its the start of busy time again.
January 11th: Off we go to Phoenix for some NADAC agility. Drew as always is our standout and most consistent performer. He would have been 4 for 4 except the scribe person put Drew's score under Clay and vice versa. By the time we realized it, scores had been posted and it was too late for anyone to remember. Ah well. Drew did manage to earn his Open NADAC title. Surprisingly V was 3 out of 4 as well and she earned her Novice Chances title. I was very pleased with hr overall performance. Clay ended the day with two additional legs (one of which was actually Drew's!) Feigh, as usual ended up with a big fat ZERO of legs. Of course breaking out of her crate in the car, eating my last churro and munching on an Ibuprofen did not help. Her first run she was like a dog on speed, sugar speed! Damn dog! <haha> Needless to say she got somewhat better, marginally better as the day progressed with her last two runs being one problem short of a leg - mainly bailing off the contacts. <sigh>
Next up - 3 day AKC agility in Phoenix to support Wags for Wishes.
January 1-4th: We packed the car and head to Palm Springs on New Year's day to spend quality time with my folks and take in a dog show or two. The weather is quite nice, kind of warm in the direct sun but downright chilly in the shade. The company is good, we have plenty of football to watch, good food to eat and even managed a few games of scrabble. I am not a vegetarian, far from it actually but twice now we have stopped at a little cafe called Native Foods and let me tell you - it's scrumptious! They have a soy like burger that has all sorts of veggie toppings and is on the crunchy side, in a word - YUM!
Rand and I and the girls headed to the polo grounds while the boys kept Mom and Dad company. We were very appreciative of their willingness to allow the boys to stay there during the day. It was good to find that all did great, even with their little Norfolk Atti. In the breed ring V got dumped both days. I am not too disappointed though as she showed well and looked good to me. My mom was furious on Saturday though, not necessarily that I lost, but regarding who won - apparently she was appalled by the (obvious to her) unsound movement this animal displayed; coming from horses my mom knows structure and movement as well as what is structurally sound movement and what is not; we're not talking structural faults that do no harm or cause pain to the animal; we're talking unsound movement such as displayed when a dog has a (temporary) leg/foot strain or sprain or worse has (permanent) hip dysplasia or luxating patella. My mom asked if I would be upset if she went up and spoke to the judge. You can imagine what I told her, "Yeah, sure - go up to the judge and tell him how to do his job and be sure to mention my name." NOT! I told her to just forget it, if judges choose to ignore (this judge is not the first, nor will he be the last) this kind of movement then I will make a note by his/her name and no longer support them with an entry.
Sadly, I have sat ringside and watched three legged lame Mastiffs hobble around the ring and be put up for the points. Judges write articles for their peers about withholding ribbons on dogs who, in their opinion lack breed type but they have no qualms awarding limping, gimping genetically unfit dogs the highest of honors while those dogs that are physically sound but perhaps have one or two standard deviations are left to eat dust. A case in point, one judge whose name I have added to the do not show to list withheld a ribbon on a dog whose tail was a bit on the wild side, yet awarded a limping dog a major. HUH?!! Last I heard basenjis do not use their tails to catch game, but they do use their legs! Isn't this how the UK has gotten themselves into such a pickle with the BBC and the masses; encouraging unsound but pretty dogs to proliferate a breed to the point of no return? Perhaps it is time to throw in my conformation towel and no longer support such superficial endeavors. Certainly something to seriously think about. Enough already - its too depressing and it really steams me up!
The good news is I was able to show both V and Feigh in their non regular obedience classes. V was first up, immediately upon my return to the obedience ring. She was entered in Wild Card Novice - this is a class where we do all of the novice exercises EXCEPT I get to pick one freebie exercise (where I get a perfect score!) My understanding is that I am not allowed to do the picked exercise but apparently neither judge read the rules so we went ahead and went for it. I am glad we did as it gives me insight as to where we need to work. My freebie exercise was the heel free (or off leash) and that is where she pretty much fell apart on both days. All in all I was pleased with how well she did. Her stays were AWESOME! Her stand for exam was rock solid as well. Her recall was iffy on Friday and a big NQ on Sat. - she comes in slow and deliberately trying to find front and ends up sitting far back, whereas on Saturday she actually did not come in at all and I had to double command her - she then proceeded to sit w.a.a.a.y far back. Ah well. We'll keep working at it. She seems a bit nervous in the ring so I really, really need to get her out more - especially at other venues where we have a lot of distraction already in place.
On Friday Feigh was entered in Graduate Novice (this is a new optional titling class). It is a between novice and open class. I wanted to do this as it offered only a 3 minute down stay out of sight - good practice for the regular Open class the following day. Feigh did okay - she was not at her best showing and seemed distracted but she did do her out of sight down stay - which was GREAT! She Q'd for her first leg. On Saturday - Open A was bright and early in the am where it is chilly and very damp from the over watering California is known for. I knew by the way Feigh was tiptoeing through the grass we were in trouble and sure enough - I had to double command her on the drop. She seemed upset about being in the ring and little too interested in the Yorkie doing Utility right next door that I had to double command her on the retrieve as well. She actually started to towards the bar jump in the utility ring then veered back to the dumbbell. She then proceeded to half sit, half down (not the least bit comfortable looking) for the 5 minute dow stay. Ugh - we're back to square one. I skipped out doing Graduate novice - we were all tired and hungry and wanted to leave.
I will do some
more remedial training and enter her in a few spring shows. Next
up once day of NADAC agility.
¤ Dec ¤ Nov ¤ Oct ¤ Sep ¤ Aug ¤ Jul ¤ Jun ¤ May ¤ Apr ¤ Mar ¤ Feb ¤ Jan ¤
December 17th: V needs to be fasted this am for her hip and elbow evaluations under sedation at work. It's not easy feeding 3 of 4 dogs. I did leave V something in her bowl to lick while the others were chowing down but she took one look at her (mostly) empty bowl and turned back to me as if to say "Huh?! I don't think so". Somehow we managed to get out the door and to work without her having a total fit. She does not like to be at the clinic and let's it be known. We call what she does a crescendo as she start her whine nice and soft then it gets louder and louder and usually end in a real loud half yawn. Dr. W quickly put an end to that with the squirt bottle. The squirt bottle does not work for me but it did for Dr. W. The cocktail used on V was just right and we were able to get some pretty pictures. Her patella's were a-okay as well - before sedation and post sedation. Katy forgot and had to come in on the 18th to get Jane's [pictures taken. They too look great and I was able to get the rads in the mail, ETA the 26th of December. I imagine OFA is closed for the rest of the week so I do not plan to hear back for at least 3 weeks.
Next up, obedience and breed for two days in Palm Desert over the New Year. Looking at the schedule V will be in wild card novice AND the breed ring at the same time. This is CLASSIC! They have all day to schedule the hounds and it has to be the same time. Oh well.
December 14th: We only entered one day of NADAC agility and it just happened to be the WORST day of the weekend. It was wet AND cold with some wind. Not exactly basenji weather. We decided to work from the car - which the hounds much appreciated. I was surprised by the number of folks who set up tents and actually had their poor doggies in crates/expens in such foul weather. Luckily for us, NADAC does not have pause tables which took out one possible problem in the rain, getting the kids to sit or down for 5 seconds on something that is wet and cold.
Each basenji was entered in 6 runs for the day - 2 regular standard runs and 4 games. Amazingly enough everyone ran rather well in spite of the conditions and everyone earned at least one leg. I have always used NADAC as a practice venue more so then a serious titling venue but we had so much fun and liked being able to run multiple times and play games that we might decide to pursue NADAC a bit more seriously. Which means of course I need to figure out title requirements and look into getting jump height cards etc.
Katy and crew also did well and each of her dogs earned at least one leg as well.
Next up OFA screenings for V and Jane.
December 6-7th: On Saturday Feigh and I go it alone up to Phoenix for some obedience (Katy and her crew will be there so I am not really alone). Rand stays home with the rest of the pack. I figure Feigh and I deserve a girls day out to concentrate on just her. We arrive in good time to a park that is pretty wet from either over watering, frost or both. This park has a number of gopher holes as well and to top it off - it is a frisbee golf course! The show was hosted by a local GSD dog club so there was a conformation show as well about 100 feet away. If you know anything about GSDs in the breed ring you will understand what we were up against in the obedience ring. Cowbells, whistles, duck calls, screaming, yelling - you name the sound, we heard it (well okay - I did not hear it, as I do not hear well, but everyone else did, especially the dogs). Apparently double handling is alive and well in the GSD ring, despite it being against AKC rules. Looking at the structure of the dogs in the ring, I can well understand why they need all the bells and whistles - to keep people from seeing how truly dysfunctional and structurally unsound the breed has become.... but I digress.
Katy and Nut were up first and had some difficulties in the exercises. Nut did manage some nice sits and downs so all is not lost. Feigh went into the long down with a qualifying score - she was working on a 183. Not a bad score considering her heeling has been rather, shall we say - rough. Sadly 1 minute and 30 seconds into the down she decided she really should sit the rest of the time so we earned another fat NQ. Khonsu has dropped back to Novice to build some confidence and while he had a good run, a very rude person stood behind the ring - where it was an open field and allowed her shepherd and keeshond to bark incessantly while he was doing his off leash heel work. Khonsu was bothered by it and while his heeling was not bad enough, IMO, to be non qualifying, the judge felt it was.
Sunday I took V along as I wanted to practice with her around the rings and other dogs. She did great and I can not wait to actually put her in the ring but I have promised myself to be patient and to really prep her, far more than any dog I have had thus far. Feigh again went into the long down with a qualifying score - working on a 186.5 but this time she decided she could not wait until I left the ring before she sat up; there she sat for the whole 5 minutes. On the way home I sort of had an epiphany which I had prior to Nationals (the only time she has Q'd in open) which I forgot. I started, not very consistently, asking Feigh to stand after the sit to break up the sit from the down - it's what the "pros" do and it made sense even though I do not have a problem with her going down on the sit (I have the exact opposite problem). I realized I use my right hand to ask for the stand, then use the same hand to tell her to stay - the hand signal is identical. So when I say stay and give the hand signal, if she is not really focused she very well might be thinking I am asking for a stand then is lost when I walk away. I have decided to no longer ask for the stand at ANY time during stays. I will also use the approach I have been reading about where sit means sit and down means down - no matter where or when I ask for it. I will also no longer tell her to stay as the word sit or down will mean just that by default! I have 3 weeks to practice before we head to Palm Springs for a practice on Friday and a trial on Saturday.
Nut fell apart in Open on Sunday. We could not figure out why until she came out of the ring. When we put our hands on her we realized she had puncture wounds on her butt from the squabble the previous night between all three of Katy's dogs. Apparently she was too sore to sit. Khonsu had a good run in Novice but got nervous on the long sit and came into Katy. Ah well - that's why he is back in Novice.
Nest up - local one day NADAC agility trial.
Saturday dawned chilly and VERY foggy. I could not see more than 5 feet in front of me. Luckily the trial is only about 10 miles away since its a slow go. Once we arrive I realize that this is a place that Tre and I coursed many, many years ago. With the fog, I could not see what the field layout was so imagine my surprise to find that the freeway was "just up the hill" the direction the dogs were to run in. On the way back to the hotel I was pleased to notice double wire fencing between the field and the freeway; I felt somewhat better.
There were over 50 total entries encompassing all breeds on Saturday. In basenjis we had enough for a 5 point major in open on Saturday. Feigh and Drew were the only specials and we had at least two veterans both days. Had I known about the veterans I could have put Drew in veterans for points as he never beats Feigh despite her cheating ways - ah well.
Coming off of the great practice run where she got to kill the bunny a few times around, V had a good (for her) two runs. She did hesitate a little on the second run, as though she planned to come in but she persevered and ended up third overall for 2 more points - that puts her at 9 with a major. She wizened up on Sunday and totally blew it for herself, deciding to wait the bag out and attack in on the way in. Looks like she might be a once a weekend courser, after a lot of practicing and killing the bag all the way around. <sigh>
Feigh, who many would say excels in speed, agility, endurance and overall ability but sorely (and I do mean sorely!) lacks in follow (some call it creative coursing, others cheating - I just call it frustrating!) ended up BOB for the day as the Open winner was going for the Turkey Run continuum and did not want to run their bitch any more then necessary (the continuum winner MUST run all four days and qualify at least in one course all four days to be eligible; the highest scoring dog in each breed is then deemed the breed winner and at the end runs for a separate BIF on Sunday - the best of the best sort of BIF thing. We left early Sunday so we do not know how it played out though we do know this bitch did win for basenjis overall).
Anyhow - the Sat. open winner forfeited to Feigh so I decided to go ahead and run her in BIF (this would only be the 3rd time I have let her run BIF). The second time she ran she was attacked not 50 feet off the start by a Saluki. despite this Feigh is pretty unflappable when it comes to the bunny, so I did not feel I was risking her running future by entering her (she is a confirmed cheater so she could not be ruined that way either). For the first time ever in my 14 year coursing career eight breeds decided to run in BIF (the 9th was not eligible to run). Running were: Saluki, Pharaoh, Ibizan, Rhodesian, Basenji, Borzoi, Whippet and Afghan. Feigh drew the Borzoi. Thankfully he runs muzzled so I was not the least bit concerned about her safety.
We were the third course and it was getting quite late and dusky. Feigh was in pink and that was all I could see when she was at the furthest point of the field. The Borzoi was big and white so I could see him better. Sadly he cheated quite a bit in the beginning but from what I could tell - he could not shake Feigh even with his cheating advantage of meeting the bag mid course; heck for all I know she passed him a time or two; I was trying not to lose my footings in the dark getting to the end of the course for retrieval, so I missed some of it.
I thought she ran well, certainly better (straighter) then her courses earlier in the day, which of course is not saying much <lol>. Having watched the other BIF courses though I had little thought to her actually winning as there were some nice running hounds (esp. the Pharoah, RR and the Ibizan). However, at the end of the day, after all the ribbons were handed out, it was great fun to hear her name being called as the eventual BIF for the day over 55 hounds. This is her second BIF in only three ever attempts. Not bad for a creative courser who just turned five. To keep us humble though - her creative coursing got the better of her on Sunday and I (assume - we left early to drive 7 hours home) we lost to the open dog who ran a nice, straight and strong BOB run off.
Up next obedience in Phoenix with Feigh.
November 23rd: Rand stayed home since we were only going up for one day. We decided to leave Clay for company as he was not scheduled to run. Katy brought her trio. We hoped to enter Jane as she was through with her season and needed one more leg for her SC. We ended up with two special courses of two each course and one open course of two. First up was V who managed to run about 3/4 of the way before coming in. Her second run faired no better - getting about 1/2 way around then coming in to wait and kill it. AARGH! She has so much potential but seems rather lazy. Needless to say she came in 2nd ot of 2.
Jane and Feigh drew each other and Khonsu and Drew were the other pair. The last time Jane ran with her mom she kept wanting to play - not this time. They both took off rather straight - Feigh more to the right of the lure - as it came around a nasty corner the bag took both girls by surprise and it ended up where Jane t-boned Feigh, knocking her off her feet. Jane shook it off and continued, Feigh righted herself and took off after the bag as well. It was a pretty nasty hit - the lure operator was like "I saw two ridgebacks do the same thing and both ended up dead later that day from internal injuries." Okay - not exactly what I wanted to hear. I made sure to check Feigh's mucus membranes - to make sure there was no internal bleeding before her second run.
Drew had a nice solid first run but Khonsu has tremendous speed so he trails by a few points. He drew Jane in the second course and despite her speed, she seemed to be hesitating a little in this run (perhaps still feeling the effects of her collision). Drew ended up winning the second course putting Drew third overall. Khonsu and Feigh were once again all over the place. Feigh ended up 2nd behind Jane, Khonsu last. Jane then went to run fr BOB with the open dog and everything fell apart. Katy asked me to release her as her knee was bothering her. Jane kept looking for mom. The two dogs took off but the open dog decided to check out the lure machine behind the operator, Jane decided to find her mom. The open dog finally spied the bag almost home and decided to chase it and ultimately "finished" the course. Since Jane did not - the open dog won on one of the most ugly BOB races ever. Some folks thought it should not have been scored and should have been rerun. Ah well.
I did run V with Drew in a practice and told the operator to make sure she stays with the bag - well on the first turn V actually caught it - which really excited her. I ran out and told her to drop it, then had them restart it and V was really keen to chase it all the way around. This was a great note to end it on. Katy tried to run Jane alone to see if she would run and she would not. I hope she is not broken!
Onwards to California.
November 14-16th: Rand had CE in Sedona this weekend so I was left running 4 dogs in agility and trying to get V to the breed ring. I must admit I did not have ONE single conflict the whole weekend. It worked out beautifully and I am very thankful to whatever spirit guide or universe guru is looking out for me.
In agility we had some ups and downs. Mostly ups to which I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone earned at least one leg this weekend including Feigh who is in excellent where perfect is the name of the game she rarely wants to play. On Friday it was excellent classes only and the courses were kind of weird. I admit that in the end they flowed really well but walking it and planning for it was freaking a lot of people out. Both Drew and Feigh did awesome in their JWW class. Unfortunately Drew sneezed right before the weave poles and by the time the sneeze was done he was at the second pole where he entered incorrectly (NQ). That was his only mistake. Normally Feigh tends to have multiple R's and W's, especially in the JWW classes as they tend to be tight courses and she is not an accurate listener. Today she only racked up one R and that was due to her jumping so far past one jump that by the time she turned towards the other one, she was well past it. I'll take it (that and her perfect weave pole entrances; matter of fact - she did not miss one weave pole entrance in 6 attempts this weekend! Incredible.) Drew had a perfect Standard course which meant he finished his AXP title; on to the B classes and maybe work towards a PAX (preferred championship title). Feigh had a perfect standard course too until I messed her up and caused a refusal. Ah well. I was pleased as punch by her performances.
On Saturday and Sunday the dreaded winds showed up, blowing in excess of 20 miles an hour both days and kicking up a lot dirt and grass debris; dogs were getting blown off contact equipment left and right. I showed Drew in standard, where he once again Q'd but pulled him from JWW due to the winds. On Sunday I tried to do Standard with him despite my better judgement but he had other ideas; he ran to a tunnel and until I promised he could go back to the car, he would not come out (not really but you can imagine how he was acting).
Saturday Feigh again did a credible Standard course but got sucked into a tunnel for an NQ. Her JWW run was nothing short of brilliant and we earned her second JWW leg; two legs in less then 6 months after a year or so of nothing! Now she only needs one leg in each to get her excellent titles. Yeah! On Sunday - the winds were especially brutal and the old Feigh showed up - garnering multiple R's and W's along the way. :O) I can't say I blame her.
Clay and V did alright. Clay blew his weaves in Open JWW on Saturday while V had a lovely and clean run for her first Open Preferred JWW leg. Clay had two qualifying Standard runs for the weekend and finished his NAP title; his Sunday JWW run was marred by a wrong course. V had a stellar standard run all the way to the A frame where she ran 1/4 of the way up then bailed. For some reason - we have had problems with the A-frame in trials (NEVER in practice, no matter where the practice is, but ALWAYS at shows.) She is already in Open JWW but has no Novice standard legs due to the pesky A-frame. How to practice for it?
On Sunday after a heartbreaker in the JWW class, V and I set out to get our first standard leg; the pesky A frame is the second to the last obstacle. We start out with a bang, flying throught the course. I am switching sides, setting myself up to be on the people side of the rope nearest the A-frame in case that is what concerns V. We take a nice running start and she.....goes around it. I then take her back around, make sure we have plenty of take off room, I pinch my fingers at her, say the magic word "cookie" and off we head towards the A-frame where she flies up one side and down the other to lots of whoo hoo and atta girls! She takes the last jump and we got ourselves our first standard leg. Good job V! I wonder if this means she is cured? <haha>. All in all a good weekend of agility
In the breed ring V was dumped on Friday (boo hoo) but managed a 3rd out of 7 and 3rd out of 8 on Sat/Sun. These were nice sized BBX classes. What's funny is on Saturday, she beat the class winner from Friday and on Sunday she beat the class winner and ultimate BW from Saturday. Just goes to show you how weird the breed ring is. Never say never!
Next up - one day of coursing on Sunday in Phoenix then we head to California for Turkey day with the folks and some AKC coursing on Sat/Sun.
November 9th: Rand and I and all of the dogs head to Phoenix for one day of lure coursing. The weather, while still somewhat warm, was partly cloudy with a slight breeze. V and another dog are the only open entries. Feigh, and Drew were in Specials and Clay in Veterans. I did not have time to do fun runs at the end so paid to give Clay a chance to run. Unfortunately he does not like to run alone, much preferring to run alongside of and playfully interfering with any running mates. So my entry ended up a waste as he only ran part way around both times.
Feigh and Drew had some nice runs. Rand was learning to release the dogs for the first time and did great the first course but had a little problem on the second. It did not hurt Drew though as he was raring to go once we finally got him released and he ended up tying Feigh for the run. Feigh took first overall in the stake tough.
V had what I thought was a terrific first course. She was never passed by her running mate and she stayed on the line the whole way around until the very end when she (and the other dog) both cut to catch it. That said, she was placed second in the first course?! She then went on to run only a quarter of the second course, jumping up and away from the line as though it bit her??? So that of course took her out of any kind of placement. What is up with this dog? Is she a prima donna of sorts? We head back to Crossroads park mid November for another one day trial so I hope she is over whatever spooked her there and/or over whatever is causing her to just give up on the coursing.
Feigh and the open dog ran for BOB. Since Feigh cheats so much and the open dog is a fast, straight runner, I felt it was a given that the open dog would win so decided to run Feigh again since she loves to run and I had paid my entry. ARGH! The open dog stopped at the same area V stopped at and refused to budge until she saw that Feigh had caught the lure near the end and was tugging on it. Needless to say, Feigh won and added some more points towards her LCX title.
November 1-2nd: Feigh, V and I stay in town for some obedience. Mother Nature is playing tricks on us here in Arizona and continues to keep the temps nice and warm. Meh! I am sad to say that Feigh did rather poorly. Matter of fact we NQ'd on heeling the first day. :O( All other exercises were rather nice except of course her bane, the out of sight down. Remind me to not practice the day before a trial - it about ruined her. She was much improved the second day, much improved to mean that she at least Q'd in heeling <haha>. She did manage to fail the drop on recall only going down part way. I did not wait and second commanded her. A handler error NQ'd us on the retrieve and in the end - she nailed her out of sight stays; all in all a good showing.
V got to play in Pre-novice. She did good - not as good as I expect of her and know she has the potential for but nice. We had 5 entries in the class both days. V seemed uncomfortable being around all the dogs outside of the ring while we waited our turn. Something we need to work on. She did manage to win the class both days. Her score on Saturday was 197.5 and on Sunday a 194.0. Certainly respectable. I plan to do a lot more of pre-novice or the wild card novice classes with her before I actually enter her for real and I also plan to stay in novice a while. I really blew it with Feigh - entering her too quickly and now paying for it - literally and figuratively.
October 26th: Katy and I travel to Phoenix, the boys are left at home for some much needed R&R. There are 6 open entries, good for a 5 point major. If Jane wins, she becomes an AKC Field Champion in three straight trials. Well what do you know? She DOES win and can now add FC in front of her name. Way to go Janie!
V heads into the second course in second place behind her sister. If she puts in a good performance she can finish in 2nd which would be good for 3 points - shouldn't be a problem, right? Wrong! V takes off well, is in the lead through out the first half of the course then as the course took her near some soccer fields (where folks were milling around on top of a hill) she stopped cold and came back. GRRRRR. Thank goodness the judge at least gave her 50% credit for the first part of her run, that at least allowed her to earn her Senior Courser (SC) title. This is getting pathetic. The only thing I can figure is she is unsure of the people or movement in the distance therefore she is not willing to risk it. She did show this potential at her first ASFA trial. I need to be more aware and walk her around the perimeters if possible so she can see there is nothing to fear.
Next up is a two day obedience trial locally. Feigh is entered in Open A, V in pre-novice (where we have 5 entries - wow!).
October 17-19th: We pack the car and head to So California for some NOTRA and LGRA. Feigh and Drew have only seen a NOTRA course once, at Nationals over a year ago. I thought that with their recent positive expereinces in the box at the 2008 Nationals they would be in good form - ie get out of the box in the right direction - boy was I wrong. Drew got turned around twice, which cost him in the last heat due to the fact that when he actually got out of the box he was on the inside of the course (also known as off course) which blew his chance for even a leg towards his JOR. Even Feigh got turned around once and could not catch up by the end - which put her in the bottom of the points. Jane did well and ultimately won the high point for the day. Weirdly - on the last heat - something happened on the outside turn - a fellow racer (anther breed) said she heard one of the black dogs talking smack to the others (there were two blacks and two brindles running). All I saw was Feigh backing off - which she NEVER does. Then on the final stretch when Khonsu ran upside of Feigh, she again backed off and let him pass. Say WHAT!??? That is NOT Feigh - what was said on the back stretch to make her that concerned? Inquirying minds wanna know! At the end of the race, a scuffle ensued over the bag. I thought Feigh was involved, turned out she was at the end of the pully trying to figure out where the bunny went. Silly girl!
V tried hard and had some good runs until her last heat (the same heat Drew went off course). She was in the lead but for some reason she too put the brakes on, let the other dog pass, then because the lure was too far ahead, she jumped the ribbons and ran on the inside of the course. Ay caramba! On Sunday we went to a dofferent area of So Cal for some straight line racing. This is the type of racing Feigh excelled in at Nationals so I had high expecatations. The course was a real guantlet of sorts - brush on one side, trees, starnge shadows and strange folks on the other. Sadly Jane, V and Drew all decided to take tours off the beaten track (I think V was unsure off racing into the unknown gauntlet.) All are out of any serious consideration. Feigh and her group are up next and Feigh of course is back***wards and is late out of the starting box and while she ends up only a few feet behind at the finish it is good for last place. Khonsu took first in the heat but due to a very rude lure operator and his rude, uncalled for comments, Katy decides to pull him from the rest of the competetion.
Luckily Feigh finally figures out the box and comes out flying in the next two heats, easily taking first place. Jane decided to play the game and finished her two remaining heats in good form. Drew ran once, then bailed on the last course. V came out of the box on the second heat like a seasoned veteran, ran about 50 yards and again refused to go further into the gauntlet. Disappointment is an understatement. Thankfully Feigh's two runs put her in the top spot and winner of the High Point for another 2 points towards her GRC (she now has 9 of the needed 12 points).
Next up a one day AKC lure trial in Phoenix.
October 11-12th: Everyone heads to North Phoenix for some AKC lure coursing, including Katy, Jane and Khonsu. The weather was rather windy so we were sitting in a virtual dust bowl on Saturday; which is not always a good thing in Valley Fever country. The field conditions were a bit rough - some very dry brittle grass with dehydrated goat heads mixed in for good measure. The dogs did not seemingly care and as always ran their hearts out. Drew had some difficulty - he does not like the wind, nor the dust so with his one eye being hampered somewhat he ended up losing the lure on both runs Saturday and not finishing. Khonsu and Feigh cheated as usual; as the lure operator so eloquently put it "They are on a self guided tour!". Being the only specials it was a toss up who would win the class for the day. They ended up splitting the weekend with Feigh winning on Saturday and Khonsu on Sunday. Feigh's self guided tour into tall grass, completely off course on Sunday did not help her chances especially since Khonsu had a better day keeping on course.
Clay sat out as he likes to bump the other dogs off course. V ran well but Jane ran better, so V took second to her sister both days. Jane ended up with two 5 point majors for the weekend and V ended up with, I believe, 3 additional points towards her FC. The only blip in the whole weekend was our Sunday judge - Lyndell Ackerman. She is a local judge and I have never had any problems with her in the 14 years I have been coursing. However on Sunday we saw her specifically pull the huntsmaster to the side and we heard her tell the huntsmaster to DELAY telling us to retrieve our hounds at the end of the course as she wanted to see if anything was "brewing" amongst the basenjis. She did NOT request this of any other breeds; I know as I was the huntsmaster for those other breeds. I do not appreciate having my breed targeted in this way.
Thankfully the huntsmaster paid her little mind and once the lure stopped she told us to retrieve our hounds, which we all did without incidence. Of course in the second course there was some bumping and shoving which ended up getting one boy dismissed and another dog unwilling to go more then 50 feet before returning to its owner. The odd thing about this course was the fact that the dog who spooked and did not run ANY of the course scored a 32 out of 50 - the highest score for the course was a 36 - a mere 4 points more. Even Feigh and Drew - who both got lost on the course but still ran and caught up to the bag - scored measly 25 points out of 50. This high score actually put the non running dog in contention for the points. Like I said Lyndell Ackerman was a real blip on the weekend and because of her poor behavior and poor judging I will no longer support her with my entries. I hope other basenji fanciers will also boycott her judging - the last thing we need are folks who purposefully look to get our dogs dismissed or worse DQ'd.
Next up - NOTRA and LGRA in Southern Cal the 18th/19th.
September 14-22: Warning - long entry: We packed the car to the gills and head south/east towards Dallas on Sunday. The trip in was uneventful having planned a long first day and a short second day; it helped to have a navigator such as Rand. We get to the hotel midday Monday, where Rand does some finagling and gets us a first floor room with a fridge! Good job Rand. As we turn to leave I am accosted by my sister, Colleen, with whom I hardly recognized as she had just gotten her hair cut, the shortest it has ever been in my life. Apparently her girls took her in for one cut, which she did not like and she went back to correct it but the woman instead took too much off. Ah well - as I told Colleen - it is just hair and it will grow back.
Colleen hitches a ride and gives us a quick tour of where the show site is and the surrounding area. The trip will take about 20 minutes in the morning - a real easy jaunt. We unload some crates for the show site, call the BIL Ken and meet up for some good eats before we head back to the hotel and get some shut eye (just a few days in Texas and I am already sounding like one!).
The first days event is ASFA lure coursing. Feigh, Drew and Jane represent team sinbajé/kele. With V out of commission due to being in season I make Jane and Drew my breeder stake and Feigh and Drew my kennel stake. We are hopeful Jane will run well however we do worry as she has one dismissal in her one and only ASFA trial when she was playing with V. During practice runs with her mom she would also playfully interfere. We hoped it was due more to her running with dogs she plays with normally vs. a true problem; only one way to find out - enter her with strange dogs and see how she does. During her first run I thought I saw her purposefully interfere and thought to myself "That's it!" but then she seemed to pass the dog and finish up. The question becomes - was she interfering as I thought or merely trying to get around the other dog? It was up to the judges to call what they saw.
Feigh's first run was anything short of awful. The lure operator ended up losing all three of the runners and while Feigh and another dog kept casting around looking for it, they also kept being drawn back to the noise and never went further then the area where they last saw it. The other dog somehow did see it, and ran in but stopped to defecate. All in all I have no idea why the course was scored since neither of the three finished even a quarter of it. The next two runs they also lost dogs, one of which was Drew - who got turned so wide he ended up in the tall grass bouncing up and down looking for the lure. I think Feigh and Drew combined for a total of 60 points - talk about sad.
Apparently the judges did not see any problems with Jane's run and she was 2 points off the lead. She had a spectacular second run, passing the boys on the long stretch - then the lure broke! I ran out quickly; thankfully the boys only had one thing on their mind with all the in season bitches and Jane avoided them like the plague. I asked her to sit, she complied and I was able to pick her up and take her back to the restart line. She finished strongly. Both Feigh and Drew had good second runs but their first run put them so far behind to be in contention for anything. I believe Drew did manage an NBQ.
The judges agreed with my assessment of Jane's second run and awarded her first place for 36 ASFA points. She then ran for BIF with two males. The FCh dog covers a lot of ground and looked strong on the course. Jane looked equally as good but due to the fact she was running the line (i.e. going the long way around) she appeared to be behind the FCh dog most of the way. I wondered if the judges took in to consideration the one going the shortest route (inside line) or the one following the lure the whole way around. I would have to wait and see. Katy and I settled in for the results and what do you know! Jane went Best of Breed/Best in Field. This is Katy's first big win at a National. As Jane's breeder and co-owner I was especially proud.
Late that afternoon every agility exhibitor and some very nice coursing folks were called on to help clean the agility equipment that arrived for use, covered in cat urine. Apparently someone was gracious enough to donate equipment for the trial but it was left in the barn to be sprayed on by the local barn cats. We not only worried about how the basenjis would react but worried about the equipment as most of it was practice equipment, not regulation and the jumps were handmade just that week. doG bless the woman who tried so hard to make it work for us, though many folk at the time were not too appreciative of her hard efforts.
Agility was scheduled for 8 am the following day. However the judge spent quite a while on the phone with AKC about the fact that some of the jumps, the weave poles, the dog walk frame and other things were not up to AKC recommendations. I am not sure of everything that transpired but in the end we were allowed to set the course and run the trial. First up was Drew and Rand. They had a beautiful run up until the 3rd to the last obstacle where Drew came out of the chute wider then Rand anticipated which caught him off guard invariably sending Drew through the tunnel versus up the dog walk; good for an NQ. Feigh knew darned well there were bunnies in the field as she just chased them the day before therefore every time I set her up to face the start jump she would turn around and face the lure coursing field. <sigh> Care to imagine how she did? That's right - a big fat NQ. Both of their JWW runs were NQ as well. The only positive was they nailed their weave pole entries.
Khonsu and Katy were next in NoviceP Standard where they had an awesome clean run, good for first place. Clay and Rand had one mistake in their NoviceP run good for 2nd place behind Khonsu. Jane and Katy had a rough AKC debut. Khonsu's JWW run fell apart, as did Jane's but Clay and I managed a perfect clean run and a first place for us. Khonsu ended up with High Standard in Trial, Clay High Jumpers in Trial. Another good venue for us.
Obedience was supposed to start a few hours later but due to the time lag from problems we have a very short break before we begin. Feigh is first up in Open A and does a nice job. She got spooked by the judge on her flat retrieve so she decided to come into heel versus come into front- worth 1.5 points off. The stays have been her bane so when we went into the stays with a qualifying score I got nervous. I stood by the tree, outside of the building and sent positive good stay visions to her. It worked and she finally earned her first Open Q with a 192.5 score. She missed out of High In Trial by a measly half point. Not bad considering she had lure coursing the day before, two agility runs that day and the temps were getting a bit warmer. Khonsu still needs to work on his confidence in Open as he NQ'd. Clay did a very respectable Veterans Novice class exercise and managed a Q - all of this is good practice for his turn in Open. Jane managed to eek through Pre-novice; she and Katy still have a few things to work on.
Immediately following Obedience was Rally - where all three of mine are once again entered (Drew and Feigh are entered in 2 classes, Clay in one and V scratched). Drew manages a perfect 100 and 1st place, Khonsu 2nd and Feigh 3rd in excellent. Feigh then redeemed herself for a perfect 100 and 1st place in Advance. Drew 2nd, Clay 3rd and Khonsu 4th. Jane won her class with a 98 - her Rally debut. Later that same day V and Jane were entered in the Af match. While I feel V showed well, she only earned a 3rd out of 4. No problems as it is all good practice in a ring environment. Needless to say by the time we got back to the hotel, walked, fed dogs, we were zonked out.
Thursday was LGRA day. Three of mine were entered. Clay ended up DQ'd for interfering (no more racing/coursing for him) with another hound. Drew won his first heat then did not fair too well, being the last man out of his box each time. Feigh was put into the high point program for race one and never looked back - going undefeated in all three of her heats and HIGH POINT for the whole day. This was a very exciting day for me. Momma Feigh takes the racing venue, daughter Jane takes the coursing - too cool. After LGRA we have time to just sit back and chill, visit with family (one brother came down from Tulsa, another brother lives in Farmers Branch) as we have nothing going on until Saturday when Jane and V show in the bitch classes. Rand and Brian (brother) went downtown to the "grassy knoll" area on Friday then they both, along with my nieces went to Octoberfest - it was great Rand was able to do other non-doggie things.
Saturday dawns and we head over for some conformation. First up is V in the American Bred class. I normally show in the BBX class but due to the nature of the beast of Nationals I knew that it would be a hellacious class to be in and since V is still rather immature, why totally waste an entry and not get a good look at? I opted for Am. Bred. I know most folks feel this is a bogus class of has beens and wannabe's and maybe they are right, I just know I had a blast showing and taking first place and being able to go back in for the WB line up. Jane was entered in the Black/White Open class and despite her being very immature, with no body whatsoever (can you say built for speed?), she managed a respectable 4th place and a ribbon/trophy (which was all Katy wanted!).
And that my dear readers ends our wonderfully successful time at Nationals - where we placed in every single venue we entered with at least one dog; we brought home some terrific prizes, some great rosettes, a few chigger bites and the best darned basenjis a girl and her husband could ask for. That's what Nationals is about - good times for all.
Next up, AKC coursing in Black Canyon City, then Notra/LGRA in So California in October.
August 31st: We head over to the local fairgrounds for our day of agility - the day is set to begin at 6am so we awaken by 4:30am - now you know why I only did one day! Each dog is entered in 6 runs - two regular runs and four "games". This is V's debut in NADAC and being under a horse arena on dirt. The rings are connected - with dogs heading towards the other ring multiple times during their course which ended up being a bad thing for Feigh as she showed a keen interest whenever speedy border collies zoomed through the tunnels - being an active lure courser this is not too surprising. Several times her daughter Jane - who was having her first EVER agility debut - would be running in the next ring while we were running in our ring - talk about distracting for both of them. Jane did manage to get her first qualifying leg in agility - we're quite proud! Sadly during Feigh's tunnelers run she took a wide arch out of the tunnel, spied a border collie racing through a tunnel in the next ring and took off to chase it. While there was nothing aggressive about her behavior we were asked to not run her in her final two runs; the fact she ran three runs prior to with nary a problem did not seem to matter. Ah well - live and learn. She did manage two Q's before we had to retire her for the day.
Drew as always was rock solid for Rand and Q'd five out of six attempts. Rand admits that he messed up on the NQ run as he did not see the trap, to which Drew got sucked into! Another learning opportunity - who could ask for anything more? Clay too started the day off with a bang, was two for two early on but ended the day three for six. The more we showed, the more distracted he became. V faired well despite being v-e-r-y distracted herself. She also became tired by the end of the day when we still had two more regular runs but she persevered. She now has both legs towards her NAC title and one Chances leg.
If the pups weren't tired enough we took advantage of the open space of the fairgrounds to do some straight line conditioning. It was around 2:30pm, the air was quite muggy due to overnight rain and potential for more. The temps were in the mid to high 90's - much like Dallas will be in a few weeks - perfect! I am pleased to note that all dogs were more then willing to take their turn at least once. Feigh, due to her not being allowed to play in all of her NADAC games was allowed to run several times which made her day. We then packed up, headed for home and a long overdue nap. Next up - Dallas Texas and the BCOA National Specialty! Yeehaw!
Most of August: Not a lot goes on during the summer in Arizona due to the heat. I have been getting the kidz out for some obedience and lure course training several times weekly, in the heat, to prepare for next months Nationals in Dallas. We have an agility trial for one day on Sunday the 31st in town under a horse arena - it is usually in excess of 100 degrees by noon. It will be a good prep for us. Katy and I are waiting for the girls to officially come into season. We are not sure if something "odd" is happening. They have shown vulvular changes of some sort for the past 6-8 weeks, they are clingy, sometimes grumpy, and seem more subdued at times, as though they do not feel well and yet nothing which signals a heat cycle. I am of a mind that they are in heat but what is called a silent heat. They have left it too late, IMO, and now they can not have a heat this fall or must wait until AFTER September 18th to "show color". To do otherwise means they will not be able to play in Nationals games. :O)
Good news on the health front. Drew, Feigh and V all got normal thyroid results which have been sent to OFA for inclusion. I had 5 results (two from last year and three from this month) to send in and was thrilled to find that OFA accepted the old results - they said they would in an email but one always wonders. While V's prelim from last year will not show up on the OFA site, it is on record with OFA as being normal. I believe this gives Drew the CHIC distinction though his CERF will be based on earlier reports, prior to his eye enucleation. Looks like he and V will not only be a great match physically and temperamentally but also with positive health results.
First up on Saturday is the Excellent class where Feigh, Drew, Khonsu and Nut are vying for some qualifying legs. The courses are quite hard. Feigh comes surprisingly close in her standard run but for some strange reason got sucked into the chute for an NQ. Her JWW was not perfect but we once again had moments of brilliance. Drew was the only survivor in JWW and walks away with a new AJP title for his hard work. Yeah for Drew. His standard run was nothing short of ugly - ah how they keep us humble. Katy and her crew were in excellent for the first time and sadly did not have any Q's to report for the weekend. They did have some stellar moments though.
Clay and V both did well in JWW. V is still acting strange - not anything like the speed demon I know in practice. We garnered 1 refusal in JWW so ended up 2nd behind a smoking Clay and Rand. The Q did give V her NJP title so I was pleased. Both Clay and V fell apart in standard. V balked at the weaves and oddly she refused the A-frame - a first so I "gregged" her. Clay was downright obnoxious and while Rand should have gregged him he persevered painfully through the course.
Sunday dawned overcast and still muggy. The courses were again tough, with a number of discriminations in the upper classes - a bane for any dog who has speed and no listening skills (can you say Feigh?). I tried really hard to remain focused, I visualized her jumping each jump and being with me et al and hoped for the best. We even taunted her with the green Q ribbons everyone else in the group had won the day before. Well by golly if the stars did not align just right and answer my fervent prayers. Not only did Feigh get first ever excellent jumpers leg, she double Q'd by getting her 2nd standard leg on the same day! WOWOWOWOWOW! She did awesome and while we had a few nail biting moments she came through and I have never been more proud. See Feigh's DOUBLE Q.
Drew had a repeat of the first day, brilliant in JWW but awful in standard. Clay too did great in JWW (earning his NJP title) but stank in standard - what is up with these boys??? At least we were able to get some Q's out of them. Katy and I thought perhaps two runs for V was too much so I scratched her from JWW as she did not need the leg and focused on standard. She took off well enough - still distracted/spooky but working with me. She nailed her weave poles and all contacts thus far but when we came to the last sequence, she ran right past the A-frame like it was not even there. I tried (unsuccessfully) three times to get her to take it and while she did get two front feet on it once - she was having nothing to do with it. So another NQ for her. This is frustrating as she does not have these problems in training. Plan A: purchase a small A-frame and just treat until she loves it! <lol>
We had a quick trip home where we were promptly accosted by a monsoon. The good part of this is it brought Tortie out - this is the latest he has come above ground. Currently he is lounging in the kitchen - go figure.
Next up - getting the girls to come into and out of season before Nationals in September. We might do some agility at the fairgrounds or some coursing at Camp Verde. Otherwise just waiting until September rolls around.
First up was Feigh in obedience. She was dragging a bit on the heeling and didn't even finish the end of the figure eight; heeling cost us 10 points alone. However she only lost 1 point total for the 4 other exercises that she did right. She needed a second command for the retrieve over the high which gave us a big fat NQ for the day. The highlight came on the drop on recall. Since she was slugging on the heeling I thought perhaps she would not budge on the recall - boy was I wrong. She took off like a bat out of hell, flying towards me so fast the judge barely got her signal to me. Luckily she did give the signal, I gave the command and what do you know - Feigh dropped SO fast she slid on her belly about 2 feet before she actually stopped - seriously - you would have thought she had been shot dead she fell so quickly. Now THAT'S entertaining. We have been practicing her sit stays for a few weeks and she sat like a rock on her long sit portion of the stays. Sadly I forgot to put as much emphasis on the down stay, so the moment I walked away (after giving me a HUGE calming yawn signal) Feigh proceeded to sit and stay for 5 minutes. My fault - she did what we had practiced. The bright side is she stayed the whole time. The judge was very nice to all of the competitors (only 1 qualifier on Sat, none on Sunday) and was especially complimentary to me about Feigh's performance. I really need to commit to training these guys!
Next up was V in the breed ring. I did not get to see the judging on the boys so I was not sure what the judge was looking for. I can't say I was too impressed with what she did with the bitches. While the WB was nice, some of the class winners were severely lacking - especially compared to what she left out of the ribbons. One class winning bitch was so stout, so husky that I thought she was an overweight MALE! Yikes!
The next day's judge was much better. We sat ringside most of the morning and actually watched her and noticed that she really gave the moving dogs ample opportunity to move out and around and she really looked at each dog and gave them her undivided attention - I did not notice any preference for handlers expect perhaps in the BOB lineup. Even if you lost you still felt like you got a decent look. The first day V took third out of five from the bred-by (BBX) class. Both the WB and RWB came from this class so not too bad to be third. Sunday we took second out of five and again, the WB came from our class. We went back in for RWB but did not get it. :O(
Another highlight of the weekend was we met with some very nice people who own dobermans. They live in Flagstaff and are kind of researching a smaller dog. We had emailed back and forth prior to the show and they offered to cook us lunch/dinner on Saturday. The man, Joe is a FANTASTIC cook. We watched him as he worked his magic and cooked us up a very nice and plentiful lunch. WOW! Who needs restaurant food when you have Joe?! And his indoor training building - LOVELY!
Next up - agility in San Diego over the 4th of July. Hopefully V can remember what agility is!
May 30th-Jun 1st: Rand and I and the crew, sans the cat, head North to Pinetop/Lakeside area for what we hoped was cooler weather and agility fun. We reserved a cabin on a lake - fun! We took some food and actually cooked two of the three nights - good for us! While the cabin was nice, albeit a rustic barren cabin, the weather was not as nice as I had hoped, neither was the agility. <lol> The wind was unbearable!
Rand and the boys were somewhat successful - garnering 4 legs out of a possible 10 runs. The girls and I were BLECH! Feigh did have some stellar moments, V was a train wreck. Our (Feigh and I) first run of the weekend would have been perfect except I hit a patch of wet grass and took a nose dive. This in turn pushed Feigh away from me and into a refusal and in excellent - that means you are toast! The rest of the run was brilliant, the rest of the weekend not so much. V was acting spooky (Wind perhaps? Coming into season? Late fear period? All of the above?) Regardless of the problem she acted for the most part like she had never seen an agility course. To say I was disappointed in the girls would be a TOTAL understatement. It gets frustrating when I do the vast majority of the training, hand them off to Rand where he walks away with all the success while my two flop miserably. Bah humbug.
Next up - 5 point majors in Flagstaff this coming weekend. Feigh is also entered in Open A obedience one day - I want to see if we have any improvement in the stay department.
One of the first things she said when she approached the group was she does not get rid of her dogs; apparently it's not an option - they live their lives with her and her husband, in the house, as pets. Not only does she not get rid of them, she actually has been known to rescue a few and put OTCHs on them. Now THIS is my kind of trainer - someone who works through the glitches to success, or perhaps to a certain level of success before she retires them to live as pets in her home. Now THIS is someone I can respect and well imagine, someone I can learn from.
Needless to say the seminar was really good. While the first day was a bit slow - the second day was well worth the time and money spent. Both V and Feigh were used as examples on several occasions and both did outstanding - far better then anyone attending expected, certainly far better than I expected and a number of people complimented me on their working ability. The best compliment though came from Judie herself, after I emailed a question to her, about a week after the seminar. In her reply she wrote the following:
"I am assuming you are the delightful young woman with the two incredible basenjis. I have told many people about them, by the way.
You are *not* creating problems for your dogs by doing the same thing, as shown by the way they reacted at the seminar. They were both darling, not afraid to come out and work with me, willing to try new things--probably the most stable basenjis I've ever worked with. "
This from a woman who has trained hundred of thousands dogs in her career. If I could even be an 1/8th of the trainer she is, it would be a dream come true.
As a break I drove the kidz south about 2 hours for some AKC lure coursing on Saturday. This was kind of a spur of the moment plan. I had planned to do the match in Sierra Vista and practice obedience since Feigh is entered on Sunday but due to the fact that the Sunday show is quite small, it ends up that Feigh and V are scheduled in the ring at the exact same time. That's a no go so I decided to go have fun instead. The location was new, the terrain was natural, albeit rather dusty, and the dogs had a blast. V was entered in her first ever AKC trial and she walked away with a 4pt major - whoo hoo! Feigh ran the best she has run in a long time; she was not willing to cheat/cut on this natural field. Clay decided he did not want to run alone so he was eventually scratched and Drew had a hard time with only one eye as it was much too easy to lose the lure - which he did several times; besides which he was having to eat V dirt on his run.
Sierra Vista ended up being a bust - no more points for V - we will have to wait until Flagstaff. Next up - I head to Phoenix in May for an obedience seminar. I will be taking V or Feigh (or both one day each) as it is a working seminar. Then we will head up to the White Mountain area at the end of May for three days of agility in the cool pine weather - aahhh! We will be staying in a cabin - too cool.
April 11-13th: Feigh, Clay, V and I head up to Casa Grande for a full day of obedience and Rally. We left Drew at home as it would be a long, noisy day and three dogs was all I could handle even though Katy came along to watch and support us (her entries went MIA via the mail). This would be our first indoor show and there are two trials back to back, another first. First up, literally was Feigh in Open A. We start off beautifully, doing a bang up job on her exercises with a rather brusque judge (I do not think she cracked an involuntary smile the whole day) but we promptly fell apart on the long stays, blowing a respectable 186.5 under the heavy leaded judge. Only 2 survivors make the grade and qualify in Open A. Feigh was having nothing to do with me going out of the building into "the light" where you could see nothing but shadows and stood on her long sit (we were excused from the down). On to Rally Novice with Clay and V. First up Clay, who is raring to go. He is in fine form and walks out of there with a perfect 100 for his second RN leg. Only two 100s awarded in the class which is good for 2nd place. V is last in the ring and though she is a little distracted she is working okay. Instant video replay shows we got hit with one sniff which led to one tight lead. V gets a 98 and a 3rd place behind Clay.
Many hours later it's Feigh's turn again where she once again puts in a stellar performance. She enters the long stays with a 193.5 and leaves with another NQ deciding this time to just follow behind me as I leave <sigh>, again we are excused from the long down. This time only one mighty survivor in the class for their first leg in excess of 24 attempts! I seriously consider not showing her in Tucson tomorrow though it is an outdoor show. Next up is Clay in Rally (I did not enter V in the second show) where Clay rises to the occasion and puts in another perfect performance - this time his 100 and time is good for 1st place and his title; that's 4 titles Clay has finished in 2008.
We finally arrive home around 7:45 in the evening and prepare for our outdoor trial in Tucson the following day where Feigh is once again, 1st in the ring - ugh! The day dawns sunny but windy as we toddle over to the Inn Suites hotel. While Clay is entered I have pulled him as he finished his titles and I did not have time to handle three dogs at such a small show. V is entered in Rally Novice which of course is scheduled at the same time I am in the ring with Feigh. I bump V to the end of the line. My goal for the day with Feigh, while ultimately is to get a leg, realistically its to get solid sit and down stays as she has had 5 attempts and has yet to do both stays in the ring.
It's obvious that the previous day was too much for Feigh as her exercises fell apart. The only positive to this was I was able to do some "training" in the ring and did not allow her to get away with anything in a much needed ring setting. Her heeling was atrocious, but passable. Her drop on recall - she almost did not even attempt it, then thought better of it but decided she could not dare put both her elbows flat to the ground. When you notice the judge walking to the left, then to the right of your dog to check on elbow placement - you know you are going to fail so I went ahead and double, then triple commanded her to down, where she finally did it - barely just!
She went out for her dumbbell on the flat but just as she went to take it she decided to sniff so she got an immediate 'take it' from me - which she did and a prompt return. Her retrieve over the jump had a much better pick up but then she forgot to come back over - to which I caught her and called her over before she walked around - another good training session. She did an okay broad jump to finish up her run. I imagine the judge wondered what the heck we were even doing in open, too bad he could not have seen her yesterday. Sadly - all of the Open dogs had serious trouble and no one Q'd. Several asked to be excused, citing their dogs were too "ill" for the stay portion. Feigh and two other brave soles attempt to do their stays and all three do a bang up job. Finally - I get some solid stays from Feigh.
V and I rush over to the Rally ring and immediately go in. I am having to coax her a little less then the day before (remember - she is showing purely for much needed ring exposure; my goal is to not say a peep except occasional praise during the course - we are a long way from that) but she again gets caught with a slight sniff and tight lead which costs us 2 points. Her 98 though is good for a 2nd place and another leg. We stay to watch Katy and Khonsu have a run in Novice B - Khonsu is having some confidence issues after having been attacked so he is not too keen to do stays. We felt having Katy across the ring would help and it did until about 2 minutes into the long down. The flies were getting to be too much and he sat up - at that point you could tell he thought - "uh oh" - this is not right - I better boogie. Sadly he blew a first place in the class.
Katy and crew showed again in obedience on Sunday while V, Rand and I headed up to Casa Grande for a little conformation. V showed like the true champ that she is becoming and placed first (out of two) in her BBX class. In looking back over my judges notes, I happened upon this notations, with regards to this judge: "does not like or put up colored dogs." How true, how true; V was the only colored dog with a placement, all others placements were reds, despite there being a few major pointed colored dogs in the bunch. Note to self: do not support this kind of judging. Too bad really as the judge seemed rather friendly.
WatchClay and V do Novice Rally. Here are videos of Feigh doing Open A - her first and second show as detailed above.
Next up - a small show in Sierra Vista where V and Feigh are scheduled to go into the ring at the exact same time - not sure how I plan to handle this one. <lol>
April 5th: We were able to get V and Jane pre-certed for ASFA at the practice in late March so we decided to headup to Black Canyon City (just north of Phoenix) for one day of ASFA coursing with the girls and Khonsu. Due to a gaffe in the huntmasters "tally ho" Jane was released after her sister but with her blazing speed she was able to cacth up and even pass V. Sadly though Jane decided to playfully interfere on an outside corner and was dismissed. The judge was very helpful in explaining to Katy and I why it was a dismissal and not an excusal. V then had to run alone on the second course and she started off like a gangbuster but got spooked by the photographer and judges who were rather close to the line. Amazingly enough her combined score was more than the required 50% needed so she was able to get a placement and points.
Feigh and Khonsu were the only FChs running. We are trying to build Khonsu's confidence back up after being molested during the LGRA trial last month. Feigh in her typical style managed to defeat herself before the first turn as she veered way off course to where she thinks the bunny will end up. Khonsu ran well both runs and managed Best of Breed (V forfieted as I wanted to run her alone with the help of 6 strangers out on the course where she spooked - to show her there is nothing to be concerned about when. The lure operator did a fab job keeping her interest in the lure while having to pass the "scary" people several times.)
Clay and I finally get to do our thing, in the heat of the day, which showed in his performance. While we entered the sits and downs with a qualifying score we left the ring with a big, fat NQ. Apparently sitting in the direct sun, late in the day, for 1 minute is too much to ask a 71/2 year old basenji and he promptly lay down. Grrr.
Sunday we again ran V for her second JC leg and she again did well (as did Jane) and both girls walk away with a new JC title to add to their name. While today's obedience judge was working at fast clip, V and I head to the breed ring first. I have been looking forward to showing under this judge for awhile and she did not disappoint. When Feigh was 13 1/2 weeks old we went to the February Scottsdale shows to do agility with Drew and Tre. Feigh and I walked around and at one point were standing in line waiting to place a food order when a judge came up and, out of the blue, bent down and said to Feigh "If only you had been in my ring today!". Before she turned and walked away I was able to catch her name tag and made a mental note. I thought if she liked my high percent African at such a tender age, she might like her daughter. She did and was willing to give us Best of Winners for V's first 2 points. Yeehaw!
Back to the obedience ring where we are set to start the Novice B class. Clay is fifth in and while his heeling was not something to write home about - we go into the sits and downs once again qualifying. When we go in for sits and downs he starts to act lazy and I try valiantly to reinforce that he needs to sit for a measly minute. I leave him and spend the whole minute looking anywhere else but at Clay - fearful that i might somehow jinx him into going down. When the minute is up I return to a dog that is barely sitting (he had shifted his rear into a puppy sit, ready to lay down). Thankfully he manages to stay upright until my return. I then do his long downs, where he is solid as a rock and we finally get his third leg for his CD title (and a 4th place out of 8-10 dogs). Not a pretty score but hey! whose complaining. All in all a PERFECT day for the sinbaje hounds!
Next up - some lure coursing practice at the end of March in Phoenix, then a three day show of obedience, rally and breed intermixed in Casa Grande and Tucson. The one day of obedience and rally in Casa Grande is a back to back indoor trial - our first - should be interesting.
March 15-16th: We did not have far to travel as our agility trials were in town this weekend. V was due to debut in Novice Preferred at the tender age of 15 months and she did not disappoint despite having a judge with some difficult courses, even at the novice level. First up was her Novice standard course where she (literally) flew off some obstacles just a wee bit too fast (i.e. the teeter) - good for an NQ. In JWW she faired much better and was able to zoom through the course 10 seconds under time despite one refusal - her first Q. Sunday dawned cold with a 30% chance of rain. Of course when you are in the novice class, at the end of the day, you are almost guaranteed 100% chance of rain (or 100 degree temperatures). The weather did not disappoint and by the time Novice rolled around the temps were in the high 50s and rain began to pore. JWW was up first and baby V did an awesome job listening to me. She nailed all of her jumps, nailed her weave pole entry and finished with a perfect score of 100 in 21 seconds (9 seconds faster then she ran the day before). Her second ever Q in three runs.
By the time Novice standard began the rain had been falling rather steadily, leaving the table cold and wet and the chute saturated; luckily the chute was switched out before our run. Baby V, who seemed quite distracted on this course and not quite sure she wanted to a:) listen to me or b:) be out in the cold rain did manage to do her sit on the wet table - a major victory with a basenji. Then as we were finishing up the run, with a Q in our grasp she once again flew off the teeter for a big fat NQ. All in all though I was very proud of her whole debut performance.
Drew started Saturday not feeling too well and it showed in his running. Rand ended up doing a "Gregger"; twice. That is to say he picked Drew up, thanked the judge and walked off the course. Sunday was a bit better, despite the frigid cold. Rand and Drew were able to eke out an Open P Standard leg, their third which means a new title for Drew. Yeah! He still needs one more JWW leg to move to the B class.
Clay and Rand had a good show on Saturday. Clay double Q'd in Novice, a first for him, with placements. The Standard Q was good for a new title of NA, to accompany his recent NAJ title. Sunday ended up being a bad day for Clay with the weather which was disappointing to Rand. We will continue to run Clay in Novice Preferred until he gets his preferred titles and then see about moving him to Open. The more practice he and Rand get, the better.
Then there is Feigh. <lol>. Her Excellent Standard run on Saturday, was astonishing and totally undesigned by me. The course was so difficult that only one 24 inch dog, and I believe two 20 inch dogs, had Q'd by the time we entered the ring for 16 inches. The opening sequence was the killer and I just hoped Feigh would get through it without too many errors. Ended up she had no problems whatsoever but ended up so far away from me doing everything right that I could not catch her for the "easier" sequences and she was sucked into the tunnel for an NQ. The rest of her run was also brilliant. I had a number of folks come up and ooh and awe about her run and say how much they want their dog to look like that. Sadly I had to correct them and let them know that I truly had nothing to do with her brilliance and that it truly was luck that had her hitting all the right things. It was not a controlled run in the least and not one I could repeat at this time with her in a zillion years (it was pretty though!). I figure when she is 8 or so and slowing down and LISTENING, I might be able to handle as well as folks thought I was handling. Her JWW run brought us all back to reality where I ended up "gregging" her.
JWW was first on Sunday and while she still chooses to ignore my pleas of "come!" or "Here!" - we did have some good handling and listening moments. The cold became too much for her during her Standard run and was a disaster. I "gregged" her and loped off the course. My goal is to have some serious outdoor training sessions with my brand new, homemade, portable weave poles, jumps and a chute and work on some hard core recalls. Her blowing me off like she is deaf is getting rather old! (and costly!).
Next up is the breed ring for V this coming Saturday/Sunday and Novice B obedience for Clay where I know we can finally get his last CD leg! Drew and Feigh are on vacation.
March 1st-2nd: We packed up the car with dogs and gear and head to Scottsdale after work for some fun in the sun. The older kidz are entered in agility and V in the breed ring. We arrive with nary a problem, check into our hotel and head over to the show site to set up. We have been attending this venue for many years and usually have a good time. My schedule looked to be chaotic with breed and my agility classes going at the same time. Thankfully agility is going much faster then expected and the breed ring was postponed due to illness so it all worked out. V ended up 2nd out of 4 in her bred by class on Saturday - not too shabby for such an immature looking squirt (the other bitches are at least 1-2 years older). On Sunday I should have stayed home. There were two reds and two brindles in my class and the judge did not even LOOK at the brindles. I was told he did not watch either of their go arounds and certainly when he was sizing them in the lineup he totally averted his eyes and looked only at the reds. No more support for this guy - what a waste of my money. Ah well - you pay and learn.
By far Drew was the most successful this weekend. He and Rand earned three legs, while he and I earned one. It is safe to say that Drew is bbaaack. Rand and Clay were able to get their third and final JWW leg for a new title. They also earned one standard leg. Whoo hoo. Sadly Feigh was the worst she has been in a long time. She had moments of brilliance which show me her potential but they were few and far between - she is border collie without the listening skills; a bad combination in a class where perfection is the only option. I have decided if she does not get any legs over the next few months, I will move her to Novice preferred next fall and work on control and weave entries et al. Since some day she will go to preferred I might as well catch these titles up to her current level. In the future I plan to show all dogs in preferred and regular and get the titles at the same time before proceeding to the next class. It was a pain in the rear to go all the back to the beginning with Tre and Drew when I finally dropped them to preferred.
I am glad to say that we will be in town for the next couple of weeks. I am tired of traveling. Next up is agility at Reid park where V makes her agility debut in Novice-P and the big kidz continue to play in their respective classes. Drew and Clay are officially Rand's dogs while I get the girls. Should be interesting. :O)
In the final program (we race three programs, after each program dogs are put together based on their speed/placements in the previous program) Clay and Drew were teamed together; Clay was the slowest of those dogs that ran all programs thus far and Drew was the top dog in the did not finish (DNF) category; he pulled off the lure when he heard me trying to coax the young female basenji out of the box. Live and learn but I should have known not to run the brothers together and since Clay still had a fighting chance having ran in his prior two programs, I should have pulled Drew. In the end Drew popped out of the box and ran the lure but when he realized Clay was not there (Clay was turned around in the box) he stopped and turned, at that point Clay was flying towards the lure and indirectly at Drew which freaked Drew out. Clay passed Drew but then Drew had a few words for scaring the beejeejees out of him and they both petered out and either started to come back towards me or postured each other. The whole display meant DNFs for both. (In the future I will concentrate on Clay and if necessary, scratch Drew if the need arises.)
The high point race (which is for the fastest dogs; usually to determine first place) ended up being Feigh, Khonsu and another basenji who has had aggressive issues in the past even with a muzzle and really should not be running; in my opinion there is a BIG difference between interference, or even intimidation compared with true "I want to rip your face off" aggression. You may remember my story about unsportsmanlike, manipulative behavior we were the recipients of back in December 2006. This is the same person (PDA) and the same basenji; only now it is scary aggressive. When we were in the grassy knoll finishing up inspections this dog tried to attack Khonsu. Later, during the high point race, as I tried to get Khonsu into the starting box this dog again attacked Khonsu. Khonsu was quite worried about the box at this point but allowed me to put him in. (PDA, being a "nice" person (NOT!) failed to tell the person who was handling the dog, about said aggressive tendencies so they of course let the dog get right up into Khonsu's face).
As soon as the box opened Feigh came out first, the aggressor a close second and Khonsu in the rear. The aggressor beelined for Feigh, knocked her sideways but Feigh was able to pull away when the aggressor turned its attention onto Khonsu. You could see Khonsu trying to get around the dog but couldn't and when we ran up to retrieve them Khonsu was standing, with his head turned in a deferring manner while this dog was standing on his back growling and, through the muzzle, trying to savage Khonsu's neck area. PDA did not appear to be in any great hurry to get the dog nor were they able to hang on once they did. The minute Katy had Khonsu by her side, trying to put on his leash the aggressor broke free, launched itself at Khonsu, knocking Khonsu out of Katy's grasp and again, through the muzzle, seemed intent on killing Khonsu. By this time Khonsu somewhat stuck up for himself and they squared off like boxers on their back legs hurling a few choice words at eachother before PDA was finally able (willing??) to get the dog away from Khonsu. I have never in 13 years of coursing EVER seen such an agressive display that continued to just escalate depsite one dog giving deferring postures. I shudder to think what would have happened had neither dog been muzzled.
I am not ashamed to admit it but I let PDA know what I thought about their willingness to continue running an OBVIOUS aggressive dog, a dog they have suspected of being aggressive as far back as December 2006 and their willingness to potentially ruin good racing dogs AND give basenjis a bad reputation in the process. I would have liked to use a few choice words about PDA themsleves but refrained - they are not worth the breath.
Not too surprisingly the aggressor was DQ'd and Khonsu and Feigh needed to run again. We approach the starting box and when I try and load Khonsu he FREAKS out and it takes a few moments to settle him down and convince him to go in, that he would not be attacked either on his way in, or on the course. Once the race started he settled down but you could tell his heart was not fully in it and he kept looking back waiting for the other shoe to unexpectedly drop. In the end Feigh finished first, Khonsu second which meant 2 GRC/SGRC and 1 GRC/SGRC point for each, respectively. We will have to get Khonsu coursing with dogs that are known to mind their manners on the field and see if we can not get him comfortable running again. ADDENDUM: It came to our attention that this dog was DQ'd by the AKC prior to the LGRA meet while coursing at the AKC Invitational. The dog has yet to be reinstated with the AKC. PDA did not and does not seem to care whose dog is ruined in the process of continuing to run this dog. Now that is what I call SPORTSMANSHIP! not.
Next up agility and breed this Saturday and Sunday in Socttsdale.
February 23rd-24th: It's obedience time - or so we hope. On Saturday we all head up to Phoenix for an obedience trial. Apparently it rained all day Friday which was rather obvious on Saturday; the wet grass and puddles were a dead giveaway. Feigh has to show quite early and it is nippy outside. While the sun did come out on Saturday it was not soon enough and Feigh decided she could not possibly put her elbows, much less her chest down in the cold, wet grass. I had to double command her and while she did it, we received a big, fat NQ for the drop on recall exercise. Of course this problem trickled over to our out of sight, long sits and downs. While she sat like a statue, she only lasted 25 seconds on the long down before she popped up and decided to just do another long sit. <sigh>. Sunday she had a much better day. The ground was dry(ish) and though the sun never showed its glorious face, the temperatures were not too horrific. We went into the ring early again with a positive attitude. We got through all the exercises until the broad jump where she decided to WALK over them, apparently not remembering the jump part of the name. Another NQ. Sadly she lasted less then 30 seconds on the long down. I really hope this is all weather related and not becoming a problem. She does her stays well at home and at the park so I will chalk it up to coolish, wet weather. All in all a better day and I do not feel too negative about it. (Katy's Nut took her second Open leg on Saturday and first in the rather large class - yeah for Nut!)
Next up is Clay. He just needs one more leg for his CD title. Saturday was NOT the day as he was horrible! While we were still qualifying, despite his horrid heeling, he blew it on the recall - he just sat and looked at anyone but me. On a positive note he did his stays. Sunday he seemed more interested and was working on a 190&1/2 when he jumped up out of the long down with less than 30 seconds to go. He acted like he was shot out of a cannon and just stood there, then sat down and waited. NQ'd by a measly 30 seconds! The good thing is he did MUCH better!
Poor V, it was on her young shoulders to get something right for team sinbaje, as her elders failed so miserably. Could such a young dog (only 14 months) handle the pressure? I had planned to put V in the wild card novice class - this is a new class offered by AKC where you can not only talk positively to your dog in the ring but you can discard one of the exercises if your dog is not quite ready for it. Then I decided that since she has one Rally Novice (RN) leg form Nationals I should perhaps go for her RN - she would still get the same kind of ring exposure and perhaps a title too!
Saturday we were doing great until the third to the last exercise where V decided to try and finish right when I needed her to go left. What to do? I quickly decide to redo the station or risk NQ'ing the whole run. So we circled back around and reapproach the station and got it right but lost 3 points in the process; the only 3 points she lost ending with a 97. The top four dogs in the class that day had 100s or 99s so no ribbons for V but we did get that sacred green ribbon and a second leg.
Sunday I had her out a bit early as we had a conflict and the ring stewards bumped me to the end instead of fitting me in the middle. She was acting like such a doofus who had no brains that I was worried about how she would do in the actual ring; she did not want to walk on a certain patch of grass, she kept picking her feet up one at a time as though the ground was flaming hot and she could have cared less about the treats I had. Uh oh!
Finally its our turn (we are the very last dog) and once in the ring she seems to settle down and we briskly get through the course without any problem and no do-overs. Yeah! That's good enough for a third leg and an RN title. The top four dogs in the class all had 100s. When you have tied scores the tie breaker becomes the amount of time it took for you to run your course. V ended up being not only one of the dogs earning a PERFECT 100, she and I also had the fastest time - good enough for a first placement. Go baby V!
Next up - back to Phoenix metro area for some LGRA racing on Wednesday, then back home only to return to Scottsdale on Friday evening for some Agility and conformation on Sat/Sun. This is our busy time of the year.
(Ps: As for my health - I had either asthma induced bronchitis or bronchitis induced asthma so I am on some bronchial inhalers for a few months to calm things down. While I am tired, I am feeling pretty good!)
February 1st-4th: It's not been a good couple of months. I was sick right before Christmas for about a week - didn't think much of it as it had been going around the clinic and it was inevitably my turn. Then about 2 weeks later my cough picked up and I was again sick with all that goes along with a cold including a cough that was keeping me up at night. At the urging of the docs at work I filled the antibiotics the human doctor prescribed earlier and I slowly returned to normal. I spoke to a number of people who said they have heard of some sort of "cold" going around that was lasting months. No kidding! I really felt the antibiotics helped so thought for sure I was over the hump. Then Lisa at work, who has relapsed twice, relapsed again but this time her symptoms were more flu like with a cough; I was right behind her and ended up calling in sick for 2 days and being sent home another day. My cough is still relentless, I sleep in acrobatic positions to keep from coughing up a lung and rest is something in the far off distance that I know I would enjoy if I could just embrace it. I have a call into the doctor but they are not too concerned and pencil me in for Tuesday; assuming I survive.
The worst of it is - Tre is doing quite poorly. Almost two weeks of normalcy and wham - we are back at square one though much worse as now he is not wanting to eat anything, nothing, nada! I can not coax him with any old tried and trues; McDonald's, Chinese food, T-bone steak. Its as though he is shutting down and saying its time. After watching Tre refuse foods for the past 4 days means only one thing, its time to say good-bye. I have prepared Rand that Monday the 4th is D-Day. Rand tries to see signs of hope in Tre but I remind him even if Tre eats a morsel of bread, or walks to the water bowl and drinks, its not enough to sustain his weakened body any longer - especially not when it goes out the other end so quickly. It's not about us, what we want or how we're feeling. I can only hope the sun is shining brightly for us tomorrow so we can spend time in the sun before Tre begins his final journey.
Perhaps the world realizes what a special dog Tre is and mourns his eventual loss; instead of sun we are awakened to drizzle that works up to a cold rain that has no plans of dispersing. Since I have been camped out on the couch so as not to disturb Rand's sleep, I am unaware of how often Tre gets up in the middle of the night to do his business outside. I think Rand concedes to my decision this morning as he mentions that Tre had a tough night last night, very restless spending a lot of time outside - which is evident when I scoop the back yard. I am scheduled to work today and while I would have preferred to take him in immediately, Rand wants to be with him and has to rearrange his schedule; the plan is to head over to the clinic around 5pm. Due to my cough and everything else, the docs send me home to recuperate and, I would like to think, spend time with Tre. And that's what I have been doing, giving him little massages, respectful of the fact that he never liked a lot of hands on, even as a youngster. I've whispered in his ear how great he is, how much he has meant to me and how much I will miss him. I have asked that he say hi to Sage for me and to let her know I miss her too.
As we await Rand to come home the weather takes a bizarre turn, first a hint of sun, then snow. I wonder if Tre, born in Pennsylvania, was born while it snowed? The snow on our property did not last long though it continues to snow in the foothills. More clouds, more rain - what a dreary day in more ways then one. Rand arrives home and we bundle Tre up in his horse blanket and head to the clinic. Rand tells me about a triple rainbow he espied today - a good omen that heaven is preparing for Tre. As we approach the clinic the sun breaks through the clouds. My doctors and fellow co-workers were the best and did not make Rand, Tre or I wait too long though we were kind of being "worked in". Dr. R as always steps up when Dr. W is caught in a room and Tre's passing goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. I could not have asked for more. Tre went to be with Sage at 5:00pm and to await us at the Rainbow bridge. You did all that I asked Tre, and so much more; thank you for 14 fantastic years.
Luckily there were some vendors at the show and we were able to find Tre something he was willing to eat to some degree though it only lasted about 3 days. He then spent the majority of the weekend lounging in the sunshine while the younger kids went to work on their agility titles. The venue was rather nice, the weather a bit cooler then I like or expected. Feigh and I did well together - we are starting to become a team. Sadly though she is now in the Excellent classes where you do or die - which means there is no room for error except time faults. So alas, no matter how well we did, we still did not get any legs. But there is hope! Drew was quite disappointing the whole weekend. He tends to be the one dog we can rely on and he was, well, flat! We think he was getting us back for having him baby-sit Tre one to many times. No legs for Drew. Clay and Rand looked MUCH improved and came OH SO CLOSE to a leg on several occasions. Due to the Packers playoff game we decide to cut the Sunday runs short and leave early. Rand and Clay still have JWW to do while I pack the car. Wouldn't you know, the one time I am not there to see it they run the best they have ever run, in something like 27 seconds! I am impressed. Good job boys!
Upon our arrival home I decide to break out the Nature's Variety raw food and see if Tre shows any interest. He does and for almost 2 weeks we have a well eating dog with nice stools while I fluctuate between several raw things. I can not tell you how happy this makes me feel.
Feigh and I (along with Katy and Nutty) head to Phoenix one Saturday for some obedience. This is to be Feigh's Open debut - I am excited. Feigh's up first and we are doing an awesome job and head into the long sits and downs working on a first place and a 194. Nutty and Katy follow us and are doing well, though I imagine Nut stopped Katy's heart on several occasions. Nut goes into the long sit and downs working on a score in the 180's and a second place. Sadly - neither girl manages to make it through the long down, for different reasons, and both blow their class placements. Ah well we get to try again mid February.
¤ Dec¤ Nov ¤ Oct ¤ Sep ¤ Aug ¤ Jul¤ Jun ¤ May ¤ Apr ¤ Mar ¤ Feb ¤ Jan ¤
December 9th: Well this week has had a lot of ups and downs. Tre is recovering well from the surgery per se but his IBD and appetite are worse for wear. All I can say is thank doG for doggie doors as his gut plays havoc with his life enjoyment. Thankfully Tre has accompanied me to work each day so I am better able to address any problems that arise. In recent weeks our clinic has diagnosed at least 4 other cases of oral malignant melanoma and for whatever reason I always seem to be the tech assigned the patient. One case had low mitotic (the ability to metastasize) who really did not want to consider jaw resection. The dog is relatively young (just 10 years of age) and is in apparent great health. Tre and I were able to help the owner make a decision as everyone could not believe how great and normal Tre looked only 72 hours post surgery (pic1, pic2, pic3, taken 4 days post surgery - kind of hard to tell, wouldn't you say?). I found out this Saturday that our client went up to the Aid Animal clinic and had the surgery done. My fingers are crossed it went as well as Tre's did.
Every morning this past week Tre has had to be roused out of bed. He would go out for a quick piddle then hightail it back to bed (or course our weather is cold and damp so who could really blame him?). He had no appetite and seemed almost nauseous. I would give him his meds, try and coax him to eat to no avail (and drive myself ragged in the process) and hope that he would find his appetite at work - which he usually did though he had an affinity for "junk" food (treats, boiled chicken, scrambled eggs). I worry he is not getting proper nutrition but thrilled when he is remotely interested.
On Thursday and Friday evening he asked to go for a walk - which is always a good sign. He was able to make it around the block and was thrilled to check on his pee mail. Thursday he even went to agility and gobbled down some turkey dogs. When we were putting the equipment up he even took a jump on his own to show everyone he still knows how to do it. Silly boy.
Friday morning and Saturday morning seemed the worse with regards to his inappetance and overall morning malaise. On Saturday Lisa from work suggested I give him Pepcid AC in case he has some reflux issues. He seemed better Sat. nite; Lisa will make a terrific and intuitive vet when she gets accepted to school. Our clinic party was Sat. nite so I was able to ask Dr. Rad what to do about Tre's inappetance. She suggests we double his pred dose for about 5 days and get his IBD back under control as this is the problem now, his jaw yesterday's news.
Apparently some great advice as this morning, after his Pepcid and his pred, Tre joined us all in the kitchen - awaiting his meal with the rest of the crew - something I have not seen for a number of days. Right now he is bumping my leg, looking for a treat. I do not want to speak too soon but maybe, just maybe he is on the right road finally??
December 2nd: Tre looks as though he has had a good nights rest. I did not hear him get up and I did not see any signs of more vomiting. He still does not seem hungry though he is approaching the water bowl like a true champ. I muscle test and decide on 1/2 tramadol, 1/2 traumeel, 1/4 of his regular dose of Pred (I hope the Pred works two fold - settles his gut and makes him hungry). No antibiotics this morning though I plan to resume the flagyl this evening. I will ask the docs tomorrow about what to do since I know he needs antibiotics to stave off infection but being nauseous is not good for his recovery either. I fix him some scrambled eggs with a small amount of ham as well as raw turkey (anything to entice him to eat!). He seems moderately interested and eats a little - this is around 9:15 or so. We then proceed to head outside and soak up some rays while I give him a full body massage. This he seems to enjoy as he closes his eyes during it - mind you Tre is not a hands on sort of guy and has only mildly tolerated petting. The sun gets too warm for his black coat and we all head back inside. He continues to drink water which is encouraging - it means his tongue is not sore or less sore and he has good use of it. He still does not grasp any food - I have to kind of place it on the side of his mouth where he gums it. He settles in for a nap. The swelling in his face is almost non-existant - amazing since it is only 2 days post op and seemed so obvious Friday night/Sat morning. I personally think it is the traumeel which is for inflammation and bruising.
This afternoon he toddles our and unfortunately has a major blow out. On the upside the last part of his BM was formed so perhaps it was just his body getting rid of all the toxins he has had the past few days. About a half hour later - when the other dogs are out front I offer Tre some eggs and turkey and he about takes my hand off to get to it. This was the first time he has actually used his mouth to feed himself. This is very encouraging. While I am tempted to overfeed him to make up for the two days of no food I stop myself and only let him have a small amount. I will offer him more later.
December 1st: I awoke at 4:15 this morning. I planned to awaken at 2ish to give Tre his pain pill but that did not happen so I quickly jumped out of bed and got the meds for him. I am having to push these pills to the back of his throat which is no easy task considering his surgical procedure. I offer him a piece of bread too as I feel he is hungry. I break off small pieces for him and he is able to gum it down his throat and he ends up eating at least half of it. I kind of regret waking him up to give him the medication as it takes him a while to settle down again but I know its best for him to get the meds. Tramadol the pain reliever also has sedative properties so I think that is why he is still "loopy". Finally he settles and we both fall back to sleep.
This morning his face is much more swollen. I keep telling myself to keep positive. He does not seem painful per se. He just seems out of sorts; he can't figure out why his tongue does not work as well or perhaps why it is tender. I offer him some watered down canned food and he tries once but gives up. I then offer him some regular canned food, after making him take his antibiotics. As long as I spoon fed him he was willing to eat and ate about half a can. He has a lot of serous drool that has coated his legs where he rests his head. Throughout the day he has attempted to drink water but he stops - due to pain, indecision, drug induced stupor I can not tell. I will continue to medicate him, hand feed him if necessary and either syringe water down his throat or give SQ fluids when I take him to work on Monday. We will get over this recovery hump.
"Save tomorrow for tomorrow, think about today instead".
Saturday evening: Tre continues to approach the water bowl and then just stand there, looking lost. I take the other furkids for a brief walk and Tre meets us at the door as though he too wants to go. I decide to walk him to the end of the drive and back. We hardly make it out the gate when he vomits at least three times undigested food from the morning meal. This would certainly explain why he does not want to eat. The question is - what is the cause? The antibiotics? The tramadol? I can not get him to eat anything the rest of the evening. I do some muscle testing and decide to only give him the homeopathy pain reliever Traumeel and his Flagyl. The only bright light is right before bed he approaches he water bowl and actually laps up some water. Good boy Tre! What will the morrow bring?
From the very beginning Dr. S would tell me to think about having his jaw removed (mandiblectomy) to totally cut the cancer out; I kept resisting her suggestion. I truly felt we could manage the growth with the local debulking and could then let what happens with cancer, happen. I must admit that the thought of having Tre look like a bucked tooth, badly overshot dog with his tongue hanging to the ground was not appealing. I really envisioned a monster of sorts. I was concerned too about how the resident basenjis, who can be quite feral when it comes to pack preservation, would deal with the smell of blood after surgery, or how Tre would feel after surgery. I really did not consider mandiblectomy an option.
Sunday the 25th of November and Tre's mass is back with a vengeance. It appears to be eroding his lower left canine tooth; food is getting trapped in the 'new' space between his last incisor and canine tooth. The mass is quite ulcerated now and is hanging over his tongue (it is not attached to his tongue just sits on his tongue when his mouth is closed) and the resident basenjis are very interested in this area - the very thing I want to avoid. His lower jaw line is now swollen as well. He still has a voracious appetite, still wants to take walks and be a part of the family so I go into work on Monday and ask Dr. S to give Dr. Visser in Scottsdale a call - I am ready for a mandiblectomy and hope it is not so late they have to take the whole jaw. They can get me in on Friday. It's a two hour drive to and fro; luckily I am scheduled off that day. Boy am I nervous. Am I doing the right thing? Should I perhaps just euthanise even though Tre is still so full of life; he just has an enlarging growth in the wrong place which would eventually limit the quality of his life, if left to grow uncontrolled. My reasoning for considering the mandiblectomy was the very fact that the mass itself was eroding or eating at his teeth and possibly his jaw. If the mass could end up destroying the bone/tissue - why should I hesitate to have it surgically removed to stop the progression. While Tre did not seem painful with the mass - how do I truly know he is not? Wouldn't it be better to give him several days of medicated discomfort versus weeks or months of bone/tissue destroying discomfort?
I asked Dr. B to ask via muscle testing, a few questions. I did not want to influence the results by knowing the questions so she asked them to herself. She asked if Tre was ready to leave yet. His answer? No. She asked if this surgery was in his best interest. His answer? Yes. These are the same answers I was getting when I muscle tested Tre personally. I feel better about subjecting him to the surgery. Let's see if I still feel that way afterwards.
Friday comes and I am up by 4:45am. I need to be in Scottsdale, on a work day, by 8am so I need to avoid traffic. Rand is leaving for Berkeley a bit later - he is off to the BIG GAME between Stanford and Cal. I am left to do this alone - which sadly seems to be my MO. I am scared but game and Tre and I head out the door by 5:30am. For some reason I decide to put the cell phone under my leg on vibrate; good thing as Dr. S calls me at 6am to make sure I had everything and wish me luck. It is nice to know that folks care and I am moved to tears which is not a good thing while driving on the Interstate. Apparently the stress of this whole thing is starting to catch up to me but I am able to shake it off. I pop in my Jesus Christ Superstar CD and jam my way to Scottsdale. The weather has finally decided to become winter like, with rain on Thursday and more forecasted for Friday. Whomever watches over me or perhaps Tre; be it Sage or my grandmother - they worked wonders. The weather held for the ride up and we make it with plenty of time to spare.
I have been to the Aid Animal Clinic several years before with Drew's brother Shaman and his mom Nancy. Shaman had just fractured his big premolar and we made an emergency beeline to Scottsdale to have Dr. Visser perform a root canal. Nancy and I had a lot of fun hanging out at the mall, shopping, playing games while waiting for Shaman to have his dental procedure. This trip would be much different, though no less expensive. While I was invited to stay and watch the procedure I kindly bowed out and was barely able to hold my composure until I made it back to the car. I really am stressed out and the tears start to flow. I try and remember the JCS song that says "Save tomorrow for tomorrow, think about today instead". There is no sense in crying over something that has not happened yet or may not happen.
I am told best case scenario - they leave some of the bone that connects both parts of the lower jaw and still get clean margins. Worst case scenario - they have to take the whole left jaw, which would mean the right jaw would not have anything to anchor it, making it floppy. Apparently cats do NOT do well with this type of -ectomy surgery and never adjust. Dogs are more able to adjust to learning how to eat though it can take a month or more. I want clean margins since without clean margins it could mean that in a few months time we are in the same boat with a mass that has returned. I also want the least amount of recorvery/adjustment for Tre. I just have to think positively - it is what it is.
I remain in the car with a number of mags/books to peruse. Around 11:30am I notice Dr. Visser leave the building. I wait a bit, finish up my article and head over to see how Tre is doing. It's 12:15pm and I am allowed to go back and visit him. The procedure took over 2 hours and Tre is still groggy. He does perk up when he smells my hand, so I stay for a little bit and pet him. The best thing is - he still looks like Tre and not anything like the monster I envisioned. The Dr. comes over to discuss what they did - a rostral mandiblectomy. They were able to leave a bridge of bone from the left to the right so he will have stability. Thank you guardian angels; whomever you are. They also left his back four premolars/molars on that side which means they took the affected area and left the rest; best case scenario. I am told their feeling is they have clean margins; the bone was actually "grossly normal" a medical term which seems like an oxymoron but loosely translates to "perfectly normal." We will find out in 7-10 days when the biopsy comes back. They would like him to recover for another hour so I head next door to Subway and grab a bite. Perhaps 45 minutes pass when Dr. Visser pops his head in; Tre is up and agitated (his classic anesthetic MO) so they are going to pull his catheter and release him. Since we have a 2 hour road trip ahead of us this is great news. Once again I thank my lucky stars as I was hoping against all hope that I would be able to leave and drive while it was still daylight; especially now that the rain has decided to rear its wet head again. I am given a copy of the before and after pictures of his mass, the mandiblectomy and radiographs. Caution as they are a little graphic, but not grossly so.
Tre and I have an uneventful trip back and I try and leave a message with Rand's cell phone with the encouraging news. I stop off to pick up some medication and we arrive home where he gets a thorough sniff over, with me ready to pounce if anyone tries anything. We all settle in for the very rainy evening. Lisa from work calls and leaves a message to see how he is doing. Once again I am appreciative of the care people have shown. Dr. Visser calls around 7pm to check in. He encourages me to give Tre his pain meds regardless so I immediately do so. Tre does not seem painful at this time as he is still in a stupor of sorts. He did lap up some watered down canned food which is encouraging. Around 10ish I put everyone to bed and offered Tre some more food but he was not interested. His jaw is getting swollen from all the bruising and is warm to the touch. He still seems to be in a stupor so I am not too concerned.
The question is - will I feel the same way tomorrow.
November 18th/19th: Agility and breed this weekend. Once again it's Drew to the rescue! Rand runs him in Excellent JWW preferred on Saturday and he is able to Q with a perfect score; good job boys! Then on Sunday he and I finally get an Open P standard leg with another perfect score. Phew! Feigh ran well, was listening to me though kind of slow and sniffy. We did not Q either day but my ability to control her better is encouraging for the future. Not sure where the fast and furious Feigh has been in recent months but I hope she comes back a little and stops the sniffing. I decided not to retire Clay just yet. I did decide however that he needs one trainer; Rand and they need to figure it out together. Rand needs to play more with him and cheer lead while running. Also when we are training, Clay will not just get to go 100mph around the course - Rand will let him do one obstacle and call him back to him, then progress to two obstacles, then three etc. Rand will eventually randomize when he calls Clay back to him. I hope this will teach Clay to listen more to Rand and teaches Rand the object of the game is not to race the dog around in practice only to lack control at a show. We have also decided to just continue to do the course with Clay when he messes up as opposed to stopping him and bringing him back to do it right - which I think stresses Clay. The only exception in Novice will be weave poles - we will try and send him through twice to get it right. All that said Rand and Clay did really well together this weekend. No Q's but Clay was close and looked to be having fun (as did Rand). Clay did not seem as uninterested or distracted - which could very well be avoidance issues due to nerves and Rand being a bit nervous as well. Fingers crossed this works.
V got to play show dog and did okay. She placed 2nd or 3rd in the BBE class (out of 4) the whole weekend. For sure she needs more work on grass and possibly more work on show lead moving in general. She has the reach and drive but does not always display it and I am not sure why. I assume it is age related as she is still growing and strengthening her muscles et al. I will see what she looks like on video aver Thanksgiving. By then perhaps the national DVD with her ASE win will be here and I can see what she looked like that day and get a better understanding of my dog.
Next up - nothing planned for awhile show wise.
Tre and V just came to hang out. Next up, local agility on the 18th/19th. V is entered in the conformation ring as well.
By the time I showed, both of my kids have wilted from the heat and I am a bit worried about their ability to Q. Even in the best of conditions one worries about a basenjis ability to Q <lol>. Clay's up first and I move quickly to keep him on his toes. He has been NQing on the off leash heeling so I do not want to give him a moment to think. It's not pretty but we get to the sits and downs still in the game. Feigh's turn. Her heeling is marginal, her off leash even less so but she too is still in the game. Katy helps me out and takes Clay in for sits and downs while I go in with Feigh. The judge is kind and puts the dogs in the shade and the humans in the full sun. Phew! Both dogs hold their stays and qualify with a 3rd place for Clay and 2nd for Feigh. Both now have two legs; only one more to go and another day awaits us on Sunday.
Sunday: the judges are moving at a fast clip - apparently they have a shuttle to catch and they want out of there. This time the judge allows Katy to split her dogs and she is able to do the stays with each. Sadly neither Q in the exercises but they again show a lot of potential. Typical green dog mistakes. Clay is again first in the ring and is doing okay despite the temps but then he blows it. On the recall he was looking elsewhere and air scenting. Since I tend to say my commands VERY loudly due to my hearing, I do not feel he did not hear me - he just was not listening and sat there. Ugh! I called him again and you would have thought he was shot out of a cannon he flew in so fast and sat straight (why oh why does he save the straight front for a time when he has NQ'd???). Since he decided to go down on his long sit as well I am glad he blew it when he did - nothing worse then thinking you have the leg in the bag and the dog does not do his stationary exercises; especilly in novice. Feigh did a wee bit better on Sunday then she did on Saturday and did manage to Q and title with a first placement. Good job Feigh. While her scores were significantly less then her first leg, I am proud of her. I do not work them as much as I should/could so I take what I can get. I have high hopes/goals for V in the future so training will begin in earnest starting December. My goal is to get Clay's CD, perhaps CDX (or a leg or two) depending on training, and Feigh's CDX by spring 2008 so I can concentrate on V only in obedience. I may or may not try for a UD on Feigh. It is just too hard for me to train/show multiple dogs in this venue while getting the scores I know they can earn.
Next up - agility in Mesa on the 10th/11th.
October 11-22: Everyone, sans the cat, heads off for a l-o-n-g vacation to Northern California for the Basenji Club of America National Specialty; first stop was an overnight jaunt to Palm Desert to visit my parents. Back on the road early the next morning, we're making great time; then the rain hits, followed by traffic - the bane of California existence. It takes us an hour to go around 30 miles. We finally make it to the host hotel where we find Katy's car in the unloading zone as she checked into her room - perfect timing.
Nationals was a mixed bag of emotions - as is usual for this large of a venue featuring only one breed. I am luckier than most though; folks usually only have one shot, at most two if you count sweeps, at winning due to the sheer number of dogs entered. Having five (relatively) trained dogs, different performance venue possibilities and African blends, I have multiple opportunities to score big, though more realistically - lose graciously; which of course I did - a lot!
AKC lure coursing was first on the schedule, followed immediately by NOTRA Oval track racing - which we have never done before. Competition was stiff and if Feigh, or even Drew, coursed at the level I know they can or were in the kind of coursing condition they should be in, they would have placed much higher. Feigh, as always, cheats herself out of any real placements and ended up as NBQ (5th place) in her specials stake of 11. Oddly, she ran better the second course but was scored much lower?!? Drew ran cleanly, does not cheat (much!) but is unable to get a piece of the pie. I chickened out and only entered Clay in NOTRA - figuring he would like the smaller course and have less reason/desire to interfere.
In NOTRA everyone has to wear muzzles, much to Clay's dismay; he spent part of his time doing somersaults trying to dislodge it, to no avail, which of course cost him as he ended up in last place in his runs despite being ahead of his competition going into the final straight away. He did not seem too interested in bumping anyone so I definitely have to head back to So. Cal and enter some NOTRA or straight line racing, or both, with everyone. Feigh ended up doing rather well in the first couple of courses but has not figured out that the inside is the place to be for greater speed. She did however end up as the top FTE (first time entered) and according to Lisa - she has a Junior Leg and a Superior (?? Senior) leg towards her JOR and SOR(?) titles. Drew started out great but for some reason (tired??) he refused to run the last race. I forgot how Clay ended up. It was all rather confusing but enjoyable. The top NOTRA dog was, I believe, one of the dogs who did not run AKC earlier that day - stands to reason he would be fresh and furious.
ASFA was on Sunday and the course was quite long. Again Feigh defeats herself but had a blast doing it. No future plans to run Feigh in ASFA or AKC until after we have some remedial Oval or staightline training - its too expensive to waste money on a dog that currenlty courses as bad as she does. Drew has a lot of heart and it showed. He ran hard after his long and tiring previous day and still managed to come in 3rd in the veterans stake for, I believe, 12 points. Ziggy (Feigh's baby boy) and his owners came up; I was supposed to show Ziggy in the ASE match on Sunday but it was postponed until Monday evening. Pam, Feigh's breeder, was able to see him and she still feels he is the pick of the litter. He has a GORGEOUS head piece - even better then his dad, which is hard to imagine as Chance has an incredible head. Pam really liked his front assembly as well and while he is rarely walked on a regular collar, we were able to glean a little about his movement. We measured him at about 17 1/4 inches. Katy took some pics so but they were accidently purged. Here is a collage of video snaps of Ziggy. The highlight of this weekend was I won both raffle baskets that had lots of goodies inside.
Monday arrived bright and early. On today's schedule is: Rally, Obedience, Veterans Sweeps, get Rand to the airport and the African match. Lots to do! A number of rally and obedience entries dropped out so I had to rush between entries and had no time to warm any of my dogs up before going into the ring - I was barely able to allow them to pee! Unfair to them AND to me. Clay was in Rally Novice B first and did okay. V was next and did better. Both qualified, with V getting first place at the tender age of 10 months. Drew and Khonsu were the only entries in Open Obedience. Drew had a nice score going but did not like the mats and decided to pop up on the long down for a big fat NQ for the day. The judge was pencil heavy and deducted 3 points off for Drew's long sit due to him being fidgety. Ouch! Khonsu was rock solid on his stays but showed like a very green dog (which he is) in his first ever Open show and also NQ'd.
Feigh had a nice score going in Novice B but she too did not like the strange mats and sat up on the long down; another NQ. Clay bombed on the off leash heeling - too many good smells to completely ignore. During the long down you could see him looking over at Feigh sitting and wondering if perhaps he was doing the wrong thing - sure enough he slowly creeped up to a half sit, saw Katy's expression, and quickly plopped back down. Sadly, there were no qualifiers in Obedience this year. V and Jane were entered in Pre-Novice. Both exceeded our expectations s 10 month olds. Jane did not Q but she tried really hard. V Q'd with a 190.5 score,
Tre was entered in Veterans' Sweep. There were 4 entries in the 13+ age category (1 absent). One of the entries was Turbo - who was a top winning special in his heyday and he is still quite special at almost 15 years of age; boy can he move! He (Turbo) ended up with an AOM in the regular show - I should think he is the oldest basenji ever awarded an AOM. Anyhow - Tre has never been a big fan of showing and it shows. He looked quite hunched over and could not seem to relax so he did not look very good and was placed last. I decided to not show him in the regular Veterans class on Wednesday.
Katy was kind enough to take Rand to the BART station midday. Rand had to return to Tucson for a few days of work. In the meantime I was busy trying to find someone to show Jane for Katy in the ASE 'cuz I know Katy hates the showing aspect of owning a basenji; luckily Kim B. was more then willing to show Jane and she showed her beautifully. Dave was kind enough to bring Ziggy all the way back up so I could show him in the ASE match. Of course Ziggy has never been on a show lead, except for the 5 minutes I played around with him the day before, so he was a bit resistant to moving with his head up, moving at all, standing still to be examined, et al. In the end I think I got him looking somewhat decent at times for Karla, the judge and hopefully for the DVD. He did not win his class but we got a great embroidered tote bag for our time - the best trophies of the whole specialty if I may say so.
V showed great and not only won her class but also took Best of Opposite Sex puppy. The Best puppy was a gorgeous half african male out of Fido; drop dead level topline, beautiful outline, crisp brindle color, short coat, open side gait. I was so proud of V and especially pleased that I had already pre ordered a copy of the ASE DVD so I can relive it. :O) Not to be outdone, Feigh ended up winning Best Adult Exhibit. Wow! While I have won top awards in performance venues at Nationals, I NEVER win anything on the show side of things, so it was THRILLING to win both of these with mom and daughter. Thanks goes to Karla S. for picking them. The icing on the cake was to have the nice comments made afterwards about their movement, attitude or both. I just hope the win pictures turn out nice. The ASE ended around 8pm and Katy and I still had blood draws to do for the Canine Phenome Project. A few people were upset that I stayed to get pictures of my ASE wins so they left; in the end we drew about 6 dogs for the project with more to do the following day.
The rest of the week was spent showing or observing the puppy sweeps classes and regular classes. The judging was very disappointing and not because I did not win. Seeing the class placements I can honestly say I was more then happy NOT to have won; to have won would have meant, to me, that I was potentially heading down the wrong road with regard to breeding, structure and standard interpretation. Thankfully there were some nice dogs that did eventually place in the classes and/or actually win some top honors, but there was no consistency by either judge. Amidst short legged, squatty things with dippy toplines there would be more elegant, level backed, longer legged specimens; it just made no sense. And the feet - ouch! I have never seen so many flat feet in my life.
Bitches that looked like dogs, adults that looked so small as to be puppies, and movement - whoo boy! Many moved as though they had their front legs taped to their back legs, stilting their gait versus swinging freely. Huh, you say? Okay - imagine a saloon door - when you go through it and let it swing closed it swings nice and wide, to and fro, for a few minutes. Continue to watch that door when it starts to come back to the center (closed) position - what do you see? Short, choppy and quick back and forth movements. Or imagine a coin that has been set spinning on a table - notice how little effort is made to stay upright but as it begins to come to rest it gets faster and faster and the revolutions get smaller and smaller, tighter and tighter - that is the kind of movement I am currently seeing in the ring. Still can't visualize what I mean? Think about how efficient an eagle moves versus a hummingbird. Who expends the least amount of effort to get the furthest? Its not to say that both are not pretty in their own right but which wings would you rather have if you had to fly across the country? Sadly judges are being taught that short quick movements is proper. Last I read the basenji is supposed to emulate a trotter trotting full out. When a judge is faced with the more open and easy ground covering gait of a true mover - they are stymied.
Sadly, if I had to pick one thing that was consistent I would have to say the lack of brindles being in the placements. I was not the only person noticing that this color was getting the very short end of the stick. Its truly disheartening to think in today's day and age - with limited founders - the newer imports (1987 onwards) are still being ostracized by breed aficionados. Let's just say that a few people fell off my pedestal face first this week - ultimately their loss. That's not to say that all the brindles showing were outstanding - there were some good ones and bad ones; apparently though a bad tri, black or red is better than a good brindle 'cuz there were many bad examples getting first through fourth and beyond! Okay - off my pedestal. Nationals is a time to see, be seen, live and learn; thus I had an extremely successful Nationals. :O)
Agility on Saturday and Sunday finished out the week for us. Sadly agility was NOT a part of this years Nationals per se. There was no BCOA representation to make folks who showed their basenjis feel a part of the overall show. We were left to collect our own trophies, if we qualified, though having the trophy towels sit in a box on the table meant any and all could help themselves. The agility chair asked me on Sunday if I wanted the towels as she still had them, I politely declined. I also know of several basenji folks that came over to watch but due to the sheer number of dogs running, basenjis were lost in the crowd and spectators left without getting to see any run. This is really too bad as a lot of fanciers are interested in seeing basenjis do more than run around a ring on a show lead.
Sadly none of the basenjis faired very well in Agility except for Drew - he Q'd in both of his jumpers runs and in the FAST class on Sunday. I think it was just too long of a week to ask our dogs, a breed not known for their performance brilliance, to go out and work their best. I hope in the future that agility at Nationals will NOT be a permanent part of an all breed trial and will be done earlier in the week, rather than later. Sounds like sour grapes but showing is quite expensive nowadays (around $65 a day per dog) and I feel at Nationals we should be doing everything in our power to encourage folks to be successful while encouraging those not performing to come out and cheer the breed on. On the plus side - I think I finally have figured out the new FAST class as I was able to sit and watch it - its kind of fun.
On another note, Dave and Ana brought Ziggy back up on Saturday so that we could collect him. Lisa was nice enough to offer up her young, in season, female to tease him and Ziggy had a blast. We were able to get 12 (yes twelve!) vials from him for future use. Hopefully others will show an interest in him and his rather unique pedigree (and color - see below) and not let his genes go to waste. Then again I can say the same for Drew and Shaman - despite all their health clearances, titles and interesting pedigree, no one has shown any interest. Ah well - my goal is to take Drew back to V and combine both Sage and Feigh - how awesome will that be!? Then perhaps I can go back to Ziggy down the line. What's interesting is when I was talking to Lisa after collecting Ziggy, he was standing in the direct sunlight and Lisa says "Hey, he's got stripes!" - sure enough you can see stripes in his coat - which means he has a HUGE probability of being a black brindle. How great is THAT!?
On Monday we packed up and charted our trip back home. Originally we planned to go back down to Palm Desert and stay with the folks but the fires nixed that idea. Roads were being closed so we detoured over to I-40 and head on home. It was a long day and we had to fight some strong winds but we managed to pull into the driveway 13 hours after we left Northern California. Everyone was glad to be home a day early. Calle was excited to see us, the house looked great, the bed even greater! All in all a lovely time was had though perhaps next year we won't stay quite so long. (Next year is Dallas, Texas at Southfork Ranch, about 5 minutes from my sisters house where we will plan to have a family reunion of sorts!)
Next up - Feigh in obedience on the 3rd/4th of November. Clay is also entered, V too in pre-novice; I think I will hold them out and do some more work with them - depends on how practice goes this week.
September 30th: Despite the previous day being overcast and the following day starting out with rain, Sunday, September 30th dawned blue skied, sunny and HOT! A perfect day to hold an obedience match with a start time of 10 am ... NOT. Suckers that we are, and knowing we need to train more before nationals, we head over to the local race track for some fun in the sun - and I do mean sun as the facility is without one speck of shade (unless you count the small patch of shade the bathrooms created, where the huddled masses already lingered).
First up is Drew in Open A. Drew is feeling the heat, panting a bit and sluggish. We manage to eek out a passing performance and head into the long sits and downs. I was worried that the heat would be too much and he would either high tail it over to the huddled masses (can you blame him) or just plop down in a melted red and white mess. However I returned both times to a very stoic young man in the same position I left him - good job Drew.
Katy, Khonsu and Nut make their debut in Open A and considering she is a novice handler, this was a new location, and we had extreme heat - they did pretty good. Khonsu being a classic basenji boy needs to work more with obvious distractions but he has great potential and I definitely see a CDX in his future. I had to show V in the puppy BIS ring so I missed out on Nuts performance but Katy seemed rather pleased. Khonsu, ever the smart lad, did leave on the long down and found a spot of shade to cool down in. Even the judge commented that the only smart dog was the one who left! Funny too as he hightailed it back to Katy upon her return.
Next up is Clay and Feigh. My wild child is first and is working ho hum to say the least. Qualifying but pitifully so, then disaster struck. Off leash Feigh decides to stop and squat! UGH! That's what happens when you a:) have too many dogs you rush from one ring to the next and b:) work in the hottest part of the day where you dogs drink more water in 5 minutes then they have all week and c:) you just plumb forget about a and b and didn't give her the potty command BEFORE showing. Live and learn. Seeing as how it was a match the judge kindly allowed us to continue. I had one dog to go before Clay's time, so I made sure he had a pit stop prior to entering. Clay did okay in the ring - his off leash heeling needs a lot of work - more then I have to give this close to Nationals. He is able to get through the exercises, and both dogs do their sits and downs perfectly; though I could tell that it was getting to Clay.
In all there were close to 20 dogs entered in the days match and there were only two qualifiers, Drew and Clay, with Drew winning High In Trial Match. My old trainer, Marie was there and she jokingly said "I just hate it when basenjis are in the ring as they always win!" I think she meant to say Border Collies. :O)
Next up - Nationals where we will be showing in every venue possibly over the course of nine days! Can you say heaven?
September 14-16: Everyone, sans the cat, headed up to Prescott for some conformation and obedience. We stayed at a little place that comprised of 11 "cottages". Very rustic and quaint, though it was right on a busy two lane forest road with blind curves - not a place you want a basenji to get loose. V was first up in the BFofGP specialty on Friday; her debut. The weather was not very co-operative - very windy, with the wind blowing a significant amount of dirt in our faces throughout. As the afternoon wore on, it became progressively worse - not my cup of tea. V did okay for her first official show. She balked a little when the judges (sweeps and regular) examined her on the table but not so much that it affected her placements. She was the only BBX bitch in sweeps so of course we got a first! In regular classes she came in second out of four in the BBX bitches. The BBX class winner went on to a RWB. A key point is all of the BBX bitches entered were at least 2 years of age and all of them have 9 or more points under their belts. I was happy with my 9 month old baby girl.
Saturday was Clay and Feigh in Novice B - there was a total of 19 entries, 1 absent. This is Feigh's debut and only Clay's second time ever in the ring. I had heard the judges were not very nice so I opted to only enter Novice B one day, Open A the next. I did not want to give these judges too many opportunities to pooh pooh my basenjis or basenjis in general. <lol> Well I ended up being pleasantly surprised; they were actually quite friendly. Tough! but friendly. Clay was first in and started out great only losing 3 1/2 points on the heel on leash. He had a perfect stand for exam but fell apart on the heel off leash. I was not too surprised seeing as how both girls have been in season and driving the boys to distraction, in ways you really do NOT want to know. Clay seemed a bit more interested in air scenting and ground sniffing then in heeling. Oh, did I mention the grasshoppers? The hundreds upon hundreds of grasshoppers that alight into the air when you walk past, or lay dead or infirm, valiantly struggling to get out of the way of numerous footfalls? Well lets just say I have no idea how to proof through that kind of distraction! Needless to say with two second heel commands and a lot of dallying, Clay NQ'd off leash heeling but did pass the remaining exercises.
Feigh's turn and boy what a turn she had. Apparently she did better then I thought. I did not get the impression she was with me most of the time but Rand said he thought we made a great team and looked to be in tandem. She lost 1/2 point on her heel on leash. She too had a perfect stand for exam; we head into the heel off leash where she becomes slightly distracted as well (remember - she is only about 1 week out of being in season and with her prey drive, those grasshoppers were enticing.) I gave her a second command once and thought I saw her out of position a few times thus I am not sure how she only managed to lose 2 1/2 points. Her recall was beautiful and perfect - no points taken off. She did her sits and down and walked away with a score of 197.0!! I can not believe it. Drew just recently gave me my highest AKC score of 196.5 and now Feigh has trumped it - wow! Now at any other show that 197.0 would be good for a first or second place. Sage earned herself a UKC All Breed High In Trial with a 197.0. However, in the ring with us were two top obedience handlers, who have trained multiple OTCH Border Collies or Goldens. Highly competitive people who do nothing but train, train, train! The first place score was a perfect 200 - hard to beat that! The second place score was 198.5. The third place score was 198.0, then Feigh with her 197.0. Good girl Feigh.
Drew sat out on Saturday but seemed raring to go on Sunday - until we got into the ring. Right next door was a flat coated retriever doing his off leash exercises and Drew wanted nothing more then to "get out of Dodge." Drew was attacked by a flat coat a few years back, without warning, and has been very leery of any large black dogs - especially off leash black dogs. He managed to stay in the ring but his heeling was pretty sad. He is my best heeling dog, has so much potential but when he is nervous - it goes out the window. He managed to Q on his heeling but lost 10 points! Ouch! His drop on recall was superb, though he sat crooked for 1/2 a point. Then stupid owner got involved (that would be me!) and threw the dumbbell and immediately told him to take it without waiting for the judge's command. Ock! I have always said that Open A is the class we lament "Wow...s/he's never done that before" - when talking about the dog. Well now I can include myself in that elite circle. I, of course compounded the problem with a loud "oops" and "sorry". The judge nailed us with a substantial (deserved) deduction of 3 points. Double ouch! His retrieve over the jump was perfect, albeit one crooked sit (1/2 point) and he ended with a perfect broad jump. We then lost 1 point on the long sit. I asked Rand if he had moved or whined, he said no. On the way home I finally realized what the deduction was for. Drew kept wanting to lie down before the long sit so I physically touched him to get him to sit - whammo! 1 point. It was a tough Open A day, out of 14 exhibitors only 2 Q'd - Drew and a Clumber. Drew's 185 score was worth a first place and his CDX title. Yeah Drew. I have actively shown only three basenjis in obedience (Clay and Feigh are just starting) and have earned multiple High in Trials, 1 High Combined, 1 UDX leg, 1 UD, 3 CDXs and 3 CDs - yeah for sinbaje!
V and Tre got to hang out and offer moral support. I imagine in his heart of hearts Tre is saying "YES! I am glad its not me out there!"
Next up - an obedience match on the 30th to prepare us for Nationals in October.
September 12: Some not so great news. I noticed a brick red growth in Tre's mouth on Saturday morning. It has not been there long as he was anesthetized in July for a tooth extraction due to his idiopathic root absorption issues and it was not there at that time. The growth was quite pendulous and located behind his lower left canine. It was ulcerated but did not seem to bother him all that much - we were able to flop it around and he never flinched or seemed uncomfortable. His appetite waxes and wanes due to his age and IBD so I do not think it is keeping him from eating. Anyhow - after some training Saturday morn, I stopped by work and had Dr. W check it out. Being the great dog that Tre is, Dr. W was able to inject a local into it and take the majority of it off for a histopath. There was some minor bleeding but we left within the hour.
The results came back last night - he has a very malignant form of oral melanoma. Dr. W asked for me to bring him in today for some chest films and to see if his lymph nodes are involved - i.e. we want to see if there is any metastasizing going on. His chest films look good (he has some bronchial scarring/bronchitis) and his LN are not swollen. Dr. W consulted with an oncologist to find out how aggressive we could be. They suggest the new "melanoma vaccine" - at $500 a bottle, for at least 4 bottles worth. Ouch! Studies have shown that it might give us 5-7 months longer than if we just leave him be. No guarantees any route we take and we would possibly need to add weekly radiation. My thinking is that if he were a young dog, I could see trying to do everything possible to extend his life - I mean a few weeks of feeling like sh** in a young dog is well worth it if we get 5-7 months or perhaps longer. But Tre is an older dog; 13 years and 8 months - that is like a 97 year old man - and he is showing his years and has been since late last year. A few weeks of feeling crummy to an old dog is the equivalent of months of feeling crummy. I just do not think he would be happy going to a strange place and staying for any length of time for weekly or biweekly visits. Then you have the possible side effects to deal with - what kind of life is that at this age; an age he should be slowing down gracefully and unknowingly.
I felt kind of cold-hearted about how I was thinking - as though Tre is somehow not important enough to pursue this. But he important, very important, and keeping him pain free with an appetite so he can pass gracefully is what I feel I owe him. In my line of work I see much too often animals being kept alive longer than they should be. There is no quality left, just a rack of bones, dead eyes, limp posture but still people hang on. Oftentimes I whisper to the pet that it is okay if they want to leave this earth, that sometimes they have to do it for themselves, as their owners can not do it; surprisingly many pets seem to listen. I asked Dr. W what she would do, as I wanted some sort of validation that I had Tre's best interest in mind or not. She replied that if it where her pet, she would not pursue it aggressively and let nature take its course while keeping him comfortable. So that is the plan, to spend my time with Tre as though nothing is wrong. Dr. W says the tumor will return and then it will become a matter of quality control - if it stays out of the bone - it could take months before quality is comprised. Tre has always been able to tell me what he is thinking, so I imagine when he is ready to go - he will let me know and I will honor him and let him go; until then - he's the same ole' Tre.
September 2: The girls are in season so only the boys got to play in agility today. We only entered the one day due to the 5:30 am start time - we've got to beat the heat. The venue was a covered horse arena - which means lots of dirt; bad for Drew and I. The boys started out rather wild and crazy and very much not paying attention but by the end of the day they were much more under control. Clay and Rand are looking better and better at each trial. There were some minor gaffes but they were able to earn one leg for the day, with a class placement. Drew and I earned ourselves two Q's with placements. Yeah for basenjis!
Next up - a stay in Northern Arizona, where we will have a few debuts; V in her first official conformation show and Feigh is scheduled to debut in Novice obedience; a precursor for Nationals. Drew and Clay will also be entered in Open A and Novice B respectively. Perhaps Drew can get his CDX - he only needs one leg.
August 10th: Sage (RIP) is now the dam of two (2) American Champions in her one, and only, litter. Shaman becomes the second homebred Champion at sinbajé. We have been sitting on 12 points since Nancy & Mahlon moved to Florida. With the addition of G. to their household, we were getting desperate to get him finished and "tutored" before she comes into season. In February we hooked up with Aaron Wilkerson who managed a single point before it became apparent that he (Aaron) did not seem too keen to show Shaman in small shows (we did not want to risk taking majors from other competitors). We kept looking for another handler, figuring we needed to just step up and look for a big gun to just git 'r done! I emailed a few basenji owners in the Florida area and one person gave rave reviews to the Jewetts (Frank and Maureen), so I emailed them and they agreed to tackle Shaman's "I need two singles and call me in the morning" problem. He spent the weekend with them at some smallish shows but nothing came of it. <sigh> So Nancy finally grabbed the bull by the horns and just committed herself (or perhaps resigned herself to the fact that I refused to allow him to retire with 13 points and both majors - despite his advancing age) and not only entered Shaman in 9 consecutive shows but allowed Shaman (who has never been apart from his family for any length of time) to live with the Jewetts for a little more than one month! YOWSER!! Well it paid off. While the smaller shows earlier last week were a bust (did not show 2 of the 4 days due to pulled entries) Shaman was finally able to win - as of this moment I am not sure of the particulars - his final two points and make his momma proud. Good job Shaman. Thanks to Nancy and Mahlon, thanks to the Jewetts, thanks to Sage for some wonderful babies and thanks to the power of positive thinking! I am blessed today.
Next up - agility on Labor day.
July 25-27th: V, Feigh, Drew, and I, along with Katy and Khonsu make a world wind trip to Lompoc, Ca - about 630 miles one way. We leave round 1:30 in the afternoon after a half day of work and arrive at midnight. We get up bright and early and head over to do a day of coursing. The cloud cover (or was that fog?) was great but very misleading and I end up with a nasty sunburn to my face. Drew had vomited a few times in the car so I was not too surprised when he did not run well. Of course he did lose the lure totally on the first run as it went off on his blind side rather sharply. His second run was really pathetic and he went and visited the judges - who of course questioned whether or not he could run with one eye. Luckily for me I had the email from the AKC saying there was nothing stopping him from doing it. At the end of the first course Feigh was ahead by 3 points. Then she decided to beat herself on the second run and really looked horrid out there cheating/cutting across the field not even paying any attention to the &^%* lure. She finished 2nd for the day. We will try some oval and straight line with her - see if that helps. If not she will be retired from coursing as it is a waste of my time and money to have her run it her way. The best news though was that they allowed us to reinstate Khonsu rather quickly (we expected to wait until much later in the day). He ran fine, as we knew he would, so we were able to head out of Lompoc by 3:45. Then the nightmare traffic - it took us over 4 hours to go 170 miles - UGH! We finally limped into Tucson around 2:45 in the morning. Poor Katy had to go to work bright and early. Luckily I was given the day off by a very nice co-worker (thank YOU Lisa!). Of course we have painters here so I was still up earlier then I would have liked.
(Friday) - some great news and some not so great news, though not terrible
news. Drew was tested CLEAR/NORMAL for fanconi. This means
he should never get it and he should never produce it. I am so thankful
I had the foresight to collect him prior to neutering. His results
are up on his page. Feigh is CLEAR/NORMAL. Clay is CARRIER. Tre is
CARRIER (his father was affected so no surprise). V is CARRIER. Ziggy
is INDETERMINATE Clear/Carrier, as is Jane. Feigh's brother Khonsu
is CLEAR. The good thing is - none of our current kids will ever
be affected, thank doG! And since we hoped to take Drew back to one of
the girls - it should work out.
Next up - Agility in early September.
July 8-9th: V, Feigh, Drew, Clay, and Tre and the humans all head out to Del Mar, CA for a weekend of Agility in support of the "Make A Wish" Foundation. Usually we would do three days but I was unable to get that much time off, besides which I am saving my time for Nationals. We make great time and the weather is perfect as we leave behind 110 degrees. Katy and her crew are there - they arrived on Thursday for three days of Agility. By the time we arrive she has already run and her girl Nut seems to have decided to settle down and get to work- by the end of the weekend Nut has a new NA title and is only one leg shy of her NAJ title. Khonsu needs a bit more work in open but he is starting to get the hang of it.
When we arrive at the hotel to unload, we give the dogs a quick potty break which almost ends up disastrous. Drew and Clay get tangled and decide to duke it out - mere inches from each other as they became more and more tangled the more they spin around. Feigh decided she wanted a piece of the boys - any piece and any boy - so we had to get her out of the fray before we could untangle them. I then had to dive in and risk my own limbs trying to break them up. Luckily neither dog truly wanted to fight - they were just pissed about being hog-tied in such close proximity and feeling cinched every time one of them moved. Clay walked away limping though no visible punctures; Drew has a major puncture to his right rear leg. GREAT! We just drove 7 hours for a weekend of agility and no one will get to run! We take them back to the room, rinse Drew's foot under water which he did NOT appreciate, and discuss damage control. Luckily, Tre is on Clavamox as well as Flagyl for his teeth so I have antibiotics on hand, I also have antibiotic cream that I put into my bag for some reason, as well as pain relief - I feel like a walking pharmacopoeia. The puncture is down to the bone (or as Dr. Katy declares when she sees it "That could use a stitch."). I am not going to spend a thousand dollars plus (which is what emergency would charge for anesthetizing, debriding, and suturing the foot) on a puncture wound when I had the means to watch and let it heal from the inside out. After the water rinse Drew seemed to be a bit more aware of it and was holding it up at times but not to bad. We would see what the morrow brings with regard to movement.
We awaken to two dogs who acted like they were perfectly fine so we decide to run them as scheduled. Saturday was much too distracting for Feigh and Clay and neither dog did well - they actually did awful! Drew, once again saved the day and ran away with both a standard leg and JWW leg (Rand and I split Drew's runs - one of us taking standard, the other JWW so we each have the same number of runs. Once V is competing Rand will take over running Drew.) Sunday was a much better day, though Feigh and Clay had an odd occurrence. I started Feigh in her jumpers run while Rand, unbeknownst to me, was beginning his run with Clay - in the next ring. After a series of jumps and tunnels both Feigh and Clay are facing each other in their respective rings, through some plastic fencing, wondering to themselves..."What the heck are YOU doing over THERE?!" Of course it had to be the two dogs with similar sounding names. Both Rand and I waste precious seconds trying to call them off, while both dogs are trying to listen to both of us, not sure where to go or whom to follow (the judges thought this comical amid their smiles and titters). Finally we both manage to call our respective dogs and continue the course. The amazing thing is - both of us Q'd, with placements!
This is Feigh's first jumpers leg - we have been in Open jumpers for almost a year! Whoo hoo. Clay and Rand are also awarded Clay's first ever standard leg. Good boy Clay (and Rand). Drew walked away with another JWW leg - which means he has finished two titles this weekend (NAP, NJP) and we can bump him up to Open preferred. He really likes the lower jump height. Clay and Rand just missed out on a JWW leg when Clay back jumped one obstacle. Feigh had her second day in Excellent standard (her first attempt was the day before and it was NOT pretty - I even lamented out loud to the judge (who of course laughed) that I was not sure how we got out of Open! in the first place). Thankfully her second attempt reminded me just how nicely she can run when she so desires. I felt it was a pretty tough excellent course, esp. for a dog I do not have that much control over but we flew through it, with a perfect score and a 2nd place out of something like 9 or 10 entries. What a good girl! Two Q's in one day is NOT Feigh's strong suit but she did it.
V and Tre spend a lot of their time in the ex-pen. Tre was more then happy to just spend the day sleeping. We did take V and Jane out for some socializing and lure coursing and they had a BLAST! It was a long wait in line but well worth it. I have ordered some pics and will add them when they arrive. V is definitely ready for her JC tests. Jane needs a bit more coaxing. The lure was a continuos loop (we have been practicing on a more quiet straight line) so it worried Jane a bit. At one point she jumped straight up in the air and landed about 5 feet to the right of where she started - it was interesting to see. She was not too sure about the zip-zip-zip noise the lure makes but she is keen to chase so as she matures she will eventually ignore the sound.
Next up: Shaman to finish his Championship in Florida with Frank Jewett and then a whirlwind trip to Lompoc CA for a day of coursing and getting Khonsu reinstated; then back home to work the next day. Nothing planned for August but rest and relaxation. Yeah, right!
July 3rd: Tre had to go in for some surgery today. I was brushing his teeth last week and he let out a huge screech. I lifted his lip and noticed blood on the toothbrush. I also noticed that the distal (furthest from the front of his mouth) crown of his big chewing tooth was gone. A few years ago his other big chewing tooth had what amounts to a cavity and he had to have it removed as the crown was almost eaten away and the roots were in terrible shape. Tre's obedience training came in handy today as we were able to have him hold his dental xray in his mouth while fully awake. We then had one shot to get a picture of his roots and what a shot it was! All the docs were very impressed with the old man. I dropped the xray off at the doggie dentist and she determined that Tre has a condition called Idiopathic Root Resorption. Interesting. Cat's are known for their ability to resorb roots - this anomaly has been seen in wild cats (lions, tigers) and cat skulls of ancient times (saber tooths, et al). Interesting to find that dogs can have a similar disease. The doggie dentist concurred that the tooth must come out. His teeth are in good condition otherwise so we only had to focus on the tooth. End up he has roots of another, smaller tooth on the same side where the crown has gone missing. I am glad he's 13 1/2 and not 5 having to deal with no big chewing teeth. Tre came through the procedure like a champ (thank you Dr. Rad!) and is back to eating with gusto, minus these big carnaissials. No chicken bones for him though!
June: Rand, V, Feigh and I drive to Santa Fe for a family get together; a whirlwind weekend starting on Friday and ending on Sunday. It was great to see my sister, b.i.l., her kids and my one brother Brian. We had to miss V's debut in the breed ring at the Flagstaff show which was hard as she is just so darned cute. Her debut has been pushed back until Sept/Oct of 2007 - the Prescott Show. Both girls were great travelers and were able to meet my sisters dog as well as my brothers very old shepherd x, Charlie. The boys stayed home with Calle and my friend and work mate, Lisa, watched them for us.
The rest of June was full of weekends either in the yard or on the computer trying to get caught up on various things. No shows again until July, when we head to Del Mar for a weekend of Agility. The weather is becoming quite HOT! making it no fun to do any training. Bah humbug.
May 13th: Happy Mother's Day. I was able to get some videos today of V and Feigh practicing their scent articles and V's go outs. Check out the video gallery. Remember - V is not yet 6 months old. A funny video of V, Clay and Torti is also included.
May 6th: Drew, Clay, Rand, and I head south to Sierra Vista for some obedience. Katy and the gang meet us there. She is trying to get her last CD legs on both Nut and Khonsu and she succeeds and is no longer an obedience virgin - two CD's in one day - fantastic! Drew and I have been practicing his retrieve over the jump in recent weeks as I discovered that if I throw it a certain way and he picks it up - his only eye is looking straight at me and he does not see the jump anymore. On this day we were doing well in the ring and right before I approached the jump I reminded myself to throw the dumbbell more towards the left so when he picks it up and turns, the jump will be right in the middle of his only eye. So that's what I did but guess what - he picked the dumbbell up in the opposite direction - which he has never done! Oy vay! So of course when he turns his only eye is staring straight at me and he never even saw the jump. So a big fat NQ for us. Ah well. Clay more then made up for it. He debuted in Novice B with a total of 5 hours of training under his belt. (Sadly and seriously I do not work with these guys as much as I should!) Anyhow - he was a bit distracted, as well he should be with the lack of training but he hung out with me well enough to get his first qualifying leg and a third placement to boot (out of 5 entries). Yeah for Clay! A CD is not to far off in his future. I am working with the girls - will try and get Feigh ready for September obedience. My goal for them will be more advanced obedience titles then the boys - UD or UDX. I have already started them on their scent articles and both (3 1/2 yr old Feigh and 5 1/2 MONTH old V) are already discriminating between 5 articles on the board. They are learning their signals, gloves and go outs. They seem to really enjoy the interesting exercises and should be a lot of fun when I eventually show them. I hope to get some video of V doing her articles. She amazes me at her age.
May 5th: Drew, Feigh and I head north to Phoenix for a one day AKC trial. V came along for the ride and to see if she would follow the bunny afterwards - she did and quite well I might add. Khonsu, Katy, the Nut and Jane met us up there and we had a ho hum trial. There were only 3 Specials (our kidz) as the other special chose to race in the Open class. The open class had a very fast ILP basenji, Cash - he was very keen and right on target - fun to watch! Cash of course blew the open competition out of the water. All three of our kids were cheating fools once again and while we thought Khonsu had beaten his sister, Katy found an error in addition and it turns out that they tied. To save on time we decided to run all three (the two specials and the open winner) together. Cash of course is young and keen and ran nice and straight. Khonsu and Feigh cheated badly - eventually though all three were on the bag and it was destined to be a close finish until a fellow exhibitor let go of their basenji bitch - which meant she interfered with and stopped the run. Ugh! The bitch was rounded up, the coursing dogs were collected without incident and they made us wait 5 minutes to run it again.
When we finally ran, Cash took off like a banshee, Feigh and Khonsu cut, then they became even once again. While I was watching Feigh get totally burned by the plastic bunny, Khonsu decided he no longer wanted to run with Cash and decided to bump him off the lure. Uh oh! Khonsu earned himself a big fat DQ for that maneuver. Cash continued on and went BOB, as well he should have and Feigh ended up as the specials winner. Then came BIF where Cash drew a whippet. Let me tell you something - Cash kicked that whippets butt and in the 13 years I have been coursing I have never seen a basenji stay head to head and at times AHEAD of the whippet, but he did until the whippet bumped him out of the picture. Cash then had to catch up - which he did. I felt it was the best basenji BIF course I have ever seen and told the owner as much. I also told her that I would be shocked if they did not give BIF to Cash. There was a coursing judge standing beside me who kept Oohing and Aahing and gushing about the basenji during the run - even she was floored by how well he ran. Well guess who got BIF - not Cash. As a matter of fact when we looked at the score sheets - Cash had the LOWEST score of all the dogs running by at least 5 points. HUH!? As for the judge who was oohing and aahing? Her dog won BIF. When we talked to one of the judges later about Khonsu's DQ I was left with the strong impression that they do not care much for basenjis - being "nasty and all". It was even implied that Khonsu and Cash would have fought had the lure broke/stopped - that's how nasty they are. I found this laughable seeing as how the lure DID stop due to the loose dog and Khonsu never said a peep at either the loose dog or Cash, nor looked their way. Needless to say - I will not be supporting these judges any time soon.
Some new pics of G. and Ziggy - be sure to check out their pages. Next up for the sinbajé crew - agility in July at Del Mar, Ca.
Apr 14th/15th: Drew and I had an early morning at the local GSD all breed obedience trial. There were not many entries so I had high hopes for the boy but it was not to be. He had a stellar performance but forgot to drop on the first command. There was something like 30 total obedience entries for the day and only 3 qualifiers - that is not a good percentage. We then toddled home where Katy and Jane met up with V and I for our north bound trip to Casa Grande for a puppy match. Once there we walked around for a bit then parked ourselves ringside to watch some group judging and finally the BIS judging. During this time a very well known and prestigious basenji breeder/owner/handler stopped by to compliment us on our basenji children - unsolicited which of course is the best kind of compliment to get. She raved about the headpieces, the coloring, the ears, their expression - since they were sitting in our laps that is all she could really see. It felt even better when she asked Katy who the breeder was and Katy pointed to me! Maybe I really am doing something right!
The match started much later then expected and the basenji ring was delayed even further due to some very inconsiderate fellow exhibitors. It is really discouraging having to deal with folks who are consistently unprepared, who take an extraordinarily large amount of time to get to ringside despite having been told that the ring was being held up for them. You know its a bad sign when the person replies, "I know." and continues to just stand there, unmoving. Since Katy had knee surgery only weeks before we had planned to have a fellow co-worker and handler show Jane during the match. Due to the delays, my co-worker had to leave, leaving Katy totally unprepared to show; she was in flip flops and had less then 5 minutes to practice with Jane. Of course Katy could not run well and she was rather frustrated which made Jane act like a total goof ball. Jane was unfortunately dumped despite being one of the better entries. V went into the ring acting like a donkey herself - she decided the mats were kind of fun and wanted to pounce and bounce on them. I finally managed to get some semblance of control and was able to pilot V to 1st place and best puppy bitch out of 5 basenji puppy bitch entries. We were very disappointed in how Jane's AKC debut turned out but pleased that V is still undefeated in her classes.
The next day Drew once again was unable to put it all together and blew another leg. And once again despite total entries in the 20's - only 3 qualifiers all day. Ouch!
Next up - lure coursing in Phoenix for Feigh and Drew on May 5th for then down to Sierra Vista on May 6th where Drew will put the finishing touches on his CDX title and Clay gets to debut in Novice B.
Mar 31st/Apr 1st: The baby puppies had their show debut and they did a bang up job. There were four shows spread over two days. There were a total of 6 baby basenji puppies; 4 boys and 2 girls and V strutted her way to Best Puppy for all four shows with four different judges. Jane too did a stellar job but she is currently in the midst of a growth spurt and was not quite as balanced as V. Jane looks like a beautiful arabian filly on stilts. All puppies entered were able to garners their UCICB-BaCh titles - we were proud of them all. We stayed for Best In Show for the first show but only one breeder/handler won every ribbon possible (a total of 6 ribbons, for 6 different BIS categories) - apparently she was a judge favorite. Since our baby girl had already had a long day, we went home and did not not participate in any of the after breed categories. Go to her individual page (and Jane's too) and see what the judges had to say and for some still shots (taken off of video) of both of them stacked and on the move. Be sure to visit the video gallery for some videos of V moving throughout the show.
Another nice note from Ziggy's new parents - edited for privacy:
Well, Ziggy has gone to the Vet twice now. We saw Dr. B the first
time and the second time he saw a male vet, Dr. G--We really liked him,
and think we are going to request him instead. He saw Ziggy's
hernia again and agreed that we should just let it be and consider surgery
later if it hasn't fixed itself. We felt he listened to our concerns and
questions better than the original doctor that was recommended to us.
They both work in the same Animal hospital so it's not like we're making
a major change.
We started our classes three weeks ago. On Sunday we will attend our 4th class. We are taking him with a trainer who studied under the woman who wrote Culture Clash, and she has also been to training by Ian Dunbar. Ziggy likes the class. He wants to play most of the time, and he is very vocal while he waits for play time. We take him out for walks regularly, and to the dog park as often as we can. He has met his 100 people and more! We go to the park near our home daily, so he gets to play with kids and seniors. He likes going to the beach. He is cautious around the waves. He will sit by the shore and watch the waves and the sky. When he feels like the waves are getting too close, he'll run away from them.
At home he seems to be settled in already. He knows his way around the house now. He does use the litter box for peeing, but he won't defecate in it--or very rarely. He prefers the outdoors. He's gained weight. He is 18 pounds! (Is this too much) He does look a little fuller, but the Vet says this may be because he is growing too--He's growing right before our very eyes! He is just such a sweet boy--not a mean bone in his body. We love him so much and want the best for him. Thank you and Katy for giving him such a good start. "
Next up this month for the sinbaje crew - obedience for Drew and a puppy match for V.
9th-11th: Off we go to Albuquerque NM for some ASFA lure coursing. Tre was entered in one run for the day so he could stretch his legs doing what he loves best, coursing. He had fun, albeit s-l-o-w fun. To think just last year at this time he was running AND Q'ing in agility excellent and now he is a confirmed 'old man' <sigh>. Drew and Khonsu only needed a few points between them for their ASFA FCh and on Saturday Drew came in 1st, Khonsu 2nd thereby becoming FCh's - yeah! Not to be outdone Feigh started her LCM quest with two Best of Breeds or 2 of the needed 4 1st placements. On Saturday Clay ran in the single stake for some more practice. Sunday he was the sole Open entry though he ran with Feigh to make two braces. By then time they finished the day the two of them ran together 3 times and near the end Clay seemed more interested in interfering with Feigh then he did getting the bunny. The judges did not excuse him but it is something we need to watch out for. We wanted to see if V or Jane would be interested in the lure but was unable to get anyone to run it briefly for us - another time. All in all a good weekend. I took some candid shots of Feigh out in the yard - unfortunately the lighting was not very good but check out her self stack and body outline. Wow!
1st-6th: The whole family, sans Calle the cat, head to Scottsdale for the weekend and some agility. Tre is officially retired so he spent the weekend basking in the sun, once it finally broke through the clouds and the wind. V had a terrific time acclimating herself to the sights and sounds of the show grounds. Lots of barking dogs, people milling about, children screaming hither and yon. She walked with me quite often throughout the day and is very keen about looking up at me while walking on my left. Click and treat! She was complimented several times - unsolicited and from total strangers walking up to me to tell me what a pretty puppy she is or how nice her movement is. We shall see. Feigh and I finally earned our second Open standard leg with a 1st place over 10 entries - that's a lot of entries. Rand said it was the best he has seen us do together as a team. We are trying different things - mixing the teams up a bit so we let Rand run Feigh in JWW - not good - she is just too fast for him so he has decided to let me be the one to handle her and mess her up. :O) Rand and Drew ran in JWW and Drew finally earned his last OAJ leg - with a class placement - so we are officially retired from the regular jump height and will move to preferred - this should speed him up some with only having one eye. Clay and I attempted Novice again and did not do too well. Clay was nervous and too distracted so we bombed out on time faults. The next day however we mixed teams again and Rand and Clay ran together. They looked great and actually earned their first JWW, with a class placement as well. This was Clay's 5th run of his life having only been with us for 7 months. Since they looked great together its official - Rand will always run Clay, I will run Feigh and we will split Drew. Of course when V gets older we will change things around. Rand likes the fact that I get to do all the training and be the disciplinarian and he gets all the glory with the successful runs. Gotta love him!
Next up - lure coursing in NM this coming weekend. Drew and Khonsu only need mere points for their ASFA FCh and Feigh is chomping at the bit to get back into coursing mode since her puppies. She got a taste of it in January at the AKC trial but she is looking fit and fine and wants to run! I hope to introudce V to the lure as well and see what she thinks of it. March is a busy time in the desert with every weekend full of shows/performance events.
23rd-25th: The last of the babies flies the coop. Ziggy's new owners, Ana and Dave made a very long trip to pick him up. They arrived in town a little earlier then planned and set up residence in a local motel. We told them to "come on over and meet your son" , which they did. Ziggy seemed comfortable around them rather quickly so after an hour or two of playtime with mom and V, I asked Ana and Dave if they wanted to try him overnight at the hotel, they seemed keen so we packed up a few things and off they went with the promise to return early the next day. The plan was for them to sleep over at the house on Saturday night then hit the road Sunday. They arrived Saturday , mid morning and met Jane and Katy in the drive as Jane came over to play one last time with her brother. Ziggy did great with A & D - so much so that they decided to head out late Saturday so that they could spend more time with Dave's family in So. California. But first they got a brief education in teeth brushing, dremeling, and behavior.
Here is what they had to say about their trip home:
Hello. Linda and Rand. Dave, Ziggy and I made it home safe and sound today. It was a long road trip and Ziggy got to meet lots of interesting people along the way. We spent Saturday night in Yuma, and then Sunday and Monday night in San Diego. Ziggy got to meet Dave's sisters, brother in-law and niece and nephew. He warmed up to the women pretty much right away. It took him a little bit longer to feel comfortable with the males, but he did great. In the end of our visit with them, he was very comfortable with the men. He also met Satchmo, the family's dog and Shadow, the family cat. The cat didn't do so great--Ziggy was just curious about her and looked on as she puffed herself up to look huge. On Monday, he got to meet Dave's father and step-mother Dave's dad lives in a skilled nursing home with many other senior citizens. Ziggy was the hit for the day at the center. He met lots of older people there and he behaved so well--not a single growl as he was petted by strangers! On our stops along the way he met several men and boys. We could see how he became more comfortable with them as our trip progressed. He did great in his crate all throughout the trip. We are now working on helping him feel comfortable when Dave and I are not within his sight as he protests at being alone. Currently he is napping as we tired the little fella. When we got to _____, but prior to our arrival at home, we took him to a doggie park where he got to run and meet other dogs--these were big dogs too, like German Shepherd, Dalmatians, a Stafford terrier pup among others. Again. Ziggy did us proud, as he got along well with all these dogs. We made it a brief visit with the other dogs though and all ended in a positive note. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Dave and I sure enjoyed meeting you again and meeting Rand . Take care and we'll stay in touch.
On the few social excursions with Ziggy we would run into a consistent problem - if certain folks picked him up - he would scream bloody murder, growl ferociously etc. so it was very good to read about his acceptance at handling and petting. I did suggest that folks not pick him up unnecessarily until he gets past his fear period but to still make him accept petting and treats from strangers. Hopefully this is helping.
Here is the last picture of momma Feigh (looking good I might add), V and Ziggy playing in the back prior to Ziggy's big car trip.
I sent a few pics to the pix list showing off their beautiful dark almond eyes. One of the things I hoped to get/maintain when I bred this litter was dark almond eyes. I think I achieved it - have a looksee: V's Eyes & Ziggy's eyes
In other news, Shaman (Drew and Clay's brother) debuted in Florida. The first day he went RWD to a 4pt major and on Monday he went WD for 1pt - he now only needs 2 more singles to finish.
8th-13th: This week I returned to work but still managed our ongoing socializing at puppy class and our first ever puppy party. Tuesday, my first day back at work I was greeted at the door upon my return by G. the amazing Houdini. She went over the ex-pen and played house with the big dogs. I have no idea how long she was out but am thankful that there were no injuries to young or old. An adjustment was made to the pen to keep her in and it seemed to help for the rest of the week. Wednesday night puppy class had the furkidz meeting a little cocker spaniel puppy and later, a huge (to them) Australian shepherd and pit bull mix puppy. They did fine until the rambunctious barking started - then they headed for the hills. G., Rand and I went to the airport on Saturday to pick up G.'s mom. Nancy. G. had to ride in her sherpa bag for practice, then we walked around the airport. She had a great time. Sunday dawned slightly cloudy and I was worried we would not be able to have the puppy party but alas! Seventeen, yes seventeen basenji puppies from Tucson and Phoenix came to play. They varied in ages between 9 weeks to 12 1/2 weeks. Fun was had by all. We ended up with seventeen various people as well. Another trip to the airport on Tuesday for G.'s big adventure to her new home (which went from an 8 hour trip to a 15 hour ordeal - see below for Nancy's account). Ziggy came along for the ride and the socializing at the airport. Note to self - next litter - take them to the airport - it's a GREAT place to have folks meet and greet the pups plus lots of different sight and sounds and textures. Both Ziggy and G. did great allowing folks to pet and treat them. Another puppy class where the two remaining furkidz got to meet the same cocker, a new cock-a-poo and a border collie puppy. Jane and Katy arrived a short time later. All in all a great week. Next up - a trip to Phoenix for a scheduled DNA blood draw and some more socializing with puppies and people.
Here is an account of Nancy's trip home to Florida:
G. and I finally made it home at 3 AM our time. That would be 2 AM Tucson time. It was a long day. We ended up spending an extra 2 hours in Phoenix when the storms in the Midwest and east closed so many airports. We were told in Phoenix that we would definitely not make our connection in Charlotte and there were no more flights after that so we would have to spend the night in Charlotte. At first I was really upset cuz I was worried about G. being on the trip so long. But then I tried to think positively and when we got to Charlotte, our connection to Pensacola had also been delayed 3 hours so we finally got on the last leg of the trip at midnight.
I can't believe how good G. was. She of course was the hit of the airport and after so many delays, I really didn't care if we got yelled at for taking her out in the airport. (Of course, no one said a word) The first potty I took her in the ladies room, put some paper down under the baby changing table, put her on the paper, said "go potty" and she peed right away. Clicks to you for such good training. Then when we got to Charlotte, and after running from our arrival gate to our departure gate only to find it was delayed, (at first it was only delayed about 10 minutes from when I arrived so I didn't want to leave the gate) There were some admirers sitting there and they were in a corner where no one could see us. They said...oh put her paper out here...we will hide her. So I did and she peed right away on the paper. Impressing her admirers no end! I picked up the paper right away and no pee got on the carpet. Then they said the flight was to be delayed another half hour so I took her in the bathroom, put the paper down and she pooped on it immediately. Perfect.
Most people on the plane never knew I had a pup...she was so quiet. Any way, Mahlon met us in Pensacola and fell in love immediately, we got home at 3 AM. She slept thru the night in her new crate until about 8 AM this morning. She has already been playing with Chalo and Shaman, one at a time and they seem to love her. She has bonded with Walter... Likes his warm fur and he was a good boy. Haven't yet got her with the girls cuz it is a totally nasty day very cold and brutal wind. So much for Florida. Anyway we are well and happy and thank you both again for a wonderful little girl and a great few days with you!
1st-7th: The pups are gearing up to go to their new homes but first we have some vet appointments and some other social calls. On the 2nd of February they had their first vet appointment, vaccines and microchips! We plan to follow the revised vaccination protocol where we do not do a vaccine until they are 9 weeks of age and then we only do the 2-1 DPv (distemper and parvo) combo. In 3-4 weeks we will do another, then 2 weeks later the rabies, then 2 weeks later the last DPv booster. The pups did great at the clinic, hardly flinched for the vaccines, a little squeak for the big 'ole microchip implant but they recovered as soon as we stuck boiled chicken in their faces. The three blacks all have umbies and I learned that we should NOT be trying to push the suckers back in. We should allow it to close to keep it from being a problem if the ring stays open - that is when intestines can get involved and strangulated. So no more pushing the umbies in, we are resigned to umbies. :O). V - whose umbilicus we had to clamp off and cauterize to the best of our abilities has a smooth as glass stomach - no umbie to speak of. That same night Katy took her pick home, Jane (formerly Ribbon). They will have their own page(s) now to document how they grow/develop. G., formerly Hershee will be heading out on the 13th. Her new owner will fly in and spend a few days - we plan to have a puppy party at the house on the 11th and expect about 10-15 basenji pups of various ages. Should be a blast. Ziggy, formerly Boyo will stay a little while. His folks will be driving over from Northern California and were unable to get off prior to the 24th or so. V of course is staying here.
On another note, we headed up to Phoenix on the 3rd/4th for some obedience with Drew, Khonsu and Nut. We took two of the pups each day for some travel time. Everyone did great on Saturday. Khonsu, Nut and, of course, Katy earned their second and their first Novice A obedience legs respectively. Nut got a first place, Khonsu a third. They then finished their RE titles with placements as well. Sunday Khonsu did not fare so well but Nut did get her second CD leg and anther 1st place. Drew did an awesome job and got a 196.5 in Open A - good enough for his 2nd CDX leg and a first placement out of 24 entries. That's a great achievement for a basenji. He would have had another 1st place on Sunday but it became quite warm and he went down on the long sit. Ah well - I was quite proud of him.
On Thursday we planned to take the kidz for their temperament testing. They would be a few days younger then the recommended age which had me a little concerned but we proceeded. The results were quite eye opening and I feel they were perhaps more indicative of age then true temperament issues. The positive side was it shows Katy and I the area(s) we need to be focusing on as the weeks progress. V was the most well rounded - she did not seem to mind the stranger, or the loud noise or even an umbrella opening in her face and happily investigated it all. Boyo was second best though not great - he was all over the temperament board but nothing extreme. Hard to say who was the worse of the black girls. Both showed tremendous African traits - more then I would have expected with regard to strange people. They both did great with loud noises, the umbrella and following the "lure" but were very defensive whenever Maureen (the stranger) approached. Ears back, hackles raised, tail down. Lots of screams, a few attempts at biting to get away, even some submissive urination. Ouch! Poor Maureen. The only good thing is these are the type of dogs that will be great performance basenjis as they were not the least bit concerned about noises, movement et al but will not be social butterflies and will be apt to stick around and listen to direction. Ideally however, we want balance not extremes.
Due to their disappointing test performance we planned for two weekend trips - a trip to the park where a soccer tournament was in progress and a long road trip to Phoenix where they would hopefully meet and play with other basenjis puppies of various ages (8-10 weeks) and best of all - people. The park trip was a success. They were handed off to boys and girls, moms and dads. Everyone was willing to take a treat from my hand except Hershee - she was still a little nervous. The trip to Phoenix did not have as many folks as we would have liked due to weather but lucky for us the people that were there were experienced basenji folks so when Ribbon copped an attitude at the beginning as Flo tried to pick her up, Flo just ignored it and continued. By the end of the visit they were approaching folks, asking to be picked up and they were having a ball with the older puppies. Ont he way home we hit a rare desert occurence - a snow storm. We plan to go again next week - fingers crossed the weather warms up.
On Monday the Beatniks had their first vet appointment. This was for their CERF eye exams. I was worried that with their distrust of strangers the visit might have negative effects on them. Thankfully my fears were unfounded. We have been working with the clicker the past week - teaching them to sit for a treat - which they ALL excel at. They must sit before eating, sit before petting, sit before being taken out to the back yard for some fun (I hope to get some vidoe of them doing their clicker exercises). Being at the ophthalmologists office afforded me a great opportunity to practice their click and treat and sit exercises. We also took the adults (sans Drew who can not CERF with only one eye) in as well but they stayed in another room. The pups did not care that many different people were holding them, putting drops into their eyes, shining a funny light at them etc. They were more then willing to follow anyone and everyone that walked into the room back out of the room. I was very proud of them all. Due to their early exposure I was able to click and treat them the whole time and mark the good behavior we so desire. Our eye doc, Dr. M, said that they had iris/iris PPM that were so small and so thin that had we waited a few weeks to CERF them he would have never of seen them. Basically that means that they have minute residual strands of normal eye tissue and within weeks they should continue to regress and no longer be present. Yee haw! And on another medical note after Feigh and the pups had their 7 days course of giardia treatment I tested all the adults and one puppy and all are negative for giardia (and parasites)! Double Yee Haw!
The upcoming week we have lots of adventures planned; puppy class at the clinic I work for, going to Rand's work to meet some of his fellow workers, a woman from my work and her two small children are planning to visit as well as the planned puppy party in Phoenix. More clicker work and I hope to introduce them one at a time to the crate for overnight sleeping. I think Katy will be planning to take one pup each weekend night as well to break up their routine. Until then.............
8-13th: Where to begin for this week? The pups as always are fat and sassy but their mammy seems rather worse for wear. She has become quite skinny despite increasing her food to 4 times her normal amount while nursing. Then came the loose stools, and even looser stools (if that is possible) but I chalked that up to the amount of food she was taking in since Sage ate like a horse, and defecated like one while nursing. Then one day Feigh vomited - she didn't even work up to it like most dogs do, just "urp" and out it came - several times in fact. Despite all this she had a glorious appetite. During this time she was beginning to wean the pups and growl to get them to quit nursing. Once the vomiting started I knew I had to get her checked out but knew I could not take and leave her at work - what to do?! The next morning she seemed 100% improved though she was still having diarrhea. I decided to take the easiest course - take a poop sample in for a fecal exam that included an ELISA giardia test - the most sensitive test available. Well guess what - Feigh has giardia and by default the pups must also have it. She must have been carrying it (we did a fecal prior to breeding but did not test for giardia) which is common without showing signs until a stressor hits. Mom and babies must be treated with Fenbenazole or Panacur. The usual dosage time is 3 days but Dr. B wants them on a 7 day protocol to make sure we get the little boogers. Sounds good to me. Within 3 days everyone's stool is perfecto! Ah, how easy are we to please?
Personalities are starting to develop. Ribbon likes to wrestle then stand dominantly over the other puppies. Again it is very interesting to see adult behavior in such small little puppies. Everyone gets their nails dremeled every other day - a little squirming but overall they tolerate it well. I have had to wash feet a few times too and hardly any one balked. Ribbon tried to climb the x-pen the other day, with Hershee close behind, when they were shot down by the mysterious water bottle and immediately fell to the the floor. They still think about trying it but that pesky water bottle keeps a close tab on them.
The litter box area is getting smaller and smaller. It is just one area of the x-pen. Everything you read says the boys are the slowest when it comes to house training, it would seem someone forgot to tell Boyo that - he is the most proficient of the puppies and hits the box 99% of the time. Matter of fact the only times he hits the papers is when he is half in the box and half on the papers - he gets brownie points for trying. V seems to get picked on the most - the blacks all gang up on her and even mom is a bit rough - singling her out. Not sure what THAT means. I have videos showing Feigh roughhousing with V or as someone called it - giving her an etiquette lesson.
It's amazing what they find to play with. I left a trash lid out, upside down in hopes they would play inside of it and get used to unsteady surfaces (a good pre agility tactic). Everyone has had at least one trip to the lid and could care less that it bobbled - they almost seemed to get more excited the more it moved. See the video page for a brief video of them playing in the lid.
Tommorow they have their first car ride as we all head to a horse park in Phoenix for some lure coursing. Should be interesting.
1-7th: The year has started off with some puppy excursions. We have not gone far of course, only to the front or back yard, but to a barely 5-inch baby basenji, it might as well have been a jaunt to the other side of the world. The first visit last weekend to the front porch ended up with 4 babies that did not venture very far, preferring to stay in Katy, or my, shadow. We then went to the small area of grass in the front yard a few days later. This was fun and they actually ventured away further and seemed more interested in following the other dogs around and playing in the bushes. Amazingly enough they were more then willing to walk on the pointy landscaping rocks litter our yards. I can't even walk on these rocks as they hurt! I was very proud of their brave souls. The 2nd of January found us taking a trek to the backyard - where the terrain is completely different. This is the area where the adults tend to do their business the most, despite twice a day walks, so the pups were very interested in sniffing. We were still in the process of getting all of our chat sand laid so in the pictures you will notice "ant hills" of chat spread around. The pups thought the hills were made special for them and had a ball climbing and sliding. Both Ribbon and Hershee whined quite a bit but at least moved around instead of just sitting and crying. Hershee actually followed Rand back into the house through the sliding door. This is the week of basenji ears. It all started with Hershee - who was the last to get peepers but the first to get prick ears. V, a close second has her ears mostly up. Ribbon too now has consistently pricked ears. The only holdout is Boyo - he seems to prefer his ears to remain down.
Puppy rearing is hard stuff. Sage's litter seemed so easy - I seemed to know from the get go who was going where and I never changed my mind. I knew Drew was the best conformational dog for showing and six years later, I find that I still agree with my original assessment. Everyday with this litter I find I am changing my mind as they are much more consistent body wise then Sage's litter. Ugh! Plus, add the fact that, unlike with Sage's litter where I was picking the best show quality male, with this litter I must find the best match for the pack, then look at their quality for showing et al. Here are some random thoughts I put together while writing to another basenji person about what I liked this week:
I really like the brindle, great personality, very outgoing, engaging, pretty little head (at this stage of the game) but whammo - mom went to correct her a little for being pushy at the nipples and she kind of postured back at her - took her a long time to figure out that mom was even correcting her and of course once Feigh was done - V went right back to what she was doing. Hmmm. I need a submissive dog to get along with the pack, so now I am not looking at her so much. Boyo is very outgoing too, seems really smart - uses the litter box almost 90% of the time, very adventuresome. Definitely an opportunist though as he continued to nurse while the girls were getting a talking too - about his nursing. He is definitely food motivated! Being a boy I think he could work out in the pack however will he be showable????? I mean he is a chunky monkey, very hefty - will this continue or will it not. The two black girls are nice to look at but Ribbon tends to have tempers with teeth though she will settle and even though she ran when Feigh growled (as did Hershee) which makes me think she is a bit soft, she acts like a hellion, squashing the other girls while playing. Hershee is cute as a button but she seems kind of flaky. A loud noise will have her trot to the den (though she will pop out again in less then a minute). But she also balks if she does not see us and we wave our arms overhead or pop our head into the den. I worry this is a sign of trouble and that she will not outgrow it or be socialized out of it. She is very waggy tailed, ears back, engaging in that typical Af fashion and is definitely soft/submissive which would be good with Feigh - I think - but what about the rest of the outside world.
See what I mean?? I think too much. :O) I wrote this a few days ago and the funny thing is - everything has changed once again. Boyo was the most recent one to get into Feigh's face when she had enough of their nursing, V ran for the hills. The black girls seems more adventuresome, even more waggy tailed and engaging though Ribbon does still have a snarly side. I did find though that once Boyo figured out that what Feigh was doing was a correction - he then heeded it the next time. I forget that this is their first experience so perhaps they have to learn what a correction is, before they can respect it the next time. I just assumed they would listen to their mother - naturally. It's all so fascinating.
¤ Dec ¤ Nov ¤ Oct¤ Sept ¤ Aug ¤ Jul ¤ Jun ¤ May ¤ Apr ¤ Mar ¤ Feb ¤ Jan ¤
30th/31st: Drew and Clay went to Phoenix for some ASFA coursing - Drew in open, Clay in singles. We tried out our new muzzles with some success. Neither boy liked the muzzle and the first run for each was marred by their butt head behavior. Clay went so far as to stop mid run and try and get his off - thankfully he was unable to. Drew just ran kind of slow (even for him) though he actually stayed on the lure the whole way instead of cheating which lead to a high scoring first run. Khonsu did not like the muzzle either but it did not deter him from his cheating ways. The second run Clay was able to get his muzzle off twice while waiting to run so I had to do some fancy adjustments to keep him from doing it mid run - he ended up only stopping at the end of the course to try and remove it - which he was unable to do! Drew and Khonsu ran much better - in the sense that they did not act like they were muzzled - they both cheated something fierce though. At the end of the day we tried to pre-cert Clay again with Drew. Only Clay was muzzled. Clay continued to fight his muzzle prior to the run but once running forgot all about it. He ran through Drew at least twice - but according to the judge Dixie and the lure operator (who is also a basenji breeder and ASFA judge) Tari - he was going for the bag and not Drew. Drew of course was pissed that he was brutally run over twice by his dirty low down brother and decided to try and take Clay out himself. Dixie said Drew was the aggressor at the back end of the run. When Clay came in for the bag - quite enthusiastically despite the muzzle - Drew came in and nipped him in the butt. Dixie yelled that had it been a trial she would have DQ'd Drew (who has never had even a hint of an altercation in 4 years of coursing) - she told us to muzzle both if they ran the next day - which we did. So on Sunday Clay ran in his first trial. Sadly he decided to follow Khonsu and Drew's lead and cheated something awful. Since we have coursed at this one field too many times - it makes sense that he would finally figure out there are only so many places the lure can go on the small field. Clay ended up in 3rd place for his first 6 points. Drew and Khonsu now have 98 and 99 points of the needed 100 for their FChs. We will need to find another ASFA trial in the next few months to get those last pesky points.
On the puppy front, they had their first day in the sun on Sunday.We had a beautiful New Year's Eve and decided to take full advantage of it. There are new pics on the Litter page showing them enjoying themselves. For the most part they stayed in the shade. They are eating a little more regular food - not as much as I would like to take the strain off of Feigh - who looks like a concentration camp survivor she is so skinny. When they do eat, several will wag their tails. They are getting taller. Just a few days ago they were smaller then the little water bucket I have attached to the pen. Today they are taller then it and can actually look down into it. Hershee even had her first drink (or the first drink I saw) from the water bowl. V continues to wag her tail and do play bows to invite play - it's really cute to see such adult behaviors in such little bodies. Boyo, being the strong man that he is, carried one of the little fleece bears into the den. You might think this is an easy feat - I mean all he has to do is grabbed and drag - not so. Right outside the den door, snug up against it is the litter pan. The litter pan stand about 3-4 inches high. He had to carry the toy (that is only slightly smaller then him) up over the litter pan and into the den. Needless to say once he got there, he chewed for a brief moment and fell promptly asleep. Litter training is going okay - if I am there when they wake up. I can usually get them into the box and start saying the potty command and all seem to go within seconds (this is great actually as I am teaching them to go on command as well as use a litter box). Several seem to hit the box quite regularly for defecating. Where I lose them is at night - when they are wild child's running rampant without any supervision (Feigh prefers to sleep with us right now). Then it is a hit or miss (mostly miss).
25th-27th:Times, they are a-changing. As we approach 4 weeks of age, I find nail trimming going quite well<phew>. Even when they are at their most active, all will settle and let me do nails, trim and file. What great puppies. Personalities are starting to emerge a little this week. Boyo was seem humping his sister, in an apparent show of dominance. I thought I saw him hump the big white teddy bear the day before but Rand was adamant that he was too young for such uncouth behavior. <lol> Ribbon is showing quite a bit of attitude. She struts around the pen with her tail high and head back as if she owns the place - she can get a bit worked up in her play and sound voracious but when I pick her up and let her know she needs to knock it off she turns to mush. With her attitude and the way she carries herself she would do well in a show home. So why not saty at Sinbajé? I worry her attitude might be too much for my household where Feigh needs a more submissive pup to boss around. We will have to wait and see how Feigh deals with Ribbon as they grow older. At times Hershee seems a little sound sensitive. She usually has her ears back, listening to the various noises and while she does not outright spook over any noises, nor does she run and hide, you can see she is not so willing to just take them with a grain of salt like the others. We will pay close attention to her during the more serious socializing we have planned. Hershee and Ribbon are hard at times to diffrentiate between as both have similar markings and body styles. Brindi has a new name. No matter where she might end up (with either Katy or myself or with another puppy person) she will have this for her registered name: Sinbaje's That's Wavy Gravy - a kewl Beatnik way of saying that's awesome!. As the only brindle it seemed fitting. Now that she has her registered name we have changed her puppy name to V or Vee (Wa-Vee Gra-Vee). V is much like Ribbon with regard to how she trucks around the pen as though she owns it, the biggest difference is that V seems much more laid back and is missing the "in your face" attitude.
The funniest/oddest thing to happen was when I tried to put collars on them. Oh dear. Have you ever seen those toys that you wind up, then set on the floor and let go - they just zoom around in nonsensical circles? Add a little bit of whining and that is what each and every puppy acted like when a collar was put on. If I picked them up they settled right down and would fall asleep, nurse or play but the minute they were put on the floor they would do the wind up dance. We then switched to some light ribbon to see if that would make a difference - it did not. They would not settle so we removed the collars and will try again another day. Neither Feigh nor her brother Khonsu are too keen about their collars so perhaps it is hereditary. If they start the weird wind up toy dance I will try and get it on video. (Update: Got it! Just a brief glimpse but you get the idea. See video page)
Meal time is going okay. They fluctuate obetween being hungry for "real" food or if they prefer to holdout for mom's milk. Feigh does not seem to be nursing them quite as much so I try and catch her before she nurses to try them at some gruel. Their front teeth are in and are sharp. The big carnassial teeth are starting to crack through the gum tissue so two pups were actually trying to chew the gruel versus just lapping it up this afternoon. Litter box training is a real hit and miss. I had the main bed at the front of the den so they would step out into the litter and go but most only take one step and just pee on the bedding. If I move the bedding to the back of the den they just take 1-2 steps and urinate on the papers in the den. <sigh> Every time we play with them we put them in the litter box and most go so there is hope they will click and make the connection. They are not defecating in the den area which is a bonus - they are either hitting the litter box or going further away to the papers. We will just keep trying.
Update: V wagged her tail today (12/27) at Ribbon, then a little play bow. Too cute.
19th-24th:The babies are marching right along, if not a little too quickly. They have been moved to the kitchen/family room, AKA the common area into a big ex-pen where they will experience all the noises of family life from pots and pans to vacuum cleaners to garage doors opening and closing. Folks are now invited to come over and play "pass the puppy around". I plan to litter train them but have yet to find the correct set up though I think perhaps today I have it! We will see. The past day or so they have left the crate on their own four feet and are eliminating or trying to eliminate outside on either the papers or the wood pellets. That's pretty good for 3 weeks of age. I do nails every other day and usually file them afterwards with nary a fuss from the peanut gallery - except a few days ago when I did Ribbon's nail just a tad short - she proceeded to scream bloody murder. She then abruptly stopped and settled - what a good lassie to be able to get over her stress so quickly. I feel this is the benefit of being bio-stimulated from the very first day of life. Now that their eyes and ears are mostly open I have stopped the stimulation but continue to have a lot of hands on time with each (as does Katy); they are moved every which way, petted and stroked and and at times briefly scruffed. I want my kidz to experience anything and everything while they are young and malleable so it was a shock when Ribbon became extremely reactive to having her neck gently rubbed Tuesday - she once again screamed bloody murder in hopes that I would cease and desist and put her down - to the unitiated screaming is a pups only defense and it's a very manipulative tool they use on unsuspecting dogs and owners. I, of course, did not put her down and just continued to massage her whole being. Feigh was naturally upset, not sure who or what or why the screaming was happening and she ran all around whining. After a second or two Ribbon settled right back down and even fell asleep with me massaging her. The next day Hershee did the same thing with the same results but once she also figured out the screaming did not make me stop she too settled down and went limp. Perhaps this is a stage they will all go through. Ribbon was the first with eyes and ears so it stands to reason she would be the first with behavior.
Everyone's teeth started to come in around the 20th - you could see the outlines of the front teeth and count how many there were but they only just now erupted - with the canines being the first through. They are quite sharp. When they are awake - which is not very often or for very long, the quads are on the go, moving in and out of the "den" and exploring their new territory. They are also very much into playing with each other, with lots of wrestling in the den area one minute, zonked out the next. I was under the impression that playing would not commence really until 4 weeks or so but am finding these guys to be advanced in their behaviors. They certainly are very aware of themselves, of each other, their humans and their mom. On Thursday, I gave the kidz some of Feigh's food. I have been feeding an interesting food called Honest Kitchen. It is a dehydrated raw food that has protein, fruits and vegetables and no grains. Everything is processed in a human grade facility and if humans had to, we could eat it. It is a great way to give your kids a variety of fruits and veggies without having to buy the many different things needed to be balanced and then spend the time processing it yourself. You re-hydrate with warm water (not hot as that kills all the good stuff), let sit for about 10 minutes and voila! The adults LOVE it! Tre, who gets a number of supplements, was beginning to balk at eating but now licks his bowl clean eagerly every day and even hangs out to try and lick the other bowls clean as well. It's a bit expensive but well worth it. I add fresh raw protein on occasion just for kicks. Once I try the pups out on chicken wings, I think it will be a good complement.
So the first meal day arrived and everyone took to it like a duck to water except Hershee, she returned to the den and plopped down. I popped my head in to see what she was up to and she growled fiercely, boofed and scuttled to the back of the den. Oh dear - not exactly the behavior I was looking for so I reach in, pull her out and proceed to have an eye to eye conversation to let her know in no uncertain terms that humans, especially me, who has been with her since birth, handling her and loving her, is not someone to growl and run from. I quickly got a lick to the nose and she promptly fell asleep. What a gal! Thursday night everyone was more interested in the food and ate pretty well, including Hershee. The next meal found Brindi being a total hog, she kept going and going and going. The others ate a small amount then went off to explore. They still much prefer Mom's milk but I find she is not quite so keen to nurse now that teeth are involved.
16/17th: Drew, Tre, and Clay head to Phoenix for some AKC lure coursing. Clay earns his JC title easily - his first ever title. He is a keen little runner so I will have to try and see if we can not figure out a way to get him to course with other dogs (see below to find out what he did to his brother!). The good news for the whole weekend is that Khonsu, Feigh's brother earned his FC by winning the open class on Sunday. The bad news is we learned a hard lesson on the selfish, unsavory side of competitive fellow exhibitors. In short we felt we were cheated, lied to and manipulated for personal gain. Katy and I were approached by a fellow basenji owner who was disappointed to find that their dog had competition in the specials class, that competition being my boy Drew. This person, who I will refer to as PDA, asked if I would be willing to move Drew to the open class, leaving PDA's dog the sole special. When asked why, we were told that PDA's dog had a serious field issue with cutting and is more apt to cut when running with another dog. They wanted the dog to have a good experience coming off of what was said to be an awful prior weekend running of serious field cheating. PDA kept asking and pushing for an answer, and while I did not really want to move Drew, I decided to be "nice" and do PDA a favor. I mean its all about the dogs right? Trying to help each other out when it is needed, bringing filler dogs to make majors in areas with small entries, forfeiting to spread the wealth in other stakes - things like that, right?
During the trial PDA's dog had some great runs and was right on the lure so I felt good about helping to get this dog back on track - little did I know. At the end of the regular courses, I made a passing comment to PDA that they would be forfeiting BOB to the open winner seeing as how PDA did not want his dog "ruined" by running with competition that day - remember that was the SOLE reason PDA wanted Drew bumped to open. In essence I was asking PDA to reciprocate my earlier favor by forfeiting the only special, thus giving the open dog another entry and making his 2 point win into a 3 point major. PDA's response was "No, I want my dog to run." PDA told Katy about trying to rack up breed points for placement on the AKC top ten list. Hmmmm - what better way to insure winning the specials class then to be the only one?? Feeling duped, I walked away. Once PDA approached the field for BOB it became even more clear what the real story was and why PDA wanted the dog to run alone. Apparently PDA's dog does not have a field issue (in two days of trials he did not cut once), but instead he has an aggression issue and a muzzle was needing to be applied for the first time that day and only when he had competition in the BOB run. When PDA's dog had to run against Drew twice on Sunday, the aggression became quite obvious and, in my opinion, worse. PDA's dog bumped Drew hard, who had already stopped to shake the bag at the end of the first run, and was headed back towards Drew when he was eventually picked up. At the end of the second run, PDA's dog who was in front, ran past me once the lure stopped but circled back and got in Drew's face (and my face as I was bent over applying Drew's slip lead). I pushed the dog out of Drew's face to keep Drew from getting bent out of shape, and kept PDA's dogs at arms length until he could be picked up, he was growling at Drew and I quite fiercely the whole time. I must say I was glad for the muzzle. Katy wisely forfeited Khonsu (the open winner on Sunday) from running with this dog for BOB. Khonsu had already been goosed by another male dog in the open stakes and was ready to rumble - it would not have been a pretty scene.
On a lighter note, we came home on Saturday to PEEPERS! That's right,Ribbon's eyes are fairly open, Boyo's are cracked and the two other girls are not far behind. Sunday night Arnieta (Chance's owner) and Ruth of Farouk's basenjis stopped by for a peek. Everyone has at least part of their eyes showing and they are responding to noise. The fun is about to begin. It's funny to watch them now as they move purposefully. Though they are unable to fully focus, they recognize mom and each other - even going so far as to play a little with mouthing. Ribbon actually did a kind of play bow and wiggled back, a miniature version of an adult invitation to play. Hard to describe but quite obvious when you see it.
12th:The pups are gigantic and I see them every day. Boyo is gaining at a rate of 2 ounces per day which would put him up to 2 pounds tomorrow and he is only 10 days old! The girls are not far behind and should be about 2 pounds each by Thursday. In comparison the largest pup in Sage's litter at this age was only 1 pond 7 ounces (that is 9 ounces less then Boyo!). Yikes. Everyone's dew claws look GREAT! No apparent residual problems. They started to get the cradle cap syndrome that I have read about - where the tail and tail tip seem extra dry/flaky. I immediately applied Bag balm, then some Vitamin A&D ointment to the whole tail and it seems to have quieted down somewhat. Certainly looks better. My house conditions are quite dry - not much humidity so that could be the cause, of course Feigh is a meticulous mother and gives tongue bathes every chance she gets so she too could be drying them out. Their ears are starting to fold forward. They were just sticking straight out of the side of the heads but not anymore. They will have floppy ears for a week or two before the ears decide to stay up for eternity. Their eyes are not open yet but you can tell they are on the verge - we expect to see peepers by this weekend. Some folks think this stage of their life is no fun but I find it quite enthralling. I can manipulate them however I want, give them hugs and kisses and belly rubs with nary a fuss. Its very soothing.
9th/10th: Drew and Clay head to Phoenix for some ASFA lure coursing. Rand stays home with Feigh, Tre and the babes. Clay just went along for the ride with hopes that perhaps he could be the test dog and get a few more runs under his belt before his big JC tests. The doGs were with us and he was able to run once Saturday and once Sunday. He had a blast and ran really well. I need to get a muzzle and see if he will run cleanly with a muzzle on or if he will be like his brother Shaman, who was super fast but unwilling to run without trying to run the other dog off the bag. <sigh> At least we will get a JC out of him either way. Drew and Khonsu were entered in the trial though - both dogs have all of their placements and only need points. Sadly they were the only two entries. The field was awful, full of gopher holes and goat heads prickers - Drew was not enjoying himself though he did finish all of his runs. Khonsu is super fast and Drew being a turtle who has started to cheat, made Khonsu look even faster. Khonsu took first both days, as was expected. Khonsu has 79 points, Drew has 83 out of the 100 needed. We head to Gilbert on the 16/17th for an AKC trial and Clay's JC test. The field conditions should be 1000 times better. Fingers crossed Khonsu is able to get his last major and his FC - he (and Katy) deserve it.
7th:The pups are growing like weeds. Of course I only haveone litter to compare them with and that was 6 years ago so it may just seem that way. The boy is already 17 ounces aka 1 pound, 1 ounce and the girls are not far behind at around 16 ounces each. I need to weigh them later today (I try and weigh at the same time to be more accurate on their gains/losses). They look like fat bear cubs at this stage. They are also the most active litter I have ever been around. If they are not crawling around their box trying to climb the sides, they are snap, crackle and popping vigorously. Their involuntary movements, some of which are quite impressive (I saw the girls head snap about 2 inches off the bed) and quite violent looking really reminds me of watching folks with live with Tourrette's. I do not recall Sage's litter having these types of movements. We are doing the bio-stim testing each day as well as cuddle and coo for hours at a time. They settle quite nicely in our hands and next to our bodies. Who says they are not fun at this age?
3rd-5th:Well today (Sunday Dec. 3rd) was dewclaw day. Katy and I decided to do it ourselves. We read up on it thoroughly and I have seen it done so we figured - how hard could it be?! Actually it is not too hard at all though hindsight being 20/20 I will not do it the same way again. Rand took Feigh for a short jaunt away from the house while Katy and I prepared. We had alcohol, chlorhexiderm scrub, hemostats and silver nitrate. The pups screamed loudly for less then a second then settled right down. There was little, to no bleeding and we cauterized with the nitrate sticks. One of the girls jerked her foot really hard so the hemostats were hanging for a second. All in all it went rather smooth. Feigh dragged Rand back to the house and settled right in with the pups, not even noticing that their footsies were a bit different - the pups eagerly took to nursing. They have "names" now - these are just puppy names and in no way permanent. The boy is Boyo as it is the easiest way to ID him. The first born girl is Chocolate or Hershee - depending on what word we get out. This is due to her coat looking chocolate in color. The second born girl is Ribbon due to the ribbon of white between blaze and neck as well as the small ribbon of white on her neck, show side. The third born girl is called Brindi, short for her color. It's either that or calling them by their birth number - which works as well sometimes.
On Monday things are still looking good. The umbilical cords are practically nonexistent and only a small scab is in its place. The dews are nice and scabbed over though they seem a little puffy. We attribute it to tissue damage from the hemostats. Everyone is gaining weight and very active and continue to be on Tuesday. Ribbon's scab seems larger then the others and I am not sure why so I slightly pick one end of it and give a little press. Some liquid pops out, opaque and perhaps purulent looking. Thoughts of septicemia wash through my head, I'm beginning to regret doing the dews myself. I get out some soaking materials, carefully wean the scab off and note that the tissue underneath is very healthy, very pink. Perhaps the fluid is just edema from the trauma, trapped underneath. I soak and rinse the feet well then apply a small amount of Mupiricin. I then proceed to do the same to everyone's feet. In all I think I left two original scabs but removed and cleaned the rest. I put an email into Katy to make sure she is stopping by. I want a Doctor's opinion on this. Later that evening Katy swings by and by this time the feet have dried and sealed and they look great! Katy concurs and suggests we not continue to soak and just let them heal. She feels confident that no infection has taken hold or has gotten inside their bodies, her reasoning is that we were about 48 hours post removal. They should eventually granulate in. The more Katy and I talked, researched and talked to various vets and techs, the more we realized that next time (ha! assuming I decide to go through this again!) we will use surgical scissors. Much less trauma to the tissue and surrounding area. Neat and efficient!
1st/2nd:After a week of being on pins and needles, not knowing when Feigh was planning to deliver, having to go to work, figure out what to do with the boys while gone, rushing home midday with fingers crossed that she has not had the pups throughout the house, the moment finally arrived.
Rand had Friday off and sat sentry duty with Feigh while I moseyed to work, the calmest I have been all week (it's great to have a husband that is 110% supportive and just as worried about his little girl then I was). Feigh's temperature really never dropped as she was fluctuating for more then a week between 98-99 degrees so even though she stayed a steady 98.6 all day I did not think anything of it with regards to Friday possibly being THE day. (Remember Sage is my only comparison and she went from 98 to 96 - a substantial drop - she whelped within the hour).
Prior to my leaving for work Feigh went into her whelping box very briefly, dug a little then plopped down to watch me get dressed. She proceeded to follow me throughout the house as I prepared for work so I did not think much of her brief "nesting" behavior. After work Rand told me that she had gone to her whelping box around noon and dug around (she made an absolute mess) then hung around for a time alone but acted normal the rest of the day. After I arrived home I sat Feigh down, breathed a huge sigh of relief and let her know that she could have them anytime she wanted as I was now off for the next 4 days. Little did I realize how closely she was listening.
The dogs went for their usual walk around the block, ate dinner and settled in for a little t.v. - a quiet night ahead for the Siekert household. As Rand left to pick up some dinner, Feigh could not get comfortable on the couch so she went and stretched out on the doggie bed, but even then she kept moving around, even scratching and nesting a little. I decide to walk her outside where she had a quick pee & poo. We then head for the whelping area as I decide to get things prepared - just in case.
Rand was given a heads up upon his return and we sit down to eat. I hardly touched my food, though Feigh loyally laid by my side, awaiting a nibble or two. After eating half my meal I gave up and went to the kitchen and shared a fortune cookie with everyone. Feigh and I proceed to the whelping area again to get things in order and that's when it all started. Her tail went low and she kind of hunched over. I yelled for Rand that this was it and to please page Katy, our unofficial co-breeder and future pup owner. She was busy in the operating room but would come as soon as possible. Rand tried hard to remain calm while I tried valiantly to keep Feigh in the whelping box. The time was 8:04pm.
Poor Feigh - I took all the blankets out of the box, leaving just newspaper for her to shred but she sat and stared at me and whined so I put a few blankets back in which she proceeded to rip to shreds. She would dig, shred, circle, cry. She repeated this for what seemed like hours but was no more than 50 minutes. Rand faithfully sat nearby, reading the paper, a calming presence. After 50 minutes Feigh got down to business and by 9:04pm the first pup, the black and white boy arrived. He is 10oz. and has all the required white (feet, chest and tail tip). Apart from his white mask and blaze, and a white spot on his neck he is quite plain but very evenly marked. He is quite strong, very active motoring all over the place and determined to eat. Feigh settles in to take care of him, she is having some minor contractions. When she seems to be ready to go full tilt I place the boy in a warmed box but Feigh does not like this one iota and her contractions seem to cease until he is back with her. So we play a game of jack in the box until she finally gets to a point of no return and must pay attention to the whelp on the way.
It is now 10:25pm and the first of the three girls arrive, another black and white. She is 9 oz. and along with the required white she has a white collar on her left side, full white mask and blaze. Her black seems a little lighter in color then the boy. Feigh tends to her like a seasoned pro and the boy is brought back to the fold. Katy arrives a few minutes later, disappointed that she missed it but glad that she is in time for the remaining two. Feigh is thrilled to see Katy, wagging her tail and tromping on pups while trying to reach her for some lovin' - eventually Feigh and her babes settle down, a little too much if you ask me.
Time slowly marches on and we are into the second hour since Feigh had her first girl. She does not appear to be contracting at all and seems way too calm - as though her work is through and she can now rest. Rand makes some popcorn to while away the time and we watch and eat as though Feigh were a wide screen t.v. - to no avail. The books talk about a little exercise and some glucose laced water to rev the bitches up. The boys have been put to bed, though we can hear an occasional whine from Drew - wanting to know what is going on. Feigh and I head out back for a quick tinkle. I am dragged back to the whelping area as though she were a sled dog crossing the finish line of the Iditarod. While I do not have any glucose on hand I grab a blueberry Dannan yogurt and offer her some - she is more then delighted to be spoon fed and within minutes we start to notice some strong contractions. Through it all she begs for popcorn, so we throw a few kernels her way. Her contractions begin in earnest and at 12:42am, 2 hours and 20 minutes after the last one, Feigh delivers another black and white female - this time feet first. We barely have time to tend to this one when more contractions begin. A mere 15 minutes later, at 12:57am Feigh delivers the last of her four pups, a brindle and white girl.
Both of these girls weigh in at 9 oz. The black and white has all required white, a fat white mask and blaze with a ribbon of white leading from the face to the neck. She has a small ribbon of white on her show side with more white actually being on the back of her neck. She has flashy front legs where the white goes past her elbow. The brindle girl is in a slight crisis. She too was delivered feet first and when Feigh went to crush the cord she did it too close to the body so the brindle girl is hemorrhaging a little. Katy and I hemostat the area but there is hardly anything to grab and clamp off. We then use silver nitrate to cauterize it and apply some super glue. This stops the bleeding but the minute she went back with Feigh - Feigh licked the "band aid" off. Luckily the bleeding did not resume but Katy is concerned about the apparent protrusion when she breathes or strains - it goes in and out. We debated taking her to emergency for a stitch. Since she is latching on to Katy's finger we decide to let her suckle, keep Feigh busy with the other guys then recheck the area in 1/2 an hour or so. When we do this the area looks better so we decide to just apply a little more silver nitrate and I would go into work in the morning and talk to Dr. B about it.
Feigh goes out for another potty break, the whelping box is turned into a rearing box and the family is reunited and quick to fall asleep. The time is now 2:30am and we are all exhausted. What will the morrow bring?
Update: The brindle girl is doing well. The umbilicus has scabbed over. I noticed that Feigh has severed the cords on each of them even shorter throughout the early hours so they all are barely sticking out of their stomachs. Dr. Schulze was in the office when I went in and she said not to worry about the umbilicus anymore - what we need to be concerned about is possible infection that could have entered the blood supply when the cord was severed too close and bled. She said to weigh the pups and keep them warm and if septicemia should kick in the brindle pup she will be what is known as a fading pup. Right now she is active, ornery and suckling like mad.
On another note: If folks have been following Feigh's follies from the beginning you will remember that Dr. B, using Kinesiology, "predicted" 3 girls and 1 boy 14 days after Feigh was bred. Dr. B also told me to expect 3 blacks (though she said two would be genotypically brindle as well) and a tri color. We got three blacks and though brindle is not technically a tri color in the breed standard, it is a basenji made up of three colors.<lol> We are amazed at how accurate she was.
27th: This morning, around 6 am I took Feigh's temp and it was 100.0 degrees. Phew, no puppies today. However, right before I left for work I thought I better check it again - just in case. It is now 97.2 degrees <gulp> so I decide to leave Feigh in the master bedroom (the small room off the master bed/bath is her whelping room) with the doors closed. I leave Calle in with her for company and a nice marrow bone to keep her occupied. I don't want to enclose her in her whelping pen just yet as I am not so sure that today is the day and I do not want her to figure out some way to get out of it and perhaps hurt herself or get her very pregnant body stuck and hurt her whelps. My hope is that once she has the babes she will be so preoccupied with them and content that she will not think about escape once I finally have to enclose her.
The idea behind putting her in the bedroom is that IF she should have pups while I am away she would be able to keep them safe from the boys and their prying eyes. So I shut her in, making sure to put a baby gate against the door to keep her from digging at the door as she is apt to do when left alone with boys on the other side (we found that out when she and Calle were accidentally locked in the bathroom for a few hours). I leave for work feeling pretty good - kind of proud of myself for having a game plan.
I arrive home 6 hours later and guess who should meet me at the door? Yep - the wild child herself as pleased as punch I might add. I quickly run to the bedroom, certain she has figured out how to open the bedroom door but I find it still closed. In fact, I can barely get in the door as she has knocked over the baby gate and it is wedged between the door and an ottoman. While wresting with the door, I am besieged with terrifying visions she has either broken through the sliding glass door and has left shredded glass in her wake or she has pulverized the closed doggie door and eaten her way out. What do I find? I find Calle sitting calming in the middle of the room, next to her the remnants of what used to be a brand new roll of toilet paper and a partially open sliding glass door. That's right - Feigh figured out how to get the heavy door open with her nose and was able to open it enough to get her pregnant body through it where she then proceeded to the other doggie door, let herself in the house, and hung out with the boys until I got home. Throughout all of her misadventures she still managed to eat the majority of the marrow bone while keeping the curious boys at bay.
Suffice it to say - if she does not have these pups either tonight or tomorrow, my day off, I will be on pins and needles the rest of the week at work wondering what other trouble she is getting into. doG help us all.
22nd: As I mentioned before one of the alternative vets I work with used muscle testing or kinesiology to determine if Feigh was pregnant, how many were viable and what the sexes were. Dr. B has said from the very beginning (remember now this was done 2 weeks after being bred - hardly enough time for the fetus' to attach much less how many attached and what their sexes could be) that Feigh had four viable pups with the break down of 3 girls and 1 boy. Today we took her in for her pre whelp x-ray and we saw 4 skulls and 4 spines (with itty bitty rib cages attached) - so unless one is hiding somewhere - four is definitely the count - just as Dr. B said. Now we must wait to see if Dr. B's sex and color "predictions" hold true. Chance's sister, Tatu had 4 boys (no girls) yesterday and his close cousin Zelda had 5 boys (no girls) a week or so ago. Seems like this might be the year of the boys. Since I had 6 boys six years ago - I can well relate. Fingers crossed we get some girls..........
18th-19th: Drew and Clay head to the Tucson fairgrounds for some agility. We are trying hard to get Drew's last Open JWW leg so that we can move him to preferred and to a lower jump height. It's not that he can not jump 16 inches. He can and does and rarely ever knocks a bar but with only one eye the 12 inch jump height would be much easier for him for the long term. Sadly he continues to have one refusal on each of his JWW runs. That one fault combined with being over time makes for two non qualifying runs. We'll try again in March - after the pups go to thei respective homes. This weekend was Clay's debut in agility. He has only been with us a little over two months. He does well in practice so I wanted to see how he would do in the "real" world. Saturday we could tell he was a bit nervous and unsure but he stayed in the ring and was able to finish the course though he had 4 refusals. His standard run was better, though he was distracted and nervous and ran a bit slower then he does in practice. He once again stayed in the ring though he did not pay me too much mind. His slow time and his one refusal meant that he was 1 second from earning his first qualifying leg. Bah humbug. We did get some nice pictures of him though - see his individual page for those. Sunday he was no longer nervous and instead was more interested in everything going on outside of the ring (there was a regular dog show as well as a horse show about 800 yards away from the rings). Though he really wanted to run around like a bat out of hell - he limited his play time and was able to finish the jumpers course with me (non qualifying of course). His standard run was not so good - he just kept wanting to go towards the horses. We called it quits and left the course. We have a few things to work on before he tries again in March. By then he should be really ready. All in all though I was quite proud of the little man.
6th: Everything I have read suggests that one week of a canine's pregnancy is similar to one month for a human. If human, Feigh would be about six months pregnant this week. I was web surfing a few weeks ago and came across a "Pregnancy Calendar for Dogs", according to this calendar we should be noticing some changes this week - in particular some thickening of her waist line which she is definitely showing. Her nipples have also grown in size and are a bright pink - just as the calendar predicted.
I am glad for the calendar as I really can not recall the order of events for Sage's pregnancy. Its not that I did not notice, I did I just did not record any of it. Things were so hectic back then - I was newly divorced, working full time, in a new environment. I just didn't have time to reflect and write about pre-puppy things. Thankfully I am in a much better place this time and have terrific support from my husband Rand. I have decided that as long as I have the time, I might as well record it - perhaps for future litter reference. Luckily I did record a few things about the 2000 litter which were endearing to read six years later - I can't believe I actually helped Sage out a few times. How quickly we blot it from our minds! Reading about it made me sad for Sage but the future beckons....
Just one week after Feigh's rendezvous' with Chance I noticed a difference in her whole demeanor. She was clingy without being overly so. She wants to be around or on top of me when I am on the couch or next to me in the office, more so then usual and if I am not available Rand's lap will also suffice. She was also sleeping more, apathetic as they describe in the calendar. These behaviors have continued these many weeks and have intensified, if that is possible.
Her appetite is voracious right now and apparently she is willing to kill for it, at least that's how she acts at times. When Clay was a bit slow eating his cookie two weeks ago, Feigh moved in to grab the half that tumbled from his mouth. He was not willing to concede that piece in the beginning and paid dearly for his transgression. Actually, now that I think about it, I paid more dearly then both of them; ending up with a nice bite to the leg from Clay as I lifted Feigh off of him. All this right as I was leaving for work. The positive to all of this is that Clay got the stuffing beaten out of him by a <gasp> girl and seems to have finally learned that they are not called bitches 'cuz they're nice. And hormonal bitches are even worse! He has started to defer to her somewhat, as well he should. Smart lad! I can certainly see why you never want to have a bitch fight on your hands - they are relentless and unlike the boys who seem to square off and slowly move away, I really feel bitches have the potential to do some serious damage - especially if neither are willing to defer.
<sigh> I have got to remember that my pack dynamics have changed with the arrival of Clay and with the arrival of female hormones and pregnancy. I can no longer feed on automatic pilot. When Feigh decided Tre was eating too slow last Sunday she lit into him and would not stop even when he was flat on his back. The rules of café sinbajé has changed drastically. Everyone, sans Tre, must remain in a down stay unless I am working them, until Tre is finished eating. So far, so good. Feigh is even given a special mat to lie on to focus her on the exercise (and keep her belly warm from the tile). Luckily this behavior only shows up around high resources - namely food and has only started with her pregnancy. I am not at all worried that she will revert to her old self once she has her pups and gets her hormones under control.
Another milestone is the preparation of the whelping room. Our house is not the best with regard to insulation and therefore it is hard to find a draft free, warm room that is close to where we normally sleep. I have finally decided on a small room that sits off the master bed and bath room. It has a door that leads outside for when the pups are a bit older and Feigh needs to make a jaunt - this door is nice but adds to the possibilities of drafts. The plan is to thoroughly encase the actual whelping area and crate with comforters to make a warm and cozy den - the perfect place to have babies. I have purchased a snuggle safe micro disc which is guaranteed to stay warm for up to 12 hours. We have already given it a test run and give it two thumbs up. Feigh could not wait to lie on it - she tried valiantly to curl her 17 inch pregnant body around and on top of a 8-9 inch disc. It did not work too well.
Feigh continues to have weekly visits with Dr. B. as she continues to take a few supplements which might need to be adjusted weekly. We are supposed to add a small amount of daily calcium as her body was telling Dr. B that is what she needed. Which is funny as I noticed her rooting around the bottom of the toy basket looking for her old knuckle bones this past week and giving them a good chew. She has not shown much interest in these bones for several years. Is she trying to tell me something? I have some bone meal wafers I am to give her (and the boys) and I will supplement with some raw Nature's Variety patties that also have ground bone in them. On the days I do not give wafers I will give a small amount of cottage cheese. My unofficial co-breeder Dr. Katy concurs that the amount of calcium we are going to be giving should not push her over the edge to eclampsia once she whelps - one of my worries. Once the pups arrive I will give her a wafer or two a day to help support her during nursing - the time she can become depleted in the calcium department .
Dr. B still says the count is 4 with 3 girls and 1 boy. Dr. S was able to palpate last week and she said she could 'for sure' feel three. So we are certain she is preggers. I have an appointment on November 22nd for a lateral x-ray to determine how many feti we see - this will help me once labor begins. Its good to know how many to expect should Feigh decide to stop labor while another is still in the oven waiting to come out.
Just three more weeks to go.............
4th-5th: Drew and Feigh went to a local obedience trial this weekend. My goal was to get their last Rally Excellent leg and finish up their RE title. They did me proud. Drew was entered in a large competitive class and while he had a respectable 96, he did not place. Most, if not all, of his points off were handler errors. Bad owner, bad owner! Feigh had a smaller class to deal with and walked away with a score of 99 and a first place. I learned from my mistakes with Drew and performed much better with Feigh. At least I don't repeat the same mistakes again and again. Good owner, good owner. Drew was also entered in Open A. I really should not have entered him as I have not worked him at all since the last trial. Of course I had not worked him prior to that trial either so it makes sense I would be foolish and waste my money anyhow. While Drew did not qualify either day he did really well. You have to realize I might work him once every two weeks and only at home. I rarely have the time to go out and usually when I do I just practice a few things in the middle of agility - not exactly the best time. Compare that to daily training of Tre and Sage and you will see that a:) I am not being very fair to Drew and b:) he has GREAT potential if I would just work him. This weekend was his 5th and 6th Open trial and the first day he blew the broad jump only and would have had a score in the 190s had he done it. The second day he had much more fun and forgot the high jump and sat up 4 minutes into the long down. Ah well. I promise to practice him more this winter/fall and get those two legs this coming spring. He deserves to perfect his techniques and get the accolades he has coming for being such a good boy.
27th: Clay makes his Agility in the Park debut - off leash and fancy free. All things considered - he did GREAT! We are still learning what I can and can not do with him (i.e.: can I move away, must I stick close - things like that) but our first run was actually quite successful and had it been an actual trial - I think he would have qualified. Our second run started out well but then Clay realized he was OFF leash and he proceeded to hightail it hither and yon throughout the baseball field and even encouraged another dog (a terrier) who was also off leash to run along too. He looked so darned cute with his short little legs flying behind him that I did not have the heart to get too upset. The owner of the other dog was a bit pissed but hey - they're dogs! I got him back under control for about 30 seconds when he took off again. This time I was able to catch him and proceeded to end the fun with a down stay next to the equipment while everyone else took their turn. We then went over to where a small course (4-5 obstacles) was set up and worked on a few sequences, a lot of comes and much rewards. We then tackled the big course again and this time he stayed with me and we got through it. We ended up doing the big course several more times after that and stayed until the end so I could work him on a few things alone after everyone had left. Maureen our coach can not believe how far he has come in only 2 short months. We debut in a trial in a few weeks. Should be interesting. :O)
14th: I currently work in a clinic with five female veterinarians. All are trained in "normal" westernized veterinary care though two of them have branched out into more alternative means. One in particular, Dr. B, is a master at everything she puts her mind to and she has fully embraced a number of alternate methods of care. Over the past year and a half Dr. B has devoted her studies to the NAET, NRT and muscle testing (or Applied Kinesiology) methods. Drew and Tre have been her learning models as she perfects her technique. Her success has been evident in both dogs - Drew's allergies are almost non-existent, he is on a low dose of valley fever medication, low dose of thyroid meds and he looks great. Tre, our IBD dog, who has dealt with chronic liver elevations for a number of years has a marked decrease in his liver enzymes and no vomiting. He looks and feels good coming up to his 13th birthday. On several occasions Dr. B has gone over Feigh- each time she has come up clean with no troubles and no need for support or supplements. At these times Dr. B would offer testing her for fertility supplements to help in her breeding endeavors. I would usually laugh and shake my head no - while I want a pregnant dog, I do not want an ultra fertile one that gives me a record setting number of basenji pups. Once Feigh was bred however, it was a given that I would seek Dr. B out to do some muscle testing to determine Feigh's pregnancy status. Dr. B muscle tested a coworkers dog last year, 14 days or so after being bred and "predicted" (for lack of a better word) 5 pups, 3 girls, 2 boys. The bitch went on to have 4 pups 3 girls and 1 boy. Since it was so early in the pregnancy it is possible that the bitch absorbed one fetus. So today was the big day for us as Dr. B would do her magic. If pregnant, Feigh could be anywhere from 11-16 days along. And the results are in...........
8th: We took everyone up to Phoenix for lure practice. We want to see if Clay remembers anything from his formative baby years. And he does. He is very keen for the lure and a JC will be no problem. I thought to try and run him with Drew which ended up being a big mistake. He was totally interfering and at the end went so far as to side butt Drew totally off the lure, then came in for the finish and the kill. Obviously not one to share! We will work on some running by himself, and perhaps a talk with an animal communicator before trying him with Drew again. He needs to know that if he likes this game (which is obvious that he does) and he wants to play the game - he has rules he must follow and that is to ignore the other dogs and follow the bunny. We'll see. Next up for Clay will be his first agility trial mid November. He remembers all that he was shown as a babe and young adult and he is already doing 12 weave poles without a break, while we might not get a Q - he is ready to practice in the real world to learn how to do it amidst all the distractions. We have an outdoor simulated practice scheduled on 10/27.
3rd: This is the story of how NOT to breed inexperienced dogs with inexperienced owners. My first and only litter from 6 years ago went off without a hitch; Sage came into season, I visited the male who lived about an hour away. They weren't too keen that first day so we left. I visited the next day and "wham bam thank you man" the deed was done, which was repeated two days later with similar results. Sixty-ish days later, six healthy boys. I admit, I was spoiled - it was just too perfect, the breeding, the whelping, the rearing. I just assumed it always went like this. Who am I kidding?
I should have guessed that Feigh's adventure would be a little different, as she is a little different, ever the free spirit, a beatnik type. It all started innocently enough, Feigh finally came into season, albeit a month later then normal, and we started to count the days. I referred back to my notes about her behavior in previous years and when her discharge changed color indicating ovulation, so that I could be prepared on when we needed to make the two hour trek north. That was the plan. But plans have a way of changing and change they did.
First came Feigh's increasingly promiscuous behavior with the resident (neutered) males. While it was only day 10 (or 9 depending on who is doing the counting) and her discharge was still red, she was telling me physically she was ready to rock. In previous years this behavior was noted at day 11-15. By all accounts she should NOT be ready this early, but my instinct told me to heed her message, so after work one Thursday night, Katy and I head to Phoenix to meet the man of Feigh's dreams. After a 10 minute romp through the yard and some arm wrestling on the couch (foreplay at its finest), both got serious alone, behind the couch and we ended up with something like a 10 minute tie. Success. Katy and I decide to return on Saturday. But again, plans change.
Instead of Saturday, we decide to wait until Sunday for a repeat trip. Our reasoning? Sperm is said to live anywhere from 3-7 days inside the female. We decide that if we were early on Thursday, the little men might still have time to work some magic on Saturday and by waiting until Sunday we would increase our chances that fertilization could occur over a longer period of time. Sunday dawned bright and early and we made our way back to Arnieta's, arriving around 1pm. Chance was eagerly awaiting Feigh and again the feeling was quite mutual. However, as the saying goes, the best laid plans........
Chance was more then willing but unable to properly align himself, working himself up to the point of no apparent return. In our naiveté we were too slow to help when he needed us the most and before you know it, we were done before actually getting started. Feigh in the meantime is trying to figure just what went wrong as she was more than willing to accommodate him and continued to be for the remainder of the night. We hoped it was all a sick joke so we waited several hours just in case. No such luck. We even left them crated next to each other (despite my internal hesitations) while we grabbed a bite to eat. Upon our return Chance was more interested in couch wrestling and cuddle bugging then foreplay! Arnieta kindly offered to bring Chance down to Tucson the following day. Katy and I head home four hours later then planned, defeated and exhausted. What will the morrow bring?
Monday morning Rand and I were able to draw a small blood sample from Feigh to test her progesterone levels. As is my custom, prior to leaving for work, I fed each dog a spoonful of cereal and notice that Feigh's mandible is quite swollen. She immediately gets a one way ticket to work - not exactly on her top 10 list. A quick exam shows that while crated next to Chance she either punctures her lip with her canine then rips the lip in two or else she tore it in two on the metal crate. Either way she had some serious trauma to her lower lip fold which needed attention - attention to mean that she was put on a course of antibiotics and sent home with some surgical scrub. Great! What if by some miracle she is pregnant from the first breeding? The docs assure me that Clavamox is harmless, besides which even if the eggs are fertilized they have not attached quite yet or so they say. But who exactly are they? While at the clinic we collect a vaginal cytology. According to the cytology she is 100% cornified - which in canine reproduction speak means she is ready to rock....NOW. Her progesterone test will not be back until the following day. I leave work to meet Chance and Arnieta.
Despite adequate time and opportunity to empty his bladder and bowels, Chance proceeds to come inside the house and mark his territory, again and again. Ugh. Luckily I have a handy bottle of "Urine B Gone" which really works, btw. I am able to follow him around and keep damage and exposure to a minimum. Note to self: never have a stud dog. After finally emptying his bowels, he gets down to business. Of course by this time - so much time has passed and he seemed so uninterested that Arnieta was on the phone with a repro vet trying to figure out what to do next. Chance of course sees that as a time to get seriously serious but once again - he is too quick to the draw, gets himself worked up and unable to find the right spot. We once again fail to get a breeding. Double ugh! The repro Doc told Arnieta that morning that he (Chance) would need 12-24 hours after an episode before he would be in the mood again. Another wasted day and time is running out. Operation Making Groovy is born.
Arnieta and I decide to make an appointment with the repro guy for Tuesday afternoon. I am scheduled to work until 2pm and will need to be in North Phoenix ASAP. The plan is to call Arnieta with the progesterone results, she will then relay the results to the repro doc and he can decide what to do once we get there. I arrive at work bright and early and find that her test results are, according to the lab scale, beyond ovulation time. Their range is 4-10 and she is greater than 15. Ugh. I relay this to Arnieta and let her know my bosses were kind enough to let me leave an hour early so to plan for a 3:30pm rendezvous. I leave work and come home to an email from Arnieta - the repro doc said with numbers like Feigh's she has a 50/50 chance - are we willing to take it? Exhausted, I was more than ready to throw in the towel but Katy managed a terrific and timely pep talk the night before to get me back in the game, so I set off for another trip to Phoenix, my third in less than a week.
Thankfully the drive was uneventful, traffic moderately bad the closer I came to my exit, but I made it with minutes to spare. Arnieta and Chance were already there, awaiting us. Kept on leash while in the clinic, Chance is quite amorous, signaling to us that despite it being day 14 (or 15 depending on who is counting) we may not have missed our opportunity. The Doc calls us to the back and gives Feigh a cursory exam - his findings: she looks to still be in season, her discharge color was the right shade according to him and she was flagging her tail appropriately. While there are no guarantees we ask him to proceed. By this time Chance is more than willing, despite being on top of a cold and lifeless exam table and the Doc is fast and agile, able to catch the little goldmines in his makeshift collection tube. Once done, the Doc takes the little guys to the back to check their vitality under the microscope, then returns to transfer the Best in Show wannabe wonders to Feigh. By this time Feigh is feeling somewhat cheated. Three times now she has been hot and heavy for the mating and three times she is denied. What's a girl to do?
While the artificial insemination takes place the doctor comments more than once on Feigh's ability to contract. Concerned, I ask him if this is a good thing. He says it is and goes on to explain that the contracting is what is pushing the sperm into her cervix. The more she contracts, the closer they get to their destination. Yee haw! We are sent home with instructions to keep her quiet over the next several hours, easy enough as we still have a two hour drive ahead of us.
All we can do now is wait.
20th:Feigh is officially IN season. Yee haw! She started spotting a little yesterday and a lot today. She will meet up with her intended next weekend sometime. Onwards to the future.
13th:Clay had his dental yesterday. YEAH! He lost two back molars. Boo! I was expecting more needing to be extracted but Dr. W felt that as long as I am diligent about brushing - we should be able to stave off any more extractions. We plan to use Drew and Clay as models for the clinic in the importance of brushing teeth. We thought it would be an interesting comparison since they are litter mates and the condition of their teeth are vastly different. Still no sign that Feigh is interested in coming into season. Though I will admit - she seems more testy then normal.
6th: As of August 30th Feigh is still in the top 10 AKC Lure Course rankings. Not bad for only running what, 4 or 5 times total, this year. We will see if she can hang on for the year though she will not be running again until 2007. I would think someone would knock her off the pedestal by then. As of September 6th she still shows no signs of coming into season. Typical.
7-9: We spent three days in sunny San Diego supporting the Make-A Wish foundation while doing some AKC agility. I just have to brag on my oldster Tre, who - like an energizer bunny - keeps going and going and going......
Tre - who is 12 and 1/2 years of age was entered in 4 runs this weekend and came home with three legs, two 1st placements, 1 second placement and 2 new titles. He can now add Open Preferred Standard (OAP) and Excellent Preferred Jumpers (AJP) to his name. He's my hero.
As an aside - Drew continues to struggle a bit with only one eye and either knocks a bar, has a refusal and too much time or just takes too darn long to qualify. He only needs one Jumpers leg in Open for his title then he will be moved to preferred. My wild child Feigh - a border collie in basenji clothing aka tremendous speed without the listening skills - continues to improve (no legs though) and by the end of the weekend we NQ'd respectably - like normal folks and not with the usual 100 wrong courses.<lol>
4th: Feigh and I hitched a ride with Katy, brother Khonsu and the Nut! for some lure coursing in Northern California. We had enough hounds to split the stake, making two - 5 point majors available. Khonsu and Feigh were in separate stakes. Khonsu was up first and had a tough first run score wise though he beat the stuffing out of his other trio competitors. Feigh cheated a tad but was obviously the fastest and ended up in a 4 way tie for 2nd place with one point separating the 1st place dog. Though Katy and I felt Khonsu was not at his best on the second run, his score was much better and that moved him up to third place and 2 more points. All he needs is 3pt major for his FC. Feigh ran an incredible second run and ended up winning her stake and a 5 point major to finish her. On Monday morning we proceeded to San Leandro where we planned to meet up with a board certified cardiologist, Dr. Kienle. Khonsu had a significantly pronounced heart murmur as a 9 week old which has since disappeared. We wanted to make sure it was really gone before breeding Feigh (who was able to get her OFA Cardiac exam done at the same time - she is normal). The doc came back after the sonogram/echocardiogram and declared Khonsu fit as a fiddle with a perfectly normal sounding and looking heart. His thoughts were that Khonsu had what is known as an "innocent" murmur - very common in growing puppies - that was louder then normal and was therefore misdiagnosed by the attending doctors. Feigh is given the thumbs up to breed. Because this was both F&K's 4th time running they also earned their Senior Courser (SC) title. Next stop - 3 day agility trial in San Diego July 7-9 to help support Make-A-Wish foundation.
13th/14th: The whole family once again hit the road and made a beeline for Albuquerque, NM. We arrived late at night (or early the next morning) and managed about 2 1/2 hours of sleep before rushing off to the show site - indoors. Feigh and Drew were entered in Rally excellent both days and qualified for 2 legs each. Drew is able to get a 2nd placement on Saturday out of a large B class and Feigh gets 1st and 2nd out of the smaller A class. Only one more leg for their RE titles - whoo hoo. Drew is once again entered in Open A. The first day he was quite nervous indoors (we do not have indoor training facilities in Tucson) so his heeling was atrocious but he more than made up for it on his other exercises losing a total of 1 & 1/2 points for 4 exercises - that's fantastic. However due to his heeling - we did not qualify and actually earned a first ever NQ in heeling. Even Tre - my novice A, took 17 tries to get his CDX basenji, never NQ'd on heeling. Aw well. I do find that if Drew bumps me on his non sighted side he will start to shut down somewhat. Something to work on. The next day Drew's heeling was marginally better - certainly qualifyingly better but his exercises were not as good score wise. He did do the out of sight sits and downs and walked a way with his first CDX leg in three tries. If folks only knew how little I have worked and proofed him. He has made me extremely proud. We were talking to a woman who has a doberman and she has shown 15 times and still does not have a leg. Good boy Drew. Next up - one day of lure coursing in Vacaville Ca.
7th: The whole family heads to Sierra Vista where Drew debuts in Open A obedience. I have not worked him much so was not sure how it would go but Drew did great! His heeling was off until the figure 8 but finally he caught on. All exercises went well until the broad jump where Drew decided he would rather just take the shortest route to heel position by ignoring the jump completely and going straight to my side. Silly boy. He did perfect sits and downs - I was soooo proud as I have not had a lot of opportunity to proof him with other dogs. Drew and Feigh are also entered in Advanced Rally where they both walked away with class placements and their RA titles. Tre just went along for some fun in the sun.
8th/9th: Feigh, Drew and I hitch a ride with Katy, brother Khonsu and the Nut! for Las Vegas and some Agility and Rally-O. Khonsu ends the weekend with two new titles after his name: NAJ and RN. He almost had a third, his NA, but time got a way from him. Feigh and Drew both earned two Rally Advanced legs - Feigh was able to get two second placements in the process. Drew, in the more competitive Advanced B class, gets Q's only. Drew made up for a lack luster Rally performance by earning his 2nd Open JWW leg with a first place. He almost had his OAJ title on Sunday except he had to scratch his face mid run. Just one more to go and we will drop him to preferred.
1st/2nd: Feigh is now an ASFA Field Champion. No fooling! All the dogs ran great, even our turtle Drew who ended up taking BOB on Saturday - apparently follow was more important then speed. Drew has over 70 points towards his ASFA F.Ch. Tre is just running to have fun. Feigh went BOB on Sunday over 10 entries and then ran in BIF. A lovely running Pharaoh beat her out for the top prize but we were told by the judge, out of the 6 dogs (including a Whippet and Greyhound) Feigh was second best.
18th/19th: Agility weekend. Tre was handled by both Rand and I and was able to earn himself a second AJP leg and OAP leg between us. He just needs one more each for his titles.Drewtried hard, despite some very cold weather (it hailed!) and finally got himself his first Open jumpers leg. We head to Las Vegas in April to see if we can finish this title up and move him to preferred classes. Feigh continues to be a handful and is not successful. Can you say frustrating? Katy and brother Khonsu did well though and were 3 out of 4 runs for the weekend - should not be too long before they get their Novice titles. The rate they are going they will be in Excellent long before Feigh and I will be. Her Canaan dog is keeping her humble though.
3rd/4th/5th: A long 3 day weekend. Very tiring. Tre and Rand were the only "winners" - on the first day no less. After that it was all downhill. Tre and Rand got their first Excellent preferred jumpers leg (and a 1st place) and their first Open preferred leg (3rd place). Drew tried hard and came close but too much time was taken. Rand does a fantastic job running with the guys. Feigh is being rather difficult. She is still way too fast and way too deaf to my pleas to "come", "over", "here". Everyone says to give her time as she is still quite young. The judges keep commenting on how fun she is and once I get some semblance of control - she'll be awesome. I worry she will be Tre's age before that happens. <lol>
18th: Still no results via snail mail but I happened upon OFA's site and noticed that Feigh's results are online already - wow. She is OFA Good, Elbows and Patella Normal. All labs are coming off a serious back order of FT4ed tests so am still awaiting Feigh's OFA Thyroid panel to be completed and added to the web site. I have also mailed in the HA results (Normal/clear) to see if that gets OFA inclusion. Phew! I am glad all that is out of the way - onwards to breeding. Got word that Feigh is ranked #17 ASFA in only 6 runs - what a gal!
6th: Feigh'sTgAA results are back, she is TgAA negative. There is a national backorder on the FT4ed tests so we are still awaiting that value. Still waiting for OFA hips et al - they were mailed right before Christmas so I am not expecting them anytime soon.
1st: HAPPY NEW YEAR! The whole gang went to Long Beach California for some AKC lure coursing on Sunday (New Year's Day) only. Drew and Tre ran for fun in their respective classes (specials and veterans) while Feigh dukes it out with some California basenjis. Feigh proved victorious and ran away with a 5 point major and Best of Breed. We did not feel good about the other breed entries so we chose not to run Feigh in BIF.
¤ Dec ¤ Nov ¤ Oct ¤ Sept ¤ Jun ¤ May ¤ Jan
6th & 21st: Feigh gets her TgAA tested as well as her hips, elbows and patella's. We will await the results from OFA.
17th/18th: Back to Phoenix for some AKC agility. Sadly the week is a practical bust. The weather was rather nippy and both Tre and Feigh were "out of control" on Saturday.Drew did the best but knocked the triple jump both days for some NQ's. Poor Drew. Tre and Rand did manage to get one preferred jumpers leg though so now Tre only needs one more for his OJP title. Luckily Tre did NOT earn any standard legs as I had him entered in the wrong class. Had he earned a leg it would have been forfeited. Ugh.
12th/13th: We head to Phoenix for some ASFA lure coursing. Not a lot of competition but Feigh and Drew are able to earn a few more points. Drew now has over half his needed points at 52 and Feigh has 86 points. Tre sat out to rest for the trial in January. The big news came on Sunday where we decided to run Feigh in Best In Field - she went head to head with an Afghan and a Whippet (Whippets had a supporting entry of 20+ that day). The Afghan could not catch up with her and the Whippet could not shake her tail so the judges had to award her BEST in FIELD - her first. Whoo hoo Feigh.
17th - 20th: While Rand is in California at the BIG GAME (Cal vs Stanford) Feigh, Drew, Tre and I head to the Tucson fairgrounds for some Rally and agility. First up was Rally O on Friday. Only Feigh and Drew were entered - both for their second time. Feigh did okay and garnered a score of 93 and her second leg. Drew did much better than Feigh - had a number of strangers come up and tell me how great he looked in the ring. While he once again bumped my leg a couple of times on his off side I too thought he did a great job. Apparently we were all wrong and he ended up with a lower score then Feigh - a 92. Go figure. All well - its a Q. We will do Rally O again on Monday. Saturday dawned and I have all the dogs entered in Open classes. Luckily my friend Katy was around to hold my dogs. Drew was first up in both classes. He did a great standard run but knocked the triple which was the last jump. In JWW he did great - no knocked bars. YEAH! He did have one refusal which put him over time. All well - tomorrow is another day. Feigh was next up and her standard run she did a great job. This was her first time in open and she nailed her weaves like a pro. She did balk at the chute then proceeded to jump over the chute so two refusals but within time for her first Q and a 1st place - whoo hoo. JWW was another story. She broke her start line then realized it and put on the brakes which meant she hit the first jump and knocked the bars down. Silly girl. She then proceeded to goof around the next two jumps but once she got with me - she flew and had a beautiful run. No Q though. :O) Tre was last and we only did jumpers though he was entered in Excellent standard. He is getting to an age where I have to play it by ear in what to run him in. I had to run the outside of the whole course but Tre did AWESOME. He nailed his weave poles, took all the jumps, kept a steady pace - it was great. He Q'd with a 2nd placement and finishes his Open JWW title. Yeah! Onwards to open preferred. Sunday dawns very windy - which means the fairgrounds is 100 times windier. Last year the wind was so bad dogs were being blown off the contact equipment - not a pretty sight. JWW was the first run of the day. Drew was having none of it and decided to run around several jumps. He did knock the triple so a big fat NQ for us. Feigh was next and she decided that it was just TOO windy to run agility so she decided to lure course a little. I called her in promptly (she came!), put her in a down, waved to the judge and took my wild child out of the ring. Tre - ever the trooper that he is - was in fine form and got himself an extra jumpers leg and another placement (3rd) - what a man! The wind was still kicking but not as blustery so we stayed to run Standard. Drew was first and did not disappoint. He ran cleanly though he had one refusal. Due to the fact that I must run the long way around with him and cheer him the whole way I was getting out of breath and at the very instance he took the triple (our bane) I tripped over my two left feet and stumbled, rumbled, and nearly fell flat on my face. Drew stayed right by my side and I was able to pick myself up before falling and turn him onto the dog walk. After that it was smooth sailing for Drew's second Open leg and a 3rd place. Holy Smokes! Next up - the wild child. She started out better than she did yesterday - hit her weaves like a pro and only one refusal but due to her exuberance she decided to jump off the dog walk well ahead of the contact area so another NQ for her. I must say though that she finished the course like a seasoned border collie - way out at a distance with only a "here" or "there" as a command. Lovely to watch - now if I could just get her to be consistent. Tomorrow its back to Rally - where the basenjis had a terrific day. The course was nice and easy - flowed really well. Only 11 dogs showed up so Feigh went in pretty early. She did rather well this time around and earned herself a 96. Drew followed about 6 dogs later and put in a stellar performance. The doGs must have felt he was robbed on Friday so they rewarded him with a job well done and a score of 99 (out of 100) - that earned him top honors for the day with a first place. Drew ended up with the highest Rally score of the day - out of 42 competitors. Feigh came in second with her 96. So we can now add two RN titles to our alphabet soup.
13th: Feigh, Drew, Tre, Rand and I do a whirlwind trip to Albuquerque NM. By whirlwind I mean that we drove 6 hours on Saturday and returned home via 6 hours on Sunday. But it was well worth it. We pre certified Feigh with her brother Khonsu. Both ran well though Feigh kind of hesitated at the end as though she were going to stop running. She finished though and we entered them both in their first ASFA trial. Feigh started strong but when she came up on this same area as her pre-cert - she backed off, lost the lure then tried to find it via listening to the pulley. She found it and came in for the finish. Needless to say her score was not that great. Her second run (really her third) she again pulled up near the end, followed the line then chased the bag as it came towards her. Grrr. What to do with her?! Khonsu ran the best but on the last run he too pulled up at the end which left Drew being the only dog that, while slow from lack of condition, was the only dog to follow the lure the whole way. Drew is rewarded for his follow and walks away with 1st place, BOB and an additional 12 points. So Drew now has his two first placements towards his ASFA FCh and Feigh has 6 points. Tre was the only FCh. dog so he is awarded 4 points for his qualifying runs. He now only needs 2 points for his LCM. YOWSER!
3rd/4th: Feigh and I and the boys traveled to Phoenix for some lure coursing. Feigh got to try for her second JC leg and she did not disappoint. She was once again a running fool - not sure what happened at nationals that made her not want to run the second course. Drew did great as well. This was his first time coursing with only one eye and he rose to the occasion and walked away with his first ASFA points (16) and a first place. He really enjoyed himself which is the main thing. He is not in the best of shape so we only ran one day - his body must recover from the steroid use he had to endure during all of his tribulations - but he had a lot of heart! ¤ Despite being a true veteran at the age of 11 years and 10 months I entered Tre in the Field Champion class. Why? He only needs 14 points for his LCM - I figure a last place out of 4 still equals 4 points so why not. Why not indeed - Tre ended up in 3rd place and earned 8 points. This is great for a dog that was running against another male that was at least 20 inches tall and weighs about 35 pounds. The other dogs in the class were also half his age. Only 6 points to go - fingers crossed.
Feigh defeats two bitches for her first AKC point. A great feat for a 65% Avongara youngster. We will enter conformation shows very sparingly - see how she matures before we try for any serious points.
BIG NEWS..BIG NEWS: Like mother, like son: Drew ends 2004 as the #8 Hound in the nation and #1 Basenji in obedience as per Front and Finish Delaney System