This past Sunday I did a canine conditioning seminar with Bobbie Lyons. She was absolutely fabulous and I would go to another of her workshops again in a heartbeat. She has a livejournal:
I brought Bosco because he is calmer in group settings like that. Maia may have been okay because when we are working she does not display any reactivity, but I didn't want to chance it. Bosco enjoyed himself immensely as he got four hours of non-stop Mummy time. He also gave a distinct bum wiggle to Jen – his tail was completely docked off long before I adopted him, so he has nothing to wag; he wiggles instead. He is a typical Aussie in the sense that he has his person and that is enough for him. He is not interested in other people unless they have food. It took him about six months of Hailey living with us before he started to seek her out for attention, and that was seeing her every single day in the house. He's known Jen for three years (almost, his gotcha day is coming up this month) but it has only been recently that I have brought him over to her house when I go to hang out. Apparently he has decided that Jen can join the limited inner circle, and he greeted her with a bum wiggle and a request for pets. She and I were both delighted :).
The seminar was very hands on, which I like for learning. Bobbie walked around and helped, and answered questions, but if you understood the exercise you could just go ahead and work on it. We learned how to do a 'sit pretty' correctly to protect the spine and work the core muscles, we learned a way to do perch work that again protected the spine but worked on hind end awareness, we got the dogs to army crawl under chairs or through a tunnel, we worked on backing up that has the dogs moving their back feet and front feet at the same time, and most fun of all, we got the dogs up on large exercise ball things that are shaped like peanuts, which works all the core muscles as of course they need to balance. I am excited to work on these things with both the dogs, although I will need to price out the peanut and the balance discs to see if they are within range.
Bosco tired out after about two and a half hours so I worked with Nyx, Jen's dog, for the rest of the time. Jen was photographing the seminar and had brought Nyx to do an hour long private lesson afterwards, so Nyx was huffing and puffing in her crate, pouting because she was missing all the fun. She was so pleased to come out and work with me because yay! Now fun things! I really love that dog so much. She has such joy for life that I can't help but smile.
This was the weekend that Hailey moved out. Saturday was super stressful for her, for me, and for the dogs. It was nice to relax in the silence once she was fully moved, and let the dogs destress. It does feel a little strange to have the house to myself again, but I lived alone for ten years before I invited Hailey to move in, and I am enjoying being by myself again. I am happy with my own company so much of the time, and I never feel lonely because I have the dogs.
I took Maia to the vet tonight because I thought she had another tick. She had one about six months ago that Hailey was able to remove. I thought she had another one a few months ago on the other side of her scruff but on closer look it turned out to just be a scab. We assumed that the dogs had been scuffling and she had been scratched. But today I noticed that she had another black long thing on her neck and no Hailey to confirm if it was a tick. I have a new vet who I absolutely love but she was not in the office today of course. They recommended I bring her in tonight anyway and see the other vet because if it was a tick it is best to have them removed asap.
I had a brilliant idea if I do say so myself. Hailey and I invested in a soft cone back when we had Ollie, and I put that on Maia at the vet, along with a muzzle. While the vet was poking at her neck and picking what turned out to be another scab off, Maia was wanting to turn her head and at the very least muzzle punch the vet. I had one hand on her collar and the other on the outside of the cone which prevented her from turning her head anywhere near the vet. Genius!
The vet suggested that she may have a cyst in that spot that burst and caused the previous scab and now this one. She shaved the area on Maia's neck so that I can keep an eye on it, and gave me an ointment that will help with healing and take away the itchiness.
I weighed Maia when we first arrived and my suspicion that she has been losing weight was confirmed. In April this year she was 68 lbs. In July she was 64, and now she is 60. She doesn't look underweight now and she didn't look overweight then, but it concerns me that she is losing weight for no apparent reason. Her exercise levels have stayed the same, and her food intake has stayed the same. If anything I would have thought she would have gained weight prior to July as that was when I thought she might have ruptured her cruciate and had her on two weeks of house arrest with no exercise. And interestingly enough, Bosco has been gaining weight, again with the same exercise and food levels. The vet tech told me that I am welcome to come by any time to weigh them so that I can see if there is an ongoing trend, especially with Maia. I would prefer that she gain a few pounds, at least up to about 64, but even if she stays at 60 that is borderline ok. If she drops below that then we will have to do some blood work and tests.
I took this photo on my walk this afternoon, and I think it's gorgeous, if I do say so myself 🙂