Monday, May 10, 2010

Ouchies, Rally-O, and Happy Birthday!

Weird things always seem to happen to me just before we have plans to go off to some event. I was one of the "lucky" few in Michigan to have a dog get Canine Influenza (it's not a common ailment here) just before his first Christmas; before one weight pull, I clipped a nail too short when he tried to jerk away that would not stop bleeding and required a trip to a vet who, luckily, was open until 10pm; and last night, Howie tore off his dew claw on his right paw.

And we have a 3-day weight pull coming up this weekend.

He's not digging down deep enough to be using his dew claws for extra gripping power, but I can imagine having the quick exposed is not a pleasant feeling for him. According to a blog post on from 2008, the author's dog's dew claw fell off within a couple days of the injury, and not much doctoring was required.

Howie never really bled much after he tore the nail off. In fact, we didn't even know he was hurt until my boyfriend noticed a few spots of blood on his right paw. A vet tech friend advised to just clip off any hanging nail, clean it up, and bandage it up; keep it clean and make sure he doesn't bother it. I was tempted to bring him into work with me to keep an eye on him, but there was no bleeding overnight, and he only showed minor discomfort when I bandaged him up again for the day (and am hoping that he doesn't tear off that bandage in the 9 hours that's he's left alone). My vet is also getting a round antibiotics ready for me to pick up on my way home from work, just as a precautionary measure.

Otherwise, I'm hoping the club will let us transfer our entires for their show in June in Kalamazoo....

In other news...

Howie turned two-years-old on Saturday! Which also happened to be our first attempt at Rally Obedience. Unfortunately, we NQ'd (disqualified/not a qualifying score) in both runs, but at least there were "good" reasons. During the first trial, no matter how much I talked to him, he was more interested in the agility going on in the ring next to us, and at one point tried to jump the fencing that was separating the rings. I literally had to pull him off the fence - the judge could have excused us from the ring because you're not allowed to discipline your dog in the ring, but I think under the circumstances, he just NQ'd us with a "tight leash" comment.

During the second trial, were were doing SO WELL until I screwed up and missed a sign. Totally my fault, but the judge told me that had I not missed that sign, we would have had a qualifying score. So, I was mad at myself, not him. We're going to try again when we're in Kalamazoo for a weight pull in June, since RO will be offered there as well, and we'll already be there. I couldn't justify spending $60 on entries for day-of-show entries for a 2nd try, when I can save so much money when we're in Kalamazoo!

In addition to being accident-prone and us working on our training and showing together, we've also gotten the great news of finding a trainer who is willing to work with us for service dog tasks, as well. So many trainers either ignored us or simply denied us because of his breed, but a friend of mine pushed me to contact Lori Grigg of Paradise Dog Training (formally of For Better Independence). Lori was nice enough to spend over an hour on the phone with me to answer all of my questions and tell me how she operates, and was not deterred by him being an American Pit Bull Terrier in the least bit. We go to meet her at her training facility in Milford on May 17th.

In the meantime, this isn't going to be a cheap training adventure (it's definitely not like our training club, where 8 weeks of obedience training generally costs me $60). I have cut down our show schedule quite a bit and putting the money that would normally go toward our showing adventures toward his Service Dog Training savings account; and I am putting away every available penny I can to save up for this training. If you are able to donate to help us, please check out his Chip In page. We need to raise around $7500 for the skills he needs to learn to help me, and any unused dollars will be donated to help other people receive the service dogs that they need. We appreciate any help and support that you are able to provide - even the well-wishes mean so much to us!