Friday, January 22, 2010

Rollecoaster Ride

Well again it's been quite a while since my last post so I'll have to recap the past few months.

In August, we attended the AAC National Agility Championships held right here in Ottawa. Tucker was again very consistent but even though the weather wasn't all that hot, he was going very slow by the end of the weekend. He managed to place 7th overall in his height class, 6" DD Veterans and he was never in last place. It rained for part of the weekend and Tucker nearly slid off the A-frame as it was a little slippery. He must have pulled something as since that time he has not done an A-frame in competition. I had him out to a training facility recently and we put the A-frame down to about four feet, after putting him over it on a leash a couple times, he seemed to have no problem with it at that height. I hope to get back out and see if he'll do a full height frame.

Ceilidh really surprised me at Nationals. She was quite consistent and even managed to get one of the Gambles which earned her a 7th place in that event. She ended up 17th overall just about in the middle of the pack for her height class, 10" Specials. We also acheived our other goals for 2009. She got a qualifying score in a Masters event other than Jumpers, when she got a Masters Snooker at an All Dog Sports Club trial. She also got her Expert Bronze Jumpers title this year.

Tucker also got his Expert Bronze Jumpers and is one qualifying score from his Expert Bronze Team and the Bronze Versatility Dog title. We didn't manage to get that last Q as the last two Team events that Tucker was entered in had the A-frame on both sides. I ran one with a friend as a partner so we knew going in we wouldn't Q and the other, since I had entered the draw for a partner, I had to withdraw from as that would not have been fair to the other team.

I had been thinking about getting a rescue dog but in August, I found a puppy that was available not far from Ottawa. It was a bi-black male and his picture online was just adorable. Needless to say, I ended up getting a puppy rather than an older rescue. I got Beckett on the Saturday of Labour Day weekend. My Dad had come up to visit and we were able to combine my going to pick up the puppy in Oshawa with a visit to my sister's in Kingston. Everything was going great. Labour Day Monday was beautiful and Dad and I decided to take all the dogs to the park. While playing with some other Shelties, Beckett got stepped on and his leg was broken. Dad and I spent 5 hours at Alta Vista Animal Hospital waiting for x-rays. At first they said it was just dislocated but when I went back the next week for the recheck, they found that it was indeed a clean break. Beckett ended up in a splint for nearly 6 weeks. I was very lucky through it all to have a friend who came and got him everyday as there was no way I could crate him all day.

We did a few trials in the fall and Ceilidh had some nice runs. One Masters Standard run at Morning Star, her last as a Special, saw her do tunnels layered with the dogwalk. I was really surprised that she didn't either spin or come back out under the dog walk.

We've been on an agility hiatus since the end of Nov, our next trials were to be in March but the latest events have turned our world upside down.

On New Years Day, we went to Red Gate to practice and when I lifted Ceilidh in the car, I felt what I thought was a mat of hair. The next day, when I went to comb it out, I found that it was in fact an open sore with hair stuck to it. I got it cleaned up and took Ceilidh right over to my vets office. There, they did a needle biopsy and sent us home with antibiotics as there was some infection. The pathology report came back on Monday 4 Jan 2010; it is a mast cell tumour. And then the real rollercoaster ride began. We had blood tests done which came back normal so my vet recommended seeing the oncologist at Alta Vista. At Alta Vista, they did an ultrasound and urine analysis, both of which came back normal. Good news, as it means the cancer had not spread. Ceilidh had surgery to remove the tumour on 21 Jan 2010, her 7th birthday. The surgeon was able to get it all along with 2cm margins. Now we will wait for the pathology report and hope that it's good news and that the tumour was a Grade I tumour and that the margins are clean. That's the best chance for a recovery; dirty margins or a higher grade tumour will likely mean chemotherapy. I hope that things will go well for my little girl and that we will get a chance to have more exciting runs in the agility ring as a Veteran.

Little Beckett also had his little snip operation on the same day as Ceilidh's surgery. He started obedience classes the week before and will go to a puppy agility seminar in Feb.

So the latter half of 2009 had some real highs (Nationals) and lows (Beckett breaking his leg) and the start of 2010 has been a real emotional rollercoaster ride. And the ride isn't over yet.

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