Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Chippenham and clever Zeki

I wasn't sure about going to Chippenham as it's such a long way but I am so glad I made the effort as we had a great day both in agility terms and in seeing friends and having a thoroughly nice day!

The icing on the cake for me was Zeki winning into G4 by winning her jumping class and then coming 2nd in agility. Cat Harvey beat us with her lovely sheltie Blue. They are going to be a really stunning pair, well actually they already are! So, I still have a goal of winning an agility class with Zeki. Roll on the agility season I can't wait.

Both mine. Aren't I clever!

However, the round I thought she felt best in was her other agility class. It was a fairly easy course but with rather awkward angles onto the dog walk and A-Frame. In trying to help her onto the dog walk (obstacle #3) I actually left her too deep and she fell off. Luckily she was fine and not at all worried. We gathered up and had a good run at our second attempt and then went on to complete a really good round which I was delighted with. My nice friend filmed it on her iPhone for me. Thank you Karen.

Zeki and I ran in the pairs with Karen and Todd. I was quite nervous as Todd is G7 and a very good dog. We actually ran first over quite a tricky pattern. The start was hard for the second dog as they would be running without the benefit of a startline wait. Karen very generously let me go first. Zeki ran it like a dream, I was so proud of her. We lost a bit of time on the changeover because I was scared that Zeki would chase Todd. As it happens I don't think she would have done. I didn't see Todd run as I was busy hanging onto Zeki in the box but he must have done a really good run as well as we led the class for a long time and only got knocked down to second near the end. With the long journey home I'm sorry to say I didn't stop for the prize giving so I'm unsure if we ended up in 2nd place but whatever the result I was delighted with the run. I so enjoyed it and wanted to have another go to prove to myself it wasn't a fluke!

We were very proud of Bern with Zen and Karen with Todd getting into the champ finals. Zen went on to win so that was brilliant. I haven't seen them run so fast. It was a fast and flowing champ final so they had to go for it. They followed Jo Tristram and her lovely dog Ellie who put in a fantastic run and truth be told (for Gavin & Stacey fans) I didn't think it could be beaten. But the ever wonderful Zen had other ideas. Go the shelties.

We had a lovely day in the sunshine. I was stupid and forgot my chair so had to sit on the back of my car but apart from that everything was wonderful. Zeki looked so cute in her little bed in the back of the car but she was very quiet all day, missing her family I think! I missed running Niamh and having little Pops with me but they had a much better day at home; outside all day with Andy doing garden chores!

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Thought I would do a little update on Poppy. She recovered from her various procedures really well. She coughed a little bit for the first few days but we had been told that this was to be expected bearing in mind the operation and the many tubes that she'd had down her throat.

She had a good weekend away, staying with a lot of tri-shelties and Dennis and Bernadette whilst we were at Crufts. Poppy was the bright light amongst these little black things! She came back very bright and happy and Bernadette thought her coughing had lessened. I am pleased to report that all my girls behaved and apart from a couple of AZBO's handed out to Zeki all was fine! Thank you B&D for having them. Thank you also to D&M for looking after Burphy and NN!

However on Monday she started to cough a bit more and it has steadily got worse over the last couple of days.

The vet from NDSR called me yesterday as she had promised to do once the final blood results were back and the result of the histology from the piece removed from Poppy's tonsil. It turned out that it wasn't a laceration in her tonsil but a benign polyp so it's good that it's gone as it might have grown larger and irritated her even more. They are certain that there is nothing to be concerned about and that it will heal and be absolutely fine. Having read up a bit on this it seems these benign tumours of the tonsil are actually quite rare. I am so glad it is benign as I lost my first red and white border collie Bess to cancer of the tonsils aged only 7. Poppy is the spitting image of Bess and I couldn't bear to lose her to the same horrible disease.

The results from the lung wash indicate a mild increase in the eosinophils (a type of white blood cell from the immune system.) This increase could indicate the presence of something such as lung worm but through other tests this has been discounted and so it points more to some kind of allergic reaction. To what though we haven't any idea. As far as I'm aware nothing has changed in our household but it's very hard to cover every base. The vet is quite puzzled by the situation as all Poppy's airways and chest look crystal clear on the CT scans and yet the coughing has come back.

So, now I have to keep a diary of Poppy's coughing and then in two weeks' time call the vet to discuss possible treatment for her. The most likely is that we will have to use an inhaler on her. I'm not sure yet how this works so need to do some reading up on the subject.

Other than this Poppy is looking great and is fine within herself bless her little heart. She is such a sweet dog and I hate to see her going through these awful coughing spasms. It's very frustrating and I hope we can get to the bottom of it.

Lovely walks

We've had some lovely dry walks just lately and have even managed some later afternoon walks as the daylight is lasting a bit longer.

Today was absolutely glorious. The sunshine was quite hazy but it was really warm. I actually had to carry my coat as I'd put on too many layers.

Here are some pictures of my doglets enjoying their first proper spring walk of 2010.

Crufts 2010

Gosh I was tired after Crufts and have only just found the energy to write up about it on the blog! I wasn't even competing, I just went along to give Andy moral support for his judging appointment.

Andy about to do go out and judge the Agility Championship Finals

I'm glad to report that all went well; I would go as far as to say extremely well in fact. The courses ran well and he got the full complement of dogs through to the finals for the smalls and mediums and just one under for the large. This was pretty good considering the starting line ups were so small in fact the large started with only ten dogs as four didn't run for a variety of reasons. The best thing was that all three tickets got awarded and they got awarded to absolutely brilliant rounds of agility. Perfect. I was very proud of Andy for doing a great job.

Several people have asked me to post the courses as even with the fantastic Crufts live TV it's quite hard to get a proper perspective of the flow of the course unless you're actually there watching it in the arena. I consider myself lucky to have been there to watch this competition as it was so exciting and of an excellent standard. I also got to watch the internationals on the Saturday and that was also of a brilliant standard.

Anyway, here are the courses:

Oh and best of all. I got some new PINK vet bed for my van. It's beautiful and very pink. For some strange reason Andy would not let me buy any for his new vehicle!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Poppy is home

I am so very happy that my lovely little Poppy is back home safe and sound. I was so terribly worried that she would be diagnosed with something ghastly but I am very lucky that it is not the case.

The last two days have been really horrible as Poppy had to go into North Downs Specialist Referrals. I cannot believe that I have never been to this referral centre and then within one month I have to take two dogs there.

I briefly mentioned in my post about Niamh and her reaction to the Advocate that Poppy was unwell. She has been coughing on and off for a while and it got worse so we knew it was time to get it investigated.

I had convinced myself that it was a heart cough but my vet said it wasn't the case as her heart appeared very good under physical examination. Nico decided to treat the obvious things such as lung worm and chronic infection by putting Poppy on a course of Panacur and antibiotics. Neither made any difference and she continued to cough. Poppy then had a conscious x-ray and we tried a different course of antibiotics and steroids. The x-ray looked good nothing horrible or obviously causing her cough. The result of the steroids and new antibiotics was no change. Poppy had lost her appetite on occasion so we also did a urine test. That just showed us that she had excellent kidney function for a dog of her age. So Nico decided it was time to refer her to NDSR. He said they would most likely do an endoscopy, more x-rays and possibly a lung wash.

A couple of days after we stopped the steroids and the antibiotics finished and her appointment at NDSR had been confirmed the coughing stopped. I spoke with Nico and between us we decided that we would cancel the appointment as no point in putting Poppy through any kind of procedure if the coughing had gone away. Two days later it returned but worse and she had one bad night of wheezing. The coughing is always worse at night but she had started to have a few coughing sessions during the day as well. I really wished I had not cancelled that appointment. I had it reinstated but had to wait for a week and so she was booked in on Monday 8th March.

We took her in yesterday and had an hour long consultation with Myra Forster-van Hijfte who is a European specialist in internal medicine. She was so lovely with Poppy who just wandered round the consulting room looking for biscuits which is what she gets at Nico's practice. Obviously she couldn't have any here as she hadn't been allowed anything to eat since the night before in case she had to have the GA. We had to answer loads of questions and then Poppy had a physical examination. Myra was most concerned about a tenderness in Poppy's abdomen. Of course that got me really worried that it was something awful. She talked us through her approach and we agreed to have CT scans done rather than x-rays as they would give a better picture of anything unusual going on. Then we had to leave and it was awful but Poppy trotted off with Myra and didn't even look back!

The plan was that she would have ultra-sound on her first day in and then today she would go under GA and have the CT scans, endoscopy and lung wash. At some point during the various tests they discovered that Poppy had an inch long piece of her left tonsil torn and it is highly likely that this has been causing irritation and making her cough to try to get rid of the obstruction. We have absolutely no idea how this has happened. We never throw sticks for our dogs but maybe she ran onto something or ate something who knows.

So they operated on her tonsil and removed the flap. She has a dissolving stitch and has to have a soft diet for at least a week. But she is ok and there is nothing horrible going on. In fact Myra commented that for a little dog of almost 13 (her birthday is 6 April) she is in remarkable condition. All her internal organs are not only sound but in amazing conditions for her age. She believes the tenderness in her abdomen is due to a benign polyp which is unremarkable for a dog of her age and nothing to worry about. This polyp was clearly visible on the CT scans.

I fretted all night and all morning and we eventually got the call after lunch today to say that she was recovering and that all being well I could collect her after 4.00 pm. We had to ring at 4.00 pm to make sure they were happy for her to leave and we got the OK so I zoomed over and had her home by 5.30 pm.

She trotted into the sitting room and picked up a toy. During the course of the evening she has worked her way round three sofas and five dog beds and is currently curled up on her cushion.

I am so happy to have my dear sweet Poppy back home with me. I love her so much. I know Andy will be thrilled to see her when he gets back from training this evening. He kindly offered to take all the classes so I could be with Poppy.

Here she is back home, safe and sound. My lovely sweet little dog.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Happy Birthday Zeki

Happy Birthday to my special sheltie Zeki,two years old today!

Best wishes to litter mates Ziga, Zev and Zinna love from Zeki & Nancy xx

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Very sad news

Yesterday I heard some very sad news from Lesley that she had to let her beautiful dog Loobie go to sleep.

To my mind Loobie was one of the all time greats of the agility world. She and Lesley were a joy to watch. Loobie had a huge amount of energy and drive but what I loved about her most was that it was so obvious she was having the most wonderful time. She was without doubt a super star and deserved the status of being the first ever British Agility Champion. That can never be taken away.

It made me think also of my beautiful Abbey, they made their agility debut the very same weekend at the Packington/Spalding show. Loobie won novice agility at Packington and I was very impressed; you can imagine my joy when the following day Abbey won novice agility at Spalding. Two beautiful girls now at Rainbow Bridge. So many memories.

Sleep peacefully Loobie.

Studio Update #3

I am very late with this update as the work in this picture was completed two weeks ago in just one day as Al could only come here on the Sunday. Then we had a complete weekend off as he had other commitments so nothing more was done until this last weekend of February. I haven't taken any photos of that stage yet so I'll do another post shortly.

It's really taking shape and starting to look like a building rather than a box.