Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kippie's Health Clearances

The little guy is two already (of course) and while he'd had preliminary OFA x-rays taken, it was time to get his finals done. OFA processed his films in record time - they received the images on 7/10 and I had results back on 7/15! Kip's hips were rated OFA good and his elbows OFA normal. Kip passed his eye and heart clearances back in March at the Salt City Cluster. Which just left the Optigen/Antegene genetic tests - which I sent out at the beginning of June - all three genetic tests came back clear/normal (prcd-PRA, PRA1 and Ichthyosis) meaning even if he were bred to a carrier or affected he could never produce an affected puppy (Teller is also clear for all three genetic conditions).

What does that mean? Kip now meets all the criteria put forth by our breed club's (Golden Retriever Club of America) code of ethics to be used for breeding. If you are in the market for a puppy you NEED to go to www.offa.org and look up the parents of your potential puppy. If they do not have CHIC next to their names their owners have not completed all of the testing that the parent club as determined are required for breeding stock. The GRCA has not yet updated the COE to include the genetic tests, but honestly puppy buyers need to be demanding answers to these tests too. At least one parent  should be triple clear or both parents need to be tested. That is not to say that we shouldn't breed carriers of these conditions (carriers have one 'bad' copy of the gene and will never be affected by the condition, but could provide a 'bad' copy of these genes to their offspring) - but we need to make sure we breed carriers to clears so that we never produce affecteds. If you're at all a biology/genetics geek you know what I'm talking about - if you aren't a genetics geek go read about Gregor Mendel and his peas, play with some punnet squares and look at genetic inheritance on a very small scale (Ab x Ab).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregor_Mendel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punnett_square

What doesn't it mean? There are no guarantees in life or in dog breeding. It's possible that an OFA good hipped dog bred to an OFA good hipped bitch will produce a dog with less than ideal or dysplastic hips. BUT it's all about hedging our bets and doing our best by the breed and the dogs we love. As for Kip? He'd really like to go swimming some more tonight as he only got to swim for 45 minutes tonight before he got kicked off the pool deck. Tough break kiddo.




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Between thunderstorms...

The boys have gotten quite a bit of pool time - or if you ask Teller, NOT ENOUGH POOL TIME!











Monday, July 08, 2013

CSSC - July 6-7, 2013

This weekend we were off to Rhode Island via Mass for a quick trip to get Kip's hips and elbows x-rayed for his OFA clearances. On that front obviously no results back yet, but the kid was a champ on the table - no sedation in a cradle while three people (including myself) hog wrestled him into a stable position. "You hold the head Erica, that's the most important part because when the head moves the hip moves". Great, no pressure, I'm just the amateur pig wrestler.  The films look really good, nice hip conformation, great positioning, femurs nice and tight in their sockets - all really good things, let's hope the review board at OFA agrees with me!
Back at the hotel Murph relaxes in AC.

As much as I'm no fan of winter I have to say that it's summer driving that makes me a nervous wreck. Why you ask? The roads are clear right? Yes, but - it's the time of year when any travel issue becomes a real life-or-death situation in a hurry. This becomes apparent when I'm in MA with three dogs and a vet appointment for one. In any other weather (it was 95 and anout 60% humidity) I can stash my kids in a fully open van with ice packs, fans, shade cloths and they can be comfortable in the shade for a bit of time, especially when the car starts out cool. In this case though, there was NO keeping the dogs cool unless the car was running. So for the vet appt, that means that I need three dogs in the office when only one has an appointment. Sorry folks, but that's what I've got to do. Not ideal for anyone, but at least Murph and Teller are so experienced in the life of abuse and pathetic animals that they were absolute angels in pop-up crates in the waiting room while Kip and I were in the back room - even when tempted by a stray toddler that 'just wanted to say hi'.

Of course once we were done with x-rays we're now stuck with being too early to setup in the trial site, and too early to check into our hotel - AND too hot to find a place to swim. Thankfully the host club took us in (in exchange for free setup labor from ME) and we managed to get in a good deed as well as keeping everyone cool(ish) and comfy. Good times :-)

Was not Teller's best weekend - just one lousy JWW Q for the boy this weekend - the hardest course of the weekend, super low SCT (32 seconds for the 20" dogs) lots of handling choices - THAT was the one he got through and earned a paultry 5 points for his effort. The rest of the weekend he was silly - running by a tunnel, missing a weave entry or like Sunday's standard run - running amok entirely putting us one save away from the Q there.
Saturday

Sunday

Kip channeled his inner rock-star extending his QQ and perfect weekend streak through one more weekend: four for four weekend and 51 points. We're going back to the a-frame work, he's losing A LOT of time on the a-frame in standard - on Sunday loosing EIGHT points!!!
Saturday

Sunday

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

ACNH - June 29-30, 2013

Every so often the stars align and we have one of 'these' weekends when I can sit back and smile and think "my boys didn't put a foot wrong all weekend" - it was one of those weekends for us back in NH. Net tally for Teller was two QQs and 57 points and for Kip two QQ's and 61 points. Four double-Q's: eight for eight for team Magica. I pretty much walked around with a stupid grin on my face for the remainder of Sunday afternoon and a good chunk of Monday.
Kip's standard Q on Saturday completed his requirements for his invitation to the 2014 AKC National Championship in Harrisburg, PA (the same event that Teller and I went to in Oklahoma in March). The AKC changed the qualification requirements for entry from 6 double-Qs and 400 points to 4 double-Qs and 500 points (and at least 20 Masters JWW/Standard Q's). I thought the 500 point requirement would put the 2014 trip out of Kip's reach this year. He's by and large still a very green dog - he only got himself into masters in the middle of January and he didn't bring home his first Masters double-Q until the last weekend in February. That's a lot of ground to make up for (three months behind the pack). I was fully prepared to have a miss there, to not be able to get enough trials under his belt to really get him together enough to start bringing home the points.
Sharpie Kool-Aid 'tattoo' from the weekend.
Long story...but, Yes, THAT's the giant
red splotch on my leg in the videos :-)

The funny thing is that as soon as we all returned from Oklahoma Kip stepped up his game. As though a taste of going as a passenger was enough 'koolaid' to get the kid going. He's gone from "wouldn't it be nice to qualify TWO dogs for Harrisburg because it's so close" to "wouldn't it be nice to be able to finish Teller's MACH4 and Kip's MACH at the same trial?" Pinch me!







Saturday:
Teller
Kip

Sunday:
Teller
Kip



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

SAAC - June 15-17th, 2013

It seems like it's taking me forever to get up trial summaries these days and when I do they're really brief. Hey, if pictures are worth a thousand words, six videos must be worth six hundred thousand words right?
Sunday night party boys....one 3:15am and two 4:30am wake-
up calls make for sleepy canines (and one sleepy human)......

The SAAC trials at High Goal Farm are as close as we get to a real agility facility here in northern Vermont. Big, open, great footing, clean...it's one of my favorite trial sites. The downside? It's still over two hours away, even though it's only 93 miles as the crow flies. The other downside? The closest hotels are nearly 20-40 minutes away in Saratoga...If only perfection was in my backyard... So, Saturday began with a 3:15 wake-up call and a 4:05 departure (pit stop at the only 24 hour Dunkin in chittenden county, which luckily is less than a mile from my house - we have 24hr DD but no agility facilities - that's ass-backwards!). At least 4am in June is light-ish, there were no cows crossing the road this time and aside from a few deer we had a critter-free journey.

This venue in June can be a little dicey. It can be very hot and there's NO ventilation. Doors and windows stay closed and it's roasty. In the 80's this weekend the dogs stayed pretty cool in the shade covered car, but poor Teller wilted when he came into the building. He ran for me - because Teller would never say no to playing with me when I asked. But he was pokier than I've become accustomed to. Message received Teller, I won't enter you in any un-air conditioned facilities in the summer - oh well, except for the Vermont shows. It's home show dude I'll hook you up with a doggie swamp cooler OK?

Teller decided it was his weekend to be a rock-star bringing home two double-Q's and 60 points on his 5 for 6 weekend. Teller came out of his weaves on his last run of the weekend - I completely missed it, see what happens when you take your eyes off your dog? Saturday was Teller's 80th career QQ. He needs a few more points for his MACH four - we'll keep chasing.

Saturday

Sunday

Monday


Kip had a so-so weekend, three masters JWW legs (with three placements - 2nd, 3rd and 3rd) and 32 MACH points, but three masters standard NQs with mostly handler errors. Saturday I got caught behind the judge after the a-frame, struggled to catch up and didn't get a proper deceleration cue to turn after the chute.


Sunday's standard NQ was again on me - I walked the course one way - thought for sure I could serp the like from the chute to the triple. Second-guessed my dog and tried to do a front to a rear to the table. Kip read the front, didn't read the rear well and turned away from the jump after the triple. Bad handling and I was really angry with myself for not trusting my dog. FWIW, I did the serp line with Teller and it worked for him. Alas.


Monday I lost Kip's head on a front cross, he read acceleration to a-frame after the dogwalk, when I picked him up I was in front of the bar for the double. He ran around and that was that. Having already NQ'ed I left him in the weaves, moved off laterally for the front cross to the final line. He stayed in his weave, took the panel and we had a reasonably pretty line that fried a lot more seasoned dogs.


And we ended the weekend with custard from the super amazing "Ice Cream Man" in Greenwich!





Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club - June 7-9, 2013

Net results from the weekend in Tolland, CT: One QQ and a JWW Q (39 points) for Teller. Two QQs and a standard Q (80 points) for Kip. Kip's only mistake the entire weekend was one knocked bar on the line out on Friday afternoon. So he broke his 'streak' of five straight double-Q's (and 12 straight clean runs), but made up for it Saturday and Sunday by starting a new streak (2 QQs).

Of course I'm not complaining that my 25 month old dog ONLY got 5 Q out of 6 masters runs on a three day weekend - of course not!
Friday:

Saturday

Sunday:


Teller was a bit of a mixed bag. He started strong with a QQ on Friday, then on Saturday had a wrong course in JWW and a bar in standard. Sunday's standard was a trainwreck - with Mr happy-feet blasting right by the a-frame to take a wrong course. Hello? Its an a-frame, it's the biggest thing out there! Teller finished with a JWW Q on Sunday.
Friday:

Saturday

Sunday:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LEAP - May 25-27th, 2013

My agility friends decorated my crates (well the dog's crates 
anyway) for my birthday. As it turns out, they also decorated 
my puppy. This is what I came back to when I attempted to 
collect Kip for his standard run on Saturday.
What a weekend at the LEAP trial - lots of great friends, a lot of laughs, a fantastic birthday and some absolutely fantastic agility runs logged by the Magica boys. We'd all had a weekend off following the Rhode Island trial and in that week work got the best of me - I logged more than 74 hours between midnight Saturday and noon on Friday. Add to that a house guest part of last week and a whopping 6 inches of rain Wednesday-Friday and that left very little time to work the dogs - or myself, but thankfully the skies cleared (literally and figuratively) for us to make our way to Connecticut for the weekend.

Teller had a 3 for 6 weekend, one double-Q (on my birthday) and 31 points. Not his best weekend statistically, but he continues to run well. He knocked a bar on a great JWW run on Monday - which is my least favorite way of NQing - if I had to pick just one anyway - missed contacts suck too but at least I can micro-manage those :-) The other two standard NQs were weird mis-communication moments - Teller go out (and he doesn't), Teller tunnel (what tunnel???). This dog has given me so much - and given of himself so freely, he continues to owe me nothing - what he does he does so long as he's happy.

Saturday:

Sunday:

Monday:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGsrVwaSnzY

Kipling had another absolutely phenomenal weekend - running 6 for 6 with an even 80 MACH points. A 'perfect' weekend (that's his second perfect Masters weekend in a row) and his 3rd, 4th and 5th QQ's in a row (QQ #s 7,8 and 9). Kip had a 3rd placement in Saturday's JWW run and just outside of the ribbons (5th and 6th) in his other two JWW classes of 50+ dogs. This puts Kip just about 100 points short of a ticket to Harrisburg, PA for the 2014 AKC National Championships.
Saturday:

Sunday:

Monday:


 We have a couple of weeks off (and back to work for this human) before we take another run at it!