Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spot March 2017; Listening; Hearing

Below is part one of a little video that I didn't know was being shot...while Spot and I were "tuning-up" on our home sheep before some of the recent trials. It is from a unique viewpoint, that is someone was standing right with the sheep when he picked them up from near her and then worked them right up to and around her. Thank you Marnie N. for the video! I really like how he is listening. He is a listener! :-)

There is a part two of this video also. The work  in these videos is not all perfect but it's nice. Of course it's on broke sheep at the home field but it is nice to have a record of what Spot and I have worked so hard for.


Yesterday I volunteered all day at the ABCA-sponsored BAER (hearing) testing clinic at the Zamora Hills Sheepdog Trial. It was a full, long day, but a great one. More than 35 border collies had their BAER testing done and we got DNA cheek swab samples on all of them and a few more who did not need the BAER test at that time. The veterinarian who performed the testing was so patient and kind.  She worked tirelessly all day to perform the tests and collect the data. Those of us who were volunteers helped by collecting the cheek swab data on the dogs and organizing the paperwork. It took me back to my (non-licensed) vet tech days doing the cheek swabs and holding dogs. I have to say that most of the dogs were so well behaved and willing. It was amazing how they allowed us as total strangers to stick toothbrushy-type things in their mouths three times and swirl them around on their gums without hardly putting up any fuss. It really says a lot about the temperament of our trial dogs!

Spot was the first dog to get the BAER test; he was kind of the guinea pig  for those of us who were new to the process. I was a bit nervous that he might not pass or even that he might not hold still for the test. In fact he buddied up to the veterinarian as if she were his long-lost pal. I think she just had one of those countenances that speaks to animals as a friend. Spot was very well behaved for his test, and he PASSED!  Woo hoo! I was so relieved. Some of his ancestors appear in the pedigrees of dogs who do have early onset deafness. None of his immediate family shows it, but since we don't know yet how it is carried, I was concerned. Anyway at least for now he does not show it and he is 4 1/2 years old, so I am hopeful. Whew. Now we can move back to our trialling mode in earnest. :-) I really enjoyed working with the volunteer crew. What a great bunch of selfless and hard-working ladies who have only the health of the border collie in mind.  Tomorrow we go back to Zamora for the pro-novice trial.

1 comment:

Amy Coapman said...

Billy, I love watching your journey with Spot (and all your dogs), and I can't thank you enough for your help at the clinic. It was really invaluable. It makes a long day go so quickly, to be with good friends doing important work for our working partners!