Sunday, January 6, 2019

Rainy Sunday

It's been pouring rain, now, for over 24 hours. This is a good thing in the big picture. We need the rain. I don't like when it all comes at once, however, and causes flooding. I'm not working the dogs today and they are stir crazy... but it's just too muddy.

Spot is back to work after his neuter. There was a huge glitch though, about five days into his recovery. His surgery was on a Friday and all seemed well. By Wednesday, he was acting a little weird. But by Thursday, he was obviously in discomfort. When I checked him out, up close and personal, I found that his scrotum was all inflamed, swollen and the skin on the outside was in terrible shape as if it had been burned.  There were infected scabs coming off and it was awful looking. I put in a call to the vet and we did get in to see the vet almost at the end of the day. They cleaned it up, prescribed antibiotics, topical ointment and advised me to put him back on the pain meds that had been sent home with us from the surgery. What an ordeal! The poor dog. The incision looked just fine, but the scrotum, was a completely different story.  I have never had this happen with a dog and in all my time working for a vet for a few years, never saw anything like this. No explanation was given for this but my own interpretation is that they were a little bit too overzealous in prepping him for surgery. I felt so bad for him but it is all healed up now. He is working fine and I am getting him back in shape. Whew.

Ryme has been lame since he hurt himself playing with the other dogs, on October 22.  The injury is up in the left shoulder. Slowly, he is returning to soundness. I am hoping by January 22 or so, that he will be able to work. He wants to work...but I am being super careful as I don't want a setback.

Cap is working well. We've had a couple of lessons. He is so much fun to work with. When weather and daylight allow, I am working the dogs as much as I can. I am also trying very hard to get them out on different sheep and different places. This is a huge battle to try to overcome. Cap needs to get on different sheep but not feel overfaced...I want him to retain his confidence. We're mainly working on his gathers, as he wants to drive...driving will not be a problem. The gathers need to be encouraged and built up...and the rest will fall into place. He is so much fun. :-)

Coal is Coal...12 years old and looney as ever. He is the only dog I have allowed to sleep on my bed, for some time now.  The other three dogs sleep (and eat) in crates. Coal has been barely able to jump up there for a while and I knew the day was coming when he would not make it up there. I moved a big round Costco bed into my room for him, right next to the bed so that he could start to transition to a bed on the floor.  Sometime between Christmas and New Year's, Coal decided that he could sleep on the big Costco bed on the floor. It is bittersweet for me but he seems happy enough.

I read the new Jack Knox book. It is charming. The first half is a memoir or autobiography and is quite interesting about his young years in Scotland. The second half is (roughly) more his thoughts on various training and sheepdog topics. For those who know or have worked with Jack, it will make a lot of sense. I am not sure how much sense it will make to those who do not know him, but the book is him. It's definitely quite a legacy.

I'm looking at the schedule of sheepdog events in our area for the spring. There are some small local trials, weather permitting, in January and February...and a work day for the revitalized NCWSA club at the end of January. I am excited about that club getting something going again! Then there are all the biggie hill/range ewe trials, which I do not plan to enter Spot in, this year. We entered them all, last year, and pretty much failed at all. I do not want to do that again. We will enter here and there where it seems feasible, and explore some other options, like AHBA. I want to actually run some courses and not just write a big check to retire (RT) and feel frustrated. It is not good for Spot's confidence, nor mine. My other choice, is just to not trial. There will be some of that, too.  I still want to learn, run my dogs the best I can, and be the best shepherd and handler that I can be. But there is a huge gap. I will enjoy it where and how I can.

1 comment:

Kathy Flynn said...

Billy, you will always do what's best for your dogs. I enjoy trialing, but I enjoy the real work even more and I think they enjoy it more too. ;-) I read Jack's book too and really enjoyed it and I think that I will have to read it 2 or 3 more times to get more out out of it.