Pretzel was feeling better today! It was gorgeous (although the ground was a bit wet and for the second time this week I managed to get the mower stuck in the mud!) and when I took him out to potty, I laid for a while on the grass with him. This made him very happy, his tail never stopped wagging. I wish I could just spend all day out there with him, but work and the other dogs need time also.
It was super windy, and a great chance to work Cadence outside in less-than-perfect conditions. You know, the wind did not bother her in the slightest! She was fantastic. She was a little scared of a plastic wrapper than was blowing around, so I used that as a training exercise. She is definitely much better than Corky, who would flip over backwards over a plastic bag. Oh the memories...
I am tired. Tired of being disappointed. So many things happening (or NOT happening) that I cannot talk about on here. Just crushing, so overwhelming. A big dream I had for the longest time is now disintegrated. And to top that all off, Pretzel is not looking good today. He seems stiffer, more wobbly, and acts sore on his left front leg. Not sure what is going on, but my heart just cannot take any more.
It's OK. Today is my meltdown day. I'll start climbing my way out of this hole tomorrow. But today I am wallowing in my depression.
Thank God for Mark. That's all I can hang on to. He has the patience of a saint to be dealing with me right now.
Accepting my limitations is sometimes the hardest task I face. I don't like to believe something is impossible. This has driven me for years, but sometimes you have to step back and be realistic. Realism sucks! But in being real, one can re-focus on a new goal with a new purpose. So 2019 will be a year of re-focusing. Setting my sights on new things, accepting my changes in direction, and being happy for the joy of the moment. Sounds good, doesn't it? well...we shall see!
"Remember, most of your stress comes from the way you respond, not the way life is. Adjust your attitude and all that extra stress is gone."
Making lemonade out of lemons - that's what ya gotta do. So instead of wallowing in disappointment and self-pity, I took Noodle to a WCRL Rally trial to test our skills that we've been training. I've been taking private rally lessons on most Monday mornings the past few months and Noodle has really been doing well, I think. Today was a good chance to see what I have in the ring. Well, wow, what I have in the ring is a focused, enthusiastic dog that loved every minute of it! Man, was that fun!
There were two trials today, and we did Level 1A at both trials. Noodle not only qualified both runs, but also earned a first place! I have to admit I was a bit surprised at how focused she was. What a difference from agility trials. I think the adrenaline of her and the dogs around her at agility events just sends her over the top. Maybe she will grow out of that? For the first time in a long time, I have a little hope that we can maybe eventually fix things. Couldn't come at a better time, because believe me I need hope right about now.
We headed back over for day two of the Rally trial. I only entered the morning trial, I don't want to leave Pretzel all day again with Mark and I also think Noodle will probably need a break. Noodle came through this morning with another qualifying run and first place, and her first Cynosport title! My positive feeling is continuing, even though constantly at the back of my mind I am thinking about today, and how today was supposed to "birth" all of my dreams and plans...but unfortunately that died last week. But I will keep on keepin' on.
"It's a slow process, but quitting won't speed it up"
Cadence was a wild woman on the longe line today. We worked outside, and she was feeling pretty good. She absolutely hates wet footing, and it had rained yesterday so the sand arena was damp and there were some wet spots...she found that very objectionable haha! I am sure she gets that from Corky, who would leap 16 feet to avoid a 3 inch puddle.
I have gotten over my funk, and am looking once again towards the future. The hardest thing is to try to not be bitter, especially seeing friends and acquaintances having huge successes in the areas I am not. Bitterness is a terrible, terrible thing that does ZERO good and really tears a person down. I have to stay stronger than that and rise above it...keep on keepin' on! Count your blessings. That's a reminder I need on a daily basis.
Cadence longed great today outside. It was pretty warm, so she didn't have a lot of energy. I am sensing that she is going to be the kind of horse that wilts in the heat. I will have to plan my warm-up time at the Tom Powers Futurity very carefully so I don't wear her out before showtime. Today's big lesson was wearing a sheet for the first time. She was a little apprehensive, but handled it well, and did great when i walked her around the barn aisleways with it on. I braided her mane again so she could like with the pulling on her neck for a few days. All life lessons that are part of growing up!
Poor Corky, she is down with another bout of cellulitis from scratches. The barn owner and workers are doing a wonderful job of treating and wrapping her legs (just look at that beautiful, even wrap job!). I wonder when, if ever, Corky will get a break and be 100% sound on all 4 limbs. Just when it seems we have made progress growing back her soles of her front feet after surgery last year, then the hind legs get sore. I idea of actually climbing in the saddle on her again is probably a pipe dream at this point. Not that I would ever show her again, but I sure would like to ride her around for enjoyment (mine, not hers, of course!). It stinks not having a horse to ride...feels weird. First time since 1988. Wow.
Shocking, we have had several days of NO RAIN! This by far has been the rainiest winter and spring I can ever remember. We still have areas on the property that have ponded over. But today it was gorgeous, and I got some mowing done while Noodle and Chevy ran and played. I swear I could watch those two all day.
Noodle, in her usual obnoxious fashion, gets waaaay over-the top when playing with Chevy, and he loves every minute of it. He is a glutton for punishment. Its nice to see the two love each other's company. Noodle is going to really miss him when he leaves at the end of June.
Here is the latest Cadence video for your viewing pleasure! We are still only working a couple times a week max. The rest of the time is doing life experiences, like wearing a sheet, getting braided, watching other horses ride, etc.
We headed north for a conformation show, just me, Noodle and Chevy. It's never easy having two dogs to show all by myself, but I made it work with the help of a great new friend. owner-handlers are the best when it comes to helping each other out!
I was thrilled with both Chevy and Noodle, they both showed like rock stars. Chevy took Winners Dog again, and also took Best of Winners, for another point. Noodle pulled off a Best of Opposite win for a grand champion point. we are picking away at those grand points one by one. Just need those three majors!
We spent the night at my awesome mom's house so we could celebrate Mothers' Day with her (she is a saint for putting up with the two derp dogs!). Headed to the show in the morning and managed to duplicate our wins from yesterday! Both dogs showed great, I have zero complaints! I got it done, but I sure do miss my show partner Mark, who stayed home on Pretzel duty. 2 more weeks in the crate for the Pretzel man...
Today is officially the first pill-free day for Pretzel! I have stuck diligently to the medication schedule, have enforced his crate rest 100% as best I can, now I wait until it is re-check time with the neurologist to see if this entire ordeal was worth it. Pretzel is so wobbly when i take him outside to potty. I am sure a lot of it has to do with him being on 2 1/2 months of crate rest, but a part of me worries that maybe this surgery didn't work, and maybe made things even worse? Yes, I am a worrier...but I had hoped to see some improvement by now. Instead, he looks worse than before we imposed the rest several months ago.
He heads to the neurologist on the 21st. I guess I will keep on keepin' on until then.
4 shows in 3 days...whew! Friday was a double sho - we showed in the morning and then again in the afternoon. Saturday and Sunday were both single shows.
This was definitely a show circuit with some ups and downs. we started off the weekend with an up and a down. The up was that Noodle won best of breed...yah! The down was that Chevy got reserve winners' dog, so no points. Then I had another up and down. I calculated the points and figured out that Noodle won a 3 point grand champion major...big yah! then the next day i realized that I was using the old point schedule, and the new h=one had taken effect 2 days ago which gave her only two points instead of three. Boo.
The second show on Friday, and also Saturday's show ended up being a bummer. Chevy got reserve both shows, so no points. Noodle decided to start back up with her awful habit of pulling sideways during her gait, which not only makes her topline look terrible, but it just makes her look sloppy and untrained. Ugh. Chevy showed great for me, so not getting any points was a disappointment. I told myself that we were due...we can't win every weekend, right? That joy is reserved for those select few Weimaraner handlers that seem to have success regardless of what dog they are showing. Oh well, I am earning it honestly, right? Keep on keepin' on...
Sunday went a little better. Noodle probably showed the worst she had shown all weekend, and rightly got beat. However, Chevy showed great and took Winners' Dog for another point. This makes point #5. I am SO hoping we can pick off a couple majors next weekend. I am due for some luck, right? If we don't get those majors next weekend, it will make it impossible to have his championship finished before he goes back to Connecticut at the end of June. That's my goal - I want to show my own Pretzel champion!
Speaking of Pretzel, he came along this weekend and hung out in his crate in the motorhome. Tuesday is re-check day. I am almost too afraid to pray, because it seems my prayers lately have been having the opposite results. Oh who am I kidding? I am still praying! I want my happy, crazy boy back!
Well, today's the day! Off we go to MedVet to have Pretzel's recovery checked. I have done the best I could to keep him quiet in his crate, minimal exercise and movement, it's out of my hands now.
Pretzel was NOT happy to go back with the vet tech, but can you blame him? They brought him back to me a little while later, with GREAT news - he has been healing well and with slow, careful therapy the neurologist feels that he should make a full recovery!!! You have no idea how that makes me feel! I am beyond overjoyed. Now we start many weeks of walking on leash...lots and lots of walking. After a month or so he should be pretty much free from his crate. I cannot WAIT. Oh happy day!!!
Well, 5 days at a dog show is about 6 days too many, unless you are winning big. Well we won some, but not big. Chevy took Winners Dog two of the 5 days. It was a major in bitches, so we needed the crossover (getting Best of Winners). Unfortunately, that did not happen, for reasons I cannot understand because he looked fantastic! I was pretty disappointed, to say the least.
On the plus side, it was grand champion majors for Noodle every day, and she picked off her 3 majors needed to finish her Grand Championship! That was a goal I had this year, and I am excited to it it already. She showed great for me, although she was pretty tired of showing by day 5.
We attempted Beginner Novice Obedience on Friday. "Attempted" is an appropriate word. Outside of the ring, Noodle was heeling great. of course, I had treats in my pocket. inside when it was time to perform, we went into the ring which was on a dirt/sand floor and her nose went immediately into the dirt. Our heeling was all over the place. The figure-8 was especially bad, since he decided to jump up on one of the people in the figure 8 and greet her...twice. oops! Surprisingly her sit for exam and long sit/stay went perfectly. Her recall was a little dicey since she spotted Mark standing out near the corner and veered off to go see him. So, it was a bit fat fail, and I think I will still to Rally for a while where i can talk to her and get her more automatic in her heeling.
One of the best parts of this week was the daily walks I took with Pretzel. He was overjoyed to be out of his crate and in the sunshine, and it just felt so good being out with my dog again.
I thought after having over a week off that Cadence would be wild today, but she longed absolutely perfectly. Done after 10 minutes, gotta love that! I decided to introduce her to the hose today. Corky was one who always hated baths. I figured today I would just get her legs wet and see how she does. I ended up spraying her entire body, she stood like a statue. It was amazing. What a willing mind she has, so accepting of everything I am doing with her!
My friend brought Mouse and Livy over to see how they would be with Noodle. I may be dog-sitting for her for 10 days in July while she is on vacation. Mouse was Pretzel's first "love", and the mother of Chevy and Marshall.
I think she and Chevy recognized each other immediately! Looks like they will be spending some time here at the beginning of the month, but unfortunately Chevy will be back home in Connecticut then. I am glad they got a chance to see each other today.
Meanwhile, Pretzel and I walk...and walk, and walk. He has very little stamina, and at the end of 15 minutes he is pretty whupped. It is sad to see how weak he has become. The neurologist warned me that when I started walking him he might go through a period where he seems more weak and wobbly than usual, and that is normal. We are definitely hitting that today. I am glad he told me that so I wouldn't panic. Just gotta take it