the sheltiechick blog

Springfield Agility Wrap-up

Agility in Springfield started out good, got weird, got better, then got worse… then got mostly better, then ended on a good note.

To start, we arrived Friday morning and got set up. Georgie ran in jumpers and snagged that last Q she needed to get her NAJ title. Yay little girly!! What a great way to start the weekend. We decided not to move her up for the rest of the weekend, mostly because she doesn’t have 12 weave poles. I debated moving her up and letting her see some tricky Open courses but not even attempting the weaves, but we decided it was more important to let her see some more Novice courses and just gain more confidence.
Next up was open jumpers. I pulled Payton out of his crate before his run… and promptly freaked out a bit because his face looked SUPER puffy. I asked my CVT friend to look at it and she agreed he was puffy, and thought he had some kind of lumpy nodule on the right side of his muzzle. After some quick discussion, I popped him a Benadryl. The puffiness went down pretty quickly, and he was in a good mood and playing, so I ran him and he seemed happy and fine. After about a half hour, the puffiness went down, and by his standard runs later he was back to normal. We thought maybe just sinuses from environmental allergies? Though I thought there was a possibility that there was a spider in his crate (I had just picked them up from my house Thursday night and loaded them into the car, and they were in my garage where they are definitely spiders.) and maybe a spider bit him.

Georgie then picked up her first ever standard Q, getting her first ever “double-Q,” so it was a good day for Georgie. Payton NQ’d both his runs, but I cut him some slack since his face was all puffy that morning.

That evening we had the great Hotel Tire Building and practiced the tire in the hotel room, and I felt better for what the next day held.

At 2AM Saturday morning, Payton woke me up by jumping in the bed and pressing himself against me, obviously upset. He kept shaking his head and was holding one ear off to the side – his right ear was bothering him. By 2:30AM, I didn’t know what do; he wasn’t settling down while holding him, stroking him, trying to physically prevent him from shaking his head. By that point, his fussing woke up my mom, so I turned the lights on and started trying to come up with another idea. I tried trimming the hair around his ear in case it was bothering him – nope. I tried cleaning it out with a cotton ball, and didn’t see anything gross in there… but when I really looked down inside the ear canal, I could see spots of blood. That’s never a good sign. So I pulled out the phone book to try and find the local emergency vet. I called and asked their advice, giving them the history with what happened with his puffy face, and they guessed possibly still allergies and recommended more Benadryl. I was of course happy to try it and avoid an emergency vet visit, so I gave him another Benadryl and tucked him into bed with me to hold him and see if he would calm down.
For a few minutes around 3:15 or so, it seemed like he was going to settle down… then he started panting again and shaking his head non-stop. At 3:30 it had been a half hour since the Benadryl and he was still pretty clearly in distress, so I put my clothes on and drove to the e-vet.

They had to sedate him to look down in his ear canal to make sure there wasn’t any kind of debris in there; there was nothing there, but she thought there might have been a small tear on his eardrum. So we were sent off with some ABX and some pain killers/mild sedative, and there’s really nothing else we can do except wait for him to get better. She said to have my regular vet re-check him in a week. We returned to the hotel at 4:30 in the morning and he was still quite drowsy from the sedative, so I tucked him into a crate and he slept for most of the night without further issue.

Saturday he seemed okay in the morning, but about mid-afternoon he was getting fidgety again. I gave him some Rescue Remedy and Traumeel and that seemed to help for a bit and got us through the afternoon. During his runs, he ran with as much joie de vivre as he always has and seemed quite pleased with himself – possibly the excitement made for a nice distraction – so I decided to run him instead of pulling. No Q’s, but I hardly expected a lot from him. Georgie ran as well but got no Q’s on Saturday either. He started fidgeting more in the evening, but I pushed it until 9pm to give him his meds again, hoping the mild sedative pill would help him sleep again. He was clearly in a foul mood, pouting in the crate the entire evening. I was exhausted, not having slept much myself the night before, and hated that he wasn’t feeling well and I couldn’t do anything to help him feel better, and it was COLD AS BALLS at the trial and I hate the cold, and I just really wanted to go home. But I’d already paid for my hotel and my runs, so I deemed to tough it out.

Sunday morning, Georgie started the morning with a nice run in novice jumpers, picking up an extra Q. Payton had a fair run in open jumpers but acted like he had no clue what weave poles were, and also shook his head a few times during his run, so I was kind of upset. Since it was quite cool out, I packed up and decided to work out of the car for our last runs so I would be ready to just put the dogs back in the car after their standard runs and go home. I took everybody on a nice long walk around the fairgrounds because there were hours to go between runs. Georgie’s standard run was first and she proved three days might just be too much for her. Payton’s run was next (with one dog between us, yay for Novice) and we had a bobble at the tunnel with Payton deciding the far (wrong) side of the tunnel was the preferred side, but instead of just bagging the run I stuck it out and got him in the right side of the tunnel. He stuck his contacts the best he had done all weekend, decided the table wasn’t worth getting up on right away, but ran the rest of the course pretty nicely.

I left the ring thinking the tunnel had done us in, but a competitor I know was outside the ring and said “No, I’m pretty sure that was a Q.” So instead of putting the dogs in the car and driving off annoyed and ribbon-less, I stuck around to wait and see…

And sure enough, there it was. Payton got the last Novice Standard Q he needed to secure his NA title.

Hurray!!! We aren’t entered in any more trials and probably won’t do anything until next spring, so it was nice to wrap up the season by finally cleaning up that novice title. Payton is officially out of Novice!

Both dogs have MASSIVE homework lists for this winter and so much to do. I also have the tiny matter of a half-marathon in April to prepare for, training for which has taken a backseat to working Payton. Now I will hopefully be able to strike a better balance and get both things done, and by the time we get back at it in the spring, things will be cleaner, faster, and much much better!

I haven’t edited videos yet because I am still exhausted, but glad to have picked up two titles this weekend. Payton is also feeling much, much better now, shaking his head far less, playing and throwing toys at me, and happy to curl up on the floor and get his belly rubbed instead of sulking in a crate. Georgie, however, is rather mad because I won’t let her jump on Payton’s head and chew his ears. Poor poor Georgie.