Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One very Groggy BC

Just back from the ortho specialist where Kenz had her PRP treatment. It all went relatively easily as expected. John couldn't find to much evidence of her being sore and she certainly wasn't lame this morning when I dropped her off. I guess thats to be expected though since she has been effectively resting since our last appointment with him.

So now its a few days strict crate rest, taking it easy for the next fortnight and we see how she does.

Fingers crossed we have some success.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A year on....

This day 12 months ago Kenz started limping - grrrrrr - its been a year filled with lots of lows and some random highs.

But pleased to say Kenz did manage to come away the 2011 Top Novice Obedience Dog at the end of year club presentation night. It might not have been the year I had hoped for but we got there as far as obedience is concerned.

Still hoping for miracles and dearly hoping one day I'll wake up and all will be fine again.

The PRP kits arrived at the specialist on Tuesday so fingers crossed that does the job.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

352 days and counting

After a brief return to some agility - i.e. 3 lots of 3 jumps a couple of weeks ago and the consequence of Kenz coming up not weight bearing on her LH leg and with the intermittent RF lameness still not resolving Emma suggested a return appointment with Penny the ortho specialist might be in order. I wasn't so keen on that as Kenz really didn't feel comfortable with Penny and I wasn't entirely sure what repeating what we had already done was going to show.

With that in mind we had recommendations for another specialist - Dr John Punke at VETSAIR who had recently come over from the states. I emailed John and had such a positive feeling from the emails that I organised to take Kenz to him for a second opinion last Friday.

Well of course I totally eased up all restrictions - let her run hard at the beach and play frisbee to her hearts content in the couple of days prior and come Friday's appointment typically she was not showing any real signs of lameness. She actually hasn't been doing to badly but the agility incident sort of scared me a little and I figured we couldn't keep on doing as we have been and waiting and seeing if she would get back to normal.

An hour later, after a very thorough consultation we had what was a much more confident diagnosis - bicipital injury. It wasn't anything the other specialist hadn't suggested was going on but a consistent pain response, coupled with the ultrasound scans she had back in May were pretty clear cut. John has had a lot of experience with performance dogs and while we both agreed her level of lameness was acceptable as far as a "pet" dog goes it was obviously still bothering her and something more needed to occur if I was going to keep competing with her.

We agreed that if rest alone was going to resolve the issue then it should have done so by now and more aggressive treatment was warranted. The obvious was to go in and cut the biceps tendon which has an excellent success rate and following rehab there would be no doubt she could return to agility. However I was also keen to try the PRP solution that had been originally dismissed by Penny now we had a proper diagnosis.

I put the suggestion to John. While there is no evidence to suggest it might work I figured it was a low risk suggestion and new technology has to start somewhere. Further research online suggests that other specialists overseas recommend it, even though biceps tendon release surgery is fairly issue free, as a step before resorting to surgery. Surgery is never without risks.

So fingers crossed this helps and in the meantime Kenz is back on leash walks and no heavy activity.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A small glimmer of hope

Well after the rocky verdict after the last physio appointment a fortnight ago I wasn't sure what to expect this time. Things are looking up though with a lot of the soreness in her spine having resolved. Still some residual sore spots in her LHS from compensating for the shoulder but certainly nothing that should be now bothering her to any great extent. So another couple of days of taking it easy, no training this week and then we will see where we stand this time next week. Hopefully things are looking up and she starts to remain sound.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Trial of Sorts - DWD Trainee Judges Mock Trial

This morning we headed out to DogsSA to take part in the Dances with Dogs Trainee Judges Mock Trial. Two judges had come over from Victoria to help out with the Judges training in the state. Earlier in the week I had volunteered Kenz to perform an Intermediate Freestyle Routine.

I thought we had possibly bitten off more then we could chew - not sure of the standard and only having her starters title. I redid the music edit during the week and increased the length of her Step in Time routine to just over 2 min 30 seconds and figured we would give it a go so they could get the experience of judging a higher level routine.

Well blow me away but had it been a real trial Kenz would have walked away with her first Intermediate qualification with pretty convincing scores (51/60 and 54/60) to go with it. She lost a couple of marks for barking and it was suggested that if I wanted to score higher then I might need to take a little of the drive out and that she was a dog that certainly didn't need "amping" up.

So proud of my little girl - it doesn't matter what we are doing or where we are doing it she always gives me everything she has.

Nice work Kenz - looking forward to cruising to her Novice Title when we get the opportunity to attend a few more trials.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Little Miss Consistent but one very sore little girl

Well as far as the score card goes – she was on another 189 (third place, one point behind the winner) but she just wasn't on fire today. She wasn't the same dog I normally take into the ring so something was definitely up.

Her scores were good 35/40 for heel free; 29/30 for SFE, 37/40 for her best recall to date (her front was lovely and so was her finish) and 28/30 for the COP drop. She really wanted a tug game when we left the ring so was happy enough just wonder what level of pain she is in fact working through.

Lots I am not happy about she just didn't want to be there today – not surprised she went down in her sit she was really sitting very squiffy, overly nervy and just not happy. She lasted maybe 30 seconds if that in the sit and looked really really uncomfortable. But yeah she is sore and its sad and my heart is broken.

Should I have trialled her – probably not :(. She was going through the motions a little bit.

A couple of hours of rest at home and she has come up on three legs probably as lame as she has been in ages. Badly limping on her front right.

Might be her last trial and that is sad.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Not so good news....

Kenz had a physio appointment yesterday and the news wasn't so great. There was a lot going on - sore spots in her spine and neck, her LHS bicep was sore, her RHS shoulder was still showing signs of instability although no real sore spots to be found. Hmmm a bit of a mess all over really. At least the pattern of lameness is consistent with it being along the spine so Emma treated her and we wait and see. If things don't improve then the consideration is a full body scan to see what is going on.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Another Good Ring Performance

Kenz backed up her 196 yesterday with another solid individual performance at the SAODC trial. Good solid scores from the same judge she managed to scrape her first novice pass under.

She scored 35/40 for heelwork, 30/30 for stand for exam, 35/40 for recall and 29/30 for change of position. She was a little bit spooked during her round so I was proud she managed to stay working as nicely as she did.

The bad news was she again lay down in her sit stay. I had got her out of her crate a few times and everytime I got her out she was looking very proppy so I didn't think I had much hope in the stay and yep she went down in her sit stay. I considered withdrawing but she was also the equal top scoring dog in the class so decided the worst that would happen is she would lay down so we might as well just see.

Ah well will see what the physio makes of her on Thursday and hopefully its not serious damage and we can rebuild and retrain so we can get the time needed for Open.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

196, First Place and a Novice Title!!!!

And you can't wipe the smile off my face tonight - so very very proud of my little WA bred girl.

What a brilliant way to polish off the remaining leg for Kenz's novice title but with a 196 and a round that oozed enthusiasm and attitude. I am so very proud of my little munchkin tonight - she did me well as she always does and the score was icing on the cake for an absolutely stunning performance.

The scores for the individual exercises were 37/40 for heel free, 30/30 for stand for exam, 39/40 for recall and 30/30 for change of position.

Always knew you had a special round in you somewhere and to finish off the title with a round like that it doesn't get much better.

Onwards and upwards :). Bring on 2012. The sky is the limit and she is only going to get better.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adelaide Royal 2011 - Novice Obedience Round and Dances with Dogs Demonstration

Last Friday night saw Kenz compete in Novice Obedience at the Adelaide Royal. No pass to be had as she was stressed much more then normal but so many positives to take away. She would have won the class if I had completed stays but given her stays aren't the most reliable at the best of times there was absolutely no point in risking it when she wasn't on a pass. Kenz was the only dog to complete the heelwork without lagging or sniffing. In fact compared to a normal trial because she wasn't to over the top her position was pretty brilliant actually. She coped so much better then I anticipated and I was thrilled to bits. I have included a few photos of her taken during the round.

What I was even more impressed with was her Dances with Dogs demonstration after General Specials on the Saturday afternoon. She was her normal cheeky, opinionated feral dog who might as well have been running through a training session in the backyard with nobody watching never mind the fact there we were at the Adelaide Royal show with all the distractions working at a royal entails. Soooo much fun, enjoying every minute of it and totally oozing in confidence. She has come so very very far and I don't think the distractions we will encounter at any normal trial will ever bother her again.

Some good news on her shoulder at long last as well - we can finally add in some small amounts of low jump grid work and see how she pulls up. Fingers crossed as we would both love to get back to agility next year :).

Monday, August 29, 2011

Second Novice Pass - 191!!!!!

Kenz worked her black and white socks off for her second novice obedience pass on Saturday at the Para Districts Obedience trial. Way to go Kenz - always knew you had something special in you :).

Friday, June 10, 2011

When one door closes ...

"... another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." -- Alexander Graham Bell

Think that quote pretty much sums up my frustration at the moment. Any way here is a video of my little girl. She may make it back into the ring come 2012 but nothing in life is a certainty and I guess for the time being we are taking it a day at a time and trying to remain as optimistic as we can. In the end its not about titled gained but about the journey and we have certainly shared and learned a lot to get to where we are today and I am sure we still have a lot to learn.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Worse, No Better

Another physio appointment this week with a review in a further 6 weeks time and a diagnosis of Tendonitis in her shoulder means another good few weeks of restricted training and still no tugging. At the moment its a matter of taking it a day at a time and seeing how she gets on and having fingers crossed she continues to improve with no set backs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Oh so close 2011 State Obedience Championships

Two novice rounds - one Saturday, one Sunday - two rounds where Kenz worked her black and white socks off.

On Saturday she worked a reasonable round, a little messy but still reasonable and was sitting on a 183 (and would have been third place) until her sore shoulder got the better of her in stays and she could barely manage a 30 second sit.

Sunday - well blow me away it was warm and she had been majorly sore on Saturday night and was flat at the trial but she pulled it up a notch inside the ring to end up on a score of 190 (and in second place behind Tash and Zuma) but again the sit stay got the better of her. Finally though she got rewarded with a score for the work I know she is capable of producing in a ring.

With the weekend behind us I will shift focus into operation shoulder rehab. Game plan at the moment is to give her a few months off so I can well sure the shoulder isn't the cause of her dropping in her sits. In the meantime we will hopefully put our head down and spend some serious time adding polish and hopefully come out and put together some absolutely magical rounds later on in the year and early next year.

Now she has 5 trials, under 4 different judges, different stewards, in 4 different trial venues and she has been totally unphased by everything. I think I can safely say my shy little midget girl is that no longer and she has well and truly blossomed into the performance dog I always knew deep down I had in her.

Fingers crossed we can get on top of the shoulder injury and she can come out firing on all cylinders - if she is performing as well as she is and she sore I am so looking forward to her when she is back to 100% and we can put in some concentrated training time again. She is an absolute dream to trial and I enjoy every minute of being in the ring with her. She is a very special little black and white midget.

The end of this week also saw her celebrate her third birthday. Happy Birthday my special little WA bred munchkin. May we have plenty of years of successful trialling ahead of us.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Both Kenz and I are well and truly frustrated with her shoulder injury and the resulting no training. Its like living with a monster - she hasn't had a proper training session in ages and she is barking at me, nipping me, throwing twigs in my lap and generally not letting up. If its not directed at me, its redirected at Ness and I am not sure Ness is to thrilled with it either.

Kenz managed a short training session at the park Saturday morning but hasn't seen a proper game of tug in ages and then had a run with Tash's Zuma and pulled up mega sore and very sorry for herself.

Its starting to do my head in - other than waking up sore she is go, go, go and its so hard to keep a lid on it. Really am not looking forward to the States next weekend - I am seriously frustrated with no training and I think I will be a little over it if she manages yet another quallie with a shitty score. She is capable of so much higher and at the moment its not her nerves letting us down but a lack of consistent training time so we can get her heelwork polished up all shiny.

Feeling a little low this week - there seems to be no end in sight to the injury. After her physio appointment last Monday the rest of the week as been full of lots of lows and not very many highs :(.

I just want to go and bury my head in the sand and wake up and for her all to be normal again.

Doubly annoyed because we had the opportunity of a herding clinic this coming Friday and I would desperately love to give her a go and yet I am worried she would just do damage to herself so its back to wrapping her up in cotton wool. Sick of it.

A follow up physio appointment today confirmed another 3 weeks of wait and see with limited training and no agility or herding. She is doing better but a lot of sore soft tissue spots so another appointment in 3 weeks time and then we might then go off and get x-rays for peace of mind. She was certainly less tight then she was this time last week just a matter of taking it easy. Least she is allowed walks but certainly leaves this weekend State Obedience trial a little up in the air. Tough decision knowing she will give me 110% of herself regardless.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kenz's First Novice Obedience Pass

In only her second Novice trial and Kenz manages her first Novice pass. Score wasn't what she is capable of and didn't again reflect the quality of her work in comparison to some of the other dogs trialling in the class. Ah well a pass is a pass and we are in it for the long haul lets just hurry the hell out of Novice and get into the higher classes and put Novice well and truly behind us.

Her enthusiasm and attitude alone should stand her in much better stead then many others when we get to the higher classes. She is loving every minute in there and her focus is outstanding and that is the biggest killer in the higher classes from my experience with Ness. A little over the top enthusiastic heelwork while seems to be doing damage to my scores in Novice will only get better and more refined as we progress.

We now have 3 trials under our belt, 3 trials where Kenz has managed to work with strange judges and stewards and not really miss a beat. I was doubly impressed with my little girl last night because I was flustered and a little upset and had maybe 2 minutes get her ready for stays and she came through even despite this niggling shoulder injury she is carrying at present.

Fingers crossed for the next few trials so we can put novice behind us.

Well done again though Kenz - regardless of the scorecard your still my special little black and white midget and I know your giving me your all in the ring and thats all that matters.

ETA. A physio appointment the Monday following the trial confirmed I had one very sore little midget. Her right shoulder still had some major trigger points and her left shoulder some more superficial stuff from over compensating for the right. That kinda puts the score she got into a new light and totally blows me away with how well she worked and how she gave me everything she had despite the fact she was really badly sore. So sorry mate I wouldn't have trialled you if I had known - you were only giving me your all. Fingers crossed we can see the back of this injury soon as its driving us both insane.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kenz's Novice Debut - so close yet so far

Well its the day after first obedience trial for 2011 - Kenz's first attempt at Novice - all that worry and concern I had eventuated into nothing.

No we didn't manage a pass this time - Kenz lay down with 10 seconds to go on the sit stay but such is life.

Her rate of progress still continues to amaze me - thinking of where she was this time last year to where she has got to now.

Her work was delightful, her enthusiasm super. She is going to be a force to be reckoned with and is absolutely everything I want in a performance dog and then some.

She had a ball in the ring. In fact we both did.

Her heelwork was stunning - her transitions between paces were smooth, her focus was outstanding, her position looks great and she had attitude to burn and it was just lovely.

Her biggest point loss was due to anticipation on the finish after the recall - ah well will take that and run if thats the worst that happens.

Looking forward to the next trial in a fortnight :).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bored of nothing

Another quiet week - one very very bored Kenz and an equally bored me. Fingers crossed we can get back to some training soon.

Been nearly 3 weeks since I have run a proper training session with her. We have done a little stay work and some metal article holding but aside from that not a lot we can do.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One very sore little girl

Well this week has been a total write off. Kenz's shoulder is still being a problem so another trip to the chiro vet and we have another 10-14 days of no training and then if all things are going well we can start back with agility in around 3 weeks time.

Ah well we competed successfully on NYE with no training in 3 weeks and it appears we are destined to have to pull a similar stunt at our first obedience trial for the year which is 3 weeks today!!!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

First Week Back

This week had some highs and lows. It started off with our very first club training round last Tuesday night.

Kenz came out on fire. All the hard work I had been putting into her heelwork lately seemed to have payed off. She was working a lot straighter with her heel position. There was lots of great stuff happening. Her SFE, Recall, COP and ROF were all lovely. Sure we have some continued polishing to do but on the whole I was thrilled to bits with her work. Her Novice exercises all ran as though she had been doing them her whole life.

She was working with the attitude she has been over the summer and nothing seems to phase her to much.

Video of the training session is posted below

All seemed set for a great start to 2011 and then the bad news.

Wednesday saw us back at the chiro vet with her injured shoulder again and the outcome another good week to 10 days of no training as we aren't allowed to tug. The rest of the week as been a little trying to say the least. Kenz has been anxious to do stuff and I was really looking forward to getting her ready for the first trial of the year at the beginning of March. So for now we are back to playing the wait and see game.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Where we have come from and where we are going

I have had a few weeks off from blogging and taken a little time for reflection. Christmas break from training has traditionally been a time off from serious training and a time to recharge batteries. This year we have gone against tradition and continued on with training and growing from strength to strength. After the forced time off for injury over December, January has seen us right back on track.

Kenz's Open and UD exercises are starting to come together nicely. Solid foundations have meant that she has picked up where we left off and her continued increased confidence has made training exercises a piece of cake. The last week or so has seen some serious commitment to reducing her crabbing and forging heelwork. I think we are starting to make progress so I am waiting eagerly to see what happens with our first ring session for the year in a couple of days time.

Any way from where we were at this time last year compared to where we are now the picture is looking a hell of a lot different. Kenz is now the performance dog of my dreams and then some and looking forward to lots of trials in 2011 and hopefully a CD and CDX title. No pressure though and just out to have a good time.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Eve - Obedience Debut

Well guess what we finally got there - wahoo. I finally got Kenz into an obedience ring after all these years of just hoping we could get there. It was looking a little rocky when she injured her front right shoulder on the 16th of December - so with a trip to the vet and a trip to see Matthew few days before Christmas (yeah yeah yeah Kenz not great timing) and a few weeks of crate rest and leash walking I really had no expectations.

My little super star not only managed to get through without melting by we also managed to pass - not the score I would dream about but a pass is a pass and she did manage to come second. It was a little messy and we weren't really in the groove but after a few weeks of no training it was a very nice 29th birthday present and a great way to end 2010.

She worked a round full of enthusiasm and her tail never stopped wagging. Who would have thought 12 months ago she could manage such a pattern with an unfamiliar judge and unfamiliar stewards without having a major meltdown.

Kenz you have come a very very long way in the last 12 months and fingers crossed this is the start of many great things to come in 2011 and into the future.

Way to go Midget Dog :).