Monday, June 22, 2015

Six Months

This month’s Veto update starts off on a sad note with the loss of his mother Waddy’s Liz.  From what I understand their neighbour put out 1080 baits and the end result is that it caused the death of Liz.  Such tragic news and I can imagine a huge loss for Angus and Sarah to lose one of their top working dogs. 

Ears up!
The boy, or should I say young man,  is now six months old.  He really pretty much looks like a grown up and although he’s still growing it has slowed down considerably.  He's 51cms at the shoulder which is 1cm taller than Sonic was at the same age.  All his health tests have now been done…drum roll….all good news!  Because of my nervousness around potential hips dysplasia and no testing behind Veto’s parents I took him to Applecross Vet so I could get the PennHip procedure done.  Although his hips aren’t perfect he is in the median border collie range and the result good enough that the likelihood of him developing HD is fairly low.  It’s not impossible but I’m happy with unlikely.  When he is two or three I’ll get standard hip x-rays done to make sure that there have been no major changes.  It’s a huge relief.  Spending the next two years putting in hundreds of hours training him only to find out his hips are bad was not in my plan.  I received his registration papers back from the Queensland Working Cattle Dog Trial Association so I sent off a DNA sample to Orivet to get his DNA testing done.  More good news with everything coming back clear and as I suspected he carries tri which is a nice bonus if I do ever decide to breed from him.

Veto - 6 months
Training is going well enough.  Now I’ve restricted our outside sessions to the puppy pen things are much easier and a lot more successful.  A clear sign that his puppy boy brain was in no way ready for the stimulus of the agility area.   His retrieve is for the most part pretty good.  Inside he will happily bring back anything that you throw for him.  Outside it’s not guaranteed but a huge improvement on what it was.  When we train outside I'm focusing on games that mean high level rewards and relationship building.  His recall when I take him out by himself is brilliant.  When I say his name the dirt will fly as he spins and comes racing straight back to me. Yay!  But when he's out with the other dogs is another story all together.  I always do some work before he's allowed off with them and I won't release him until I'm happy that he's paying attention but it can be a bit of a challenge.  I so love watching him run with Sonic.  Ve's keeping up with him now which is pretty impressive because Sonic is no slouch on the flat.  So he gets a couple of runs with them a week and the rest is just the two of us.  It is nice to hang out just the two of us.  One thing I do know is that Veto is definitely going to be a late maturer...

The emotional roller coaster that is Cassie’s agility journey continues with no sign of it changing anytime soon.  She really is a trial to trial proposition.  I have no idea until trial day what mood she is in or if she thinks she may like to do agility or not.  At the Northern Suburbs trial she just didn’t want to know about agility all day.  Although she went over the first obstacle made a bee line for the tunnel where she hid until I called her back out.  Then at the ACWA trial she was high as a kite and running like a rocket.  She was nowhere near a clear round but she seemed to be having fun and clowning around.  At Gosnells on the weekend she did a stunning jumping run with just an off course tunnel, but the agility she was over it and didn't want to run.  She is entered in a couple more ANKC trials and then I’m going to do ADAA with her for a while so I can reward in the ring as required.  It’s the only thing I can think of to do.  And of course there is never any pressure on her to run.  If she doesn’t want to run then we don’t.  At this stage Nationals next year is looking like an unlikely prospect, but I shall soldier on and see what happens.  Life wasn't meant to be easy...

I've had some really fun runs with Sonic lately.  He's still only doing one trial a month to make sure he stays sound.  More often than not he knocks a bar during his run but he always tries so hard and loves it so much.  It was quite a thrill to get a 3rd in Masters Jumping behind two of our super fast 500 dogs and beat some much younger and very fast dogs.  Not bad for a going on 8 year old with HD.  And finally we finished off our Strat Pairs Masters title with a little help from Simone and the Mighty Spryte.  Nice to get another Masters title done and dusted!