Dog in need of saving

June 12, 2010

I hope someone can help with this. There’s a dog in need of a good home. Here is info from the vet who’s the go between (Lisa Wiggins): “I have an elderly gentleman that adopted a dog (4 years old) from shelter and cannot keep it. I think it has border collie in it. It does herd and bark and have lots of energy so is too much for an elderly man. This dog has an incredible personality and I think would do really well at agility…lots of energy, drive and heart.If I cannot find a home for this dog fast, he will likely be euthanized because it is too much for an old man. Dog is neutered and up to date on vaccines.”


CPE Nationals – a personal perspective

June 9, 2010

DogSport Magazine asked me to write about the CPE nationals for their online magazine.  I wrote at the end of each of the 3 days of competition. 

To read about my exploits, go to:

Agility Mini Camp July 30th

June 9, 2010

I’ve added a mini camp to be held the Friday before my summer agility camp, on July 30th.

Presenters will be:

Trisha Stall and Melinda Schneider – agility handling
Tracy Sklenar – “Sniffaholics Anonymous”, agility trouble shooting and building drive/enthusiasm
Lisa Norris – Canine Water Sports, working with your dog around and swimming in water and the basics of this new sport/activity

Go to for more details and the registration form.

Demos July 10th

April 27, 2010
Anyone interested in doing demos for a dog fair on Saturday, July 10, for the Wags and Whiskers Family Fun Fair in Schenectady, sponsored by the Schenectady County SPCA?
There will be plenty of chances to practice with your dog and work them in an exciting, trial-like environment.  Your dog will have to be ok with kids as they are sure to be in attendance, but does not have to be trial-ready! 
We will have an enclosed ring and most agility obstacles (will likely not be bringing dogwalk or Aframe due to their size).
The website for the event is
Please contact me if you’re interested in attending.

Fairs – Demos Season!

September 7, 2009

I just finished my usual Labor Day Weekend fair “tour“.  Every year for the past 6 years I have done dog agility demos at the Scottish Games ( at the Altamont Fairgrounds.  This year Steve Capporizzo, the Channel 10 weatherman and local rescue dog champion, was back to emcee.  Last year he was notably absent, and it just wasn’t the same without him.  This is always a big event, there’s a big crowd there to watch agility; but also in general there are tons of vendor booths, food, drink, and clans/societies, and of course the bagpipe bands.  The weather was wonderful, and we had Border Collies, Shelties, Cairn Terrier, Golden Retriever, and even Scottish Deerhound to perform agility during the dog show.  We also had an unofficial show earlier in the day (a warm up, really, without announcing to the crowd, and open to non-Scottish breeds of dogs).  Any time you start running a dog over the agility course crowds form!

On Thursday, for the 5th year in a row (if my memory serves) I also held demos at Kids Day at the Columbia County Fair in Chatham (  This is a great local event, and we have 2 45 minutes shows each year.  The crowds were, as usual, large and appreciative, and other than the scary ferris wheel just 20′ from the ring that unnerved a couple of dogs and a brief outing by one dog to get some food a spectator had about 25′ away, all the dogs did very well and really entertained the crowd.

Thanks to all who helped me with both shows.  These are a lot of work for me to organize, get participants for, and haul/setup/takedown equipment for.  I really appreciate all of my friends and students to come out to help me put on a good show every year!

Lucy Update

April 21, 2009


I wanted to get you a quick update on Lucy, even though this week I’m swamped with my CPE trial prep stuff.

The results came back and she does not have Lepto.  So much for that theory!  The liver failure was cauesd by was either infectious or toxicity.  My best guess is that it was all those toys she ate the first week she was here… you know, PVC/plastic hollow balls, squeaky toys, plush toys.  So much came out the other end of her, but perhaps some stayed in her.  And, I read that many of the dog toys on the market contain DINP, which is a chemical used to make hard PVC plastic soft and pliable. 

Here’s a link to the article I found about this:

AKC and Mixed Breeds

Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard that AKC will soon “allow” mixed breeds to compete at agility events.  I, like many others, have no wish to do this; there are plenty of other venues out there that don’t discriminate against our All Americans.  I found this blog this morning and just had to share.  Too funny!

Leptospirosis and liver failure

April 13, 2009

This is an update on Lucy.  The title describes what we think happened, but I won’t know for sure until the blood tests come back on Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Friday I took her back to the vets; by last Thursday her appetite hadn’t returned yet, indeed it had gotten worse.  Plus, she was becoming more and more “disconnected”, seeming to not care about anything any more.  It was very sad, it felt like she was dying inside.  Felt way too much like it was with Sandy the last week or so, and even like Crystal at the end.

Well, it turns out that Lucy’s liver enzymes were high, indicating liver failure.  They put her on fluids (she had gone down from a weight of 36 pounds on Monday to 30.5 pounds on Friday), and other medicines to help bring the liver back.  She stayed all weekend at the vet clinic and they kept up her treatments all weekend.  Lisa (Dr. Wiggins) called me several times on Friday afternoon/evening and on Saturday – I was away at a trial, she said I couldn’t help her locally so I might as well still go, and I had to be there because I was supervising a new judge.  Every update over the course of the weekend  got better – improvement in her energy level (she had been disconnected, spacey, and very weak, all symptoms of the liver failure), and eating “meatballs” (canned dog food mushed into a ball) by Saturday.  On Friday afternoon another vet came in and did an ultrasound to verify it was liver failure.  We brainstormed to figure out what had happened, and on Friday night in between phone calls Lisa went to the clinic and did X-rays.  She wanted to see if she had injested pennies or other copper or metallic objects, as she had gotten into bags of screws in a bag on a shelf about 3′ above the floor a week before.  Well, that wasn’t the case, Lisa didn’t find anything on the x-rays.  But, the other likely culprit, other than toxicity (we couldn’t think of any other possible thing she injested that would’ve caused liver failure), is leptosporosis. 


Three weeks before she had already been diagnosed with Coccidia, which she had before I adopted her, so why not the possibility that she had gotten lepto before I got her, too?  She had been vaccinated against it 3 weeks ago, but not before I got her, so it could be a pre-existing condition.  She’s currently getting meds for lepto, and has bounced back very quickly, which leads Lisa to believe that that’s what caused the liver problems.

I went to visit her this afternoon, and to my surprise (because yesterday Lisa said she wanted to keep her another day or two), Lisa said she could come home with me!  She was happy to see me, wagging her tail and had so much more energy than when I remember how she was on Friday (very sad, indeed, her state on Friday).  Because of the likely lepto I can’t let her potty in the dog yard with the boys because it’s contagious.  Apparently it can be spread by urine or also if enough contact is made between dogs.  Anyway, about the pottying thing, it’s a pain as the dogs are used to going in and out when they wish through the dog door.  The boys can use it, but not Lucy!  And she’s peed about 3 times in the 2 hours she’s been home (part of it is because she has drunk a lot of water, which she needs), so I have to put her on leash and take her out the front door to an area where the other dogs don’t go (except when we go down to get in the car for a ride somewhere).


She’s tired now, all this activity!  I gave her a couple meatballs of food which she gobbled up (glad she has her appetite back!), She had a little nap, and is getting her strength back and getting back to her normal happy self very quickly.