Where the &*%$ Have You Been?

Dear readers. I owe you an apology. I was supposed to be blogging about Brody’s IPO and Maple’s TPLO recovery and covering all of the new IGP rule changes. Instead, I dropped off the face of the earth. And for that, I apologize. 

The last month or so has been one thing after another after another around here, it seems. 

To begin, my foster dog Maple had TPLO surgery, which I know all of you know. Shortly thereafter, she developed a minor infection in the incision, which increased the amount of care she required. In addition, though Maple is the sweetest creature on Earth, she knows absolutely nothing in the way of useful obedience. No ‘sit’, no ‘down’, no idea how to walk on a leash, etc… So, you can imagine what caring for an infected incision has been like. 

Shortly after all of this, Brody and I did, in fact, manage to participate in our club’s Fall trial. 

We did not, however, pass our IPO1.

The first half of tracking went really well. The first leg was beautiful. The first corner was a touch early, but fine. He was crooked on the first article, but hey, he found it. Restart was fine. Second corner was a little iffy. And then it all went to shit. 

Hard to say if he just got bored of tracking or genuinely just lost it, but we floundered enough on our third and final leg that we ultimately failed. He did find the last article, though, after the judge had walked away. 

Obedience went really well, though he got distracted by the judge’s presence during the retrieve over the hurdle. He thought she looked like a really nice lady that for sure would want to pet him. Fortunately, he quickly realized that he was supposed to be doing something about the dumbbell in his mouth, but he failed to jump over the hurdle on his return, so we lost some points there. 

Our send out was fine, except that he got about 2/3 of the way down the field and decided that that was far enough. More points lost, but meh. It was fine. 

Protection went better than I could have expected, honestly. He was a little squirrelly on our pick-ups because he’s been somewhat overly worried about making mistakes, but otherwise he was really good. We even managed something that resembled a side-transport. 

Brody’s long bite at our Fall club trial

At the end of the day, we ended up with 52/88/90. No IPO1, but what can you do. 

Besides track more, maybe. 

So that was the trial. 

Pretty much as soon as I got home from the trial, I came down with some sort of death-flu. Because my immune system is somewhat still compromised from the more serious illness I experienced back in August/September, it took me out of pretty much all life-like activities, including blogging. Boo. 

Shortly after that, my elderly Shiba Inu got sick as well. It was a rough weeklong ordeal. She was presenting with moderate but ultimately unconvincing ADR (Ain’t Doin’ Right – code for ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) symptoms – lethargy, eating less, intermittent abdominal pain, though no vomiting and no diarrhea. 

Despite several trips to our regular vet that week, we couldn’t find anything definitively wrong. 

Until the last day. 

I had let her and Brody outside to potty and was keeping an eye on them while I cleaned my kitchen. That’s when I noticed Kiara (my Shiba Inu) just sitting in the middle of the yard. 

Weird. 

I went out to call her to me. She tried to stand up, but her hind end collapsed underneath her. 

I rushed her to the emergency vet clinic as quickly as I could. About halfway there, she started screaming in pain. The next 15 or so minutes were honestly the worst of my life. She was obviously in a lot of pain. I didn’t know how or why. And all I could do was keep driving. 

I had called the clinic ahead of time and someone was waiting in the lobby to take her from me as soon as I arrived. I was taken to a room while she was rushed to the back to be examined, still crying out in pain. 

It didn’t take long for the vet to come see me. Kiara had a blood clot that was blocking the femoral artery in her right leg. Rare in dogs, according to the vet, and probably secondary to advanced (though, as of yet, undiagnosed) cancer. 

There was nothing to be done. 

So I said goodbye to Kiara that day. She was 12. I had had her since I was an irresponsible college student. She had lived with me in three states and two countries. She had hiked mountains with me. She had travelled with me. And she had comforted me through everything that life has seen fit to throw at me. 

Rest in Peace, Kiara

That was about a week ago. 

I haven’t been able to convince myself to do a whole lot since, besides take care of Maple and Brody, and get a minimum of actual work done. 

But I’m back with it now, so I’m going to get back on top of things. We are prepping for a Spring trial, and I have lots to say about Maple’s TPLO recovery. 

And, of course, I’m going to get a move on on tackling all of the IGP changes. 

So, stay tuned. And thanks for hanging in there. 

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