Training Notes

Wally and I brought Sarah down with us to bring up the sheep.  As we walked down there I said to him that I hoped one of us wouldn’t be having to walk back up to get another dog.  The good thing was that we didn’t have to wear muck boots to get down there.  It is treacherously slippery going through several of the gate openings and it was nice to be able to just walk without worrying about slipping and falling.

Sarah was incredibly chipper.  I never seen so much bounce to her step.  When we got to the ElectroNet, I stood back and let Wally call her to the gate.  She stopped, looked at me, looked at him, then came back to me.  Whoops … Poor Sarah, she so wanted to bond to someone.  Whenever I was with her and her former caregiver was as well, she didn’t give me (or anyone else) the time of day.  I remember one weekend her former caregiver and I went down to Red Creek for one of their clinics.  I brought Gel and Sarah (she was staying with me at the time) and paid for both of them at the clinic.  I took Sarah out to work her and hoped that her former caregiver would stand back out of the way, but nope, he stood right there and Sarah was having trouble deciding who to work for.  She eventually chose him and he took over.

Since Sarah has been spending time with me and I’ve worked her some, she’s bonded to me. These dogs, they so want to please.

I think if Wally took her down by himself, she’d probably bring the sheep up for him.  We’ll have to try that one night.

She did okay.  She’s working very close and several of the sheep turned on her which brought out some “yea ha” moments.  Sarah may be more suited to cattle or goats.  We’ll see.  Again, I saw lots of spark and bounce to her during our trek back.  She ran faster than I’ve ever (now or when I had her before) run.  I think she’s feeling pretty good.  For now, I’m just letting her work her beans out (thanks Helene for that bit of terminology).  Eventually I’ll start to ask for more accountability.  In a month or so, I’ll advertise her and see if I can’t find her a farm home.

I didn’t make it back down there with the other dogs because  I got into cleaning.  We’ve got a minor tick infestation problem and I was trying to find out where the rotten creatures were coming from.  I think I found it, I hope so because I’m getting tired of picking up ticks.  I started taking mega doses of Vitamin B complex and garlic in an effort to make myself less attractive to bugs of all kinds.  With all the rain we’ve been having, I’m sure I’m going to be prime mosquito dining.

Agility was postponed to today which was a good thing because I would not have been able to go yesterday.  I don’t know what was the matter with me Sunday night.  I don’t think I slept all night.  I slept better last night, but still not great.  The noise of the dogs moving around in their crates disturbed me.  I need to stop at Lowe’s to get some rubber matting to put in the beds of their crates to stop the noise.  Also, Bubba (one of the new black cats) has an upper respiratory infection and was sneezing quite a bit last night.

You may recall that I was working with Bubba homeopathically to address his over grooming and the old woud at the base of his tail.  I switched to the remedy Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum and the tail seemed much less sensitive to the touch and he didn’t seem to be grooming quite so much.  On Sunday Wally told me that he had started with upper respiratory symptoms.  That is a good thing!  In cats, upper respiratory infections (“URIs”) are more often than not treated with antibiotics (often mega doses over extended periods of time).  I’m sure if Bubba had a URI when he was with the rescue lady, he was given antibiotics.  The thing about URIs is that they are viral in nature so antibiotics are of no use.  They are only given in an attempt to counteract any potential bacterial infection.  In my opinion, that’s pretty stupid thinking.  Why use an antibiotic if you don’t need it?  Antibiotics seem to have an antihistamine effect and the URI symptoms often abate while the cat is on the antibiotics.  Once they are stopped, however, the symptoms come back, often worst.  So either the same antibiotic is given again or a more stronger one is prescribed.  Many kittens spend a good part of their early lives on antibiotics.  This isn’t good for them long-term.  Many continue to break with URI symptoms throughout their lives (stress often triggers this) or they may go on to have recurrent urinary tract infections or even digestive tract issues.  I am frequently contacted for help from caregivers with cats with these symptoms and I’ll always ask them if the cat was on course(s) of antibiotics for a URI while they were kittens and they always were.

So why is it a good thing that Bubba started with a URI after treatment with Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum?  Because it caused him to exhibit earlier symptoms; also called a reversal of symptoms.  While I don’t know that Bubba had a URI while with the rescue lady, given what I saw was going on at her house, I’d be willing to bet he did.  Even if he didn’t, a URI is a less serious symptom than the over grooming (which is a mental symptom likely due to the tail trauma).  I wish I could explain this better …

I’m glad to see improvement in Bubba and I hope he continues to get better.

Lately, however, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the animals.  I think it may be partially due to all the rainy weather we’ve been having.  It seems so much easier to do anything when the weather is bright, sunny and warm.  Unfortunately, more clouds and rain are scheduled for the next few days.  I started some eggs in an incubator and I’m wondering if all the work involved in hatching eggs this way is worth it.  It seems like it would be easier to pay $1 to $3 for chicks and raise them up from chicks, but it makes more sense to raise up chicks (and ducklings) from my own flock.  The temperature is supposed to stay at 99.5 degrees, I forget what the humidity is supposed to stay at and you are supposed to turn the eggs so many times a day.  Geez, does a mother chicken or duck keep a thermometer in her nest to make sure the temperature stays at 99.5?  Does she count how many time she turns the eggs?  Likely not.  I started the eggs on the 24th so they should hatch (if they do hatch) sometime during the week of April 20.  Chicken eggs hatch sooner than duck eggs and I don’t know if you are able to hatch chicken eggs with duck eggs.  I guess we’ll find out.  I’ve considered just throwing the whole shooting match out, but I’ve started it so I guess I’m obligated to finish it.  So far, there’s no rotten egg smell so I guess they are okay.  I might try to candle them later today.  Of course, this is just what I need if the eggs hatch, chicks to take care of …

Until later …