April 30, 2012


Just found out.

Darbs most likely has cancer.

I think we caught it really early, so that's the good news.  The lumps are the size of peas.

The one lump came back as a tumour, and it was inconclusive whether it was benign or malignant.  Chances are it's malignant as it's very hard and irregularly shaped.  The other two breast lumps came back as inconclusive entirely, so we're taking them all out.

And it sounds like the leg lump is of no concern, which is good news.

I told the vet I wasn't planning on spaying her as she was old and only had one heat cycle per year.  He told me that the chances of her developing pyometra after 8 years old is 75%.  That's all I needed to hear to decide to spay her the same time the lumps are taken out.

Surgery booked for this Thursday.  She'll be out for awhile, obviously, recovering.  Spaying is VERY hard on an older bitch, and I saw that first hand with Miikka.

But trials, schmials...I need to look after sweet Darbs and I don't care if she runs another trial again.

So, moral of the story...do regular breast exams on bitches older then 6, especially if they have not been spayed until after their second cycle.  I think her daily tummy rubs may have caught this before it turned into something very bad.  Let's hope anyways.
I had a fun week-end at a Field Trial in Nebraska this week-end.

I took 4 Open dogs and had two in the last series...Boomer and Meg.

While both had to handle it the fourth, it was SO much fun to stand beside a daughter of Darbi's in the last series.  I'd never run her at a trial before and she was a joy to run.  She's only 3 years old.

Darbi got dropped after the water blind.  She was very sick all Friday night and got me up in the hotel every hour to go outside.  Bad diarrhea and some vomiting.  I treated her with some metronidazole and she seemed to feel better Saturday morning, but I only had a shell of her on the water blind.

I think she caught a bug, as she's fully recovered today.

Still no word on any test results for her yet, but it's been on my mind.

I found some interesting facts on dogs and mammary cancer though.

If you spay a dog before her first heat cycle, then the risk of this type of cancer is less then 1%.
If you spay them before their second heat cycle, it's 8%.
But if you spay a dog at any time in their life after their second heat cycle, the risk is 28%.  So me spaying Miikka last year did nothing to reduce her chance of breast cancer.

But my vet is more worried about Darbi's leg lump, which surprised me.

I hope to get some news soon.

April 25, 2012

Fingers crossed...

I've been a little blog lazy since we've been home.  Sorry.

I've been bragging on here about how GREAT Darbi is doing.  Feeling great, training great and trialing great.  She's had a fabulous winter.  Especially for a dog her age.

And now...

3 breast lumps and a leg lump.

My wonderful vet is very worried.

He did fine needle aspiration on all 4 lumps and sent them off to pathology.

I'm off to a field trial tomorrow with Momma D.  No point sitting around and worrying when she's feeling so fantastic.

Keep your fingers crossed for her and me.

I'm a bit of a wreck at the THOUGHT of it.  That nasty bad word.  I can't even say it.

April 17, 2012

Good to be home

After almost 4 months on the road in Texas, it is sure nice to be home.

Darbi thinks so too.

Momma D got a RJAM in the Open at Cimarron this past week-end.  She was SO much fun to run!!  She stomped the last series water quad.  I just can't get over how, at 9 1/2 years old, she is having more fun running trials and training then she ever has.  We're going to have her best year ever...I can feel it.  She's already finished 2 of the 4 Opens she's run so far.  She had an almost 50% completion rate last year...pretty incredible in these tough Opens.

The Cimarron trial, which was in Oklahoma, was the first trial I'd ever been to where I knew the location of the closest Tornado shelter and had an emergency plan.  It was pretty hairy there for awhile.

(For reference: Willie attacking Miikka on the other side of the doggy door-giant toy snake beside Darbi).

April 10, 2012

Doggy Disneyland

The winter trip is winding down.  I'm ready.  All work and no play for us in Texas and we're both dragging our behinds a little bit.  All told we have 24 dogs here, and that includes the retired Miikka and puppy Willie.  Lots of work looking after this crew.  They are young and they are fun.  Willie is as much work as the rest of our dogs put together.  Kenny said I'm not allowed to raise another puppy for a little while after her.  We'll see...

This picture doesn't give it justice and you'd have to click on it to enlarge it for a better look, but this is the infamous technical water at Pin Oak Kennel in Ravenna, TX.  So many dipsy doodles that one loses count of the re-entries.  It can actually be a bit mind blowing, especially for young dogs trying to sort water work out.  Should I stay in?  Should I get out?

A smattering of Texas wild flowers near the piece of water we trained on today.  I thought it was time to put my four girls together for a photo.  From left to right: Darbi (I will NOT smile for the camera, ever), Ahti, Libby and Miikka.  Ahti still needs to grow into those ears.

Ahti had her cast removed last week and she's been given the green light to start light work...mostly water work.  She is happy to be back at it.  It was a 10 hour round trip to see the ortho specialist, who looked at her for 20 minutes and sent me out the door.  And on the way down I happened to be driving through Dallas WHILE 12 tornados were touching down around the city during a gale force rain storm.  You probably heard about it?  It was a hair raising experience.  The things I do for my furry friends.

And the "kids" had quite a play session today.  Gordie (Arson x Miikka 2011) found a turtle shell and played keep-away with Willie (Chopper x Hoodoo 2011).

No, I don't want your stinky treasure.  But thanks anyways Gordie.

April 1, 2012

Open WIN for Adey!!

A daughter of Darbi's from her first litter WON the Open in Washington this week-end!!

Her name is Elmingo's Chasing A Whim (Adey) and is from the Tiger x Darbi litter.

VERY FUN and CONGRATS to Adey and her owners and trainer!!

I ran my girls this week-end at the Metro trial in North Texas.

Darbi pinned the first two birds of the triple and then was only 10 yards upwind of the difficult long retired bird and she kept punching.  It was heartbreaking to watch as lots of dogs never made it all the way out there to begin with, but I was so pleased with her effort.  She never recovered after running way deep and I asked the judges to have the gun help her as the mark was WAY out there and I didn't think I could get a handle on her back to the bird.  She got a pat and a "good work Momma" on the way back to the truck.  She really showed her warrior heart.

Darbi's son Turq (Prime x Darbi) ran a great trial competing against his mom and then handled on a very difficult quad in the last series of the Open.  And his sister Meg was dropped after the water blind.  Pretty good showing for those two young "kids".

Littermates Zink and Libby (Shaq x Miikka) both JAM'd the Qualifying at this trial.  They had great work going into the 4th series and both went a little bonkers on a tight test.  An "up the shore mark" messed with their heads a little bit and it was all over.  They're both very exciting young dogs and have bright futures in front of them.

I'm a pretty proud breeder this week-end.  I'm so happy to see the kids do well.