Friday, July 13, 2012

Abby Update!

It's been awhile since I've talked about Abby!  She's very much enjoying being home with my parents' 4 other dogs.  She was also enjoying having a huge backyard to run around in at night and on the weekends...that is until she started eating/getting stung by bees/wasps and we found out that she's allergic!  On 2 different occasions, we looked out in the yard to see a very swollen Abby...not good!  We rushed her to the emergency vet clinic (~20 minutes away), where they gave her injectable benadryl and steroids to bring down the swelling in her face and throat.  So now Abby doesn't get to go outside in the summer unsupervised...  We've since seen her chase flies around the house, so its pretty easy to understand how she would get stung by bees!

An important note for dog owners...if your dog shows signs of an allergic reaction, you can force feed them liquid benadryl...same dose as you would for a child.  **Disclaimer: I'm not a vet!**

Abby, AFTER the benadryl and steroids!  It looked worse!  Both eyes were completely swelled shut!

I think I've mentioned this in the past, but Abby and I are taking a dog agility class this summer (along with my mom and her Australian Shepherd Kaya).  We've had 3 classes now, and Abby is doing pretty good for the youngest pup in the class!

We've been working on a lot of basics, including agility heeling (the dog should follow the handler, on either side), lining up on either side of the handler, learning to target with their nose and feet, and standing on a perch.  Heeling and lining up isn't much fun to practice, but Abby loves the perch game!  I've taught her to put just her front 2 feet on the foot stool in our living room, and also to sit completely on top of it.  Next step is to get just the back 2 feet on the stool.

"Front Feet!"

We had to start by getting Abby to completely sit on the larger foot stool, then work down to the smaller one.  Now she will completely sit on the small stool.

As far as real obstacles go, we've learned the tunnel, raised plank, a short dogwalk, and a ladder.  During the last class, we even got to do a mock course of 5 obstacles.  They went over the raised plank, over "jump bumps" (practice jumps that are on the ground, not raised), and through tunnels.  Abby did both runs off lead...the first was almost perfect but she got spooked a bit by a new tunnel the second round and it took a second try to get her through it.  But she did great!  Mom is going to borrow a few llama obstacles (the ladder and raised plank) for the dogs to practice in the back yard this summer.  We're also going to buy one of those pop-up laundry baskets (like they sell for college dorms) and cut the bottom out of it to make a tunnel!

The ladder and raised plank that we're going to borrow for the dogs to practice on.

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