Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ack!  It's been a while since I posted anything!

Well, recent news first.  We had a good weekend at the dog show this past weekend.  The kind that you enjoy while it's happening (yeah, okay, and for a few days afterwards) but don't let it go to your head.  The big shows this weekend were at Wine Country, and if I had won there, I would be over the moon.  But I knew that with Beau out (more on that later), Jynx out (ditto), and mostly just baby puppies to show, I was not going to be competitive at Wine Country.  The New Englanders were putting together an entry at a show up in Maine, and I had reasons for wanting to go to Maine (more on that later), and the entry fees were dirt cheap ($25 for the first entry, and only $15 for puppies and bred-by), so I went to the shows in Maine.  I brought Nerys (more on this later as well), Memsie (who had been out of shows for several months while recuperating from a bad bout of Lyme's) and LéLé (who finished in a big way at the Hound Show - see entry below - but at only two is not really ready for prime time).  And Isabella the Whippet.

Why Nerys?  I had brought two puppies (Ossian and Oonagh) to a weekend of shows at Springfield in August, and felt that they needed more time out alone.  I'll try to bring just one puppy at a time until they are older and better trained!

My reason for wanting to go to Maine was simple.  One of Memsie's littermates, Max, had been returned back in August.  He had been much loved (and very well socialized with people and other dogs), but he had lacked exercise, and had not developed to his potential.  After ascertaining that there was nothing structurally wrong, I had brought him to Maine at the end of August, to spend time (and get loads of great exercise) with Steve and Naomi (who had just finished his brother).  They had reported glowingly on his progress, and I wanted to see him.  We had entered him in the shows, and I would show him in the Bred-By class.

We had a good entry: 4-6-1-2 on Saturday, but one of the dogs did not show, breaking the major.  Anne Alie's dog took the dog points, and went on to Best of Opposite Sex, which made it a major.  Max went Reserve.  Miranda Levin's bitch was Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for the major, and Jodi Burnham's bitch, of Miranda's breeding, went Reserve.  And little LéLé took the breed, but did nothing in the group, both under Joan Goldstein.  They did puppy groups, however, and Nerys was Best Puppy in Breed and went on to Puppy Group One!

Sunday the entry was 5-7-1-2 with everyone present.  Judge Joy Brewster sorted things out quite differently, with Naomi and Steve's Faelan, bred by Linda Madden, taking the dog points; I think that Stan Fisher's dog took Reserve.  Terri Martin's Dhu Mohr bitch was Winners Bitch and Best of Winners, with our Memsie taking the Reserve.  But once again the breed went to LéLé, who then went on to a Group One!

Meanwhile, Isabella missed her class on Saturday morning (why will become clear in a moment), and lost on Sunday, just to keep me humble.

Okay, the not-so-recent news.  Jynx wasn't shown in Maine (and wasn't available for Wine Country had I wanted to go) because she had been in season when entries closed, and I had planned on breeding her.  The plans fell through when one of the chosen dogs was unavailable and the other unreachable (I think I had the wrong contact info), but c'est la vie.

But the big news is Beau.  About five and a half weeks ago, Beau pulled up inexplicably dead lame.  At first we could find no swelling or heat, just a small area of tenderness on his left shoulder.  About 24 hours later, he was running a raging fever and his shoulder and forearm were grossly swollen.  We put him on antibiotics and cooled him off, and on the way to the vet on Monday morning, the skin began to slough off of his shoulder.  The vet examined him, shaved the shoulder (and even more skin fell off), then operated to debride additional dead skin.  The operating assumption was that he had picked up one of those nasty, flesh-eating bacteria.  They put him on Baytril and Clindamycin, and sent him home with instructions to cover the (large!) wound with honey, and hope that we could save him, because the wound was too high to realistically consider amputation.  Tuesday they debrided more dead skin, and identified a problem area on the other front leg.  In addition, his leg was so swollen that fluid was simply coming through his skin.  If he stood in one place for any length of time, he left a puddle behind him.  Additional instructions to gently massage his leg, as we feared that if left unchecked the edema would cause his skin to open up at the bottom of the leg.  But Wednesday brought good news: no new dead skin.  Still red and swollen and all the rest (no fever, though), but no black skin or underlying tissue. 

However, we were now dealing with an open wound roughly 8 inches by 4, with one corner a couple of inches from his elbow and the opposite one around on his chest near the point of shoulder.  Slowly the wound began to heal, but after four weeks he began to develop scar tissue instead of new skin, leaving an open wound about four inches long and one to two inches tall.  He went back to the vet last Friday to have it closed.  (And the reason we missed Isabella's class on Saturday was that Beau needed me.)  Unfortunately, by Sunday, it was clear that the sutures weren't holding in some places, and Monday morning we were back at the vet's getting Beau put back together, this time with horse sutures and some perforations in the skin to increase its elasticity.  It held through last night, but this morning there is a smallish section that again needs work, and I am currently awaiting a call back from the vet.