Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vacation , Horseback Archery , doggie camp and a few other random musings

Well not much riding has been going on for me.  Two weekends ago we went for a trail ride about, 2 hrs only because my knee  really started acting up.. (more on that in minute) but that has been it. 
My hubby and I traveled to Vancouver BC to spend a couple days doing the touristy thing prior to traveling northward  on to MT Currie ,BC for his Canadian  Horseback Archery competition . Getting there made for a long drive, about 13 hrs one way.  But it was worth it.. seeing the ocean again was the highlight for me,  even if it was the cold Pacific.
We got to see a lot of the Vancouver area since we stayed with friends just outside the city for a couple of night.   BC is similar to Montana and the Rocky Mountains but with the added feature of the ocean and a much more wet climate.  Lots of lush thick green forests. Rain is common in that part of the country,  but we  lucked out and had a couple of really beautiful days. 
Once we got to where the competition was held, Near Whistler ,B.C, and on a reservation, the true adventure began for me. As camping goes, I haven’t ever really mastered the art of it… not being really into the “roughing” it without access to a daily shower. Luckily, I stayed with our  friend in Vancouver one extra day and only had to camp out one night.  “T’ went up a day early to get a little extra training time and I met him up there early Sat morning to see the competition.
When I arrived, I was thankful for the decision to stay in  civilization for the extra day , especially when I saw the bathroom facilities. It was two outhouses, with a 6 foot hole in the ground.
This was the “bathroom” sink…
It was a two day competition so as soon as “T’  was done with his turn on Sunday morning,  we beat it out to hit the road  and head home. We made it the trip home by Monday mid day, having to stop for an overnight on Sunday.. too tired to continue…
So now I am going to go off track a bit only because it was a major part of the weekend.  Have I ever really talked about Xena?? I don’t think so, other than the photo of her on the sidebar of my blog and a few random photos on various  blog posts. I suppose since this is a random post about lots of things, it seems like an appropriate time.
This trip was the first time in over 5   years we have had to kennel  a dog. It was the first time ever since having Xena and Duncan .  There was alot of anxiety on my part about doing so.
My anxiety about kenneling them had more to do with Xena  specifically, given her history.  Sadly, little Xena  had been tossed away  two other times before she was even two years old  by previous owners, with a rescue operation being her foster care home twice in between those times … until we found her..  It has taken us a considerable amount of time and work to bring her out  of her shell and deal with her issues. We got more than we bargained for when we adopted her but by the time we figured out what kind of severe issues we were dealing with, I was not willing to send her back to the rescue… once again. I wasn’t sure I  even liked the dog yet , as I recall, wondering what I had signed up for,  but I could not put send her back again.. it wasn't fair to her. She deserved a chance.
Xena  is more fearful  than anything but it comes out as aggression, aka; fear aggression . it is common in dogs who have not been socialized or exposed correctly at those crucial times during puppy hood.  It’s also common in German Shepherds. Fortunately with the help of a understanding friends who we have used as guinea pigs to give her good experiences with strangers(ie, you don’t need to try to tear off the hands of strangers)  and a Schutzhund trainer, we have made some  great gains.  
My biggest fear  with this   kennel experience was that it was going to throw her into a tail spin if she thought she was getting abandoned once again and undo all the work over the last two years. In preparation, I took her  for two walk thru’s  at the kennel at the suggestion of the kennel owner. This is supposed to give the dogs a good experience and then they get to go right home. The hope is that they remember that when they go for the real thing.
Nonetheless, it still killed me knowing she would be so fearful going to a kennel  and there was nothing I could do to make her understand I was going to come back for her, that it was only temporary, that I was not leaving her like so many others had done in the past. All I could do was tell her I would be back for her and hope she sensed it????  
Long story short, she did survive her stay. The kennel owner said she spent two days hiding in her crate. which I expected since that  is  her safe zone .   After a couple of days however, she reportedly did start coming out and handling things better. Beyond that, the word was she did fine.  When we arrived to pick them up, and she first saw  us, she must have surely been thinking
“really, you came back for me??? “ 
She was very excited to see us and she promptly peed all over my feet in all of her excitement.  I thought that was a small price to pay.
They ran and played all afternoon and evening in the back yard once we got home and  we tried to tame the  jungle of what was previously a back yard.  The grass could almost be hayed.. When the evening came to an end  and we all headed to bed … Xena went and laid down in the bathroom . I got up to check on her and she appeared fine but I walked thru a wall of an awful smell emanating from her...
**warning- those that have a sensitive stomach may not want to read this next part..
Little Xena apparently relaxed , maybe just a little too much and blessed us  with the expression of her anals.. all over the  bathroom floor..(there could have been worse places this could have happened, like the living room rug, which would have ruined it beyond repair).
Let me tell you if you have never experienced this darker side of dog ownership… take my word for it… you don’t want to… It's not a smell  you will ever forget..
 I think since she was finally able to relax that it just , well, released.  She was utterly humiliated by this accident. The whole dark side of dog ownership isn’t new to me but I will say that I have never seen a dog leave a puddle of fluid behind like she did.. usually it’s just a moment of  “OMG , what is that smell???” but you don’t actually see anything…this time there was an actual puddle of clear fluid on the tile and then, if that was not bad enough she managed to get her tail and hip in it....
So as the clock struck midnight , we quietly (ok , gagged and dry heaved ) through getting her and the bathroom floor cleaned up, opened the windows, lit a few matches,  sprayed Lysol  all  in an attempt to clear the  odiferous remnants of her accident.
I sincerely hope this doesn’t ever happen quite like that again… I am not sure my stomach can handle it again.
So , vacation is over and now it’s time to try to get on some routine with riding again. Remember back at the beginning of the post I mentioned the knee?? 
So it seems I may have a lateral and medial l Meniscus tear (thank you Spartan race)I went this morning for an MRI for a positive diagnosis  and I should have results by Thursday afternoon . If it’s positive, meniscus  tears do not get better with therapy or rest. That means surgery.. which means a period of healing..which means no riding…  But I can’t keep on with the way it is.. It’s hurting to do any physical activity like biking, running, even walking. Worst of all.. it’s hurting when I ride.. a lot..
For years, this knee has occasionally given me trouble but nothing that has impeded my activities up until now. I suspect that I injured the knee years ago when I took a bad fall skiing. 
Several weeks ago, I did the Spartan race and about 2 miles from the finish, it really started hurting on any downhill.. By the time I made it across the finish line, I could barely bend it. I spent two days icing I and it got mostly better but ever since, it flares up with any physical activity. Squats , lunges.. out of the question , running or biking pretty much make me wince in pain. Even walking for more than a half hour   puts me in a fair amount of agony and riding?? That was painful. Stay tuned for results  and keep your fingers crossed it is not going to require any surgical treatment.

Shannon Falls

Mt Currie, BC, HBA course location scenery



CG said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your knee injury! Ouch.

That's great that Zena made it through kenneling- but the bathroom incident certainly sounds unpleasant.

I haven't blogged about my new dog adventures yet, but I've ended up with a GSD as well! We intercepted him on his way to the pound- I adore him. I think I'll have a Shepherd from now on!

Cricket said...

We have two Boxer-Malinios mix six month old puppies who we are working through the fear-aggression thing. They are both a bit timid and can be quelled with a simple "what did you just do?" question. We are going on vacation to Oregon for 10 days and will have to leave the pups in the kennel. I'm hoping they come out with no more issues then they go in with.

Does T use a horse bow for these competitions? If so, what kind? I have a recurve and have been fascinated by the idea of shooting from horseback. It looks like fun.

Bummer about the knee.

Funder said...

Yay Xena! and boo for your knee. Glad you're going to get it fixed, even if you've gotta let it heal...

How'd T do in the competition?

Jonna said...

CG- Yes, do a post on your new pup! I want to hear all about him. I grew up with GSD's. They are great dogs. Glad you saved one on the way to the pound.

Karen-Thanks for reading! Malinois are very high energy dogs..Since yours are young, all I can say is socialize, socialize socialize. It would be scary to kennel a couple of pups but hopefully the kennel owner is caring and tentative enough. I let the kennel owner know way ahead of time and watched her interactions with Xena before I ever committed to taking her there. It has to be a good match.

Funder-yeah, the knee is total a bummer. It's hell to get old!! T did okay in the competition but certainly did not shoot his level, a 120 on the first day and 112 on the second. He should be shooting in the 140 -150 range but his head was not in the game and he gets really tense for competition.. I think I can understand that...