Friday, March 11, 2011


I really should be asleep, since I have to wake up at 7 AM to get ready to run eight pigeons in the operant chambers at school, but I figured I could squeak out an update.

Saturday, we all caught a bit of a break and headed to the park for a while.  My sister and grandmother tagged along as well.  It was a new park that Marge had never been to.  She was so excited to get out and start walking, though.  We milled around for about a half hour.  There were people everywhere and whistles galore from the sports games that were taking place, and I'm proud to say that Marge wasn't fazed at all!

my sweet girl..

Afterwards, Marge accompanied us to PetCo, where I picked up cans of food for Layla. I was originally going to leave her in the car, but she seemed so relaxed that I didn't think a 5-minute trip inside of the store would bother her. She did much better on this visit, probably because of all of the company that was with us.  She was in close quarters with lots of dogs and did just fine.  This might become a regular activity for us, as PetCo is the only store that supplies Layla's food around here.

Monday was Layla's Gotcha Day.  She's now been living with us for 12 years.

We started Prednisone treatment for her over the weekend.  I simply could not justify spending $2K and putting Layla through anesthesia and tons of mental and physical stress without trying the less invasive option first.  She will be re-weighed next weekend to see if the steroids have had any effect.  So far, all I'm seeing is a hearty appetite and not much, if any, weight gain.

This, of course, is one of many things that is totally consuming me right now.  There are so many reasons why I should and shouldn't agree to biopsy.  Still hoping it doesn't come to that.. we have about another 8 or 9 days of steroid treatment before she is reevaluated at the vet.

Monday night, Marge came with me to teach the non-competitive agility class.  Not an uncommon occurrence.  However, she ran agility for FOUR people other than me.

We had a simple course set up with just low jumps, NADAC hoops, and tunnels, and wanted to give the students a feel for what it's like to run a competition level dog.  Marge did beautifully.. running for one male (the special needs boy who she befriended a few weeks ago - very, very proud of her) and three women.

I helped direct her around the course a bit (like calling out a "turn" to get Marge to switch leads - these students don't know about rear crosses or anything), but she worked pretty well for everyone and didn't seem terribly stressed by it.  She sure did like getting to sample other people's treats.

Tuesday night, we dropped into obedience class for the second week in a row.  We played more front games, which Marge thoroughly enjoyed.  We also worked a lot on heeling (not my strong suit).  My footwork goes to pot as soon as Marge gets added to the picture.  By myself, I am fine, but stick the leash in my hand and I don't know where my feet are!  I'm working on it.

The plan is still to do a UKC obedience trial in June.  I have the UKC paperwork all filled out to register her with her FIFTH organization, now I just need to part with the cash.

That's really the long and short of everything we've been up to this week.  I am so overwhelmed with school right now (took three tests this week, taking another Tuesday).  One of my classes is ending on March 22nd and I am leaving my internship on the 30th, so I'm hoping to get my life back in a couple of weeks!  Of course, I'm not expecting too long of a honeymoon, as we're already just about half way through the semester and finals are slowly approaching, never mind the grueling summer class schedule that I might put myself through.. AND the required Physical Therapy hours I need to do.. AND the GRE studying that I should have already started.. Junior year of college really isn't all that different from Junior year of high school.


Sara March 11, 2011 at 6:07 AM  

Wow,wow, and wow! Marge is doing wonderfully. Petco is a tough place. Great job you two!

Now, I hope you went right to bed after posting this!

Never Say Never Greyhounds March 11, 2011 at 7:08 AM  

I can manage my footwork until you add ring gating. :-) Glad the pup is doing so well!

Yes, I would love the table sound files. Is it something that can be emailed?


Diana March 11, 2011 at 7:34 AM  

Thats wonderful about Marge! I hope things wrok out of Layla too.

Unknown March 11, 2011 at 7:57 AM  

Oh dear, it sounds like you have so many things in hands lately. However, you do very well with Marge. I always think that two of you are a great team.
Besides, I hope the meds work on Layla too.
Last but not least, remember a good rest is essential though!!!

Cyndi and Stumpy March 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM  

Yikes! marge is running for other people? that's nothng short of amazing!

You're handling Layla's treatment the same as I would. I hope the results are positive.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ March 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM  

We are so impressed with Marge - she is doing wonderfully well.

We would love to have seen her with that special young boy. Congrats, Marge.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Two French Bulldogs March 11, 2011 at 10:09 AM  

We love Petco, and Happee Gotcha Day Layla
Benny & Lily

Kari in Alaska March 11, 2011 at 11:54 AM  

Happy gotcha day Layla! It sounds like quite the 5 day span!


Anna the GSD March 11, 2011 at 3:39 PM  

You guys are busy!! Take care of yourself Sam!! And Way to Go Marge!! I like Petco too, better than Petsmart.

LauraK March 11, 2011 at 5:39 PM  

Whew, just reading all that makes me tired- you gals sure have been busy lately!

How cool that Marge ran with four other people, what a good girly! I'm sure she was very patient with those newbie handlers who aren't as awesome at handling her as her mom :)

Good luck with school- don't get too overwhelmed! I sure know how that goes :) At least you have an awesome pup to hang out with at the end of the day, Marge is such a special girl!

KB March 11, 2011 at 9:19 PM  

I have got to say that Marge has been handling some amazing stuff really well lately. From a distance, it seems like she's made a huge leap forward in confidence and happiness. It's so wonderful to hear about it.

I hope that Layla's steroids work. Fingers are crossed.

D.K. Wall March 12, 2011 at 8:25 AM  

Marge appears to be doing very well. Excellent news.

Kathy Mocharnuk March 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM  

I would definitely say that Marge is not that same dog you had when you first started with her, all that you have done seem to have really let her bloom and blossom into all she is meant to be, you should be so proud of her and so proud of yourself. Can you imagine her with all these challenges a year ago??
Happy Gottcha day, maybe the prednisone will work like magic as a little gotcha day present ;-), sure hope it works.

andrea March 12, 2011 at 6:34 PM  

That's an incredible update :)
I am blown away by both petco and running for multiple other handlers - to date Brody (who is a pretty steady little soul) has FLATLY refused to run for anybody else :) and nobody has ever wanted to run Sally .. smart humans!
Get rest, eat well and love on all your family Layla and Marg especially - and that sweet Bf too :)

ForPetsSake March 14, 2011 at 11:34 PM  

Busy is an understatement! I'm impressed with Marge and her park/Petco visits. I know how tough crowded, loud, and dog-filled places can be. Good luck with your tests, well, test. I'm reading this late, so I thin you just have the Tuesday one left at this point ;)

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