Well, 2020 strikes again – Navarre has … something going on. Not sure how long that has been going on, but it’s entirely possible his rather odd ‘back issue’ this year was not actually his back after all … or maybe it was, and still is. If we hadn’t started back to classes where I’m watching him pee I would never have assumed anything was wrong, he’s not acting any different otherwise – but, yeah, peeing for days was our tip off (which he does not do when hiking, etc). Then even after peeing for three minutes, still more pee dribbling out as we’d walk inside – WTF?
So prostate issue was the first guess, and, yes he’s had this odd surge of what seems like testosterone the last six months or so, so possibly related. We went to the vet, where they are still doing ‘curbside’ appointments and they said he screamed upon rectal exam. Urinalysis showed … something, which would support some of infection or inflammation of the prostate. So they put him on antibiotics and said they would put him on the neuter waiting list, which was about 2-3 months long. All of which was very confusing to me, I’ve never had a dog with a prostate issue before, but it seems like something that is cured by neutering, so having him wait months with this peeing issue and a painful prostate was not a plan I was on board with. I did give the antibiotics some time to magically fix the issue, which they did not.
So with some very helpful assistance, I was able to get into a recommended vet in Mollala for a second opinion – as vets are really overwhelmed right now, it’s not easy. Really liked this vet, I got to go in with Navarre, which I’m so much more comfortable with and she spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going on with him. She does not think his prostate is enlarged or painful, we did another urinalysis and no signs of infection. Which doesn’t help with addressing the issue, as we still don’t know why he’s having the issues he is. Things that HAVE changed this year were things like his weird not wanting to weave back in January, after which we did a lot of work with massage and chiropractor. He also got t-boned by Asher in the spring (which was his own damn fault for going after a toy when it wasn’t his turn), and he was seen after that as well (and I blocked off the yard, so no more unsupervised romping with Asher, in case they were body slamming without me around). And he seemed better, but, yes, he did continue to look ‘roached’, not helped by his hair growing straight up along his back – and continuing to do that more (which I also consider a sign). We saw the vet in Idaho the end of March and he was adjusted, yes, still uncomfortable on his back, so we did the cold laser every day while we were there – which never seemed to have any effect I could see.
Then we came back and it was pandemic everywhere. He’s been very active and not acting ‘off’ that I can see. He’s still running around like a maniac, hasn’t shown me any signs of stiffness or lameness. Lots of hiking, herding, tricks and runs at the park. When hiking, he does NOT do the super long pee thing (normal boy marking) – but has traditionally done long pees after playing at the park, but not to this extent. After starting the antibiotics we were herding over the weekend and he had to stop mid-drive to pee for several minutes, which is unheard of.
So the new vet thought this was possibly a muscle/skeletal issue – and suspected illiopsoas, as he was painful up in his groin. He’s certainly been sitting very weird, like on his butt like he’s about to scoot across the carpet sometimes. His extension was fine through the rear, back was very twitchy and uncomfortable. So … yeah. Don’t know what the heck is going on with him. And what on earth is with the peeing if the prostate isn’t involved? So right now he’s going to finish his antibiotics, but we are now adding pain meds (metacam and gabapentin – or however you spell it). If he stops peeing weird with the pain meds, then we can say there is some sort of physical injury that was causing the problem. So we’ll see and then go from there. But just a whole lot of, ‘WTF is this?’ going on, and no answers yet.
The good news, he really does seem perfectly happy and normal otherwise, so I’m not super worried about him. It’s just hard with losing Bright not to be paranoid that this is a sign of something bigger and he could go downhill fast.
In the meantime, we have a visitor staying with us, a young border collie relative hanging out until while he’s looking for a new home. Somewhat related to Bright and Haku, he’s got the more sweet/soft/ocd thing going on. Super cute, makes Asher look like a total giant awkward troll (poor guy). Pico will make someone a very fun dog, that boy is ready to work. A whole lot of forward on that dog in agility, no collection – that will be, uh, interesting to work with. He tries very hard, a lot of heart in that boy – very much reminds me of Haku/Bright, just wants to be right.
I was initially worried that Asher would be too much for him, but they are a total match for each other. It’s a bromance for the ages, they will play for HOURS and never get upset with each other, so cute. I know Asher has never had a dog that he could play with continuously like this before, and I get the impression it’s the same for Pico. They are in a similar age group and good buddies. Navarre was pervy obnoxious about him at first, but has mostly calmed down – but still really likes him and tries to play with him. Pico is supremely inoffensive though, no one minds having him here at all (even Haku!), and I brought him hiking where we had … 9 dogs? And no one batted an eye.
Say what you will about that line of dogs, they just know how to fit right in, and, yes, he checks in with me more than my own dogs – ha! I was a bit worried taking him hiking initially, but no issues, he was always right there. I actually would have liked him to go run around more, but he was more concerned about staying close – he’s a people dog. He WAS doing really well with the cats, but he made the mistake of chasing one (in a playful way) and got his assed handed to him. Now he hides when the cats are out, poor thing. But he is getting better, though sometimes I have to go rescue him if there is a cat laying near a doorway and he can’t go through now. Yes, sensitive soul.
Like most border collies, he made himself at home right away – they are dogs that live in the moment, and he seems pretty content here for the most part. He was getting barky having to wait in his crate in the car while I taught during the week, but I also think part of that was him hearing me playing with the dogs in classes, as we have all the doors open to keep everything ventilated. Mostly he’s a very easy boy to have around, and very sweet – he won’t have a problem finding someone to love him, he’s a very loveable guy (and super cute!).
It has been an interesting experiment, as here is a dog that is somewhat related to Bright, has a lot of the same qualities – but, yes, not Bright. Of course, he’s also a boy – we have way too much male in the household at the moment. So, yeah, I waffle quite a bit about considering a puppy – but it’s also hard to imagine not having a girl in our household for years. I guess I’m just open to the right dog if she appears, but we definitely don’t NEED another dog around here. It’s easy to have Pico here, this type of energy is so easy to live with (unlike my giant red menace!).
As for the rest of the crew, did a bit more with Asher and his running dogwalk this week. We introduced the lowered dogwalk for the first time yesterday and it went surprisingly well, much better than the ‘fake’ dogwalk with two planks coming onto and off the table. He was able to do the full thing going down to the MM, and the other direction going into a tunnel. Obviously still needs work, he had his share of ‘wheeee!’ as well, but, knock on wood, I think he’s kind of got it, just needs lots of proofing. He’s also FINALLY figured out loading onto the board around a number cone, which for some reason seemed to take longer to train the running part!
We also did a bit of sequencing, including raising the tire up to 16 inches and doing some sequencing with that, including some rear crosses. Also some big lateral lead outs and some layering. He enjoyed it, but not so good when we went back to work on some collection! My focus is getting him started on the contacts though, so that will be our focus until we can work up to some sort of competency. We have a lot of work to do, that’s for sure.
Didn’t do much with Navarre, I kind of assume even though he’s still racing around like normal that there is SOMETHING going on. He didn’t approve of my plan, and still raced around taking jumps on his own. And Haku barked a lot and they all enjoyed playing in the arena again.
Still loving being back in agility, love seeing everyone again and I could really care less about the lack of trials, which I would enjoy if they just had some nice courses consistently. Still loving training though, and hopefully when the virus calms down Asher will be ready to trial by then – weird thought. His sister is learning to weave – Asher is most definitely not ready for that yet. No rush, I do love baby dogs.
You know who else actually kind of likes Asher? Haku. They are often snuggled up together when they’re napping outside, which I always thought was Asher snuggling up to a begrudging Haku. But I finally saw it the other day, Haku was laying on another bed and got up to snuggle right into Asher, just the sweetest thing. And Asher of course has no problem with that, big snuggly puppy.
The boys are doing better together in general after losing Bright, though they all seem thrilled to have a Pico in the household, a very similar energy and one that plays with everyone. We are finding a new balance, which, once again, I find it interesting that adding Pico hasn’t thrown off at all.
Was a hiking weekend, going all three days. Also did some herding practice, which I should probably go into with a clear plan. Navarre we worked on whistles and driving at a distance, which he was much better with. My whistles were just not very consistent, which was frustrating me but he was actually doing better – so hey. I still have yet to even attempt to look at whistles that I can use with Asher, which I really should.
Asher continues to work on driving, he’s starting to get inside flanks and also the verbals, which I never really set out to train. Also worked on some of that standing up and turning sheep, which he is still pretty insecure about – but a bit better, and very proud when he does it. Still not his first inclination, which is to turn back and tell me, “Sorry, they said, ‘no’.” He’s cute when he gets his little fierce determined face on though.
Working on driving has it’s downsides though, as we switched out sheep to work with the Ian sheep and some penning, but, OMG, he hasn’t seen those for a while and was just running them over the place, couldn’t get him to STOP pushing those guys. I think the Heidi sheep needed more ‘push’ that when we switched he suddenly felt he was invincible.
Progress with both boys, and such improvement over just a few months ago. Maddy is thinking about having a mock herding trial this Fall, and I’m hoping we could actually attempt to get through that smoothly. New sheep soon too, which will give new challenges. And as it continues rainy and cool, I’m just going to assume summer will never arrive and I won’t have to stop because it’s just too hot!