Since my last post things have been a tad hectic round here. Last Saturday CAWA held its 30th Anniversary of Independence events (Shows, Obedience and Agility Trials) with a couple of Eastern states judges being contracted. Raven went in UD and was doing quite well up until the signals where she faded and then missed the signals in position altogether. Cypher had his first taste of the CCD ring and passed with a 92 (out of 100) losing some points in the heelwork for some tugging on the lead and a missed position. He was happy and up so that was good. He didn’t have a great introduction to ring stays with a rather large male GSD getting up in the sit stay just as we about turned and getting fresh with Cy giving him a thoroughly rude sniff. To his credit Cy held his stay for quite a bit before he decided that was enough, by that time the steward finally pulled the Shepherd away and Cy changed his mind. The GSD was withdrawn and the stays got rerun and he didn’t move a muscle.
Agility was in the afternoon and Raven was third in order for Masters Jumping and decided that bars #2 and #3 could just be taken out. I stuffed Cy on this course moving off too early on a tunnel and he went in the wrong end. We then had Open Agility and Cy did a nice clean run on that and Raven took another two bars out – when the second one fell I withdrew and we didn’t finish the course. We then went in Open Jumping and she did a lovely run for 2nd place behind Kriszty’s Terra. Cy also ran clear in OJ finishing in the top 6. Masters Agility and Raven got called on her contact (it was a running one and one I don’t think the judge was quite ready for) and she then dropped a bar as I hesitated a fraction so I withdrew again. Cy ran a great course in MA clear, he unfortunately got stuck in a flexi tunnel when the top of it closed over and it took him a good second or two to get his butt out of there. He tied for second place and then in the run off took the wrong jump on my lead out. That sucked but hey it’s still a leg of Ag Ch if he ever gets good enough for it. So not a bad day in all, Cy quallied 3 out of 4 with a third place and Raven came 2nd in OJ.
Next day was ACWA’s Teams and Strat Pairs. Our first go in Masters Strat Pairs. The team did ok - we came 3rd but with the fastest time and least amount of faults (apparently we should have won but the rules were interpreted a little differently). Cy had one clear in Agility and one bar down in Jumping (very unlike him). Raven who was the reserve was a total delinquent in Jumping with at least 1 DQ and a bar down, however did a cracker run in agility just tapping the third last bar. Masters Strat Pairs for the first time was pretty much a wash out for me. The course was massively spread out with forced change overs each dog limited to three obstacles in a sequence. Even one error was enough to put you over time as you had to cover so much ground to fix it. Oh well Ces’t La Vie as they say.
Tuesday Raven was due (for what I thought was the Vincristine) for her chemo. Tim took her in for me. Had a minor freak out panic attack that day – her WBC was down to 0.4 so no treatment. This in itself is not necessarily a big deal. But then after I had paid,the nurse was looking on the computer saying she was due for Doxorubicin next week. I said no she’s due for Vincristine, that’s what she should have had today. He’s saying no she’s actually due for Dox because she had Vinc last week (when the computers were down and all I got for a receipt was scrappy little handwritten receipt that said “Chemo treatment - $300”). I said “She should have had Cyclophosphamide last week”. He’s like “Oh….hang on I’ll go get her”. At this point alarms are going off in my head with thoughts along the line of “Oh my god they’ve got her treatment wrong”. A good 25 mins later out comes Raven with different nurse – Geoff. He’s saying sorry she got the Vinc last week, I’m saying wasn’t it supposed to be Cyclo, he says yes I know and I’m going to get my arse tanned for this, I’m looking at him thinking I really couldn’t give a rats about your arse mate this is my dog’s protocol you’ve stuffed up and if you had just checked with me last week about what she was due to have instead of blaming this all on a computer glitch we wouldn’t be having this convo. Anyway I just left, I had to leav otherwise I felt sure I’d say something a little irrational and no doubt rude. Got on the email to Ken as soon as I got home and asked how the hell this kind of thing happens. Anyway I had to leave to go to ACWA’s AGM and left taking Cypher and Spryte for some training. There was a long email from Ken when I got home (very quick response) apologising for the angst and confusion however Raven did not get the wrong drug last week, Ken is the only one who decides what drug she gets and he’d decided to keep up the timing to get the doxorubicin in on time (the most important of the 3 drugs she’s on) that he’d give the Vinc last week. Unfortunately no one told Reception to tell me that information about the change when I paid and they were also not made aware of the fact that Raven does not get booked back in the week after Vinc because she takes longer to build her WBC count up again after having the drug. So apart from her having a whole unnecessary day at Murdoch with a pointless blood test no harm done thank god. I can tell you I was pretty agitated. Ken said they’ll knock the fee off my next bill and have now put in a few extra markers to inform reception when a dog’s protocol timing changes. So that was a bit of drama I could do without! Ken is currently using pics of Raven in his lectures at the University to show how well a dog can do on chemo, this is good to know but I'm not so sure Raven is a typical case at all! I think most dogs with a 0.4WBC would surely show some symptoms (tiredness, lack of appetite) however without a blood test you wouldn't have a clue with Raven if her WBC's are low or not. She behaves exactly the same - regardless. Whilst this makes me appreciate what an awesome dog she is it also worries me somewhat that perhaps she is one of these dogs who will be on deaths door before giving any sign that something is seriously wrong. I find myself watching her very closely a lot more than I did 6 months ago that's for sure...and this is of course a good thing. Looking forward to another bash at Strat Pairs Masters this weekend and a regular trial.
I'm free at last!!