Retreiver Training

I’ve been curious about hunt tests for retrievers for a while. I’ve never actually seen one, yet know some people who do them.  Liz and Andy put together a training day today and invited me along.  I brought Coulee (and Lacey too so I wouldn’t need to make two trips) and we went for a short walk before everyone else got there.  Then we got down to work.

We did two retrieves on land and two in water.  Coulee rocked all of them. That’s my girl!  Once I knew what it entailed, I wasn’t too surprised she did well – she’s basically be training for it her whole life.  :)

All the other dogs did great too.  There were a tonne of flatcoats, a lab and Coulee.  These are a few of my favourite pictures from the day.

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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Compressed Spinal Nerves Trigger Back Pain Fixable with Same-Day Procedure; Dr. Kaixuan Liu explains top 3 reasons endoscopic foraminotomy surgery is warranted


West Orange, NJ (PRWEB) November 21, 2014

Know somebody with arthritis, bone spurs, or bulging or herniated discs in the spine? Chances are you do ? whether it?s yourself or a loved one ? since these conditions are among the most common back problems experienced in the United States. The pain resulting from all of these issues stems from compressed nerves in the spine, and all can potentially be treated with a minimally invasive procedure known as endoscopic foraminotomy, according to Kaixuan Liu, MD, PhD, founder and president of Atlantic Spine Center.

The words ?endoscopic foraminotomy? may be hard to pronounce, but the concept for the surgery itself is relatively simple, Dr. Liu says. A same-day procedure with a rapid recovery time, it requires only a tiny incision compared to traditional ?open? surgery and releases pinched nerves by removing the source of the trouble ? whether bone spurs, protruding discs, overgrown ligaments or other causes.

?A huge number of adults ? about 8 in 10 ? suffer from chronic lower back or neck pain at some point in their lives,? he says, ?but despite the prevalence of the problem, few are aware what surgical options exist if they exhaust treatment options such as medication, physical therapy and other non-invasive measures without finding relief.?

?Many are surprised that some of the most common causes of back pain are often fixable with a quick surgical procedure they didn?t even know existed,? adds Dr. Liu, who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery. ?I?m happy to educate them about endoscopic foraminotomy because I?ve seen again and again how well it can work.?

What conditions can be treated with endoscopic foraminotomy?

While the term ?endoscopic foraminotomy? may seem a little obscure, the spinal conditions it can treat are far from it. In fact, Dr. Liu says, some of the most-seen back problems top the list, including:

Arthritis

Estimated to affect nearly 30 million Americans, osteoarthritis ? typically referred to merely as arthritis ? is caused by wear and tear in the joints. In the spine, constant movements of vertebral joints as we bend, lift, twist and stretch can cause the joints to thicken and harden as we age. Vertebral joints can end up pinching nerves in the spine, with the effects radiating along nerves to the buttocks or upper thighs. The resulting back pain and stiffness can also lead to decreased flexibility in the spine, especially when sitting, standing and walking.

Bone spurs

Known medically as osteophytes, bone spurs can be considered a ?cousin? to arthritis, since they?re often created from the joint-on-joint friction and inflammation triggered by arthritis. In the spine, the bony ends of vertebrae rub directly on each other, forming extra, irregular bony growths that can compress spinal nerves. Bone spurs can also develop as the soft discs between vertebrae become thin and collapse with age, which narrows the space between vertebrae and pushes on spinal nerves.

Bulging or herniated discs

The soft, squishy discs between spinal vertebrae cause pain when they bulge or rupture (also known as ?herniate?). That?s because a disc?s ability to serve as a shock absorber for the spine ? promoting easy movement ? deteriorates when it protrudes or leaks, pushing on nerves in either the cervical or lumbar spine. A wide variety of factors contribute to bulging or herniated discs, including genetics; the normal aging process; severe trauma, such as a car accident; heavy lifting; an unhealthy diet; being overweight or sedentary; and alcohol or tobacco abuse. About 9 in 10 cases of bulging discs occur in the lower back.

Other conditions potentially treatable with endoscopic foraminotomy, which relieves many causes of pinched nerves, include foraminal stenosis, a narrowing of the canal through which nerve roots branch off from the spinal cord; failed back surgery syndrome; and spine degeneration.

Surgery Offers Many Advantages

For all these causes of compressed nerves, endoscopic foraminotomy has become an increasingly widespread option to help patients experience maximum pain relief with minimal downtime. During the brief surgery, a series of small tubes of increasing size are inserted into a small incision, enabling surgeons to view the problematic nerve root in the neck or lower back. Once surgical tools are in place, bone or tissue compressing the nerves is removed, and the incision is closed with just a few stitches.

In just a few hours, patients return home and are soon able to resume all their previous activities, with one big difference ? the pain that may have accompanied them for months or years has subsided.

?It?s a true minimally invasive procedure,? Dr. Liu says, ?and doesn?t even cut through muscle fibers in the back. The advantages to endoscopic foraminotomy are too numerous to count, but include no hospitalization, minimal or no blood loss, and a quick recovery. Patients are thrilled that their pinched nerves have been eliminated and they can move around comfortably again.?

Atlantic Spine Center is a nationally recognized leader for endoscopic spine surgery with three locations in New Jersey in West Orange, Edison and North Bergen. http://www.atlanticspinecenter.com

Kaixuan Liu, MD, is a board-certified physician who is fellowship-trained in minimally invasive spine surgery at Atlantic Spine Center.







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The Long Dark Twee-Time of the Soul

As you probably know, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with the PTA moms. Not moms in general, mind you, just the small subset of Pinterest loving, glue-gun wielding domestic lifestyle experts whose expectations I can never, despite my best efforts, seem to live up to. It doesn’t matter what school we’re at, it happens every time. First it was the art project/pooper scooper incident in kindergarten. Then it was the Have a Very Agro Valentine’s Day episode. And now it’s crudite, crudite that torments the soul.

It started simply enough: an email asking for volunteers to bring in food items for the teachers this conference week. I looked on the sign up sheet and put my name next to crudite: veggies and dip. Easy, I thought, a quick run to the grocery store for some carrot sticks and dip and done.

I forgot where I was.

(Not two weeks ago, I found myself in the midst of a malestrom for the fifth grade Halloween party when all the room moms got together and asked the parents to bring in food. I asked my class parents to bring in pretzels and fruit. The other moms showed up with cookies shaped like rotting fingers with almond nails and jelly blood, and eyeball eggs with veins hand-painted on with food dye. My pretzels were shoved under the table.)

So now, a few minutes after signing up for the veggie tray, I received an email instructing me to be creative!  which is always concerning. To illustrate her point, the organizer included this helpful photo:

crudite

As to what our vegetables should aspire to be.

Now at this point a normal person would laugh and say, “OK, lady,” and bring in a tray from Costco, but unfortunately I still have the sin of pride to contend with on a regular basis, so I instead spent the afternoon standing in line at the grocery store watching YouTube videos of Martha Stewart blanching asparagus. Three hours of cursing later, with piles of peeled burnt chestnuts and carrot shavings dripping out of my hair like Jackson Pollock on a bender, I came up with this:

IMG_7317

This is the dogged tenacity that makes people like me get through vet school even when all indicators point to the “why?” factor. We can’t explain it. We just have to.

I shared this with my friends, and they all got a good laugh out of how silly it was, and then later in the day my friend in Ohio sent me a link and said, “See? You’re not alone.” It was a photo of some artfully arranged food items a group of mothers had arranged for their teachers.

It was, upon further inspection, a photo from my very school from earlier in the day. It had already made the Pinterest rounds and ended up in Ohio, where my friend saw it and sent it to me as an example of Moms Gone Styled. I scrolled through it, looking for my contribution.

Notably lacking? The crudite. They were apparently so lackluster as to have not even rated a Facebook photo, and when I returned to pick up the dish I found they had been shoved in the corner in order to make way for some gluten free turkey wraps with hand-whisked dressings in, of course, Mason jars.

At this point, even a not quite normal person would just give up, which is theoretically what I should do, but it’s become clear to me I live in a parallel universe where I am destined to almost-quite get it, over and over and over, but not get it entirely. This is why I am a veterinarian, the almost-quites of the medical field.

So you know what? I’m embracing it. This afternoon I decided to go on a Pinterest binge and make a little Pinterest and dog-friendly crudite platter my way. Hope you enjoy it.

twee

A bright autumn day, full of promise and gently whispered secrets amongst best of friends, calls for sustenance.

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Lovingly hand-extruded kibble, with ingredients sourced from local artisans in an organic human-grade facility in Portland by men with bushy beards. In a Mason jar.

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We end our afternoon in the garden of delights (it’s water friendly succulents! We’re eco friendly here in drought-parched SoCal) with hand-cut carrot bones from the local CSA, mint from the garden, words of wisdom from the dog sketched in canine-friendly peanut butter hand ground at Whole Foods. And of course, no pet garden of delights would be complete without the coup de grace:

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nitrate free ham roses.

IMG_7369

 

You saw it first here, folks. I’m waiting on sponsors for a YouTube tutorial but I think a ham bouquet is a lovely thing.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Thank you, Dr. Yin

When I was in school, I accumulated a lot of textbooks. Books from the titans, the Nelsons and the Feldmans and the Fossums. I stood in line at the bookstore with these heavy tomes weighing me down, and noticed every other person in line with a tiny mahogany text balanced on top of their piles.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“The Nerdbook,” they said. “I heard you can’t make it through vet school without it.”

I had an earlier edition, because I'm old.

I had an earlier edition, because I’m old.

They were right. I spent many hours in rounds with my Nerdbook balanced on my lap, trying to look up answers to questions before the clinican called on me. It was unlike any other book I ever owned: concise, easy to navigate, organized by clinical signs to be completely usable. I heard it was written by a veterinary student, which made sense because it was so perfect for the way we used it, but also made no sense because who had time to write a book in vet school?

“Some gunner student a few years back,” I was told. “She was brilliant.” The author? Sophia Yin.

It was the only book I brought to the teaching hospital each and every day, taking it with me the following year into clinical practice: highlighted, scribbed on, well-loved. One time, I made a diagnosis that my clinician, a man who had been in practice for 167 years, said was impossible. “How did you know to put that on your differential diagnosis list?” he asked, before telling me I would be an amazing internal medicine resident. “Oh you know,” I said, but the answer was it was in the Nerdbook. Dr. Yin told me. The Nerdbook was everything. My techs used to hide it from me sometimes just to watch me panic for a few minutes.

Dr. Yin’s name popped up again soon after I began work, this time as a behavior expert. When she got into practice, she again sensed a void: a need for reasoned, science-based behavior approaches that would keep pets in homes and out of shelters. It’s hard to imagine now, but in the early 2000’s behavior was held in lower regard than specialties like neurology or internal medicine, a fluffball elective. “Nothing in life is free”, the foundation of positive reward based training, was in its infancy. Alpha rolling was still the norm in many circles, and training programs based on shock collars were being franchised left and right.

She helped lay the groundwork for what we now view as the best science-based approach to training, one of the most fundamental paradigm changes in our field in the last decade. Dr. Yin became a world-renowned behavior expert and fierce advocate for positive training, an amazing communicator whose lectures were always overflowing into the halls by an audience who finally recognized that her advice, when passed onto clients, was saving lives.

Though she was often known as a dog behaviorist, I remember her most for a series of cat lectures I attended at Western around the time Apollo was marking in the house. My husband was about to lock him permanently in the garage. In one hour, she gave me enough actionable tips to fix the problem, for me, and later on for clients and blog readers. Those tips keep animals out of shelters and in homes.

Dr. Sophia Yin- you are missed.

Dr. Sophia Yin- you are missed.

Dr. Yin’s latest work is, again, revolutionary. As a board member for Dr. Marty Becker’s Fear Free Practice movement, she is one of the key figures teaching us low-stress restraint techniques that change the way we practice medicine. It makes sense, right? Why do we just accept the fact that pets hate the vet? Why do we not try to make it better? Just this week I used a technique of hers I watched on video to help bring a frightened cat out from under the bed; he was already ill and the last thing he needed was more terror. Dr. Yin’s reach and her influence is everywhere, her touch felt every day in the way we practice modern medicine with compassion.

Dr. Yin was the best of what veterinary medicine is all about, a passionate veterinarian, a dedicated revolutionary, a person whose accomplishments knew no bounds, an inspirer of colleagues. Her unexpected passing has left so many saddened; I hope her family and friends know just how much she was beloved by so many people. Thank you Dr. Yin for everything. You will be sorely missed.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Halloween safety for pets

Halloween safety for pets
Before you fire up the jack-o'-lantern and start doling out the candy corn, here are some things to consider when it comes to keeping your pets safe. Treats become tricks. We all know how dangerous chocolate can be to pets, but there are other
Read more on San Jose Mercury News

How to prevent your pet getting ill
One of the secrets to keeping your beloved pet healthy and happy is to follow some simple rules of responsible pet ownership. Always be vigilant, and make sure you report anything that doesn't seem normal (vomiting, coughing) to your vet immediately.
Read more on The Guardian

Pros and Cons Of Feeding Your Dog With Bones?
In this article, we look to answer a very important dog care question- Is it safe to feed your dog with bones. We analyze on the basis of credible study and suggest if bones are healthy for dogs. While vets have claimed that the impact is different
Read more on BoldSky

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Wordless Wednesday – Makes You Wanna Go Hmmmmm!

I know that it is Wordless Wednesday but I feel as if this picture needs a little explanation. You see, we were driving down the freeway and the sign that we saw right before this one said RIGHT lane closed ahead, so all off the traffic was getting into the Left lane. At this point both lanes are still open….

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LoveMy2Dogs

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Many people ignore the warning signs that dogs giv…

Many people ignore the warning signs that dogs give, then later fail to remember that there were warning signs.
BAD RAP Blog

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Georgia Teen Launches Movement, Brand and Business Showing Real Georgia Pride


Lawrenceville, Georgia (PRWEB) November 14, 2014

Real Georgia Pride is the brainchild of teen entrepreneur Wesley Moss of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Currently selling T-Shirts displaying the brand name, Moss hopes to soon offer a full line apparel that highlights state pride including hats and a variety of other outerwear.

?So many folks brag about being a proud Georgian but do little to prove it. There is a huge trend now to show pride in our state by showing off a cute logo on overpriced clothes that were made in other countries. This doesn?t seem like genuine pride to me,? said Wesley Moss, a high school junior in North Georgia. As the creator of Real Georgia Pride., Moss stated, ?I decided to put my money where my mouth was and partnered with a couple Georgia manufacturers to develop this brand and offer products that are 100% Made in Georgia and grow Georgia jobs.?

Moss? goal is to use his made in Georgia product to ignite a sense of pride in those who choose to wear it and everyone they come in contact with. He will feature historical information and other Georgia facts on his t-shirts and other products. Moss learned all about manufacturing from his father Jason Moss who is the founder of GMA.

The Real Georgia Pride products are made in factories across Georgia.

This Saturday, November 15th at 10 a.m. Georgia residents have the opportunity to meet Wesley Moss and buy a Real Georgia Pride T-Shirt at a special price that?s made in Georgia. The event will take place at Mint Julip Shops, 5965 Cumming Highway, Suite 760, Sugar Hill, Georgia 30518.

?I am proud to support Wesley and his vision. He understands the impact that buying locally made products has on creating local jobs. It is amazing that a 17-year-old has chosen to create something that can make a difference and leave a legacy,? said Jason Moss. ?The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance is 100% behind him.?

For more information visit, http://www.realgeorgiapride.com.







More Mouth Press Releases

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Thank you for all you do for this breed. I rescued…

Thank you for all you do for this breed. I rescued a Boxer/pit 2 1/2 yr old female that was used for puppies. She will be spayed and just be the loving compainion she is. Such a sweet girl and I treat her like a Queen.
BAD RAP Blog

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Rumble in the Doghouse: Evil Breeders vs Crazy Animal Rights People

There was a time, back in a pre-internet era known as the Good Old Days, when two people who had different opinions on a topic could talk about it and, even if they did not come to an understanding, could at least part ways with a better grasp of the other person’s point of view. People with different opinions were still, at the end of the day, people.

I’m not entirely sure that is the case anymore.

Lest anyone doubt me, proof enough should be the fact that we’ve just come off an election cycle. I live in an area with one of the most hotly contested Congressional races in the country, better known to us locals subjected to the campaign ads as “Mouthbreathing Carbuncle-Having Satan Worshipping Slimeball” versus “Luciferous Mucusbucket Festering Wound.” (Definitions supplied by opposing parties.)

Politicians Before and After Elections(1)

It was a close race. I think most of us voted for one or the other not based on deep unabiding adoration so much as we held our noses and selected the one we found less odiferous. Nonetheless, after the Slimeball defeated the Festering Wound by the narrowest of margins, the loser went on the air and graciously wished his opponent “all the best”, which is a strange thing to wish someone you truly thought was the Antichrist. If you truly thought he was the path to death and destruction, you think one would continue to rage against the injustice of it all and exhort people to do something to undo this miscarriage of justice.

But politicians know the truth that a lot us seem to have forgotten. All that bluster is just that, bluster. And at the end of the day they actually have a lot more in common than not:

  • both middle aged men of the same demographic savvy enough to be successful in local politics
  • Neither advocates overthrowing Congress and disbanding the Constitution
  • both against selling tanks to minors
  • Both for free sunlight
  • Both generally want to work for the constituents in order for people to live well in our beautiful city, though their ideas of how to get there might vary.

And now they will retreat to their corners to do whatever it is they do until they are again required by the tenor of American culture to again start yelling about how much the other person stinks.

Rumble In the Doghouse

We all know this about politics, we all roll our eyes with the silliness of it all, but don’t be mistaken- this “live and die by the sword”, “you’re with us or you’re worthy of a messy death” attitude has permeated many corners of our lives, and it’s not pretty.

The first time I met someone at a breeder’s event, I started talking to a person very involved with the dog fancy world. When she learned what I did, she looked at me a little sideways and said, “So you’re an animal rights person.”

Peta, protesting that abhorrent group of animal haters known as the American Veterinary Medical Association (true story)

PETA, protesting that abhorrent group of animal haters known as the American Veterinary Medical Association (true story).

“Not animal rights. Animal welfare,” I corrected her, as the person who introduced us (you know who you are, you rotten troublemaker) rubbed his palms together and waited in glee for us to start ripping each others’ hair out.

“What’s the difference?” she asked. So I called her a puppy mill, because all breeders are the same, right?

Best-In-Show-Best-In-Show-001

We looked at each other, hesitated a moment, then burst into laughter as she said, “Point taken.” We’ve been friends ever since.

I suppose in another world, maybe hidden behind an anonymous screen and keyboard, we could have become mortal enemies, but we’d spent too much time face to face to be able to call the other person demon spawn. We both knew we had too much in common, including:

  • a love of good wine
  • writing long and probably way too involved stories
  • thinking dogs are the absolute bee’s knees. We both totally adore and spend most of our free time thinking about, canines.

This friend recently began a Kickstarter campaign to create a website commemorating National Purebred Dog Day. Now, I’m not trying to convince anyone to go and support the campaign if it’s not your thing, no more than I would try and convince someone to donate to a political candidate they did not agree with. But the simple fact that she waited a long time to even begin the campaign because she was nervous about people targeting her for being an Evil Dog Person is honestly, pretty sad. I feel the same way about that as I do people who target pittie advocates trying to end BSL: why would you do that? We are not each other’s enemies here.

Who’s right?

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece for Vetstreet about purebreds versus mutts. I wonder if perhaps the editor was wanting me to go for the easy kill, the one that would bring 5000 shares and bloodshed in the comments section: quote people talking about how wrong the other side was, how misguided. But I didn’t want to do that.

Instead, I talked to someone from the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA, and guess what? They said the exact same thing:

We want people to find the right dog for their family so they keep them forever.

They had different ideas about the best way to do that, but they’re both perfectly valid approaches, really, and people have been using both successfully for some time. Let me repeat: at the end of the day we all want the same thing. The rest is just window dressing.

Can you tell which dog is more worthy, loved, or better for my family? I can't.

Can you tell which dog is more worthy, loved, or better for my family? I can’t.

Who’s the real enemy here? Apathy. Ignorance. Greed. Say what you want about either the dog fancy or the rescue community (and indeed, the large numbers who belong to both): they are not apathetic people. They care, and they want what’s best. Instead of shaking your fingers at the other side’s perceived shortcomings, listen. There is much to be learned, on both sides. I know this from experience.

judging

It’s very easy to continue to point and shoot at the easy target. Keep on doing it if it makes you happy. It certainly makes life easier for the people at CheapPuppyMillDog.com; whenever someone gets turned off by the antics they encounter at either end of the spectrum, guess who’s waiting with open arms?

We are not each other’s enemy. If you want someone to hate on who really deserves it, I suggest these idiots. Seriously, no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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