Via and I went along with a friend, Lisa, and her 6 year old daughter, the Kid Squid, to visit Julie Richards-Mostosky, at Alta-Tollhaus German Shepherds in Marshall, Michigan. They went to pick up a puppy while Via and I were slumming.
The drive each way is about 12 hours. We drove down in a day, spent a day and drove back in a day. It was a quick turn around and we packed a lot in to the short visit.
Via did great. On the way we stopped in Illinois so that Via (and the kid) could spend about 30 minutes running around.
When we arrived, the child climbed into a pool with a litter of 4 week old puppies.
It was a long day. Ms. Via asked politely to join me in bed for a cuddle. However, as she was more interested in dancing on my head than sleeping, she finished the night in a borrowed crate.
Wednesday was super busy.
Via had her hips and elbows x-rayed for an Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) preliminary view by Julie’s husband, Dr. “Mos” U.V. Mostosky and her daughter Tiffany Mostosky. They have a clinic right on the property attached to Julie’s training center, Taking the Lead.
Mos read Vias’s x-rays for me as soon as he took and processed the films. He started the veterinary radiology program at Michigan State University, the first veterinary radiology program in the world. I trust his judgment. Though he retired from the MSU in 2008, he is still considered one of the world’s leading experts in veterinary radiology.
“Could not be better,” he said, pointing out the deep sockets and tight fit.
Lisa asked the value of doing a preliminary. I want early knowledge of the hip status on a puppy to plan the dog’s future jobs and training. Mos did Blue’s for me when she was 4 months old and he was still at the University.
Preliminary hip evaluations are as valuable to me as the final OFA evaluation. The OFA accepts preliminary consultation radiographs on puppies as young as 4 months of age for evaluation of hip conformation but I will not be sending mine in.
While Via was sleeping off the tranquilizers used to get her in the mood for the x-rays, Lisa and I went to see Gustavo Sanchez of Lansing MI, a schutzhund trainer work his dogs. I was too busy taking notes, which will be a different post, to make any photos. I will say that I was in AWE. Addicting, is how Lisa described the experience. Here are photo’s of Gustavo working with two of Via’s litter mates earlier in the week. Via and I will be returning to in March to spend a week working with Gustavo.
Funny seemed to enjoy teaching her grand child to share by stealing Via’s favorite bone out of Via’s crate and chewing it on Via’s favorite mat. She later gave Via a lesson about sharing bread, a toy and a container of leftovers. Funny never had to do more than look at Via for Via to back up and say, “Whatever you say, Ma’am.”
Watching Funny interact with Via and spending time with Julie were the highlights of the trip.
The drive home the next day was long yet uneventful – except that Paige, who joined us for the return trip, is quite the crate singer.