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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #301 ·
I have been confused about the antibodies because there are news articles that say antibody testing isn’t a clear indicator of protection, but the recommendation to get a third vaccination is based on studies of antibody testing. Did you do the antibody testing through your doctor?
It is true that antibodies are not the whole story when it comes the the immune system. There are also T cells and B cells, which are not easily tested form=, b because they don't float around in your blood until your body is actually challenged by the disease, and then (hopefully) your body quickly mounts a response. That said, it is the ONLY way we have of checking the immune status of immune compromised people. While for people with normal immune systems, it doesn't make sense to test, they have found that it does make sense to test those of us who are immune compromised. Because people who are on one of the drugs I am taking are known to have responded poorly to the vaccine, and are known to have been getting sick and hospitalized, even after being vaccinated, my rheumatologist had me tested. After being fully vaccinated, your level of immunity should be at least 400 and can be up into the thousands. Mine was 24. Which is scarily low. According to one report I read, I am close to 500 times more likely to catch Delta than the average person, and have a bad outcome from it.
 

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It is true that antibodies are not the whole story when it comes the the immune system. There are also T cells and B cells, which are not easily tested form=, b because they don't float around in your blood until your body is actually challenged by the disease, and then (hopefully) your body quickly mounts a response. That said, it is the ONLY way we have of checking the immune status of immune compromised people. While for people with normal immune systems, it doesn't make sense to test, they have found that it does make sense to test those of us who are immune compromised. Because people who are on one of the drugs I am taking are known to have responded poorly to the vaccine, and are known to have been getting sick and hospitalized, even after being vaccinated, my rheumatologist had me tested. After being fully vaccinated, your level of immunity should be at least 400 and can be up into the thousands. Mine was 24. Which is scarily low. According to one report I read, I am close to 500 times more likely to catch Delta than the average person, and have a bad outcome from it.
Some of the first few articles I read didn’t make the distinction between boosters and 3rd doses, or I didn’t catch it. I think I’m understanding that lower antibodies in healthy people now after receiving shots 6 months ago isn’t to be interpreted the same way as low (or no) antibodies in people who never had an immune response from the vaccine. I felt unsure about the 3rd dose for DS because I didn’t feel like I had the information I wanted, but I decided it was worth the risk because of school starting. I had read over the summer that immunosuppression was resulting in lower antibody levels, but that’s been expected. Then right when 3rd doses were announced i read a study that said only a small number of renal transplant patients develop antibodies at all. It sounds like that’s you, too, probably because you take similar medications! Information still seems to require more sifting.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #303 ·
Some of the first few articles I read didn’t make the distinction between boosters and 3rd doses, or I didn’t catch it. I think I’m understanding that lower antibodies in healthy people now after receiving shots 6 months ago isn’t to be interpreted the same way as low (or no) antibodies in people who never had an immune response from the vaccine. I felt unsure about the 3rd dose for DS because I didn’t feel like I had the information I wanted, but I decided it was worth the risk because of school starting. I had read over the summer that immunosuppression was resulting in lower antibody levels, but that’s been expected. Then right when 3rd doses were announced i read a study that said only a small number of renal transplant patients develop antibodies at all. It sounds like that’s you, too, probably because you take similar medications! Information still seems to require more sifting.
Yes, the drugs that prevent rejections of whole organ transplants cause the same inability to build antibodies to the infection. Some drugs are worse than others, even within the same CLASS of drugs. One of the ones I'm on, among biologics, seems to be one of the worst. Not only low antibody counts, but actual people hospitalized with infections. The other one I'm on, a chemo drug, he says seems not to be a problem for people who can get by with just that. But I can't.
 

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Yes, the drugs that prevent rejections of whole organ transplants cause the same inability to build antibodies to the infection. Some drugs are worse than others, even within the same CLASS of drugs. One of the ones I'm on, among biologics, seems to be one of the worst. Not only low antibody counts, but actual people hospitalized with infections. The other one I'm on, a chemo drug, he says seems not to be a problem for people who can get by with just that. But I can't.
Thanks, Karen. I’m going to ask about antibody testing at his next appointment. I read something similar about a high percentage of vaccinated patients being on immune suppressants. In spite of his risk factors, I honestly worry more about DS having an unusual case of covid than a serious one, such as being an asymptomatic carrier for longer than usual, or having unusual symptoms, and spreading it to others.

Just a month ago I was wishing we had planned more this summer, knowing we’d be limited again when school started. Now I’m glad we didn’t relax more. But I also think at risk people shouldn’t be expected to be completely isolated when they can be protected with a little care and consideration. At least if you aren’t able to start with Ducky he’ll have the benefit of maturity and your experience!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #305 ·
Thanks, Karen. I’m going to ask about antibody testing at his next appointment. I read something similar about a high percentage of vaccinated patients being on immune suppressants. In spite of his risk factors, I honestly worry more about DS having an unusual case of covid than a serious one, such as being an asymptomatic carrier for longer than usual, or having unusual symptoms, and spreading it to others.

Just a month ago I was wishing we had planned more this summer, knowing we’d be limited again when school started. Now I’m glad we didn’t relax more. But I also think at risk people shouldn’t be expected to be completely isolated when they can be protected with a little care and consideration. At least if you aren’t able to start with Ducky he’ll have the benefit of maturity and your experience!
Unfortunately, maturity doesn''t get him anywhere without experience nee in a show environment for HIM. And until/unless I can get vaccinated and must an immune response the only other alternative I have is to send him off with a trainer... something that would kind of break my heart...
 

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Will he be 6 months right in the middle of winter, too? I hope you are able to get a 3rd vaccination and it makes a difference. And that the surges now will prompt people to pull together. Anyone on steroid treatment or specific immunosuppressants qualifies, but I imagine it’s harder to time with certain therapies.

I was trying to think of ways to recreate the experience and I realized what you were saying - that you’ve been doing that all along by training him, and the show itself is what comes next. And I get that a delay means waiting longer to know what’s in store for his future. His story was just such a bright light for me last winter! Regardless of what your journey together looks like this winter, I have a feeling watching it will be a bright light again.
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #307 · (Edited)
Will he be 6 months right in the middle of winter, too? I hope you are able to get a 3rd vaccination and it makes a difference. And that the surges now will prompt people to pull together. Anyone on steroid treatment or specific immunosuppressants qualifies, but I imagine it’s harder to time with certain therapies.

I was trying to think of ways to recreate the experience and I realized what you were saying - that you’ve been doing that all along by training him, and the show itself is what comes next. And I get that a delay means waiting longer to know what’s in store for his future. His story was just such a bright light for me last winter! Regardless of what your journey together looks like this winter, I have a feeling watching it will be a bright light again.
Oh, I definitely qualify. That’s not in question. More problematic is that to have the best chance of it working, I need to be off my meds for a month before and after the shot. I already did that in prparation for (not) getting it once, and am still suffering the effects of being off my meds that long. Obviously, when it became apparent that they weren’t going to let me get a shot, he had me start my meds back up again, but just as they are slow to leave the system, they are slow to reach full effectiveness again too. So I’ll have to do this again when we finally get word that they are doing something about us “J&J people”.

Yes, he knows the pieces he is supposed to do at a show… gaiting, stacking, being examined on the table. What he has NOT experienced is being “followed” around the ring by a line of other dogs, and having LOTS of other people and types of dogs right close to him with him on the ground. Those things he could experience in a handling class, but I can’t go to one. Then he needs to experience just BEING in a show environment. Big noisy buildings with loudspeakers, the smell of a thousand dogs of a hundred different breeds, hair dryers going everywhere, dogs barking, working in the ring with, potentially, a large breed right on the other side of the ring gating… There is a lot for a baby dog to get used to before they can do well in shows.

He doesn’t HAVE to show as a puppy, but like with everything else, it’s easier to introduce these things when they ARE puppies.

Oh, and age-wise, he will be 6 months old in just another month!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #308 ·
We are still working on lots of things in bits and pieces, and continuing to work on many of the things you've seen us work on before. You saw the VERY START of Ducky's heeling work as "chin heeling" in the kitchen... just a VERY few steps at a time, but over and over. Never more than 10 cookies worth at a time. But that's all it takes. It is SOOO much better making that position a "happy habit" rather than going around in endless circles while you yank on a collar and hope for the best.

I have NEVER asked Ducky to heel outdoors. In fact, He has never been asked to heel outside the itches, so no more than 4 or 5 steps in a row. MOST of our work has been on him "finding" heel position, and learning the value of maintaining that position. Good things happen there!!!

More over, I HAVE done a fair bit of gaiting practice with him, where he is asked to trot beside me, on lead, but much farther from my body, and slightly ahead of me. So you would THINK that he might try to do that when I took him out on the driveway. But... this was a different context. He didn't have the show lead on, I started him by reminding him what we were doing with some chin heeling, and rewarded him for staying in a close heel position. And it doesn't get much prettier than that in a 5 month old puppy!

That's how you make pretty heeling, folks! It took me close tow two years to get heeling this good with Kodi, and it was not this consistent. Then I learned this method, and started both Pixel and Panda this way. Both of them were this good at this age too. Those of you who have seen videos of them know the way my dogs heel. They all have beautiful heeling. I REALLY works. And they have all learned to heel FIRST without a leash. Ducky is dragging a leash in case of emergency. (for instance if a truck came down the driveway) but I have never touched the leash during heel work.

 

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We are still working on lots of things in bits and pieces, and continuing to work on many of the things you've seen us work on before. You saw the VERY START of Ducky's heeling work as "chin heeling" in the kitchen... just a VERY few steps at a time, but over and over. Never more than 10 cookies worth at a time. But that's all it takes. It is SOOO much better making that position a "happy habit" rather than going around in endless circles while you yank on a collar and hope for the best.

I have NEVER asked Ducky to heel outdoors. In fact, He has never been asked to heel outside the itches, so no more than 4 or 5 steps in a row. MOST of our work has been on him "finding" heel position, and learning the value of maintaining that position. Good things happen there!!!

More over, I HAVE done a fair bit of gaiting practice with him, where he is asked to trot beside me, on lead, but much farther from my body, and slightly ahead of me. So you would THINK that he might try to do that when I took him out on the driveway. But... this was a different context. He didn't have the show lead on, I started him by reminding him what we were doing with some chin heeling, and rewarded him for staying in a close heel position. And it doesn't get much prettier than that in a 5 month old puppy!

That's how you make pretty heeling, folks! It took me close tow two years to get heeling this good with Kodi, and it was not this consistent. Then I learned this method, and started both Pixel and Panda this way. Both of them were this good at this age too. Those of you who have seen videos of them know the way my dogs heel. They all have beautiful heeling. I REALLY works. And they have all learned to heel FIRST without a leash. Ducky is dragging a leash in case of emergency. (for instance if a truck came down the driveway) but I have never touched the leash during heel work.

Way to go Ducky!! His focus is seriously impressive, especially for a 5 month old puppy!!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #310 ·
Way to go Ducky!! His focus is seriously impressive, especially for a 5 month old puppy!!
Because it’s FUN! :LOL: That’s always my goal!
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #311 ·
Well... A new complication in our lives!!! After two years of 8 month heat cycles, after making me wait and WAIT for her to come into heat when it would have been SO much easier if she came in heat ON TIME last fall... Panda is in heat. at 6 months... a few days before we leave for vacation in a 32 foot tin can with a baby stud dog! 🤪

FORTUNATELY, Panda's breeder has come to the rescue, and Panda is going to go stay with HER for the duration, so that we don't have to slit our wrists.

Ducky PROBABLY couldn't get her pregnant yet, but they could BOTH make our lives pretty miserable in that small space!!! LOL!
 

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Well... A new complication in our lives!!! After two years of 8 month heat cycles, after making me wait and WAIT for her to come into heat when it would have been SO much easier if she came in heat ON TIME last fall... Panda is in heat. at 6 months... a few days before we leave for vacation in a 32 foot tin can with a baby stud dog! 🤪

FORTUNATELY, Panda's breeder has come to the rescue, and Panda is going to go stay with HER for the duration, so that we don't have to slit our wrists.

Ducky PROBABLY couldn't get her pregnant yet, but they could BOTH make our lives pretty miserable in that small space!!! LOL!
She just wanted to keep things interesting 🤣

We are praying that Jolene isn’t an early bloomer, as we’re going to be in Rhode Island for a month around the holidays when she, and my mom’s new pup will both be 6-7 months old. Of course if she is in heat, we’ll deal, because we won’t have much choice, but it will be much more pleasant if we don’t have to worry about them!! 🤞
 

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She just wanted to keep things interesting 🤣

We are praying that Jolene isn’t an early bloomer, as we’re going to be in Rhode Island for a month around the holidays when she, and my mom’s new pup will both be 6-7 months old. Of course if she is in heat, we’ll deal, because we won’t have much choice, but it will be much more pleasant if we don’t have to worry about them!! 🤞
I am so hoping Piper doesn't go into heat around the holidays too lol. She just turned 8 months a couple days ago so Thanksgiving will have her at 10.5 months and christmas 11.5 months. My mom is already not a dog (or animal) person so god help me if my puppy enters her first heat while I'm visiting them 🤣

She's a Starborn girl so I'm hoping it won't happen until she's a year or so old. Please Piper, anytime after the holidays please hold on! I don't want to deal with my mom lol!! 🤣🤞
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #314 ·
She just wanted to keep things interesting 🤣

We are praying that Jolene isn’t an early bloomer, as we’re going to be in Rhode Island for a month around the holidays when she, and my mom’s new pup will both be 6-7 months old. Of course if she is in heat, we’ll deal, because we won’t have much choice, but it will be much more pleasant if we don’t have to worry about them!! 🤞
Yeah, EXTREMELY unlikely at that age… which is why vets like to spay them then! You are probably fine! We should try to meet up when you are here!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #315 ·
I am so hoping Piper doesn't go into heat around the holidays too lol. She just turned 8 months a couple days ago so Thanksgiving will have her at 10.5 months and christmas 11.5 months. My mom is already not a dog (or animal) person so god help me if my puppy enters her first heat while I'm visiting them 🤣

She's a Starborn girl so I'm hoping it won't happen until she's a year or so old. Please Piper, anytime after the holidays please hold on! I don't want to deal with my mom lol!! 🤣🤞
LOL! Just keep her in a diaper, and everything will be fine!
 

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We are still working on lots of things in bits and pieces, and continuing to work on many of the things you've seen us work on before. You saw the VERY START of Ducky's heeling work as "chin heeling" in the kitchen... just a VERY few steps at a time, but over and over. Never more than 10 cookies worth at a time. But that's all it takes. It is SOOO much better making that position a "happy habit" rather than going around in endless circles while you yank on a collar and hope for the best.

I have NEVER asked Ducky to heel outdoors. In fact, He has never been asked to heel outside the itches, so no more than 4 or 5 steps in a row. MOST of our work has been on him "finding" heel position, and learning the value of maintaining that position. Good things happen there!!!

More over, I HAVE done a fair bit of gaiting practice with him, where he is asked to trot beside me, on lead, but much farther from my body, and slightly ahead of me. So you would THINK that he might try to do that when I took him out on the driveway. But... this was a different context. He didn't have the show lead on, I started him by reminding him what we were doing with some chin heeling, and rewarded him for staying in a close heel position. And it doesn't get much prettier than that in a 5 month old puppy!

That's how you make pretty heeling, folks! It took me close tow two years to get heeling this good with Kodi, and it was not this consistent. Then I learned this method, and started both Pixel and Panda this way. Both of them were this good at this age too. Those of you who have seen videos of them know the way my dogs heel. They all have beautiful heeling. I REALLY works. And they have all learned to heel FIRST without a leash. Ducky is dragging a leash in case of emergency. (for instance if a truck came down the driveway) but I have never touched the leash during heel work.

Oh my goodness I think Ducky’s feet waggling at the end of the video, when you pick him up, could be the cutest thing I have ever seen🥰.

But then I remember thinking that about his sibling’s heart shapped mark on their paw…so now I am just concerned I have some weird Havanese cute paw obsession🙀😳🤣
 

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Well... A new complication in our lives!!! After two years of 8 month heat cycles, after making me wait and WAIT for her to come into heat when it would have been SO much easier if she came in heat ON TIME last fall... Panda is in heat. at 6 months... a few days before we leave for vacation in a 32 foot tin can with a baby stud dog! 🤪

FORTUNATELY, Panda's breeder has come to the rescue, and Panda is going to go stay with HER for the duration, so that we don't have to slit our wrists.

Ducky PROBABLY couldn't get her pregnant yet, but they could BOTH make our lives pretty miserable in that small space!!! LOL!
Now we know why Panda wasn’t giving up her chair🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣😘
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Discussion Starter · #319 ·
Oh my goodness I think Ducky’s feet waggling at the end of the video, when you pick him up, could be the cutest thing I have ever seen🥰.

But then I remember thinking that about his sibling’s heart shapped mark on their paw…so now I am just concerned I have some weird Havanese cute paw obsession🙀😳🤣
He does have WICKED adorable toes!!! I can't tell you how many photos I have of them... (better trimmed in one than the other ;) )
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Discussion Starter · #320 ·
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