Tunnel Tales June 2011 - Front Range Agility Club



Tunnel Tales June 2011 - Front Range Agility Club
Message from FRAC’S President!
Note from the Editor
By Janet Pollack
Janet at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
This issue of Tunnel Tales — while continuing to
provide the usual information on members and their
agility successes, canine health, and FRAC updates
— adds a new column titled Unique Canine art . In
this issue fiber-artist Diane Del Ducca discusses how
she creates 3D images of dogs and other animals
through needle felting. To those who contributed
articles to this issue—THANK YOU.
Tammy and Shanti
Hello FRAC members –
Spring is on the way and we have some great trials
coming up. Be sure to check your dates and get your
entries in on time!
For those of you that have joined us for drop-ins,
thank you, and we’ll see you next year. For those of
you that have not taken advantage of drop-ins, you
are missing out on a lot of fun, so give it a try next
fall. We are scheduled to start November 7, 2011,
so put it on your calendar and join us!
I would also like to thank Charlie Manlove for the
years he has served on the board of FRAC. We are
delighted that Charlie is going to continue as our
Equipment Coordinator. I would also like to thank
Leila Vale for serving as Secretary; she did a great
job for FRAC.
Upcoming FRAC Events
We welcome Sue Brophy as our new Secretary, Liz
Johnson as a new board member, and Beth
Bartholomew has agreed to serve another term as a
board member. We appreciate their willingness to
serve on the board to support and help FRAC for the
next two years.
Enjoy spring and summer with your furry pals! Be
safe and have fun!
FRAC President
[email protected]
August 19-21, 2011 - USDAA agility trial,
Hansen Arena, Laramie, WY.
November 2011 to February 2012 Fall/Winter Drop In Practice on Monday
evenings, Boulder County Fairgrounds.
November 19-20, 2011 - Seminar at
Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont, CO.
December 3-4, 2011 - DOCNA agility
trial, Boulder County Fairgrounds,
Longmont, CO.
January 6-8, 2012 - USDAA agility trial,
Boulder County Fairgrounds, Longmont, CO.
February 11-12, 2012 - DOCNA agility
trial, Boulder County Fairgrounds,
Longmont, CO.
FRAC’s Upcoming 2011 fall seminar
FRAC’S Newest USDAA Trial:
The True Story
Rosanne DeMascio
By Judy Stone
This is the story of FRAC's new USDAA trial
It was last summer, Sandy, Marrin and I, while
hauling ourselves back home from a USDAA trial in
Utah.... were playing cell phone games between our
two vehicles. We were feeling the need to fill in that
huge blank spot, 5 months long, on our Colorado
calendar that opened up when FRAT decided to
move the January USDAA trial to March. Five
months without the fun and challenges of our favorite
venue just made us sad. Then, Marrin said she
would look into the availability of the fairgrounds. We
knew we would be up against the mighty AKC trials
which filled every weekend in January,
but we were not to be deterred by that minor
inconvenience. Judy said, "I will chair it,” and Sandy
said she would try to get board approval.
By Monday afternoon we had secured the site,
received club approval and I was soliciting the club
for a trial committee. Lot's of people were thoroughly
excited by the idea of this new trial, and we had many
volunteers willing to fill our key positions. As I
stumbled through my novice abilities at being a trial
chair, everything just kept falling neatly into place and
to our delight, we had a new USDAA trial on the
As it turned out, it was a terrific trial and we
all learned a great deal by organizing the event. Next
year it will be even better. We now have the January
date secured FOREVER, and Marrin assures us that
we will run it in two days next time and everyone will
still come to play. Truly a great weekend for FRAC
members and their canine pals!! And that is how it all
happened folks. THE END.
By Elayne Fletcher
Rosanne DeMascio has been involved in agility since
she was a kid and most recently was on the IFCS
World Team and is currently on the WAO World
Team. She's had numerous podium finishes with her
various dogs in the last couple of years at both
USDAA and AKC Nationals including first place at the
2010 AKC Nationals in the 20" class. According to
Rosanne, “I have a very consistent manner of
handling my dogs that relies almost completely on my
body language. I believe my dog has the
responsibility of watching what I do, and I have the
responsibility of steering him properly. I teach whole
body handling, with an emphasis on quieting the
mouth, and teaching handlers to be more aware of
their body speed and direction.”
You can checkout her running style
Rosanne DeMascio
evolving into my 3-D animal portraits. I wanted to
enter an art show that was juried, and only allowed
hanging art. So, I adapted my animal sculptures, and
through a dream figured out how I was going to do
it. It's my niche-the medium that has captured my
artistic expression, and
combined my two passions.
Special Feature!
Fiber Art and its amazing possibilities!
An interview with Diane Del Duca,
Canine Fiber Artist
2-Just what is fiber art? What materials do you use
and how do you put it all together?
Fiber art is a medium that uses the fleece of an
alpaca, sheep, llama, or any other animal's fleece that
is conducive to spinning, felting, knitting, or weaving
process. What I work with are my alpacas; Sammymedium brown, Aphrodite-white, Athena-beige or
fawn, Delilah-rose gray, Jezabelle-medium beige or
fawn, Bea Bea-jet black, Princess-brown/black,
Journey-dark rose gray. My 8 alpacas are the
rainbow of colors I need for my animal portraits.
When a color such as yellow, blue or green is needed
I use dyed wool batting.
My alpaca's fleece is professionally
processed. The processor cleans it and then cards it
on large machines. He makes rovings for my
spinning of yarn, and batts for my felting. The
blanket of the alpaca is used for the rovings, and the
rest of the alpaca fleece is used for the batts. Needle
felting basically is a barbed needle poked in and out
of the fiber hundreds of times causing the fiber to
felt. Using this process I mold the shape, and use the
colors to define the face, and create the portrait.
I do not use molds behind my faces or glue to
hold it together. It is entirely done with my barbed
needle. I liken it to sculpting with fiber instead of
clay, and my barbed needle instead of a knife.
Diane Del Ducca creates personalized 3-D fiber art
of your canine partner (using only Alpaca yarn on
felt). Her representation of KIP has amazed my
friends. Read more about her and her art, and how to
commission your own piece, and be sure to check
out her web page below showcasing many of her
remarkable fiber art creations!
1-Please tell us something about yourself, and
how and why you developed this new form of
fiber art.
The two passions in my life have always been
animals and art--they have just taken many forms.
When I retired from Qwest I knew I would work at a
Veterinary clinic. I was fortunate to get a job
immediately at Kenline Veterinary Clinic working
for Dr. Denise White. I wanted to be a Vet Tech, but
started as a receptionist. At this time I had never
seen an alpaca. I was delighted when Sammy was
scheduled for an appointment to get a health
certificate for a show. When he arrived for his
appointment, Dr. White had him come into the
reception room to go on our weight scale. I was
absolutely taken by this beautiful, furry being. I went
around the desk to get a better look, and dropped to
my knees. He came right up to me, and kissed me. It
was love at first kiss. This was the beginning of a
whole new world. I bought Sammy months later, and
he became the start of my alpaca love affair.
My fiber arts started with spinning
yarn, and felting. Needle Felting came later, first
with little animal sculptures, and hats--eventually
“Kip1”: Diane’s fiber art
3-As an artist, what are you trying to capture? From
your art it seems as if you love animals.
5-If someone wished to request you to immortalize
their dog in fiber art, how should they contact you?
As an artist I am trying to capture the essence, spirit,
emotion of the animal I am portraying. If one can
look into the eyes of my animal portrait, and feel the
love I have for what I do--then I am successful. I
would hope that anyone who sees my work would
understand my love for all animals-this is my
The best way to contact me is by phone-719 2769197. I do have an email address
[email protected] but I live in the mountains,
and only have dial up service. Forgive me but
computers are not my thing. I require a photo for my
custom orders. The quality of the photo-expression,
clarity etc. directly correlates to the quality of my
portrait. My Mailing address is 1501 High St.,
Canon City, CO 81212.
6-Is there anything else you wish us to know?
4- Photos do not do justice to your three-dimensional
art works. Where can folks see your art in person?
I believe the interview questions were very well
thought out. And I hope that I was able to express my
love for what I do, and hope that if any reader is
drawn to what I do, you will allow me to capture
your beloved dog in a three-dimensional fiber art
I recently became a member of the Blue Spruce
Gallery located in Florence, CO. I have 8 pieces
exhibited here. I will also be showing 3 pieces at the
RGAA (Royal Gorge Artist Assoc) Salute to
Southern Colorado Artists beginning February 1,
2011 through Mar 4th. It is located at the Fremont
campus of Pueblo Community College. If anyone
needs more information, I would be happy to provide
it. The RGAA does have a website.
Diane’s art is on display online at
or go directly to Diane’s art at Blue Spruce at
and long-term quality of life. Treatment options
available can be separated into two broad categories:
medical treatments and non-medical treatments. As a
general rule, a “multi-modal” approach – or a
combination of treatments within both of these
categories – tends to work best.
Medical treatments include nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other painrelieving medications. NSAIDs are often considered
to be the foundation of a good multi-modal treatment
regimen, as they decrease painful joint inflammation
and also provide rapid and effective pain relief. They
are generally safe, but patients on them should be
monitored closely for clinical improvement as well as
maintenance of healthy organ function. NSAIDs are
often used in conjunction with other pain
medications, as prescribed by a veterinarian.
“Joint supplements” are another component
of a comprehensive treatment plan for arthritis. Their
purpose is to protect and maintain the health and
performance of the existing cartilage and lubricating
fluid in the joints. When selecting an oral joint
supplement, it is very important to realize that they
are not all created equally. The clinical effectiveness,
and even the ingredients, of these “nutraceuticals” are
not regulated by the FDA or any other official
agency, so there is a risk of misleading label
information. Available through veterinarians is an
injectable form of cartilage-protecting medication
that can be used with more confidence, as it is indeed
regulated by the FDA. As with any medication, the
effectiveness, regardless of the brand or form that is
given, can vary considerably from patient to patient
and finding the best combination for your dog can
take some time.
Non-medical treatment options for arthritis
include such things as weight management and
specific dietary ingredients, as well as acupuncture
and a variety of physical-rehabilitation modalities.
Again, these are almost always most effective when
used as part of a multi-modal treatment approach.
In our society, over twenty-five percent of all
dogs are considered obese, and this extra body weight
can lead to significantly more strain on joints and
muscles. For these dogs, weight loss is critical. Diet
can not only be an important component in the
treatment of arthritis as it relates to weight
management, but it can also assist more directly with
arthritis relief. Studies have shown that diets rich in
EPA omega 3 fatty acids can help reduce
inflammation in joints and interrupt the process of
cartilage breakdown, so more and more foods are
Welcome to the
Vet Corner
Trent Newcomer, DVM
Front Range Veterinary Clinic
3200 E. Mulberry
Fort Collins, 80524
Do Your Dog’s Joints Hurt?
Inflammation in a joint is called arthritis, and
can be quite painful. By far, the most common type
of arthritis in dogs is osteoarthritis, which generally
results from an injury, gradual wear and tear, or
abnormal body or leg conformation. Approximately
twenty percent of all dogs over the age of one year
suffer from some form of arthritis. Signs that might
indicate that your dog is suffering from arthritis pain
include limping during or after exercise, slowing
down on walks, and a reluctance to run or play or go
up and down stairs. More subtle but perhaps equally
significant signs include difficulty rising from a
resting position, sensitivity to touch, decreased
appetite, or a lack of interest in interacting with other
members of the household. If you observe any of
these signs in your dog, take him or her to a
veterinarian for a thorough physical exam, and to
discuss diagnostic and treatment options.
The earlier a problem can be identified, the
better chance there is to increase your dogs’ comfort
becoming available that contain this beneficial
Additional treatments that can be very
effective in relieving pain and/or slowing down the
progression of arthritis in dogs include acupuncture,
which has grown rapidly in popularity for both
people and pets, as well as a variety of modalities that
fall under the umbrella of physical rehabilitation.
Such treatments include basic cold and heat therapy,
as well as more advanced and specialized techniques
like therapeutic laser, ultrasound, aquatic therapy,
and a multitude of patient-specific exercises.
Regardless of the particular treatments that
you and your veterinarian select for your dog, the
most important things to keep in mind are early
detection, early intervention, and a multi-modal
approach to treatment. If you feel that your dog is
slowing down, acting painful, or even just not acting
quite like his or her playful self, have your
veterinarian perform a thorough orthopedic
examination and then discuss the benefits of multimodal treatment. Your dog will thank you for it!
get your dog back into competition condition after
injury or surgery, how to avoid injuries by
strengthening specific, weak muscles and how to pick
a well structured puppy for a specific performance
Unfortunately, the risk that your canine performance
partner will get injured one day is not very low. He
might endure muscle or ligament injuries like
iliopsoas strains, hamstring strains, rotator cuff
injuries, he might show first signs of arthritis or even
have to undergo surgery, eg. for a torn cruciate, bone
chips in his elbows or shoulders etc. Luckily, most of
the dogs nowadays are able to undergo an intensive
rehabilitation program during their recovery but once
your dog is discharged from rehabilitation, how do
you introduce him smoothly back into his beloved
sport without risking another injury? A canine athlete
expert can help you decide which exercises, how
many, and in what order they should be used to get
your canine partner back into condition for
competition. For example, a canine athlete that had
surgery for a rotator cuff injury will require very
specific, progressive exercises to gradually increase
weight-bearing and loading of the shoulder joint in
the context of the specific sport(s) in which the dog
competes to protect the shoulder from re-injury. In
addition to a three-month post surgical recovery
period, this sports retraining period will take about
two to three months, or longer depending on the
progress your dog is making.
~Trent Newcomer, DVM
Contributor to Tunnel Tales
CRCG is now offering
Consultations for your Canine
Many injuries are caused by weak muscles which
simply are not ready to handle the specific demands
of your favorite sport. Screening for muscle
imbalances is the current cutting edge of injury
prevention in humans. The rationale behind this is
that there are detectable and correctable abnormalities
of muscle strength and length that are fundamental to
the development of almost all musculoskeletal pain
and dysfunction. Dogs and canine athletes especially
have a much higher pain tolerance and they might
hide or mask any discomfort or pain. During a canine
orthopedic wellness exam, a canine athlete expert
will be able to detect discomfort or pain related to
muscular imbalances and correct them by giving your
dog specific exercises to improve muscle strength
and length before an injury will occur. Those exams
should be done every six to twelve months,
depending on the dog.
By Antke Messmer-Kratzsch, DVM
Has your dog been injured recently and had to take a
break from agility? Are you wondering how to get
him back into the game? Has your dog been healthy
so far but you train and compete in agility together on
a regular basis and you are wondering if his muscles
are well balanced or if he might be prone to injure
himself soon? Or are looking for a new puppy or
rescue dog in the near future and wonder how his
structure might affect his performance?
A consultation with a canine athlete expert will
provide you with helpful tipps and tricks on how to
Maybe you are looking for a four-legged furry athlete
addition to your family in the near future. You know
you want a brave puppy or dog, which is easily
trainable and has lots of drive. And you want a sound
and healthy puppy/dog which hopefully never gets
injured. There are some structural features you
should select your puppy for if you have the
opportunity, because invariably they optimize your
future athlete's performance. A canine athlete expert
will examine those structural characteristics like
shoulder angulation, length of upper arm, length of
body and neck, shape of top line, rear angulation, tail
set and amount of bone and discuss with you what
they mean for your puppy/dog and his future
If you already have lost your heart to a puppy or dog,
a canine athlete expert can help you evaluate your
dog's structure and discuss his structural strengths
and weaknesses to give you an idea of what sports
injuries your dog is at risk for and how you can avoid
them. A canine athlete expert will design a
conditioning program based on your dog's structure
and current level of fitness, the sport(s) in which you
and your dog compete, the activities you and your
dog like to share in your spare time, and the amount
of time you have to exercise your dog. Moreover, a
canine athlete expert will consult with you on current
and developing training techniques, discuss ways to
train to help prevent injury, talk about training
problems that arise and wether they might be a sign
of a sub-clinical injury or health-problem.
Dr. Antke Messmer-Kratzsch, PhD, CCRT is a
veterinarian and has worked in the field of canine
rehabilitation for over 5 years now. She is our Canine
Athlete Expert, designing individualized retraining
and conditioning programs for canine athletes, as
well as evaluating canine structure, locomotion and
fitness level. Antke has been training and competing
with her dogs in agility, herding, obedience and rally
for 16 years.
May your dog stay healthy and compete happily until
Antke C. Messmer-Kratzsch, PhD, CCRT
Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Group
104 S Main Street
Longmont, CO 80501
P: 303-762-7946
C: 720-937-1442
[email protected]
Fido’s Funnies
The Welcome Mat:
FRAC welcomes our newest
Members and canine partners
stories, canine jokes, silly pet tricks, and
funny faces
Can your dog do this?
Please let me introduce myself. I am Loretta
Mannix and I first became interested in agility
when I happen to take a class at Canine
Learning Center. Coda is my first agility dog
and we have no titles………….yet.
Agility has proven to be fun for me and my dog.
It has been challenging with a canine partner
who is part hound as she is very ruled by her
nose. I am married and have no children; hence
my dogs are my children. I am a landscape
designer and live in Fort Collins.
Ha, ha, ha, can your canine pal make a
funny face?
Miss Molly
Loretta and Coda
Barks and Brags
Accomplishments with our Canine Teammates
Got it!
-----------------------------------Big Sur causes Wave action again!
Our Little (Big) Guy Machs A second AND
third time!
from Beth Klucher/Whitney
Beth and her little big man, Big Sur (also known as
Mr Big) completed another MACH this year. So our
little big man is now a MACH2. BUT wait…our big
guy is also a MACH3.
Coda stretching
Loretta Mannix of Ft Collins and her dog Coda
[email protected]
----------------------------------------------Let’s also welcome Carmem Juszczyk of
Broomfield and her dog Coraline
[email protected]
From Everyone in FRAC
Big Sur and Beth
didn't do very well in the North American Challenge,
we came in first in the finals of the Intern Standard
class (20 inch class). The picture below was taken
there. So that was great fun. Trickster also obtained
the open agility title in AKC. Now on to competing
with the excellent dogs! Unfortunately she is on hold
while her human partner gets used to a new knee!
Summit Reaches the Top
from Morganne
Summit earned his ADCH at the FRAT USDAA in
September with that last Super Q!
Kip Meister ZZZ and Miss Molly Score a
from Janet Pollack
Snitch, the Low Flying Furry
from Beth Bartholomew
Snitch, my eight year old BC, has decided that
retirement is definitely NOT the way to go! At the last
two FRAC DOCNA trials (December and February),
we seem to really be pulling together as a team. He
ran clean in six of seven runs in December (our
brains both short-circuited on the seventh) and in
February he had six Qs in ten runs, which would
have been ten for ten had his handler not
made stupid mistakes in the other four. So far he has
not asked for a new handler, for which I am grateful;
all he wants to do is run! Since he now runs at 12", I
call him my LFFJ - Low Flying Furry Jet. I am so
thankful for the venues like DOCNA - and now
USDAA - where he can continue to play at lower
jump heights
My senior boy Kip — who is 9 years old —qualified
for 2011 DOCNA Nationals with a first place in the
North American Challenge. At his first CKC event in
February he Qued in all four events entered; at the
recent FRAAD/AKC Castle Rock trial he Qued 5-outof-5 runs bringing home titles in JWW, STD, and
FAST. In NADAC he took home titles in Open
jumpers, and Open tunnelers.
-----------------------------No Pranks from the Trickster
from Val Siml
After successfully rehabbing a soft tissue injury in her
shoulder for most of the spring and summer, Trickster
was ready to attend the DOCNA Western
Championships in Grand Junction. We were entered
in the Intern level in everything and although we
Kip’s younger sister Miss Molly placed 3rd regionally
and nationally at the 2010 DOCNA Nationals in
Grand Junction taking home two bronze medals. Her
DOCNA specialist trigility team— Secondhand
Speedsters—placed 3rd at Nationals. She also
qualified for the 2011 DOCNA Nationals and will
attempt a repeat performance. At the February CKC
trial she brought home titles in Novice JWW and
FAST; at FRAAD’s June AKC, she brought a title in
STD. At FRAT’s March 2011 USDAA trial her PVP
team “When Molly Met Enzo” captured the silver
medal and qualified her for USDAA Nationals in the
team event.
Martie and Charlie
FRAC’s Spring 2011 Meeting at
Crane Hollow
Miss Molly with her DOCNA medals
FRAC’s January 2011 Dinner
Sandy front and center
Martie, Liz, and Sandy
book reviews (newly added), Meet your Vet,
personal stories, miscellaneous information (tips to
tails), photos, and/or letters to the editor, and more. I
have also started a Unique Canine art column.
Please send all submissions as e-mail attachments to
Janet Pollack at [email protected]
Liz and her cafe
Sue and Charlie
Looking Ahead
Future Tunnel Tales issues
The tales’ end
Our next newsletter is
planned for fall 2011. Submissions, suggestions, and
comments from all FRAC members are welcome and
strongly encouraged. Categories for contributions
include: accomplishments (barks and brags),
upcoming events, canine health, recipes, training tips,
travel updates, fido funnies, reviews of FRAC trials,

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