Monday, September 28, 2009

Ferret Show Report

This past weekend, we went to one of the ferret shows we regularly attend, the Fall Ferret Fandango in Gilbertsville, PA. It's typically a small show, and we tend to do fairly well at it.

This weekend, we did really well at it! Two of Ruth's ferrets took first place in four of the specialty rings. Dementor took first place in Green Card (for ferrets with at least 25% foreign bloodlines) and in Black Sable (which Ruth has wanted to win for a long time now!). And her 6 month old little girl, Myfanwy, took first place in the Chocolate and Point rings! Considering that it's only Myfanwy's second show, and she can still be a holy terror, that's absolutely fantastic!

The crowning glory of the day came at the end, when they announced the winners in the Breeder championships. (Brief explanation -- in the championship rings, the ferrets are examined and scored by three separate judges. The ferret that scores the highest across all three rings is the Best In category winner. There are 4 championship categories -- Companion [for ferrets neutered before 12 weeks old], Alter [for ferrets neutered after 12 weeks old], Adolescent [for intact ferrets under a year old], and Breeder [for intact ferrets over a year old]). The championship rings can be split into male and female if there are enough entries. At this show, the championship rings were combined -- there were nearly 80 entries in the Breeder category.

We had 5 boys entered in the Breeder category. When we got their scores, we could tell from experience that only one of them was likely to place, my boy Taranis. He's placed before, but never in the top three, so I was just hoping for a top three placement in at least one ring, so that he could get his Gold championship once he has enough points. They called the list of numbers (each ferret gets a number, and that's how the judges know them so there's no bias in the judging), and sure enough, Taranis was called back.

The first judge started handing out her ribbons, and for 10th place, she called Taranis' number. I was thinking, well, they must have been scoring really high today. Then she took another look and said, "Oh, that should have been [another number]. Sorry!". No problem. She called everyone who won a ribbon up to third place, then called the second and first place ferrets up together, without saying which was which. And Taranis was one of them! So I'm thinking 'Cool! He's got his top three placement -- I'm good!'. And then she said he got first place! Well, I was in shock, but very happy.

Just a quick piece of info -- when they call the list of numbers for the winners, it's a combined list for all three rings. It doesn't matter if your ferret places in one ring or all three -- the number will only be called once, so you have no idea how many rings the ferret has been called for.

So the judge for the second ring started ribboning, and the same thing happened -- Taranis was called up for the first and second place ribboning. This ring, he got second, and I was floating!

Then came the third ring. I was not expecting anything -- I was perfectly happy with the placements I had. And once again, Taranis was called up for the first and second place ribboning. And he got first!

By this time, I was in complete shock. And I was thinking 'Okay, that's two firsts and a second. But that can't possibly mean what I think it means....'. And just about the time I finished that thought, the judge announced that my boy was Best In Show Breeder! She called him a 'joy to judge'!

This is my very first BIS Breeder. I've had a BIS Alter before, and Ruth has had BIS Breeder and BIS Adolescent, but this was my first! I knew Taranis was looking good this weekend, but I never expected anything like this. I'm still flying, and I'm so proud of my boy!

BIS TCF's Taranis Thunderer of RN, with his trophies and ribbons:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Muscular Dystrophy Stride-N-Ride

Since I was a little girl (over 40 years, now), my Labor Day tradition has been to watch at least a part of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. I always try to see the end, so I know if that magic 'one dollar more' has been reached. In the past, I've answered phones at telethons, walked around the neighborhood and collected money, and done other fundraising activities.

For the past several years, the fibro has kept me from doing anything more than watch the telethon, but that's changing, thanks to the new med. Next year, I'll be participating in the local Stride-N-Ride to raise funds for research. I just got my fundraising webpage set up, and I've set up a group on Ravelry for people from my local area (Pittsburgh, PA) to join my team. Please, if you know anything about MD, if you know someone effected by it, if you know someone with kids (healthy or not!), if you just care about great causes, donate! My page is linked from the title of this post, and I'll add it at the end. Locally, research costs $82/minute (the national average is $87/minute), and my goal is to raise at least enough to pay for 5 minutes of research. Please help me reach my goal!

Thanks in advance!

Beth's Fundraising Page

Friday, September 4, 2009

More Pain Management

First things first -- my insurance did give me pre-approval for the Savella! For an entire year! And for whatever dosage I was prescribed! There was rejoicing the day that letter arrived, let me tell ya!

I had another appointment with Dr. Arrogant last week -- he wants his patients to see him every 4 weeks. My pain level at that point was averaging 4 1/2 to 6 on my personal scale, with occasional forays into the 7 range -- better, but not as good as I want.

So, he came into the exam room, sat down at the desk and proceeded to talk to me without ever really looking at me. Asked about my pain level, made mumbled noises that I think were supposed to be encouraging, and was very obviously going to leave the room without asking me how I felt about the improvement and if I thought it was enough. So I said 'There has been an improvement, but I'd like to see more. Could we try a higher dosage of Savella?' Now, understand, I had done my research, and I knew that the drug could be prescribed up to a dose of 100 mg twice a day. I wanted to try 150 mg and see if that was enough. His reply? 'Well, the recommended dose is 50 mg twice a day,' -- the dose I was already taking. So I told him that I'd done some research and that it could be prescribed at a higher dose. He told me he'd have to check the information! Now, what doctor prescribes a med without knowing that it's offered at higher doses? The upshot of it all is that I left the office with a script for 100 mg twice a day. I'd be looking for a different pain specialist, but the pre-approval is only for him, and chances are that I wouldn't get pre-approved again if I changed doctors.I've been on the higher dose for 3 days now, and I think I'm seeing an improvement. It's been hard to tell because we went to a ferret show last weekend, and it always takes several days for me to completely recover from one of them. But in the past, it's taken at least a week, and I did some laundry today and lifted some heavy things, and I don't feel like my body wants revenge for it, so I think things may be looking up.

And in other news, my Threes Triangular Shawl is now listed at Ravelry! People seem to like it -- lots of nice compliments, and over 20 people have marked it as a favorite!