Sometimes I have to adjust my lens of reality to make sure my reality is real. For example, all my life (and literally, I mean for as long as I can remember) I’ve been waiting to do all the things I’ve done with Wally: get a fabulous dog that also happens to be a show dog; train, handle, and finish that dog myself, etc. Now I have one more thing to add to that list, one that makes me feel legit: Wally got his OFA and CERF certs done.
Over the years I built up a kind of romanticized view of these kinds of things, so when I took Wally to Steamboat Animal Hospital I felt like I had joined an elite club. I, too, now had a dog that would go down in the record books with a CHIC number and full health certs. Step two of becoming a great breeder, accomplished! [Step one was to start with a great dog. Done.]
Every 6 months Steamboat has a Breeder Day where they spend an entire day doing nothing but CERF and OFA certs: hips, patellas, heart, eyes, thyroid, etc. For a CHIC number a Border Terrier must have patellas, hips, eyes, and heart checked, so that’s what we did. We made the 1.5 hour drive and showed up right at 8am to find ourselves in a long line of people who had already been there for 2 hours.
The whole thing took more than 3 hours, mostly just waiting around for our number to be called (each test had it’s own queue). I didn’t mind though because it was significantly cheaper and easier than trying to complete each test individually (see a cardiologist for heart, see my vet for hips/patellas, go to a show with CERF checks…). Dogs have to be heavily sedated for x-rays, and after that one Wally was like a drunken gnome. He would try to sit up on my lap but inevitably would lean hard to one side and need propping up. His eyes also had to be dilated for the eye check so on the way home I was constantly shielding his eyes from the bright sunny day and carrying him around because he couldn’t really walk. He was drunk for the rest of the day, which prompted lots of cuddling.
As for results, his eyes and heart were officially good. I’m still waiting for the hips/patellas but the preliminary results were good. Also, x-rays of your dog are SO COOL. And apparently people at work will think you’re a weirdo for having an x-ray of your dog on your computer. Meh.