Monday, July 14, 2014

Nell- looking for a great home!

Nell is a one year old Border Collie. I have looked after her a few times already in her life- once when she was itty bitty, and again when she was a teenage puppy. I have had a soft spot since I first saw her cute little freckles and bubbly personality.

She is from working Border Collie lines, and she herself was originally supposed to be one. But due to a possible Health Concern she has washed out of the program and is now looking for a great home.

There is a chance that Nell may develop Early Onset Deafness. A very slight chance- there isn't much known about the condition. But it is an issue in Border Collies, and a few different breeds. In Nell's case- there has been no trouble in her lines at all until just recently. When her mom went deaf. It is a hard thing to predict as it comes late in life- in this case the dog is over 5 years old! From what I've read it usually happens between 3-5 years old if it is going to happen at all.

Here is an interesting article I found about EOD. There isn't much about it- even online!

So because there is a risk of Nell losing her hearing, or possibly passing it on to puppies if she were ever bred- she won't make it as a professionally trained trial dog. But that won't prevent her from being the best dog in the world!!! (And she would likely be a KICK ASS working dog too if someone wanted to take a chance on that!)

I am very smitten with this little dog- she is really a great girl. And deserves a fantastic home where she will get lots of attention, exercise and the proper spoiling. ;)  She will be spayed prior to leaving for her new home- and the only charge is just the amount for the spay. Homes will be screened however. I am particular about these sorts of things!

Now, on to the awesome stuff that makes Nell so.... awesome!

Nell is just over a year old and is small for a Border Collie. Around 17" tall, and all muscle and fur. She is a very athletic little dog with springs for legs. Nell is great with people and hasn't met a stranger. She is also good with dogs and cats. Nell is housetrained, and crate trained. She travels well, and loves to do stuff. Nell has a great recall and is a dog who likes to please. She is very smart, and is easily motivated by treats, and toys.  Still very much a puppy- she is learning what is appropriate to chew in the house, and what is not. Shoes and Pillows are not. Dog toys are. She is learning though and is getting more and more trustworthy!

Nell loves to cuddle and is very affectionate. She is super sweet and is content to lay on your feet, or in your lap if you let her. ;) She is always happy, and sweet, and very responsive. I think she would make a great therapy dog!

We have started working on some basic obedience. She is learning Sit, and Down, and about Leash Manners. She is easy to train, and picks things up fast!

Nell has a soft spot for kids and absolutely adores them. She pulls me over to see kids at any chance she gets! She is very gentle with them though. It is this reason that I think she would make a great family pet.

Toys of any shape or size are her favorite. Really, any toy will do! She hasn't shown a preference at all, although today she seemed pretty pumped about an old Wubba she found in the toy box!

There isn't anything about this dog that I don't like- she really is just fantastic. With a bit more time and training she will be pretty perfect!!! She is a border collie though, and the home she goes to will have to be considerate of that! Plenty of exercise, and mental stimulation will help her to continue the trend of good behavior! Left to her own devices she could certainly be naughty. ;) 

If you are interested in Nell, or would like more information please feel free to contact me via email at Nell is located in Lethbridge, Alberta but if the right home came along we could arrange shipping! As mentioned above the only cost associated with Nell would be to cover her spay. 

Feel free to spread the word!!!

First Agility Trial

Leo and I attended our first ever agility trial- a CKC one. It was fun, and felt really good to be back in the ring. Leo did MUCH better than I thought he would. Training for agility is still not high priority for me, but he is SO smart that he learns quick. It's a good thing really. We are a good fit.

He earned three Q's- two JWW, and a Standard. Which is amazing because he weaved! In the standard he even weaved on the first attempt! The others we had to do a second time. I have videos of most of our runs- but only one uploaded right now. This is his very first run ever I think!

It was already more than a week ago so I can't remember details all that well- but here is a list I had made right after the weekend.

Things that were awesome
Finding a line
Jump Commitment
A-Frame- didn't miss a single one!!!

Things that need work
Dogwalk- he was trotting across, instead of running. Which shows me that he doesn't really fully understand yet what is expected. I have to revisit my training and find the holes.
Weaves- this is not unexpected. He is not fully trained on weaves- my fault of course.
Start Lines! Oh my. Startlines. lol.
Delayed Reward- he was looking on course for the reward a few times. Once he even ran out of a tunnel and picked up a pylon... lol
Warm up- into the ring. I used my leash to keep him excited and engaged, but we will get called for that eventually. So I need to work on building up some trigger words and such to keep him excited when the toys go away.

We have lots of time to train- our next agility trial will likely be an AAC trial in September. We will see if I feel brave enough to go. ;)

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Sheepdog Vacation!

photo by Jenny Glen

9 days of awesome. and brain overload. and very good dogs. and great friends. 

a friend and I went to Coldstream BC, for a Herding Camp last week. It was completely awesome, and exactly what I needed at this point in my training. It was two days with four different clinicians. We got to work in three different sessions each day. I came home with a great understanding of stock, and more importantly LOTS of training ideas for both Brit and Leo. I had some great AHA! moments, and have a better idea of where I need to go from here. I am excited to put it into practice, and get working on filling some of those holes.

The two days after that were trial days. And my dogs were super stars. Leo won the Novice class on the first day, and Brit came second the next day. Leo's score was an 84!!! out of 90! I mean I was completely floored. What a good boy! Brit also had her highest score of 72. The sheep were fantastic, very dog broke and just trucked right along. Definitely Brit's kind of sheep! There is a HUGE novice class in BC- 20 dogs!! Here in Alberta we are lucky to get four, or five!

After that we drove back to Alberta to get ready for Louanne's first ever Phantomridge trial. It's been a busy few days. Set up, and the trial all went off without a hitch. We are a good team, and I think it was a great trial- despite the hot weather and swarms of mosquitos! Leo ran his two Novice classes on Tuesday night and won both rounds! He did very nice work, though that drive continues to elude us! I am super proud of him though, and myself. Handling at a field trial is tough business!  Brit was entered in Intermediate on Wednesday, and I pulled her today. It was a complete disaster. She couldn't see her sheep, and crossed over, and then could barely bring them to me. The final straw was when one nasty ewe looked at her and she turned tail and ran away. Ugh. So I called her off. I have decided to only enter her in trials that I know has dog friendly/broke sheep, and arena trials where the space isn't so big. She just does not have the confidence for the big fields and tough sheep. In the mean time I am going to back and work on the upclose stuff, sharp flanks, stops, and steady. I am going to look into some of the other venues- where she will be able to have more success.

Leo however is full steam ahead- first up is whistles. Jenny is going to help me teach him- I can mostly do them, and I definitely need them. So now is the time! Secondly is that drive. We are going to focus completely on that- he is doing well- but really doesn't want to stay "in the pocket" so to speak, and always tries to gather them if I am not keeping my thumb on him. I am more than ready to get out of novice, and he needs a drive for Intermediate! I entered him in one trial at Louanne's and it was a gong show. lol. He zig zagged all the way up the field, and barely had control, oh, and didn't listen worth a damn. We have much to work on!

So after all that fun on my holidays I am completely exhausted. And now I need to switch gears for the Kennel Clubs agility trial! Which also happens to be Leo's first agility trial. Ha! 2 weeks of sheep, lets see how quickly we can change gears in the Border Collie brain...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Well Hello Again and the ABC's

Horrible Blogger. That's me. I blame facebook. It's just so easy. Slap a photo up, a few words, a joke, a story. Post. And done. I'm lazy. That's really the problem. The other problem is that I have SO MUCH TO SAY. And feel as though I can't, or shouldn't say them here. So then I don't.

So here is stuff that I can say.

A) My sister is having her baby any day now. I am excited. To be an Auntie again. Kids are awesome, when they aren't yours, or annoying. ;)

B) I missed Leo's Birthday. I feel horrible about it. Not that he cares. But it was June 10th. I will have to make it up to him. He is Four.

C) I am so busy, which is funny because I am actually trying to be less busy. I've cut down on the amount of teaching I am doing. Especially private lessons. It helps to have someone decent to refer people to now. Makes me feel less guilty about not helping.

D) I've recently learned that I can say No. But I still say yes! or sure! far too often.

E) Boone can feel a thunderstorm long before the weatherman says one is here. Maybe he could go work for the weather network!

F) Brit is still lame. It's a mystery really. I don't like mystery. I like definite diagnosis. But that's my luck you know. Sciatica, sort of. Two treatments in two weeks- this time was much better- her sacrum actually was good, her neck and back too- but her tail. That is still a mess. The vet thinks now that there is an old trauma... In any case it's hard to do much with a dog who ends up on three legs after ten or fifteen minutes of exercise. It is depressing.

G) You know what else is depressing? My car. It's broken. And I am still poor. So this should be interesting. I will find out tomorrow what the scoop is.

H) Was too personal. So I deleted it and was too lazy to re-letter everything else. lol (See V)

I) Wicca is amazing. Even more so than in her younger days. She is my heart. Still.

J) Pixel did NOT get her CDX at the Obedience trial. She had a good time, and had the best heeling score I've ever had. Losing only 1.5 points between her heel free and figure 8. Amazeballs! And my students rocked it, and totally made me so proud. All of them, Q's or not. It is just amazing how good they all are.

K) I realise that I do indeed miss agility. And am really looking forward to trialing with Leo this summer! For the first time in a few years I actually have an "Agility Night" Super awesome. Can't wait.

L) Further to K, Leo can now weave in sequence, and sort of do the teeter in sequence too. Yay for training. lol

M) The countdown is on to the Herding Clinic/Trial in Vernon. Only a few weeks away! I am stoked!

N) Leo is a rockstar. Really. I enjoy him a lot. I am sad that I missed out on a whole year of actually owning him and training him. I mean, he lived with me. But as a foster- which isn't the same.

O) I looked after a Dalmatian baby for a friend. I loved him. He went back to his breeder on Saturday. I miss him. I could have a Dalmatian if it was like Sport. Such an awesome puppy. And actually it was two spotted puppies. Started with black spots, and then traded for liver ones. ;)

P) My cat got into a fight with the neighbor cat and has a puncture on his foot. Do you know how much fun it is to convince a cat to soak his foot in Epsom salts and warm water? Not fun at all.

Q) I volunteered at the AAC AB/NWT Regionals on Saturday. It poured buckets all day. But it was still a great time. Lots of talented dogs and handlers.

R) Not as awkward as I thought (see Q)

S) Vito is old all of a sudden. I mean mature, and old. He is lazier than ever, and is constantly on a diet. lol. This morning he didn't get out of bed until he heard the kibble hit the bowls.

T) I am obsessed with clouds lately. I blame my sister.

U) And this. I am trying. Really, I am.

V) But this. Lazy. That's part of my trouble. Between putting things off for "later" or "tomorrow" and just not caring enough to do some stuff it is really putting me behind.

W) That's a wrap. I will try and be a better blogger. If nothing else but for me! How else am I supposed to search back for photos, and results, and "what did a I train for in July 2014?". So yes, better blogger.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Field Trial

Running behind on this blog again, but last weekend the Border Collies and I headed to the Sheep River Sheepdog trial. It was a lot of fun, and I had a great time with my dogs, and with my friends.

Brit ran in intermediate for the first time. That is a class where I stay at the post (no helping the drive), and not only does she have to do a drive away, but a cross drive too. Oh, and the outrun is bigger too. I was a little worried we were in over our heads. But I worried for nothing! Brit did a great job! In fact our first run she won first place! The second day we lost one. ;), and the third day was a good try but the sheep were heavy and fighting and Brit doesn't do well with that sort of thing. I got on her case a bit, and she quit. lol. That'll teach me. I need to find the balance between making her do the right thing, and taking her sensitivity into account. She is definitely a challenge sometimes! Our homework is to work more on taking a "Steady"- and whistles. She is so far away now that whistles are becoming neccesary- especially if it's windy...

This is Saturday's run. She came first in her class. I was thrilled with her cross drive on this one. Driving is not her strong point. Lots of things to work on though- my timing for one. lol. And steady- as in go slow.

Leo was in Novice and did a pretty good job! We had some trouble here and there- my timing, his pushy ways. Some wrong flanks. But-  We have been working so hard on our drive that I am just thrilled with how well he did on that part! He is getting it- slowly but surely. On the second run we lost our sheep. (same as brit actually). He was too forward and fast, and I didn't stop him in time. I thought he had caught it but I should have left them alone to settle a bit longer before walking him up. Live and learn! I need to learn to be more proactive with him- anticipate that he is going to be a little pushy and get on his case a bit. I didn't use my "time" nearly enough and by the third day he wasn't listening to it at all. He is a really fun dog to run though, I need to not get caught up in the excitement of him. lol. The best part of the weekend for him aside from the drives- was the pen on sunday! The sheep were very difficult all weekend and there were not many pens the whole weekend. But he had a great handle on his sheep on that last run and we got it! He came in first in the run.

This is Mondays run- the last day. I was pretty happy with him! 

So lots to work on with both dogs, and with myself. Each trial I come away knowing a little more about my dogs, stock, and myself. 

Friday, May 09, 2014

Agility Leo Update

Agility Leo is happy, and ethusiastic, and doing great.

If I managed my time better, and was more motivated to train he would be a lot farther along than he is. But we are having fun with the stuff we've done so I'm happy. ;)

I was hoping to have him running at a trial in a few weeks. Just Jumpers, BUT. My chute is not here yet, and he has done exactly two tires. So. We will wait- and in the mean time we will train some more. Leo likes that idea- a lot. He finds the whole running, jumping, running, tugging, running, playing thing very exciting. ;) 

photo by Cindy

photo by Cindy

restrained recalls over the a-frame make Leo a little crazy...

see? lol. I think the A-Frame may be his favorite thing.
agility leo is happy.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Wicca's Best Day

If possible I love this dog more each day. Today she came along on an adventure and had the best day. She completely stole the show, and truly was the highlight of my day. She is hilarious, and even at ten years old is the boss. Of everything.

She came along to agility practice, and the farm. She didn't listen at all, rolled in stuff, got in the way, nearly caused a stampede, chased gophers, and a cat or two. And just generally was awesome.

Some photos from the day...


toy thief

part of her victory lap after I let her do a tunnel. <3 Her Joy was heartwarming. 


Rolling on a dead worm

it was a good roll! 

mooching treats 'cause she worked so hard. 

at the farm. on chicken watch. 

a gift. 

she wasn't sure she liked it. 

In the lambing pasture. She was helpful. 

and pushed all the sheep out. LOL

She then spent the afternoon supervising the working dogs. It was a tough job. 
After such a busy day she is now sleeping in a sun spot at my feet. <3
Never change Woo.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Herding Stuff

my friend cindy and her dog pike @ Altapete

Scott and Jenny (Altapete) are off on their spring adventures so I am on farm watch again. I think this is the third year. It truly has been life changing. I am very lucky!  The whole herding thing really. Brit, and then Leo. All the things I've learned, all the things I've done, the people I've met. Just awesome. 

Anyway, that was a bit off topic. lol. 

Leo has the most amazing outruns. I often just stand and watch him. It's cool to think that he learned that. I don't know how even. But it's definitely amazing to me.  We are still working on the drive. He is getting it. I had a great lesson with Scott before they left. And have walked the fence line more times than I care to count. ;) I have Leo entered in Novice at the trial coming up- only because of that drive. Otherwise I'd be in Intermediate because he can do the bigger outrun. I am thinking that by the end of the summer the drive will be good enough to move up. So we will get some experience under our belt. He ran just once last year at a field trial- his very first time to the post. He did pretty great, and won his class (and a clock.) I am looking forward to trialing with him this summer. It's going to be fun! 

Brit isn't doing too shabby herself! The arena trials all winter really got her fast and keen, so i was a little worried when we started working on that outrun again. But after a few repetitions she is back to bending out- actually better than last year. Her top end isn't great so we are working on that. She either over flanks, or cuts in...I'd like something in the middle. And I'd really like her to take that stop at the top EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Not just occasionally. I hate yelling at her. She is getting pretty good at driving, and as long as the sheep are good she will settle in behind them and truck along. I bit the bullet and entered her in Intermediate. A bigger outrun,  a drive away AND a cross drive. She is capable. I am excited to try it! The worst that will happen is she will lose her sheep, or I'll call her off.  As long as she is sound that day it'll be fun! She is having some issues. Issues that are getting worse instead of better. It's frustrating. And I'm not quite ready to talk about it. I tend to get sad and dramatic, and I think she deserves more than that. So I am going to get her looked at again and see if there is a more difinitive plan for her. To compensate for that we do little bits- a few outruns, some driving, and no farm work. So she sits and watches a lot, or will hold sheep. She likes that.  <3

Lots of fun herding stuff planned this summer. Trials, Clinics, Get togethers, and Fun!!!  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nosework Trial!

Western Canada held the first SDDA Trial this past weekend in Red Deer. The SDDA is the Sporting Detection Dog Association. There has been a few trial in Ontario, but it is still very new. This trial was Started level only as no one had ever done it before around here! 

I was pretty nervous. Wicca can be really on, or off. (Typical Corgi!). But she really struggles with vehicle searches. For a title, the dog need to pass three components (three different searches). A container search, where the odour is hidden among 12-18 boxes. An Interior search, where the odour is hidden in a room somewhere. And finally an Exterior search, where the odour is hidden on one of three vehicles. The dog must pass one of each of these in order to earn a title. If the dog passes all three on the same day they earn a different title than dogs who don't. 

We started with the Container Search both days- Saturday was an S shape, and Wicca was working right off the bat. She did a great job, and I quickly called Alert before she wrecked the hide. The second day they were in four rows- tightly together. We nearly DQ'd for going out of bounds but I called her back just in time. She alerted just fine on that one once she was focused. 

Saturday we did the Vehicle Search next. I was SO nervous. For one, this is her worst thing. Second, one of the vehicles was a quad- which she's never worked off of before. And Three- there were LOTS of exciting and distracting things outside.... It took as almost two minutes but she did it! I think we walked around each vehicle two times, and the outside of all three at least two more times. She had her mind on other things and needed some prompting to keep working.  Sunday the Vehicle search was last and we left before my turn. I wanted to get home at a decent time!

The interior search was hard both days. A whole room full of random stuff. Saturday Wicca nearly alerted on the wrong thing- she was very sniffy against the wall at a box, but was quick to leave when prompted. So we did find the right thing- on the bottom of a chair. Which again her alert was teeth so I had to call the alert really fast! I didn't want her to retrieve the chair. lol. The second day it was my error that failed her- she knew where it was and I didn't let her have a chance to get close enough to alert on it!!! I was so focused on the stuff that I didn't let her get near the wall... But what a good dog! She tried to tell me. I need to listen more! 

So because she passed all three elements on Saturday she earned her Scent Detection- Started title. So SD-S sp. The SP signifies the one day finish. I am so proud of us! Wicca is just such a great little dog. She was keen to work, and was excited to be out. I really like this sport- it is so great for dogs with physical limitations- I think Wicca was the oldest dog there though. There were lots of malinois, shepherds, and the like. But the people were all very nice, and I learned alot from the judges. They were just great, and were eager to share their knowledge. 

I have some good training ideas- and now is the right time to start working on an actual alert. In the advanced level your dog needs a consistent alert that the judge needs to be able to identify. I am going to start on that today!

We are going to start looking in to seeing what it would take to host a trial in the south. Red Deer is far. lol. And more trials would be a lot of fun! Because this was the first one, there were definitely some things that need to be improved. I don't think the organisers had ever ran anything like that before though, so you have to start somewhere I suppose! 

Anyway, I'm pumped! Who knew Wicca would have a chance to do something fun/work again! Love that dog. To Bits. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

Easter weekend was jam packed. Full of family, friends, and dogs. I didn't sleep in once. But I wouldn't change any of it. 

We did some herding. I didn't take any photos of my own dogs. This is Scamp. 
the easter bunny came. and I cooked turkey. 

the dogs got into the spirit of things
Wicca and Vito both had baths and all that jazz. Wicca is still shedding but looks better at least! 

We played follow the leader, I mean went on a walk. 
and Wendy took beautiful photos of my girls. <3

this one especially melts me. <3
and more walks, and more herding, and even a tiny bit of agility. Oh, and I even cleaned my house. See, jam packed full! Oh, and you want to know what there wasn't? Nosework practice. Not once. This spells trouble for the upcoming weekend.... 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prairie Girl Pixel

I really, really love this photo. I don't know why. Other than it is 100% Pixel. Doing her own thing, tail in the air.
Such a Princess. <3 
Something blowing in the wind. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Falling Behind

It's like the story of my life! Lol. So much to say, to write down, to remember. But by the time I get to just sit at the computer the last thing I want to do is waste the time to do it.

And so the blog has become more of a dumping ground. I have good intentions, but life sometimes gets away from you.

In any case here is a recap of last week.

I took my Grandpa's little dog Tucker to be euthanized. It was sad. And hard, and easy all at the same time. Easy in that he was suffering, lived a long life, and was truly heartbroken, his body and his heart both gave up. So it was the right decision. But it was still hard, to hold him, to explain that although his condition looked bad- he was well loved. His passing was peaceful. It was hard to say goodbye to the last connection we had to my Grandpa, and my Grandma. After my Grandma died Tucker became everything to my Grandpa. His companion- followed him everywhere. Always at his feet. As routine oriented as my Grandpa was. Even when he moved to my parents a few weeks ago- Tucker demanded his supper at 5pm on the dot, and bedtime was 10. No exceptions. What a funny little guy he was. <3

Wicca and I are training for the nosework trial in a few weeks. She is awesome, mostly. The vehicle search will be our downfall. Of that I am certain. I am going to work on indication and commitment this week. Back to basics and see if I can convince her that the rules are the same on a car. She is a challenge- even at 10 years old. :)

Leo has ignited my spark for agility again. We had a fantastic training session late last week, and then again this weekend. He is coming along nicely. Understanding more and more, and with that comes confidence.

Brit is lame, mostly. It is frustrating. And I try not to think about it. We need to go and see Veronica again. Although I have been down this road and I know that the outcome is not good. My hope is that she will have more good days than bad. And that I can manage it.  (She has some nerve trouble in her back, for those that haven't been following along)

We did a photo shoot with 55 dogs in a group stay. It turned out awesome. 
Lorelei is a very talented photographer, and while the shoot itself with a little difficult to manage- everyone did a great job with their dogs.

Spring is here- my grass is turning green. And I am really looking forward to the time when I can sit in the yard with the dogs and just be. I have serious cabin fever- even though I've been out all winter- it's not the same. Bring on the sun, and warmth!

This week is a short work week. It's going to be awesome. I have five days off in a row. Talk about lucky! I intend to spend it all with my dogs, my family, and my friends. Lucky, Lucky Me!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Arena Trial Finale

The Highwood Stockdog Series is over- the last trial was held on Sunday. It is a GREAT way to pass the winter months, and is a lot of fun. Once a month we all drive to the High River arena and run our dogs. Last year was the first year, and this past year was even better than the first. It's like a well oiled machine. We can set up the whole arena trial (panels, fences, pens), and unload a trailer full of sheep in twenty minutes.

It has been a great learning experience for me. Last year I was SUPER new and each time to the post gave me a bit more confidence, and a bit more experience. How to read my stock, how to trust my dog, and what to do in general. This year has been more about learning my dogs- and giving them both that valuable experience.

It has not been without it's ups and downs though. I moved Brit to the Ranch class- which is a bit more advanced than Novice. The handler stays at the post and there is a longer drive (up the length of the arena). Novice is a small easy course, and the handler can walk on the drive (which is only half way up the arena at most).

Brit handled that no problem to begin with. We even won our class a few times. And then the sheep got heavy. And when that happened it was hard for both of us. lol. The drive seemed even farther and I struggled to keep her moving. And one trial she wouldn't. So back to novice we went for the last two of the season. I am glad I made that decision for her- the sheep got worse. But she handled them okay with help from me. Her run yesterday was the best she has ever done. Calm, Confident, and reading her stock. It was a great feeling only marred by a DQ caused by my handler error. I didn't know, and made a mistake at the pen. It doesn't matter in the big scheme of things but I do feel bad about it. And it wrecked an otherwise perfect run, and a great feeling. But you win some and you lose some! All things about this sport are variables- even the rules! lol. I am proud of Brit- this game is not easy for her, and although she is keen she often lacks the confidence to back it up. I've worked very hard with her to get her where she is now. And I feel that I can get her even farther if we keep marching on. At our own pace, step by step. For as long as she is able and willing we will continue to train and trial.

Leo has come so far- from his first time at the post, to the run yesterday. Consistently placing in the top three in his class every time, ensured that he brought home First Place in the Aggregate. Winning the Novice Class overall! The class is a fair size, and there are lots of good dogs. I am so very proud of him. I know I am biased but he is a pretty special dog. Talented, Keen, Honest, and is the type of dog who will look after me. He has taught me a lot already, and I am looking forward to a great summer of farm work with him. When it was announced that he won the Novice class I was happy, but it didn't really sink in. It has now, and I am just thrilled with him. What a dog he is!

Winning, or losing. It is all part of the fun of the game. For me it is never about winning, but doing my best, and pushing my dog to do his/her best. My favorite part of any sport is the training. I am a dog trainer. I love that part. So for me trialing is a test of my training- and that is for all sports- not just herding. Herding is the most difficult thing I have ever done, and I am very new. So it has been a challenge. I have a great support team though- people who have shared their knowledge and helped me a long the way. I am forever grateful for that! I know that I am very lucky!

Here are their runs from yesterday- lots of good stuff in there. And most importantly- Improvement from both of them!



and Brit

and a token photo. Leo and I after winning the aggregate. I'll get a fancy jacket with our names on it, which I may never take off! ;)

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Agility Leo!

Leo's first agility video! Just little clips from the seminar and match yesterday. Lots of breaking things down, and lots of rewarding. You can really see the wheels turning on some of the stuff. Some progress in just a few weeks even!

The video only shows the good stuff, I assure you there was plenty of second, and third tries before getting it right. ;) We are a little rough around the edges, but are working it out! I am feeling pretty pleased with his progress, and have a whole bunch of stuff to work on! So damn exciting.

One of my friends asked me how it felt, and at the time I couldn't really figure out how it felt exactly. But now, reflecting on yesterday I know that it felt just right. Seeing some agility friends for the first time in almost two years...Hanging out with friends, laughing, visiting, learning, running, cheering, feeling that connection with the dog... all things that just felt perfect.

I want more of course. ;)

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Signs of spring

Boone got shaved. 

Pixel is shedding

Wicca is muddy. (trust me)

the border collies are dreaming of swimming, and are ready to get fit again.

see? these are dog who are ready! for spring.

Leo's tongue made an appearance today. And he tried to lay in a snow/ice puddle...

Vito has no ears now that the gophers are out....
All sure signs of spring. ;)