Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wordpress Update!

I’ve been blogging again, enough to mention it here!

Blogger is not mobile user friendly. I do most of my writing late night or early morning. From the comfort of my couch, or my bed. Laptops to do not make it to either of those places. So sadly, blogger is out. Enter Wordpress! A convenient app on my phone, user friendly and and easy.

You can read all our adventures there!


Thanks for Blogger for all the years of blogging! Many memories are posted here. <3

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Least I Can Do

To decide today is the day. It's without a doubt the hardest part of dog ownership. 

I'm faced with that today. For the third time. You see I've made an appointment three times now. Cancelled twice. Because there is so much doubt. 

Am I making the right decision. That's what I have asked myself over and over again. Is it too soon? Should I wait for a "sign" from him? But what if I wait too long?

That's my fear. Waiting too long. For him to lose his dignity. His mind. Himself. I've been down that road and I vowed never again to be late. 

And so today is the day. 3:30 to be exact. The clock is ticking. I have indigestion. My heart hurts. He slept in his crate for the last time last night. He had his last breakfast. His last walk down the road. He will get a cheeseburger and fries on the way to the vet clinic. And a second cheeseburger at the clinic. To help distract him from being afraid. 

I know that dogs live in the moment. The now. He won't know that today is his last day. But I do. And it fills my heart with sadness. 

He has lived a long life- 14 years and a bit. Ten of those with me. He came to me a shell of a dog. Weirder than any dog I had ever worked with. He was a project. We had ups and downs and he taught me so much. About dog training and about myself. 

Quirky is a kind word when describing Boone. He made his own path, did his own thing and was always creative. He loved to poke things with his very pointy nose. His famous morning butt rubs on the couch. The grunting and crazy hair. The way he could run off and vanish in less than a second. How he would cuddle only on occasion. His barking, often at nothing. 
I will miss all of those things.  

He always gave me what he could. Even when he was afraid. Which was much of his life. I retired him from dog sports when he told me it was too much. It was the least I could do for him. He had given me as much as he could. And now I'm faced with a similar choice. He has given me as much as he can. He's tired. He's ready. He's losing himself. So I will hold him and tell him I love him one last time. 

It's the least I can do. 

Monday, January 02, 2017

A new year....

What a year it has been. 

2016 was a pretty good year for me. A year of making choices for me and for what I want. A year of interesting experiences, of travels, of dogs, and learning, of friends and family and a full year with Allan beside me. And of course my most awesome dogs- I am forever grateful for them. I have been lucky that they remain healthy- even my oldies. 

Already into day two of 2017 and I'm hopeful that the trend of doing things to make myself happy will continue. Slow down, enjoy the moments and stop rushing around. Stop wishing for tomorrow, and focus on what's happening right now. I want to be stronger and brave and Confident in my decisions. Sounds easy. ;) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Updates all around

So much busy. I can't seem to keep this blog updated at all. I blame facebook and how easy it is. However, I really do need to keep better track of the dogs training stuff!

So here are some updates on the crew.

Leo is so awesome. Herding wise things are really coming together. He is a very good boy, and still knows far more than I do. The plan is to enter Open in the spring, which is terrifying. lol. We need to work on shedding, but otherwise I think we can handle it.  The only other thing we've been doing is obedience and rally. I have him entered in Novice Rally this coming weekend. He is such a phenomenal heeling dog- I hope that he can keep his head and focus. I am excited to try this with him!

Boone is old. I know it's not news. But he is definitely showing and acting his age. He is rickety, and slow to get up, mostly deaf, and also incontinent. Half the time he is the same old Boonie, so at this point we are just going on as normal. As long as the good outweighs the bad, we will just keep on. I won't lie, I have started thinking about what the end will look like for Boone, or rather, the when. It is hard to know, but in the past I have been lucky enough to have the strength to decide for them. I am not ready to say goodbye to my scruffy little weirdo, so I am going to do my best to make sure he is pain free, keeps his dignity and is comfortable and happy. <3

Pixel is great. She just never changes, and will forever be four years old in my brain. We have been doing lots of Nose Work, which she seems to really like. As with all things Pixel, she does it on her own terms. lol. I am not sure that we will ever trial- she is hit and miss, and it's an expensive sport. Such a brat.  She still loves Scenthurdle and recently earned some sort of big title. I can't remember what, but I was impressed. She is so consistent and joyful. She is fun to run. I have her entered in Rally next weekend- an advanced/excellent combo. She is fun to work, so I am looking forward to that!

Vito is as always the grumpy old man. His birthday is coming up. He doesn't act it all though. He isn't stiff, can hear (when he wants to), and is overall just the same old jerk. I love him to bits though, he is getting even sweeter and cuddlier if possible. His hugs are the best.

Wicca is aging. As much as I would like to deny it. She overdoes it sometimes, which means metacam and robaxin. I don't have her on anything long term- just when she needs it. She is only painful if she does too much, or runs in deep snow, or too much fetch. So I try to just keep that stuff down to the minimum. When she is feeling good she is the same old Woo. Bossy, Opinionated, and Sharp. She mostly still rules the house, and keeps everyone in order. Siren does challenge her sometimes, but if I see it, I make sure to back her up. I took her to a barn hunt thing- she had a good time. She does love to critter! 

This dog makes me laugh. She has this infectious personality that just draws you in. She is sweet, and affectionate, and smart, and quick as a whip. We have been training a lot- little bits of everything. She has a great work ethic- and impresses me with her focus for a young dog (and a terrier to boot!) I have her entered in Rally this weekend- wish us luck! She can be a little sensitive to her environment, so it will be interesting to see how she handles it. I am going to start some nosework with her this winter. I think she will enjoy the challenge! She loved barnhunt, and I am excited to try Earth Dog in the spring!

Jack is so fun. He walked into my house like he has been here forever. Aside from some house training issues, it has been a seamless transition. On sheep he is really just so cool! I am having a lot of fun working him, and am only slightly terrified that I will ruin him. lol. I am lucky to have help  friends to keep me on track. Off sheep he is playful and sweet, and a typical sucky border collie. He loves to cuddle, and likes to just hang out. I adore him, and am still counting my blessings for getting so lucky! Jack turns one today actually! We have a birthday hat, and some sheep time planned for today! 
Brit has been learning Nosework and she really likes it! She is also quite good at it! We sort of jumped right in, so I've got some holes to fill in. But I took her to a fun day, and she passed all three elements of the DOT. (so did Pixel actually)! It is a good sport for her- no jumping, and little chance for a sore back. I discovered that she is considered a vet now- so in Obedience she can jump lower! I entered her in Open this weekend- so we will see!

In other news life is good. Busy. But mostly great. :)

Friday, September 16, 2016

This blogging thing is hard

Blogging is getting harder and harder. I still love to write. And actually miss watching my thoughts come across the computer screen. But I'm busy. Lame, I know. I'm also unmotivated. Also lame. 

But I hate thinking about negative stuff, nevermind writing about it. So I'll spare you all my worries and real life issues and instead write about my new dog Jack!

Firstly, 8 dogs is a lot. I realise this. It's not my ideal number. But my old dogs are in pretty good health and I wasn't about to wait for them to die. 

Alright- Jack. 

I've been looking around for a few months for a started or trained sheepdog. My budget was small (I'm
Poor) so it definitely was a process. I mean if I had unlimited money or at least more money then I likely would have bought a trained dog almost right away. But back to Jack.

Jack is 10 months old and was barely
Started. Like, on sheep a few times. But he has a super nice pedigree and is cute.

I know, cute is not really a factor. :) 

Seriously though- I had him for just over a week to play around before I had to decide. In that week he really came along and showed me a lot of the qualities i like in a working dog. And he is a lot of fun. Also, fit into my household. 

So after some feedback from friends, I bit the bullet and bought a dog! 

Some things about Jack the Sheepdog
He is very intense
He is fast 
He has a lot of eye
He has a tendency to go wide on the right
He has natural feel for his sheep
He likes to stop on his feet

Some things about Jack the regular

he loves toys and insists on carrying one during walks, in the house, and in the yard 
He is very silly and playful
He has no house manners and has 
jumped on the counter, peed on my
Bed, and is generally everywhere he's not supposed to be
he is smart and I've started doing some training with him to work on the above things. 
He gets carsick. Massive amounts of
Drool. Every. Single. Time. I hope he grows out of it.  
He and Siren are best friends. They play a lot and not in a weird border collie way. 
He is handsome. And cute. And I totally love him already 

Thursday, June 09, 2016

On Passion.

My passion for many years was agility. The training, the trialing, the feeling of running with my dog, the frustration of bad timing, or sloppy training. The exhilaration of a clean run, or a nearly clean run. All of it. The lows and the Highs. I loved it. 

I went to regionals, Nationals, and as many trials as I could get to. I trained every spare moment I had. It was my focus, my passion.  

Somewhere along the way my passion started dwindling. I don't know exactly when. Having to retire wicca was a big part of that, and just a year later having pixel injured as well... I started worrying about hurting my dogs and enjoyed the game less and less. For a while I didn't even have a dog to play the game with... Some big life changes around the same time and all of a sudden agility didn't seem so important anymore. 

I started herding around that time and very quickly that became my new passion. First Brit, because she couldn't play agility (she has back issues), and then Leo.  I get goosebumps still sometimes when I watch my dog figure out something on his own, or when everything is just so. It is a game like no other that I've done. When I am out in a field just me, my dog and sheep I feel At home. As I consider the purchase of another dog, I know I'm in deep... ;) 

But just because agility isn't my passion anymore doesn't mean that I havent missed it. The people, the sport itself, being active with my dogs. I've been working hard to get back into the game. I won't lie, it's been a struggle. Building back my own confidence took the most amount of time.  Last year a friend and I started a new agility based business and while I haven't trialed much (one, maybe two trials in two years?) Im getting closer to being ready. I'm making time for it, training at home and at our field. It's fun. I've always love the training and the problem solving part. 

Leo likes the game a lot. He is a good dog. He may never have the brain stamina for a whole trial but that's okay. I may not have enough for a whole trial either. ;)  Siren has started training and is a little pistol. She is sassy and quick and very eager.  They are a motivating pair- the enthusiasm they have is contagious! 

I will never be competitive like I was. I don't have the drive to be the best, or to push to be the best. I have no desire for the world team, or nationals. I've finally found the fun in training, now I need to be brave enough to enter and go to a trial. And still keep the fun and connection with my dogs. I'm excited to have finally got to this point. 

I'm an overthinker, and a procrastinator. So this has been a long time coming. My plan is to enter a few fall trials to get my feet wet, and go from there. 

I'm lucky to have great friends who encourage and push just enough to motivate me.  And so lucky to have such good dogs who are happy to work with me no matter the sport. ;) 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

And the terrible blogger award goes to...

I have good intentions. I do. But somehow it's already the middle of May. 

My excuse is always the same. Busy. Just so busy. I'm so busy being busy that I sometimes forget to just be. It's a problem and has been this way forever and ever.

But I'm mostly happy. And that's important. I try to keep myself centered and look for things that make me happy. I sometimes feel like actual depression might be just around the corner. And then I'll spend a few days refocusing my energy on the positives and the sky is blue and the sun is bright. It's easy to be overwhelmed with life so I'm careful not to let myself slip. 

I love my house, I love waking up to the chirping birds, and falling asleep to the owls. The quiet in the middle of the day. The sight of the lake, the sound of the wind in the trees.  I even love the drive to the city everyday. It's my best thinking time. The move has probably been the best decision I've ever made for myself. 

The dogs are all fantastic- my very loud, excitable, often naughty band of misfits. Siren is a sponge and is learning things at an alarming rate. She is a lot of fun and if I ever get the motivation to do agility again she is the dog for the job. She is so fast! 
Wicca and Boone are definitely old dogs. Can't keep weight on either of them, and they can't come on long walks anymore. But they are happy with their bits of training and all the spoiling that comes with age. Brit is good- her nerve thing seems to be taking a break. Which is nice. She's been able to go for runs every day but we keep training to a minimum. I was hoping to enter her for her last two CDX legs in a few weeks. But she is reluctant to jump. :(  Leo is wonderful. I really adore him. He is quirky as all get out, but tries so hard for me. My goal is to run Open with him by the end of the summer. We've been training as often as we can (nearly every day!)
Vito is the same badass he always is. Never listening. Always stubborn. Good thing he's cute. And the princess (Pixel) is good. We've been training for some nosework stuff, and today I decided that we should go back to the rally ring. She likes the work and has been mostly sound. Fingers crossed it stays that way! 

Work is good. I am finally settled into a new schedule between work and classes and teaching. It's working and I feel like I've got time to breathe. There is still so much I'd like to do teaching wise, but there is just a limit to the amount of hours in a day! It's frustrating because I'd love to teach more and be able to help the general public more with their dogs but I can't stretch myself anymore than I already do. 

Family life is interesting, as always.  My mom is being transferred over to a long term health care facility. She's been in the hospital for a few months and finally there might be a bed for her. Her mobility is non existent. She is a shadow of her former self. I can hardly remember the good times. She is difficult, manipulative and we barely speak. The move will be good for her. Either push her to try a bit harder or give her a reason to really give up. The decision has always been hers.  I don't talk about her much- here or in life, but it brings me great stress and a lot of anger and sadness in my heart. My dad has moved to a new house finally. A fresh start with a cheery new house. I worry for him. All the time. He's so stressed out and is as dependent on my mother as she is on him. He spends hours every day with her.  The move was good though and In trying hard to get him some hobbies or something to do besides worry about my mom. My sister and her kids are fantastic. I love them to bits. Avery is going to be two in a few weeks. She is exactly my sister- all attitude and Princess. Nolen is getting so grown up. It is great fun being an aunt. :) And this is month 7 in a serious relationship. He has been so good for me. The first relationship I've spoken of. Because I feel like it could last through my crazy. Lol.  Right from day one there was a sense of calm and peace in my soul when I am with him. He makes me happy and has been excellent with the dogs. Pixel especially has really taken to him. 

Now that I've written a novel- I can see why my life is so busy. And I didn't even talk about sundog, or the hours of teaching, the time spent training, the issue of trying to prioritize my dog sport interests, the stress of life, and the fact that I really could use a million dollars. ;)

Here are some random dog photos from the past month or so. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A Herding Update in Photos

We have driving. Lots of distance, lots of enthusiasm, and lots of forward.

We have pace. And Forward.

We have some style. And Forward.

We have open flanks! But not on the Come-Bye side... sigh.

We like fast moving sheep. Like Barbs

But he can move the other guys too.

He is such a good boy. I am looking forward to trial season!

Monday, March 07, 2016

Early Spring

It's an early spring around here. Like really early. The lake was starting to thaw around mid February. We haven't had much snow since January! 

The birds are chirping, grass is turning green, and the sun is shining and beautiful. 

I've been spending time Learning how to slow down. Staying home, just being. It may be the best thing I've ever done for myself. 

I feel calmer. Happier, and more focused. On the flip side it's really hard to let go of stuff- my responsibilities that I've passed on to others, private lessons, another training night. At this rate I might actually have a life soon! 

The dogs and my family aren't complaining. ;)

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Queen

Always in charge. Even in her old age. <3

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Pretty much every day our walks look like this. Full out fun. The dogs are certainly well exercised since our move to the country. Lol

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Growing Up Siren

Siren is going to be 6 months old in a few days. She is such a fun, easy, puppy! She just fits in the household like she's been here forever, and is one of the crew.

I've been mostly just letting her grow up. We do lots of running, and playing, and learning games, but haven't taught much in the way of actual usable skills. I like to let puppies be puppies. She hasn't seen a tunnel, or a jump bump, or anything really. She does lots on the peanut ball, and on the perch, and on her mat. She can do all the basic obedience stuff, and knows how to use all her body parts. She mostly recalls, and is always eager to learn stuff. We are working on some tricks this week. Her high five is pretty adorable.

Most of her life is spent just runnning wild like some sort of prairie creature. She loves to run, and hates to lose. I think she will be a really fun agility dog one day!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


In herding Balance is found by feel. You don't teach it really, the dog just learns by feel. It's natural for most border collies. Some dogs stop short, before hitting that magical sweet spot. And some overrun and miss balance all together. But with a bit of practice and training most figure it out. 

Balance for me- in my life- has been incredibly difficult. I don't feel as though I've found it, nor am I anywhere close to it. Sometimes I feel as though I've gone past balance, and other times I've stopped short.  I'm hoping that one day I'll find that perfect spot- the one where it just feels right. I wish that it came natural, because it's getting real old trying to figure it out myself. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

12 Years

12 years of Awesome. I love this dog more each day. She holds my heart. <3
Happy Birthday (yesterday) Wicca!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


We survived christmas. It was a lovely day with my family. I cooked, no one died. There was much laughter and excitement. A success I would say. 

I'm still on Christmas holidays. I go back to work on the 4th. So far I've been kept busy, tomorrow will be my first almost full day home. I have to come in for a meeting in the evening. But the day is mine. 

I'm not ready to do a post about the past year, or about what I hope the future will hold. I'm sort of in limbo right now about both of those things. Life sure can. E complicated sometimes. 

The other day I told me nephew that he better stop growing up. Because being a grown up isn't all that much fun. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Wishes

It's Christmas again. I'm trying very very hard to get into the spirit of things. I decorated my house, bought cinnamon smelly things, and torture my dogs every day for a Christmas themed group photo. 

It's like the Christmas cheer is just out of my grasp though. Frustrating, and like most things the more you want it the less likely it is to just magically happen. 

Christmas cheer or not, I am hoping for a quiet, happy, little holiday. Time spent with friends, family and myself. Time to catch my breath and get ready for what 2016 is going to bring. 

So Merry Christmas to those that still read my blog. I hope it's bright and merry, full of love, laughter and joy.  <3

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Everytime I read it.

Everytime I saw this quote floating around on facebook it stuck with me. So I stuck it on a pretty picture to put on my wall at home. 

Life is so full of Ups and downs and everything in between. I think all the good, the ups, the awesome, the fun are what needs to help us through the not so fun, the tragic, the sadness, the blue days and even the boring ones. 


Friday, November 27, 2015

Learning Stuff

Siren is soaking up life and learning like a little sponge. She is so clever and is a total problem solver. She has great focus, and most importantly the "want" to learn. We are building up food drive (she didn't have any!) and her toy drive is alive and well. She loves to tug, and fetch, and kill stuff. We are working on impulse control and some basic dowhatiwantandyougetwhatyouwant. She is starting to figure that out. 

So far her challenges have been:
Focus. It's short. And she is easily distracted by "shiny" things. 

I don't want to. Already! So young to have these moments. But she is a terrier. So we play the i-know-you-don't-want-to-but-CAN-you games. And she is improving each session. I haven't been brave enough to see if it's working yet. When she throws the "I don't want to" in my face during a training session or real life we just end the game and I play with someone else. Soon I'll see if the training is paying... 

And that's it challenge wise! She is highly motivated and loves to be right. So it's super fun to train her. I'll try and video some trainingn sessions to post here so I can look back and say "LOOK!"