Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I need more sun. It's dark all the time. I havent taken my camera out of the bag in over a week! i even missed my 52weeks project last week. :( I am crabby, and not in the mood I guess.
I am not a fan of shoveling. Hopefully our crazy winds will get here and stay here and blow it all away as per normal. This snow that sticks around is a pain in the butt!
I cannot believe it's only mid December. A few more months to go of this.
Speaking of mid December. It's mid December! I have done barely any Christmas shopping. My list is small but lots of hard to shop for people. I should have done more online shopping but that's a hard thing to do when you're a procrastinator. ;)
Friday, December 06, 2013
The dogs are a little stir crazy- when it is this cold they don't last long outside. I do have boots for some of them. But Wicca and Pixel have never been succesful at keeping them on. And I tried to put some on Leo and he fell over. lol. It is not worth it really- so we have been doing things in the house to tire them out.
With six active dogs in the house- I have to be pretty creative but here are some of the things we do. Some things are just normal training things, but others are just for fun.
Peanut Ball- this tires them out physically and mentally.
Food Games- I have a few of the plastic Nina Ottoson games, they all know the trick to them already, but it is still entertaining.
Find it games- depending on the dog the game varies. For instance Wicca looks for wintergreen (for nosework), Pixel looks for her dumbbell, and the other dogs search out a food container.
Shaping- I used to just shape tricks, but after the Sue Ailsby course I use shaping to get movement and thinking too! So for example I'll choose head motion and shape a nod, or a headshake. Or I'll choose feet and get high steps, or single leg lifts. I set a timer- 2 minutes. This probably tires them out the most.
Tricks- so many tricks, so little time! Brit recently has perfected the dead dog, and is working on roll over. Pixel is learning how to take a bow, and Leo is learning how to wave. V is learning how to say his prayers. I choose pretty random things each time, and have lots of half learned things that aren't on cues yet. So sometimes I'll finish off one of those.
Training- working on specific things for each dog. (the ones that are training for something anyway!). Go outs, scent discrimination, signals for Pixel. Stays, transition games, and finishes for Brit. Targeting, backchaining on the contact board, and impulse control games for Leo. Wicca does cavaletti's, and back ups, and stretches for her physical problem.
Some of these things can be done in 10-15 minutes, and others require a bit more time. But really- I am telling the truth- I can tire these dogs out way quicker mentally than physically. And on bitter cold days like this, I am grateful for that !
If I had the space I'd get a treadmill, but I just do not have the room for one in my tiny little house. Maybe one day. When I win the lottery (which is a post for another day...)
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Heading over for some craft fun at my sisters, and then coffee with some friends. A great Snow Day indeed. ;)
Friday, November 29, 2013
I posted this to flickr, and to facebook. So it's a repeat for some. But none the less- my November submission for the Flickr Group- 12 months for dogs.
Each month I take a group photo, and it seems as the year goes on I am more and more rushed. lol. Regardless, I think they are adorable despite the crappy photo. <3
Thursday, November 28, 2013
What Christmas gift do you buy a person who is dying of cancer?
It is completely impossible and hurts to think about.
I have been mostly okay with the fact that my Grandpa has only a few months to live. I am sad in little bits, and mostly just keep busy to cope. And then I was reminded I need to buy him something for Christmas. Geez.
It completely breaks me. Completely.
We found out a few weeks ago. He was getting dizzy, and not feeling well. He hasn't been in the best health lately- he has emphysima, and has complications that go along with that. But due to the dizzy spells my Aunt took him to the doctor.
A mass in his brain. And his lung, and a suspicious mass in his abdomen.
It is treatable to an extent. But my Grampa has chosen not to treat it, and rather just live out the next few months as best as he can. Without treatment the doctors estimate that he has a few months.
My Grampa is a quiet man. Growing up he didn't have much to say, and let my Gram do most of the talking. So trying to get him to talk about this, and how he feels is impossible. Instead when I call we talk about the weather, and how he feels health wise, and what he had for supper the night before. Things that don't matter. But I guess to him, those are the things that do matter. The things that are okay to talk about, without dealing with the emotional side of it.
And that brings me to the gift. I barely know what to say to him. Let alone buy him somthing for Christmas. Should I buy him the same old thing- a Home Depot gift card, some chocolate, and a crossword book? What if he doesn't get around to spending it? Should I try and find something that has more meaning. Something that he can do. Right now. Before he runs out of time? I am at a complete loss.
It brings me to tears when I think about it. And I am not a person who cries. Like ever.
My parents are flying out Saturday to see him. Spend some time with him. I won't be able to go until January. We have some serious issues at work staff wise, and I don't want to go too soon. Or too late. The rest of my extended family are also making plans to go and visit. So we are trying to plan it so there aren't too many people at once. January will be better work wise (hopefully), and the Christmas rush will be over family wise. He is still feeling pretty good for the most part. A little trouble with his speech and dizzy spells, but otherwise pretty normal. My hope is that can continue to be that way until after Christmas.
It seems weird to be planning this "one last visit"- It breaks my heart to think that I may never see him again. I am so thankful to have spent those few weeks with him this past Summer. We made some good memories. Memories that I will need.
When my Grama died I had nothing but regret and pain for a long time. Regret that I didn't make more time for such an important part of my life. Regret that I didn't get to say goodbye. And so much heartache. So I am determined to make the best of the time that is left. And I've been calling him regularly. It is hard to talk about the weather, and the football game, and all that trivial stuff. But soon I won't have even that so I will cherish each time I get to hear his voice.
As I write this it comes to me that maybe the perfect gift for him is just the regular old thing. The stuff he loves, the stuff he likes to do. So what if he might not be able to finish the project he's been working on- I think it will be important for him to keep on the best he can. And for us to support that.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
In any case he had a fantastic day (although, every day is a fantastic day for the dog that doesn't listen. lol).
We met up with Wendy (his most favorite person) and did some fun Birthday photos. Wendy is learning how to work with flash, and lights, in a more studio type setting. It was fun, and Vito enjoyed all the cookies he got for being a model. ;)
Here are just a few of my favorites!
|me and my V. <3|
|thinking about cake.|
|he hated the hat. lol. But what birthday is complete without a hat?!|
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
One phone call.
One second in time.
If nothing else it puts things into perspective.
Say what you've been meaning to. Don't waste a second of your life. Talk to those that are important in your life. Make that call you've been putting off. Because you never know.
My dogs are all just fine. So don't worry about them.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thankfully I had all that and more for most of the weekend. This past weekend was our local Dog Show. Aside from ring stewarding and working, I also had Pixel and Brit entered in Obedience.
Pixel was wonderful. So. Much. Wonderful.
She was happy and bouncy, and did almost all of the exercises right. Friday and Saturday she did something she had never done before- anticipated the recall! And then of course had a perfect drop, and then call to front. Sunday she held the sit, but missed the drop. lol. AND THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED! She held her out of sight sit. That three minute out of sight sit has been an issue since the very first weekend in Open. And she nailed it today. I am just so thrilled with that. We still need that elusive last leg, but we rarely trial so it may take a long time. I am okay with that. After this weekend I think we are closer than ever and I may do an early spring show to see if I can get it. If not, then our summer show will be the next time.
Jo videod my runs this weekend. Here is Pixels rounds from Friday and Saturday
Brit was a good girl. She gave me some great effort, and I am happy with that. Friday she was a little distracted but worked pretty well. She went down on her sit though!!! So we failed. Saturday she was brilliant. And I do mean brilliant. Happy, prancy heeling, wagging tail. A happy girl for sure. Perfect in all things. Her first qualifying score- a 190/200. Which is awesome. And then today she was weird. Spooked by something and I could not convince her to heel with me. It was pretty awful. I have never seen her like that. And I can't even pinpoint what it was. Maybe just sick of the dogshow? In any case I know she can do it! So we will continue to train and proof, and all that fun stuff.
Here is Brit's 190/200
We Scenthurdle Raced on Saturday. It was fun, although we only did a few races. Next year our team is splitting into two- which will increase our number of races per dog. Pixel raced once and was spot on, even after fumbling her first time. She gets drooling in anticipation of the cookies at the end and lost her grip. lol
And of course I have to talk about my awesome students!!!! So much awesome. So much great attitude. I loved it. They have all worked very hard and did amazing. Some new titles, and more importantly some new found confidence! :)
Saturday, November 09, 2013
Monique from The Naughty Dogge posted this on her facebook wall this morning. As I read it I was able to identify with each and every one. Perfect timing for the first step I took yesterday in getting my training business kick started, and for my life and my hangups.
#1. Dream Big. Start small. Act now.
#2. Victims make excuses. Leaders deliver results.
#3. Clarity breeds mastery.
#4. Education is inoculation against disruption.
#5. A problem is only a problem when viewed as a problem.
#6. All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.
#7. If you’re not scared a lot you’re not doing very much.
#8. Where victims see adversity, extreme achievers see opportunity.
#9. The project you are most resisting carries your greatest growth.
#10. Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.
#11. Criticism is the price of ambition.
#12. Potential unexpressed turns to pain.
#13. Ordinary people love entertainment. Extraordinary people adore education.
#14. Your daily behavior reveals your deepest beliefs.
#15. The only failure is not trying.
#16. Focus is more valuable than IQ.
#17. To double your income, triple your investment in self-development.
#18. Your excuses are nothing more than the lies your fears have sold you.
#19. An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production.
#20. Life is short. Be of use.
These quotes are all from Robin Sharma- you can read more of him at
Awesomesauce. Pure and Simple.
Friday, November 08, 2013
Wicca and I attended a nosework seminar. It was pretty neat. Wicca had a LOT of fun. I've worked through some of the stuff at home, but haven't really gotten into it yet. We are talking about starting a work group/class to keep us all motivated. There is no one local doing it- so we will have to keep each other going until the next time we bring Kim.
Vito is fat. Like quite fat. I've not had a fat dog in a very, very long time. He is hard to lift up. That's how fat he is. I don't know when it happened. Or how. Same exercise as always. Same measured cup of food. But obviously all the little extra times he gets into the cat food, garbage etc. are adding up. So he has been on a diet now for three weeks. And getting into more stuff to make up for it. Jackass. I might need to actually get a bag of diet food as I don't think I can cut his food down anymore than I already have.
I am trying to train Leo in agility. And not trying hard enough. He hasn't been on a contact in more than a month. It's hard and frustrating not to have equipment. So then I get annoyed. And then don't bother. Even though I know full well I could train contacts without the actual equipment. I am still obviously a little angry. lol. I did score a $30 ten foot tunnel! I know! $30! I was stoked. But it has sat unused since I bought it. Except for one time. I wonder if part of my problem is the social aspect. It's not a lot of fun to train by yourself. In any case, I have a new class schedule starting in a few weeks and I have set aside some time to get to the meat of the handling he needs to learn. I even did up 6 weeks of layouts for us. To motivate me....
The Sue Ailsby clicker class I am doing online is ending this weekend. Monday is the last day to get feedback etc. It has been a super course- lots of really great information. And even though I have been clicker training for a very long time I got lots of suggestions and ideas. Sue is a brilliant trainer and has an amazing eye for stuff. I was very impressed. Brit enjoyed herself, and I feel that all the shaping we've done has really loosened her brain up a bit. I like free thinkers, although we may have crossed over into too creative sometimes. lol. In any case I am sad that it is ending. I would love to take another course- the skillbuilding one looks particularily awesome. But I am poor.
I am poor. I haven't been this broke in a long time. Like since I was 18, and working part time making 8$ an hour. I sorely misjudged how much more expensive my new house was going to be. I mean, I knew how much but I didn't really think about how much. lol. It makes no sense, except that I am poor. So I have been doing extra training, extra lessons, and although I HATE the thought of it- I will likely have to see if I can get back my Thursday shift. :( I hate being stressed and too busy. But I hate being poor more. I am just barely making ends meet. Not a lot of extras happening these days. And I worry about that. Because my nest egg is not very big should something happen to one of the dogs, or my car, or whatever. So time to buckle down.
Wicca is almost ten. It makes me feel a little ill to write that. But I have been thinking about it a lot. I don't want her to be ten. January is coming.
My sister told me today that there is something like 48 days until Christmas. I am horrified. I have done no shopping. And if you read this big long post you will know already that I am poor. I think that homemade gifts are in the cards this year. I might even get crafty.
I am happy right now. If not a little unsettled. I have certainly been cranky lately, but still happy. It is a double standard I guess. I am learning to just shut up. Keep my thoughts to myself. Let things go. It's nice
I HATE THIS SONG.
And it is on the radio a lot. It's playing right now on the tv. And I am so annoyed by it that I am writing about it... Who decides what becomes popular? How the hell does that happen? What kind of stupid people choose to listen to that crap.
I have focus problems apparently. As I left this post to go and work on my training facebook page. The first step is the hardest they say. I am just so sick of watching, reading and hearing about the awful ways that people train dogs in my area! I have been teaching classes for years. But not officially (no business license). But this week is the week. I'll be heading down to city hall on Tuesday... And then to run the gauntlet of insurance... Like I need more things to add to my to do list, but if I just get this step over with I will have more opportunity...
That is all. I don't even have a cute picture to leave you with. My card reader is broken, and I will need to go buy a new one tomorrow... good thing I have a few lessons booked this weekend...
Sunday, November 03, 2013
L: You guys should come! It'll be fun.
Me: Sure!!! Sounds fun!
That's about all the convincing it took for me and Jenilee to make the drive NORTH of Edmonton for an arena trial. Apparently we are UBER keeners. Because the little town of Mayerthorpe is 8 hours away. Really.
So off we went early Saturday morning- despite weather warnings, and snow, and rain, and ice. Confident in Jen's new winter tires. (and her awesome driving!)
It was a GREAT weekend. I had so much fun! Even though most of it was spent driving, and a big chunk of that was spent fretting about the weather, and the HORRIBLE road conditions. Like worse than I have ever been brave (stupid) enough to be on.
But we survived, and it was great. :) The company was great, the atmosphere friendly and relaxed. We were super lucky to have a great place to stay. Of course there was plenty of laughing and inappropriateness.
More importantly, my dog continues to impress me.
Brit blew me away today. Completely and utterly. She continues to work better and better, able to take more pressure, and do more difficult things. It amazes me. I never imagined that we could get this far!
The Ranch course today was much more difficult than anything we had done. A barrel to go around at the top, a fetch through two more barrel's, back to me at the handler post, and then a DRIVE all the way back up to the top of the arena around the barrel, and a panel on the wall on the way back. Serious business. Oh, and a pen of course.
And she did it! WE did it. It was as close to perfect as we've come at an arena trial. Some over exuberance on her part, and some handling errors on mine. But awesome enough (read: fast) for 2nd place in the first go round.
Here is video of that run.
The second go round didn't go quite as planned. But, except for an error at the top that wasted a bunch of time it too was a great run. I misjudged, and my dog didn't listen, took a wrong flank and tried making her own decisions. But we got it fixed and finished strong. Pen and all. This run was good enough for 3rd place!
Here is the video:
Had we been members of the ASDA last year we would have been eligible for the finals- a run off between the three top dogs in the class. It would have been awesome. (and we could have won a buckle!) But unfortunately I didn't know about the cutoff date in time. Now I am properly joined, and will know for next year. But regardless I am just so completely thrilled with her today. I mean, it may not look great for the super dog trialers out there, but considering her weaknesses are pretty much everything we had to do today I could not be more proud of her.
Amazing. We have worked very hard to overcome, and work through some of her issues, and to see so much progress lately makes it all worth it. I am pretty lucky to have so many great resources around to help me out. I am looking forward to pushing through our next challenge, and we have some things to add to the list of stuff to work on. ;)
I know she can do it.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Time Flies when you are having fun!
I went back and re-read all the blog posts for the first month after I brought her home, and found some adorable photos. I don't miss those puppy days, but reading about them was fun! And the photos, totally made me melt. I have my "favorite" puppy photos and always have those in mind when I am looking for one, or think of her at that age. So looking through all the other puppy photos was lots of fun. I'd forgotten about a lot of them!
|seriously, could it get any cuter? this would have been shortly after I brought her home|
|the first week.|
|little miss confident. lol|
|already getting right in there! look how small she was!!!|
|and upside down baby at work. seriously cute.|
So, a VERY Happy Gotcha' day to the Princess. I am so very lucky. I remember being so grateful when Rita (her breeder) finally agreed that I could have her. I had to do some serious persuading. lol. So thanks! She was definitely meant to be mine. ;)
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wicca playing agility. Man, I miss running her. I miss agility period. But this. This is something I miss a lot. It's been a few years now. Hard to believe.
Here is a video of her last agility title she earned. Wild, Wild Wicca. Always just barely under control. lol. Strangely enough, I miss that.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Brit has been working on driving, driving, and more driving so I was THRILLED when she had a great drive on both her runs on Saturday. We didn't get the drive on Sunday, but I'll take the two I did get!! We have worked very hard to get it... Her first run the outwork was not very good. She slices in at the top of her outrun, and refused to stop. I had to really yell at her to get her to take the stop. So our fetch was fast and furious. But the drive was nice, and it was my screw up at the pen that caused us to time out. Her second run was way better. Nice outrun, great lift and fetch. And the drive! We just didn't get the pen. This was our highest score yet of 65. I might frame it. lol. She won that round, and came second the first one.
Because the sheep, the field, and the atmosphere was so relaxed I decided to enter Leo on Sunday. He is not quite ready, as the driving is a real problem. But I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how he will be in a trial setting.
Brit's run was first, and again she came in like a freight train at the top. We MUST get a steady pace. That is our winter project. She's not going to like it, but it's a bit ridiculous. lol. The drive was shorter and at a weird angle- and by the time I got it sorted she was almost at the panels. So not a very good drive at all. But we got the pen this time! Pure fluke, but we got it. I need to watch some videos I think... and really work on my timing.
Leo was VERY excited at the post. As soon as he saw the sheep he wanted to go. His outrun wasn't quite as good as normal. And I should have given him a "Time" at the top, instead I made him liedown. Watching the video, I should have used Time a lot more. I forget that he knows that. lol. His fetch was straight, but fast. The drive was messy as he would. not. get. up. He gets sticky, and I think I will have my work cut out for me to fix that. Another lesson with Scott might be in order! But we got it done. And his line was better than Brit's so we lost less points. He did not get the pen, again my fault, not his. He took every flank i asked of him, only getting it wrong once. I'm pretty proud of the boy! He did a great job for his first time!
So again, I come away with more things to work on. We have the arena trial series starting next month. I plan to run both Brit and Leo. Though I have some things to work on before then for sure!!
I have video, and will upload when I have a chance!
Oh, I should mention that Leo won today! He got a 57! And earned High Novice score today, a little clock with Cypress Hill Stockdog Trial. High Scoring Novice on it. It is pretty awesome. ;)
Friday, October 18, 2013
But it isn't until recently that I've buckled down to learn it. I've been able to do everything but a stop. There is a tail on it that is tricky and it took a while. Finally I think I mostly have it.
So this winter the dogs will learn it. I've been told that even just the stop whistle is going to make a huge difference. You can be more precise about what you want, the dog responds better, etc etc.
I am excited because already in the wind on a big outrun I have had some trouble with the dogs not hearing me. So the whistle is definitely needed.
It is hard to Learn though. I am not musically inclined at all an have no ear for tones and such. But like I said I had a breakthrough so feeling like I almost have it. :)
Practicing at work was enjoyable for me, exciting for the dogs. And annoying for my coworkers. :)