Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vito no-ears




Before Vito I had never had a floppy eared dog before. Weird, I know.
It amazes me all the things he can do with them!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Non Dog Content :o)

So I admit that I am one of those people who enjoy reality tv- not survivor or anything like that. But the Idol shows, and the dance shows you bet. If I'm home I'll watch them.

In the case of this years Canadian Idol show I am not home- I miss both shows every week due to my teaching schedule. So I you tube my favorites.

Theo Tam is my all time favorite. He has a great voice, and is a great song chooser. He never sings songs he can't sing. Makes sense right? Anyway, it also doesn't hurt he's from Lethbridge. (where I live)

For those of you who aren't rolling their eyes and leaving, here is his performance from this week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

River Fun at Blazingstar


Boone and Gyp, originally uploaded by Blazingstar.

A few weeks ago I took Wicca and Boone out to Liz and Andy's place (remember the portrait photos) anyway, Liz took this great shot of Boone going to fetch a stick! He had a blast - and actually tugged on the stick when he brought it back. He is such a good boy!

Practice, and Planes

Today will be the last practice before Nationals. I am going to do some fun jumping exercises, practice a gamble and a few weaves for good measure. At this point nothing I do today will change the outcome- we are as good as we are going to get.

I am starting to get a little nervous. I am very glad I signed up for the warm up games as it will be a good chance to get rid of some of those nerves. It will also be nice to have a few days to chill and get adjusted to the time change, and get over the whole "plane trip."

I have never been on a plane before and I am not quite sure what to expect. I had a nightmare last night that I forgot the proper ID and couldn't go. I am not afraid to fly and I think it will be a good experience. I am also a tad bit worried about the dogs. Sarah and I have been saying to each other all week "they'll be fine" and "wicca and gyp will be okay for sure" most of the worry and stress has been about Kaleb- who is quite excitable and has never flown before. Wicca is a good traveler and she doesn't stress about noise etc. but I still worry about it. Just last week a dog escaped at an airport in Edmonton (the crate fell off the truck) the dog ran around for about a week before someone found her. Scary.

Anyway, those are just some random babbling thoughts at 7:00 in the morning.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The real deal

If you ever want to see some amazing dogs- check out a border collie herding trial. Wow. I stopped by Alta-Pete today to watch and it was pretty amazing. The control, instinct and will is pretty wild. The training that goes into these dogs is pretty intense but a lot of it is instinct- 
One of those goosebump kind of moments. 

I am going out tomorrow to help out in the sheep pen. Not sure what that will entail exactly but sheep stink, and are stupid, and are big...it will be funny to see Sarah pushed around by them though!  At least I'm bigger than they are....   :o)

We have a lesson scheduled for next weekend. Not sure if I will let Wicca play...it would be my luck that she break a leg the day before we leave for Nationals....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pieces of Moi!


the lady at Thousand Hounds blog had a very cool blog post today. Flickr has a cool program that will make a mosaic for you. The fun part is when you start choosing random pictures. Her mosaic turned out beautiful...
So of course I wanted to try it.


Ta Da!


Click on it to see full size

1. WIP: Amanda Hat in Wollmeise Iris Sibirica, 2. On the Lookout, 3. Peace... perseverance, 4. From above..., 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ravenu/150756336/, 6. 1/3 parts Pimm's cup + 2/3 parts bokeh =, 7. dreams (reprise), 8. Winter had a bad hair day., 9. Fellin Lucky, 10. Gizmo, 11. branching out, 12. Run, Pepper, Run!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Creativity!

Those of you who cruise You Tube have probably seen this already but I thought I'd share anyway!

I have always admired the Pit Bull breed- I love their looks, their sense of humour, and their personality. This is a dog who thinks outside the box that's for sure!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Practice makes Perfect.


Last night Wicca and I had a rough start- bar knocking. Ugh. After a few failed attempts I put her away to cool off a bit and brought her out with one jump. Jump, Cookie, Jump, FC, Cookie, RC, Jump, Cookie, Jump, Wrap, Cookie. No Bars. Back to the sequence.


We set up a Front Cross Exercise from a Terry Simons seminar. It was lots of fun when my dog kept the bars up finally! We ran the exercises pretty good- it was good practice for timing of the turn!


At the end of the night I worked on contacts. Last week Wicca had a bad contact night- not blowing them or anything but creeping. Which I hate. I never wanted to be one of those handlers who had to tell their dog 20 times to Bottom. So I fixed it. I worked all week on the stairs and on my little board at home. Driving her into the 2o2o position. I am happy to say it worked great and her contacts were much better. I used clear targets with random rewards and she was consistently driving down to a nose touch.


We did a little work on weave poles. Just entries mostly. Her weaves have improved a lot. Lately her strongest entry is a rear cross. Weird eh?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

All Smiles


All Smiles, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Vito had a blast playing at daycare today- he actually went IN the pool- which is how he got all muddy!

12 Days...

12 days until we leave for Nationals

15 days until the actual event

and only 4 training sessions left.




I am not even nervous yet. Excited yes, nervous no.

Monday, July 21, 2008

7 Dogs

Camping= lots of fun!


Crappy Camera = crappy pics....but better than no pictures I guess!





The dogs had lots of fun swimming in the river- fetching sticks, toys, rocks...

Vito really LOVED my sister and spent lots of time on her lap!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Camping

I am taking all the dogs camping this weekend! Should be interesting...er, I mean fun!











Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Boone


Boone, originally uploaded by Lodgepole.

I love how it turned out- he caught his expression perfectly!

Wicca


Wicca, originally uploaded by Lodgepole.

I took Wicca and Boone down to Liz and Andy's (blazingstar) yesterday for some fun river play- before that Andy suggested portrait pics! :o) They turned out a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nosey w/updates

Two weeks ago(the friday before the trial) Wicca put her nose where it doesn't belong. Where? I don't know. I was at my parents (dog sitting) and Wicca jumped up on the couch and I noticed a big red, sore looking welt below her nose. I immediately thought bug bite and gave her some antihistamine. A few hours go by and the swelling is gone but it is still red and angry looking.
It doesn't seem to hurt though- I can touch it and she doesn't shy away. Weird.

Now I kind of think it might be a burn or something. It has been two weeks. Her nose isn't getting worse- in fact when I compare pictures it does seem smaller. But it is still there and it makes me nervous. I made an appointment at the vet just in case.



Update: Wednesday 11:53

Just got back from the vet. Wicca weighs a healthy 12.5kg. Kendra suggested using panalog for a week 3 x day to see if we can reduce the size of the spot. She doesn't think it is a bite or otherwise "bug" related- but if the panalog doesn't help she suggested Revolution just in case- she also said that with the trip to New Brunswick the revolution wouldn't be a bad idea anyway (heartworm) So no real answers- but a relief that it isn't a huge deal. She also mentioned that because it is bare skin it will be sensitive to sun- which is a good thing to know as I hadn't thought of that.

Creeping and Twisters

So last night Sarah and I went out early to get some training in before class. We set up some great exercises and set to work. One of the exercises was contacts...Wicca is creeping. Both the dogwalk and teeter. Looking back I can see how this has started-
releasing her before she is in 2o2o position has caused this.

and I really want her contact to look like this....well almost like that (her head should be lower and she should be straight- not turned...but quite obviously that is my fault....)




I was a tad bit frustrated, okay a lot frustrated as soon as I realised what I was doing. Ugh. So we will work on that all week at home on the stairs and hopefully have our beautiful contacts back :o)



We also did a cool exercise out of clean run- it was fast and fun. I doubted that Wicca would make the turn but of course she did. I really need to learn not to do that. I drive myself crazy.



People started arriving for their class just as the dark clouds rolled in. From all different directions I might add. Very, very scary clouds. Rolling, and loud and quite frightening. We waited a few minutes to see if it would pass but when the wind picked up and the clouds sunk lower we decided to cancel. Just as we got in the car the hail started. It was a pretty tense drive home. I just walked in the door and the hail started again- bigger than golf balls! It was most amazing. There was an actual touch down in the city- (Paradise Canyon for those Lethbridge folks)



We sure are having some wicked weather lately! We have had to cancel more class this year than in the past two years combined I bet! Check out Sarah's blog post about the funnel cloud from last week! http://digit-fetchit-herdit.blogspot.com/2008/07/touchdown.html

oh, the pics on this post are from the GoDogGo trial a few weekends...
recent proof of my inconsistency!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stupid Gophers

So yesterday I was minding my own business, training my dog and boom. I Fell in a Gopher Hole. (okay, I tripped in a gopher hole)
The gophers are quite rampant in the field- and we take care to fill the holes every day- we must have missed one.....I am not broken- thankfully!
Sam's physio therapist is going to take a look at my leg today.At this point it is sore and uncomfortable but manageable...........
on the plus side better me than my dog!
Stupid Gophers

Monday, July 14, 2008

Training

It was very nice to have a whole weekend home- Saturday I had a great visit with relatives and Sunday turned out to be a great training day.

I loaded up all the dogs and went to the agility field- I practiced some Jumping drills with Wicca- collection, extension, turning, rear end work etc. She did pretty good and it was nice to go back and work some basics with her. I set up a double box with some modification and worked on threadles, front crosses and rear crosses. Our threadles were less than stellar though! I need to work on those more because we are bound to see some at Nationals. I just have a hard time figuring out where I need to be in relation to the dog, the jump standard etc.

Vito got to come out to play and he had LOTS of fun. We played with the weave poles- three reps of each side- he was pretty excited about it. And then we did a little work on the double box- a simple turn and 180 and a straight line of jumps. We ended on some dogwalk/teeter games. I have been working on "bottom" at home with the stairs and he really seems to get it. I was impressed with his speed, and work ethic. Vito hasn't been out on the equipment in at least a month. Maybe he is finally growing up a bit :o)


Boonie got to play as well and had quite a bit of fun. I am working on weave pole entries with him as he can weave once he gets in- so I used three poles and a gate, and then four poles and a gate. He has gotten over his fear of the gates and we had quite a lot of success. I also did a little box work with him- he LOVES to jump so he was a pretty happy guy! I didn't do the teeter or the dogwalk with him at all.

Sam came and helped set up- he hasn't been to the field in more than a year. He REALLLY wants to play and barks and carries on if he has to watch. So usually I avoid the whole scene and leave him at home. It makes me sad. Anyway so he got to follow us around while we set up jumps and even managed to get on the teeter once before I put him away. Poor Guy. He really loved agility.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

More Pics from the weekend

Here are a few more random pics from the trial....





Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My Surprise

So last week Wendy started tormenting me with "I have a surprise for you....but it's not here yet" Uh Huh. Nice. So all week I was waiting in suspense for the "big surprise." By Wednesday I stopped asking what it was. I figured it would get here when it got here.

It came. Today. It's the nicest thing ever. Wendy found a company online "Blurb" that makes Books out of blogs. Yup. That's right. I have my very own book- and it's the first three years of my blog. It's beautiful.

I haven't had a chance to do much else than browse through it but I am really looking forward to sitting down and reading it. I love my blog- probably more than a normal person should but really I think it has been a really great way to record keep, and how cool is it that I can look back to the first time Sam did the weave poles, or the first time Wicca saw sheep. It's even better in paper version....

Thanks Wendy!

Fetch

I have been teaching Vito to fetch. It is going pretty well. He will even hold it now when I ask him. At home that is. This morning at work I was videoing a rescue dog for his potential new home and thought since I had the camera out I would show off Vito's impressive fetching skills...this is what I got...
video

Monday, July 07, 2008

Agility Weekend

No Rain, Perfect Temperature (in the mid 20's) and a slight breeze all weekend made for a great agility trial. It was relaxed, and a lot of fun- I think our own trial might become one my favorites!

I had Boone entered in a few things each day. Saturday he ran Gamblers- and did great! We got lots of opening points and even got the mini once. He took the wrong entrance of the tunnel in the closing though. We ran the standard course as well even though he still is not weaving- we chose to run by. He was good though and except for a few w-i-d-e turns he stayed on course. We paired with Cheetah (another Pyr Shep) for team and had a blast. Each of them had a few bobbles but it was still a lot of fun!
Sunday Boone was entered in Snooker and almost had it. We were short by three points when again he took the wrong tunnel entrance in the closing. *note to self...must work tunnel entrances :o)
We also ran Jumpers at the end of the day and he did great! He had a great start line (something we've been working on) and he stayed with me the whole time, managed to follow a FC cue, and Q'd! It was the fastest he'd ever run (21 seconds) I was thrilled with how well he did on the weekend. Q or no Q he did pretty darn good!

Wicca had a bar knocking kind of weekend. She still ran beautifully though- (except jumpers) she was paying attention, and trying hard. She had great contacts all weekend, and good start lines. She had an amazing Standard run but knocked a bar, and we are in Masters Snooker now and did a pretty decent job! She knocked the bar in the closing (#6) so we were short points for the Q...still, I was impressed!
Sunday Steeplechase was her moment. She was great. No Bars, no flubs. Just one of those runs where you can feel the connection. It was pretty neat! I handled the ending not great and had to have her stick her bottom for longer than I should have while I moved into position for the last two obstacle. It cost us probably two or three seconds! We still won our height, and Q'd. But we could have beat 'em all :o)
The last run of the day was jumpers and wicca was a bag. Even the judge agreed with me :o) She cut in front of me not once, but twice to take an off course jump. She had it in her mind where she wanted to go I guess.

Overall it was a great weekend- It was nice to come home each night and sleep in my own bed, and have my dogs be able to relax in the comfort of home. Clean up after the trial wasn't so fun- loading, unloading equipment, taking the fence down, etc. I went home and was in bed sleeping by nine pm. and still I am tired this morning :o) Oh, and a little sunburned....

Friday, July 04, 2008

For the Good...

I will have had Boone for 8 months next week. Pretty Amazing.

Sometimes I forget how he was when I firt got him- he really has changed a lot. He is still quirky, but in a good way. He rarely spooks about things and when he does get nervous he is still able to think- which is all I can ask of him.

A few weeks ago on the way home from work we had hail. (I know, weird) He totally freaked out in the car because of the noise. I was concerned that he wouldn't want to get back in the next day. I shouldn't have worried as he hopped in no problem- a few months ago and it would have been quite an ordeal to get him in the car again.

I have noticed in the last little while that he sneaks on to my bed in the middle of the night- something he would NEVER have done before. (He likes the security of his crate even though the door is open) He is also a very affectionate little dog- he likes to kiss, and gives great hugs. :o)

He is laid back in the house and excited and wild in the yard, he plays like a mad man with toys, and the instant I want to do something he is ready. He is getting more and more confident on walks, and is just surprisingly normal.

It's funny because I always new he'd turn into a mostly normal dog- it just surprised me that I didn't notice!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Birthdays...

So I just found out- purely by accident that it was Wendy's birthday a while ago. I don't know when exactly and she won't tell me. I must admit that I was surprised- It seems weird not to tell anyone...and she's quite sneaky about avoiding the subject...

I discovered -again purely by accident that she is 34- which isn't old. So really? What's the big deal? I am not one to get all excited about my birthday and in fact haven't really done anything to "celebrate" it since I turned 18. But all my friends know my Birthday and it is nice to get emails, and phone calls from people.

I guess some people just don't like the whole "Happy Birthday" thing. But tough luck! Age is just a number! :o)

Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday Wendy :o)

Photobucket

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Dream Dog

When I was 13 I dreamed of owning a large male shepherd- mostly black with rich red markings. Perfectly well behaved and a Utility Dog to boot. I also dreamed of one day owning a border collie (red and white of course) Funny how things change over the years.

My first dog I ever did anything with was Tina- a shepherd cross. We did lots, and lots of obedience. Even though she wasn't purebred I trained that dog to a CDX. We took the funmatches by storm in my area. She really started my obsession. I started Agility with her way back when you only needed one Q to move up to the next level!

I purchased Indy- a dark female shepherd, out of the paper when I was 15 (1997ish). I desperately wanted a purebred dog to compete with- Tina was getting older and I wanted a dog that wasn't as limited. I saved all my pennies for that dog- babysitting, grooming, etc- every dime went into the purchase of that dog. And then at 7 months she was gone. Hip Displasia. I was 16 years old and had her euthanised because I couldn't afford to fix her. Her displasia wasn't a mild case either- she couldn't get up by herself, couldn't run, couldn't act like a puppy anymore. It was pretty awful.

You'd think that I would have learned my lesson about backyard breeders. but no. I demanded my money back from the breeders of Indy- in writing I had a guarantee. They refused but offered me a puppy out of a friends litter. I was a sucker.

I picked Kate out of the litter- she was the exact opposite of Indy- light in color, light eyes, a shy, timid little thing. Kate physically was alright. Mentally was another story. That dog taught me SO much about dog training and life. She was a handful almost right off the bat- high strung and nervous. At 6 months old her temperament went from okay to bad. Really bad. I know more about fear aggression than I ever thought I would. Despite her downfalls I love her. She is 100% devoted to me, and tries very hard to do what I want. I trialed her in Obedience and Agility for five years- and we did pretty good. She got her CD with a High in Class, and we had fun in agility.

I vowed that my next dog would have a sound mind and body. I was on a list for a shepherd pup- this time from a reputable breeder...the litter didn't take and I again was desperate for a pup.....

I never pictured my next agility dog to have such short legs- in fact I had never seen a cardigan in agility ever but when Wicca's breeder called me and said she had just the dog for me I couldn't resist going out to meet her...

I have fallen in love with this breed. I am forever looking at wesbites. I am addicted to pedigrees, blogs about cardis, forums and just general information. I will always have one (or more) Cardigans around. I have even chosen the kennel where I'd like to get my next Cardi from. I love their cheerfulness, the drive, the stubborness, everything about them. But it most definitely was not the dog I pictured way back when!

What was your "dream dog" when you were a kid?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008