Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Vito is sulking because his girlfriend cheated on him....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

no title can explain......

It is only Wednesday and I am exhausted. I've worked exrta long hours at work for three days now. And teach in the evenings- often for 3 or more hours...Today will be my fourth day of this...

Not that being tired is an excuse....but obviously I am not thinking straight.

I still have Luna (the rescue corgi) although she is going to her new home soon!!! She is in season right now which has been interesting. She had just come into season when we got her so we had to postpone her spay..anyway, I don't remember Vito ever being this obsessed before...he is in love with Luna and I've had to keep them very seperated or strictly supervised. He drives me crazy with the panting and the pacing and the mounting attempts...

And right now Luna is super trampy and shoves her butt at any of the dogs (and even the cat). Boone hasn't seemed to noticed her at all...that is until last night...

I got home and because the dogs had been crated so much had everyone out together. Vito was driving me nuts so when I went on the computer I crated him. A short while later I hear yelping...I go into the living room and there is Boone and Luna tied...(Seriously I am not really a bad dog owner...) Yeah. Boone is freakin out trying to get away so I grab him and her and hold them still until he's done. he's still screaming by the way... Thank god it was only a few minutes. I think Boone really freaked himself out so it was short. I feel like such an ass. I knew that a neutered dog would still try and breed but I didn't give Boone a second thought. He is so not a "boy" kind of dog. I've learned my lesson however so Luna is banned to a crate unless the boys are away or on a leash. Thankfully there is only a few more days left...

At least no one (Boone) wasn't hurt....Now at least I can laugh about it but still I feel like a tool.

Oh, and this morning after my shower I came out of the bathroom to see Pixel humping Luna....

Geez. my week has been getting better and better.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pixel and Buzz

Buzz is my friends little Sheltie pup. He and Pixel had a great time playing after some outdoor training this afternoon. This was the first outdoor training all year and it was SO fun. I worked each dog on a few specific things- Boone on coming into me and deceleration. Wicca on startlines. Pixel on contacts, and Vito on some fun speed sequences. It was a fun way to spend a few hours- I am so excited that SPRING is here!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wind in my Face 12/52

Wind in my Face 12/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Spring is here in Lethbridge, and well with Spring comes wind. lots of wind. Today on our walk we were almost blown away.

Boone doesn't like the wind much, I think the noise scares him. I was pretty impressed that he was happy on our walk today, even played fetch before settling down for a rest while the other played.

He must have been smelling something good in the wind because he stayed like this for a while!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not Much

nothing much to say, but thought I'd post a cute picture of Pixel and her friend Coulee sharing a stick.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Get off the Fence

I won't get into the debate here, but seriously I cannot stand Cesar Milan. In my opinion he is a bully with too much power and his own damn tv show. He is an awful dog trainer and is showing the world how to be unfair to their dogs. The above video was posted to a facebook group and I posted it here only because I think his reply was interesting when confronted about what the Humane Society said about him.

I think that more and more people are starting to see now what it is that he is really doing. The horrified looks on the owners faces as he strings their dog up until it's gasping for breath really just tells the story doesn't it? I just wish that the people who still follow him, or don't see anything wrong with him would open their eyes. It really annoys me that people are on the fence about this. If you like the guy so much let him have an hour alone with your dog....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


okay, so NOT a table picture, or in any way related to training last night....but she's cute...

I took the girls to the arena last night and worked mostly Pixel. I got a lot done with her and am feeling really good about where she is at right now.

Table- worked on driving with her to the table, sending to the table, and running past. The first few times I ran past she used the table as a spring board so I started from scratch and slowly built up my movement. At the end I was able to throw a toy as I ran past and she wouldn't leave. Her down is automatic on the table and even when she was REALLY excited it was still super fast.

Out and Go One- using just tunnels I started adding more distance and less movement from me (i.e gamble). She did really well with this and loves tunnels a lot so this was a perfect set up to work this.

Teeter- I only did a few reps of this as I mostly wanted to do the dogwalk. Her teeter isn't quite as fast as I'd like so we started with some surfing to get the excitement up.

Dogwalk- I wanted to challenge her to find the entry on and maintain speed. She didn't miss it once. I also worked on running past her on her 2on2off and I was very happy with how well she did. She only broke once, although I do need to work on how long she stays in position. She was starting to release herself after a few reps.

Threadles- there was a simple box set up so we worked on threadles and push thru's. She is much better at this than Wicca.... :o)

so yeah- LOTS of stuff packed in to last night. It's very exciting to me that she's so grown up. And she is so incredibly cute!

Wicca came along but only did very little. Mostly we worked on start lines. Everytime she broke she was put away. Which meant that the first few times she was out was quick. :o) After the second time she got it and I had to be extra sneaky to get her to break (saying BOOK, instead of her release word for example...she did break on that by the way) I also did some circle work in the middle of two tunnels and she didn't flick out once! And FINALLY she was able to do some actual equipment and I just did go on's and get out's for a few minutes with the tunnels. No jumping, no weaving, and no contacts for Wicca last night.

Only one more week in the barn and we move outside! It's hard to believe it's the end of March already...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Foster Dog

Isn't she adorable? Luna is a Pembroke Corgi crossed with somethin....not sure what. I originally thought maybe Jack Russell as she has a very narrow face and is petite all around. Also that could explain the color....but she is soft and mushy and nothing like a terrier.

Luna was an owner surrender after she didn't turn out to be a good "cow dog" - not sure what that means exactly but I doubt she had a very good life. I am not a foster home really, and now do intake and some adoptions. But she's a corgi! I mean, I couldn't NOT foster her.

She is a complete mushball and is the laziest dog ever. I thought that maybe she was just tired after her ordeal and changes etc...but no. It's been a few days and she is still just as lazy as ever. She never gets off the couch, and I've started calling her the Princess.

Luna LOVES cats and wants a kitty of her own one day. She doesn't care about the other dogs at all although she and Wicca ALMOST played yesterday...I think with a little more time she just might. What Luna loves the most is people. She has never met a stranger and everyone gets the same greeting. She presses her self as close as possible her nubbin' wags like crazy.

Anyway, I posted this on here because I want a record of the dogs I end up fostering over the year, and maybe one of my readers might also think she is adorable and want to adopt her.....anyone?

For more information about Luna you can check out the rescue blog-

Monday, March 22, 2010

Most Favorite Toy Ever! 11/52

Last week the 52 week Flickr group had a challenge- Your dogs favorite toy....

I don't know why, but i didn't think about this right away- wendy suggested it! This was probably the easiest photo of Boone yet! He really does love his Manners Minder!!!


Boone's most favorite toy in the world is the Manners Minder. He thinks it is pretty darn amazing that food magically appears, and sometimes for no reason at all!

The Manners Minder is probably one of the best dog training inventions ever. It dispenses treats via remote, or totally random.

I use the Manners Minder for all sorts of things- sometimes I use it on top of the crate when I am not home (great for random reinforcement). Also I use it for agility (distance and contacts) and Obedience (go outs and stays). It really is a great tool.

Boone obsesses about the MM and will alternate between staring at it, and looking at me as if to say- make the cookies happen!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Fail, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Pixel has never really caught on to the whole catching cookies thing....

*photos by Paws on the Run Photography. (i just made the collage)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Pictures

I went with Wendy this morning to an off leash dog park in Ft.Macleod (a small town about half an hour away). The dog parks here are kind of boring after a while so we wanted something new. We had the whole park to ourselves and didn't see a single person or dog the whole time. The area is huge and is very natural with mostly game paths to follow. Lots of wildlife call this area home but thankfully we only saw deer from a distance!

The dogs had a blast and are exhausted after running for almost two straight hours. Wendy and I both brought cameras although I mostly got crap. :o) Wendy got some great shots of my dogs so thought I'd share them. I will post my photos tomorrow maybe.

Thanks for the great photos Wendy!



We went to a new dog park today- one that is full of wild life. Wicca found no shortage of good smelly spots to roll in. Needless to say she is getting a bath today. :o) Click to view large. She is one happy (but gross) dog!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Naughty Friday Fun

So I finally got around to looking at the video from the weekend, and you know- Boone wasn't as bad as I thought- his issues were either before or after the a-frame and teeter...which says a lot. Wicca was naughty- in each of her runs she either broke a start line, didn't stick her contacts, or blew me off...

So for entertainment purposes here is the Gamble from first thing Saturday morning. She was especially naughty.

Here is Boone's run on that same course. I had chosen the same path for both of them although Wicca altered hers, and i didn't attempt the mini gamble with Boone.

hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where's, Amanda?

This morning someone on Facebook tagged me in this photo.

It took me a good ten minutes to find myself. This would have been in Grade 7 (1995).

Click on the photo to make it bigger and then see if you can find me....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pixels' list...

As I mentioned in my last post I entered Pixel in her first trial in May. I am very excited for her, and it will be great to see all my training in action.

There are a few things I need to work on more.

Contacts. I have a month to finish and proof her teeter, dogwalk and aframe. Her table is pretty solid. I only get on contacts with her maybe once every two weeks so it has been a slow process but the progress we have made has been good. I need to start proofing on the dogwalk and need to start making the approach angles a bit harder.

Handling. She recognizes all the patterns- pinwheels, 180's, 270's, serps, threadles. Now I need to piece more together and do longer sequencing. I also need to work on her finding a line. She doesn't always take what is in front of her.

I also need to work on my start set up. She prefers to start in a stand, which is fine by me- but she is sometimes slow to switch sides on cue. I need to go back and make this fun for her.

Weaves. She won't be weaving by May but I intend to weave every day with her at home (at least while the weather holds). I've been lax in the weave department I need to make up for that.

Sounds like a lot of stuff but really its not. When I think of how far she's come in her training its pretty amazing!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This and That

Dakota left this morning for her new home. I am so excited for her, although I will miss her alot. She is a wonderful dog and her new owner is very lucky.

A few like minded people started a rescue a few weeks ago. I jumped in head first of course. I know that this time around will be better for me, and for the dogs. The website is up and running- and we are accepting donations of stuff, and of course money. The focus for Windy City will be mature dogs- and showcasing those wonderful older dogs that often sit in rescues and shelters for way to long. I am very excited about this new venture and am glad to be a part of such an amazing group.

Wicca was extra stiff on Monday. I am trying not to think about constantly but it is hard.

Boone is back to his normal goofy self. I am going to take him to class tonite and work on bits and pieces.

Vito and Pixel are back from their respective dog sitters. Vito was thrilled to see his momma, Pixel not so much. She's such a snot. :o)

Filled out Pixel's very first agility entry form. It was SO exciting. Her first trial will be in May. Just a few things as she won't be weaving fully yet by then. I also entered Vito in a few things. He is coming right along and I think can handle a bit more. I am taking him to class tonite aswell.

And that's it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Naughty and Nervous

I don't know where to start....;o)

It actually wasn't that bad and both of the dogs had some good moments, but they were overshadowed by nervousness and naughty-ness.

First the Naughty dog. She was very wild on her first run Saturday. She wouldn't hold a start line and just did a whole lot of doing her own thing. She barked and spun, wouldn't take equipment that I asked and flicked away...we didn't get the gamble, which is probably for the best as we didn't have enough points in the opening. Her standard was no better, except her startline was better and I made her stick her dogwalk contact. She knocked a bar (or four)..jumpers was just bad. Some bars, some launching and just general naughtiness. Sunday was no better- except for the start lines. I think she heard me saying that if she broke I'd take her off course. ;) Steeplechase was a disaster, mostly due to the surface and weavepoles. The surface is very deep sawdust/dirt and Wicca really has to struggle through in some spots. The weavepoles had huge divots and Wicca actually had to jump the bases. I had to stop her and take the sawdust out of her ears..I pulled her from Snooker at the end of the day. After the crazy, naughty Wicca the rest of the weekend I figured it wouldn't be worth my stress. I initially wondered if she was being so wild because she felt good- but during her after run/cool down massage she was very twitchy and had spasms in her back leg...

Now on to the nervous one. Sarah and I talked a lot about him on the way home. I wondered if it was a physical issue, but he doesn't show any signs of being lame. We both think it is a confidence issue related to the ring. Training and warming up outside the ring he is fine- happy, tail wagging, and even barking at me in excitement. And then he gets in the ring and disconnects. He actually avoided the A-Frame a few times this weekend, and only weaved succesfully once. There were some good moments for him, and times that he would try very hard to make me happy- he did some beautiful rear crosses, and read my decel over jumps- so I am happy with the prgoress on those things. But its the rest of the stuff that's falling apart now. I don't really get it- his contacts were SO good. His weaves were getting better and better. But he gets nervous and that's how he deals with it- some dogs run away, some dogs sniff, and Boone just avoids.

So it was an odd weekend, one that I didn't enjoy all that much. The courses were fun (or would have been if my dogs were being good.) I got to run Gyp and Kaleb which was fun. Sarah managed to run the a few times over the weekend but wisely decided not to run them Sunday afternoon. Her knee held up pretty well all things considered.

It is hard not to feel dissapointed or at least annoyed after a weekend like this. I know that they are both capable of so much more. I was in the right mindset going into this weekend and was actually in a good mood for the majority of the weekend. :) Such is life I guess!

My plan for Boone is to add stress to training- there will be no shortage of that in a few weeks when we move outside, but until then I will just work on making things more difficult for him.

And I am not sure with Wicca. I am worried about her still- she only ran three times on Saturday and once on Sunday and was very stiff and sore Sunday afternoon. She felt better after a massage but still. I am seriously considering not doing agility with her anymore. It is an upsetting thought- and not one that I've ever said out loud before. I have to do some serious soul searching about this. In the mean time I am going to go back and work on some ground work and founfation- startlines, decel, front cross, rear crosses and other handling can all be worked on with no equipment...we need to work better as a team and I think it will be good to go back to that.

I have no trials or anything planned for all of April. We will still train but it will be nice to have a month off of trialing. At the very least it will give me time to think.

The Road Less Traveled 10/52

I took this photo at the trial today...

More on the trial in a seperate post tomorrow...

Not quite the photo I had in mind for this week but the message is pretty symbolic of who Boone is.

He is so different than any other dog I've met or owned. He is quirky, super smart, and very sweet. But he is also timid, easily spooked, and often overwhelmed.

I love him to pieces and am always proud of him when he shows how brave he can be. He has really made me a better dog trainer and has taught me patience and perseverance. At the same time it can be SO frustrating.

We were at an agility trial this weekend, and although he has been super in training the past few weeks he was very "off" this weekend.

He has been, and will continue to be a challenge. More work to be done that's for sure!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Perfection and Weekend

Last night was the "Graduation" for my Rally obedience class. I set up a killer long course and everyone did awesome!

I added pressure by videoing, and actually using a score sheet. I just had to post this video of Maggie the Bernese Mountain Dog, and her handler Kim. Looking back on the video they should have gotten a perfect score, but I was being a hardass and took a point off for a crooked stand....

This dog went from being shut down and bored in class to having fun ALL THE TIME. She is so upbeat and her heeling is incredible. Kim has done a fantastic job training her, and I think that lots of people could learn from a team like Kim and Maggie.

On that note I am heading off to another agility trial this weekend- a semi local one (2 hours). Boone and Wicca are entered and I am feeling pretty optimistic about Boone this weekend. He had a great class this week and last week. Cross your fingers!

oh, and one more thing...

Happy Birthday to the most obnoxious dog around..

:o) It is Kaleb's (from digit, fetchit, herdit) 8TH Birthday today.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

On a Jet Plane...

So after much debate Dakota is going to fly to her new home! Which means that she can go sooner, rather than later.

Yay for Dakota!

p.s Any lethbridge folks heading to calgary willing to help out with transport? email me!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

She's a Nut...

I sent this video to Dakota's new owner, but thought I'd share it here too. She is such a funny dog.

You can expect more home videos now that I have my own fancy little video camera!

Oh, and if anyone from Alberta is heading to BC anytime soon and would be willing to help transport a slightly nutty border collie email me!

Second Place

As with the rest of you I watched Olympics pretty well every day. I even watched most of the hockey game...and well, I'm not a hockey kind of girl...

I saw this photo today and had to laugh...

photo by: Robert Gauthier (Los Angeles Times)

Don't they look thrilled with being in second place out of the rest of the world? Seriously. I missed the end of the game and watched a bit of the replay. I assumed that they'd be upset to lose, but a happy face during the medals would have been nice...

Second is better than not placing at all! And at least in the US they won't be forced to quit the team because of it (like the Russian Athletes)

I know that I was THRILLED with my second place at Nationals last year. Second is pretty darn amazing!

Monday, March 08, 2010

CKC Agility weekend

I don't play CKC agilty very often. I did one weekend last year in September and prior to that I can't even remember.It is a very different organisation than the one I play in normally. The courses are quite different and the rules are also a bit different.

Wicca needed one novice standard q to move to intermediate...she didn't get it but we sure had fun! Novice CkC courses are Very simple- no weaves, 13 obstacles and very much straight lines with a side change in a tunnel or off the table. As you can imagine Wicca thought it was pretty fun to get to run in a straight line...the heights are different though so she had to jump 2" higher then her normal height. It was very noticeable for her but she did really well. She knocked four bars- one in each run. ;)

She was naughty too- start line issues, she self released on the dogwalk twice (the second time I made her fix it and she was better after. But she had a good time and wasn't lame or sore at all. I think it is good for them sometimes to be able to just open up and run- wicca sure enjoyed herself!

I bought myself a video camera on Friday so got to try it out- kim videoed my runs for me. Here are three runs of the naughty dog. :o)

In the end I didn't take Boone- I pulled him because I thought the travel would be too stressful for him. It was a six hour drive each way. He would have really loved the courses, but there is another few CKC trials I hope to get to this summer...

So overall a nice, easy going weekend. The handling was entertaining to say the least, and it was nice to see some new dogs, and breeds I don't see often.

Friday, March 05, 2010

A Spring in his Step (and mine)

A Spring in his Step 9/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I took the dogs for a walk yesterday and hoped to get an action shot of Boone- and I did! Woohoo! Go ME! :o)

I really suck at action shots, and it has been a goal to consistently get action that's not I am pretty impressed with myself!

One of Boone's favorite things to do is fetch. But he is particular about what kind of toy, and it has to be thrown just so, and their can't be any competition. So I put the others in a down stay and let Boone have a game of his own.

I love pretty much everything about this photo. He just looks so happy.

oh, and as you can see his haircut wasn't too drastic, just took about two inches off all around his body...he's meant to be a shaggy dog.


On that note, I too am feeling much happier these days. The sun is out, my yard is nearly dry, and I've got some real life stuff sorted out. Makes for a happy Amanda. :o)

I am taking Wicca to a CKC Agility trial this weekend. She needs one more novice standard Q....i think!

Wish us luck...

and on the way to Edmonton we are stopping in calgary so Wicca can see Dr.Devall again...

Have a good weekend everyone!



Thursday, March 04, 2010

Agility Content- Finally!

I've been too busy to blog the last few days, but things are going well. The dogs get full of mud nearly every day, and every day I hope to come home from work with just a little less mud in the yard...

but- it looks like Spring is here (for a few weeks anyway) I am sure we will have one more blast of Winter, but for right now I am enjoying the sun, the birds, and the green grass poking up...

Boone seems to be over whatever it was that happened at the trial a few weeks ago. I had given him a few weeks off of no agility and took him to class the first time this week. He was super- very happy, excited, and listened well. Sarah designed a great class set up last week, thought I'd post it for some agility content. :o)

The top exercise is from clean run, though Sarah made up the black numbers. The white numbers we ran as a warm up, and then ran the outside with 180's and threadles. It was pretty fun. Boone is really starting to get the threadle now and is reacting faster. It helps when i have BIG food. :o) The black numbers were fun, although it was a bit confusing at first

I lead out and front crossed 2-3, front crossed 6-7, serp'd 9 to push out to 10. Boone did really well, although wanted really badly to take the tunnel after 4- I don't think I rotated enough the first time as he shouldn't have even looked at it.

The bottom section was also really fun- Boone's weaves were great, and I used targets to get his confidence up on the dogwalk (remember i think that part of his problem at the last trial was that he isn't sure about the contacts for some reason) He slipped once on the way up- but seemed fine and was happy to go back on.

I front crossed 2-3, the rear cross just felt too tight, and Boone wasn't able to find the entrance (something to work on!). Front crossed after the teeter, post turn at 8 into a front cross, I attempted to rear cross 10, which didn't work for boone- and then I tried rear crossing 11, again, no go. In the end I front crossed after the poles.

I think Boone handled the challenge really well. Rear crosses continue to be a bit of a challenge for him lately. All the snow is gone in my yard so I hope to get out there and start training more.

Wicca stayed home, but is going to run at league tonite. It's a really fast, open Jumpers w/ Weaves course...I'll probably pass out or have a heart attack. Blame Sarah.

Monday, March 01, 2010

the torture continues

Pixel had a bath yesterday, and hated every second of it. But she looks so wonderful now- all fluffy and soft.

She has the most amazing amount of coat in her pants and tail. Seriously it is so thick that it took double the amount of time to dry!

She won't stay clean for long of course but was long overdo for a little clean up!