Monday, October 31, 2011


Pixel came home three years ago. :) She was the cutest puppy ever!

It doesn't get any better

this weekend has been a perfect balance of training, fun, work, and family. although it was jammed full both days I am surprisingly not even that tired. I am fighting a cold too which is kicking my butt. This morning I am feeling it. lol

Friday night pumpkins! 

there was much begging. lol. It was a lot of fun- my dogs were horrible beggars though. Pixel drooled all over poor Colleen, and Boone spent more time with his feet on the table than on the floor. 
Worst dog trainer ever. lol

Saturday was a busy day- work halloween party, followed by some training, a nap, followed by more training. Pixel is doing pretty great, I am feeling more and more confident about the Lethbridge Show!

Sunday was a busy photo day. :) Off to Cowley in the morning with some scent hurdle friends- it was a great practice for the inbetweeners, and they did great!

This handsome sheltie is Chase. He's a very fun, and excitable dog. He is new to scent hurdle but is getting close to running his first race. 

I took my own dogs (plus 1) for a 2 hour walk through the coulees when we got home. It was cold, but awesome. The dogs had a blast and were nice and tired when we got home. 

A little crazy pants for ya, Neena is staying with us for a few days.
She is the funniest dog. I have a million funny photos of her...

It was super windy, which was perfect for Boone- it drowned out any noise from the shooting range. He was able to have a nice relaxing, fetch filled walk. 

After I did a few hours work on the kennel club newsletter, and then off to my sisters for some quality time with her and my nephew. We took her two dogs, and Nolen to the dog park (which was super dead because of the wind). Nolen had a great time, as did the two dogs. He is getting so big!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Vito's Life Lessons, and Bad Blogging

No matter what they say, it's ALWAYS greener on the other side.

This week flew by, and although I have lots to talk about I just haven't had the time to sit at the computer much. I haven't taken a single photo all week either, so this is an oldie, but a favorite. :) I will do a catch up blog post this weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness.
Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”
 ~ Dalai Lama

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Trial Weekend

It's pumpkin time! 42/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I had a good weekend- the corgi girls are fun to run, the courses were nice and challenging, and the people were great. :)

It's nice to just be able to sit and visit with people, hang out, and talk dogs. Dinner Saturday night was one of the best ever- so hilarious. We ate at a place called Dicks. It was awesome. lol

Pixel was only in three things- Gamblers, Jumpers, and Steeplechase. (things with no dogwalks). She was great- fast, accurate, and a very good girl. She Q'd in Gamblers which is awesome because we really need those gamble q's, and she Q'd in Steeplechase- her first ever! I don't normally enter her because she just isn't fast enough if there are two sets of 12 poles. But I am so thrilled with her this weekend. The jumpers was my fault- she got a refusal because I pulled her off a jump...

Wicca was wild. Like, really wild. Like blast off thirty feet in the wrong direction for an off course obstacle. We were definitely on the edge of way outta control. But we managed two great clean runs- a Gamble that was in control (interestingly enough), and a blazing fast Steeplechase. She came in third overall- against very fast border collies. It was an amazing run. Her other runs ranged from slightly naughty (missed weaves, a bar or two) to a complete disaster (off course at obstacle number 2, lots of smashed bars..)

But despite that I had a fun weekend- no more trials for me until December. Maybe Pixel will have a dogwalk by then... :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

All I do is drive and Vito's Life Lessons

It seems like I have spent the last few weeks driving. Seriously. I've been to Calgary three (or four?!!) times, Brooks, and then lots of other smaller trips. I love that I can do it, but am tired of driving. lol Thankfully my friend is driving this weekend and I can go back to being a passenger. We are off to an agility trial- this is a great trial, well run- but is always very full and always goes very late. Pixel is only in two events all weekend (things without a dogwalk...) and Wicca is in a full trial. Should be fun! I would LOVE it if Pixel got the gamble. We've been practicing!

The boys are staying home, and Brit is going to spend the weekend with her BFF- Neena. She won't miss me at all. :)

Vito's Life Lessons #2

Don't be afraid to get dirty once in a while. 
It's good for the soul. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Odds 'n Ends

This friendly dude was at the cornmaze I went to on the weekend. He was very cute, and friendly. His fur is super soft and he's got a big tuft on the top of his head.


Stevie left for his new home yesterday. I am very happy for him, but was a little sad to see him go. I know, he was a jerk and caused tension around here. But I've known him since he was little and have an unhealthy attachment towards him. lol. His new home is pretty great though and I am confident it's a good match for him.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunshine-y Weekend

I had a great weekend- the weather was beautiful. Sunny, but cool. Perfect Fall Weather.

Saturday morning I packed up the girls and went for a nice walk around a deserted summer beach- it was great. They chased birds on the beach, rolled in gross stuff and just ran around.

Then it was off to an Obedience match. I judged a gazillion rally dogs (where people whined about my hard courses...), and then put Wicca and Pixel in Open. Pixel did pretty great, I am happy with the progress. She did even better than she did last weekend and had attitude the whole way through. Still a few blips. Anticipated the retrieve, no finishes etc, but still- I have hope. Wicca did great and was perfect. I didn't do stays with her though (we have a deal).

Saturday night I went to a corn maze with a friend- it was kinda creepy, but fun. I think it would be really fun to do as a big group..

Sunday we had a sleep in morning and then a whole bunch of rescue stuff, and halloween shopping. Dinner with the family, and then a nice quiet night at home.

I love weekends like this. Helps to make the weekdays go by faster when you are in a good mood. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful 41/52

Beautiful 41/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I LOVE the fall we are having. It's hasn't been too cold yet so nothing is officially dead. The leaves still crinkle, and there are plenty of leaves left in the trees. LOVE it.

And I love Wicca. As she has matured she really has become a great dog. Wicca has not always been a fun dog to live with, or work. She was a challenge, and would test limits every single day. Now that she is older I enjoy her so much more. She has this thoughtful side to her that she didn't have before.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vito's Life Lessons

Lesson #1
Run with all your heart. As fast as you can. 
When you want to.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I go through these phases once in a while that I love obedience. I am at the peak of one right now. I've been training nearly every day, working each dog just a little bit. I love it. There is nothing like the feel of a good heeling dog next to you. I am striving for that with Brit and almost have it. Saturday morning the dogs and I went to a friends for a bit of training. New place, new distractions (cows! and a naughty cat).

Brit worked mostly stationary attention. We are trying to get rid of this. It is cute, but not quite what I want. She has beautiful attention though, and we are slowly adding movement. She still wants to drop her head- at home I can get about 10 steps, but at Liz's I only got four...

Pixel has been doing bits of training every day. I really want her to be ready to enter in November. She is close, but not there yet. The improvement is promising though so I haven't given up yet. We just need to put things together more, and do some polishing.

And Wicca. The dog who loves to work. She is incredible you know. Comes out ready and raring to go. It's a shame about those damn stays. In any case we just played around- I've been working some utility things at home again just for fun. Her go outs are getting really good. This photo was the start of a retrieve. I love it because you can feel the enthusiasm.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Short and Spotty

I gave Boone a haircut the other day. I got a little carried away. :)
But he still looks cute, and in a few weeks will be shaggy enough to lose his spots.

He has been in a great mood lately- spunky and playful. We've been doing bit of training and I've been running him on the bike for the last few weeks- he seems to be enjoying himself! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today, I am Thankful

Today was our Thanksgiving.
I had a fantastic day.
Training with great dogs, and a good friend this morning.
A yummy dinner with my family.
Home-made Cranberry Sauce.
Playing in the mud sandbox with my nephew.
Laughing with my dad about something my sister said.
A relaxing walk with five good dogs and a bad bull dog. ;)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lesson #2 with Sheep

Today Brit and I had our second lesson at Alta-Pete with Jenny. Our goal today was to start her outruns. Which sounds exciting and more advanced than I feel. But Brit did great! She is an easy dog and respects the sheep, and pressure.

We started just with practicing flanks- we are adding verbal cues to Come Bye, and Away. (Aswell as pressure.) She favors one side of course, but Jenny helped us to overcome that today and she was doing both pretty well with both. We were using her Lie Down to help with the flank changes.

With the outrun we started with me close to the sheep, and Brit farther away (maybe 10 or 12 feet from me to start). Using the flank name and pressure to move her. I was a bit nervous until I saw how well she did the first time. Gradually we increased the distance between her and the sheep. I am still in the middle in case I need to step in to push her off. She was a bit sticky to release so I think I will work on that a bit at home- maybe if her Come Bye and Away cues are more solid to her it would help her to understand? Is that a bad idea sheep dog people?

It feels like she is progressing fast- and with each lesson I am more excited to be working her. It is just so cool to see the wheels turning in her head. Today it was hard for her, we made her take flanks she didn't want to, and the outruns (and sticking to balance) was hard on her mentally. But she worked through it and was still eager to go. It is interesting to see her figure things out. I still feel that she knows far more than I do.

Things I learned today:
Sheepherding is not black and white.
Sometimes Lie Down doesn't really mean Lie Down, and some times you have to let the dog make decisions. (i.e flanks)
Sometimes Lie Down does mean Lie Down and I can step through my sheep to put pressure on her to stay put.
Backing Up in a straight line is a talent that does not come naturally to me. I think I need to practice. lol
Letting the dog go the way she wants can be used as a reward.
There's a lot to remember. lol

Things Brit learned today:
Sometimes Lie Down means Lie Down. :)
Some Cats are friendly (Cali, the calico barn cat came out for a visit, and then ran around the sheep like a pro...)
Sheep are the most fun, ever.

PS. I actually said That'll do today. Makes me chuckle just thinking about it. lol

Oh, and I brought along my own photographer this morning. :) Thanks Wendy, they are awesome! These are just a few- you can see the whole gallery here

I wasn't joking about the cat. She walked out onto the field like she owned the place...

Friday, October 07, 2011

Long Weekend here we come!

This weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving, so not only do I have an extra day to sleep in but there will be yummy turkey and stuffing aswell. :)
The dogs and I celebrated the beginning of the long weekend with a long, muddy walk. Muddy Dogs are happy dogs.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

You can never have too many...


I have a millon collars, but none with Oscar the grouch, and only two sheep ones.
 Brit (sheep) and Vito (sesame street) will look great in their new Nearly Naked Neckware collars. :)

and Beds....
I had to buy this bed for Wicca when I saw it a the Pet Expo last weekend.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011


Intense x2

still homeless, a year later

a city dog, on a farm

a cow

a dad who will never grow up

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Cats and Bulldogs

Last week two cats in my neighborhood went missing, and then showed up dead. No physical trauma (i.e dog, coyote, car), just dead. It is thought that they were poisoned. My two cats thankfully are fine, and are on restricted outdoor adventures. Usually they are allowed to come and go as they please, but I've only been letting them out in the day when I am around to keep an eye on them. And I may stop outside completely soon. I hesitate to do that only because I think the cats will drive me nutty if I take their freedom away completely. Right now we have a compromise.

Also, I have Stevie back. This time as a foster, and not just for dogsitting. It makes me so sad for him. For those that don't know, Stevie is a french bulldog. I've been dog sitting him off and on since he was a puppy. I found out his original owners sold him in July and his new owners just happened to contact me regarding training shortly after that. Since then I've worked with his new family but it became very apparent that they were not equipped to deal with him either. They tried very hard, but it just wasn't safe for Stevie, or for their dog.

 Stevie is a bully. He really is a big, mighty bulldog in a tiny little package. He acts like he's king of the world and gets mad if he doesn't get his own way. He is a resource guarder and needs to be an only dog. He is a good player (he does go to dog daycare), but it can quickly go south, and he is always "on edge" around other dogs. I don't think Stevie has ever learned to relax. In any case he is a foster now- and we will be working on manners, and sharing skills, and on decreasing his bossiness a tad. At my house he will have to settle for Court Jester rather than King...

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Fun at Alta-Pete

What a great day!!! Sarah arranged a herding day at Alta-Pete Stock Dogs with Jenny. So Brit, Wicca and I headed out this morning for a lesson. Brit was so keen last time (at Louanne's) that I definitely want to keep it up. Jolene followed us out and had a lesson with Kort too. Well, I had a lesson with Kort. Jo is afraid of the sheep. No jokes. lol. Anyway- Kort was fun. You can hear him bark, I mean see him herd on Jolene's blog...;)

Brit was incredible. She just knows what to do. Already she is finding balance and learning to give them space. She is a nice easy worker- never forceful on the sheep, didn't grip them once and really tried to do the right thing. It was very cool. We graduated to the big pen after the first fifteen minutes (which was scary!) but she did well- and seemed to appreciate the space more. I am so impressed with her! Instinct is an incredible thing. She just gets it. Even with me as a handler. lol

 Jolene played photographer for me, and tried hard too. :) So thanks for the photos Jo!

in the round pen

in the big pen....

Wicca got to go in the round pen for just a few minutes. We are trying to re-lite the spark. It was pretty much a blur as she chased them around in between sniffs...I am going to keep bringing her though- I think lots of short spurts might bring back the oomph.

Overall a very fun morning! I don't love sheepherding, but I certainly find it enjoyable- it's a new challenge, and interesting to learn about. I will say that all the herding I have done with the corgis is nothing compared to the two times Brit has been on sheep. I mean Brit is already way past them- and Wicca has had quite a few lessons in her lifetime. I am excited to go again!

good girl brit!