Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Perfect Morning

waiting for the word

catching the run-a-ways. keeping them in the field is a challenge sometimes!

wishing for a bigger bucket. lol

Togo giving her words of advice. Maybe about patience and pace?

Sarah and I headed out to Altapete this morning for some Sheep fun. And I remembered my Camera!!! We had a good time- the sheep were cooperative mostly, the weather perfect, and we have very good dogs. Brit seemed to remember our lesson from yesterday and we had some good square outruns from start to finish. Not always perfect, but getting better!! I am happy with the progress!

Tomorrow is the last day of my holidays. I will miss the dogs! I've been pretty much hanging out with them all week. But we've got one more day left- I think we are going to head down to the river tomorrow for some swimming fun.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Herding Update

The past month has been pretty hectic but I've managed to get in a few lessons, and a few drop ins. Brit is doing well, although we've had to go back to some basics to fix her outruns.

I had a lesson with Jenny (Altapete) a few weeks ago and she showed Sarah and I how to "hold" sheep for each other. That way when we go out to practice on our own we can work on our outruns, and the holding part is also a good exercise in control. Brit of course didn't do so well at the holding. It took a few times to get the hang of where to stop her in relation to me and the sheep. The idea is to create a path for the other dog to get around. She really needs to steady her pace, and give the sheep more space. I need to start getting after her for that more. It is hard sometimes with the "real farm work" we do when we drop in- it teaches her bad things. lol. Sometimes getting the job done is all that matters. Hopefully this winter will be more structure and we can get those bad habits under control.

Today I had a lesson with Louanne (Phantomridge) and it was great. I think I have a more clear picture in my head of what the outrun SHOULD look like. Louanne had me actually face my dog and put direct pressure on her to get her to square off from the beginning. If/When she cuts in at the top (usually at 11 O'Clock) I am to lie her down and give her a firm "get outta that" in a gruff/scott glen sort of way. lol. I struggle with the accent. Ideally I should stop her at 9 O'Clock so that I am preventing the slice to begin with. But after a few repetitions she is wise to that and doesn't slice in any more so I can let her continue on.

One of the other things we did today was vary the distance, some short, some long, sometimes two short and a long, or whatever. When it is short I have more control and can make her succeed. Also it really sunk in to my head today that I don't always need to reset and start over. If she is past ten feet or so I can give her a lie down and a "get outta that" right there. Work with what she gives so that the lesson is to the point.

I didn't take any photos today, or really anytime related to sheep lately. But my friend Jenilee made me a canvas print of my all time favorite photo. Sarah took the photo so the actual photo credit is hers.

The Canvas is stunning and I love it. I look at it every day. It helps me to stay focused even though it's hard.  It feels for every step forward we are taking a step back but I have faith in my dog and in my trainers that we'll get it! Practice, Practice, Practice is the name of the game.


Pixel LOVES her dumbbell. It's probably her most favorite "toy" ever. So it always makes me wonder why in the ring she is weird about it. She always goes out to get it, but the last few trials doesn't bring it TOO me. In any case we've been working on it- every single toy/fetch/thrown item is returned to my hand in exchange for yummy treats. The payoff so far has been MUCH faster retrieves, and hopefully it will transfer to "bring the dummy back to mom" in the ring...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brit and her Woolie

she wants it. bad. you can almost see the buggy eyes...
happy with the woolie
here!!! throw it again
maybe you'll throw it if I bring it closer...
itz stuck. but i wont give up!
the woolie ring is the bestest toy ever according to brit. 
this dog makes me laugh every day. <3

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Boonie!!!

 9 years young!!! Time Flies when you're crazy! ;)
Despite his challenges I really love this dog. 

We celebrated today with a walk in the rain, and an extra giant cookie. 
Happy Birthday Boonie!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Comedy Of Errors

Just like group photos, life doesn't always go as planned. ;)
 (but unplanned isn't always bad, just look how cute Boone is trying to kiss Brit...)

On Tuesday afternoon my sister and I tried to leave to go camping for five days. On the way there a storm blew in fast and furious. After seeing the destruction at the campground we decided to head home and come back in the morning. Setting up tents with 7 dogs, and a three year old didn't sound like much fun in the rain and wind...

Wednesday morning comes around and all is good and peaceful. The campground is completely deserted and awesome. Lots of trees, grass, and quiet. By supper time Nolen has announced he wants to go home like 20 times. By bed time he is having a tantrum of epic proportions. My sister tries to get him to sleep, and fails... I end up going in with him and tried to tell hims a story (which had the opposite effect of sleep as he had lots of questions about my story...) I ended up counting him to sleep. Serious. I got to 200 before he was asleep. The wind picks up and its cold and miserable. My sister and I head to bed early around 10. (after some super delicious smores...). Middle of the night I wake up to Nolen crying about monsters, and his fan at home, and how are his fish going to live, and the fact that he wants to go home.... We make it to morning and Nolen is up bright and early. And not very happy. It is windy, and cold. Even the dogs are chilled. I attemp to cheer everyone up with breakfast. Which ends horribly after the fire keeps going out. Eventually I did manage to cook some eggs and bacon but it had lost it's charm by that time.

By twelve we decided to go home. Rain in the forcast for tomorrow was the kicker. I cant' even imagine how miserable we would all be in the rain, and cold, and wind. My dad is awesome and came out to save us and help pack up our weeks worth of crap. It was a lot of work. lol. For one night. But the two days we had had some good stuff! It was still fun mostly, and I enjoyed the time with my nephew. Despite being a little naughty, and whiny. He really is pretty awesome. A funny little guy who is always up for a walk, or playing with the dogs, or a bit of roughhousing. . Cute, but Naughty. It's kinda how I like 'em. And he makes me melt when he calls me Auntie

The dogs had a great time, and were awesome with Nolen (except Boone who I didn't trust for one little second...). They had fun in the river and are all tired tonite as they sit at my feet. They got in lots of playing, and had a huge "yard" made up of four xpens.

Now with the change of plans I've got a few extra days to fill in- but I'm sure we'll find stuff to do! Maybe a trip to the Pass for a hike? Or play tourist in my own corner of the province? Or a few trips out to the sheepies. ;)  Endless Possibilities!

Monday, August 20, 2012

We threw her in a dog pool...

Go! Dog! Go! hosted our first ever agility camp- Go! See Spot! Fly. It was a spectacular weekend- lots of laughs, lots of awesome people, and lots of learning for everyone.

It was hot, hot, hot. Like 32'C. That's hot. Barely a breeze. Hot.

With the help of super awesome helpers we were all kept hydrated with water, shots, and icecream. ;) There was much cheering, and singing all weekend. We gave all the groups cool names and made them come up with a song. ;) 
Oh, and we went through 12 bottles of wine, and nearly 30 cans of beer.... The food was awesome- what camp do you get steaks and baked potatoes at!!! Terry did the cooking of those babies and they were really delicious!

The agility portion of camp was also great. I didn't work Pixel except for two small bits in Terry's class. Just to stretch her legs so to speak!  But we got some great feedback from all that participants- each session had lots to offer and I think people came away from the weekend feeling refreshed, and successful. My session was called Mind Games. And I really did put their brains to test. ;)

The trial was short and sweet- we offered three classes only and it ran smoothly and efficiently. It was also Pixel's 6" Specials Debut. She was cute, and happy, and bouncy. I screwed up the Snooker, and the Gamble. lol. So I let Jolayne run her in Jumpers. Obviously my brain was not functioning. Jo did a great job- 35 seconds and a Q!
Go Pixel!

I bet you are wondering about the title of the blog post... I think Sarah learned the biggest lesson of all this weekend.  Don't let Terry Simons and Amanda corner you. ;) Despite her screaming and flailing we deposited her directly into the dog pool, and then dumped the other pool over her. It was fantastic. ;) For us. lol. Thankfully her Iphone survived the ordeal.

It was a fun, but exhausting weekend. We couldn't have done it without the help of our GDG peeps- from setting up rings, to loading and unloading the trailer. We are very lucky to have such awesome people in our group! The Team Spirit all weekend was fabulous. Dog people are the bestest!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Every day is pool day!!

I just realised I've failed to blog about the pool!!!! I've been swimming the dogs at various lakes and rivers almost all summer. Swimming is something that Wicca can do plenty of for exercise, and for conditioning. And all the other dogs benefit too. I'm constantly working at keeping my dogs in shape so we would make the 20 minute drive almost every day to swim. It was time consuming.

And then I bought a pool off kijiji for $50!! Steal of a deal. And it's huge. Well, it's supposed to be. The actual pool is supposed to be 16 feet in diameter, and 40 inches deep. Because of a little slope in my yard, and my less than perfect pool filling abilities it is smaller than that. Still about 16 feet wide on one direction and maybe 20 the other way. Oh, and about 20 inches deep. Deep enough for corgis to swim (and a reluctant Pyr Shep), but not for Brit. Which is sucky- but it's still good resistance so we walk in it at least.

The dogs have been mostly enjoying the pool- Wicca loves to swim and fetch and is very excited to show anyone who comes over her super pool skills. Brit will jump in at any request. The other three not so much. lol. Pixel acts like she is going to drown, Boone whines and turns frantic, and Vito sinks. (well the front half anyway. His butt floats oddly It's a work in progress to get them to like it. But it's still fun. And it's been really hot so nice to have for me too!!!

When it was just filling everyone was curious- even those who don't like it at this point...

You want me to go where>??

The Three bad girls..

Pixel thinks this amount of water is perfect!!!

Like a big drinking bowl...
and as it got deeper they were less willing to get in on their own. And now that it's at full capacity. Well, there are many cookies involved. ;)

Wicca fell off the board...

Vito likes to surf, but not the getting wet part...

Boone is the one who hates the pool the most. It takes much convinving that he isn't going to drown..
My dad made me stairs for an easy exit. All the dogs are a pro at this part. :)
So more swimming for the next month or so- until Winter comes. And next year I'll know better about how to set the thing up!!!

PS. Last day of work today for two whole weeks!!! Makes me so FREAKING happy. Not that I don't love my job. But a break is a very good thing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oh, and there was a parade!

 On Saturday our agility group- Go dog Go headed out to a local small town and put on some agility/senthurdle demos and walked in their parade!

Brit had a good time in the parade, but had a great time during scenthurdle. Despite not practicing lately she was bang on with just one little bobble that we were able to fix while she was still at the box!

Pixel's favorite thing of the day was the parade. We happened to be behind horses...and she was eager for her free snacks! lol Gross, but such a corgi! I actually didn't let her have any the whole way until the end when I told Sarah to take a photo. lol

some teeter angst... or maybe just thinking about the poo?
It was a fun day- Demos are fun, and so are Parades. This year we won't be doing our towns "Whoop Up Days" which is dissapointing. It is usually so much fun!! Oh well maybe next year....

PS. One more day of work!!! :) And only THREE MORE DAYS until the Agility much to do!!!

+++photos by Sarah Novak

Drift Wood Beach

Vito couldn't believe his luck. An empty beach with unlimited sticks. ;)

his new most favorite place in the world.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where the Wild Thing Are...

I was looking for something fun to do today so my dad and I decided to head to Waterton. Even though I've lived in this area almost all my life I've never been there. I grew up in the mountains so I figured it wouldn't be a big deal. I was right- the scenery (while beautiful) is very much like what I grew up looking at. It was nice to get away to the mountains for the day though! And we saw a lot of wildlife!

Vito was the lucky dog who got to tag along. He was the best hiking partner ever. Not a peep out of him all day- ignored people, dogs, deer, bears... He sat with us during lunch on an outdoor patio, and people didn't even notice he was there. I was so proud of his good behavior!

The scenery is really beautiful- lots to look at in the town, and on the hiking trails. We went to Red Rock Canyon, and then hiked to Blackiston Falls. 

On the way there we had seen this cutout of a bear- complete with warnings etc about approaching the real thing etc. I found it interesting that common sense didn't dictate that! lol

I suggested my dad pose with the bear and this is the best photo of the day..
Vito was scared of it. It totally creeped him out and he wouldn't even look at it.

We did see some real wildlife. Of course the only deer we saw were in town- eating someones flowers. They are very tame and are not afraid of people or dogs. I didn't even bother to take a photo. I did take a photo of this sign though because it made me laugh. lol

Here are some real wildlife photos! I was really wishing I had a better lens- maybe I should start saving up my pennies for one...

quail? or?? It was right off the path. Just hunkered down eating grass.
chipmunk. it was cute and followed us a little ways.
Squirrell??!!!! Vito wanted it bad. lol

At the end of our trail we saw this...
it was dried out with not much for bugs left in it- but this is evidence of a bear. Digging in the deadfall for bugs. We used to see this all the time when I was growing up. Bears are really common in the area... so common that we (and about 15 other people) got some "close up" bear action.

Driving to Red Rock we saw a bunch of people stopped on the side of the road we slowed down and spotted what was causing the commotion...A momma and her three cubs were treed! I was surprised to see three cubs- I didn't realise they could have that many let alone raise them!  The momma bear was pretty low down in the tree so I stayed farther away than most other people. Some were brave (I mean stupid) enough to get really close. 

a baby bear. He was pretty scared.

Momma Bear

Momma Bear started moving around...

and then came down the tree! So we ran back to the car.
All in all a pretty awesome day- it was a nice get-away. My dad is great company, and Vito was a perfect gentleman. More photos tomorrow- from the "driftwood beach."