Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Reads

I have been blogging for a while now...and until recently I didn't really think of all the fun OTHER blogs out is all Wendy's fault actually...(her and her fun yarn knitting blogs, made me jealous so I had to find my own "daily" read)

Anyway...slowly my list of favorite blogs to read has been growing, and before it gets TOO big I wanted to share some of them. I have put a link panel on the side of the blog so that you too can read my favorite blogs...

I have categories of blogs, and depending on the mood I am in will depend on which I read first.

If I am feeling a little sad, or the rescue stuff is bothering me- I'll read the Rolling Dog Ranch blog- these people are amazing, they rescue dogs,cats, and horses who otherwise would be euthanised. They blog five days a week and the stories are heartwarming, and the pictures great.

If I am in a "dog' mood I have LOTS to choose from.

The C-Myste blog is my ultimate favorite lately...mostly because they have a puppy cam, and well, I am only slightly addicted to watching the puppies play...I must say that the puppy named Clem is my favorite- she's cute and full of herself (much like another cardigan I know)

another favorite blog is the dolittler blog- she is a vet, who is funny, and is a very good read..I am still reading all the archived posts!

and of course the daycare blog- even though I am usually here and part of the action it is still fun to read and look at the pictures

and I can't not mention Moxie and Izzie who are Vito's biggest fans!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Foreign Objects

Apparrently although Vito is techinically an adult he still has the appetite of a puppy. In the last week he has injested alot of not really edible things, and I thought it would be a great blog topic.

Item #1
My 10 year old leather leash. He ate it in a way that instead of being a 7 foot leash, it is now a 3 foot leash. I was less than impressed. I was even more ticked off when he puked up 10 pieces- chewed into convenient 1 inch lengths.....ugh

Item #2
The remote control for my TV. Granted, it hasn't worked in ages...but still. Are you kidding? And he didn't even just chew on it, he ate it. The battery cover is completely gone, as are numbers 2 through 8.....

Item #3
Paper...and just paper in general. Nothing specific. He enjoys Newspaper, aswell as tissue paper (what self respecting canine doesn't) and then the ever popular cardboard...

And Finally, Items #4 and #5
The favorite- sticks and rocks....He is pretty sneaky about it as he knows that rocks aren't for playing or eating...he will start by sneaking one into the house...hidden in his tightly closed mouth. He rolls on it, pounces on it, and then the real fun begins- he throws it up in the air, catches it, drops it, picks it up and the process is repeated until A) he swallows it or B) I catch him and take it away....And sticks, well...I will let him play with sticks..but chewing them to little bits is just not allowed..and occasionally if I am not watching him he will do just that...
Good thing he's cute!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This is Boone. Isn't he cute? (some don't think so, but I do) anyway, beneath his cuteness he is the oddest dog I have ever met. Really.

Boone is a Pyrenean Shepherd, or Berger Des Pyrenees if you want to get official about it. He came to me through a friend in Calgary. She had heard about the dog from a breeder friend of hers. He has some serious baggage and issues that have been ongoing. His name was Blair. He is four years old.

When he came off the plane in Calgary he bit the luggage handler. He stayed in the crate for two days before my friend finally dumped him out. After that he hid under the sanctuary of the kitchen table. She emailed me to see if I knew anyone who would be up for the challenge of trying to bring this dog back to normalcy...I am a sucker. I said "I will!"

I have had him for about 4 weeks. He is not normal, and never will be normal. But he is doing MUCH better than when I first got him. It took him 2 weeks to learn to "just be" in the house. In that he wouldn't just hang out in the living room and you would almost never see the little guy. I started closing off the crate when I was home- he wasn't allowed to hide. He was rewarded when he stayed in the same room with me, and was given a jackpot if he came near me. Now he follows me around and I reward him when he moves away from me :o)

This dog had a lot of work done with him in the beginning of his life- he did Freestyle, Agility and Flyball. He has a few Q's in AAC agility (he is already out of Starters Snooker....Wicca!) and I have seen his freestyle video and he's pretty good. He knows lots of tricks and is pretty motivated by food. Boone's problem is that he couldn't possibly do any of those things if there is someone watching, or if it is in a new scary place, and oh my god what if the sky falls while I am shaking a paw :o) He is a worrier, and I am working hard to change the way he thinks about things...It will be an ongoing battle I think...but one that so far I am enjoying.

Once you get past his freakiness he is a pretty neat little guy. He has just been allowed to be a worried dog- one that previously could never be loose in the house with company over, one that couldn't go for a leash walk because the boogie man might get him and a dog that would either melt to the floor or bite you if you make him do something he doesn't want to. In the short time I have been working with him I have discovered a few things about him-

He really likes to rough house with you- pull on his chin hair and he goes loopy :o)

He prefers women over men, and has shown no aggression to women at all (well, except the nail trimming incident)

He has a hernia...something that I will be looking into getting fixed. He is VERY reluctant to show his belly so to fix that I am making it a trick- with lots of reward.

And Finally, this dog is VERY, VERY just have to show him what you want in a way he understands. :o)

oh, and he and Wicca are best buds...Boone and Vito not so much....and Sam well, he is happy playing by himself :o)

Here are some links to information about Pyr Sheps for your reading enjoyment!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Vito will be One year old on Saturday- Time Flies!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Herding Pictures

Here are some herding pictures from Yesterday- Enjoy!
Wicca bit her tongue when she was working with the sheep- she didn't even notice though!
Wicca watching Gyppie work- she was very upset when her turn was over!

Gyp did great! She is just going to get better and better! It was neat to see the Border Collie come out in her- usually Gyp is so meek and mild mannered- not with the sheep! She didn't take any crap from them and had a BLAST!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Great Day for Wicca

Rally Obedience Sanction Match- 95/100
Herding Lesson with Scott Glen
Wicca's Best Day Ever

Today was an action packed day for little Wicca. This morning we went to a Rally Obedience Sanction Match- and placed 2nd with a 95/100! She was a very good girl, and had a good time- she was up beat in the ring and I was very happy with her. I haven't actually taken her in to the Rally ring (well, except for the peeing incident at the Cardi Nationals but we don't talk of that) But I still like to train her in the exercises anyway- one day we well get in the rally ring- regardless it is good practice for regular obedience.

Little did Wicca know that her day was only going to get better!
Sarah and I went to Scott Glen's place for a herding lesson- and oh my did the girls have fun! Wicca was instantly excited to see the sheep- she has only been on sheep once before and that was two years ago. I was a little worried that she wouldn't remember (what was I thinking??!!!) She LOVED it- Wicca turned into a little herding machine and had a blast. She was listening very good though and didn't have any wild wicca moments...well, okay maybe one or two.. :o)She was such a good girl- and I got goosebumps jsut watching her. I have done very limited training for herding so she is mostly working on autopilot- it is very, very cool. Sarah got some video so hopefully we will get that up.
Sarah also took some amazing pictures- you can see some of them on her Flickr site
(I took the ones of Gyppie)

And then it was Gyppie's turn- Gyp came from Scott and Jenny originally but hadn't really been on livestock while they had her. Sarah did a Herding Instinct test with her this summer and Gyp did great- so we knew she had it in her! She didn't disapoint and had a grand time bossing those sheep around. Little Gyppie was a maniac and surprised us all by scaring the sheep so much that they jumped the fence!!! She also had a run in with the Ram and won! It was pretty amazing to see.

I have a feeling you will be hearing more herding stories from Sarah and I-
New Dayton isn't all that far and for the amount of fun the girls had it was well worth it!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New (Old) Pictures

Thought that it would be nice to post some of my new (but not really new) pictures of the Corgis...I have found that I have tons of Vito now- as he comes to the Daycare everyday, but not as many of Wicca and Sam....and No new ones of Kate....poor girl...I will try and get some this weekend of her...honestly I do have a dog named Kate- she's not imagined!
Wicca is very photogenic and always looks great in photos!

Sam, not so much. He tends to look a little goofy in pictures...But that's how is in real life. I love this picture of him...

And Vito looks more and more grown up each day. It's amazing how handsome he is....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First Barn Night

Yesterday we moved all of the agility equipment to the new barn, and tonite was the first training night. Sarah and I are working it so that we are teaching for 2 hours, and get 1/2 hour in between to work our own dogs- which works out great. I brought Vito and Wicca- as I didn't want to work Wicca too much due to her busy weekend.

Wicca and I worked on jumping- consequences for knocking poles included a brief down, or being put away while Vito came out. We also worked on Weavepoles- she of course blew past the entry- a down, and a resend- with the same speed. I fall into the habit of just resending her from the poles, which isn't really teaching her collection with speed. Next week I am going to work only with a gate on the first pole. And only four poles.

Vito was SO excited to be there. He had a blast. We warmed up with some dogwalk races- which he loves. Did some tugging, and some obedience, and also worked on some jumping. I have been jumping him at 6" but am starting to throw in the odd 10" jump. He will jump 6" in a trial but I'd like him to be able to do 10" for the odd Nadac trial in which he'd jump 8".
He did great and was very up beat and really wanting the toy. We ended with some teeter games (which he also loves) I am starting to challenge his approaches a bit and I was very pleased with him. I worked him for about 10 minutes total- broken up.

This new barn is MUCH better than the one last year- it is way cleaner and less smelly. Should make for a fun winter!

Sam Update

This weekend Sam saw Susan Sutcliff for the first time. I have been taking him to the Fitness Centre but out of curiosity I wanted to see what Susan would say about him. He had been doing very well but would go days of being pretty sore. I am a little frustrated about the whole thing. Anyway, Susan worked on Sam for just over an hour and gave me some great tips. She thinks that his lameness had alot to do with his Sacrum- which was not where it should have been at all. After some adjustments he was already feeling better than he had been. She also talked to me about how he walks- Sam always (or nearly always) has a hop to his walk. His back legs move together instead of apart. She wants me to teach him how to use his legs independantly of each other- So we have excercises that will help that aswell. She also suggested swimming. So the search begins today for a facility that has a pool for dogs. I have heard of one in Calgary and will do some phoning today.

Susan came and worked on him at the trial on Saturday- which meant that Sam had to sit around all weekend- watching all the other dogs play agility. It was pretty hard for him- he really wanted to play. I haven't taken him at all this year because I knew how hard it would be but this time it was unavoidable. Poor Guy, he doesn't know why he didn't get to play.

Weave Woes and Jumpers

We were at a trial this weekend- the last of the year and boy do we have things to work on.

Wicca was very pushy with her startlines all day Saturday and it got to the point that if she moved again I was going to take her off...and then of course she was perfect the rest of the weekend! :0)

She also had a horrible time with the weave poles...she missed every entry on Saturday, and for no good reason either. After talking it over with Sarah we decided that there had to be a more obvious consequence for when she blew past the entry- a down and a resend, or leave. I am happy to say that after a down and resend she was pretty careful. I think Wicca's problem is that she goes on Autopilot and when there is lots of speed she has a hard time using those braincells very effectively :o)

We also had some bar knocking- more than she has in a while. By the end of Saturday I was pretty frustrated at her. Steeplechase on Sunday was a good example of just how bad she was- Knocked the first bar- twice (we got a re-run) knocked the second bar after the frame and before a tunnel, tire, tunnel sequence. Where instead of taking the tunnel entrance I told her to she shot out 30 feet to the other one....After getting on her for it she was good though, and weaved beautifully.

On the plus side she had awesome contacts- even on the teeter and I really pushed her on them, so I was pretty happy about that. It is always such a good feeling when you see results at a trial.
And we had the most spectacular jumpers run ever. EVER. She didn't knock a single bar and I don't think I have ever ran so fast in my whole life. We ran it in 25seconds...the fastest time overall (winning us 7$ ) It was the last run of the day and to be honest I had little hope of qualifying as she had been so rotten all weekend. But somehow we pulled it together and it was pretty amazing.

So this winter we are doing three seminars, lots of training and hopefully we can keep improving as a team. I have a notebook that I write all of my training goals in and this winter the top five are:
1) Weave Poles
2) Jumping
3) Commitment (we've been having some problem with jump commitment, I need to take a look at my cues and find out why she is confused)
4) Distance/Discrimination (this is usually a really strong point with her, but I haven't worked specifically on that for a while)
5) and Startlines.....

I will keep you all posted :o)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vito and the Hollee Roller

Vito has a new favorite toy....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cellphones are amazing!

I figured out that my new phone will let me video! I was pretty excited about it and of course had to video the dogs to try it out. Out of curiosity I tried this morning to upload it to You Tube and it worked!!! So- here is Wicca's cheesy first video....

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What to say...

Well, it has been a few days since I last blogged but what can I say...nothing too exciting happening these days. The weekend was spent keeping warm and sleeping away some mild food poisoning....ugh. I was kind of hoping that something fun would happen yesterday or today but no. Sorry to dissapoint but no fun little stories and I don't even have any new pictures to share with you....

But, I do want to share with you one of my favorite videos on you tube. I have watched it oh about a million times. I want to get Wicca one of those- maybe it will help her jumping ability???!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Due to Popular Demand

More Farm Pictures!

Vito was VERY interested in the horses, but left them alone when I asked!
You can see the whole collection on my photobucket site