Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Sam has been itchy for the past week or so- and I assumed it was just the season- all of the dogs are shedding like mad and I can only imagine how itchy that makes them. Anyway- after he spent the weekend at Wendy's (and I realised how much he was shedding) I gave him a thorough brushing yesterday- discovering a bunch of hot spots all over his back. No wonder he was so itchy!!!

I gave him a nice cool bath with some medicated shampoo and that has helped to take the itch away. I also am using Panalog on the really bad ones. Poor Guy! He HATES baths. Really, really Hates them. But he will have a to have a few of them over the next week or so to help get rid of the sores.

And in typical Sam style otherwise he is happy and as goofy as normal- quite content to play with his toys and beat up his brother! Nothing brings this dog down I swear!

***these pics are courtesy of Wendy. Sam apparently had LOTS of fun this past weekend!***

*note- you can see in the top picture how his right foot- turned out and not on the ground- that is where the limp is. Also in the picture right above you can see how he turns it out. He does that to make it more comfortable. Because of the way he uses that leg the nails always grow weird on it. Not that he cares, but the pictures illustrate really well how he limps. * Oh, and that cute dog next to him is Coulee (of


I wonder if that's even a word. None the less Boone is working on overcoming his fear of traffic sounds. I took him to class last night where he got to sit in an ex-pen for a few hours. He did pretty good- even took treats from my friends. Vito came along to keep him company. And now that the weather is better we walk to work in the morning- and home in the afternoon depending on the day. He does pretty good and doesn't startle anymore at bus sounds- just flicks an ear.

Once he is not afraid of the sounds I will start to ask him to do simple things- and build up to him actually being able to learn. It is pretty hard to learn when you are scared!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I saw that Elayne at Days of Speed did the dogster test "Which Celebrity is your pet?" It peaked my interest. I can't be bothered to do them all, but here are Wicca's results. I would say they it is pretty accurate! ;o)
Wow, your dog is Amy Winehouse!
Amy Winehouse
Out of Control Talent

Talent, talent, talent, baby! Overflowing with talent, almost to the point of just not knowing where to put it all, Wicca is Amy Winehouse!
Mmm-hmm, you go, girlfriend! With a voice that stops hearts and moves souls, Wicca's soothing sounds and funky furstyles are taking the animal world by storm. Perhaps a little overwhelmed by all of the attention, Wicca can occasionally get herself into a little trouble, but it's nothing she can't dig her way out of with help from her loving friends and family. Her flamboyant lifestyle receives a ton of attention from the media, but her shooting star talent keeps Wicca in the flow and on the go!

Monday, April 28, 2008

P'n'E trial

We had a great weekend- Sarah's little dog Jane earned her SILVER AWARD OF MERIT! YAY! Jane is an awesome little dog who has given her all every run. She is nine (almost) and doesn't trial as much as she used to but still manages to kick some serious ass. Good Girl Janie!

oh, and I know Sarah is itching to scream it from the roof tops- Gyp had the fastest time in Masters Jumpers. Uh Huh. Really. Beat the lab, the bc's, the bearded collies. Sarah had nice tight lines, her threadle was perfect and yup. Fastest time. Too bad Amanda missed it when she was getting Kaleb ready.

Our students all did great and between us all we brought home 25 Q's this weekend! It was awesome to see our students do so great- Maggie, Tag, Stoker, BB, and Pearlie all did great!

Okay- onto my news.
Wicca was a little wild after being off for a few weeks. She didn't have any really stupid moments however the theme of the weekend was off course. ;o) She really wasn't taking direction very well, and perhaps part of that is my handling. We have lots of things to work on! Thank freakin' god the snow melted on the weekend.

So you will never beleive it but Wicca earned an Advanced Snooker Q. Yup. That's right. The dog who took 2 years to earn one lousy starters snooker q, earned an advanced one just like that. It was a great snooker though- the number 7 combo was tunnel, tunnel, weave. and the number 6 was a teeter. So I did two 7's and a 6....we made it to the end of 6 before the whistle. Go Wiccie Go!

Team tri color b*thches did great and we earned our first Masters Team Q- I told Sarah that she is never allowed to fault because Wicca and I need those five faults- and true to form we blew a weave entry right off the bat. Thank god for the five fault rule in team!

Steeplechase and Standards both had off courses, and knocked bars. Over the whole weekend I think she knocked about 5. Which isn't horrible, but it's not very good. Jump Grids, Jump Grids, Jump Grids...coming our way!

Masters Gamblers was very difficult and there wasn't much in the way of points. The 4 point obstacle was a jump so after we knocked that the first time around I tried to get points via contacts. We got the gamble no problem- although for some reason not too many did! - but we were short two points. ;o(

And as I blogged about earlier this week I entered Boone in two events. A standard on Saturday and Jumpers on Sunday. He has been to the barn before and is quite comfortable there. He didn't have a fright all weekend, and was happy and tail wagging the whole time! I was so proud of him just in general. One of the Judges is a Pyr Shep breeder- so I got to meet his little dog Loki- who is super cute and is very fast, and very wild Boone thought he was pretty cute !

I am still training weaves so I knew that if there were 12 weaves I would pass them- there were so when I walked the course I planned to not do them. Boone ran it great! He held his start line, had lots of forward focus and he was happy! Not stressed at all, just happy. He had poor commitment to the a-frame and I resent him up. His table was cute, but he thought five seconds was too long- ;o) We'll have to work on that! He had a great time and I was very happy with him.

Sunday he sat around all day- Jumpers was the last event of the weekend- so we played alot while we waited- he showed off his tricks and just had an all around good time visiting. I got the comment "he's the friendliest Pyr Shep...." alot. Which makes me feel really good as I have worked very hard with this dog. Pyr Shep or not he is not allowed to act like a dork. Anyway- the jumpers course was very easy, 15 obstacles, nice and smooth. The only "difficult" part for novice dogs would be the 180 off a pinwheel. I also needed to lead out a little more- and crossed my fingers that he would be okay with it.

He did awesome. He ran faster than he has ever before (26.07 and the fastest time in Starters) and we Q'd! Everyone was very happy for the little guy as they all remember him when I first got him. I was so proud of him it almost made me cry! He has really changed alot and has turned into a great dog.

I am very happy with both dogs- and the trial was a good way to see what I have to work on. Wicca's wraps were great- her discrimination was OK. And her start line sucked. We have lots to work on!
With Boone we are going to tackle the weave pole issues, get his contacts down, and teach him a rear cross! Hopefully we can get him over his nervousness at the field. I will keep you all posted!

Wicca- Adc. Snooker Q! 43 Points
Mas Team- 63.10 Q- wicca 5 faults/weave entries
Stplechase 1/2 - OFF COURSE, knocked bar
Standard 1/2- OFF COURSE, knocked bars.
Mas. Gamblers- really hard opening- not very many points. got the gamble but short two points! That has never happened before. Knocked double abd 2 singles. Would have had enough points!
Adv. Jumper- awesome run, knocked bar.

Std. 1- didn't commit to a-frame, got up on table. Good jump commitment and forward focus. hesitant teeter.
Jumpers- did awesome! A little wide on turns, but much more confident than Saturday. Q!!

Friday, April 25, 2008


I posted earlier about teaching new tricks- Vito has the "sad" down pretty good and will do it on cue for the most part. I even managed to catch it on camera today!

He looks pretty sad doesn't he!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I have been working on teaching new tricks to the dogs-

Vito is a very clicker savvy little dog so teaching him things is pretty easy. I started waiting to see what he would offer- of course it was all related to lying down! (down is his default) anyway- so I got a chin rest on the ground, a paw over the eyes, a laying on his side, and a roll over. I am going to work on building those behaviours up to put on cue. The hard part is finding names for the new tricks! I am going to use Sad for the chin on the ground (cause he looks very pitiful) and for the paw over his eyes I am going use shame. Bang for laying on his side, (as in bang you're dead) and roll over for roll over- creative eh?

I am teaching Sam to walk slowly- step by step- literally. He is pretty good and now I am going to do the same thing for backing up- he knows how to back up but it is a rush and he hurls himself backwards like some sort of possesed dog. I want the step by step. We'll see if he can figure it out (and how good my timing is!!!)

Wicca is learning to walk in pace with me- between my feet. I am calling it "Saddle Up" ;o)
She is getting more comfortable about it and is starting to understand what I want. And I am teaching Go On at home even though I have no equipment. She is learning to run straight out and look for the toy- a classic Kaleb move ;o)

Boone is still learning the names for his tricks that he knows. He loves the reverse trick where he spins and backs up between your legs. It is kind of frustrating because he will do this for no reason and on no cue- so we are working on only offering the trick I ask for. Left and Right Spinning, back up, take a bow....cute little things ;o) Boone adores tricks. It makes him very happy. (which makes me happy!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008


So I haven't been near agility equipment for two weeks- and with the weather the way it is now it doesn't look like this week is going to work out so well for training either. Which means that there will be training before the trial this next weekend.

Initially there were going to be two funmatches this weekend too- Saturday was going to be GDG's- but we have five inches of snow covering the a-frame. And sunday was supposed to be one in Calgary- but again the snow created problems. (traveling is not advised at the moment)

Anyway, I am not too concerned about Wicca missing the training time- up until the first weekend in April we had been training hard and often- so the few weeks off probably were good for her. I am sure the trial will be fun regardless of how well we do. (It always is!)

Boone on the other hand really could use the training time. I am not quite sure what I was thinking when I entered him. I think that I hadn't planned on how badly he would react in the training field. My plan is to still take him but I will be making his two runs short and very fun. I am going to pick a path that will work for him and run out of the ring to have a party. His second run is jumpers - and we have been working on commitment and increasing the value of a jump in my living room with my old PVC set.

We shall see anyway!

more snow...

we have a ton of sucks. it is wet, heavy and there is a lot of it. ugh.

however- the dogs LOVE it and had lots of fun playing in it this afternoon-

well, except Boone- who figured out a way to keep his feet dry!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snow Day!

Although it is the middle of April we are getting lots of snow....the dogs don't mind!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I have never seen so much green. Everywhere in Abbotsford and the Vancouver area is bright and blooming and fresh and very, very green. It was kind of depressing to come back to brown and ugly!

The trip was great and totally worth it. I actually relaxed and had a good time. I read three and a half books! The first day was mostly spent in the car. Natalie is petrified of semis, and mountain roads so it made from some interesting conversation..... ;o) Rayna was great and is probably the best behaved 5 year old in the WORLD! She never once had a tantrum, cried, or behaved badly. Boone was pretty scared on the drive there- he hates Natalie's truck to begin with so ten hours was a stretch for him!

We stayed at a beautiful little cottage like house in Abbotsford. Anne is a gardener and has many, many flowers, trees and plants. I had never seen anything like it. Of course I forgot to take pictures of the house and yard! They have a huge yard- a front yard, a side yard, a creek, and a few acres of wild grass and flowers behind the house. Boone had a great time in the back field galloping around, getting muddy!

Saturday was the best day weather wise- we went to WhiteRock and I saw the ocean for the first time! It was pretty neat and of course I brought home a little purple shell I found. We ate at a place on the beach called Moby Dicks which was an experience all on its own! The amount of people squished into a tiny space is quite amazing!

We did lots of nursery and garden hunting- and Natalie brought back loads of flowers and such. I was even caught up in the spirit and bought about $50 worth of plants and such. I know. They are just going to die. But they're so pretty! There was a little petting zoo at one of them-which is where Rayna and I spent most of our time!

Sunday we went to the Chilliwack Exhibition grounds and watched a bit of a dog show. Of course the conformation was boring and not very interesting so we shopped (I got a very snazzy pink leash for Wicca and a Cardigan Sticker...) and then went next door to watch the team penning. Rayna loved it and we ended up watching for close to an hour. She wanted to take some is the best one ;o)

Monday we made the trip into Vancouver. We had planned on hitting two very posh pet stores but couldn't find either of them....We did manage to find Granville Island (by accident) and did some shopping there, and then headed to the Vancouver Aquarium which was lots of fun.
The Sea Lion was much bigger than I thought he would be- and it was neat to see his little tricks. I also really liked the Belugas...and of course the otters were cute!

My favorite part was hanging out at the house- it really was beautiful and Boone and I spent quite a lot of time in the back field- he even got to chase some neighbor cows who jumped the fence. He thought that was pretty neat!

The drive was pretty amazing. I had never been there before but am not new to the whole mountain thing (I grew up in the crowsnest pass) but the BC mountains far out do the Albertan ones! The view was breathtaking!I didn't take pictures on the way there, but snagged some on the way back. Banff was cool and I was surprised to see miles and miles of fencing all along the highways- there were tunnels too so that the wildlife didn't have to cross the highways- pretty neat idea....the explains where our toll money goes to! That's right. $10 each way on that highway....paying for the fence I suppose!

I mentioned earlier about how stressed Natalie was driving with the narrow roads, and the big of course I had to take a picture when we stopped for beer ;o) I should also mention that we got lost....alot. And spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to get places. It seems that people in BC don't need signs or anything- us Albertans however could have used the extra help!

The beer helped though ;o)

My dogs were very, very happy to see me last night- even Wicca cuddled with me for most of the night! Vito made his cute happy noises and Sam was amazingly quiet (with the help of a toy in his mouth) I missed them alot and was pretty happy to be sleeping in my own bed!!!

Holidays are fun, but it is always nice to be home!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I'm going on a holiday. I am pretty excited that I am actually going away for a non dog thing. I haven't been on a "holiday" for 6 or 7 years. Since I graduated High School- and went on a road trip with some friends. To Saskatchewan, it started out fun and of course didn't end up being too fun afterall. (drinking, camping, running out of food, fighting, drinking...highschool kinda stuff)

Anyway, I am going for a whole six days. We are going to Abbotsford- where Natalie has an aunt who owns a Greenhouse. Natalie is going for the plants. I am going just to get away.

This is a pretty spur of the moment kinda thing. And generally I don't do spur of the moment- but when Natalie started hinting that I go with her, after some rearranging and schedule shuffling it's a go. I am pretty excited.

I did have to change around all my classes (sorry guys) and take three days off work (eek!) and beg my dad to stay at my house to took some pretty good persuading and in the end I am bringing Boone and leaving the corgis for him to look after. (there is still tension between Boone and my dad) So lucky dog Boone gets to come for a very long drive to spend the days hangin' out with me. We'll see if he thinks he's lucky!!!

I am excited about the prospect of going somewhere I've never been but a little nervous that I will be bored. As much as I feel that I am too busy when I have nothing planned and actually sit down for a minute I am instantly bored. Weird, I know. So this will be a learning experience for me. A long drive for nothing in particular! I am hoping we'll find some cool pet stores so that I can buy the dogs will be really weird to not have them. Poor V-man is going to have no one to snuggle with!!!

I will have a full report of how much fun I had when I get back....

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Stupid Quiz....

Can you believe I'm a freakin' lab????!!!

What dog breed are you? I'm a Labrador Retriever! Find out at

Get A Grip

Jane takes her goodie container very seriously and uses both feet to grip.
She has pretty amazing strength for a little dog!

And one more Jane picture...maybe not the most flattering, but I thought it was cute...

we will now return to our regular programming.......

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Busy Weekend

Wow! It seems like I have gotten a lot done this weekend! All of the dogs are wiped out and are sound asleep already.

Saturday we went herding and had a blast- as usual! I decided that the boys would benefit more than Wicca at this point so just teased her by letting her come and watch- and not get to play. Mean. I know ;o)

Boone was first and he did great- he was confident and very bossy. It is so neat to see him like that as normally he is the meekest of all my dogs. He had no problem getting them out of the corners- and is really starting to figure out what I want from him. He is very good at moving out and around them and is far better at understanding the sheep than I am!

Vito was a little bugger and had lots of "bad" moments- he was pretty much chasing them around like a mad man until Scott beaned him with the bag. After that he cued into what we wanted from him. He is learning to be calm around them and to move away from the pressure.

Jenny took a few pictures- you can see them on her website. Otherwise- no pictures!! Jolayne went for the first time with her dog Tag and he did awesome! I videod for her and she videoed each of the boys- so I will post that when I get it.

Today I went out for a few hours of training and got a ton done with each dog. I was there for about three hours and did pretty much everything that was on my list.
Boone was less freaked out than before and I even managed to do some actual training- we worked on contacts- played the happiest place game, and he tugged on his toy for a mili-second! Yay for Boonie! He also co-operated with my photo shoot, and actually was interested in the Corgis game of find the gopher. He is coming around really quick out there and I think in a few weeks will be perfectly fine out there !

Vito hasn't had much training in the way of agility lately so I did a lot with him- broken up of course into small five minute sessions. We worked on contacts- the dog walk- sending him ahead of me. I used a pole in the ground to send him around and then to C/T for speed across the dogwalk. I used food on the target- and he was totally into that. ;o)
We also worked on jumping- straight line to a tunnel and back up the line to the toy. And- he tugged- yup. He really liked his wubba today and was fetching and tugging. I was very happy with him. We worked on the teeter and the a-frame as well.

Wicca worked on weave entries. We did pull throughs, and worked on distance for gambles. I also worked on getting rid of the creep and curl on the dogwalk when I am far behind or not moving. It worked great- and she had lots of fun. I worked on wrapping jumps too- and did some box work. She knocked only two bars the whole time and had a lot of success.

It was a very productive day and I was happy with how the session went. I got some great pictures!

note- wicca was very happy to be back in the field and is doing her best to keep those gophers in line!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I was horribly sick this week with a cold so didn't feel like training much- but by yesterday afternoon I was feeling a little better so went out to the agility field.
Sarah and I set up a little sequence with discrimination, weave to weave, and some more open entry weave poles for Wicca. It went really well and for the exception of a few late front crosses we did pretty well. We worked on pulling to the other (not the obvious) tunnel mouth and it was a good exercise to work on timing. I finally was successful after I figured out to do less lead out and more lateral distance- not just a shoulder pull.
In a one hour session:
Weave Entries
Gamble Work
Weave to Weave
Tunnel Discrimination
Front Crosses
Next Time
Gamble- Jump/Tire- no contacts
Weave Entries

I only took Wicca out- the boys all stayed home much to their dismay.

I am going herding tomorrow and initially had planned to take the three dogs- but now have to cut it down to one time slot so can take either just Wicca, or the two boys....I am still not sure which dog I will take. Wicca of course is the dog that I would like to get some herding titles on- but that won't be this summer for sure anyway. I think that it is good confidence for Vito and Boone- and that is something they both need. They had so much fun last is a hard decision....

Happy Dogs

I wasn't feeling too hot yesterday and stayed home from work- the dogs were pretty bored all day- so when I went in to teach a class I brought them along for a little run about in the play area....I got some cute pictures...of everyone except Vito!! Poor V!