Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best. Boss. Ever.

Wendy is the bestest boss ever.

She surprised me today with a camera!

I have been waffling about buying one.

Root Canal or Camera? Root Canal or Camera? The Camera was winning...

so now I have no excuse for my tooth. (shucks)

She bought Sarah's old one for me- a SLR Pentax istDL. Sarah got a fancier one recently and I had asked her if she wanted to sell the old one to me and she never got back to me...now I know why.

Anyway, I have been playing around with it all night. It is different than the Canon Rebel I've been using at work but once I get used to it- it will be great!

Lucky, Lucky Me! - and you- I will have more photos to post of the dogs :o)

This gift is for me working for her- in August it will be two years since Paws on the Run was created....Oh, and compensation for never being Employee of the Day,Month, or Year! :o)

Obedience Training

We've been confined to home, the park, and the yard so we've had no agility to train for two weeks already- with two more to go. I still am workingon ground work stuff, but I have also been training the dogs in Obedience every day. Even Vito can't escape.

Boone has been working on Stand/Stay. He knows now what "stand" means, but is very uncomfortable in a stay in that position- so I am working on changing his default behaviour from a sit to a stand to make it more "normal" for him. He doesn't like change, so it has been a bit of a struggle but he is starting to get it. I also have been working on making sure he knows where heel position is- he just generally follows me around I think, so I have been using lots of clicker, and lots of fun heeling games to teach him. He is doing very well, and I don't think he'll have any problems in Medicine Hat. There is still a whole month to train.

Wicca has been working on the broad jump- no cutting corners, and making sure to clear the jump with no movement on my part. Wicca is not a natural jumper so even with something like the broad jump her form has not been great. I went back a few steps to a target, and then added a bit of height using a regular jump, and now she is understanding to clear the jump. And we've been working on fronts. Her fronts have never been great- passable, but not perfect. There are lots of fronts in an open routine- so I expect better- so I've had to train better. With a little bit of work they are improving. We also have been doing a bit of retrieving. She LOVES to fetch, and loves her dumbbell, but I was finding that after I take the dummy away she would jump up and bark- so we have been working on a calm release. :o)

Pixel is learning to heel and is doing great- she is a little wide, on about turns so we've been using a toy to correct that. Also I've been teaching her left turns and it has been a bit of a challenge. I need to go back and teach her to back up better I think. It will help her to understand more about moving backwards. Pixel is also at the stage where I am starting to add distractions to her stays. She is very, very good. And we've been working on fetch- as in fetch a non-moving toy and bring it back to me. I broke it down with a clicker (she previously would only fetch a toy I had thrown) and she is now retrieving almost anything. I introduced her to the dumbbell and she was quite happy to trot around with it.

Vito is learning to heel fast. He is a good heeler but peters out and starts going slower, and slower and slower.... :o) It is a very typical Vito thing. So we've been doing three steps fast/reward. Three Steps Fast/Reward...over, and over, and over again. He is now pretty excited about heeling and is moving at a good pace. For Vito. We've also been working on Stand. He kind of melts to the ground if he is touched so I have gone back and clickered it. He will now Stand on a verbal cue only and doesn't melt to the ground into a pile of mushy vito.

I am excited about the progress they've made in just under two weeks, and am looking forward to being able to return to classes soon!

Monday, March 30, 2009

For Julia

I couldn't resist. :o)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

10 Reasons

10 Reasons Why Today is a Great Day...

10) I got up this morning at 8. Yes. 8.
9) I hung out with my dad at the home and garden show this morning
8) we had ice cream at the home and garden show
7) the weather is perfect- sunny, not too windy, and not snowing
6) the dogs were well behaved on their walk
5) we had a GREAT training session at the park
4) Boone wasn't too freaked out at the new park closer to the traffic (I am trying to desensitize him to the traffic for when agility is outside...)
3) The dogs are sleeping and content right now
2) There is time for a nap this afternoon
1) I'm going out tonite! Well, not out, out...but out of my house to do something social! Jolene, Sandy and I are going to Wendy's to have dinner, and drinks, followed by some hair dying (theirs not mine...)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Friday- Round II- Group Photos

While I was cleaning and reorganising files I also found lots of group photos...
I thought it would fun to post them- it's both sad, and kind of neat to see the group change...
1998ish- baby kate and tina
Tina is 6ish in this photo, and Kate just a pup at 12weeks
wicca, kate and brodie
I fostered Brodie and loved him almost enough to keep him, but he wasn't interested at all in training or working, and he and Kate never really got along great. He found a great home- but I had him for three months!)
sam, wicca, kate
sam and wicca were instant buddies- Kate was always the odd girl out...
kate is retired, just sam and wicca
kate moved to my parents house, and for a while it was just the two of them...
Vito enters the scene, Wicca and Sam
I couldn't resist Vito's charms- and even though Agility is not in his future I love the dog to pieces...
Wicca, Sam, Vito and Boonie
When Boone came along things changed a lot- I definitley became a better trainer!
Pixel, Vito, Boone and Wicca
When Sam died I was pretty devastated. Pixel came just a month or so after.

Happy Friday

no new photos- here are some oldies I dug up...
Baby Wicca and the Evil Chihuahua Chloe
wicca is about 12-14 weeks in these photos.
Chloe was my room-mates dog...she liked puppies.... :o)

sorry for the glowing eyes...my old point and shoot camera combine with my total lack of skill made for great photos....

and one more because I couldn't resist....
Wicca learned from an early age to submit to the queen....

look at her stubby little legs!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Second Dose

Pixel gets her second dose of revolution tomorrow.
I talked to Kendra (my vet) today and she said that usually two doses is all that is needed. Within the next two weeks the "clinical signs" of the mange should be gone. Once the signs are gone (itching, irritated skin) the hair will start to regrow (although this usually takes a long time!) and she'll be good to return to the world.

It feels like it's been forever already- and really it's only been two weeks.
Ugh. I think she is dealing with it much better than I am!

52 Weeks

My 52 Weeks of Dogs on Flickr is going well. I am surprising myself actually, and have still stuck with it. Each week I try and think of something new to photograph with Pixel. This week I wanted to capture the "Going Outside" excitement. I LOVE her tongue in the photo. Very cheeky.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great News

Name: Boone
Breed: Berger Des Pyrenees
Microchip: 982009105845364
Number: PEN29000014

CKC here we come!!!!

I got the best mail ever today. It totally cheered me up.

Boone recieved his PEN number in the mail today. I am so excited.

The Performance Event Number will enable Boone to participate in CKC Performance Events- Rally, Obedience, Herding, Scent Hurdle etc.

I applied a while ago and had my fingers and toes crossed that it would be approved. Getting a PEN number is not easy- you have to have a pretty good reason why the dog wasn't registered in the first place. I simply said he was a rescue.

Even though I wouldn't have been able to compete in Rally with him if we hadn't got the number I still have been training. I think he could easily be ready for Novice Rally in May at Medicine Hat. I'm going to fill out the entry tomorrow.

Woohoo! Boonie!


can you guess who this might be?

not possesive at all is she?
(you should know that blue kong is the "spare" she was chewing on red kong which is her favorite..
but you know, one must protect what is hers...)
Wicca doesn't share.
What's hers is hers,
and What's theirs is hers,
and even on occasion What's mine is hers...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Mange- up close

Much to Pixels Horror I held her still long enough for an "up close" look at her mange spots. I know. I'm a mean mom. But I thought you'd all appreciate it. Her Left eye is most affected- it is red and sore- mostly because it was itchy and she kept scratching at it. Her right eye is less noticeable as the patch is under her eye and the hair is just thin, and the skin slightly red. She also has two patches on her muzzle- almost right on her lips actually. These the the "newer" spots.
The antibiotics are doing their job and she is hardly itchy at all right now- the skin although red is not inflamed.
She is doing fine otherwise- a little bratty because of the change of her exercise but otherwise okay. We get up half an hour earlier (5:15ish...) so we can go for a walk in the morning, and we've been playing lots, and lots of fetch. We've still been training at home, and I'm splitting her meals up more so that she can have stuffed kongs twice a day. Anything to keep her busy in the crate. So mostly she is fine- a little bored, and she really misses her daycare buddies, but she's still a happy little puppy!

8 months

Pixel is 8 months old today.
It is pretty amazing how quickly time goes by.

Pixel in November the day after I brought her home.

Happy 8 month Birthday Pixely-Punkin Head...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cutest Group Photo Ever.

Totally by accident. I was trying to capture the "We're going OUTSIDE!" excitement and on the way up the stairs I told them all to stay. And they did. Pretty freakin' cute I must admit!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Pick Me Up...

Wicca- all smiles, July 2007
Dogs always know how to cheer you up...

No Big Deal

Someone commented to me the other day that "it was no big deal" that Pixel has mange. I was too shocked to say much, but after thinking about it more- obviously that person doesn't know much about me and what I do with my dogs.

So far, here is the fall out.......how long it goes on will depend on how miss Pixels immune system deals with this, and how quickly she responds to treatment.

anyway, here goes...
Exposed Sarah's dogs- who now have to be treated and hopefully not affected
Exposed Cindy's dog and Cat- who now have to be treated and hopefully not affected
Thank God I did not let Pixel play with anyone at Puppy Class on Monday, or Agility on Tuesday.

  • Just over $100 for initial Revolution treatment for all four dogs
  • Just under $100 for Pixel's exam and antibiotics
  • Staying home all weekend- had to change plans to go to a funmatch tomorrow
  • Withdrew from Agility trial next weekend- thankfully I get to keep my entry mone- but still really, really annoys me that I had to pull.
  • Will not be attending any classes this week with any of the dogs- puppy class, agility class, and obedience. Nothing. I will still train at home of course, but I have no agility equipment at home- and all of those nights *I* still have to go and teach which means that my dogs are going to be left at home.........................
  • Pixel will not be attending any classes for three weeks- hopefully not longer. As long as it goes away in two weeks she will be in the clear.
  • No off leash dog park walks
  • No daycare for any of my dogs for three weeks- Pixel is spending far too much time in a crate.
And finally it just makes me really, really unhappy. I am grumpy. Like, really grumpy.

I don't blame anyone in particular- these things happen, and are bound to when dogs spend time with other dogs. But in this case it could have been prevented. And that makes me mad.

Some people just don't get it. Decisions and Choices that one person (or a group of people) make can effect not only themselves, but also a whole bunch of people. It just doesn't seem really fair. In writing this I feel like a whiner- which isn't really who I am. But I am pretty pissed off about the whole thing and this is my blog and I can whine if I want to....

Frankly I feel badly for my friends and coworkers who have to deal with me being so grumpy....

Starbucks will be on me on Monday. It might make up for my grumpiness.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I wouldn't have any luck if it wasn't bad luck.

Last week my dogs were exposed (unknowingly) to a dog with Mange. Well, really just Pixel and Vito. A dog had come to daycare after (unknowingly) spending the day with a puppy who has mange- it wasn't until the next day that we found out about the exposure.

We of course alerted all the daycare clients- and as a precaution I picked up Revolution for all my dogs on Friday- and went over them to look for anything weird. Nothing. Tuesday night I found a spot on Pixel. Just under her eye. By yesterday afternoon there were four more spots.

I took her to the vet- just to confirm what I suspected and to get some more information- I had a whole list of questions for my vet.

How long will it last? she doesn't know

Why is she missing hair after the fact of the revolution? she doesn't really know. it could be the life cycle of the mite. also revolution doesn't always work right away, or at the first treatment.

Why did it take so long to get it? she doesn't know

What about my other dogs? she said that they are at low risk because of their ages and health.

Are they contagious even if they aren't showing signs? she doesn't really know.

She tried to answer them all..but unfortunately I've discovered that vets are only human and don't know everything. There isn't a lot of solid information about Sarcoptic Mange- it varies from dog to dog, and there is no way to predict the answers to most of my questions....

I am thankful now that I treated them before showing signs- My Vet is hopeful that we've caught it right at the beginning. She couldn't give me a clear answer as to how long she is contagious- or how much hair loss she will have. We are hoping that the treatment on Friday will have done it's job and broken up the cycle. She is on antibiotics to help reduce inflammation.

So far my other dogs are fine- they are all over the age of two, and healthy. They should be able to fight it off.

I feel awful though and am very frustrated about the whole thing. I took my dogs to a trial on the weekend- I am not the type who lets my dog play with other dogs- but my friends dogs and mine were together all weekend. They were exposed? Maybe? Also Pixel was at my friends on the weekend- so now I've exposed her pets.

It is super frustrating. I feel badly for Pixel- she is pretty itchy, and she is now being crated for a full 8 hours a day. Which is a lot for a puppy. But she'll live. This morning we played fetch and had a walk so she should be quiet for most of the day in her crate...mostly.

anyway- here is a link with some pretty good information about it, in case any of you want to know more about it...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cute Boone

man this dog is cute.


The dogs and I spent an hour or so playing in the yard yesterday afternoon. It was wonderful. All the snow is gone, the ground is dried up, and well, it is looking like spring!!!

In all the photos I took I didn't get any of Vito...where was he you ask? Under the table with a long lost kong...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weigh In..

Last week I had to take all of the dogs to the vet to get weighed, and to pick up a dose of revolution for each of them (more about that later)

Anyway, I was kind of surprised at how the dogs compared. The short dogs are all around the same height (give or take a few inches) and they all eat the same food, and even around the same amount. I am feeding Acana Pacifica and they are doing great on it. I have been feeding Acana for over 2 years now and am very happy with it.

Anyway, on to the break down!

27.1 lbs
Vito is l-o-n-g, and is my thinnest dog. He has a hard time keeping weight on, so I was surprised that he weighed so much. He stands 12.5ish inches tall. He is a very "light" looking dog and does not have a lot of bone or substance. Because he is always on the lean side I am feeding him 1.5 cups/day

26.8 lbs
Wicca is a stocky little dog- and stands at 11.5 inches tall. She has moderate bone, and is pretty much at her ideal weight right now- not too ribby, but thin. She tends to pack on the weight pretty quickly so I am very careful about her food/treat intake. Right now she eats 1 cup/day.

22.5 lbs
Boone is very willowy- tall, and gangly almost. He stands 15.5 inches tall, and wears his weight well. He is very hairy so it is hard to tell sometimes- but his ribs aren't easily felt or visible when he's wet. He is a bit on the thick side right now and I have been cutting his food back. I think he needs to lose around 2 pounds. He is eating 3/4's of a cup per day. (He was eating 1 cup)

19.2 lbs
Pixel is just filling out, and is around 10.5-11 inches tall right now. She has broadened in the chest, and it wasn't a surprise that she weighs nearly 20lbs. She has a lot of hair- but under all the coat is at a good weight- not chunky at all, and not thin. She is eating 1 cup/day.

Sister, Sister

This is Pixels' sister Fern. She is owned by Amy Hill and gets to live with her daddy Beli.
From what I've been told she sounds as bossy as Pixel- but with smaller ears! :o)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Two more

Here is Boone's clean Jumpers Round from the weekend

This was his first Advanced Jumpers Q- this dog loves to jump.

And I had to post the snooker run...because well, I hate Snooker, but due to Sarah's good planning and my good dog we managed a pretty decent Snooker Q

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wicca's Standard Run

Sarah rocks and uploaded this already for me! Thanks!

after re-watching it I also need to add Go Ons to my list of things to work on again!

Hail Ceaser....not.

I didn't intend to blog again so early in the morning... (I have a blog scheduled to post at noon today) but after reading Dolittler's post this morning I had to share.

Check it out...great post, and lots of comments both for and against. very good discussion.

For those of you who don't know I hate him and his "methods."

I think that basically he has the right idea but man oh man does he have an ego, and really, really does a bad job with scared and fearful dogs. Almost as bad as Brad Pattison.

In my opinion of course.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Training Troop Trial

First off- this post is long. And boring. Unless of course you understand Agility Gibberish.

What good dogs I have.

Both dogs blew me away this weekend. The short version is Wicca got four Q's- Standard, Gamblers, Team and Steeplechase. Boone got two- Standard, and Advanced Jumpers.

The long version is below...


Advanced- Boone.
The mini gambles were both too difficult for him so instead we just gathered as many points as we could- and got in some good weave pole and contact practice. The gamble itself was also a bit past Boone's level of training- but we attempted it, and really if not for my bad handling he would have got it.

Masters- Lots of opening points for Wicca.
We did the mini twice, and ended up with 72 points in the end. The gamble itself was not overly difficult and we did it perfectly! Yet another Masters Gamblers Q for Wicca.

Standard 1
Starters- Boone
I really can't remember what went wrong. I will have to look back at the video. I do know he had an off course....or two... :o) I do recall that I pet him on the table to reassure him, and again on the a-frame contact.

Masters- Wicca
Beautiful. My handling that is. :o) I managed to not get lost, or overwhelmed and got my dog succesfully around the course. My dog listened, and payed attention. Earning us first place in our height and a time of 39.61 seconds. Oh- and a Q.

Standard 2
Starters- Boone
He did so good. He missed the weave entry once, but went after I resent him. He had GREAT contacts- and was very responsive. His tail wagged the whole time. He placed first in his class of five, and earned a Q!

Masters- Wicca
She was very, very naughty. And quickly reminded me of the old bad Wicca. She broke her start line (more on that later) and got higher, and higher, and higher. By the time we got to the weave poles she was frothing at the mouth and could not get her entry. I had her lay down and refocus before continuing. Watching the video it didn't look nearly as bad as it felt. Oh- and for god knows what reason I was using my off arm for this run. Totally weird. And bad. Very, very bad. (more on this later)

I must admit it was weird to have them in the same class. And for some reason their times were really close. Not sure if it was an error in my recording or what. We'll have to check that out. Boone is quick- but not nearly as fast as Wicca...normally anyway

Advanced- Boone
He had a great run and was very confident- he seems to LOVE the jumpers class the most and had lots of fun. He placed 1st and Q'd! 31.31

Advanced- Wicca
Wicca only needs one more Q to get out of Advanced Jumpers...and of course I screwed it up. But honestly it was the best run of my weekend...There was a serpentine- in the beginning of the course. And I did it. Beautifully. No fumbling. No late cues. Yay for me! I did screw up the very first part though- I didn't lead out far enough and she pulled to an off course jump- but beyond that it was perfect. No bars. Just perfect. 30.35- fastest time in all of advanced.

Boone- was eliminated. I only entered him for experience and the course was a bit too technical for him. He had weave problems and I spent the time to fix them and reward him with lots of pats and "good dogs" for the first set of poles. It payed off when we came around to them again- he dove right in and weaved without me!!! I was SO excited that I missed #15. :o)

Wicca- she was the first dog to run and was brilliant. She ran it very, very well. And well- I handled her very, very well. 1st and Q!!! 39.18

Masters- Wicca and Gyppie- the tri-colored beeotches Q again!
I always joke that I need to have the five faults- and sarah has to run her side clean. But really, I'm serious. Thankfully the five fault rule exists for team or Sarah would be looking for a new partner. This time the fault was in the weaves. Wicca was not collecting AT ALL. Geesh. Anyway, beyond that it was a nice run. The course was super fast, and fun.

Advanced- even though boone got a re-run we still had faults. I misjudged Boone's understanding for the weaves- he missed yet another entry. He had a nice run otherwise though- great contacts.

Standard 3
Boone- 1st, Five faults. He had a great run- and was focused the whole time- he had great contacts. And then I thought he was driving ahead enough for a rear cross and lost him to and had a refusal. It was a nice run though.

Wicca- 1st, Five faults. I honestly can't remember this run much at all. I think we had a refusal at the weave poles. I will have to go back to the video and see.

Masters- Wicca
I have snooker-itis. I get uptight. Generally we are tweeted off in about 5 seconds. Not today apparently because we rocked it. Yes, you read right. We got a snooker Q! Yay for me! There were a few close calls, and it wasn't pretty but we did it- a five, and two sevens and all the way to the end. Yahoo!

Starters Snooker is always last. We left at 5:15 and they were just walking Advanced. Poor Boone will never get a chance to play Snooker at this rate!

Overall I was super pleased with the dogs- and my handling. I am definitely more confident. But as always I have lots more to work on.

Wicca- startlines, startlines, startlines. She broke two and a half times on Saturday. I let her get away with one because I didn't notice. The second one I noticed but decided not to stop her (We ended up Qing in that run!) and the third time she released on my "OH..." and not my "okAY." This is a dog who pushes me- a lot. I need to be ultra consistent with that. I will pay for the weekend I am sure. Also- this transfers over to her contacts and she pushed me on those on Saturday as well...rotten dog.... :o)
We also will be working on collection into poles. She missed weave pole entries about four times.
She did however keep up almost ALL of the bars. I think she knocked two or three total for the weekend- which is awesome for her. I was very happy with that.

Boone- weaves, weaves, weaves, and weaves! I have said in the past about his problem generalising things- but I thought that he was understanding more. Apparently not. He is a funny dog and doesn't like things to change. Even his steps. So if he misses a step while weaving he can't figure out how to continue. Not even kidding. I have to pull him out and restart. I am going to attempt to fix this by breaking up the 12 poles into sixes and vary the distance between them- so he can learn (hopefully) to keep weaving...Will also do lots of two pole work for entries as he missed three of them. That was definitely his weakest thing this weekend- his startlines were great, his jumping perfect, and his contacts are coming. He is a little cautious on the dogwalk- but that is easily fixed with more backchaining.

Me- figure out why the heck I was using my off arm in that standard. I have no idea. I watched the video and the three times I did it one was because even though she turned on my "turn" cue she didn't see the tunnel and was going to go back up the frame. i threw my arm up (old habits die hard) and she flipped to the tunnel. The other two times were also going to tunnels. Interesting, but bery bad. Will have to work on that...
I also need to work on the timing for lead outs and FC's with Wicca. I am doing better and now know to cue late...but how late? Yeah. Not so late that the dog doesn't have a freakin' clue where to go!!!

Overall it was a great weekend- lots of fun courses, and it is nice to visit with all the agility people. Of course there was some drama, but what agility trial would be complete without that?

The young 'uns had good weekends too. Pixel was alive and well when I went to pick her up. Cindy said she was an angel. I have a hard time believing that!! She had a few accidents, and was eating sticks, and rocks, and bird seed in the yard, and just generally had a good time!

Vito was super spoiled at Wendy's again and got to go to the dogpark two times! Lucky Guy! Wendy has photos on her blog (Crazy and Little)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday and a Neutrotic Dog Mom..

I am off this weekend with Sarah to an agility trial. It is a very, very full trial- so hopefully doesn't go until 8pm each night. There are 50 dogs on the waiting list to get in. Crazy eh? Anyway, thankfully we got in. Boone and Wicca are both entered in full trials. Should be fun!

I have high hopes for both dogs. Boone is going to get all of his contacts- and he is going to get more thatn 80% of his weave pole entries. We are going to stick together, and I am going to stay in his head to ensure that happens. Wicca is going to listen, and I am going to handle. Period.

Vito is going to Wendy's house, and I am leaving Pixel at home for the first time. She is staying with my friend Cindy- who has a Cardi named Su'nar. I know that Cindy knows about puppies, and corgis...but I still worry a bit. She's the baby. I love her. I will miss her.
But- it is good for her to have a weekend away. She'll be fine.

Wish us Luck!!!

Here is the email I've sent Cindy about Pixel's care...because I am neurotic....
I share only to give you a little early friday morning humour....



Okay, so I trust you, and I know that you know about puppies, and I know that Pixel will be just fine. But she's the baby. So humour me.

She gets 1 cup a day- split into two meals. She eats in a crate and will run to it and wait for me to put the bowl down. She eats fast- and will guard her food from the other dogs- so if you don't feed her in a crate, feed her in a different room than Su'nar. She will try and steal Su'nars food if she is done first. She only tried once with Wicca- but she is a pushy little thing and will try with Su'nar. She likes chewies and bones. She's had raw beef bones before. Never chicken though...She likes to swallow big pieces...

She sleeps in a crate at night- but I know she is going to sleep loose at your house. I hope she doesn't pee. If she does, I'm sorry but it's your fault. We wake up around 6- but in a crate she will go back to sleep on weekends or sleep in days- let me know how she does out of one!

She is housetrained and hasn't had an accident in weeks- hopefully she doesn't pee in your house!

She will eat poop if given the chance. She is sneaky, and fast. We are working on it. She is much better and will now leave it if I am with her- but if I am not out with her you bet she'll get it. I know, gross. Especially your raw fed dog poop. That stuff is a delicacy apparently....

She will eat stuff- paper, kleenux, anything like that- shredded. She adores cardboard.

She is not barky normally, and is very good on walks- she doesn't pull and knows to sit at the corners.

She is not reliable off leash. She is okay at the dogpark but really is just following the other dogs- she is easily distracted. I will send along a retractable leash for you if you take her to the park. (because I am neurotic)

She loves to fetch toys- and will de-squeak, and de-fuzz a toy in minutes. She likes to eat the arms and legs off. Toys must be supervised. She loves to tug the most- and plays well with toys with other dogs. She loves kitties- and will try and kiss yours. :o)

She knows how to sit to get her leash on. Off means get off of me. Kennel is her crate command. She won't leave the crate unless you say okay.

She is friendly- but she's a corgi- she doesn't like to be cuddled and hates to be grabbed at. Food is the way to her heart.

I know you know all of this...but she's the baby. And I will miss her. My cell number is ##### if you need me. You can also call Wendy if there is an emergency (like the kitty claws her eye out after she attempted to kiss it) Her number is ###### or #######.

I will be back on Sunday night- hopefully not too late. I will call you when I get back into town and come and pick her up.

Have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Deep Discussion

So last night Sarah and I had a really good discussion about Nature vs. Nurture when it comes to having a well trained dog.

This came about after I told Sarah that Pixel was a genius and rocked at class last night. Seriously though- she was very good for a 7 month old puppy. Wow.

Anyway, we were talking about how in more cases than not it is the training- not the dog- that makes a great dog. Dogs are like little sponges and their performance is a direct product of your training. Yes, Pixel is a great dog- but it is my training that has made her that much better. She came to me with the drive, enthusiasm and excitement for learning and I've molded that into the little beast I have today. I think that some dogs are easier than others- herding breeds are going to be a bit easier than your hounds for example. All dogs will have their individual strengths and weaknesses and it is training that will find the balance. Training is not easy- and as the training gets better your expectations get higher as well. Courses are harder- and gone are the days of 6 "on side" weave poles after a table in a starters course... :o) As a trainer you have to continue to grow with the changing methods.

Not all people are great trainers- and to be honest I don't think you have to be a great trainer- you just have to be a consistent one to get results. That's all. I don't consider myself a great trainer- but I am a good trainer. I have dogs that have issues and holes- due to my lack of understanding. Now, I know. And you can bet that this puppy won't have the same gaps in her training that my other dogs had. I would hope that with each dog I get I am a good enough trainer to continue to get better. Because even with a great dog- you can easily screw it up if you aren't a good trainer.

There are exceptions to the rule though- and I actually do see this alot in competition- sometimes it is just a darn good dog. When a person has ONE good dog out of 7 or 8 then you can assume that it is probably just that- one good dog and one mediocre trainer...

I could be wrong of course, that is just my observation...


Wicca says in her defence she isn't as bad as this dog...

it is like the funniest thing I've ever seen...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Superstar Boone

Wicca stayed home last night and just Boone got to come to training. He did so good.

He was focused almost the whole night- and had great contacts. I am starting to proof them a bit more- running past, sending ahead, recall over, and each time he nailed the contact- yay!

He also had fabulous weaves- I did serp into the weaves, and a threadle into the weaves and he got the entry both times. I find with him it is all about rhythm and muscle memory- if he mis-steps he has a hard time staying in the poles.

I am looking forward to the trial this weekend-
I have him entered in everything- for the first time!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I have issues. Really. I am a MAJOR procrastinator. Not when it comes to my dogs mind you, but for myself. For example. I need a root canal. Badly. My tooth hurts more than you would think one little tooth could. I have been suffering for months. Bottles, and Bottles, and Bottles of Advil. I went to the dentist once and got penicillin- haven't been back. I am not scared really, and I could scrape together the money...but you know...procrastination is my middle name.

The other strange thing in my life. I don't drive. Don't have a license. Not even a learners. (I know. Strange eh???) It has been the bane of my existence forever. I have bought and owned three cars in my life. Right now I have a great little car- a four door neon that is pretty and functional. Why not get a license you ask? I don't know! I was not scared. I just kept putting it off, and putting it off. And then I'd think about it, and be all weird about it. I don't really know the why. BUT I do know that today I finally did it. I went right after work- wrote the stupid test and of course passed.

Geesh. Some people. I still have issues however....but soon I'll be able to drive myself to the therapist at least!

It's Yer Choice

Pixel hates this game. She thinks it is a form of torture. She is very good at it though.

the rules are she can't have the cookie unless I give it to her. Even if it is dropped, shoved in her face, whatever. she is practicing impulse control. and I am practicing torture....

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cute Red Dog

This is Davin- he is an Australian Shepherd Pup. Isn't he cute?
He belongs to my friend Michelle and will be a Search and Rescue Dog one day...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Running out of words

I have been working on obedience more with miss Wicca- and am teaching her the go out for directed jumping. the jumping part is easy, and so far she's catching on to the fact I want her to run straight away from me to the safety pin taped to the wall. But- question for you obedience people- what should I call it??

I know some people call it "back" or "go out" but both of those I use already- one for agility, and one to literally mean back up...any other suggestions?

On that note I think I am going to enter her in Open in Medicine Hat. Yeah. Scary. I am a little...okay, a lot nervous. I haven't filled out the forms yet.

I have been working stays- harder ones, every day since last week. Today she did a 2 minute sit stay at the daycare out of sight. The show isn't until May- Mothers Day weekend I believe. So I have a while to work on it. Her stays are the only thing she is weak on. Her heeling is great, her fetching is great, her broad jump is good- (we are working on improving that aswell!) So yeah. I might bite the bullet. I am not sending my entries in until next Monday so I have a week to decide.

Decisions, Decisions...

More Herding Fun

Jenny posted on the Alta Pete blog about the fun we had yesterday. Check it out for a few more photos!

Jenny has a great sense of humour and really captured the mood of the dogs...too funny...

Blizzard Lips and Meatball..

those were two of my favorite bulls at the PBR bull riding competition tonite.

Okay, so normally I am not a very "rodeoish" kind of person. I don't really like rodeos for a few reasons- the main reason is how the animals are treated. But- I do like cowboys in tight jeans, and bull riding is pretty exciting.

My friend Jolene LOVES bull riding and after a very dissapointing "rodeo" this summer she wanted to go to the real thing when it came through town. So Wendy, Jolene and I ventured into hickville...er, I mean cowboy land for an evening of laughs, some mumbling, and some pretty neat bulls.

The first thing I noticed was how many people there were! The enmax center was packed almost- The second thing I noticed was all the cowboys, and the cowboy wannabe's. You could tell the real thing apart from the fakes pretty easily- all the fakes had brand new hats. :o)

The bulls themselves were full of piss and vinegar- not too many guys were able to stay on- and it wasn't until the last round that the riding was good- very good. Lots of 8 second rides. The bulls had cool names- Convict, Meatball, Ruckus, etc. and then there were the "odd" names- Blizzard Lips was a big white bull with black spots all over his face. Cavity Search was a big blonde bull who was pretty angry- musta been mad about his name!!!

Only one bad stomp by a bull- the rider is okay- maybe a few broken ribs- but not dead. I can't imagine the risk these guys take- every weekend. Wowsers. Though the winner won $7500! For 16 seconds combined riding- pretty darn good I'd say!

It was a pretty entertaining evening, Jolene is already talking about getting better seats next year :o)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Gopher or Sheep?

apparently it is a hard decision to make if you are Wicca. The gophers are just coming out and are everywhere out there- the chirping was loud and constant. All she wanted was to get the critters...She was hardly interested in the sheep at all- which was a bit dissapointing- previously she has LOVED herding, but has been getting more and more uninterested. Today was the worst she's been- she was completely enthralled with the chirping of the gophers, and only chased (not herd) the sheep after we made her jealous with Pixel's turns. Even then she took time out to visit with Kit the guardian dog, eat poop, sniff, have a drink...

Geesh. What a dog. I guess she's a city girl through and through! The thing with Wicca is once she makes up her mind it is very diccult to change it- and with sheep herding it's not like you can really make her have fun. She either does- or she doesn't. Oh well. There are lots of things she does like to do- I won't be giving up on her herding quite yet, but she won't get to play for a while- just lots and lots of torture...having to watch Pixel play almost killed her I am sure!

Pixel however wants to move to Scott and Jenny's- the smells, the poop, the chickens, and OH MY GOD THE SHEEP! She was SO excited. Right off the bat she was curious and alert to what the dog and sheep were doing in the pen. When it was finally her turn I thought her head was going to explode!

She had three short turns and was completely focused on the sheep- she was on a short line at first, and then graduated to the longer line. At 7 months she is too young to ask for much- but it is very good experience for her to get to "play" with the sheep and have fun. Scott is a big believer in making the dog confident- before insisting on perfection.

Pixel showed a lot of interest, and had a great time chasing them around- but she wasn't frantic or wild- just excited and set to work right away. She is a very "herdy" dog at home and in real life- always circling and herding the playing dogs at work, and it is in her genes too which helps. Her sire is a herding champion- and one of the first Cardigans to get to that level. Pixels two littermates have been on sheep already too and are showing great promise. The pups certainly got his work ethic!

Pixel was very brave and was only a little unsure once, when she dove in at a ewe and it jumped over her- thankfully- not landing on her. Otherwise she had LOTS of fun- and was quite sassy at them- barking and such. Cute, Cute, Cute.
Oh- you want to know what else is cute??? Baby Border Collies. Jenny let us in to see Megan's pups- utter cuteness. They are just about 10 days old and don't have eyes open or anything- but they are still pretty cute. Jenny said she'd post some pictures...soon! You'll have to check out the Alta-Pete blog- the link is on the right.

Sarah had her new camera there and took all the photos that I've posted. The head shot of Pixel is my absolute favorite photos of all time. Wowsers. Thanks Sarah!!!