Friday, April 30, 2010

It hurts...

so I have a bad tooth. I got a partial root canal almost a year ago, and never got around to going in and getting it filled or a crown put on it. (is anyone really surprised?) Anyway, it has been causing me a lot of pain. Usually for a week or two, and then it settles down. Except for this time.

This time it has been incredibly awful. I'm taking more advil than is good for me, just to keep it down to a dull throb. It has been waking me up in the middle of the night, I actually set my alarm for a few weeks so I'd wake up before the pain started and take more advil. I even got my pharmacist friend (who can prescribe now) to prescribe me some penicillin...

I finally relented the other day and went back to the dentist. He cleaned it out, did some weird filing thing, packed it full of medicine and put a temporary filling over it...I also have even more penicillin to take.

It hurts more than ever now. Advil isn't helping much at all, and I can hardly talk at times. Work is painful (how can you keep a crowd of 30+ dogs playing well if you can't tell them to be quiet, or stop humping.... :o) ). My good old stand-by trick of drinking water, lots of water...doesn't work anymore because the coolness can't get to the tooth because of the filling.

I am really hoping that the pain goes away soon. The dentist said it may take a few days or even a week. On the plus side it's a pretty good diet plan...eating is difficult at best and I have to avoid extreme temperatures...

Thanks for listening to me complain. My tooth has stopped hurting briefly. I might even try to eat some yogurt or something...

oh, and vito wants to tell everyone that I lied, and he's in a perfectly fine mood....

The Sun is Out!

The sun is shining today- which makes me very happy! We've had rain and wet snow for the past two days and it has been not very fun. Hopefully the sun sticks around and dries up all the rain (doesn't that sound like a song?!) :)

This weekend is all about training. Saturday I am organising an Obedience/Rally funmatch. I want to put Wicca through a complete Open routine as it is only a few weeks until she'll be trying the real thing...again. I've been working her stays a lot and have made really great progress. Fingers crossed she can do it in the ring. I am going to put Pixel in Novice too- she is ready for everything but the exam portion of the stand for exam.

And of course they can both play in Rally. The boys won't be playing. Boone is lame- which most likely is the cause of all the weirdness the past few months. He is hitching a lot in both back legs. He's always had loose patella's- but something has changed....he is a blog post of his own on Tuesday. And Vito is in a mood these days so am pretty sure it won't go well. :) I am putting together a video of all of his tricks though- it should be ready next week...he's pretty cute!

Sunday I have a spot in a Terry Simons seminar. I am looking forward to this and hope that Wicca is naughty so he can help me. :o) It is a Can you Handle It seminar so is course analysis. We get to run it once in a trial, then talk about it, and run a portion of it again with the changes he's recommended. It really is a great format for a seminar.

Oh, and on Saturday mister Jace is going to his new home! I am so excited for him- he is going to a great home where he will get to use his good looks, and his brain as a Performing Trick/Freestyle dog.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


that it's not just me. :o)

even when she's naughty she makes me smile. she is just so damn happy to be playing.

oh, and she did great at training last night. of course.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just Boone

Sixth Sense 16/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Wicca the Wild...

Wicca was very naughty on Saturday. I would be lieing if I said I wasn't dissapointed. I was so looking forward to this trial, and was feeling very confident about how she would do. She was super in training last week, and even her warm up at the trial was great. The minute we got in the ring it was all over.

She broke her start line (once I didn't even notice until after as she sits down the minute I look back at her...), slammed into and through bars, flicked away, and barked....It was only three runs (the last one I didn't even run her....) but totally left me deflated. In fact I deleted the videos because they depressed

Regionals is only a few months away. There are only a few trials between now and then. The Cardigan Nationals are even sooner...I know that my dog is capable of amazing. And it is SO frustrating when we get to the line and she isn't with me.

She has been off and on agility for the past few months with injuries etc, and I've cut back the amount she runs in an effort to keep her healthy. I think that part of her issue is that she is so excited to be out there she isn't focusing.

So my plan is to train at least twice a week and continue to work on ground work at home. I have a whole list of things we need to work on, and have lots of time to do it. I need to make sure that I stick to my plan and get her as excited as I can in training so that she is "high" and acts the same as she does at a trial.

Our classes start again in May. Once a week will be training, and the other night will be our regionals prep class. The training night will give me a chance to work on specific skills. I am going to do a jump grid each week, and one more focus which will alternate. The regionals prep class will be a chance to run a past regionals course and work on the challenge of actual course work.

I have a seminar with Terry Simons this weekend- a whole day of course work and analysis so I am hoping he will have some suggestions for me of more things I can do.

I am optimistic that my plan will work. I know that she can be brilliant, and I know that I can handle my dog around a course. I just don't know why more often then not it turns to disaster....

Proof that she can be good....(last years Nationals photo...)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pixel's Debut

Pixel ran her frist two events a trial today and did awesome. She wasn't nervous, or gawking around, or at all bothered by the judge or pole setters. She just did her job. She is seriously cute.

The first class was snooker and i found a nice flowy path for her. We did awesome and I was stoked to get all the way to 7 before the buzzer went. And then I found out I forgot part of the #6 combination so we didn't get enough points. We were short 3 points for the Q....all because I didn't pay attention in the walk through! :o)

The second class she was in was Jumpers and she did great- more confidence this time, and had pretty decent speed. She was very focused on what she was doing and moved ahead nicely. I am very pleased with how she did. She may not be fast like her big sister, but makes up for it in accuracy. She earned her first Q!

oh, and I apolagise for the cheesy music on Pixels video- I couldn't get iMovie to recognize my iPod for some had limited choice. :)

Wicca will get a blog post of her own tomorrow...but it pretty much will consist of Wicca being a jerk....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday morning humor...

I love this dog...he totally cracks me up...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jace Update

Jace is doing great- not much to report as he is pretty well the same as he was a week ago.

Smart, Respectful, and Responsive. He continues to be great with cats, and all people. He is learning not to jump up on people, and is understanding that barking in his crate doesn't get him anywhere. I've been playing the collar game with him and he is much better- he isn't falling to the floor crying the second you touch it. I don't know what happened to him- but he sure was nervous about that.

He has gotten to play at daycare a few times and is doing really well. He does tend to focus on fast moving dogs, and he isn't allowed to play with the itty bitty dogs anymore (that was just way too exciting for him). His neuter is booked for next week- and none too soon as he's discovered that he's a boy. :o)

I am surprised that no one in the agility world is interested in this boy- he is ultra smart, sweet, no hang ups, and is very handsome.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Yesterday I got a call from Animal Control- apparently someone filed a complaint that my dogs are barking during the day. Which is interesting because all of last week I brought everyone to work with me, and yesterday was the first time I left Wicca/Boone. They had frozen kongs. The windows were shut, and the radio turned up loud (to drown out any neighbor noise). Oh, and my dad went over at noon and let them out. I got the call around 1:30 or so.

I am pretty annoyed, but will take responsibility for my barking dogs. I went to the shelter and paid my overdue license fees and to talk to the AC Officer in hopes she could tell me more about the actual complaint. I have my suspicions about who made the complaint but of course she couldn't tell me. She is going to call in a few days when the actual paperwork comes in. I was very polite and did my best to be friendly and not be pissed off. I did ask if there was a certain length of time the dog had to be barking for or if just anyone can complain with no proof. Apparently anyone can make a complaint even if it is for just a few barks. I resisted the urge to say that it wasn't fair.

Anyway- the dogs now come with me everywhere, which makes for extra boring days for them. At least at home they can wander around. At work they are in crates. It also makes going anywhere difficult as I am afraid to leave them home alone. I teach four nights a week right now so yeah. It's going to be fun. Oh, and our weather is amazing and I'd love to be able to sit in my backyard and let the dogs play....but I can't.

It's hard not to be annoyed and a little grumpy about it. But I will do what I can to minimize the barking. I do not need a $200 fine every time my dogs open their mouths.....

Monday, April 19, 2010

First Trial Jitters

Where's the fun..., originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Pixel is entered in her first agility trial this weekend.

It's pretty crazy to think about actually. I still think of her as a puppy with so much learning to do yet.

I am not one of those people who must trial their dog at 18 months old and push and push and push so that the dog is ready to trial by then. I actually couldn't even tell you how old Pixel is exactly. Her birthday is in whatever that makes her! I am also not one of those people that will trial their dog before the dog is ready. I want my dog to understand her job before she attempts to do it in a new place, on new equipment with little reinforcement from me.

She has been coming to trial with me since she was a baby and is very used to the hustle and noise of that environment. She also has a very good understanding of my handling, and of her own body. She is a good jumper (for the most part) and her confidence is getting better and better. She is not perfect by any means, and I really don't know what I will get on our first run. She could surprise me and tell me that she isn't ready after all. And that will be okay.

I think that Pixel is ready for what I have her entered in. Jumpers is the easy one. She understands my handling, she is a decent jumper, and she has the maturity to handle the "stress" of the trial. Snooker is an opportunity to get her on contacts, and maybe even the weaves. It will depend on the layout of the course as to what I do with her. And that's it. Two classes which will give me an idea of what she is going to be like at a trial, and to show me if there are any holes in my training I need to be spending more time on.

It will be fun, and I am excited. But also a tad bit nervous. I've got all week to obsess about it. :o)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good Weekend

Beach Dogs, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I spent the weekend just hanging with the dogs, we went for lots of walk, did some training, tidied the house (I was tempted to write cleaned the house, but who am I kidding?) and just generally had a relaxing weekend.

It was nice. :o)

Saturday, April 17, 2010



Jace-13, originally uploaded by Windy City Canine Rescue.

I am not very good at saying no.

Jace is my new foster dog and he is SUPER!

He was originally rescued when he was left to live in the back of a truck after his owners moved to an apartment. Nice eh? The people who took him didn't realise how much exercise and attention that a young border collie needs.

We didn't technically have an open foster home and I just knew he'd be cute. So I said I'd take him. :o)

He is about 10 months old or so. We don't know for sure. Sometimes I think he could be a little younger, other times I think that the 10 months is right on the money. He is about 21 inches tall. He has the cutest ears that aren't sure exactly what they are doing. Sometimes they are up, sometimes they are down. It makes me laugh.

I've had him less than 24 hours and already feel pretty confident in saying that he is perfect. Seriously. Perfect.

He is housetrained.
A perfect gentleman (even though he still has his boy bits)
Loves all people
Is very dog friendly and dog smart. (gets that he should avoid eye contact with vito-grumpy-pants)
Ignores cats
Well behaved in the house
Can sit, down, shake a paw, and find a bed on command
Is crate trained.
Loves to fetch (and brings it back to hand!)
Loves to play
Is not crazy hyper in the house and will settle down if you do

The only things he needs to work on is:

Greeting People- his idea of saying hi is pretty up close and personal. :o)

Using his inside voice- when he is excited (which is often) he can be a bit vocal. He's quite a chatty fellow.

And that's it.

I will know more in a few days when I've had time to get to know him better. But really he is just a very nice dog. I think his potential for dog sports is pretty up there. He is a fetching machine and is smart. I taught him the clicker in just a few minutes and already he is learning how to offer behavior (like perch work, and backing up). I'd love to see him go to an agility or flyball home. Or be a movie dog 'cause he's so cute. But I'd be happy with an agility or flyball home. :o)

He is available for adoption through Windy City Canine Rescue. He will be neutered, vaccinated, and micrchipped prior to adoption. You can check out for more information on adoption policies. Or email me!

UPDATE: There are more pictures posted on the Windy City rescue blog

Friday, April 16, 2010

Only in Alberta 15/52

Only in Alberta 15/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

does the weather go from frozen, wet snow to + 20'C in a few days...

Two days ago our whole city was shut down due to the heavy snowfall. Today the dogs had their first dip in the river. It is 20'Celsius today. The snow is pretty well all gone, and the sun is warm.

Boone is not a "swimmer" per say. He mostly likes to bark and chase his siblings on the shore. He had a good time though, and even ended up pretty wet! Good thing it is warm enough he dried on the way back to the car!

A little Nutty...

0 058, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Pixel is a little nutty these days. She is getting more and more Sassy as she matures it seems. Which is a good thing...but I sometimes miss little sweet Pixel. She's been replaced by the bug eyed, often hyper, always moving, very excited dog...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can you see the teeth?

Can you see the teeth?, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

My favorite photo from my snow day yesterday....


Wicca is such a jerk....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Snow Day

0 030, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

We had no power for the majority of the day- which was interesting- but on the plus side it gave me a day off! We decided it wasn't very safe to have 30 dogs playing in a pitch black daycare. :o)

I hung out with my sister (it was her birthday) and of course played with the dogs. We went for two major walks today and they had a blast. The snow is deep and it was quite a work out for them and for me!

I got some pretty cute photos I'll be posting in the next few days.

Winter Returns (briefly)

From Environment Canada:

Winter storm warning in effect.

Today: Snow changing to rain late this morning and ending this afternoon then cloudy. Snowfall amount 5 to 10 cm. Blowing snow this morning. Wind northwest 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 this afternoon. High 8.

Tonight:Clearing this evening. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light overnight. Low minus 6.

Thursday:Sunny. High 8.

Friday:Sunny. Low minus 5. High 12.

Saturday:A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 1. High 14.

Sunday:Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Low plus 5. High 14.

Monday:Sunny. Low plus 3. High 20.

Tuesday:A mix of sun and cloud. Low plus 4. High 19.

The snow is wet, heavy and thick. Shoveling is an awful experience and it took me about 10 minutes to do two tiny patches in front of my door and gate. The dogs of course thinks its awesome. Lots of power outages...we'll see how the day progresses...

Oh, and the temperature is in Celsius...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Picture of Pixel

Last week at training Sarah told me that she took a picture of Pixel. I've been waiting all week and again emailed her this morning to see if she would send it...

she sent me this:

here is a pixel for you [ . ]

funny eh?


made my day really...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rally Videos- EDITED



I re-uploaded Boone's video- he is so cute

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Prairie Girl

Prairie Girl, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

We were at a Rally Funmatch/Training day in a small town not too far from where Wicca was born. I thought it was fitting to pose her for a photo. I love the prairies and can't imagine living anywhere else.

I wish i hadn't centered her in the photo, but oh well. It still shows off just how pretty Wicca is, and of course the classic Alberta landscape!

The training was fun- we started with Scenthurdle and Pixel did scent discrimination at the box for the first time! She still likes to miss the first jump back though. :o)

Rally was fun and the courses were hard so it was a good challenge. Wicca was amazing. Her first run (which didn't get taped of course!) was perfect in every way. I seriously adore this dog. She is just so good.

Pixel and Boone got to play too. Pixel's heeling isn't as good as it used to be- mostly in part to the fact that I haven't worked on it forever! She stalls out on left turns (afraid of being stepped on!)...Boone had a blast and was happy, happy, happy. He met lots of new people, and recovered well when he got nervous on course. Vito came, but the course was too challenging for him. I haven't done much obedience with him....

I will have video up tomorrow!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

52 weeks and Thanks

Flirt 14/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

This is my submission for this weeks Flickr project. I chose it because that's pretty much how he's been most of the week. :o)

On that note, I want to thank everyone for their suggestions about his behavior. I am going to get a blood panel done and at the very least it will let me know if it is a physical issue, or a pyr shep issue.

Pyr Sheps are not your average dog. I have met a fair amount of them and of course talk to people online about them. They are full of quirks and often have set backs.

I am pretty sure that that is what has happened. Maybe the "excitement" with Luna pushed him over, or maybe my neighbors have been banging at the door or floor. Who knows.

I have started all of the things on my list, so will take a look in a week and see if we've made any progress.

Thanks again for everyones input.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Scenthurdle Update

A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and set up some scenthurdle racing training times. The trick was finding the time, and forcing commitment. Well. Now we have 9 people and a dozen dogs who are keen, and doing awesome!

We won't be racing officially until November as the whole team consists of raw novice scenthurdle dogs so we have quite a bit of training to do. But wow, the progress already is amazing!

We have dogs discriminating between two or three dumbbells already, racing up the line to the box, and even retrieving from the box and back down the line. All this in just three training sessions! It does help that all the people on the team are "dog people" and have trained their dogs to fetch a dumbbell already.

Last night was our third session and we did more discrimination, box work, and pattern training for the jumps. It was also the first time the dogs retrieved from the box and back over jumps. The discrimination is the most fun, and all of the dogs are starting to get it. Pixel had no troubles at all and brought hers back every time.

I am so excited to finally have a Lethbridge team. Seriously, it is awesome. I can't wait to race!

You can read more about our team on the team blog-

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Acting Out

Boone has been naughty these past few weeks, and not just a little naughty, but a lot naughty. I don't know what the cause is, but I do have some suspicions. He has been getting progressively weirder over the last few weeks and doing things that he hasn't done in a LONG time... First, let me tell you what he's doing.

He is barking. A Lot. When I am not home especially. I got a complaint again this morning from my neighbor. I am annoyed. I've been leaving him and Wicca loose during the day which eliminated the barking/spinning in the crate. They get a stuffed kong when I leave and I hide random treats/kibble around the house. My neighbor said that it sounded like one of the dogs was screaming. Which was probably Boone if Wicca was trying to steal his kong. Sigh.

So my wonderful father went to get them to bring them to me at work. Instead of just running out the door when my dad called them Boone ran back to his crate. Now, my dad is not a dog person, and didn't always get along with Boone (when i first got Boone he bit him) but they haven't had a problem at all since then....until this morning. This is not the first time my dad has gone to get them from my house and brought them to me so I am not sure what the issue was but Boone almost bit him. My dad is pissed and doesn't want anything to do with him now. Boone arrived at work a quivering mass of nervousness. From what my dad said Boone ran into the crate and wouldn't come out even for a cookie so my dad turned to walk away and Boone rushed out to bite him on the leg. I am sure my dad yelled and/or kicked out at him hence the nervousness when he got here...

I am annoyed that Boone was barking in the first place. It should be mentioned that he wears a citronella collar for that reason. Apparently he doesn't care much anymore about it. One option is to try an electric collar although I have a feeling that he will freak out and either a)bark louder b)melt into a pile of nervous pyr shep. So yeah. Not really an option. Must figure out what to do about the barking.

I am annoyed that Boone and my dad are again at odds now. My dad won't easily forgive Boone which will make things difficult. And I am not sure why Boone is reacting that way to him. When I am around he loves my dad and often will sit near him and jump up for petting.

He has also taken to spinning in his crate again- even when I put him in there to eat, or whatever. And he is spooking again at loud noises. We walk one of three routes every day and he acts like he's never been those particular ways before. Startling at traffic, gawking around, and acting nervous.

He is frustrating me, and that is part of the problem. He is very sensitive to moods and body language. So when I am annoyed at him he acts even weirder. We both need to chill out apparently!

My plan is to

a) take him new and old places again. one new place or route a day.
b) collar game review with me, and with "friends". I think that is part of the reason he snarked at my dad was he probably tried to grab him (although he is not admitting it)
c) bring him to work every day. frequent rewards for quiet and calm behavior in the crate.
d) more obedience work. I've been slacking on the obedience department with all of the dogs, not just him
e) more exercise...I already walk them on leash every day, but can't always get out for an off leash run. Will have to find a way to increase his exercise.
f) find a new place to live............
g) new food puzzle toy for crate only. he loves food and will work at a kong forever. keeping him busy in the crate is half the battle.

Hopefully these things in part or in whole will help. I am open to other suggestions though!

Oh, and i should remind you all that he is one of the most normal Pyr Sheps around. The Pyr Shep people think there is nothing wrong with him...I can't expect him to be "normal" but I do expect him to listen, and to be able to handle real life...

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Better late than never....

I saw my friends awesome collage the other day and decided to order mine (only a few months later...)

I love it. Len did a great job and I had tons of photos to choose from. I have an 8 x 10 print on it's way to me too.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Training Video

So not only am I posting two blogposts in one day, one is a video! Pixel is so cute!

Pixel Update

Just a quick update about training and such.

She can weave four poles in my yard. Why four? Well, I only have to get more today.
Working on leadouts, positional cues, and fast set up games. She thinks this is pretty fun.
Working on finishes. Trying to get some flair into her swing finish and so far it is looking pretty cute.
Working on Stand. As in stand for exam. This is the only thing I have to train for her CD.

Our agility equipment is back outside so that is pretty exciting. It means that I can train more. I really need to get contacts into some sequences.

And that's all the updates in the world of Pixel. She is still cute as ever, and is looking very grown up these days. Oh, and she loves fetch.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Hoppy Day!

in all my posed holiday photos Vito looks the same...cracks me up!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Yay for Spring!!!

Smiling for Spring, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

The nice weather makes us all happy I think!