Monday, November 29, 2010


A few weeks ago Sarah and I met up for some photos- I've been saving them for my christmas cards and such, but thought I'd give you all a sneak peek...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Restoring Peace

editsnow055, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Missy (the Jack Russell in the picture) has been living with me for longer than I care to count. Months folks, months. Since she has been with me there has been tension in the house with the other dogs- mostly Wicca. There have been more than a few scraps, and in the past two weeks it has come to a breaking point. Every day there has been a fight, or posturing, or just nastiness. I was ready to ship Missy off to the first person who said they could take her.

But before it came to that the perfect home appeared. She left this morning. I am so happy- for Missy to have found someone who will love her unconditionally, and understands her issues. I am most happy for me. Selfish, but true. Missy left an hour ago and already the tension is gone from the house. Everyone is relaxed. It is as peaceful as it gets with four dogs, and two cats in a small house. It is amazing.

I truly hope this this home is the last stop for Missy. I have a good feeling about it, but it won't hurt to keep all your fingers crossed for her. And I will enjoy having just my own dogs for a little while. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Snow Plow

Snow Plow, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

need i say more?

We have a ton of snow here- and now that the chinook (i.e warm wind) has blown in the temperatures a bit more friendly.

Wicca LOVES to look for critters and this snow is perfect for that. Hard on top, soft and fluffy underneath. She spent about ten minutes crittering under the snow yesterday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dashing through the Snow...

Snow Shark, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

more photos to come.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

4 years old.

Vito is four years old today. I can hardly believe it.
He is still exactly the same as he was when he was a puppy.
All cuteness and squishiness.

He is the dog most likely to be at my feet, or on my lap.
I love him to bits, and can't imagine my life without him.
He got some extra long snuggles this morning,
and we'll go out for a play with a new birthday toy this afternoon.
Happy Fourth Birthday to the Baddest dog in the house. :)

photos by wendy (from a long time ago, but hadn't been blogged)

Monday, November 22, 2010


Good Eats..., originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

It is SO cold here right now. The dogs don't stay out very long at all. I love the snow, but wish it wasn't quite so cold. (-29 C with the windchill)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Same Results, but I feel better.

Today was an almost exact replica of yesterday. Pixel qualified in the morning, and failed her heel free in the afternoon. Wicca had beautiful open rounds and failed each stay. :)

But I feel much better about it. Funny.

Yesterday I was upset about a lot of things. My lack of training, my dogs apparent lack of understanding, and at myself for getting upset. I thought a lot yesterday about what the issues are and I do think that I have a plan figured out. I think that is why I had a better day today- because I have a plan.

Funny how being able to have a plan of action seems to make things better. :)

I am so proud of both of my girls. Wicca LOVES to work, and was probably the best she's ever been today. She was right on every step of the way. Stays will continue to be an issue- so until they are reliable and her stress is gone there will be no obedience for her. I hate seeing her so stressed out. Apparently her stress only lasts for a few seconds and then she settles into whatever position she happened to be in. I do think that with work, and training! that this issue can be resolved.

Pixel did pretty darn great for her first time in the ring. I know that she is sensitive, I am not sure why I thought she'd be the same in the ring as she is in training. By the end of the weekend she was much more up- not perfect by any means, but happy. And I will take Happy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I am feeling a little mixed about todays results.

On a whole I feel dissapointed by my dogs, and my training. It is hard not to feel this way when you know that you, and your dogs are capable of better. Broken apart it really was not all that bad.

Pixel was so stressed in the ring. I remember her in Rally for the first time and it was very similar. The good thing is that she seemed to get better each time- I am hoping this is the case in Obedience aswell. She did qualify the first trial though- barely (174.5) but she did all the exercises. We lost 20 points for on leash, and off leash heeling. Before the second trial I pumped her up and took her in the "scarey" corner and played with her new toy. She liked that and seemed much more "up." Her happiness lasted through the on leash heeling and then was gone. Her off lead heeling was non existant. We failed the trial. I know she is a soft, mushy little dog. She gets nervous in new places with new things. I expected too much of her I think. I thought our training would get us through. It is pointless to say but I just wish she had a bit more confidence. We are building it, but she is obviously not as ready as I had thought.

Wicca was very good. Her heeling was great, although a bit slow for her. She had great retrieves, her drop was perfect, and her finishes weren't too bad. She stayed for the first sit. I was SO happy for her. She appeared relaxed and okay. She sat up on the down before I was across the room. The second trial had a better opening (well, except for walking over the broadjump...), and a worse stay. She went down on the sit, (don't know when), and changed position like five times on the down. Sit, Down, a few steps, sit, down..and so on until I returned.

It is SOOOOO Frustrating. It seems like I've been beating my head against a wall for years. When I entered the trial I told myself that this what it if there was no improvement. We are missing something and I don't like to feel frustrated at her. But now I am so torn. There was  an improvement. She stayed on the sit. For three minutes. She has only ever done that once before. So yeah. I am so undecided about what to do.

Do I go tomorrow and try again? I hate being a quitter. But when is enough? I was thinking a lot about this when I got home. What kinds of things can I change or do better? More training obviously. I am completely self taught. There are no classes around here for Competition Obedience, I am it. I teach classes, and do "drop in" nights. On those nights I don't feel like working my own dogs. I would love for someone to just tell me what to do. I feel that if I want to continue with Obedience I nedd to do something different. To continue training as I am is not going to get me any farther. Obviously I am missing something. I have a few options.  move. (which is not going to happen), a seminar (which I am trying to plan and find someone) or just quit. Put obedience off to the side until I either move, or someone moves here.

How much do I love Obedience? A lot. Watching those Utility dogs makes me want it so bad. Wicca can do that stuff. We just need to get there. I loved Obedience before Agility. I love the training, I love the heeling, I love the structure and the rigidity. But as with anything related to dogs it is hard. It is not easy. It need commitment, training, and lots of time. How much of that do I really have?

To cheer myself up lets take a look at the good stuff. Broken apart my day wasn't so bad. In fact, there were some really great things.

Wicca held a 3 minute sit stat out of sight. That is incredible. I was so thrilled for her I was shaking.
Pixel held all four of her stays today. She was a little nervous about it but she did it.
Wicca had consistent heeling throughout both trials. She was with me the whole time.
Pixel wagged and was heeling happily in Trial #2 on the first heeling exercise.
Pixel did get a leg towards her CD...maybe in 10 years I'll forget the score...

So that's my day. I have a lot to think about. As of right now I am not entering Wicca tomorrow but will try Pixel again. Even as I type that I think it's a bad idea. lol. Maybe it should be the other way around. Might aswell put Wicca in- what do we have to lose? Pixel however could learn that the ring is a scary place if I put her in and she freaks out again.

Decisions, Decisions. I had hoped that by writing this blog it would help me to sort out my thoughts. Unfortunately it has not done that. Maybe I need a drink.

Oh and a huge congrats to Sarah on her CDX leg today with Kaleb! No barking in the stays, and was a happy boy. And to Jolene with Kort on their first leg. Kort is such a trooper! He has come such a long way.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another dogshow weekend

Our local kennel club is hosting it's annual dog show this weekend. I have the girls both entered in Obedience.

Pixel is entered in Novice for the first time. I have her in all four trials. She is doing really well and I think that she will have no problems. Her main issue has been the stand for exam and "slow." She was getting all  freaked out about it. We have fixed that by making it more of a game. I am excited for her first time in the real ring. It will be fun!

Wicca is entered in four trials of Open. We've been working on stays, although the other night she went down on her sit with only 20 seconds to go.....I am keeping positive though- I think she will do it. Oh how I would love to do Utility!!!!

The boys are having yet another boring weekend at home. They will be warm at least!!! It is going to be a cold and snowy weekend! Such is life I suppose. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Save Me! 46/52

Save Me! 46/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Boone likes the snow well enough but gets cold feet. He's quite the baby about it and either stops and sits up like a gopher or runs to me for saving. Usually after just a few minutes he will run back and keep playing though. As long as he's moving he's fine.

The dogs all like the snow but I am already sick of shoveling and being cold. I really need to get new winter boots. Like yesterday. lol

The Green Eyed Monster

Bruce is VERY jealous of the new cat and has been more obnoxious and in your face than I've ever known him to be. Normally Bruce is just hangin' around somewhere, napping, and staying out of the way. With Robbie here he has taken to being on the counters, on my lap, and in the way. It's funny. I guess it never occurred to me that he would be jealous of the cute little kitten I brought home...

Who knew cat's even cared enough to be jealous?

Thanks to Wendy for these pics of Bruce. Once I can actually get little Robbie to stand still for half a second I will try again for some photos. He really is a cute little bugger but is obnoxious and slightly crazy. It seems as though he is taking on the role of pesky little brother vs. helpful sidekick....Bruce wants to send him back. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The need to have something in ones mouth...

Yes, she is peeing while holding a toy...
I've been told this is a genetic trait on the Beli side of the family....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gamble Craze

Kim videod Wicca's gambles from the weekend. Both gambles were pretty straight forward (i.e not very challenging) but they were still fun courses!

Thanks Kim!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movin' on Up!

Wowza's...I can't believe she is in MASTERS now!

Here's the breakdown of a pretty awesome weekend.

Pixel- Q'd 4/5 runs. I did three runs on Saturday, and two Sunday. It seemed to work as she had lots of spunk left for her last run on Sunday. :)

Advanced Standard 1- Q! Beautiful Weaves!
Advanced Snooker- she bailed on the teeter in the closing! She has never done that before, but was obviously nervous about it. More teeter work in our future!
Masters Jumpers- Clean and Way Under Time! Woohoo Pixel. Q

Advanced Standard- Q!!! This was the last standard needed for her AADC title. We move up to Masters now....She had GREAT weaves. And so, so contacts. ;)
Advanced Gamble- Q!!! I didn't check the points, but I think we had plenty. It was a pretty easy gamble, but still- all the distance work is paying off. This is her first Advanced Gamble Q.

Wicca- 4/7. That's a pretty high Q rate for the wild one. I am very proud of her.

Masters Standard- a great run. One bar.
Masters Gamble- 122 points!!! Highest overall points. We did each mini gamble twice. It was amazing.
Masters Snooker- She changed the plan, but we recovered and Q'd. :)
Masters Jumpers- I tried not to think about the fact that we only need one more Jumpers Q for our ATCH. It worked and I wasn't nervous, I didn't get lost, but Wicca did take an off course jump....It was still a beautiful run. No bars!

Masters Standard- a really tough course. I set her up badly and she fell (well, rolled) off the dogwalk on the way up. She was fine and we kept going to do pretty awesome. I am very proud of the fact that I didn't get lost, and handled my dog pretty well. Yay me!
Masters Gamble- Q! 102 points. The end Gamble was SUPER easy- but a q is a q! We racked up lots of points in the opening though- one of the highest I believe.
Steeplechase- Q! Super fast, flowy course. We were done in 28 seconds. Just a second behind the border collies. :)
(wicca says that being a good girl is tiring!!!)

This was our last trial of the year. I am super proud of the girls- they are so different from each other, but each have their merits for sure!

Friday, November 12, 2010

One for the weekend...

On the Edge, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Another photo from our walk yesterday. Pixel is SO cute. Even from behind. :)

Agility Weekend

Okay, so it's not a corgi, or one of my dogs, or even related to the post, but I love Esmae and I took this photo yesterday on our walk so thought I'd post it.

This weekend the girls and I are going to Calgary for an agility trial. The last one of the year actually. I am looking forward to it.

I've been working religously on Pixel's contacts, although she has only done a few full dogwalks. I am doubtful they will hold up- but I only entered her in a few events so she will only have to do the dogwalk once. I have goals for Pixel to run under time in the standard and the steeplechase. We've been working on weaves so I am hoping for no weave problems this weekend!

Wicca's goals are simple- listen, and keep the bars up. :) My own goals are to get her around each course successfully. She has been running so incredibly well I'd like to keep that cycle going.

I am going to bring my video camera this weekend so there will be some stuff to blog about next week!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Faster than a Collie... 44/52

I had a great morning walking with friends and their dogs. We went to an "unofficial" off leash area and thankfully only ran into a few dogs. Between the four of us we had 9 dogs!

More photos later.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Holy Cat Batman!!!

Bruce (the cat) is named after Bruce Wayne (i.e Batman) He was named so because at the time he was my hero, the big scary mouse killer that saved my sanity. :) I am forever indebted to him. Now that we are in a new, mouse free house he doesn't really have a job other than lap warmer and dog torturer...But it's a rough job.

I thought he needed a side kick- enter Robin. (or Robbie as he will be called)
Is he not the cutest kitten ever? Robbie was born to a stray momma and was being taken care of by a nice family. He is an older kitten, about 3 months old and is already a giant. I think he's gonna outgrow Bruce. But the bigger the better for a sidekick right?!!

So far the two just sit and stare at one another. I am not sure that Bruce is impressed with his sidekick or not, but I assured him he will learn to love him. :)

p.s The pictures are crap. I was in a hurry. Better ones in the next few days I promise!

So much fun!

Boone had a blast last night at the barn. I took him last Thursday and just let him hang out and visit. Last night he actually got to work. He was incredibly happy and keen, which totally made my day.

We did some cool weave drills, and a bit of contact work. Nothing too fancy, but still I am pretty happy with how well he did. I am going to slowly bring him back to trial ready, and go from there.

The problems I was having with him before he was lost were focus issues. He could not stay focused for a long masters course- we will build up to that before I trial him. I want to make sure that "shut down" Boone does not appear. Maybe spring he'll be ready?

Oh, and Pixel and I have come up with a plan for the dogwalk. We are going back to a stop. She seemed to have no trouble remembering, which is good. I worked with her all week at home just on the travel board, and was able to do full dogwalks last night which was good. I think that we still have more work to do, but the foundation is there so it certainly makes it a bit easier of a change!

Monday, November 08, 2010


I just found out this afternoon that Wicca earned her Scenthurdle Dog Champion title. Cool eh?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Wicca's Weekend

Rally, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Wicca had a great Rally weekend. She seriously is the best dog ever. She is just so. Obedient. Which is weird because it mostly isn't true- except in the ring that is. I am so proud of this dog- she is such a great worker.

She qualified in all four rounds and placed in three of the four. All high 90's, and errors were mostly mine.

On Saturday she earned a 95 and a 96. This after eating a box of timbits, and a whole (small) rollver. She managed to undo the zipper on the top of the crate and helped herself. She was seriously uncomfortable the rest of the day. And still managed to pull it together for good scores.

Sunday she rocked and nailed a super tough Excellent course- we got a 97- with three points off for a retry of the back up. She went super wide the first try so I opted to take three points and try again. She got a 97 on the advanced course too- this time a retry on the figure 8 around food bowls. I wasn't looking where I was going and entered on the wrong side so again opted for a retry. Both runs were perfect otherwise.

I think this puts us half way to her RAE- but I will have to look back and see. It's a title that I am not actively pursuing- but will try when the opportunity arrises.

We also did scenthurdle on Saturday and it was actually kind of sucky. Wicca was wierd and almost scared. I wonder if someone stepped on her by accident, or maybe a dog spooked her. She didn't want to turn her back to the dogs. And she seemed stiff and sore. She also was still not feeling well from eating all that food at noon. Anyway, we did manage to only screw up one race, the other screwups weren't related to us. It was weird though, and not all that fun- a dissapointment. :(

Overall the weekend was great though- I spent most of it with flatcoats and their people. Wicca did surprisingly well with the rowdy flatcoat pups. :) It was fun to cheer on Sarah in the Obedience ring. I am only a teensy bit jealous of her first CDX leg!! Kaleb rocks. Sarah did a super job and conquered her super awful Obedience ring nerves. And Kaleb rocks. Oh, wait. I said that already. :)

Oh, and one more thing. I showed a friends Flatcoat. It was fun. And No, I am not getting a flatcoat...................

Friday, November 05, 2010

Concentration 43/52

Concentration 43/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Boone was super focused on the ball- even his tongue came out for the occasion. :) This dog makes me laugh every day.

Weekend News and Stuff

I am heading off to Reddeer with Wicca this weekend. It will be strange to have just one dog. We are going to Scenthurdle Race on Saturday, and do Rally both days. We are traveling with flatcoats. Imagine 8 flatcoats and Wicca in one hotel room. Sound fun? :)

Pixel is going to spend the weekend with Jolene from onecollie. And my dad is going to stay at my house to watch the other hooligans...

The Stuff is a link to my new "iphone photo a day" blog that I started. I downloaded this cool app called Instagram on my phone. It takes super neat photos, and it is really easy to share. So I thought it would be fun to do a photo a day. Mostly it is just for myself (challenging my creativity), but some of you may enjoy the pics. I started a few days ago, and just set up the blog last night. Fun! So check it out- iPhoto A Day

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Brain Power

I've always wanted to try one of these with the dogs. A friend of mine has a Sheltie who is a genius so she has almost all of them. She lent me the beginner one. I thought for sure Boone would have the fastest time..but uh, I was wrong...

The music is stupid because it didn't like the one I chose...feel free to mute...

edit. okay, so now it is letting my music play. weird.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

First Barn Night of the Season

Tonite was our first training night in the barn since last winter. It went great! All of our students dogs had no problems with the dirt and the horse poop. :) People were ready for their turns and it moved along at a good pace.

My own dogs did well- I took Pixel and Wicca tonite (the boys will come Thursday) Wicca was super- we did some back to basics on threadles and serps. We were very successful and it was nice to have a dog that listened! Pixel was also a good girl- her weaves were amazing- which is funny because at the trial she couldn't seem to remember how...Handling wise she is such a good girl- although I need to go back and work on the basic positional cues exercise as we struggled with an arm change drill. And we did no contacts- just did some happiest place on the aframe.

I am really struggling as to what to do. It seems like I have two choices- a running or a 2on2off, and I don't particularily like either. I won't do a 2on2off on the frame for sure. But without having a frame to practice a running every day I think the progress is going to be too limited. Ugh.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Two years ago...

I brought this home:

Things have changed in two years. :)