Friday, December 30, 2011

Pixel 2011

Pixel is a dog that makes things look easy. You teach her something, and she knows it. She works hard, and is a happy, fun working dog. I am so excited about her future- she is only three years old and has accomplished so much already!

We've had some ups and downs in agility- I've had some retraining to do (dogwalk), but now we are on track again. She is only three Q's away from her ATCHC- which is just incredible for me.

We had some unsuccessful CDX attempts this year. Finally at the last trial we had the Broadjump issue go away- only to be replaced by a drop on recall problem. But I'm optimistic and we will be trying again in the Spring. Any faults she makes are my training- she is an honest dog and will always default to what she's been taught.

We are done Rally wise for now. I don't intend on going for her RAE title- although that may change in a few years. For now I just think that two trials back to back will be too much mentally for her. She is quite an immature dog when it comes to that sort of thing.

Scenthurdle remains high on our list. She is a steady, reliable dog who is an asset to the team. I am looking forward to another year of racing!

I am very proud of Princess Pixel. She is a lot of fun to train, and compete with. I love that she is a happy dog, and I've seen her confidence grow over this past year. I love her bits of naughty, and sass. It's been a fun year, and I am looking forward to what 2012 has in store for us!

On to the results!
AAC Results- according to her Stats Page

18 Qualifying Runs
8 Trials
2rd Place 10" Regular AAC AB/NWT Regionals (her very first regionals!!!!)

Titles Earned
Advanced Games Dog of Canada
Masters Agility Dog of Canada
Masters Snooker Dog of Canada
Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada

CKC Rally Obedience - according to Canuck Dogs
 #24 Dog in Alberta
 #2 Cardigan in Canada
5 Qualifying Scores (3 Weekends!!!!)
30 Points (Canuck Dogs)

CKC Agility
3 CKC Trials- Standards Only.
Earned her Excellent (AGXS) title with back to back Q's

CKC Scenthurdle Racing
Scenthurdle Dog Excellent

Wicca's Last Year

Wicca and I had a pretty great year. Probably one of our best. We were working as a team for the most part, and had some really spectacular moments. I love this little dog to bits- she is all heart. It has been an amazing journey with her.

Although it is earlier than planned, Wicca is retired from Agility. Instead we will maybe take up tracking, or something else a little easier on a crazy corgi body. We will see how the rehab pans out and go from there. She won't be turning into a couch potato anytime soon- she will be kept busy learning new tricks, maybe working on some more utility exercises (minus the heeling). There is a lot of things that we can play at. Wicca enjoys training so much- we will definitely keep it up.

I am very thankful to have had such a great agility partner. She taught me a lot, and has made me a better trainer. I remember her young crazy days, the same as I remember her last trial- as crazy as ever. It was always a rush to step to the line with her.

In Rally Wicca was always a high 90's dog. She has had more than a few perfect scores over the years. Her focus, and enthusiasm in the ring made her great fun to trial. In very limited (Three Weekends!) trialing she earned top Cardigan in Canada, and a surprising #10 dog in Alberta! Imagine if we were diehards!  At this point she is retired from Rally aswell- she only needs one more combination leg for her RAE title. Time will tell if she will be able to go back in the ring. Heeling has done a number to her neck.

Here is the break down from our very awesome year.

2011 AAC Results- according to her Stats Page

22 Qualifying Runs
8 Trials (plus Steeplechase at Regionals)
3rd Place 6" Specials AAC AB/NWT Regionals

Titles Earned
Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada
Agility Trial Champion of Canada!!!!
Bronze Excellent Standard
Bronze Excellent Gamble
Bronze Excellent Snooker
Bronze Excellent Steeplechase
Versatility Bronze

CKC Rally Obedience - according to Canuck Dogs
 #10 Dog in Alberta
 #1 Cardigan in Canada
12 Qualifying Scores (3 Weekends!!!!)
77 Points (Canuck Dogs) Multi High in Clas
One perfect Score (100)

CKC Agility
One Q at the LDKC Trial- moving her to Intermediate. Earning her AGNS.

CKC Scenthurdle Racing
Scenthurdle Dog Champion!

I am so incredibly grateful for this dog.  I don't think I say that enough.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

See ya! 52/52

See ya! 52/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

This was my third year in the Flickr group- 52 Weeks for Dogs. I started with Pixel, did Boone after that, and now Wicca this past year. It has been a lot of fun. This year I am using Bad Boy Vito for my focus. He will surely be a challenge, but I am excited about the coming year!

The last challenge of the year is always "passing the reins" so to speak. I had an idea a few weeks ago and it worked out just as I had hoped. Vito off doing his own thing (in this case playing with a ball he stole from the collies), and Wicca front and center.

I got a lot of great photos of Woo this year- due to the pressure of the group. I will be sad when I've cycled through all my dogs and have no one left to do. Maybe I'll just have to start over.

You can see Wicca's full set here-

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Robbie died Christmas morning. Robbie was my little orange tabby cat. He was just over a year old. My cats are indoor/outdoor cats, and I accept full responsibility for Robbie's death. I know the dangers to an outdoor cat, in the end it was a car that did it.

My little adventurer cat was crossing a road early in the morning on the 25th. He'd only been outside for about an hour. I was just on my way to my parents when my neighbor drove up to tell me. He was just a block away.

I'll spare you the gruesome details. I will remember them for a long time. I carried him home and told him that I loved him.

It makes me very sad. I also feel a lot of guilt- it was my decision to let them outside, even knowing the risks. It makes me feel irresponsible.

I am not a true cat person, but I love my cats. The comfort and companionship, the purring in your ear, the gentle kneading, the head butts. They are part of my family. Robbie will be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace Little Dude.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Year in Photos

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Just a little slideshow I made with some favorite photos, and moments from the year. ;)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Herding Lesson #6

As a "Merry Christmas to Me"  Brit and I went out to Alta Pete for a lesson with Jenny this morning.

Brit did really well. We worked on her outruns a bit- she is much more confident than even a few lessons ago. We also worked on "there" combined with the walk ups. We had been using a lie down to stop her at the top, now we are changing that to "there." and getting her to walk up right away.  For now we are only asking her to walk up on balance- that will change as she advances. But for now- "there" means to walk up on the sheep towards me. I was even able to watch my sheep a bit today- to see the head turn. What seems like 12 O'Clock to me, isn't neccesarily 12 for her. Watching the sheep I was able to see that.

Jenny showed me with Laddie what it should look like eventually. It was neat to see the head snap as soon as he was told "there". Jenny wasn't even in the pen with him- he was working compltely independent of her. It was very cool.

I am pleased with the steady progress Brit and I are making. I think all this sheep stuff has really helped Brit and I to bond. She really loves it, and I am happy to be learning something new! It's nice to be the student sometimes!

No photos, or videos this time. Next time for sure.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The last bit of Christmas.

Tonite will be the last bit of Christmas music until next year. I thought I'd be happy about that, but instead I am kinda sad. I really haven't been in a Christmas sort of mood this year. Shopping was a struggle, decorating almost didn't happen, and until last night it didn't feel like Christmas at all. And then last night was great- hanging out with family, laughing, eating, listening to music. I was excited. Finally. And now Christmas is gone and I feel ripped off. lol. That'll teach me. Next year wether I feel like it or not I'm decorating, and will do everything I can to get in the mood and not be such a grinch. I really do love Christmas. But this year was hard.

Today was pretty great. My nephew is three and is a wild little man. He had a great time opening all of his gifts, and I'm happy to say that what I got him was a total hit! Having a kid around really helps to put things into perspective. He was excited about the bubble wrap. lol.

The afternoon was spent at home with the dogs. I have eight dogs in my house right now. LOL. It's not as wild as you'd think, but is certainly a houseful! I took them all for a nice long run today. In two groups- Kort, Pixel, Vito, Boone and Wicca, Brit, Perkins, and Taco. It actually worked out pretty well. The weather was amazing. No wind at all today (until about half an hour ago!). I didn't even take my camera and just enjoyed the dogs. It was great. I'll try and get a group photo tomorrow though- so you can see what 8 dogs looks like. lol.

Dinner was fantastic. I am so full. Turkey is my favorite. :) Tomorrow it will be even better on a sandwich. The company was great. We have a great family- my dad looked so handsome all dressed up. We took lots of photos. I am big on photos at family events. Growing up we didn't have a camera, so I have forgotten much of my childhood. I want to be able to cherish each moment, and although I am sure I annoy everyone with the constant camera-face they will just have to get over it.

And now I sit. 6 sleeping dogs at my feet. Two more shredding toys in the living room. A perfect day except for one thing. Which I'll blog about tomorrow. For now I want to think happy, peaceful thoughts of a wonderful day with family.

I leave you with the cutest video ever- Boone and Taco playing. Well actually Boone barking, and Taco trying to figure him out. Excuse my messy floor. 8 dogs means a lot of stuff on the floor. lol

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Card

ha ha ha. serious. makes me laugh out loud. i love photos where the dogs are clearly enjoying themselves. lol

More Taco, and a Collie

Taco thinks Cats are awesome. Bruce thinks Taco needs an ass kicking.
And yes, he did just that. She went flying across the yard. haha.
Canadian Cats are apparently much tougher than Cuban Dogs. :)

Cuban dogs are much like our reserve dogs- generations of mixed breed dogs.
They all have this same look- super smooth coat, tan, big ears, and small.
Taco reminds me a bit of an Italian Greyhound- when her ears are down she has an itty bitty narrow head.
 Regardless of breed she is all kinds of cute!

and a collie. just for Jolene. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cuban Love

Boone likes his girls foreign apparently! This little cutie is "Taco" she is a rescue from Cuba! Taco is staying at
my house for a few days- and Boone is in love. Most dogs think Boone is weird, and won't play with him. Taco thinks he's awesome!
They have been playing all afternoon. It is SUPER cite. Totally made my day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Here Comes Santa...

The Collie Express, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Okay, Santa Duck, it's not quite the same thing but I think that Kort is cuter than any old Reindeer. :) I am dogsitting for a few days- Kort has been having a blast and I am sure will sleep for a week when his mom comes home.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sheepherding Lesson #5

After Wicca's appointment in Calgary we stopped in at Phantomridge for a quick lesson on the way home.

Brit had a great time. She is getting really, really keen. As in knew the second we got out of the vehicle what she was there for and was instantly in BC mode. I love it.

She surprised me by not starting off naughty! I warned Louanne of the trend that has started with cutting in on the first flank. But she didn't and was working really well off the bat.

We worked on walk ups. A lot. Pretty well the whole time. Brit is getting it though- like finding the "spot" herself and she even stopped herself for the very first time! I was so proud of her! She does tend to crowd the sheep a bit- the theory is that Louanne's sheep are more dog broke and don't move as fast. The Altapete sheep are tougher and run for the gate. Brit is used to having to move quick to keep control.

Her Lie Downs really sucked. I had to go in on her a few times to get a stop. Which annoyed me. lol. But Louanne said that same thing as Jenny. It's okay, and will sort itself out later. I believe them, but still. Just Lie Down. How hard is it? lol. And right now I need the lie downs to get her walk up set. She doesn't stick it herself yet...

I'm going to work on her downs at home with toys and fetching. See if I can't amp her up enough to mimic the excitement.

It was a great way to spend the morning- I am pleased with Brit. I think we are both starting to figure this sheep thing out.

Thanks to Jenilee for being my navigator, AND for taking photos. :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Prescribed Digging

Wicca had a follow up visit with Dr.Devall this morning. It went pretty well- there has been lots of improvement. Her pelvis is holding strong, and only a minor tweak in her back. However her complete left side is still pretty ouchie. The first rib was out again, and a minor adjustment on her neck. She got some laser, and some new exercises.

Digging! Wicca will love that. She loves to dig, All I have to do is say Gopher?! and she will dig in any spot I point to. Even snow. The digging action is going to stretch those muscles in her shoulders.

Bowing/Full stretch. This one we do lots of already. But will make sure we add it to the daily program.

Peanut Ball work. I have't had her on the ball since her injury- she will be happy to get to play again. She can do turns and sit ups on the ball.

Paw Targeting. Wicca needs to reach up- which is hard when you have short legs. She already has a paw target on cue, so will stick a thing on the wall and get her really reaching up for it.

Cavalleti. We can start doing some cavaletti exercises which Wicca will find enjoyable I am sure. It's kind like agility. lol (not really...)

This is on top of the stretches and exercises we already do. Backing up, Slow Left/Right turns, Sit Ups, Crawling, etc. We also are going to go back to Arnica instead of Traumeel for a few weeks, and now she can get the full dose of Ligaplex in the morning instead of split.

She also gets to do some flat running- still no twisting or playing with the other dogs. But she will be happy to get a bit more physical exercise!

Veronica was pleased with the progress. I am pleased with the progress. I am trying to be upbeat about this, and just take one day at a time. She will be fine- she is well on her way already. But am horrified that I've done this to my dog. :(


I do know that we can't keep them in a bubble, and I do know that there is risk in everything. Not just agility. But Wicca is harder on herself than the average dog. She runs agility as fast as she can possibly go, with no thoughts to self preservation. Wicca hasn't done actual agility in months- and to still have rib problems now just blows me away. How long has she been hurting and not showing anything? She has appeared to be pretty sound for most of last year. But this has been building for quite awhile from the looks of it. At this point Wicca is likely never weaving again. Her shoulders and ribs are likely due to weaving. I went back and watched some video. If I can stomach it I will make a montage of weave pole clips- you will see what I mean.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

No One Else Matters

I haven't trialed in a few months, or really done much in the way of agility in the past few months either so it's weird to talk about trialing, but I think it needs to be said-  No One Else Matters except you and your dog. Serious. Say it. Mean it.

To me, this means a few different things.

At training you should be 100% focused and committed to your dog from the second it is out of the crate, until the second it goes back to the crate. That means no standing around talking to your friends while your dog sniffs the ground, or wanders away, or goes off to engage someone else in fun. If you give that, you will get it back. Your dog should want to be with you above all else.  No One Else Matters.

At trials you should be 100% focused on your dog and on your run- before, and after you are done. Warm up your dog mentally and physically, do all your pre-run rituals, and tell people to buzz off. If they don't get the hint wear headphones. You don't need to have actual music on, just pretend. (if you are like me, music distracts me too much.) After your run- same thing. Take your congratulations and keep on playing with your dog. Don't stop to listen to people (friends or otherwise) pick apart your run, that can wait until later. Celebrate with your dog. No One Else Matters.

And here's a biggie- don't worry about what other people think. Get your head in the game, focus on your dog and tune everything else out. If you worry about what other people think you are setting yourself up for failure. No One Else Matters. Say it. In your head. Out Loud. Whatever. "The Peanut Gallery" does not know you, or your dog, or your training, or your goals, or your training issues. So it does not matter what they think or say. Really. It's simple.  I understand that it's easier to say that than to feel it, but it certainly is something that people need to be working towards.  We are all guilty of wondering what other people think at one time or another. But shake it, and move on. No One Else Matters.

Sometimes at trials you get well meaning people who have lots of advice. And they have no problem giving it to you- even if you've not asked for it. Often it is at the worst possible times- before your run, after your run, on your way to the bathroom. Serious, it's like people wait for those moments to talk to you. Keeping in your head that No One Else Matters, tell them you're busy. Depending on what kind of person you are you can do this subtle-like, or not. I am a "or not" kind of person. Especially if it the people who have an ulterior motive- "good" advice that isn't meant to be helpful or kind. "Good" advice or criticism that is meant to hurt or upset. That's the kind of crap that needs to be dealt with right off the bat. And you have to do it.  Tell them thanks, but no thanks. All the while keep in your head- Nothing Else Matters. If you say nothing you are giving them permission. Speak up for yourself and your dog.

Understand that no one is perfect- least of all me. Pixel can often be found mooching food from  people, or their bags. And sometimes I do let other peoples opinions sneak into my thoughts. But I try very hard to make sure my focus and thoughts are where it needs to be- on my dog, and on my run.

End of Rant.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Say What?

Say What?, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Brit makes me laugh out loud sometimes. I mean, who makes faces like that? She really, really wanted the toy, and I was asking her to sit, down, stand (in various order) to get it. This is the look when I asked for a stand. lol.

I totally love this dog. She is so much fun.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice?, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Today I was thinking about the year past, and all of the things the dogs and I have done. Every year I do a "Recap" so to speak, and then go on to list goals for the year.

This year I am going to blog about the dogs year individually- they have all done some pretty great things. Although Pixel may be on the naughty list this year. She acts all cute and innocent she surely is not. :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Herding Lesson #4

Last weekend Brit and I had another herding lesson. With my crazy week I had no time, or motivation to blog about it. But now, I do. :)

I am sure I have forgotten some things (which is why I try and blog right away)...

Anyway- Brit always starts out fast and hard. Straight at the sheep, and doesn't square off on her outruns. I had to really put pressure on her to fix that. And then she is fine again. Her outruns continue to get better. Once she settles into herself she works well but that start is always a bit rough...  But, I appreciate her enthusiasm though. I like a little naughty. :)

We worked on her flanks a bit- she is pretty good now, although definitely prefers one side of the other.

Most of the time was spent on her walk up- she was really struggling with this. Which I find funny- if I let her she would stare and walk up on Pixel all day. Anyway- Jenny got it sorted out by letting her get to the top and then stopping her. And then walking up. Breaking it down seemed to help Brit understand what we wanted.

It was a great lesson. I came home excited about the progress, and already looking forward to the next lesson.

Things I learned:

That Lie Down is like a reset button. Useful for Brit's walk up. So when she gets to the top (12) I can stop her if I think she is going to keep flanking around them.

"There" is helpful in teaching her when to stop weaving back and forth like a drunk.

And uh, that's all I remember. I am pretty sure I am missing something but it escapes me at the moment.

PS. These photos were from when I brought Wendy with me a few lessons ago. I went alone, no photos or video this time. ;)

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Snow Face and Blog Revamp

I was bored of the old blog. Needed something darker to go with my mood lately. lol.
And the header photo is to cheer me up. My most favorite photo of the year. Was going to be my chirstmas card. But I needed the cheer.
I love my Woo.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

So I don't forget

Brit did her first full A-Frame last night. Woot!
but could not weave.

that is all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

In a Funk

No Fun 48/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I'm in a funk lately and can't seem to shake it.

It's not even just one thing, but a combination of lots of things. It's hard to see the positive side of things sometimes.

My dogs do their best to cheer me up, and they really do make me smile every day. But it's the rest of the day that I'm having trouble with. Maybe if one of them were small enough to carry around in my purse they could cheer me up all day.

Imagining a corgi in a purse just made me smile. Maybe I need to keep that image with me for the rest of the day. ;)

Sunday, December 04, 2011

5 things to smile about

A Secret (sssshhh, don't tell my sister) photo shoot with the cutest almost three year old.
a smiley Brit

a bouncy boxer pup and a christmas duck

Boone running away with the bunny

Piper- a rescue dog no more. After a year in foster care she is going to her new home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wicca Update

Concerned 47/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Today I took Wicca to Calgary (Dr.Veronica Devall) again for a recheck. The appointment went well.

Her pelvis, spine and neck were all pretty good. Just a few minor adjustments. She got an accupuncture treatment, and another B12 Injection. Veronica is happy witht the improvement but Wicca still has a ways to go. We are still on restricted activity- leash walks only. Trotting in small amounts. Nothing strenuous, no twisting, jumping, or anything crazy like.

She sent us home with two more supplements- Ligaplex is specifically to help repair tendons and ligaments. And Catalyn , which is a vitamin of sorts. This is on top of her joint supplement.

I am very glad for the improvement. Even her attitude is slowly getting better. She is happy again, and is actually using her rear properly. We will continue with the stretching three times a day and have to go up again in two weeks.

I have been giving serious thought about permanent retirement for Wicca. It's sad to think she will never get to play again but if it's in her best interest there will be no question. We are still playing a waiting game as to how long it will take, or what the expected recovery is.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Penguin in Flight

Penguins are still Pixels all time favourite toys. This one is no exception.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Penguin Killer

Penguin Killer 11/12/Vito, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Vito has a love for stuffed animals- he likes to squeak them, and squish them, sometimes pulling arms and legs off, and then finally he flings them up in the air over, and over, and over again. It's super cute, and just a little strange. :) Kind of like himself really- cute and a little weird.

PS. Finally! A photo of Vito where you can see his collar! This is his "newest" one from Nearly Naked Neckware. Yes, that is sesame street. lol

Friday, November 25, 2011

We have weaves!

Brit can weave four poles! You have no idea how exciting that is. I am going to try and get some video this weekend to show you all how awesome weaving four poles is.

Now I have to go and rewatch the video so I can add the third set today.

Oh- and Pixel ran the first time at League last night and was awesome. Two clean runs. Two great dog walk contacts, and wicked weave entries. Yay for Pixel. ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bad Boys have Birthdays Too.

Vito's attitude at 5 years old is no different than at five months.  

Happy Birthday to the baddest boy around. :) 

P.S Photo by Sarah Novak

Just Boone

Mr.Pointy Nose 11/12/Boone, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Our scent hurdle team raced at the Lethbridge show and we did fantastic! I am so, so proud of everyone. We had NO crossovers, NO issues with other dogs, and only a few bobbles. We even won a race. :)

I love how on our team there is never upset, or annoyance, or yelling at each others dogs. I guess I mean, we all get along and treat each other with respect. I think that's important on a team. I think we are just going to get better and better. I'm glad that we've finally got a groove. Next year we will get to do it all over again when we start our second team!

Pixel did a great job and never brought back the wrong one, she dropped her dumbbell once but picked it right back up. She ran every race and never quit. She is a great scent dog- accurate, never watches the other dogs, and is reliable. She often runs first.

It was a  nice small race, only six teams entered which was nice. We started early, and were finished by 7pm. Which is awesome.

I have put Brit on the team for next year- and have just started training. Already she is fetching the dumbbell to hand, and I've started hiding it in the house to get her to use her nose...scenting will be her weakness I am sure. She is a snatch and grab kind of dog. ;) But it will be fun to train her!

I put together a little video of a few races- we had four dogs that were alternating spots so I wanted to be sure everyone was included.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Flyin' Fun, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I <3 this dog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Princess wasn't feelin' it...

On Friday night at the funmatch Pixel didn't go down on her drop on recall. And that was the theme for the weekend. In both trials she refused to down. The second trial she sat and wagged at me instead. Cute, but not quite what I wanted.

Pixel just makes me smile though. I mean, she is so cute. Even when she crossed behind me on the figure 8, and spit the dumbbell at my feet on the retrieve on flat. How can you get mad at such a cute dog?

In Pixels world she is a princess. And the princess never does what she doesn't want to. I guess that's one of the pitfalls of mostly positive training- if the dog doesn't want to you can't really make them. lol. The trick is to teach them to want to, no matter what, and we obviously are not there yet.

She did have some really good moments- her heeling was the best she's ever given me in an obedience ring. Her fronts were 100x better than before. Her retrieves were cute, and perfect. And she did the broad jump!! Both times. Although the first trial she kind of launched over it like a bunny. The second trial was better and she had an almost perfect broad jump. And she had rock solid stays both days. I am so proud of her!

In Pixel's defense I hadn't done much with her the week before and I was more than a little distracted. And I am not a serious obedience people. I watched some of the "serious" obedience people and was amazed at their dogs. The focus is incredible. The dog has no doubt about what they are supposed to be doing. If I were serious about Obedience I could have that. But I'm not. I just am not that kind of person. I also am not the type of person to train with a pinch around my dogs neck, or wack them with a stick if they move on the moving stand exercise, or ear pinch them if they don't run fast enough for a go back...Yes- all of that and more happened at the show this weekend. It was seriously
disturbing. There were lots of positive people there though- in fact my favorite performance was by an Aussie named Finn who was amazing. Happy, perfect, and the girl never raised her voice or corrected the dog in any form. It was during my funmatch and I was blown away. I understand it was her first trial. I never saw her in the actual ring so am not sure how she did but I was pretty impressed. I believe that you can get great results in the Obedience ring without having to correct your dog all the time. I just wish I had the time and motivation to prove it. lol.

I am proud and very happy with my little bouncy princess dog. I love that she feels she can sass me in between exercises. I love that she wasn't stressed in the ring- and wanted to work with me. She wasn't perfect, but there was certainly improvement. We are going to keep puttering away at it. Not sure when I will enter her again. Probably spring. We'll see how much I work at it and go from there.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Change of plans

Corgi Heaven 46/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

So I did not haul my butt out of bed until 10 this morning. And it felt awesome. No guilt. (okay, maybe a little guilt) But I really, really needed a day to just be. To catch up on housework, to play with my dogs, to read a book, to relax, to visit with family. It has been a great day and it's only 3:30. ;)

I do have a bit of regret about bailing on the seminar. I mean it's not likely to ever happen again that I could have that opportunity. But my heart wasn't in it. I needed to be at home. I will just have to re-watch the DVD. lol.

I think because I was so stressed last week, thinking the worst about my dog, that after the release of that I am exhausted. Like emotionally drained and physically tired.

I finally had a good nights sleep. The dogs enjoyed a nice off leash walk (except wicca), and Wicca and I did some one on one stuff. She got to tag along with me to the dogshow this morning when I had to drop some stuff off, and then we stopped at a petstore. She had never been in there before and had a great time sniffing around.

She is still a bit sore. I don't expect that to change overnight. But she is feeling a bit better. She was happy to do her exercises this morning. She says that the treats make it worth it. :)

And now I am headed for the couch to nap with my dogs. Wicca is tired after her adventure today so if I'm lucky she may even cuddle with me.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Today was the longest day ever. Work, Drive to Calgary. See vet (who is awesome). Drive home from Calgary. Go Home for 10 minutes. Go to dogshow and run three hour funmatch.

Wicca's appointment was good. She does not have a back problem. <insert huge sigh of relief>

What she does have is a whole lot of twisted body parts.

Her pelvis was twisted- AND pushed forward. How that happened we have no idea. Seriously it was amazing to see. How she fixed it? With a neck adjustment. Serious. Ta Da! Straight pelvis. Amazing.

She also had two ribs out- this was a very sore spot for Wicca. They obviously hurt a lot. :(  This could have been done weaving.

Her neck was a mess- lots of adjustment there. She speculated that all of this could have even started with the neck (good old heeling...).

Her back legs of course, and her iliopsoas is tender, but likely from accomodating for the pelvis issue.

Also there were some minor adjustments to her spine. Wicca's back IS sore- but it's more of a sciatica issue. That could explain the lameness.

After all this adjusting she got an injection of some fancy stuff that I forgot the name of... (thankfully my friend Jen tagged along and took notes that I could refer to if I felt like it...)

I am so relieved.  I am going back in two weeks for a recheck, and some more adjustments. Already after this afternoon Wicca is walking better- not tucking her rear under her.

In the mean time she is on rest. Leash walks, no wrestling, jumping, climbing, tugging. Essentially she is not allowed to do anything fun for a while. But that's okay- because in a few weeks we will be able to start bringing back some real life stuff. And for that I am thankful. We've got some exercises to do each day to keep us busy.

Oh- and Pixel did great at the funmatch- her only thing was the SIT! for the drop on recall. She sat. So bizarre. lol. Everything else was beautiful. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.


So you know how I blogged last week about how things in my life are balanced and everything is perfect, blah, blah, blah... well. I wrecked it by saying it out loud.

This has been the worst week in a long time. I have more things to do in one day than most people have to do in a week. It's friday thankfully but this weekend is just as crazy as the week.

I am feeling it.

Today I work until 11:30. While that's happening I've arranged for my dad to take my van to get the snow tires put on. I then have to run home- grab Wicca, and maybe Pixel!?. Drive 2.5 hours to a vet. Have an appointment that hopefully doesn't go over an hour. (and still find out what is wrong with my dog!!!) Drive home 2.5 hours, directly to the Kennel Club dog show where I am coordinating an Obedience and Rally Funmatch at 7pm. I'm not quite sure I'm going to make it....but there is nothing I can do about it at this point.

Tomorrow Pixel and I go into the Open ring. I am confident in her abilities although I have not trained all week.

Sunday morning Brit and I leave at 5am to drive 2.5 hours for an agility seminar with LOH. I hope I am not too tired to enjoy it.

Next time my life feels good I will just keep that thought to myself....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stop Freaking Out

My specialist vet is very accommodating and will see Wicca Friday afternoon. It means yet another trip to Calgary (and probably in the snow), but it is worth it.

Tuesday night wasn't good. She woke up in the middle of the night and had to stretch- and she whimpered amd whined which killed me. So sad for the woo woo.

Since then there has been some improvement. She has had one dose of metacam (Wednesday morning) and has been pretty stable since then. She is also getting Traumeel twice a day.

Yesterday afternoon she seemed a little off, but by last night she was walking more normal. This morning she isn't hunched over and her skin and muscle are nice and loose. She (we) had a good sleep, and she was her talkative normal self for breakfast.

I am still worried about her, but the thoughts of death aren't swarming around in my head. I've been too busy to focus on her too much which is a good thing.  Keeping busy is how I cope with life.

In one of Dr. Devall's emails to me she told me to stop freaking out. I needed to hear that. And it made me laugh. Both really great things.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Half Empty

So in real life I am most definitely a "glass half empty" kinda girl. I do try to keep positive for important things but my general attitude is a bad one. I blame my fathers side of the family and my own demons. I am quick to think the worst. Especially when it comes to my dogs.

This weekend Wicca and Brit tagged along while I taught agility. We were in a barn, and it was cool, but not abnormally so.  Wicca came out of her crate Saturday at noon and wouldn't put her foot down for a few minutes I was worried. I walked her out and she seemed to loosen up a bit. I put her back in the crate with her Back on Track coat on. When I took her out of the crate a few hours later and again she would not weight bear, and in fact kind of acted like the foot was asleep I instantly went into OMFG mode.

 Saturday night she was in obvious discomfort- she was restless, I slept like crap. I massaged and rubbed her leg for hours. All I have thought about since Saturday is that if Wicca has a back problem I might die. Serious. Not sure I could handle going through that again. Now keep in mind I haven't been to the vet yet. I can't get in to see my specialist vet for two weeks. Which is too long. I have sent her an email begging for an earilier appointment. I need to know what is wrong with her, or at the very least start with some solid findings. Sarah gave her a nice massage tonite and found lots of ouchie spots, it doesn't seem limited to one area.  It could be muscle strain or a pulled something or other. Or a combination of arthritis, how cold it was Saturday, and the fact she barely drank anything all day. Maybe it was just a muscle cramp. Or maybe not. It's the maybe not that is killing me.

 I am a mess. Since Saturday I've been distracted, frazzled and aggravated. I need to chill out. To get in the right mind set for my other dog this weekend. But I can't.  Wicca is wondering why I am freaking out.  I've given her a million massages since Saturday. I am sure that she wishes I'd stop touching her.

I hope I am over-reacting, and that it's not a big deal. Just some muscle strain, or at the very worst a pinched nerve. But what if I'm not?


Okay, so I kinda suck lately. I'm sorry.

I have still taken nothing for photos. I even missed my 52 week project last week! (which made me really sad). I will try and be a better blogger but can't promise much this week. It's going to be a crazy one.

Lots going on- and little time to sit at the computer. This past weekend I was in Medicine Hat teaching a great group of dogs and people. I love that most of them have been working hard and getting better and better with each visit.

The dogshow is this weekend, so that is taking up a majority of my time. I am a club member now so have to help set up- it won't be too bad but will eat up any spare time I have. I also have to transport a rescue dog to his new home today or tomorrow, I forgot that my work is switched around tomorrow so that put a bit of a screw in my plans. And Wicca is limping- kind of sort of. I am not ready to talk about it yet but she has a vet visit in her immediate future. Pixel has not had any training since early last week and we are headed to the open ring in a few days. Scenthurdle is a bit of a gong show right now- apparently I am awesome at pissing people off. Oh, and I have a 2 x 2 weave seminar Sunday in Calgary with Brit. Which is really great because the nice lady from Medicine Hat pointed out I was doing it wrong.... ;)
Oh and Boone just started talking to me again after being away for the weekend. He is such a girl about stuff.

That's all I have time for. I'll try and take a photo or two of our snow.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Remembrance Day has always been an important day in my family. Not only is my Dad very patriotic and has had family in war, it was also my Grandparents Anniversary. I grew up in a small town and it was always a big deal. The cadets (which I belonged to believe it or not!!!) would do their thing- the marching, the sound of boots on the pavement, the calls, the flags, the guns.  The moment of silence, the somber feel in the crowd, the quiet words. The emotion. The tears from the people who have lost.

And then the fun. The Legion was the place to be. I remember the darkness in the legion, the smokey air, and the hokey old music. My grandpa and grama were very well known and we would have to push two or three tables together so all our friends and family could sit with us. I always tried to sit next to my grampa. He'd give me an occasional sip of his beer. :) I'd sit and watch him and my grama- holding hands. Back then I thought it was cute, but now that thought brings a lump to my throat. Their love was so strong, so pure.  My grama has been gone for a few years and I miss her incredibley so. She was the rock in my family. The glue that kept my mother together, and our family whole. Without her it has never been quite the same. It is still hard, and we still miss her, especially on days that once were so special, so exciting, full of warmth, laughter and fun. Every year they would share a dance. In the spotlight no less. My grampa would get a sparkle in his eye and try to embarass my grama by pinching her butt. She always caught him before he could- but it didn't stop him from trying.  We would sit in that legion for hours- visiting, playing cards, the adults drinking, the kids eating and running around. I miss those times. Its such a waste of our best years when we're kids and don't realise what we've got. I want to live down the street from grandparents again. Be able to pop in for a visit after school. Help my grama peel potatoes, or go out and visit my grampa in his shop. We don't appreciate that when we're kids. Now I'd do just about anything for that.

My grampa lives in Winnipeg now, and I only see him a few times a year. I called him today, just to let him know that I'm thinking of him. There are only a few times a year that I get this emotional about my family. Holiday are the worst. It's most noticeable when you're supposed to be with the ones you love. I cherish the memories though- and will always remember.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My poles are crooked...

So two weeks ago I started Brit on the 2x2 method of weaving. I've never taught a dog this way, but had watched the video a few times, and watched a few friends train their dogs. It looks simple enough right? The dog goes through, throw the toy. Easy.

Not so much. lol. I admit it is faster than any other method I've ever used- she is almost weaving. In two and a bit weeks of on and off training. I have not been religious with it, although this past week I've been doing it twice a day. Anyway I have the two sets of poles almost in a line. Like three inches off. And she is rocking it. Kind of. Sort of.

First off she needs a warm up, and not just a warm up as in limber up the muscles and get the brain going. I mean a two pole review. I don't think I saw that in the DVD.

Second I can't move the poles any closer than where they are or she completely loses her marbles. Like her brain explodes and I am left with an excited border collie who runs around the poles, through the second poles, backwards around the poles, etc. Its three inches. Seriously, I measured. How can three inches have such an affect.

Because I am a problem solver I thought about this a while tonite and have decided that because I am using stick in the ground poles (which SG says not to) I think the poles are kinda crooked, and that three inches changes the crookedness a lot. Maybe when I move it the three inches now it's straight (or even more crooked) so she doesn't get it. I dunno. In any case I am going to beg, borrow, or perhaps purchase a set of my own real, stand up straight ones. Which is probably a good thing as the ground is getting awfully hard.

It's probably a good thing that I am going to a 2x2 Seminar next Sunday with Lynda Orton Hill. She'll set me straight (or tell me to straighten my poles). In the mean time I am going to go back and work on two poles around the clock. I am pretty confident I can't screw that up. That's the easy peasy part.

PS. I am of course open to suggestion from those that have trained this before or maybe have some sort of insight, or from someone who would like to lend a poor girl some real poles. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

First Barn Night

First off I had NO DIRT in my shoes, on my socks, or on my feet. I am in LOVE with my new shoes. (ASOLO brand, bought on sale)

Second- Pixel did the dogwalk!!!! No superman, no creeping. Woo Woo! I am thrilled. It's not a trial, but she was pretty sassy and excited to be at the arena so I was expecting an error or two. But no mistakes! This has been a retrain I will never, ever do again. I could kick myself. lol.

And last (but not least) Brit worked like a pro. Even with her most favorite person in the whole world there. And her two favorite playmates. We did lots of little things- and I kept the reward changing so she never knew what to expect. I am really happy with how well she generalises things. I struggled with that with Boone and Pixel- things did not transfer easily for them from home to class, trials, etc. Brit has never shown a problem with keeping the lesson even in new places. We did some one jump exercises(even some at 22"!!!), targeting off the dogwalk (she was awesome!), and some table games. We haven't been on the table in a month or so and she was bang on. I love how smart this dog is, she is so fun to play with.

And that's my first barn night in a nutshell. :) Now to go and scrub the dirt off...


Balance 44/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Last week there was a challenge for my flickr group- Balance. It wasn't hard to decide where to go. I walk the dogs on the edge of this coulee once in a while and always think I'll stop for a photo on "the big ring thing."

Speaking of Balance I've finally found it in my life. Dogs, Work, Life, Training. I am feeling the best I have in a long time. The month of October was a slow one- very little agility while we make the move indoors so I am sure that helped.

I've got a routine down, and feel energized and refreshed. I'm working hard on myself- trying to keep a positive attitude, and surrounding myself around those that are the same. I think that's an important key in feeling good.

This week starts the barn season of agility, but even with the two extra nights of agility I am confident that I will continue to manage just fine. :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011


We had our first bit of snow this weekend- just a tiny but that isn't even worth mentioning except I got some beautiful frosty photos. :)

My friend Jen (Neena's mom) and I met up for a walk yesterday afternoon after sheepherding. The dogs had a fabulous time. The frost was crazy beautiful. My photos don't do it justice.

Brit boing-ing through the field.

Crazy Pixel!

Handsome Vito

Vito rolling on a deer leg, and Neena wondering how to best steal it...

Crazy Pants Neena comin' at ya!

Boone, looking up for the toy....

the whole gang. In the grass. lol
I also got the group photo at the top of the blog- it was very difficult. lol. Boone just does not cooperate at all. But I like it none the less. :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sheepherding : Lesson #3

Brit and I had another lesson with Jenny from Alta-pete today. Brit is doing really good!

She started out a bit rough- a lot keen, and a little out-of-control, but Jenny explained to me that sometimes you have to let them be bad to get them good. I think Brit did a good job of that to start. I've not seen her so wild before, it was interesting. lol

She did settle into herself though and we picked up where we left off. Worked on flanks and lie downs (which are both getting better). We also had to work a bit on making sure that Brit squared off on her sends. (again, not sure what that is called. lol) And then we worked on something new. Apparently the dog should not look like a drunk and weave back and forth. lol. We started working on teaching her walk up, and getting her to walk a straight line into the sheep. Brit thought this was hard, and confusing. I could see the smoke coming out her ears. lol. But I think she was starting to understand at the end.

Sheepherding is kind of like expensive chocolate. Your first bite is always just enough to make you go yummmmm. And then you are done the whole chocolate bar, and are left wanting even more... (It's just so yummy) You know it's out of your budget but before long you are figuring out what to cut out to afford it, and before ya know it you come home with expensive chocolate and no vegetables. ;) I am liking herding more and more each time I go. It's so incredibly different with Brit than it was with the corgis. Uncomparable really. And I want to do it more.

Thankfully (for my wallet) at this point it is still just really, really fun and not something I am addicted to. lol. So far I am able to just say no. We'll see if that continues to be the case. I'm already trying to figure out when we can go again this month...I think twice a month is reasonable for now...

No photos this time, but I brought along my friend Jen who was nice enough to take some video.  I cut out the part where I dropped the damn stick, and almost got head butted by a sheep. lol. Pure entertainment that, but this is about the dog not me. :) Watching the video I appear to be smarter than I feel. I still feel like I am fumbling a lot and have no idea really what I am doing, but it doesn't look as bad as that. We are learning together Brit and I. Thankfully we have a patient teacher. :)

And uh, the video is five minutes long which is long, and probably boring. Even to me, I only watched it twice. I think it will be good to have though to watch before my next lesson and remind me about what we did. So watch if you want, but I won't be offended if you don't. The best part is at 2.25 - that where we used the fence to help Brit to walk a straight line. lol

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Smiley Guy

Ready! 10/12/Boone, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Boone has turned a corner and is back to his happy self at home and walks. The thundershirt is folded and in the closet, hopefully I won't have to bring it out until next summer.

I've started to teach him some new tricks- specifically holding stuff with his front legs (like a jump pole to start, and then we'll move on to other objects), and fetch. I started fetch a while ago but stopped, so we're back at it.

Yay for a happy (relaxed) Boone!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Last Hurrah

This weekend marks our move back to the arena for agility classes. We haven't had snow yet, but it will be here soon enough and that will be the end to outdoor training. I managed to sneak out to the field once this week for a bit of training. It was cool and windy, but not unbearable.

Pixel has been in dogwalk retraining mode for a few months now, and finally I think she is ready to take it to a trial. We will see what excitement brings, but in training she is pretty solid. I was only able to get her off once with a thrown toy. I've signed her up for Agility League too, so that will be even better training wise. Everything else is still as solid as can be. Her weaves are pretty awesome. She can find an entry from anywhere and drives through now regardless of where I am.

Wicca is in maintenance mode. We did some jumping, including the dreaded bend grid. Ever try to bend a brick in half? lol. She manages. But just. Nothing else for her. Although she desperately wanted to do a dogwalk I wouldn't let her.

Boone also got to come out (I ran them in a farmers field on the way home), and didn't want to do anything. Except weaves. He offered them three times all on his own. Funny dog.

Brit did some jumping- we are just starting to have the odd jump at 22. And some circle work. You can never have too much circle work. Also some targeting off the dogwalk board. She is weaker on my right side, which is something I've been working hard to avoid! So today at home we did lots of right side only training. Pivots, Perch, Targeting, FitBall etc.... It's totally my fault as obviously I am more comfortable with the dog on my left. Bad trainer. Bad!

Vito rolled around on the grass and chased his tail. Serious. While I trained the girls he just rolled around grunting and groaning his pleasure. He kills me.

So that little session ends the outdoor season. On to the barn- where cats, mice, and horse poop reigns supreme. :) Should be a fun winter. We've got an incredible bunch of students, and two very full nights at the arena. Let's hope I get my snow tires on before the snow flies so I don't end up in the ditch in the middle of nowhere. 'Cause that would be awesome. Our barn is pretty nice though- we are lucky to have a place to train when we have three feet of snow and it's minus 40....

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Crazy Pants

Neena is a cute dog, all smiley and happy, and wiggly.

We call her crazy pants for a reason.
She is a nutty little thing and will spontaneously burst into frantic play- often by herself.
She also makes the best faces. lol

She went home today, so no more crazy pants for a while, but it was nice having her!