Sunday, July 31, 2011

At the dogshow

We have one more day left at the dog show. The first two days have been pretty good. Two new titles for Pixel, and some cute obedience, and some interesting scenthurdle.

I will post the full update tomorrow night sometime, but since I had to go online to post my 52 weeks photo before midnight sunday, I figured I'd post it here too.

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spruce Meadows here we come!

We are leaving today for a fun filled weekend at a dog show. This is the biggest show in Alberta actually, and is held at the famous Spruce Meadows Equestrian Center. It promises to be a great weekend with lots of stuff going on. 

The girls are entered in Brace obedience on Saturday- we have two tries at it. It should be fun. We've been training for it and they are super cute together. The hardest part for them has been the recall. I use their names in regular obedience paired with come, but in brace it's kinda hard to say two names at once...we've improvised and here's hoping it holds for the day. lol It will be entertaining I am sure! 

Saturday night is Scenthurdle- both girls will get to race. It will be a long night, but hopefully our teams run well! I am enjoying Scenthurdle more and more, now that the bugs have been worked out, and I understand the rules etc. better. It is always a bit chaotic and stressful though...

Sunday and Monday I have Pixel entered in CKC Agility. She only needs one more leg for her Intermediate title, so hopefully can move to Excellent for Monday. I had pulled Wicca after her injury at the last trial so she will just be a spectator. It will be strange not to run her. She is fine now of course, but at the time I thought it was something serious. 

I am taking my camera, and my laptop so will post updates as the weekend progresses. I will have lots of downtime so be prepared for some random (but entertaining) dog show photos...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

At the River

The dogs and I hung out down at the river for almost two hours yesterday. Needless to say they were very tired last night! I took a ton of photos, here are just a few of my favorites in no particular order. The dogs all had a bath or clean up today so we won't be going back to the river for a few weeks! I am going to get a pool for in the yard though, I think Brit would like that.

Pixel doesn't like to go too deep. This is her trying to get the toy without going past her belly...

I *might* have made her swim. lol (disclaimer: she is fine, and was more than happy to play in the water again. I assure you she is not traumatized.)

Wicca needs no prompting other than a thrown toy. She is a great swimmer.

Pixel and her Shadow. (I also made Brit swim. She seemed to enjoy it once we were out there. I went out to the middle of the river with her and had her swim upstream with me. The camera stayed safely on shore)

More swimming Wicca. I wish I could find out water wubba. It is much easier for her to fetch...

a big splash for a little dog

Vito, fishing. Seriously. He stares at the water watching the minnows...

Vito, bird watching. Apparently he is a hunter of sorts. He kept us safe from the random ducks and sea gulls.

Pretty Wicca.

Vito on his way back from a succesful chase.

Boone- almost has the toy. He doesn't like to go too deep either. I was proud of him for going in as much as he did!

10 things I love about the 3 year old.

1. Her happiness. She is always just so happy.
2. I love the happy, submissive grin followed by the frantically wagging tail when she sees someone she loves.
3. How unbelievably cute she is. Seriously. Cute.
4. The fluff. I mean really, could she be any cuter.
5. Will work for food. (or toy, or attention). She is a great little working dog, always trying her best.
6. The frequent need to zoom around the house and the yard. I mean it's adorable.
7. How she supermans off the contacts. Not correct at all. But still very cute.
8. Her prancy heeling. She has the best prancy feet.
9. The sassiness. She's not all sweet, and is quite the brat. I love that about her. She's not afraid to tell me off.
10. Her ability to make me smile. Every day she makes me laugh.

There is something about her that has charmed me from the moment I saw her photo on Rita's website, to the first time I saw her in person at the airport, and even now as she sleeps at my feet.

Happy Birthday Princess Pixel. Here's to many more. :)

Friday, July 22, 2011


My friend Jolayne and I went to Okotoks to the Elizabeth Street Pet Hospital to see a new chirocpractic vet earlier this week. Dr.Catherine Pampigilione came highly recommended, and we both wanted to get our dogs looked at.  

Brit has odd movement now and again, just a little shuffle sometimes. It has been bugging me for a while. When I first got Brit she had zero muscle. She had not been exercised well and was not very coordinated. I've been working since then to get her muscled, and have done a ton of other things to get her using her legs properly. Lots of off leash runs up and down coulees, swimming (when we can), trotting beside the bike, building core muscles with sit ups, sit/stand, spinning left/right, back ups, side stepping, and I just got some little discs to start working on building her rear muscles in particular. I am also going to splurge and buy a peanut ball big enough for her to stand on.  With all of this I have seen improvement muscle wise, and body awareness. The weird shuffle doesn't seem so apparent. But I could still see it. 

Anyway, back to the appointment. The vet, Catherine, was very impressive. She was very thorough, and professional. She really seemed to know her stuff, and was able to answer lots of questions. Her accent takes a bit of getting used to, but overall she is great. She also has a HUGE underwater treadmill there aswell. It is a very nice clinic.
We started off by looking at Brit's movement- she spotted the same strange step I had been seeing right away. Inside she started her exam. First off Brit is very flexible. It was funny to watch- kind of like the gumby dog. Her legs and her body are kind of noodle like. :)  She has great range of motion, and her flexibility is a plus. Dr.Catherine does feel that there is a problem in her left hip. She said that it sounded typical of a hip where the ball is too small and slides, or pops out on occasion. (she could feel and hear it) According to her this is common in the Border Collie breed because they need the laxity in the hips to move and stalk the way they do. Unfortunately this can also cause the misstep that I am seeing. She said that although it would be classified as Hip Displasia not to be too worried about it at this point. She feels that with further exercise and fitness that she likely won't have any problems. She said often in a young dog that once the muscle has built up around the joint it won't be a concern. And that because prior to coming to me she hadn't been regularly exercised, she thinks that it likely has contributed to the looseness in the joint.  She was pretty certain in this, which gave me confidence aswell. 
I asked about an X-Ray and Dr.Catherine said not to bother. There is an obvious problem and the xray isn't going to make it any more clear at this point. She is suggesting continuing what I am doing- lots of exercise to build up the muscle around the joint and to keep her as active as possible. If further down the road there is an issue then she will xray, but for now lots of running and conditioning. She isn't lame, or sore, so she doesn't feel that she is candidate for any other treatment. 

It has taken me a few days to digest this news. You hear Hip Displasia and it's like your whole world starts spinning. I'm trying very hard to remember what she said. No Big Deal. It's not a crushed ball or socket, it's not deformed, she thinks the ball is just too small. Muscle will hold it in. Build Muscle. Take a deep breath.  But it's hard. I had a dog with Hip Displasia once. I was 14 and the dog was nine months old. She was crippled. I had to euthanise her. I know this is different. But if I think about it too much it's hard to breathe. 

I remind myself that it's okay. This vet is very certain it won't affect her and that the movement I am seeing now will continue to improve. She also said that there is no reason she won't be able to do all of the things I had planned for her. 

I can't help but think about the what if's. What if the vet is wrong and she won't really be okay? What if she always has a skip? What if the dog that I kept to play agility and obedience with can't do any of that? 

I love this dog, and there is no way I could give her up now. So I guess that last what if doesn't really matter. I am attached. And that's not who I am or what I believe in. Dogs are for life- in sickness and in health. I am not the type of person who could give away a dog because they don't suit, or "aren't working out." When I decided to keep her I knew I was taking a risk. A rescue dog is always a risk. But I figured I'd had my share of bad luck already. One can only have so much bad luck right? 

In any case we had just started moving forward onto some actual agility training, but we will put that on the back burner and spend our time on more foundation work (which is also super great for fitness), and of course all the other exercising/building muscle type stuff. 

So that's that. Nothing we can do but to keep on marching on. One step at a time. I have decided that life isn't very fair though. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Wicca

Wendy took a few photos at the show this weekend. She had to leave before Pixel's turn so there is only Wicca. I love the expression on some of them. Wicca is such a fun dog to work with. :)

at the start

that's quite the air she's got there....

past the dreaded food bowls

getting ready to celebrate.  (can you hear the bark that's about to come!)

Thanks Wendy!!!! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Awesome Corgi Girls :)

I couldn't be happier with my dogs this weekend.

Because it's the most exciting I want to talk about the Scenthurdle stuff first. Our team raced on Saturday night- just four dogs, no alternates. And they were awesome. Like a switch went off and the dogs just got it. We did a few things differently though- which likely contributed to the dogs focus and understanding. First we made sure not to volunteer for the race before ours. This gave us time to have our dogs out and for some of them to watch and get excited. Second we had a practice before- just a few sends to the box before the races started. I think it helped our dogs to know what the job was. We were succesful in more than half of our runs. A few oops but nothing major. I am very proud of how hard my team works with their dogs. We race again in two weeks. On that note Pixel (along with everyone else running on Saturday) earned enough points for her SHD title (Scent Hurdle Dog). :) Yay for team No Nonscents!

Rally went well- the courses were challenging which was nice, with lots of little tricky spots. I like it when the course makes you think. Wicca was entered in two runs a day- Advanced and Excellent. She needs to qualify in both each trial to earn an RAE leg. After earning TWO legs this weekend she only needs one more for her RAE. Which is pretty awesome. She has qualified in each combination she has been entered in, and often with placements, or even High in Class. This weekend she placed Third (tie for second but just a tad slower), and Second. No Firsts this weekend for her. Although this afternoon in Excellent she would have had a PERFECT SCORE, had I been more careful with my 1,2,3 Steps backwards. Apparently I only did two steps. So we lost ten points for that. Her other scores were great though- 98's.

Pixel earned the last two legs she needed for her Rally Excellent title! I am so proud of her. She is the cutest, happiest dog in the ring and I just love that. Yesterday she scored 90something (I can't remember. lol), and today she earned a 99! and HIGH SCORE IN CLASS in the Excellent B ring!!! Wooohooo Pixel! She still is a very immature dog who has lots of learning to do, but wow I am just so impressed with my little fluffy dog. After this weekend Pixel will be focusing on her Open skills. No more rally for her until she has grown up a bit- The RAE system is way too expensive to worry about wether or not she can handle two trials back to back. At this point she couldn't for sure. I know my dog, and I like to make sure that my dog is ready mentally for what I'm asking her. So it's back to training the broad jump, fronts, finishes, and heeling. Sounds fun eh? :)

So that's that. An all around good weekend that mostly was pretty awesome. The show site is beautiful- the obedience/rally was in a covered "outdoor" skating rink. It stayed cool all weekend, and was far from the busy show rings. Jolene and I travelled together and as always it was a hoot. She just may be the funniest person I've ever met. lol

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lake Monster

a curious border collie

the menacing lake monster

the slightly stupid border collie being "brave"

the very scary lake monster on the tail of the once brave border collie...
this lake monster is always victorious

the border collie may never recover. lol


on that note, the corgi girls and I are off to a rally trial this weekend. Wish us luck!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


OMG 28/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

seriously funny.


Brit and Kort are best friends- they play, wrestle, chase, and bite each other. It's a very balanced relationship. :)

I met with Jo to do a bit of training this afternoon and we let Brit and Kort play for a bit after. Brit is super funny and leaps and spins in the air beside him as they run. It is pretty entertaining. Kort just thinks she's the best thing ever, even when she gets a little too pushy.... She is a girl afterall. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Princess Pixel Fluffy Pants

 These photos are from the Scenthurdle races a few weekend ago. This dog is SO cute. Even from behind. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This is Tina. She was my very first dog, and to her I owe everything.
She was the reason I got "into" dogs.
She taught me to persevere, to never give up.
Tina was a decent obedience dog, a mediocre agility dog, but was my best friend.
And when you're a lonely school age kid those are pretty rare.
She was a pretty awesome dog, and I will never forget her.

We got her as a family pet, to replace my guinea pig Lucky (whom I was VERY attached to. lol) She was a horribly behaved- jumped on the kitchen table once while we played a board game, ran away, chewed our toys, and never listened. I took her to Obedience classes through a school program and it changed my life.

She was a tough dog- and never gave an inch. She was stubborn, very independent and had dog aggression issues. She was trained through to Open/Utility but was a mixed breed so couldn't compete. We kicked butt in fun-matches though! She was my first agility dog too- although never made it out of advanced. We kinda fumbled around together. :) We even played flyball although she never did learn to stay in her own lane.

But she ignited that spark, that desire to learn about dogs and how to relate to them. Without that I am not sure where I would be at this point in my life. I owe her a lot and thought a blog post was in order.

So, who was your beginning? That first dog that triggered your love (and obsession) of all things dog. Blog about it and post in the comments. I will add your blog to the post so others can check it out.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Never give him a hose...

My nephew Nolen is a water nut. You can't keep him out of the pool and trust me when I say never, ever give him a hose. He has great aim for an almost three year old.

his mad face. (the expression you get when you tell him no. lol)

drying off with his mom's help.

Easily distracted. Nolen loves bugs and was thrilled when an ant ran across his foot.
driving his little car. Soon he will be too big for it!
I am lucky to have my sister and her family love so close. I get to see Nolen as much as I want. I've learned that Nephews are lots of fun, and now that he is able to communicate more it is getting to be even more fun. He is such a boy though, already! He is super dirty all the time, likes bugs, and robots, and dinoosaurs... lol I can't believe how much he has grown in the last little bit, and with his "big boy" haircut he looks so handsome.

I am going to be an Aunt again sometime today- My Brother's fiance is having a baby girl today....hopefully anyway!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Livin' the good life...

Sleeping in, staying up late, lots of walks, training, and playing. The dogs are exhausted each night after spending most of the day running around. It has been a fantastic week, and we are all sad to see it end. But the break was great and I feel rejuvenated. I have awesome dogs, and I love them all to bits. I also have awesome friends- thanks so much to J & D for letting me (and five dogs!) crash at their place for a whole week. We are very lucky.

Here are some photos from our walk today. Well, I sat on the ground and the dogs ran around.

The "hunter" in the middle. I don't know why but this photo cracks me up.
Wicca has been searching for critters all week and hasn't found any until today.
She heard the chip at the same time she saw the hole and was possessed. lol.
She was digging like crazy. It was funny (and made for some great photos!)

Pretty (but very bratty) Pixel...

this may be my favorite photo from the week. although it's not in focus really (and I had to soften it to make it look okay) I still love it.
Vito has the biggest feet ever, and can run when he wants to. This was his very enthusiastic recall towards me as I lay on the ground.

Brit, in passing. She doesn't stay still much. She has definitely gained some muscle over the week.
 I am going to try very hard to bike with her every day when we get back to real life.
The running has been SO good for her.

Wicca, daydreaming about critters.

this is her expression when you say "gopher" lol

and Boone was off doing his own thing. He has really been enjoying the freedom. I swear he is like a wild dog sometimes, and would happily go off on his own all the time if he could....