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!