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.