Sunday, April 29, 2012

Down on the Farm...

I'll try not to bore the non herding people with super detail, but this afternoon Sarah and I packed up Brit and Gyp and headed off to the AltaPete farm on our own.

I could lie and tell you we weren't nervous at all, but I won't. lol. We were both wondering just how hard it was going to be. And well, it was challenging. But nothing that we weren't prepared for.

We managed to get all the sheep rounded up and into the lambing pasture, sort off a bunch, and then put them in the round pen and sort them down further. It was really tough to get just the right amount- there are ewes with lambs and neither us or our dogs are talented enough to split those suckers up. So we ended up with more than we needed but it worked out alright.

The easy part was getting them to the arena-Gyp and Brit took turns during all these chores and they really compliment one another.

After all that we went and did some real farm stuff while the dogs took a rest.

I worked on my stops and flanks with Brit and her stops were pretty great- maybe even the best they've ever been. We've been working hard at home to make them better. I am pleased with the progress. I also worked a bit on holding to the fence, and on the L panel. The L was freaking impossible today. The sheep were in too large of a group and my dog just could not move them enough. It was frustrating and Brit didn't deal with the pressure too well and eventually would just flank them in the wrong direction. Sometimes I wish she was a grippy dog. Maybe they would respect her more. So we quit while we were ahead and most of our turns where spent on flanks and stops- which is what she really needs anyway.

Next time we will spend more time making sure we have no lambs, and a smaller amount of sheep. I think it will be less frustrating when working on the tight stuff if the sheep were actually acting like sheep and not like momma's....

All in all a pretty great afternoon. The sun was out, but not too hot, and I think we got a lot accomplished!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nothing Better

I am battling a killer cold, it's been beating me down all week and I'm hoping that I'm over the worst of it. I hate being sick, and it seems that this year I have been sick a lot. This weekend will be a good mix of dog stuff, and just hanging out. An agility match tomorrow, and sheepherding sunday afternoon with nothing planned in between. I'm looking forward to some RnR.

This has been a long week- I'm feeling antsy and a little cranky so I know I need to just chill. There's nothing better than being out with my dogs. Not a person in sight, just me and the dogs- it was good. Really good.

Overcast days are the best for photos!

Brit is quite the retriever these days
Ready for the throw...

Pixel and Neena (I'm dogsitting overnight)

Wicca looking suspicious when I told her there were no gophers out today...

Buddies, just sniffing

Boonie! :)
Jen- Sorry for no photos of Scampers! He was a speck in the distance, and when he wasn't out of sight he was looking beaten that I was making him stick around...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Nothin' Much

Nothin much to say- here's a cute photo from our walk the other day. Pixel found a great bone on our walk and was very happy to parade around with it. ;)

Monday, April 23, 2012


A little Vito to brighten your Monday. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kids and Sheep

It's Sunday late afternoon and it feels like the weekend never really was here at all. lol

Saturday Go Dog Go and the Lethbridge Kennel Club put on Demonstrations all day at the Childrens Festival. I left my house at 8:15 and got home at 7:45.... It was a long day but was mostly really fun. We did agility, obedience, rally, scenthurdle demos, aswell as tricks, carting (well, Bosley did anyway). So it was a pretty busy day. The kids love it though and we had nice crowds for almost every demo. I enjoy demos, but it is a lot of work to put on and organise. I am glad it is over. I really don't like kids- at all, and the number of unsupervised jerk kids was amazing. But it is great exposure for the kennel club, and practice for our dogs!  Pixel did a few agility demos, and the obedience demo. Brit did an agility demo- and even weaved! lol. Considering I have barely trained I was pretty pleased with her. And Boonie did some tricks. Wicca and Vito stayed home. Vito only stayed home to keep Wicca company. :(

thanks for the awesome photo sarah!
 This morning I was up bright and early for a sheep herding lesson. Today was our very last lesson with Jenny before they pack up and head stateside for trials, and lessons. Sarah and I spent all morning there- learning the last bit of things we may need while they are gone- how to work the quad, more "what to do if..." scenarios, and just general farm girl type stuff. I totally love it. I've decided that I need to find a farmer to marry...not just any farmer though, a farmer that doesn't treat dogs like livestock, and would let me have

Brit's chore was to go and bring the big flock in from the field, and put them in the lamb pasture. She had to fetch them to me and then we drove them all the way back to the barn. She seemed more confident with the driving part- although does tend to weave a bit which we need to work on...

After the farm dog work (which Brit LOVED!!!), we did some trial work and sucked. lol. She refuses to stop when I ask. And then puts the sheep in the wrong spot. It is frustrating, and then nothing gets done because I'm annoyed and my dog knows it... We struggled through, but quit when she was hot and pretty well refusing to work at all...We gave her a break and then finished on a Y chute which was perfect and calm and like five seconds. lol.

Today has been the nicest day weather wise- it is +24C, which is hot for us this time of year. The dogs were hot, and the sheep were hot. Brit and Gyp both learned about the water trough today. lol.

After my lesson I packed up the dogs and headed to the river- where they ran around in the mud and paddled in the water. I did let Wicca swim a bit- I need to talk to Veronica and see if Swimming is something she should be doing or not. I found a new swimming hole that I hope to use all summer- no rocks, just mud. I'll take mud over rocks. It's a bit of a walk- and on a busy path which meant lots of "are those all yours??!" lol. But the spot is perfect so worth the trouble.

The dogs are now in crates drying off, and I'm contemplating a nap.  I might need to take a day off to recover from the weekend..

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rubber and Sheep

This afternoon Sarah and I made a quick trip to Okotoks to pick up the newly resurfaced agility equipment, and for a herding lesson. ;)

The equipment looks amazing. I can hardly wait to get it set up!! It is almost too pretty to use. lol.

The herding lesson was good, although challenging for my dog. There is still so much that we have to learn. It has been a pretty amazing journey so far- some days I feel like we know stuff, and other days not so much. lol.

Today we worked in Louanne's big field- practicing bigger outruns and some baby driving. I thought Brit handled herself pretty well in the big field- confident and willing. We've never had the much space really, so I was impressed that she listened that far away. lol. She was not so confident with the driving. It is so opposite of what we've taught her so far that she was very confused. She kept wanting to gather them- rather than move In a straight line. It will take lots of repetition to get it figured I'm sure.
Brit has always been tight at the top of her outruns- and today was no exception. So Louanne became the official stick thrower. In just three throws Brit got the idea... The stick never actually hit her, but it did startle her enough to get her to Move off the sheep a bit. Even I can see that with her being so close to the sheep she has less control, and less power.  She needs to be farther back to have control of the whole group. Sometimes running in on her is enough to get her to give, and other times not so much.  I do anticipate this being an issue forever, something we'll have to work on to maintain. I'm hoping that the stick throwing will transfer over to our next lesson so I won't have to look at my pouty border collie....

It was fun to take a break from the chutes and panels and pens and all that trial stuff. I like learning new things- I just wish there was a way to be more clear to my dog so she would understand better. Brit was definitely pouty after the stick and the pressure of driving- but she never quit. She seems to be recovering faster and able to work through more stress each time. I do wish that she didn't get stressed in the first place- it is obvious that her understanding of what we want is not quite there. She will get it I am sure, but I don't like seeing her upset. lol.

What does annoy me (still) is the simple stuff- the stuff she should know but still challenges us on. Like lying down. She will still take a few extra steps before stopping and sometimes refuses completely. If we choose to fight with her about it, it often will ruin the whole lesson. It's frustrating. I am going to work harder at home on both of those things.

Starting next week Sarah and I will have the opportunity to work on our own- I plan to work a lot on basics. Lots of stops and flank changes. Sometimes that extra few steps she takes ruins the drill or puts the sheep in the wrong spot. I think of we can get these solid it will improve our overall skill. I've got a little notebook of all the fun little drills that both Jenny and Louanne have shown me- I plan to put that notebook to good use!

The lesson ended with visiting with some newly born lambs. I think that lambs might be the cutest babies in the world- even cuter than puppies. Really. Look at him!!!!??? Is he not adorable? And Squishy? I really, really wanted to bring him home. lol. His momma is a jerk and rejected him so he thinks people means food and was very friendly. So Cute!!!
photo by Sarah (iphone).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Agility Trail Thoughts

Pixel and I ran in an agility trial this weekend. First time since October. We've had minimal training- a few league nights over the winter and the odd short training session here or there. I went with no great expectations, except having fun with the princess, and to hopefully scrape off some rust before regionals.

I certainly felt rusty. lol. Slow motion really. Partly due to the deep sand footing, and partly to the fact that I wasn't as mentally into it as I needed to be. We ran in 6 events, and came home with no Q's. But we had fun every run. She was pretty speedy, bouncy, and even bit me twice. I'll take that as a sign of a happy Pixel. We had a bobble in almost every run, and over time in the two that were clean... Refusals seemed to be the theme. Pixel has struggled off and on with wrapping a jump- sometimes I think she has committed and rotate, only to discover my cute little dog did not take the jump. lol. She also cut behind me on a serp to a push thru- first time ever. Watching the video it appears that I took my eye off my dog. For shame. ;) Oh, and I guess not doing the dogwalk in a few months means she has forgotten how to target.... Our list of stuff to work on for regionals grew 10x over the weekend. lol

Here are two of our runs thanks to Jolene- a standard and jumpers from Sunday.

Regardless of no Q's and the odd blips I thought we did a good job on the courses this weekend. Gail (the judge) is pretty tricky and there were lots of lead outs, backside of jumps, and interesting angles. Pixel handled the challenges well and only once did I make a bad handling decision. I felt like my mental game improved over the weekend, and my connection with my dog was solid. So all in all a good job! I am happy with Pixel, and with myself.

I brought all the dogs with me on Saturday- they stayed benched in the van but they each got to come in throughout the day, and we had a nice walk on a deserted country road. For the first time Wicca noticed there was agility- real agility, and wanted to play. So much that we had to leave the building before I had a breakdown. It was so hard at the beginning, but it has been getting easier. She has come to agility with me a few times over the winter, and she came to the seminar with me a few weeks ago- she was happy just hanging out eating stuff. Until yesterday. Geez. I wonder why it is so hard. I mean, all along (her whole agility career) I've been saying that I will have to retire her young. You'd think I'd be over it by now. But all I can think about is I wonder what she thinks? Why she can't play? Does she think she is being punished? It was heartbreaking to see her at the trial, pulling to the ring. Ugh.

Watching some people run dogs that are lame, or a little off, makes me jealous. Why can't I do that? How do they deal with the guilt of running an injured dog? I can't comprehend that at all. And it happens all the time. A dog with a slight limp- maybe the owner doesn't see? I feel guilty when Wicca jumps off the couch, or bursts into a zoom in the yard. Don't get me wrong- there is nothing I'd want more than to have her back next to me in the ring- I miss it incredibly so. But I am not willing to hurt her. Sometimes though I'd like to be like some other people and just give my dog a dose of metacam and let her play. In my heart I know I couldn't do it but I would be lying if I didn't think that once in a while.

Sunday I left her and Boone at home. Brit and Vito made the trip again though.  Brit came in and worked a bit. She is doing so awesome. I adore her. We did some heeling, some stays, some tugging, some stands, and lots of visiting. She met some long time facebook fans, and jumped up and wiggled and did her happy dance for them. It was pretty cute. Mr.Vito came in and played with me! And socialised. I was very proud of him. He was comfortable almost right away, enough that he played with me. That was a good feeling. Vito is so strange, but really is the cutest dog ever.

I loved being able to go home each day. Today I was home by 3pm!!! I had a walk with the dogs, a nap, and then laid around the rest of the day. Now of course I am not tired. lol.

I've got a busy week ahead- some sheepherding, and obedience lesson, and some demo fun this weekend. Lots to look forward to this week!

Re-reading the post before I publish it, I realise it sounds like I was pretty upset about Wicca. I was, but I'm fine. She's fine, all is good. It helps to write things out- I've always been that way- my blog is like my therapy. lol.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The last of the Silhouettes

I've had other things to blog about but I want to finish the Silhouette series that Wendy took of my dogs!!! Here is Brit. I love these of her-

she looks surprisingly graceful in this photo. I assure you she is not. lol

pretty brit

and a coyote. I mean, Brit. 

And Mr. V- unmistakable really.

Vito was very uncooperative. He would get the ball and run away with it. Mr.Naughty.

And the group shots. :) I LOVE them. In fact I love them so much I am going to get one printed for my wall.

thanks again Wendy!!! I owe ya!

Bad Advice- A case study.

This may be the longest post I've ever written....

In the last few months I've been doing more and more private lessons-  in my small city there seems to be plenty of people who are "dog trainers" who have no freaking idea what they are doing. I really, really, really don't understand why people want to be dog trainers in the first place- but then to call yourself one when you have no clue what you are doing, and potentially are causing unfixable issues. It drives me batty. If you want to be a dog trainer- great. But train yourself, do some research, find someone to shadow for a while. Get some actual experience....

Because what you tell people, and show people really does make or break a situation. As with all "professionals" people listen to what you say assuming that you are correct. They take your word as truth. Unfortunately if what you are telling people is BS, and is causing more harm than good- well, that's an issue. 

Now, combining the bad dog trainers with what people are seeing on television and you get disaster. 

Last night I met with a new client. A 4 year old Pit Bull who has been to numerous "trainers" and on the recommendation of their vet are at the point of euthanizing the dog. I was told by the owner that the dog is very aggressive, lunges, growls and nips at people that come to the house. Is very protective, and recently has been fighting with their other dog. Fighting to the point of blood. This is a dog who up until a week ago has been living side by side with the other dog his whole life....

Some more background I learned before I met with them:

The dog(s) are both recently neutered in December. 
The PB resource guards food, and items.
He fence fights with the neighbour dog. 
Is walked on a pinch collar, with a basket muzzle on. But only once in a while because the owner is nervous that he is going to hurt someone. 
He chases the cats in the house. 
And he and the other dog are completely separated at this point.

What has been recommended to them in the past:

Pinch Collar- for control. 
Well, dealing with aggression (of any variety) with pain is not going to go well. What typically ends up happening (in my experience) is that the dog becomes even more reactive because they have paired the pain of being jerked around with the pinch collar with the sight of the dog, or person or whatever. 

Roll 'em- to show him who's boss. 
I am sick to death of people who think that this is an appropriate thing to do with your dog. Seriously folks. What do you really think this is teaching the dog? And what do you think is going to happen when you let the really pissed off dog back up?

Smack him when he's bad. 
I am not opposed to a "hey you, knock it off" but it seems that the "smackers" don't ever think about actually teaching the dog what they should be doing instead....and I don't know, rewarding the dog once in a while for making correct decisions.

I am not afraid of dogs. But I have a healthy respect of teeth. I do not enjoy being bit, and would not put myself in harms way. However- I do think that the dog deserved a chance. 

I called them when I arrived so they would be ready. We had already discussed that I did not want the dog muzzled and that they should remain calm. I went to the door and already could hear the scrambling nails and barking. 

When I went in I saw a very freaked out, defensive dog who was pretty sure I was there to kill him. His eyes wide, his ears back, and every pearly white tooth exposed. When I told the owner to let him go they didn't believe me and held on tighter. Which caused the dog to react again. I told them I was serious. The dog comes barreling up to me barking and snarling, eyes hard, and then smells the hotdog. He stops, a little confused. I look away and I throw a piece to him on the ground. In five minutes he was taking it from my hand. Gentle nibbles, no hard teeth, eyes softer but still wide, worried. It took fifteen minutes and two hot dogs to get to the living room. 

The lesson lasted an hour and in that hour we taught him how to respond to his name, offer a nose touch, and most importantly I taught the owners how to deal with the problem they've created. We talked about teaching him to think, and make choices, and how to reward him for making good choices, and at this point preventing bad decisions. We talked about the cold hard truth. What the goal should be for the dog, and that he is a liability for them. He could bite someone- badly. There were no kid gloves, and I made sure they understood that his death is still a possibility. 

I think I gave the owners hope- something they did not have before I arrived. They were amazed that he was able to learn something as simple as a nose touch! Thrilled that I was able to gently scratch him under the chin. I believe that the dog can be taught how to be a better dog. How to have impulse control, and social skills. But I also believe that there is potential for someone to get hurt. It is a conflict for sure. I want to help these people, and so I will. But there is a niggling thought at the back of my head about how I will feel if he does bite someone. Not only is he hurting someone, but is also hurting the name of an already tarnished breed. 

What bothers me the most about this whole situation is that it could be prevented. 100%. If as a puppy the trainer they went to didn't demand the dog be put on a choke chain and drag him around until he did what they wanted. If as a puppy the vet hadn't scared the crap out of them about the possibility of disease so they didn't leave the yard until he was 6 months old... If the trainer who gave them a pinch collar but not the understanding of basic dog training would have done her job properly. And if the owners stood up for their dog. 

That's all it would have taken. If you are uncomfortable with something that you are asked to do. Stop. Say no. You have the right. Do not blindly follow someone just because they call themselves a professional. 

I am getting off my soap box now. Rant over. I am hoping that I will be able to help to save his life, and prevent a tragedy from happening.  I left their house feeling good though- I saw a glimmer of a happy, relaxed, goofy pitbull. The dog that he is when no one else is around. I believe that if the owners remain dedicated to his rehabilitation that his life can be spared. We will see I guess. But hope is not a bad thing. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Herding Lesson at Phantomridge

I had to take a rescue dog to calgary this morning so stopped on my way for a lesson with Louanne. Her place is where the actual trial will be so I knew it would help me to really "see" what the set up will be.

The lesson went really well- and Brit continues to amaze me. We worked on the pen for a little bit- putting them in, and taking them out. Louanne showed me what will be expected of me at the trial for the take pen, and the re-pen. -Where she has to hold them, where I need to be, when I can leave, etc.  Brit did really well. I need to shut up and let her work though. She can read the sheep better than me. lol.

Once out of the pen I got them to the settle spot- and it was way easier than at Jenny's. lol. Not sure why. From the settle pylon I had to send my dog to fetch them to me- in a straight line. The first time I missed the point of the exercise and my dog over flanked. The second time was better- a straight line even!

And then we went to the L, which proved difficult. The sheep were flighty and really didn't want to go in. For the first time I wondered if Brit might grip. She never has- but really had to stand her ground to get them to even turn their heads. After the stand off we gave her a break and Louanne worked the sheep through the panels with her dog. They didn't mess with him. lol.

After Mack worked the sheep we got the L just fine, again she really had to work them to get them to turn in, but we had success. The Y chute was similar. We only did that once before we stopped and worked on her outruns a bit. She is still cutting in at the top, and/or over flanking. (not stopping on balance). So if I am late with a lie down she has often turned the sheep the wrong way. So we worked on that a little bit. After a bit of reminding with pressure she was much better.

We ended with another re-pen and then Louanne gave me some tips on how to work on teaching her "there" - this means for her to stop and walk in on the sheep. We haven't really worked on this, but I can see that I will be needing it soon.

I was really impressed with her today- she was definitely more excited than she is at our normal training- I think that fast sheep amped her up a bit. But she still worked really well- her stops were decent, and she mostly took the flanks I asked.

The most interesting part was when she was working on her own to get the sheep in the pen, and the chutes. It was really neat to watch her. I have never seen such a serious expression before. It was very cool.

I also came away with a better idea about the trial- which is still a few months away, but I still worry that I won't know what I'm doing. Good thing my dog does!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Excited. You can't see it but I can tell you that her eyes were popping out of her head. lol

Aerodynamic Pixel


The Princess

Wicked Woo

 This dog is my heart.

I love her even though last night while I was out cleaning off the agility field she was opening the fridge and helping herself to whatever she wanted....

Wicca is normally crated but last week she busted a toe nail right off- it bled and was messy, and since then she has been in a cone when she is not supervised. Otherwise she licks at her foot. Anyway- it seemed sad to crate a dog with a cone I have been leaving her loose. I guess even though she is 8 years old, and gimpy she can't be trusted. I mean, what kind of a dog opens the fridge....

 Really. She ate a whole bunch of stuff- a nearly new block of cheese, a half a can of pumpkin, cat food, hard boiled eggs, sandwich meat....yeah. Not surprisingly she has a little bit of an upset tummy today. I don't feel bad for her though...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just Boone

Last week I met Wendy after work so she could do some Sillhouette photos of my crew. I really wanted a new blog header, and I got so much more than that. So much in fact that I am going to break each dog into their own post- so you can see all my favorites.

Wendy did show me how to do it (which is how I got my 52 weeks photo last week), but at this point I couldn't tell you what I did. lol. I'll leave that to her (hint, hint). In any case here are my favorite Boonie shots. Thanks again Wendy!

I love these photos because even though you can't see detail, or even his face you can still see his expression, and feel his happiness. I really love this dog a lot- he has a pure heart- and I think these photos show a bit of that...

on the move.

Not so graceful. lol

My second favorite. He looks like a powerful dog, even though he is not. lol.

My ultimate favorite. Unbelievably so actuially. The waggy tail, the foot in the air, the open mouth, happy ears. I love it.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter Morning Sheep!

Because I have been away the past few weekends, and have one more weekend away next weekend it has been a struggle to find the time for herding. Which makes me sad because I love it. So we squeezed in a lesson Sunday morning. And it was awesome.

Brit worked the sheep/lambs in the lambing pasture! There are lots of them. I don't even know how many (you could count them in the photos if you want. lol). Brit has only ever worked at most four sheep at one time. Working a flock like this was very different- but she handled it like a pro!

Even when she couldn't see me she was still taking flanks. We practiced moving them from one side of the pasture to the other, but instead of always fetching them we did a bit of driving- but with lots of help from me. Working side by side with her was pretty amazing. I love this dog. Totally made my day...

After a little break we got our own sheep out of the pen, and took them over to the arena. Brit was still a little worried about the barn- left over from our lesson last week I am sure. She worked through it fast though and we got them out after only a few tries. We also managed to get the sheep out of the trees, and into the arena with no bobbles. Brit is just such an honest little dog- she always tries to get her job done, sometimes despite me. lol.

In the arena we worked on some test stuff. Putting things together like we did a few weeks ago. Gather the sheep, settle the sheep, fetch the sheep, around the post, and through the L. Easy. Sorta. This time the settle was difficult. I need to remember to "be the wall" and work with my dog. Brit did a great job but I just kept letting the sheep go past me. Finally I managed to get my shit together and stop them. lol.

The L chute went well- back to a confident Brit so that part wasn't too difficult. I do need to remember to keep moving. I tend to stop moving when I give my dog a flank- I guess so I can look at her. lol. Just as in agility I need to remember not to watch my pretty dog....

A great morning- perfect weather, cute little lambs, a great teacher, and a good dog. Just what I needed!

Thanks to Jenny for the lesson, and the photos!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

First Time and Awesome!

Brit went into the rally ring for the first time on Saturday and did pretty great!!! I wasn't sure what to expect- in all fairness there are still Obedience skills that she doesn't really have very solid yet. But she has the basics and that's all she really needs for Novice Rally.

She was happy to work for me, although was a little worried I think. Her heeling wasn't as good as normal, and she seemed to forget where her butt was. Anything Left was a little wide- which is funny as that is her best thing. But really- for her very first time in a show building, with all that distraction I am very proud of her.

She pulled off a 93, and tied for 2nd place. She ended up third due to time. Her first qualifying score towards a Novice title. She was happy in the ring, and her tail was up and wagging. She did everything I asked, and I really couldn't be happier with her. She is a very good dog. :)

I've got a better idea of where she is now, and what we need to work on. I am debating about entering her in a trial in May- maybe just one day? Decisions, Decisions. I know that she has the skill to get higher scores, but at this point she is lacking the experience... Spring is here though, which means we can start training outdoors again, and that sort of thing always provides lots of distaction. I have a few weeks before I have to decide so we will see what kind of training I can get in between now and then!

She is a fast learner- so if I buckle down and train she should be fine to go in again. I call her my little Smartie Pants. lol. To put things into perspective this time a year ago she was still learning her name, and how to walk on a leash. lol.

We did it!!!

Saturday morning Pixel was the first dog in the Open A ring. I walked in confident in my dogs abilities and I'm happy to report that we did it!!! Our first CDX leg!!!

It wasn't perfect- and she added her own style into the routine (ie no fronts, and barely any finishes, a thrown dumbbell..) but she did all the hard stuff!! The drop on recall has been our biggest issue as of late and she did it without a second thought. That alone made my day!!!

She was the only qualiyfing dog in her class so although her score isn't great (179.5) she came away with a High In Class. Regardless of placement I am so pleased with my dogs effort in the ring- she was happy and tail wagging the whole time. Watching the video (which I'll post later) the happy, stress free Pixel makes me happier than I can say.

What a dog. :)

I'll post a better break down of what she did/didn't do along with the video later this week.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

You can't wait for inspiration; you have to run after it. 14/52

My most favorite 52 weeks photo so far this year. Thanks to Wendy for showing me how!!!

Wendy took some pretty amazing ones of my whole gang. I will be posting them next week!!! (and there is a perfect photo for a new header....)

Herding and Obedience

Yesterday Brit and I went for a herding lesson. And she was pouty the whole time. And I was frustrated, but tried to not let her know. It started out rough- which set the tone for the whole lesson.

Part of our lesson is getting our own sheep, and Brit wouldn't stop when I asked in the small pen, and wouldn't take a come bye flank, and wouldn't go near the barn. Three things which made a huge problem.  So by the time we worked through that we had a snotty border collie who was not in the mood to listen. I will say that she never quit- which is great. But it is hard to work a dog that is upset. I guess the lesson of the day for her was to learn how to work through a bad start- Jenny said that they need to learn that they have to work no matter what- upset or not. We did simplify things a bit for her in the arena- things that a few weeks ago took a minute took 10... but hopefully she will sit on that for a few days and be better next time.

My lesson was how to fix things if they go south when I am out there on my own. How to get the sheep out of the barn if they don't want to. How to watch that the stupid fence jumping sheep doesn't circle back and jump right back in the pen. And what to do if the sheep go way out in the big field so that I can ensure that my dog takes a wide enough flank. Oh, and how to get the sheep out of the trees. It was a long lesson- but a good one. lol. Let's hope for a more cooperative Border Collie on Sunday....

Last night was my last chance to work Brit and Pixel in Obedience before the show. Brit did great through a Rally set up. She is becoming a really good heeling dog- and seemed to have a lot of fun. I am looking forward to her Rally debut on Saturday! I did just a small amount of heeling with Pixel. A short pattern with some slows, and halts. And one drop on recall- which was perfect.  I was itching to do a long sit and down- but didn't. I know that she is solid on those and "just one more" is not going to change anything for the weekend. We are in the Open ring Saturday morning- fingers and toes (and paws) crossed for a happy Pixel!

Our scent hurdle team is racing Friday night- we are a sparkly bunch this time around thanks to the sewing talent of our box loader...should be interesting.... :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


I was in Medicine Hat this past weekend teaching agility. It was fun- a good group of people who are eager to learn.

Wicca came along for a one on one weekend. She was the queen of the arena and stole cookies from peoples bags, ate horse poop, and looked for critters. She was in heaven. 

Pixel spent the weekend running with collies, and starring in a slow motion weave pole experiment. lol

Brit spent the weekend with the Penguins and went to Waterton where she bounded through the snow like a mountain lion. 

Yesterday was a no good day. I got bit twice (once at work, and once at class.) and generally was cranky. Mondays are never a good attitude sort of day. Let's hope Tuesdays are better. 

Last night I got home from running errands after work and Wicca ripped her toe nail right off coming out of her crate. No noise- just gushing blood everywhere. Couldn't stop it on my own so had to take her to the she is forced to wear the cone of shame and has enough gauze and vet wrap around her little leg that it looks like a Pirate stump...

She hates the cone- in case you were wondering. This morning she got stuck in the doorway and refused to move. I fear that she is now stuck in the middle of my kitchen while I am at work. lol. 

Tonite we move agility equipment outside. So excited! 

I am going through Sheepherding withdrawals.... Wednesday. Hopefully. 

One more training night before the Reddeer Dog Show. Scenthurdle and Open for Pixel, and Brits debut in Rally....

Easter weekend coming up- that means four days off of work. Four Days. That's pure awesomeness. Looking forward to an easter egg hunt with my nephew. ;) 

I need a foster home (local) for a dalmatian. Any takers? He's mostly good...mostly. He needs a home with no pet birds....He thinks Birds are Food. It's a problem.  Anyone?

I am working on some new tricks with Boone for the Childrens Festival. I was thinking of trying to use all of my dogs for one little trick show. Use little stools for them to perch on when it's not their turn. I think it might be cool. We only have a few weeks though. It might be an unrealistic goal. lol. 

My grass is growing, and is almost green. 

I am super excited about Spring. It's my second favourite season. *My most favourite season is fall, In case you were wondering.

Vito dropped a brand new stuffed toy in the mop bucket this morning. It was a good start to my day...