Thursday, May 31, 2012

Regionals Weekend

Pixel and I will be heading to Medicine Hat bright (dark) and early tomorrow morning. Steeplechase first thing and then set up the tent and relax for the rest of the day. The big stuff starts Saturday morning. My Group (Group C!!!) is running Jumpers first Saturday morning which is awesome. Pixel will like that- a lot. ;)

For the first time ever I am not the least bit nervous. I am looking forward to a great weekend running with my little Pixely. <3

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Miracle Occured Today

Vito swam to fetch a stick. 
I'll let the photos do the talking. 
'Cause I'm kinda speechless. 

Boys and Mud- a perfect combination

I had to run out to the farm this morning to check on the Gaurdian dogs, but wanted to spend some time with my sister- So I brought them! Nolen had a great time- we were there for about an hour. In that hour he watched the barn cats, was bored by the sheep, and entranced by the chance of a frog sighting in the pond. lol. We could not get him away from it. Not only were the frogs tempting, but just the mud alone was a draw. Boys! 

Nolen is growing up so fast. He is cute, and sweet, and very smart. Too smart for his own good! He is also a typical boy- a little naughty and doesn't like to listen. lol. Good thing he is cute!

he thought the stick was fun, but the sheep were boring.

we could hear the frogs but didn't see any...

Togo and his girls.

The Watchers- one watching sheep, the other for frogs..

I didn't let Brit work at all except to get the sheep in the pasture. 

Slow Motion...I think she thought I wouldn't notice. lol

Must. Stare. At. Sheep.

In the pond, even though we told him not to.

Brit couldn't believe we were leaving. lol.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I teach my dogs attention heeling- which means they need to be looking at me in order to move. If they look away we stop and restart. Brit is becoming a great heeling dog- she still doesn't have a ton of power but slowly it is getting better and better. We've got loads of enthusiasm now, and I am very happy with the progress. Pixel is a fantastic little heeling dog- she loves the cookies. And will work for a long time to get one. ;)

This is the cookie face. Her tongue actually quivers. lol
These photos are by Liz from when we went out last week to train. Thanks for the great photos Liz!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I wish every day was a Herding day....

I had a great day at Louanne's (Phantomridge) today- I had not one, but two great herding lessons- and came home with more things to think about and try and remember.

I swear the hardest part about herding is remembering all the stuff!!

So here is a list of things, that I need to remember the next time I go out and train.

  1. Hey! Is a crutch. Stop it. Use my there, and follow up with a  block if I need to. 
  2. On the Settle (which we completely blew each time today), I can block the sheep too! If at all possible be in front of the sheep on the way there and be in control. Don't push them off though- a sudden movement and then plant my feet will get them to stop. My dog should stay lying down until I tell her differently.
  3. In big, open areas use my there, not my lie down. It's time to not be so afraid of my dogs motion and let her open up and work. I tend to use my lie downs when I need to think, or reposition, or am not sure what else to do. I need to use them when I need to- not all the time.  But in close, tight areas use the lie down and mean it. Her downs were kinda sucky today- especially her second lesson as she was pretty amped up. 
  4. Watch my sheep better. I try, I really do. But I also need to watch that my baddog is doing what I've told her (flank, lie down, etc). If they are following me, and calm keep moving. Don't stop and admire them. lol
  5. Before I Lie her Down she needs to have moved the sheep- even just one step. This will help to build some confidence. 
  6. There. I need to practice my words. It seems strange. Apparently I need more of an accent or a drawl or something. It should be short, not drawn out. There. I feel ridiculous. lol
And I think that is the most of it. We ran a few different courses, and broke down some trouble spots. Redid some sections (the settle. lol). My dog can do all the stuff, but I need to think faster and be more confident. I found today that the actual obstacles were not the trouble at all- we could do all of them with little problems. But it was the inbetween. Getting from the L to the fence, or to the Y. Choosing the best path and keeping said dog and sheep on that path.

Louanne of course makes it looks easy. She actually did the whole course with her dog from the post. Just telling him where to go. One day we'll do that!

It was an awesome day- a little rain but not to bad at all! I am certainly not made of sugar so no chance of melting. ;) I wish every day could be a herding day!  Thanks again for the great day Louanne!

His own world

Boone!, originally uploaded by Blazingstar.

My friend Liz took this photo when we were at her place the other day. It is awesome- just so Boone. He always does his own thing, often completely oblivious to things (dogs) around him. lol

Thanks for the great photo Liz!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Buffalo Beans

Some more photos from our trip to Blazingstar.

The yellow flowers are called Buffalo Beans. Weird eh? Liz is a nature gal and knows all the cool names of stuff. The dogs sure look pretty in them!

Vito, making sure I was coming!

Handsome Tinbie

Vito, in a hurry to somewhere

Tinbie, flirting with death (Vito)

Tinbie, remembering about
looking pretty? among the buffalo beans

suspicious vito- does Liz have cookies, or not?

Catching her breath before she and Puffin took off again.
Thanks Liz for letting us come out! It was great fun- next time we'll go on a hot, river day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

A trip to Blazingstar!

The dogs and I went out to Blazingstar this afternoon for a bit of training, followed by a walk. It is good to train at Liz's because there are TONS of distractions, and some feedback! It was a nice training session that ended with an even better walk.

Poor Pixel didn't get to come along on the walk though- and she was not very happy about it either. I did that for a few reasons- A)I wanted Wicca to come along and Wicca and Pixel play too much. B) Pixel needs to save her energy, well her excitement at least! and C) She just had a bath a few weeks ago and I really didn't feel like bathing her (plucking out burrs etc.) if I didn't have to..

Anyway- the walk was great and it was fun to watch Brit and Puffin play. They had a blast chasing each other and generally just being crazy. They are well matched speed wise- and took turns being the chaser, and the chasee.

If Brit stopped moving Tinbie made his move.... lol 

Wicca had SO much fun crittering

Boone was off in his own little world- he found the river twice, and just ran around all by himself.

Notice the flatcoats stay close, and my dogs are almost out of sight...

It's so beautiful there!

I told Vito to do something interesting for a 52 weeks photo, so he pee'd on the tree and touched his nose with his tongue. Something about talent perhaps? lol

Brit was a total flirt with Tinbie, but managed to stay out of reach...

Wicca found some gross good stuff to roll in

when I got home all the dogs are chill, except Pixel. Miss crazy eyes brought me her hippo to throw...
maybe I should have just let her come on the walk!

It's coming!

Regionals are a week away. Really. A week! I am not sure how time can go by so fast when sometimes it feels like I'm at a stand still. But I can feel the excitement building, and I think I am starting to look forward to it!

The excitement for this sort of thing is contagious. This year we have more GDG students competing for their first time, and they are all excited, and a little nervous. ;)

This is Pixels second Regionals. Last year was her debut and she did fantastic. I think she was clean in almost all the runs, and got both gambles. We were very prepared and had trained hard prior to the event. She placed 2nd. Squashed between two very fast, and talented Papillons. It was a great weekend.

This year things are a little different. No Wicca (which hurts my heart still). And I am not afraid to admit that my training hasn't been as good. The training I have done has been good- little bits here or there- but nothing hardcore like last year. You see Wicca was the reason that things had to be so hardcore, so MUCH training. I have felt like Pixel doesn't really need that- or do well with that. So instead we have been doing small amounts. Mostly gamble skills, and some basic handling drills. And I am left with this feeling of not being very prepared.

But we are, and we will do fine. My dog has good skills. And so do I. With Pixel I have this strange confidence that I never had with Wicca. In part because Pixel does what the momma says, and as long as I keep my shit together we do well. Pixel is not a free thinker.  ;)

This weekend I will do some handling drills, and  I will do one more Prep class- a gamble, and then before you know it, it will be Friday and I'll be in Medicine Hat at Regionals.

This week will fly by I'm sure!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If Practice makes perfect...

Then it's not surprising that NOT practicing makes crap.

In the past few months Scenthurdle has dropped off my schedule. And well, it showed when I finally went to a practice on the long weekend. Brit and Pixel were both dorks. 

Brit forgot how to use her nose. In fact she forgot to even fetch the dumbbell once (as evident in the photo below). She redeemed herself though and did bring it back the second time I sent her but I do wonder what she was thinking. lol.

I'm coming back for the cookie!!!
oh yeah, this thing!
is this the right one?
maybe you would prefer two?
she's got the jumping down pat though!
 Pixel was CRAZY excited, so excited that missed some jumps, and was drooling so much on the return that she dropped the dumbbell. Geez. Look at her eyes. Thats some crazy.

and Rocky- the loaner height dog. ;) He is a rescue Pembroke that belongs to a friend. I am training him to be a height dog on our team so Pixel doesn't need to race every single heat. He is a good boy- very enthusiastic. But needs a lot of work- he is a party animal so is always into whatever looks the most fun- and often that's not his dumbbell. The hard part with training a loaner dog is the lack of relationship. Rocky sees me as the cookie lady, which is good. But not much else. lol. We have to work on that!

After the disaster that was practice I added some scent articles to both Brit and Pixels training at home. Pixel is a pretty solid scenting dog but needs to remember to hold it until I take it from her. After our issue in the open ring I am enforcing that for every single thing related to dumbbells. And Brit needs to learn scenting so articles are essentially the same thing! Tonite she did awesome. But there was low distraction and excitement. Tomorrow we'll up the distraction a bit! If the rest of Brit's team is ready they may be racing in July. It wouldn't look very good if the team captains dog forgot to retrieve her dumbbell.....

Now if only I had some spare time....

PS. Photos by Wendy!

If you inspire others....

Vito's Life Lessons Week 20

If you inspire other to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader...


I got a lot of great photos this weekend- but I kept coming back to this one. Togo (the guardian dog) was enthralled with my little dogs. Especially Vito. It was interesting to watch him follow them around, and even mimic them at times. He actually tried to play with them! He is a pretty mellow dog so it was neat to see him get a little wild. lol. This photo was taken on a morning walk through the field. Vito was looking for gophers, and Togo was checking each hole that Vito already had.

In looking for quotes and ideas to go along with the photo I came across this one by John Adams. I instantly connected to it- my dogs are my inspiration. Truly. They make me want to be a better dog owner, a better trainer, and a better handler.

And being Corgis (or part corgi) the short ones really do think they are in charge. ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hey Ewe!

I got my eye on ewe

not a lamb, but not quite a ewe

pissed off at ewe

hey, ewe got something on your face

ewe look so soft
she's watching ewe all