Friday, November 30, 2012

Dog on a Log

Explorer 11/12/2012 Pixel, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I'm a bad blogger.
So here's a dog on a log to entertain you.

Next week I'll be better.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Highwood Stock Dog Series

I love this stuff!!!

I had as much of an adrenaline rush today standing in the middle of a flour circle that I did running my dog in agility at Nationals. Seriously. So. Awesome.

I remember way back when I didn't even have Brit. I'd take Wicca out to Altapete once in a while with Sarah and Gyp, and watch in awe as Border Collies zipped around here and there. When Brit came into my life and I started Herding with her to give her something to focus on I never imagined we'd be able to actually do stuff! It sounds weird but it's totally true. lol

Today  I stood at a post (well, there was no post, but there was a flour ring I had to stay in) and directed my dog around a course and she did it! So. Cool. I love this stuff!

Today was the first in a Winter arena series. We are in the "Ranch" level which is the easiest one. The handler can leave the post to help with the chute. (a panel against a fence) There were 17 dogs entered.

Brit listened to me (mostly), and was just amazing. Her movement, power and speed gave the sheep no time to think about stalling, and even with a few little bobbles we still had Great runs! I am so proud of me! For thinking on my feet and remembering what I am supposed to do. And of course proud of Brit. What a dog she is. I am so lucky to have her as my first herding dog. She is just a darn good dog! She may not have a lot of eye, or be the most stylish dog out there but she gets the job done!

In the first round we placed 4th. I was not nervous until I stepped to the post, and then I may have stopped breathing for a second or two. But as soon as I sent her the nerves went away and we had a great time.  A super respectable run for our very first time! She handled the wiley sheep just fine and we had a fast pen time. We had a bobble around the post which cost us some time.

The second round I was a little more excited, less nervous. But the sheep had been getting progressivly worse as the day went on. Lots of face offs, gripping, and DQ's. Brit doesn't Grip. And she would never face off a Ewe. She is a chicken. So I knew I had to just keep her moving to get it done. And she did. And it was awesome. I just shut up and let her do her job. And we came in 1st. Which floored me. Seriously.

Herding is such a crapshoot. Sheep can be difficult. It's hard to plan for stuff when you have three (or more) other living, breathing, thinking things to plan around. It is all about the moment- what the sheep give you and what you tell your dog to do. (and what the dog does...) all play a role in how well you do. I am a SUPER novice. I mean, the 200 foot outrun we did today is the biggest we've done. lol. But already I can see that- it is a lot about luck, and a good dog, and quick thinking. ;)

What an adventure this dog has taken me on so far. Who would have thought. Really. 

The next trial is just a few weeks away and I can't wait. I already booked a lesson for this week to work on a few things. Like "There" which I could have used a hundred times over today.....

Enough chatter- here's the video. I combined the two runs so it is like 6 minutes long and will be boring unless you like sheep, and dogs, and in particular Brit. ;) I've watched it a few times already....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Birthday V!

 Vito is 6 years old today. I can hardly believe it!! He is still adorable, charming, naughty and oh so squishy. I adore him.

Today I was able to give him all of his favorite things- the Beach, Lacey, Cake, a Car Ride, and Sheep!!!

I put together a little video of the day. It's cute, and the photos are awesome- thanks for all the beach photos Wendy!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012


A few weeks ago Wendy and I went out for a walk together and she snapped these of Mr.Handsome.

What am I going to do with a dog that no one wants??!!! He is so handsome, and such a good boy. His issues are easily managed and he has made great progress in the people department. And his stock work is getting better and better even though I barely work him.

I am going to get him up on Petfinder through the rescue and see if I get any decent hits on him. He is not your average dog though so I do worry a bit about that.

Thanks to Wendy for the fabulous photos!!! I love them!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Yesterdays One Good Thing

Sheepherding was fabulous. I managed to figure something out that was hard. Brit listened mostly and had a fabulous time. Leo was a rock star. I wish I had video of that moment where he walked in on a difficult Ewe until she changed her mind. Such a powerful dog he is.

That's about all that was good about yesterday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Glass is always empty

I admit to being a pessimist. I struggle with positive thinking- always have. Just part of who I am I guess. I do manage to combat that was pure sarcasm and a sense of humour, but still doubt and negative responses are always at the back of my mind.

Don't take that the wrong way- I am not completely grumpy and angry all the time. But I am quick to think the worst...Especially when it comes to my dogs.

A few weeks ago I noticed Pixel was slouching on her sits in Obedience. Not all of them- just the set ups for the end exercises. I started paying closer attention and low and behold she also is kicking out her back right leg.

Rest, Traumeel, and Massage from Magic-Fingers Sarah seemed to help. Pixel never appeared lame- but just oddly uncomfortable at times.

Immediately all I can think about is a back problem. And then I wonder about Hip Displasia- which would be much better than a disc issue. Or maybe it is a illiospoas thing? Or maybe she just needs an adjustment. Her pelvis has been out before...

I had decided to wait to find out until after this weekend to find out. Well you read how that went. So we will be heading off to see our trusty Vet in Calgary to see what she can feel, and what she thinks.  I also am going to take her for Hip Xrays- just to be sure. I can't get in until the first week of December. So until then Pixel is on light duty only. Lots of long leash walks, and no wrestling.

I am so incredibly frustrated that it seems to be one thing after another with my dogs. Particularly the Corgis. I am 110% sure that I will never have another. I love so much about them, but the risk of injury is far too great with a breed that is not structurally balanced. In my opinion of course.

I am gearing myself up for some heartache in the near future. I am trying not to think the worst, but it is tough. I've been here a few times now and it is not something I'd reccomend. Anyway, I feel like I am stuck in one of those cartoons where the raincloud just keeps following the dude around raining on his parade. It's tiring.

I realise that this has not been a very uplifiting post. So here, have a Vito Hug.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Complicated

It's over. The Local show has come and gone. It's a lot more work when you are part of the club. Lol. But it wasn't too bad and for the most part was a good weekend! Even though it is a small club most of the members were out in full force helping out where they could.

The uncomplicated good news first! Brit earned her Rally Novice title this weekend. With two 94's. The second score was good enough for High in Trial even!! I'm pretty proud of her. She was a little nervous but worked through it and was even a little goofy in the ring- poking me for cookies.  I have her runs on video- Ill add them later.  Brit also ran in her very first scenthurdle races!! She was flawless and had a great time. She is very excited about this game!!

The bad news. Pixel. Oh Pixel. She was pretty good and up at the match on Friday. Saturday morning we go into the ring and she pees. Like a lake. I don't think she was stressed. And it is pretty unusual for her to just pee like that. So I'm going to start giving her cranberry stuff for a bit and keep an eye on her. Maybe a bladder infection. Maybe she just had to pee. Or maybe this is related to the other issue.. (which is a blog post comin soon) The second trial she was kind of flat and a little off. The video doesn't look too bad but I could feel and then see that she isn't herself.  Something is going on. We NQd that trial when she sat up on her down....  I pulled her from Sundays trial. If she isn't feeling well I don't want her associating that with the ring. I am very dissapointed though. I thought she was ready. And I thought I would wait until after this weekend to figure out what the heck is going on with her. But apparently that was not meant to be. :(

And the bittersweet news. I am happy to say that Wicca earned her RAE in style with a 98 and a High in Class in the very competitive Excellent B class. Pretty good for a dog that hasn't been worked in over a year. It was pretty great to have her with me in the ring. We were both a little rusty in the does trial- had to redo a sign!! (first time I've had to redo a call front. Lol). But by the time the excellent course came around we were in the groove for sure. Man I love this dog. So I am thrilled to have had a chance to take her in one last time. But it made me sad all over again!! She loved it. I loved it. And she can't play. It's crappy.  And she really can't play. Those two rounds took a lot out of her. She is sore and I had to give her am extra dose of traumeel and I even broke down and gave her some metacam yesterday afternoon.  Her back is sore and twitchy. From a combined three minutes in the ring. Sigh.  It does confirm that I've made the right decision for my dog. Sometimes I have doubted that a little.

So although I am happy with all the success and fun this weekend, I am also feeling a little sad.
As the post title suggests- It's Complicated.

I do have video that I will post later today or tomorrow. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dog Show Weekend

The Kennel Club dog show weekend totally snuck up on me!! All of a sudden today is Friday. Geez! I am very excited though. It will be a fun weekend. Dog shows "at home" are great fun. Visiting friends, hanging out, and yet I can still go home to get away from the hairspray and the "smell" that all dog shows seem to have. It will be wonderful.

The girls are entered in various things.

Brit is making her Scenthurdle Debut. I am nervous but I think she is ready, and she really does love it. I also have her entered in two Rally trials. She got a Rally novice Q a long while ago and hasn't been in the ring since- so I'll be sending all the confidence I can muster down the leash to her!

Pixel is entered in Open. Three trials. We only need one, but I entered some "insurance" runs just in case. She has been super solid in training so here's hoping I have happy Pixel tomorrow!!! She is only running one race in Scenthurdle. But more about that later.

And the Woo!!! Wicca is entered in Advanced and Excellent Rally. To finish of her RAE title. She has had a year off from all things fun and strenuous on her little body. But she has been sound for months so here's hoping that a little heeling, and two jumps aren't going to do any damage. We haven't practiced much so we may be little rusty, but she's a great obedience dog so I think we will be just fine. I am so excited to have her next to me in the ring again. I can't even explain it.

The action starts today, and I'm running an Obedience/Rally Match tonite at the show. I've still got plenty of things to do to get ready for that though. lol. Like finding a Rally Judge.... anyone? ;)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Gaggle of Corgis?

A group, a flock, a gaggle?? Whatever it is multiple Corgis are pretty darn cute!

left to right- Pixel, Wicca, Sunar, Vito, Rocky. 

Sunar and Rocky belong to a friend of mine. Sunar is a half sister to Wicca, and Rocky was a rescue that I suckered, I mean adopted to a friend....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

Snowy Leo

Leo LOVES snow. Like is happy to play in it all day. He doesn't seem to get cold. Ever. I guess he was probably used to it in his past life.

He continues to improve socially- really that is his only issue at this point. He is super easy to live with, quiet, laid back and mellow in the house, ready to go when you are. Doesn't bug the cats, has been great meeting new dogs, and is just an all around good boy.

He is happy and relaxed in the house now- not as jumpy and sketchy as he was. He doesn't get into anything and is totaly trustworthy.

Meeting people is still hard for him. He is friendly, but is easily startled. And if he is wound up I don't trust him at all with other people. I am not afraid that he will bite me at all anymore- he trusts me 100% and I can jump around and screach, and flap my arms and he thinks its funny- not a threat. So that has been big progress!

We've been working on some clicker training games to teach him that it's okay to learn and that any effort gets rewarded. He is a pretty challenging dog because he so easily gives to pressure. I've stopped offering him a treat from my hand as that would shut him down sometimes. Instead he catches, or I toss it on the ground. He has improved a lot since I figured that out.

Still no bites for a home for him. I haven't advertised except word of mouth and facebook though. I am so worried he will bite someone and be in trouble... Oh Leo. What are we going to do with you!!!

It's a good thing he is so easy. Although now I wish we hadn't named him Leo. It sounds too much like Vito that when V gets in trouble Leo is sure it is his fault...  But I figured he wouldn't be around long so it didn't worry me at first....

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I Heart Herding.

Seriously. Best thing ever.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Swimming in November...

The dogs and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and went out to Park Lake. There wasn't a soul around so it was completely perfect! The dogs even swam a bit! The photos aren't great (I had the camera on the wrong setting for most of them) but they are still cute...


rolling on goose shit

sharing. sorta


blinded by the light

Five dogs on a rock
Don't be too jealous, we are supposed to get some snow again on Friday...

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Couch Hogs

I think I need another couch....