Sunday, December 29, 2013

That Feeling

Due to the wacky weather we've had the past few weeks (i.e COLD, WIND, SNOW, -50C) I haven't had much opportunity to work the dogs. Hopefully we are past that now and can get back to regular training.

They are good dogs, but have lots of work that needs to be done! Today my friend Cindy and I went out to Altapete and worked dogs with Jenny. It was SUPER windy, but still a nice afternoon. It was nice to work in a big field again.

Leo is still struggling with driving. And Brit is still struggling with open flanks on a drive. She just doesnt' see the need I guess. lol. So we worked bits on that. But mostly it was just fun being on the field with them. That feeling never gets old!

Photos by Jenny Glen, with fancy editing by me. ;)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

52nd Week

I can hardly believe it! The last week. The last photo in Brit's set. It has been an interesting year in real life, but according to Brit's set it has also been an awesome one. Looking back on it made me smile.

Here is the last photo of the set. There is always a "passing over the reigns" challenge- to include the dog that is going to participate next year. Leo is my obvious choice- the newest of the dogs, and the only one that hasn't gotten to play yet. It will be a fun year of photographing him. He is hilarious, and serious, and smart, and just a handsome guy. I am looking forward to it!

And here is the link to the rest of her set.

50 photos in total- I missed only two weeks this year. One because of the move, and another because I was having a bad week. Not too shabby really! ;)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Look! No Snow!

The horrible wind has been here for a while- and although it's a pain in the butt... It makes our snow disappear!

So I present happy dogs playing on dead grass. ;)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Peaceful Christmas

I had a great Christmas. Family, Friends, all so, so awesome. I was completely spoiled. I cooked Christmas Dinner- with help from my sister. No one died of food poisoning, so I'll take it as a success! I've still got some days off which is fantastic. I'm looking forward to some RnR. I don't go back to work until Jan 4th!!! Lucky, Lucky me.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Be Merry

Merry Christmas Everyone!

photos courtesy of Paws on the Run Photography :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Progress in All Things


shopping is all done, presents wrapped. even took my nephew shopping for his parents today. it was pretty adorable. 


my grampa is mostly feeling ok. my aunt is on the mend (she had a heart attack). and my mother is strangely normal. i had a conversation with her today. it was odd. but nice. my dad is stressed about money and all the presents my mom made him buy. lol. it's all very normal. i like normal. 


only two more work days left until a little holiday. can. not. wait. we are closed between christmas and new years every year. it is the most wonderful work tradition. 


i am having a birthday in a bit. i forget how old i am going to be. 31? 32? math escapes me, but it doesn't matter much anyway. i've never been one to care about birthdays. 


dogs brushed, some bathed, nails done (they were overdue!), teeth cleaned on the oldies, they look clean and shiny. 


leo's targeting on his contact board is awesome-sauce. ;) Yes, I said awesome-sauce. He actually broke his little board because he pushed off so hard.. will have to rebuild one. starting in the new year i will have a regular place to train contacts once a week. we are **very*** excited about that.


we built a pen today. it looks pretty spiffy. finally the cold spell has broke, and we hopefully can work dogs more frequently again! leo's driving is getting better- slow and steady. brit is still zippy. except when she's not. but we are talking about progress so we won't talk about how she was chased be a nasty ewe today....

so here's to progress! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Arena trial video

Video! I did not have time to get Brit's recorded. Which is too bad as I would like to watch her stand up for herself one more time. It was great.

But here is Leo's.

I was surprised when he ran up the middle. Not like him at all- but he was pretty pumped up. And even more surprised when he tried to cross over and go the wrong way. lol. But after that the outrun and lift was nice. He did not take the come bye flank I gave him- but apparently he didn't need it as the sheep went to the correct side anyway.

And then we run into trouble. Leo doesn't know how to just walk into his sheep and push on them. He will stand and stare, and take the odd step, but I have to really encourage him. So even going around the post I had to help him. And then the drive was hard even with me there to help him. I should have just fetched them to me- that's allowed in novice. But I wanted to try. We got it done, but it took forever. lol

The pen was hilarious. Because that was pure luck. Truly. But I'll take it. ;)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Busy weekend

Saturday: Scenthurdle Race in Calgary
Left at 5am. Our team rocked. I love the people on my team. Everyone is so awesome. Brit and Pixel both got two races each. They had lots of fun.

Sunday: Highwood Stockdog Arena trial. Brit has moved up a class- she is in ranch now. A full drive. :). She was great today. Even when she got stomped off the pen. She came back and worked that ewe- we got the pen. Placed second in our class with full points. We even won back our entry $!

Leo is in novice. He did so good. He's so Into his sheep sometimes that he forgets to listen. So we had a few little blips- and the drive was awful. But I expected that as he has barely learned it. That's our winter project. :). He did well enough for second place in his class though!

So very happy with both dogs. It was a great day. And we even ended early!! So bonus!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

12 Months for Dogs

One project done, and another just a few weeks left. Crazy to think that a whole year has gone by.

Here are 11 photos of my manymuddypaws over the past year. I missed a month apparently. ;)

Friday, December 13, 2013

And the sun came out...

The sun came out today, and what better luck than to have a few hours of daytime to enjoy it. This is exactly the boost I needed.

The dogs and I had a glorious walk this morning. I even brought my camera! First time in a very long time that I have taken photos other than the required project photo. It felt great. I sat in the snow for half an hour and watched the dogs play and burn off some steam. The payoff of that is now they are all crashed at my feet.

I won't dwell on the fact that I know Wicca will be lame when she gets up. I gave her some Metacam when we got home. I know. It's not ideal. I thought I would never do that. But the amount of fun she had today outweighs that. <3

So, I present happy dogs playing in the snow. Vito and Boone were there, promise. lol. But off doing their own thing, as per usual... Boone might be getting a GPS collar from Santa....

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Winter is still here. And I'm busy, and cold, and tired, and maybe a little cranky.

I need more sun. It's dark all the time. I havent taken my camera out of the bag in over a week! i even missed my 52weeks project last week. :( I am crabby, and not in the mood I guess.

I am not a fan of shoveling. Hopefully our crazy winds will get here and stay here and blow it all away as per normal. This snow that sticks around is a pain in the butt!

I cannot believe it's only mid December. A few more months to go of this.

Speaking of mid December. It's mid December! I have done barely any Christmas shopping. My list is small but lots of hard to shop for people. I should have done more online shopping but that's a hard thing to do when you're a procrastinator. ;)

Friday, December 06, 2013

Too Cold

I have been cold all week. I cannot warm up. Even at night, even after a hot shower. It's getting old fast. Probably has a lot to do with the temperatures this week. -41 C with the windchill. Serious. That is cold. Colder than normal too. I don't remember it staying this cold for as long ever before. I know, it's winter. But it's barely winter... we needed a bit of a gradual cold.

The dogs are a little stir crazy- when it is this cold they don't last long outside. I do have boots for some of them. But Wicca and Pixel have never been succesful at keeping them on. And I tried to put some on Leo and he fell over. lol. It is not worth it really- so we have been doing things in the house to tire them out.

With six active dogs in the house- I have to be pretty creative but here are some of the things we do. Some things are just normal training things, but others are just for fun.

Peanut Ball- this tires them out physically and mentally.
Food Games- I have a few of the plastic Nina Ottoson games, they all know the trick to them already, but it is still entertaining.
Find it games- depending on the dog the game varies. For instance Wicca looks for wintergreen (for nosework), Pixel looks for her dumbbell, and the other dogs search out a food container.
Shaping- I used to just shape tricks, but after the Sue Ailsby course I use shaping to get movement and thinking too! So for example I'll choose head motion and shape a nod, or a headshake. Or I'll choose feet and get high steps, or single leg lifts. I set a timer- 2 minutes. This probably tires them out the most.
Tricks- so many tricks, so little time! Brit recently has perfected the dead dog, and is working on roll over. Pixel is learning how to take a bow, and Leo is learning how to wave. V is learning how to say his prayers. I choose pretty random things each time, and have lots of half learned things that aren't on cues yet. So sometimes I'll finish off one of those.
Training- working on specific things for each dog. (the ones that are training for something anyway!). Go outs, scent discrimination, signals for Pixel. Stays, transition games, and finishes for Brit. Targeting, backchaining on the contact board, and impulse control games for Leo. Wicca does cavaletti's, and back ups, and stretches for her physical problem.

Some of these things can be done in 10-15 minutes, and others require a bit more time. But really- I am telling the truth- I can tire these dogs out way quicker mentally than physically. And on bitter cold days like this, I am grateful for that !

If I had the space I'd get a treadmill, but I just do not have the room for one in my tiny little house. Maybe one day. When I win the lottery (which is a post for another day...)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Blizzard Warning

December arrived with a Blizzard. Our area actually had a "blizzard warning"- which I have never heard of before. lol. We got a lot of snow. And of course Wind. So the snow drifts are high, and solid. So winter will be here for at least a solid week is my guess- maybe longer if the temperature stays cold (our average this week is around -21 C). 

Last night we got so much snow that today was declared a snow day by most places- including our University! Which is amazing. Oh, and my work. ;) 

So I am enjoying an extra day at home with the crew. We shoveled (here is Boone helping), played, braved the roads to check on the shop cat, had a play, and now are tucked in at home.

Heading over for some craft fun at my sisters, and then coffee with some friends. A great Snow Day indeed. ;)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Family Snapshot

11/12/MMP Snapshot, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

I posted this to flickr, and to facebook. So it's a repeat for some. But none the less- my November submission for the Flickr Group- 12 months for dogs.

Each month I take a group photo, and it seems as the year goes on I am more and more rushed. lol. Regardless, I think they are adorable despite the crappy photo. <3

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Shopping for Grampa

My Grampa has cancer. And he will die very soon.
What Christmas gift do you buy a person who is dying of cancer?
It is completely impossible and hurts to think about. 

I have been mostly okay with the fact that my Grandpa has only a few months to live. I am sad in little bits, and mostly just keep busy to cope.  And then I was reminded I need to buy him something for Christmas. Geez.

It completely breaks me. Completely.

We found out a few weeks ago. He was getting dizzy, and not feeling well. He hasn't been in the best health lately- he has emphysima, and has complications that go along with that. But due to the dizzy spells my Aunt took him to the doctor.


A mass in his brain. And his lung, and a suspicious mass in his abdomen.

It is treatable to an extent. But my Grampa has chosen not to treat it, and rather just live out the next few months as best as he can. Without treatment the doctors estimate that he has a few months.

My Grampa is a quiet man. Growing up he didn't have much to say, and let my Gram do most of the talking. So trying to get him to talk about this, and how he feels is impossible. Instead when I call we talk about the weather, and how he feels health wise, and what he had for supper the night before. Things that don't matter. But I guess to him, those are the things that do matter. The things that are okay to talk about, without dealing with the emotional side of it.

And that brings me to the gift. I barely know what to say to him. Let alone buy him somthing for Christmas.  Should I buy him the same old thing- a Home Depot gift card, some chocolate, and a crossword book? What if he doesn't get around to spending it? Should I try and find something that has more meaning. Something that he can do. Right now. Before he runs out of time? I am at a complete loss.

It brings me to tears when I think about it. And I am not a person who cries. Like ever.

My parents are flying out Saturday to see him. Spend some time with him. I won't be able to go until January. We have some serious issues at work staff wise, and I don't want to go too soon. Or too late. The rest of my extended family are also making plans to go and visit. So we are trying to plan it so there aren't too many people at once. January will be better work wise (hopefully), and the Christmas rush will be over family wise.  He is still feeling pretty good for the most part. A little trouble with his speech and dizzy spells, but otherwise pretty normal. My hope is that can continue to be that way until after Christmas.

It seems weird to be planning this "one last visit"- It breaks my heart to think that I may never see him again. I am so thankful to have spent those few weeks with him this past Summer. We made some good memories. Memories that I will need.

When my Grama died I had nothing but regret and pain for a long time. Regret that I didn't make more time for such an important part of my life. Regret that I didn't get to say goodbye. And so much heartache. So I am determined to make the best of the time that is left. And I've been calling him regularly. It is hard to talk about the weather, and the football game, and all that trivial stuff. But soon I won't have even that so I will cherish each time I get to hear his voice.

As I write this it comes to me that maybe the perfect gift for him is just the regular old thing. The stuff he loves, the stuff he likes to do. So what if he might not be able to finish the project he's been working on- I think it will be important for him to keep on the best he can. And for us to support that.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Just Leo

he is just such a good boy. <3

Sunday, November 24, 2013

7 years old!!!

Today Vito turned 7 years old!!! Where does the time go??? He doesn't seem 7. It seems so odd.

In any case he had a fantastic day (although, every day is a fantastic day for the dog that doesn't listen. lol).

We met up with Wendy (his most favorite person) and did some fun Birthday photos. Wendy is learning how to work with flash, and lights, in a more studio type setting. It was fun, and Vito enjoyed all the cookies he got for being a model. ;)

Here are just a few of my favorites!


me and my V. <3

thinking about cake.

happy guy.

he hated the hat. lol. But what birthday is complete without a hat?!

I love this naughty dog. So here's to many more years of badness.  Keep on being V. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

An instant.

How quickly things can change.

One phone call.
One instant.
One second in time.

If nothing else it puts things into perspective.

Say what you've been meaning to. Don't waste a second of your life. Talk to those that are important in your life.  Make that call you've been putting off. Because you never know.

My dogs are all just fine. So don't worry about them.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


The thing I want most from my dogs when we are in the obedience ring is attitude. A good one. Some excited animation, a wagging tail, a hop to their step. Fun.

Thankfully I had all that and more for most of the weekend. This past weekend was our local Dog Show. Aside from ring stewarding and working, I also had Pixel and Brit entered in Obedience.

Pixel was wonderful. So. Much. Wonderful.
She was happy and bouncy, and did almost all of the exercises right. Friday and Saturday she did something she had never done before- anticipated the recall! And then of course had a perfect drop, and then call to front. Sunday she held the sit, but missed the drop. lol. AND THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED! She held her out of sight sit. That three minute out of sight sit has been an issue since the very first weekend in Open. And she nailed it today. I am just so thrilled with that. We still need that elusive last leg, but we rarely trial so it may take a long time. I am okay with that. After this weekend I think we are closer than ever and I may do an early spring show to see if I can get it. If not, then our summer show will be the next time.

Jo videod my runs this weekend. Here is Pixels rounds from Friday and Saturday

Brit was a good girl. She gave me some great effort, and I am happy with that. Friday she was a little distracted but worked pretty well. She went down on her sit though!!! So we failed. Saturday she was brilliant. And I do mean brilliant. Happy, prancy heeling, wagging tail. A happy girl for sure. Perfect in all things. Her first qualifying score- a 190/200. Which is awesome. And then today she was weird. Spooked by something and I could not convince her to heel with me. It was pretty awful. I have never seen her like that. And I can't even pinpoint what it was. Maybe just sick of the dogshow? In any case I know she can do it! So we will continue to train and proof, and all that fun stuff.

Here is Brit's 190/200

We Scenthurdle Raced on Saturday. It was fun, although we only did a few races. Next year our team is splitting into two- which will increase our number of races per dog. Pixel raced once and was spot on, even after fumbling her first time. She gets drooling in anticipation of the cookies at the end and lost her grip. lol

And of course I have to talk about my awesome students!!!! So much awesome. So much great attitude. I loved it. They have all worked very hard and did amazing. Some new titles, and more importantly some new found confidence! :)

Monday, November 11, 2013