Friday, May 31, 2013


Under the Rainbow 22/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

Is Friday, and a cute dog under a Rainbow.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The one and only


She is going grey very fast these days. Still acting spunky and stuff- but her colors sure are changing! So I'm going to start taking even more photos of her. lol. Hopefully no one will get sick looking at her. ;)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Leo Update

So it's been two months since I decided that Leo needed to stay permanently as one of the crew. Since that time I have fallen in love with him. He is still full of quirks, but I really do love him. He is a fantastic combination of sweet and fiery. Willing to snuggle on your lap, or ready to work at a seconds notice. He is intense in his work- all work, any work. Sheep, or Agility. But has an awesome off switch. Love him.

He is learning a lot and is like a sponge- soaking it all in.

We've got the real life skills down pat, he understands basic obedience, and has decent manners. I will never trust him completely around people- but in most situations he is happy and friendly and wanting to meet people. It's fast movement, and the sudden surprises that he doesn't like. He's accustomed to the halti now and wears it without issue on leash walks, and stuff we do in public.

Leo loves to work sheep, and is pretty amazing. He learns fast, and never stops trying. There is a lot of natural talent in him- and he has been a lot of fun to work lately. I was a tad bit frustrated (okay, a lot frustrated) when we first started because I could see that he could do so well but with me he was too fast and forward. After a lesson with Scott I've got him figured out. And what a difference all the real farm work has made- that combined with the frequency of the work has made him a completely relaxed dog on sheep.  Listening, trying, and doing it all with crazy style. I am looking forward to all of the things he will teach me this year with herding. He is so different than Brit- it is like a completely different game almost.

He is loving the agility training, and I am super pumped about getting back into it.  He is very sound, and has loads of drive and enthusiasm. I've been working all the foundation stuff for the last few months and he is tons of fun to train. We haven't left the backyard with it yet- but I'm pretty sure he will be keen anywhere. Just the other day I got my own set of 2 x 2's to teach weaves. He has caught on really quick and will be weaving very soon! It helps that he is super toy motivated now and is easily patterned. We are still working on targeting for contacts and as soon as I get my hands on some extra jumps we will start with the jump grids. So much fun.

And that's it for Leo updates. He's pretty awesome. Fits in (obviously), and is just a good boy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Photos Galore

Oh weekend, how I love you! I wish every day was a weekend. ;)

We did lots of fun things. Like the beach!

Boone- by Wendy. There is just one Boone, but a pretty fancy photoshop technique. ;)

Boone and Vito had a fantastic time at the beach yesterday. Boone loved the waves. (photo by Wendy)

Vito ran around like a yahoooo... -photo by Wendy

and played in the sand. for like half an hour. really. -photo by wendy
aside from the beach I also took the shorties to our local "Walk for Dog Guides" on Saturday which was fun- Wicca, Vito and Pixel had a good time, and it was for a good cause. Today I spent some time with my sister and nephew. Nolen  is getting so big. It's crazy how much he knows and talks. He's like a real person now. ;)

And what weekend would be complete without a little sheep action. Leo was incredible. Listening, and trying really hard. I was pretty happy with him today. Brit did well- but what we worked on was hard for her. She has a hard time pushing into the sheep. But I kept my patience and she worked through it. It was actually hot out today too which didn't really help- but still a great afternoon!

Oh, and I started teaching Leo how to weave. I got my 2 x 2's the other day and I think he's gonna catch on pretty darn quick. He's already driving through and looking for the entry from all different angle. I'll work another day or so on just that and then add the second set. It's very exciting!

(i have photos of both the last two things- but blogger is being stupid and won't let me upload for some reason...)

Friday, May 24, 2013


I have been working with a Service Dog in Training for the last few months. Just once a week sessions to keep the Puppy Raiser on track and help to work through any issues or problems. It has been a lot of fun, and really interesting.

Darwin is a 10 month old Standard Poodle who is working towards being a Psychiatric Service Dog.  He has just a few months of General training before he will get started on the hard stuff.

The first time I met Darwin I was shocked at just how together he was. I mean, a 6 month old Poodle puppy that isn't bouncing his way around the room?! His intelligence and temperament are pretty astounding for such a young dog (poodle).

He has been living with a puppy raiser in a rural area, and they have done a fantastic job with him. However he is at the point where he really needs exposure to city life, sights and sounds to be able to move ahead in his training. So he made the move to the big city and will be heading to his temporary puppy raiser family tonite.

There he will continue to work on the basic skills, distractions, city life, new experiences and all that jazz. There's a lot to learn when you are destined to be a service dog! Thankfully Darwin is THE perfect candidate for this sort of thing and I am pretty sure he is going to be great at his job!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Random Photos of Cute Dogs

Boone played tug!

Briefly, until Pixel stole it with her super awesome tail...


And a Wicca

Monday, May 20, 2013

What a feeling!

What a great weekend I had! All the dogs had a great time- we stayed at a friends acreage so they got a ton of walks and such, and I took them all to the trial site so they all got to roll in sheep poo, and socialise. The weather was pretty good for the most part- only a tiny bit of rain and otherwise sunny or overcast. Perfect really.

The best part was my dog. Brit had a FANTASTIC time. She was keen and excited to work and tried so hard to do what I asked. I have a lot to learn- my timing was off, and I need to think quicker on my feet. Oh, and I need to work on my ability to see and follow an invisible straight line. It is tricky. lol.

But even with our bobbles I am just so impressed with my dog. She is just so amazing. It was an incredible feeling to stand at the post with her. I can't explain it.

Here is a break down of our three runs (as best as I can remember them....)

Saturday- 10pm. No video because it was too dark....
 Yes, you read that right. The day ran really late and unfortunately it was nearly impossible to see our dogs. I was the last of the group that chose to run- after my run it was even darker and not safe anymore. I didn't realise that we'd have to lift off a setter on horseback so was a bit concerned about that when I sent her- but she didn't even notice. In fact she didn't even bother to go around him when he was in her way... She was fast, but her outrun had decent shape- we had full points on our outrun and our lift! The fetch was a little offline but not too bad. She had the sheep running so the turn around the post was a little wild, and the drive was pretty awful. We lost a lot of points. lol. And we did not get the pen as the sheep would not settle and my dog wasn't helping by zipping here and there. We scored a 35.

In the daylight!
Brit knew exactly the game this time, and was a little snug on her outrun. I didn't want to take a chance to stop her so let her go. We lost only two points for it though. Her lift and fetch was not bad- we struggled to keep them online- I need to work on that- getting her to push in on them to change the line. It showed up in our other run as well. The exhaust is to the right in the video- where they are pulling to. So the turn around the post and the drive was a bit of a mess. I didn't really know how to set up the drive properly after the split at the post... I was proud of her when she covered the run aways though- she had to really motor to catch them and get control.  We played ring around the pen until we timed out. i couldn't seem to get them settled, or in the right spot. The pen is a real weakness for us as Brit struggles with confidence walking into their heads. We need to work on some upclose stuff for a bit I think to get some of that back. We ended up with a 35- same as Saturday.

 She cut in on her outrun so I stopped her and redirected to get a better top half. I was pretty impressed that she listened. lol. The outrun was definitely the longest she has done yet... Unfortunately she overflanked at the top and then was too tentative to put enough pressure on the comebye flank to push them back online. She should have been coming up the middle- not off to the side like she is in the video. The exhaust was over there- and the sheep knew exactly where they wanted to go. Brit covered though and did bring them to me. But we lost 7 points on our fetch...
The rest of the run I am pretty pleased with. The sheep were settled for the most part and I was pretty proud of her on the drive. She overflanks a bit- which is why they zigzag a bit- but I think that will come with more experience and a faster down.. Also watching the video I really should have just lied her down instead of flanking her anyway....  And we got the pen! Which was great. Truthfully the sheep pretty much knew the routine by then and had been going in pretty easily for most of the intermediate/novice class. But still- we got a pen!!! Our score was 50! Which is pretty awesome actually because we automatically lost 10 points for me walking on the drive with her- so really only10 points off for the other stuff!

This weekend was a fantastic experience- and a great first time I think! I am very proud of how far Brit and I have come. It's pretty amazing really. We have a lot to learn, and this weekend showed some pretty big gaps in our basic stuff so I've got some ideas of things to work on. I am completely hooked however- more so than before if that is possible. The next trial won't be until July. My goal is to have the drive by then! She is close- we just need to work on quick flanks, and faster stops....

Score Breakdown for those that asked. Each part is out of a total points, and then as you mess up you lose points. The Novice was out of 70. However, I lost 10 right off the bat because I chose to do a walk and drive- which is allowed, but penalized. Here is the score sheet from Monday- the only one I can find. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Real Thing

This weekend there is a Sheepdog trial. A real one. And we are entered!!!

My dog is not quite trained enough. And I don't have a ton of experience- I've only done it all together in practice two times! But we will have fun, and we will do our best. I mean how awesome is it that we are even close to being ready?!!!

The fantastic thing about this game is that you never really know what you are going to get until you are out on that field. The sheep play the main role. ;) So fingers crossed for a good, calm, sensible set of sheep for our first time.

Regardless of the outcome *the potential for running sheep, a dog who won't stop or listen at a distance, the disaster of driving, and the pen problems we have...*. It is absolutely amazing to think that we have made it this far. I mean, it doesn't seem like that long ago we were struggling to get any distance or shape on her outrun. Lie down was completely optional, and flanks were completely reliant on my body position. We still have MUCH to learn, and practice. But to think that I will be actually standing at a post at a field trial! Very, very cool.

Last year I did the CKC Arena trial- in the Started class, and this past winter the Arena trials and now the real thing. A pretty great progression I'd say! Anyway, I am very excited about the weekend. Seriously Awesome.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Carry On

If you're lost and alone
Or you're sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Carry on 
~ Fun 

I had some time yesterday to reflect on my problems, my thoughts, my blog post. I was angry. Angry at lots of different things. But yesterday was the last day- the last day that I allowed my problems to dictate how I feel. I am okay. And I will be okay. If there is one thing that I have learned lately it is that life goes on. Time stops for no one and there is no rewind button. If life came with a delete button wouldn't that be awesome. The road of our lives is full of twists and turns, and part of living is figuring that out. Which direction to take. I am ready to move forward, into my future. I am not sure what will be, but I am sure that it will be an adventure. 

I am not done with agility. It still is something I love. I will train Leo and see where that takes us. We may end up back in an agility ring one day. Time will tell. It is exciting to think that though. We've been training in the yard and stuff so later this summer I hope to start teaching him actual equipment. He enjoys it so far, and aside from being a little crazy is quite a perfect candidate for the sport.

Agility aside, I do a lot of other things with my dogs. It's not like they are lacking in the fun department. But I really, really miss it. So getting back to that would be pretty awesome. It's like that old pair of shoes you just can't throw away.
My mom is home from the hospital. With no further answers. It is frustrating. And although I am often angry at her, I had an actual conversation with her yesterday. And I realised that I missed her. For years I've missed her. But yesterday- she was clear, eyes wide open (literally). There is a glimmer of hope. I am not holding my breath that she won't sink back into the darkness- but I offered my hand to help her stay afloat regardless of that fact. 

One day I hope to look back on this blog post and know that this was the day that things started looking up. That I moved forward with my chin up, and eyes forward. That is what the point is you know. Carrying on, doing the best you can, and taking each step one at a time.   

P.S Can you believe the above photo was taken by an iphone?! Amazing really.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

I hate. That I hate.

I hate this feeling I have in my stomach.
I hate that I have quit Go Dog Go. Officially.
I hate Cancer. And all that goes with that. I especially hate the sadness.
I hate that my mother was released from the hospital. See ya they said. Good Luck they said.
I hate that the Tramadol doesn't seem to be working for Drew. On to the next step.
I hate that I am wallowing in self pity instead of enjoying this great weather with my dogs.
I hate that I pretend everything is okay, until it isn't.

I hate that I hate.

So, I will change the only thing on the list that I can.   Good thing the sky is blue, the sun is out, and my dogs are ready to go. We are off to the coulees to burn off some hate steam. Tomorrow is a new day. A new start. Hopefully without hate.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Heart 19/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

This photo is for my 52 Weeks Flickr Project. But I thought I'd post it here too..

There is so much that I love about this dog. But the thing I love the most is her heart. She is pure, and sweet, and just so full of Try.

She may not be perfect. But she is perfect for me.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Obedience and Sheep and other training things

Just an update about what we've been up to. More for myself- to look back on (my memory is awful, and I enjoy going back and reading my blog). I included photos to make it more interesting for you. ;)

I have been training Pixel at least once a week- sometimes more with Obedience stuff. We need only one more leg for her CDX. And I hope to get it this summer.... She is SO wonderful in training. Happy, prancy, and just really seems to understand the job. We have been working in new and different places and I've really amped up the distractions. This is a photo of her "audience" one day while training. Very realistic we thought. ;) She was quite scared of Santa when he was on the floor near her Drop on Recall, but once in the chair she figured he was alright.

On the herding front we are doing plenty. Scott and Jenny are off on their summer adventure so that means LOTS of sheep time for me and the Border Collies. I take full advantage and have been out twice a week- and even a few weekends.

bowling for sheep
Somehow I was convinced to run Brit in a trial next weekend. I had decided not to because we just aren't quite there. 100 yards is a long ways. lol. But I was told to suck it up and try. So we are... She is doing quite great actually- but she will never really have the eye she needs to control them. She uses her movement and enthusiasm. And if that fails she has nothing left. I am not sure how much of that can be built into a dog- but for now we are making due with what we have! The past few days I did manage to stretch her outrun to the hundred yards and she actually looked pretty good! Her stops and flanks at that distance aren't great but she is trying hard and having fun. The pen however is still haunting is. I am very doubtful that we will achieve that next weekend- but I will be thrilled if she brings me the sheep- step one! lol.

Leo is amazing. Really. He is so different than Brit. It is a completely different experience. His outruns are coming along nicely- and he finally understands that slow is often better. And he has stops now- and is calm(ish). All the farm work has made a big difference for him I think. We have a lot to learn still though- and I'm looking forward to that next step with him.

Boone chasing waves- photo by Wendy
The other dogs are busy doing dog things mostly- lots of walks, and training, and tricks and all that kind of jazz. Vito is back doing remedial recall work. lol. So that takes up a fair chunk of his training time. But Boonie has learned a few new tricks, and I'm teaching him right side heeling. Wicca is back having some fun- she isn't sore at all now and is back to herself. I still keep her some what toned down- but for the most part I let her do what she wants on walks and such.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A better day

Today was a better day. Some time to reflect and some time to just be.

I am very grateful for all of my friends. And to everyone for the supportive comments. So thanks.

photo by Wendy

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Lots of Stressful Things

Today was a very stressful day. I am unsettled and haven't stopped moving all day. Jittery almost. I think it will help me to write it down. Wether I hit publish or not I am not sure. But regardless to get rid of the stress I need to put it somewhere else. Outside of my head. Much like in dog training- a release of pressure is needed to move forward sometimes.

My friends dog had a part of her toe removed because she had a cancerous lump on it. Thankfully that went off without a hitch and hopefully all comes back good. Lacey is so young still! Cancer sucks- but hopefully this was caught in time and she will be good to go back to her cute little sassy self. It seems that there have been so many dogs that I have loved that have died, or are sick. I am really done with that.

I had booked an appointment for my old family dog to be euthanised. And then when I saw him I couldn't do it. It was not time. He is still happy, and only a little wobbly now and then. His quality of life is still pretty high. He likes to eat, he goes for walks and is just the same old Drew. However I did take him in to the clinic to talk about some pain management. At 11 years old he has some pretty severe arthritis going on. He just needs some help to keep his mobility. I was very relieved that he actually checked out pretty good. Now to wait and see if the tramadol helps, or if he will have to go on Metacam as well. I think he's got a good while left in him- he is the bestest dog in the whole world. So I am very glad that I went with my gut.

My Mother. Oh, my mother. She will be the death of us all I think. She struggles with some mental health problems, but on top of that has some severe health problems. Real problems that need to be addressed. But she won't help herself. I'm sure to be her doctor would be the most frustrating thing of all. She will not change or try. So my guess is that the doctor has stopped trying as well. Because I am not sure how even though my mother goes to the doctor every single week that she never ever gets better, or feels better, or is any different. She has given up living and is content to sit and watch herself die. Today she nearly did die. And you know what is the most awful thing? That just for a second I thought that maybe it would be good if she did. It has been hell. Pure Hell. Watching her die slowly. Becoming this person that none of us really know anymore. A shadow of her former self.  In any case, she is now in the hospital- and hopefully will get some things sorted out before they let her go home. My poor dad. He is sick with worry. :(

And on top of that it really hit me today. That things have changed. Like never to be the way they were. It is devastating really. Even though I've known for months. I think it is harder today because it was a tough day, so that when I thought about this other huge life changing problem it really just knocked me on my ass. Ugh, I hate being sad. And emotional. Tomorrow will be better. Such is life I suppose. One day I'll explain more about about this. But I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

Oh, and today I really, really miss my Grama.

Thankfully I have my most awesome dogs to come home to. Wicca is even snuggled with me as I type this. Which is completely out of character. But I'll take it.

Tomorrow will be better. Things have a way of looking better the next day. And although I am a pessimist by nature, I do try and roll with punches and make the best out of what I've got. And what I've got is some great dogs. Some awesome family. And a few really good friends.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Weekend in photos.

Brit and Pixel played Scenthurdle on Saturday. We had a great time!!

Saturday afternoon we headed to the farm for an overnight visit. And all day Sunday was spent hanging out, doing chores, playing with dogs, and of course a little sheepdog stuff in between. 

All of the dogs had a great time- there was much crittering, and sniffing, and rolling around. Here Wicca is supervising while I gave the Chickens new water etc. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Feelin' Good

Wicca seems to be back to her normal self. Which makes me happy. Now to keep her that way!