Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weekend at the Cabin

The "Cabin" is an old farm house moved to a gorgeous spot alongside the Winnipeg River. It is owned by my Uncle Dale. They are avid outdoors lovers- snowmobiling in the winter, and quading, boating, fishing, and tubing in the summer.

It was a great weekend- visiting, sitting around the fire, going in a boat!, swimming, and more.
We went swimming on a beach we had to take a boat to get to. It was awesome to see how brave Nolen got over the weekend in the water. The lifejacket really helped his confidence- even in the shallower water. We had a great time playing at the beach. But we won't talk about the leach. lol

The dogs experienced their first time off a dock- Brit fell in the first time before she was ready so took some convincing after that. But Leo was a super star and had no trouble jumping off for the toy. It was a bit tricky to get them out of the water- I wished I would have brought their harnesses. But regardless they had a great time.

I only took photos on Sunday- and here are just a few of my favorites! It was so beautiful. The photos don't do it justice.

the path to the dock. V is on a leash because he really loved the squirrels.

half way down to the dock


waiting for the release

two swimming collies

Leo ready for another throw!
It is a huge river- resembles a lake more than a river. The only evidence of it being a river is the dam at one end, and a few spots where there is an actual current. The scenery on the river is amazing. I am sad I only brought my camera on Sunday as the places we went to Saturday were breathtaking. I loved all the rocky shoreline, and the trees were fantastic. It was VERY hard to take photos while on the boat. It is a more than a little bumpy. lol

the turtles!!! so cute!

The boats themselves were a ton of fun. I'd never been on a boat before. So it was a new experience. I loved it. I was not brave enough to try the tube though. After seeing my cousin go flying out of it cemented my thoughts about that. lol. Sabrina and Nolen went though, and were awesome. Nolen did great. I love seeing him so happy and excited! Kids are awesome.

my cousin Kyle- who is a pro as he has grown up doing crazy stuff

Sabrina and a very excited Nolen

the boat and tube

ready for action!

Nolen was so excited to ride with Kyle. He really looked up to him.

Speeding on by!

They showed Nolen where the horn was on the way back...

We are back at my Aunts now, one more week of visiting. I am spending most of the week at the house, visiting my Grampa. Time is flying by and I want to get in as much time with him as possible!

I am missing my other dogs a lot. Two weeks is a very long time. I've been assured that everyone is doing well though. Even Wicca who has been very naughty. Apparently there are quite the stories to be told on her return home....

Friday, August 23, 2013

10 Years Young

Boone is ten years old on Saturday. Time has been zipping by and all of a sudden I have a ten year old dog!

Not that he acts like a ten year old dog. Boone is in a chronic state of a four year old. Not as immature as a puppy. But never an adult. He is still super quirky and it looks like he will never outgrow that. I chalk all his weirdness up to a part of who he is. The poking (he pokes inanimate objects, and crotches). The morning butt rubs against the couch (it's quite the scene sometimes). The alarm barking at nothing (sometimes things but he saves the best barking for nothing). See, charming. :)

So a big happy birthday to the bestest spotty dog. I couldn't imagine my life without him! He has taught me a lot. About dogs. And training. And patience. And the value of just letting a dog "be who they are." He is one of those dogs that came into my life to teach me something- not the other way around.

I am still on holidays. 1200 kilometers away from him. But I know that he is in great hands. :) We will celebrate his birthday with the traditional ice cream when I get home.

Here's to many more birthdays for the little fuzz head!

Thanks to Wendy for the gorgeous photo!!! It's a keeper. And may need to be framed on my wall. :)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Road Trip!

Today is my last day of work for two whole weeks. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

My sister (and nolen) and I are Winnipeg bound to see my Grampa and various aunts and uncles. It is going to be awesome.

I am also going to Saskatchewan next weekend for the Canadian border collie finals- that was the initial reason for the drive that way so I'm pretty excited about that. I'm not entered but am working all weekend. It will be a fun time I am sure!

And then back to Winnipeg for a week of more visiting and relaxing. I hear the Mosquitos aren't too bad there! Lol

12 hours of driving should be interesting. I've never driven that far before. But i am sure nolen will keep us from being bored.

Space wise I am limited to how many dogs I can bring. So unfortunately I will be leaving some of the dogs with friends. I know they will be okay. But I will still miss them and worry about them. Brit, Leo and Vito are the lucky dogs to get to come. Brit is the easiest traveler. Leo can't really stay with anyone. (And I will need them for some sheepwork to help get ready for the finals) And Vito was in the same boat. No one wanted him. Lol. Wicca and Pixel were the easy ones to find places for. And Boone is going to Wendy's. I am grateful for that as he is a horrible traveler!! I am sad that they can't all come- but need to be realistic. The three I'm leaving would be not very happy being cooped up all the time too- they were the worst barkers last weekend at the clinic.

I probably won't be blogging much. Except for the odd photo now and then. The power of the iPhone is the only reason for that. My laptop Is not well. Lol.

So yay for holidays!! And wish me luck- 12+ hours in a car with a four year old....


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MacRae Clinic

Awesome is one word that can sum up the weekend. The MacRae's were fantastic- lots of really great information delivered in a way that even the very beginners were able to understand. I learned a lot- not only with my working time, but by watching and listening to everyone elses time.

Leo was very cautious on Saturday- he was nervous of the people I think. I probably should have had him out more in the day before his turn. So he could absorb the environment a bit more. Next time I'll know better. But I got some good pointers on how to work on teaching him his flanks, and to keep things balanced all the time. I've been spending so much time on outruns (which were great by the way! Like all the way across the arena!!!) that he was reluctant to walk into them on a drive at all. I need to remember to practice lots of different things and not be so specific.

Sunday he was more normal, and we were able to progress through the exercise better. He commented on the amount of eye he has, and did suggest that I work no less than five sheep at a time. I don't quite understand why, but I'll take his word for it. lol. It made sense at the time!

Even though I didn't work Brit I did get some ideas for her too. There were no other dogs like her there- but I think some of the driving games, the talk about the importance of pace, and a few other things can apply to her. I'm determined to teach her steady now more than ever- even though I know I will likely lose some oomph for a while. But she can't just gallop after them all the time...

Anyway, like I said it was a great weekend. My brain is full, and I am anxious to work some of the things we learned!

I didn't even take my camera as I knew I'd be too busy. But here are some other people took!

group photo!

Move Along ladies- photo by M.Bryan

Sneaky- photo by M. Bryan

Scotties! Who are so pretty, and really really fast. lol - photo by M.Bryan

Learning - photo by K.Oikawa

Keeping an eye on the Prize - photo by K. Oikawa

Serious Leo -photo by K. Oikawa
The company was great all weekend- a great group of people. We had the best time Saturday night playing the Game of Things. The excitement of the rattlesnake(s) woke us all up on Saturday. lol. And this blog post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Vito's Great Escape...

Close your eyes and envision Vito chasing four sheep around the yard.... it happened. Chasing them around the buildings, into the barn, into a fence. You know, all kinds of asshole things.  And do you think that little bugger would stop, or come when called? Not a chance. It wasn't until he was really scared that he stopped and ran back to the trailer. Jerk. Thankfully we didn't get kicked out. lol.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Herding Weekend

I've been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. My very first Herding Clinic! Alasdair MacRae is very well known across the country in the herding world. Winning 11 National Finals among other impressive things. I have heard nothing but good things about him, and am looking forward to working with him.

I am using Leo in the clinic. Which in itself is exciting. I'm hoping to get some more ideas about how to stretch him out, and keep that nice shape which is something that is taking some time. He is really coming along, and I have fantastic teachers but it is always nice to go and learn, and listen to what other people have to say!

Most of the dogs are coming with me too- which is nice. We are camping- hopefully it doesn't rain. It'll be a fun weekend I think!

Be prepared for more sheepdog photos!

Thursday, August 08, 2013


I call the short dogs "the shorties"- Pixel, Wicca and Vito. As someone on FB said- it's kinda like a gang.

 It's interesting to see group dybamics- now that Leo has joined the group it has definitely shifted a bit. For the most part the shorties hang out together, and the border collies mirror each other or are generally off doing stuff, and then Boone is off by himself in his own little world. It's kinda like highschool. lol

 In this case I took only the shorties to a new swim spot. I needed to be sure it was "boone safe" before I took him, and the BC's had had plenty of exercise already in the day. The Shorties had a great time- bossing around Cindy's kelpies and just generally having fun. I took a ton of photos, but here are just a few of my favorites.

Monday, August 05, 2013

August Long Weekend

The dogs and I headed to Calgary for the weekend. The big Alberta Kennel Club dog show was the first on the agenda for Saturday. Pixel and I were wrangled into participating in a Team Obedience competition. It was fun! And we did manage to win, despite Pixels dismal attempt at heeling. I just don't get her sometimes. lol. Regardless we had fun- the whole team was comprised of good sports so we all were laughing at the screwups.  I would definitely do it again, but perhaps a practice or two before hand would be helpful. lol

Saturday evening No Nonscents raced, and we won every heat, every race, and won overall for the night. That has NEVER happened before. None of the dogs made any mistakes and we were bang on each time. I was super impressed with two of our newer dogs- Crawford and Catch. This was Catch's second race and he was awesome! And Crawford seemed back to his normal awesome/reliable self. Brit did not get to run- she has been a little off lately, and has been making lots of mistakes in training so I used Pixel instead. It was a great night of racing! There are photos somewhere that I'll post when I get them.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out- letting the dogs play and just be dogs. We are fortunate to have awesome friends who let us stay at their place even if they aren't home! It was a home away from home. The dogs loved every minute of it!

Sunday was designated as a sheep dog day. I headed to Louannes with the Border Collies for a day of fun. We started with a group walk which ended with Brit dramatically hobbling around and me freaking out. lol. Turns out it was a a thistle. So she sat out on all the fun stuff. Leo got to work though- and he was great. I am starting to be able to read him a little better and can get him into serious work mode right away now. We are working on teaching a solid "there" and extending our outruns. Sending him from my feet is my immediate goal. We are getting there! The place we worked dogs was absolutely incredible. The sky was full of storm clouds which made it all the better for photos. I am so lucky to have places and people like this to train with!

Oh, and believe it or not I had a drink or two... Really.

Those who know me in real life know that this is pretty amazing. Michelle makes a good ceasar! The night ended with some yummy food, and lots of laughs. Ever heard of "The Game of Things?" I highly reccomend it. The most I've laughed in a long time!

The dogs and I spent the day recovering from the weekend. It was much needed, and I am feeling refreshed for the week! A work week without a monday can only be called awesome. ;)