Thursday, October 31, 2013


I can hardly believe that it has been five years! That just amazes me. Five years ago I headed to the Great Falls airport to pick up my fuzzy little puppy.

Time Flies when you are having fun!

I went back and re-read all the blog posts for the first month after I brought her home, and found some adorable photos. I don't miss those puppy days, but reading about them was fun! And the photos, totally made me melt.  I have my "favorite" puppy photos and always have those in mind when I am looking for one, or think of her at that age. So looking through all the other puppy photos was lots of fun. I'd forgotten about a lot of them!

seriously, could it get any cuter? this would have been shortly after I brought her home

the first week.

little miss confident. lol

already getting right in there! look how small she was!!!

and upside down baby at work. seriously cute. 

So, a VERY Happy Gotcha' day to the Princess. I am so very lucky.  I remember being so grateful when Rita (her breeder) finally agreed that I could have her. I had to do some serious persuading. lol. So thanks! She was definitely meant to be mine. ;)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Snow Dogs (and Kid)

We had our first snow of the season. It is fun only because I know it will be gone in a few days. This is just a quick little intro to winter, not the real thing. ;)

Wicca is excited because the "Snow Critters" must be back.... ;)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Angels and Devils

Angels and Devils, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.

In my house there is a very clear split between the good dogs, and the naughty ones. :)

Halloween is a perfect time to exploit that. ;)

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday

So it seems that as blogs fall to the wayside the facebook games are starting up! A few weeks ago I noticed all my dog friends posting old photos for "Throwback Thursday." So of course I joined in. I already have a funny photo picked out for today. But I thought it would also make for a good blog post once a week too. ;)  
So here ya go, my first Throwback Thursday post.  Something near and dear to my heart right now.

Wicca playing agility. Man, I miss running her. I miss agility period. But this. This is something I miss a lot. It's been a few years now. Hard to believe.

Here is a video of her last agility title she earned. Wild, Wild Wicca. Always just barely under control. lol. Strangely enough, I miss that.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cypress Hills Stockdog Trial

I packed up some of the dogs and headed to Medicine Hat for the Cypress Hill Stockdog trial this weekend. This is the last field trial of the year, and I was glad to have the opportunity to go!

Brit has been working on driving, driving, and more driving so I was THRILLED when she had a great drive on both her runs on Saturday. We didn't get the drive on Sunday, but I'll take the two I did get!! We have worked very hard to get it... Her first run the outwork was not very good. She slices in at the top of her outrun, and refused to stop. I had to really yell at her to get her to take the stop. So our fetch was fast and furious. But the drive was nice, and it was my screw up at the pen that caused us to time out. Her second run was way better. Nice outrun, great lift and fetch. And the drive! We just didn't get the pen. This was our highest score yet of 65. I might frame it. lol. She won that round, and came second the first one.

Because the sheep, the field, and the atmosphere was so relaxed I decided to enter Leo on Sunday. He is not quite ready, as the driving is a real problem. But I thought it would be a good opportunity to see how he will be in a trial setting.

Brit's run was first, and again she came in like a freight train at the top. We MUST get a steady pace. That is our winter project. She's not going to like it, but it's a bit ridiculous. lol. The drive was shorter and at a weird angle- and by the time I got it sorted she was almost at the panels. So not a very good drive at all. But we got the pen this time! Pure fluke, but we got it. I need to watch some videos I think... and really work on my timing.

Leo was VERY excited at the post. As soon as he saw the sheep he wanted to go. His outrun wasn't quite as good as normal. And I should have given him a "Time" at the top, instead I made him liedown. Watching the video, I should have used Time a lot more. I forget that he knows that. lol. His fetch was straight, but fast. The drive was messy as he would. not. get. up. He gets sticky, and I think I will have my work cut out for me to fix that. Another lesson with Scott might be in order! But we got it done. And his line was better than Brit's so we lost less points. He did not get the pen, again my fault, not his. He took every flank i asked of him, only getting it wrong once. I'm pretty proud of the boy! He did a great job for his first time!

So again, I come away with more things to work on. We have the arena trial series starting next month. I plan to run both Brit and Leo. Though I have some things to work on before then for sure!!

I have video, and will upload when I have a chance!

Oh, I should mention that Leo won today! He got a 57! And earned High Novice score today, a  little clock with Cypress Hill Stockdog Trial. High Scoring Novice on it. It is pretty awesome. ;)

Friday, October 18, 2013


I've had a really good quality whistle for almost a year. And before that I had a few plastic ones to learn on.

But it isn't until recently that I've buckled down to learn it. I've been able to do everything but a stop. There is a tail on it that is tricky and it took a while. Finally I think I mostly have it.

So this winter the dogs will learn it. I've been told that even just the stop whistle is going to make a huge difference. You can be more precise about what you want, the dog responds better, etc etc.

I am excited because already in the wind on a big outrun I have had some trouble with the dogs not hearing me. So the whistle is definitely needed.

It is hard to Learn though. I am not musically inclined at all an have no ear for tones and such. But like I said I had a breakthrough so feeling like I almost have it. :)

Practicing at work was enjoyable for me, exciting for the dogs. And annoying for my coworkers. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013


It is Thanksgiving in Canada.

And now, more than ever am I thankful for my friends, my family, and my dogs.

I have an amazing bunch of friends. People I could call on at anytime. People who have helped me through rough times, and been there to cheer me on for the good ones. This has been a rough year for me, and I am on my way now. With help from my friends.  I am very lucky. I know this.

My family. Namely my Dad. He is the most amazing person I know. Always thinking about everyone else, never for himself. He does so much for me. I would be lost without him.

My dogs. It amazes me that I could be so lucky. They may be a motley crew, but they are mine. Quirks and all. I would not have it any other way.

I know that if you are my facebook friend, or my flickr contact that you have seen this photo already. But I just so love it. I am getting it printed.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Training Hodgepodge

Leo is just an all around good boy. His outruns are great- sending from my feet, nice and deep, slows down at the top on his own accord. Just nice. I have discovered a few weak spots with him- pulling off a fence for one. He is nervous and goes extra fast (if at all) to pull them off- which then makes him over flank, and pushing them right back to the fence. I am going to need some ideas and help from my friends to figure out the best way to help him learn confidence. We had some trouble late this summer with him not wanting to walk in on them after being stopped. But with help that has been getting better and better. We have started a bit of driving, which I think will help that even more!

Brit is working on quarter flanks still. To help with the pen issues, and being able to fix the fetch line. Stop and flank, stop and flank. The driving is getting pretty good- all mechanical, but hey, it's better than nothing! I am looking forward to seeing how she will do at a trial. I entered her in the last field trial of the season. It is in a few weeks. I am excited to try the drive from the post!

Pixel is having issues with the drop. Still. Which amazes me and frustrates me all at the same time. When she is happy and bouncy and excited she drops every single time. If she is at all cautious, or worried then she sits and slowly goes into a down (or just stares at me). At least I have figured out what the difference is- but now that I know it isn't making it easier to fix. I started with pretty low stressors. A peice of food on the ground off to the side. She wants it, knows she can't have it so she thinks about it, and then I get a slow response. We worked past that- she learned that if she goes down quick she gets it. So then I added more pressure- an object in her line, or close to a wall. We have not worked completely through this yet. The next step will be to take it on the road- new places, noises etc. Besides the drop issue I still am not 100% confident in her ability to stay. Despite both of these issues this morning I entered her in the November dogshow. <sigh> I really should not have.

Brit is finally getting some sustained heeling and attention. She is wonderful to train and work. Very thoughtful, and tries hard. I am entering her in something at the dogshow. Debating between Rally and Obedience still. I can talk to her and help her in Rally- but it is actually more challenging than Novice obedience because it is longer, more stop and start. etc. But I need to be sure she is ready, really ready for Novice. And I am not sure yet. I will have a better idea tomorrow when I see how she works in a class setting. If it is as good as at home then we will be fine. I have a few weeks to decide still.

I have finally been able to get Leo on some contacts.. I have decided on a stopped dogwalk. So we are doing lots of targeting at home these days. Winter is on it's way so I need to figure something out for winter contact training. Or it will be a whole year before he is ready to trial. Sadly I had to pull out of a seminar I signed up for. His contacts are not seminar ready, so although the handling part of it would have been great it just wasn't the time. Soon though! He is learning about jumping, and handling and really has found his rhythm. He is going to be SO much fun.  I am optimistic about this. ;)

Shaping Class
is awesome. ;) Already I love it. Even though we are just in week 2. I can tell that there will be some good challenges. And that is exactly what I need.

So all in all the crew and I are busy training, and mostly just having fun! 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Getting Close

It's getting close to Pixels "Gotcha Day."
I brought her home November 1st. Well, it was supposed to be the 31st... (long story, stupid airline...)

Anyway, She was THE cutest puppy.

I still remember the feeling I had when I looked into the little carrier at the airport. <3

Even though she is bigger now, she is still the same little puppy. 
Independent, Fiesty, and Opinionated.

 I think she will always be the "baby" in the family. Twice in the past few weeks I've introduced her as the youngest dog in the house. Which is not the case... lol

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Goodbye Drew

Drew was a great dog. The perfect dog. A dog who was full of gentle wags, happy woofs, and soft snuffles. He was the perfect family dog for over 11 years. 

I took him today on his last trip through the drive thru. The last walk in the coulees, and a last roll in the grass. All of which he greatly enjoyed. But I think the cheeseburger especially.

It is so hard to say goodbye. It never seems as though we have them long enough.
He was the cutest puppy. Sweet and gentle even then.
Smart as can be. My first fully clicker trained puppy.
Tricks were his favorite!

My parents house will be empty without him. 
My heart hurts.
He is so missed. 

Now he and Kate will be together again. Buddies forever. 

Rest in Peace Dewi. You were a good boy.