Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Oh Vito

Adjusting to the cone was a traumatizing event. But he's over it and ready to get back to the fun stuff.

Vito had an allergic reaction and ended up scratching his muzzle to shreds. Literally. He's on the mend now though! But it is hard to be a short dog in a cone... lol

Friday, October 23, 2015


In typical"little sister" fashion, Siren is in everyones business all the time. She is figuring out who likes her, and who doesn't. Sometimes it's hard to be a puppy...

Leo, not so much.

Pixel, on occasion.

Baker, not so much.


Stalking the Stalkers....

Boonie is always up for a Buddy.
and of course, everyone needs a BFF.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Raising Siren

Raising a puppy is hard work. They really are like little sponges who soak in everything that happens, everything they see and do. For better or for worse. ;)

It's a big responsibility. Making sure you are raising a well adjusted dog who is comfortable in their own skin and in life. Add on performance sport expectations and goals and you are adding in a million extra things to teach them about. 

I learned the hard way (with pixel) not to be too concerned about doing everything perfect. I am enjoying this puppy immensely and am just letting her be who she is. I'm merely her life guide at this point. Lol

She is about 10 weeks? Maybe 11 weeks? So far she has learned some real life skills:

Her name
How to potty outside
How to travel in the vehicle
About the torture of crate training. Learning to be quiet in said crate is a slow process....
How to eat treats
How to get stuffing out of a kong
How to greet people- tail wagging so fast that she almost lifts off the ground 
How to read other dogs body language. No. It sounds simple. But it isn't. 

She has been to a handful of new places and after the first day has explored her environment with he confidence you expect in a terrier. She has spent time at friends houses and workplaces. 

She has met a lot of people. Probably over 50 at this point. Mostly from my arms but she is pretty sure the whole world loves her. Which is exactly what I want her to think. 

She has met lots of dogs. Some nice ones. Some not so nice. She has been growled at. She has been snarked at. And she has learned that life goes on and it's no big deal. She has played with other puppies and a few adult dogs. She has also seen dogs and not been allowed to engage. She thinks this is the hardest. 

The two things we've spent the most time on, and the things I think are the most important-

Trust in Me. Our relationship is coming right along. She knows I'm "the momma" and is actually a little too attached in my opinion. But I think it's a phase so I'm not doing much different at this point. She knows that I'm the keeper of a things fun and that I will throw her toy or play with her for as long as she wants. She knows that my lap is the best place for a nap and that I'll always save her from the cat. 

How to learn. She is so smart. And confident. A fantastic pairing. She catches on to concepts fast and will always try and try again. She knows how to offer behaviour to get a reward, and has pretty good listening ears for a baby puppy. Mostly learning is done in small little spurts- she can perch, spin, sit, down, and stand. We have started shaping some things- like running around a pylon, waving, and a back up. She is a fan of action. So we do lots of playing and Running and chase games. She will even do stuff for a toy which is amazing to me for such a young dog. She does love her stuffies! 

So yeah. That's all the stuff so far in the life of Siren. I'll do a post like this every few weeks so I can look back to see where we are and where we have come from. ;) 

Here are an assortment of photos of some real life experiences she's had since I brought her home. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fitting In

Siren is fitting in really well. I've actually never seen some of my other dogs accept a dog so quickly. Wicca is even playing with her. Which is both terrifying and cool all at once. Lol

Sunday, October 11, 2015


It's the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

Traditionally a time spent with family, friends, and reflecting on things that you are thankful for. My family has always been very traditional about things like this. And this year is no exception. My sister and I are making dinner, and we will all come together and be merry.

It will be nice to have everyone out, and I can't wait to spend the day with my sisters kids. But it will be hard because I really struggle with the whole pretending things are just fine attitude. My family seems to excel at that. We will not talk about the elephant in the room. My mothers rapidly declining health, and certainly there will be no thoughts about what it will be like next year if she is not here anymore. Because saying stuff like that out loud is just not done. Instead we will be thankful for the time we do have as a family, and for the love that holds us together. Sometimes that's all we have I guess, the moments.

My own little family, who has just grown by one naughty terrier, remains my rock and the glue that holds me together. I am thankful for all of them. And the opportunities I have had, and the doors they have opened. I am very lucky. <3

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brit Update

Brit is my go-to dog. She comes to nearly every class or workshop to demo stuff, and is just the MOST perfect dog in the house.

We are training for Open since she got her CD this summer. The broad jump remains an issue- so I likely won't be entering her in November. She is 99% at my house, at the park, and at the training building. But the very first time at each location she walks it, or mis-jumps it. Some theories on that is the surface change. Brit has a bad rear end, and I wonder if she can't push off well enough? We've gone back to doing some strengthening exercises to see if that will help.

I need to go back and get on last leg in Advanced Rally. I got a nice letter from CKC saying that her Excellent legs she got in the summer are void because she needs one more advanced. lol. Apparently I need a secretary...

I haven't done much herding with her. No trials at all, but I do let her work a lot of the time. She has a good time as long as things are fun and easy. The second she gets to her invisible line thats it. LOL. But she mostly has a good time. And when she listens she actually looks pretty good!

Brit is enjoying our new country living a lot. She LOVES to run. Full out. As hard as she can. And this place has tons of room for that. She also is happy to sit out in the yard and watch stuff. She sits out there for hours when I'm home.

Mostly Brit just has a good time. If its training, walking, running, or playing. Brit is all about a party. ;)

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Boone doesn't change much. Ever. He's pretty well the same dog he was five years ago. Always does his own thing, on his own terms, in his own little world. He is so smart, but thinks differently than any other dog I've ever met. He's also very awkward. lol

He is 12 years old and you wouldn't know it. I see little things here and there- his knee gets a little stiff if he's been laying too long, but he still has great hearing, eye sight, and of course appetite!

The move was stressful for him, or rather the packing up of the old house. He was very barky, and acting weird. But once we got out here and the house is was unpacked he went back to normal. Phew!

He loves the new place- and has a curious obsession hate for the donkeys. Not the horses. but the donkeys. He will quietly watch the horses walk by, but the second he sees the donkeys he goes into a screaming fit. It would be hilarious, except it's highly annoying. We've been working on that because he can't hate the donkeys forever!
He is loving the freedom of the new place- he is still on a long line on our walks because I don't trust him- but for the most part he just drags it now. I may tie a bell to his collar- see if I can keep tabs on him that way. He's just so quick to dissapear, and we live very close to water. His very favorite thing to do is run up and down the shore barking at random rocks and moving water... So I could easily lose him. He's such a weirdo. lol

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Pixel Update

Pixel is all of a sudden not the baby. I mean, she hasn't been the youngest dog for a few years now- but she was always "the baby." Her maturity level was comparable to a two year old. But in the past few months she has really just come into herself. She actually seeks out attention, and has taken to sleeping on the bed! She has never been a touchy-feely sort of dog so it is an interesting change!

Her off and on again limp is off and on, always that same damn shoulder. So it's hard to train for Utility because she can't heel, or jump... We've been working on signals, and go outs, and articles though. Those she can do even if she's a bit gimpy. I'm hoping that by spring we will be ready to give it a go! She is quite good at what we can work on- finally we've got the moving stand sorted, and paying attention during signals. Progress!

She is loving country life, she's been running a lot and is probably the fittest she has ever been. Though she is a little chunky again all of a sudden! I hate seeing fat corgis, so the weight is on it's way off right away!

PS- I apparently didn't blog when Pixel finally got her last CDX LEG!!!!! Geez!!! Terrible! Anyway, she got it at the Lethbridge show this summer. It was a FANTASTIC day. ;) 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Wicca Update

Everyday I look at her and see more grey, more wisdom, and more of my heart. 

I cannot explain how much I love this dog. She has lots of good days- days of running around the yard, killing squeakers, bossing the other dogs, protesting when it's not her turn. And then she has bad days- limping, stiff and sore, not bothering to get up and police the other dogs, days where she just soaks up the sun in total old dog peace. Those days make me sad, but also grateful to get to enjoy her in her olddog ways. 

She needs an adjustment- I have to find the time to get her to Calgary in the next week or so. She's got something out in her neck. The limp is in her right shoulder but it's definitely coming from her neck. For now she is on antiinflammatories, robaxin, and Pepcid for her tummy.  She is also reverse sneezing once in a while, and I think is breathing heavier too sometimes. I had her at the vet a few weeks ago when the shoulder/neck thing happened. But that was just for that- so I think I'll book a check up. Maybe some blood. It'll either make me feel better or give me more to worry about. 

Oh to have an old dog who actually is an old dog. She's my first really. Kate, my shepherd didn't age until she died. Really.   My other dogs died young. It's hard to watch this slowly getting old. I have had to really work at changing my mind set- instead of focusing on the getting old and omg she's going to die one day soon- I'm trying to appreciate her old dog ways. It's helped a bit. ;)

Vito Update

Vito is his usual self. Lazy and Grumpy with a hint if humour. :)

He is going to be 9 years old next month- hard to believe! He hasn't changed much at all. I will say his energy level has increased since we moved to the country. He delights in chasing the cats, and running up and down the hills on our walks, playing with my nephew, and rolling in fresh horse shit. It's every dogs dream really. ;)

We did have a bit of health scare a few months ago- he was losing weight and was lethargic. The vet ran a full blood panel, but couldn't find anything. He's back to normal though so not sure what that was about. In fact he's put all that weight back on. lol

Hopefully he remains just the same as always for many more years! 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Leo Update

I've been a bad blogger. Life is so busy, and crazy, that finding the time to sit down at the computer for non-work related stuff just doesn't seem to happen anymore.

But- I am feeling motivated to get back at it. I miss blogging, and already have found that twice I could have used the ability to look back at what I did with the dogs... I have a terrible memory- so use my blog all the time to find out about how the last trial went, or what we worked on, or where they are at.

So- back to blogging. It would be sad to not have record of Siren's puppyhood! And like I said I need it to keep my life organised. ;)

Leo's Update first, mostly because he's the only one I have recent photos of. ;)

Since the agility trial at the beginning of the summer we haven't done anything else except for herding. I did this for a few reasons. 
Herding is his passion- it is what he loves the most, and what I love doing with him the most.
But mostly, the other training was messing up some herding stuff! He doesn't seem to transfer very well from thing to thing. Obedience to Agility, or even Agility to Herding. He is a very literal dog and there was much confusion about what was expected of him. So back to keeping it simple. I think that he is happier this way. Don't get me wrong we still play with toys, and he sleeps on the couch, and is a total suck. But I'm not actively training him for obedience or agility right now.

I am going to start back little bits of agility with him this fall- but if I start seeing issues pop up with the herding stuff again then we may just not!

He is doing really well on sheep. His driving is almost *there,* and we are this >< close to having whistles. I have to fix my Come Bye whistle as the start sounds the same as the stop. We didn't get a chance to trial much this year- but we sure trained a lot! He ran Pro Novice all season and we did manage to get around the field a few times with mostly numbers and not letters. ;)  I am hoping that by the end of next year we will be in Open. He has a great outrun, so it's really just going to be stretching things out, and learning to shed.

Here he is with his beloved Jolly Ball. He LOVES it... a lot.

Tomorrow a Wicca update. :)

Friday, October 02, 2015

Playing With Fire

During one of the conversations with the breeder of the puppy we were talking about names. I had always wanted a terrier called Temper. I mean, how fitting! But as I contemplated the name I said that might be playing with fire. Immediately the breeder loved it- and so began the search for a name that went with the "fire" theme. The Dam's name is Flaire, as in Solar Flaire- so it kind of goes with that too.

Names are hard. I will be the first to admit that I have this HUGE list on my phone, and not one of those names seemed suitable for this puppy. I stumbled across Siren when I made a list of all the fire related words I could think of. As soon as I saw it I loved it. Putting it to use, and actually saying it was a little tricky at first. The R doesn't roll of the tongue very easily, but the name suits her and I love the strength it has.

And so- Introducing Siren.
The puppy with a big voice, and an even bigger personality. ;)

Thursday, October 01, 2015

A terrier!??!

The rumors are true.  I got another dog- and this time a terrier of all things! 

Specifically a Parson Russell Terrier. Think Jack Russell, but CKC registered... 

I've been asked about a million times why a terrier and I've only had the puppy for one day. So I figured it would be a good blog post. ;)

I needed another sport dog. Something small, playful/active and structurally sound to play the games I like to play. And I needed another sport dog because although I have six dogs- I'm almost out of dogs! Leo is focusing purely on herding right one. One thing in his brain at a time, Brit and Pixel are doing Obedience and everyone else is asleep on the couch...

So onto the criteria! 

Small size was important because I already had six dogs... that is a lot of dogs in one house. Also I don't want a mini van... 

I wanted a dog that was playful and active and wasn't what I call "soft." A dog who could work through a little pressure and still keep a good attitude. 

And structurally sound was a biggie. I have had exactly zero luck when it comes to Corgis. It was definitely time for something a little different. 

I've always admired and loved Terriers. The tenacity, the attitude, the feisty personality- all are traits that I enjoy. I've been around Jacks since the good old days when a friend and I would trek to the terrier trials and I'd judge obedience or whatever. It was like a whole other world! 

I wasn't set on a Parson right away though. I've been looking around for quite a few months now. 

Rescues always have cute little  scruffy dogs but nothing that didn't have a lot of baggage (and while I'm definitely pro rescue, I wanted a dog with no issues this time around.) I did find a cute little dog at a city shelter but by the time I got there to see him he was adopted. 

I actually considered a Sheltie. I met a wonderful breeder who has great little shelties. Fabulous temperaments, drive, and of course super cute! But realistically a sheltie wouldn't suit my personality. Too sensitive, which is my main complaint with the border collies! 

I also looked into Staffordshire Bull Terriers- but the bulk makes up for the height and that was just a bit bigger than I wanted. Smooth Fox Terriers also were considered but after talking to a few breeders and watching online videos I decided that the breed was a bit too severe for me look wise. 

That left me looking at Jack Russell's. Which then led me to the Parson! I do a fair amount of CKC sports so it was important to me that it be registerable. Jacks aren't officially part of the CKC, which is what led me to look at a Parson. I don't know really what the differences are. Parsons are bred for conformation mostly, and all have rough or broken coats. They also tend to be a little slighter in my own research. Jacks are bred almost purely for terrier stuff- so are typically a little more fired up and seemto be more variable size and look wise too. I wasn't bothered either way and looked into both. 

It so happens that there is a local-ish Parson breeder who was more than happy to talk to me about health, temperament, and what her ideal terrier is. She does a lot of conformation so her dogs are structurally correct, but also does a ton of earth dog stuff. I was impressed with the temperaments of her dogs- outgoing, pushy, and smart but not off the wall crazy. They have true terrier instincts but also have a chill out button. Or so I'm told. She also is very anal about health testing- which is important to me!

Of course visiting a litter after the were born totally sold me. Hook, Line and Sinker. I'm a total sucker. I mean they were pretty darn cute! I told the breeder what I wanted in a dog and as the puppies grew and the personalities emerged she was able to tell me which one would suit me. Thankfully it was a cute one. ;) 

So. Here she is. In all her terrier badness and cuteness! So far she's a total spitfire and has taken her first day in stride. She's met all the dogs and the cats and pretty much is being adorable. 

I haven't decided on a name yet. Maybe tomorrow. ;)