Friday, August 23, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Her beauty shines ...

During AAC Nationals, there was a fundraiser for a breed club, for a custom portrait by well know UK artist Gary Tymon ... 

Well, we won it and Gyp's portrait is done. 
It's perfect! It's her ... it's beautiful. The expression, that little pink tongue and those trademark ears!!

Check out Gary's work:

Saturday, August 10, 2013

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I am going through the most difficult time in life - my 16 year relationship is ending - everything I knew in my life is just not the same. Just like that.

I've experienced more loss in the last 18 months than I ever imagined. First Jane - the first time I ever really grieved, one year later Kaleb - unexpectedly and now the loss of a relationship I was hoping to be in forever. But if I've learned anything in the past 2 years that is to expect the unexpected. And it really is true - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

 Over the last 6 weeks Gyp wouldn't work for me at the field consistently. And with Nationals coming up - that's not good. The only time I could get her to work was if her besties were there barking and being excited. Otherwise - nope - she would get skiddish, run away, or slink to the ground. And at home, well she would run away from the jumps. Seriously. It was not physical, it was mental. She was completely freaked out by my stress, I've been stressed before, but this was different my life is nothing like it was 2 months ago. Kathy Keats was here at the end of June and she gave me one of the best pep talks and chunks of advice I've ever had in my life. It worked over the last month I've proved to myself that YES I can be there for my dog, and YES this is that important to me. We ran at a small one day trial. She rocked, because I did. I took a few days to go train at my friends place out of town to prep for Nationals - and it was awesome. Nothing bugged us and we were in sync. it felt great, you know that connection, you just can't explain?

I went into Nationals last weekend calm, happy and excited. A weekend with my best girl, good friends was very welcome. While there is the stress and excitement of competing there - it was refreshing to focus on something I loved, rather than just being stressed out because of my "real life". My focus was never been sharper. We were a team all weekend. It's amazing how much mental strength I have when I put my mind to it. I was bound and determined not to let her down. It's helping me heal knowing that I can focus and persevere despite my circumstances. We freaking did it. She had the most amazing weekend - and I would not have been able to live with myself if I had let her down, because I couldn't get my shit together. I have THE MOST AMAZING friends, family and support group ever. And this Nationals - I ran it for Kaleb. I know we made him proud!!!

So Gyp ran a perfect Nationals - 6 clean runs. 3 1sts, 2 2nds (1 point behind in each gamble), and a 3rd. Didn't miss a beat. We took risks, we ran our freaking hearts out, and it payed off. I am so proud and I swear, she tried even harder for me this weekend because she knew I was trying that much harder for her. Have I mentioned how much I love my little dog? Gyp had a great 2013 ... She is the 2013 10"DD Vet National Champion, won her 4th Regional Championship, and received the St John Therapy Dog Outstanding Volunteer Award and a National Win ...


Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's simple, really.

Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game. - Michael Jordan
Nationals here we come. We are going to enjoy every single second.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Mr Fitz says we are taking a little break so we can focus on some other things ... We will see you in a few weeks hopefully!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Awesome, just freaking awesome.

5 days away, 2400 km, 3 days of agility camp, 8 bottles of wine, a bottle of baileys, great friends, amazing dogs. This trip was one of those times in your life that can change you. I'm so proud of Fitz and so inspired to be a better trainer. He was actually the only puppy at camp - the next youngest dog was 15 months old. He turned 5 months old 10 days ago. Some things were obviously modified for him (it was all foundation work anyway), but the foundation work I've been working so hard had is paying off. I could lead out 15' throw a toy and have him in a stay then send him over the bumps, he is so operant and keen and he excelled at the body awareness stuff. I learned more about controlling his impulses as bettering my own mechanics in training. I have 3 "tasks" given to me by Lynda Orton-Hill for the next 3 weeks and I hope I'm successful with them. I have a whole new set of tools in the handling department that I can't wait to share with my students! Awesome!! He had some bratty puppy moments of course (AKA Fitsz), but it wasn't until the second day that people knew even how young he was. He was able to be crated in the tent and not in the car - he was mostly quiet!!!! Debbie and Sophie who attended also did brilliantly and their course of their journeys have been change forever.

More photos coming soon - here are some Instagram ones :) we are still 8 hours from home and while Debbie drives I thought I'd take the time to post, since I will be too damn tired to do anything when I get home!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Road trippin

Road trip!!! We are off to Pawsitive Steps Agility Camp - driving 12 hours one way for agility - no problem! Friends, dogs and wine. Should be awesome!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My name is....

Every dog needs a theme song. Every dog has a celebrity doppleganger. It's just the way it is. Clearly, Gyp is Faith Hill. And well Mr. Fitz, AKA Motherf*cker Jones is living up to his ... Could the real Slim Shady, please stand up?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Canada!

2 paws up for Canada Day!

Monday, June 24, 2013

fun is an understatement.

Success is gauged by the holes in my shirts. Fitz's first Puppy Seminar was a great success. As well, his t-shirt tug is covered in blood (mr. teething pants), holes and is missing a few pieces. We traveled 3 hours to have a session with Dante Camacho- I attended a seminar of his with Gyp last year. Another friend/student went up and she did AMAZING too! He is a great trainer, upbeat and informative. He really presents well and gives many ideas. This seminar was for puppies 6months and older. Fitz isn't quite 5 months - but the little pup held his own. He was the youngest one there. I wasn't sure what to expect as far as where he needed to be skill level, but thankfully alot of what we've been working on (thanks to the wonderful Loretta) was covered, as well as some new approaches and some new skills too! We covered so much in one day - lots of lecture and lots of small increments of work - it was very well thought out. I wasn't sure how he would be (focus wise) training in a new place with a whole new set of high drive dogs - he was VERY stimulated. But the work we've been doing payed off as his drive and focus was where it is everywhere else - we try to get out and train EVERYWHERE. He is a very adaptable little fella. The puppy I had that would sit and watch the world go by calmly now wants a part of everything he sees. And if he can't get it - he, you know, throws a FIT. I now have to work harder for this focus - oh boy. He did great though, and I was able to get him to focus on me, and sit, down, stand nose touches etc - he was able to think with it all going around. I was VERY VERY proud of my little pup. He has turned on to the noises of Agility - tunnels, teeters etc. he loses his shiznit. OMG he threw a couple FITS(Z) of epic proportions - all I can do is laugh. Soooo, Mt. Fitz got benched outside after the kibble for being quiet in the crate for the morning session no longer had an effect in the PM session. I saw a intensity I haven't seen before, and it didn't fade. He was REALLY turned on by the excitement - he knows what it means now - but the nice thing is re redirects it back to ME. He worked off leash with 4-5 other pups around and stayed with me the whole time. He did everything that was set out for him with the gusto and enthusiasm I have been striving to create. Well we are on our way. I've never had a dog quite like this little MoFo ... I am so excited for what's to come!!!

He made a few first impressions ...
"Wow he comes by his name honestly, doesn't he?"
"Be carfeul what you name your dog!"
"Well, you certainly are the right person for him." (I think I heard this 3 times...)
"Wow, that's alot of dog".

This is pup is so much fun, and I know I'm in for a WILD RIDE!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013