Friday, January 30, 2009

Victory is Mine!

so, my mom shows up at my house yesterday with a box of timbits, and leaves the box on the floor near her purse.  



Jane was caught in the act, bringing the box of timbits from where my mom had her purse laying. My camera settings were off, I had to snap it fast, it was to funny to miss!

... and yes that is Jane on the kitchen table. No I didn't put her there ...
she has no self control when Timbits are present.

They were only allowed to share 1 between the 3 of them.
 I know, I'm mean. 
Unless of course, my mom snuck them more ....

Queen Jane victorious.

Queen Jane., originally uploaded by sarah ....

If you wish hard enough, and look cute, eventually dreams come true. Stay tuned for the rest of the story .....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Waiting for summer.

I was looking through photos from this past summer, and found this one of Jane, basking in the sun, and guarding her toy :)

I miss my green grass. It is underneath the melting ice and snow mounds in my yard. The dogs slip and slide all over the place now that it is melting, there is a small area where there is now grass showing, but there is a long way to go. 

Spring just won't arrive soon enough.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I know what you did last night.

So my training goals last night were to work on some gamble challenges with G & K. We have set ups that allow people to work on what the need too. I wanted to work on my directionals, verbal discrimination, timing etc. and see how far we have come with furthering our development of these skills. I made the gamble lines the sam colour as the numbers to keep track of what I was doing. Anal, perhaps.

I also wanted to work on sending to tunnels with Gyp - not a big deal you say?? Well, I had to send PAST the weaves to GET to the tunnels from about 30' away. (SEE TOP DIAGRAMS) She had to make the choice - go past her most valued object - to one of her least valued objects. So by doing this we also worked on her verbal and discrimination skills. These sets also worked independent weave performance. 6 months ago I would have to break this down alot.

The Green numbered gamble at the top was the first we tried: Its challenges were sending away to the weaves, moving out to the jump which was around 30' away and then coming back to weave towards me. I was so proud of her, she didn't flinch or question it at all. I ran it with K and he nailed it too I was super proud of him!

with the A-frame was set up again to test the verbal skills RED SET - go OUT to the far end of the tunnel - past the close tunnel and the FRAME, again which is super high value for Gyp, this is good proofing for both of us, and good practice for my timing. Again I had to send out past the obvious jump in front of the tunnel BOTH BLUE AND RED SETS, K & G did great on this, though it is much harder given Kalebs not-so-awesome contacts, but I just have to have my timing correct to turn him or push him out, and I can easily redirect him if I need too, where as Gyp is a work in progress, and I have far less time to work with given their speed difference, so my timing and body position is VERY important.

I wish I would have practiced my moving WAIT with Gyp a bit more (just on the flat last night), but my timing and confidence were better, so she took direction great, and I didn't have to use WAIT as a back up plan to redirect her.

We also practiced just a verbal from the frame into the tunnel with me 20' away GREEN SET She is doing great with this, and so long as I keep my arm away, she doesn't think about blasting ahead to the obstacle ahead of her - VERBAL ONLY SARAH. so I say "Left Tunnel" or "Right Tunnel" depending on which side she is on. My L & R are positional verbal cues - she turns 180 degrees away from me. 

Kaleb is getting better with this too. I used to use OUT for this with my off arm, but I also used OUT for sending away which would have posed a problem on that gamble - does OUT mean move out over that Jump or Turn into the tunnel when my arm comes up - from my dogs perspective I was telling them alot, but at the same not enough. So I have broken this down to make it clearer for my dogs, and it is paying off already.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gyp, always on the Ball...

Don't let this cute face fool you. 
Gyp is gaurding HER ball from a certain black dog, she is also giving him the evil eye.

The second part of the story is that she IS pouting, she wants us to throw the ball for her.

Will you throw the ball for me??

4/52 - 52 Weeks For Dogs - FLICKR

Thursday, January 22, 2009

first 16 things, now 40!! oh my!

I was tagged by Full Tilt Border Collies and BC x 4! But no, I am not telling you 80 things, just 40. And 16 of them are from a previous post a while back (I got tagged on FLICKR) it's not cheating, really, in case you didn't read my 16, you might learn something about me you didn't know, and if you read them, well its just a refresher course, there will be a test at the end :)

Deep Breath, here we go ....

1. i don't like combo birthday and christmas gifts
2. my favourite colour is red, or black.
3. i am a vegetarian.
4. i don't wear leather.
5. i've been told by a psychic that i am a little odd, she assured me that was a good thing.
6. my dogs have middle names: Jane "Monty" (after my childhood pet rabbit - he died on the day Jane was born), Kaleb "Ramone" (his mom is Ramona, we considered calling him Ramone, and I like the band), Gyp "Neena" (the name I wanted to call her, but she came with the name Gyp, after 2 months of pondering names, it stayed Gyp:) )
7. At one time I had 10 piercings.
8. I am a mix of British, Polish, Czech, Cree, Sioux, French and a dash of Scottish for good measure, I suppose you could call me a mutt.
9. I still have my wisdom teeth.
10. I am working on my top 10 Greatest Movie list, don't have them all yet. Yes Spaceballs, Christmas Vacation and The Color Purple rank top 10.
11. I am a Graphic Designer by day
12. My passion is all things dog. Dog training, and dog Agility, and various other sports - involving dogs, it is beyond a hobby for me.
13. My favourite saying is "nothing changes, if nothing changes"
14. I am not "married", but have been with my guy for over 12 years.
15. I have big feet. So does Gyp :)
16. Cats sort of creep me out, pooping in a litter box then walking on my counters doesn't appeal to me.
17. I was a horse person before I was a dog person. Showjumping, Pony Club, Barrel Racing, i did it all.
18. A fun year, first year of college.
19. Also a fun year, I remembered more at 19 than the previous one at 18.
20. Jane spoons with me at night.
21. I am slowy becoming a "Border Collie Person"
22. never understood how people could be "INSERT BREED HERE Person"
23. My middle name is Maria.
22. I hate the song "Sarah", no time is a good time ..... blah blah
23. I have a bad knee, a torn ligament that was never fixed
24.  I played Rugby, it ended in one season, see #23
25. Balloons freak me out, I don;t even like to blow them up
26. I hate fake cherry flavoured things.
27. I am 5' 8"
28. I've only ever worked on a Mac.
29. I own 11 cameras, yes you read that right.
30. All of them work, finding film for them is another story.
31. I wanted to be an RCMP officer, just so I could be in the Musical Ride.
32. I played the Trumpet briefly.
33. I was a dancer for 5 years - Jazz baby!
34. Jane is my first dog. Kaleb #2, Gyp #3
35. I obsess over dog hair, really I do, I need to not see it, I use duct tape to rid the furniture of Jane hair, its the only thing that works.
36. Type A. That's me.
37. My student loan (that I have been paying for 9.5 years) will be done in two months, there will be a party, and you are invited.
38. I love to swim.
39. I hate fish, looking at them, touching them, the sight of them, and the smell.
40. I can touch my tongue to my nose.

wow thanks for reading if you made it to the end :)

Many Muddy Paws
It's a Bernerful Life
Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey
YOU'RE IT!!!! oh and you have to add a photo too!

wow, this list even put Gyp to sleep!

Monday, January 19, 2009

RR 14

RR 14, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Gyp, on the road again, this time just north of Calgary.

G & K had an agility seminar this weekend - our first Outreach with Kim Collins for '09.

We got loads of information and a ton of worksheets for class that should hold us over until our next session in April.

I got some great ideas for tightening my turns with Gyp - one of my big goals for this year.We worked on this a bit on the weekend. Also I want to walk courses more confidently - with no second guessing. I need to learn to stick to my guns. Especially off the start. I adapt to "the three's" varying speeds and strengths on course pretty well, and can shift from one dog to another fairly well. I just need to run Gyp with the confidence I have with J & K. we are getting there.

I am motivated as always after her sessions!

3/52 (also part of 52 weeks for dogs) click the photo to go to FLICKR

Friday, January 16, 2009

A lesson from a Terrier.

Jane gives Kaleb a lesson in how to dig for critters. He thinks, however, that she is digging for some awesome toy, a bumper perhaps.

dig, dig, dig, dig, dig, this is how WE terriers do it.

then BAM ... headfirst all the way. dig, dig, dig, dig.

... don'cha you wish you were as bad ass as me?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

one direct hit

one direct hit, originally uploaded by sarah ....

... and the slobber flies!

Gyp maybe in featherweight class, but she can play with the big dogs!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Silver Award of Merit

We had a great first Agility Trial of '09. And Kaleb came home with his "Silver Award of Merit" in AAC Agility. (25 Masters Standard Runs and 50 Masters Games)

He needed 4 games Qs coming into this trial, and I wasn't sure he could get them all this weekend, and I didn't stress over it, but he did it! What a good boy, I still can't believe it.

Kaleb ran great, he Q'd in 5 of his 7 classes. It was also his Veterans Debut!
Masters: Standard, Team, Jumpers, Steeplechase and Snooker.

The host Club gives out these fancy crate plaques, so Kaleb had to show it off since it is in replace of a ribbon!

I think he is the first Flat-coat in Canada with this title from what I know, so that is pretty cool too!!

The girlies ran great too!

Jane Qd in three of her 4 runs! She had a blast!

Gyp Qd in 5 of her 7 classes too, I really wanted to Q in her Standard runs, and I was so thrilled we Qd in with 1st places in all of them! I was happy that I was able to run her with full confidence except for a couple times, what did I have to lose DUH, made it worse for not trying, but overall I am super happy with how I handled her this weekend too.

Getting to the trial this weekend was another story .... read Amanda's blog ....

Friday, January 9, 2009

insane in the membrane

Though I lovingly call him an a**hole, it is a term of endearment, really. I love this big black dog, he literally makes me "LOL" and "ROFL", I'm not sure there is another dog on the planet with a sicker, um I mean, better sense of humour.

Jane: dude, seriously

Kaleb: mmmaaaammmaaaa i coming!

Gyp: why am i running? damn autopilot.
oh ya. must follow kaleb, he knows where the fun is.

I don't need to try, Kaleb always looks like this.

And Gyp and Jane always look the same too - they know what is coming, and they know to get out of the way.

The "Dynamics of Three" photos, they just never get old (to me anyway)!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Cold and the Beautiful

A cold January day can become enjoyable and more beautiful when you have lovely subjects to photograph ...

Like the ever lovely and photogenic Gyp ...

The image of the graceful and ever wise Jane, warms me up inside.

... Then the moment gets ruined by the big black asshole.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

ya, what.

ya, what., originally uploaded by sarah ....

oh Jane, so many chewies, so few places to hide them.

I think she is discovering her inner flat-coat.

... and apparently having fewer teeth makes it easier to stuff more things on your mouth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Year End Stats!

I have so much fun training and trialing my guys, they all bring something different to the ring and each training session, I am always learning how to adapt to their motivation style, speed and physical and mental capabilities (as well as them adapting to my mental capabilities) I'm not sure how we will top last year but we will try our best!!

Kaleb at the AAC Nationals in New Brunswick

For the second year in a row Kaleb is (unofficially) 
the #1 Flat-coated Retriever in Canada in AAC!! 

He ended his year with 34 Qs. 

He had great year in 2008: 
• he got his ATCHC, 
• Bronze Award of Merit
• placed 7th at the AAC Nationals.

Gyppie looking a little cross-eyed, maybe because she can't breath ...
 it looks like I'm choking her!
Gyp (by my calculations) is around the #35 Border Collie in Canada - which I know doesn't seem all the impressive, but there are hundreds of them on the stats page.

She ended her year with 36 Qs. 

She too had an amazing year which really still seems unreal!! 
In one year of trialing:
• she got her ATCHC
• she placed 5th at Nationals
• and also got her Steeplechase title.

Not to be forgotten JANE! She is the #7 Veteran Jack Russell Terrier
• Jane got her Silver Award of Merit (25 Standard Runs and 50 Masters Games) 
• and her Steeplechase Title

She was entered in 5 trials and brought home 20Qs

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Snow Dogs

Despite the wind and the fact that Amanda wore shoes, and not boots in a foot of snow, we had a great jaunt in the coulees today, here are some highlights.

yo, Vito, get back and play with me you little bugger!

apparently wicca likes to make faces at me, she knows her birthday is coming, and I told her she is turning 5, she didn't like that.

gyp doing her best jack rabbit impression.

do you feel lucky punks? well, do ya?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bed hogs.

The girlies enjoying Kaleb's new bed ... K enjoying the couch.

The girls out number the boys in the house 3 girls, 2 boys (including the humanoids).
I admit it. I am a bed hog, I like to pull all the covers on me and steal all the pillows.
I think Jane and Gyp have been taking notes. 
I didn't photoshop Jane in for dramatic effect.

The girlies rather enjoy it. Jane enjoys it so much in fact she'll even sleep right up next to Gyp.YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT. If any of you know Jane, you know this is amazing - she has never done this - share, no thanks. Not a big deal for most people I realize. Gyp and K lie together all the time. I took these photos last night - this is the third time she has gone and slept next to Gyp. There are 3 dog beds in the living room, plus Jane's perch (the back of the couch), so she has MANY options.

I think it is pretty adorable that she chose this as her best option.
p.s. note the chewy beside Jane, I'm pretty sure she was sleeping with one eye open.