Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Agility Trial Outtakes ...

I wanted to get a nice photo with Gyp and Kaleb with the Judge and their new titles .... well that was the idea anyway ....

Take 1
The Flat-coat can't sit still, must run to Gramma.
The Border Collie is scared of the ribbons, and won't look at the camera as usual. 

Take 2
The Flat-coat is contained by the judge, I think he was standing on his tail.
The Border Collie is lifted up, but still looks equally scared and unimpressed.

no comment ...

Under the bridge downtown ...

We are so lucky to have miles and miles of places to walk in our city, everyday brings a new adventure. Yesterday we went to "The Bridge".

Monday, March 30, 2009

Agility: more firsts ....

How much fun can you have in 12 hours?!! I doubt more than this .....

1 brutal snowstorm, a 2 hour trip taking 3 hours, 8 runs and 8 Q's, 2 new Titles, your mom forgetting to press record on your best run, one dead car battery, ...

Leave 5:45am
The roads were crap. They went from bad to worse, then good-ish then a total whiteout near High River. I thought about turning around, but we were over half way there when it got really bad. So on we go ....

Arrive at Arena 8:45
I rushed inside and there was 15 dogs until my turn when we arrived. Of course I didn't get to walk the Steeplechase course, something I have NEVER done, a FIRST! I warmed up each dog, ran the course, and each dog Qd! That was an adrenaline rush, I really had to think on my feet. Thank god it wasn't jumpers, I would have been screwed.

Next up was Standard.
Gyp was great, we just clicked all day! And she got her last Standard Q - and 1st Place needed for her Bronze Award of Merit (10 Masters Standards and 25 Masters Games) YAY Gyppie girl!

Kaleb ran super fast, for Kaleb :) and it was a run I was really proud of, he got a 3rd place and Q'd too!

Then Snooker!
ANOTHER FIRST: 4 - 7's with Gyp! We did it, we did it, we did it! We got our 4 7's (A-Frames) and finished to the end with a couple seconds to spare, it was oogly and pretty all at the same time!! This is the run my mom forgot to record ... she did however tape my warm-up, which I might actually post, because Gyp is cute.

Kaleb did great too! We did 2 - 7s and a 6, and he finished to the end with 5 seconds to spare!

Finally Steeplechase #2:
Gyp was great, and guess what we did 3 rear crosses, you pretty much had too, the courses were just made for them. She got a first and Q.

Kaleb just needed this last run for his Steeplechase Title, and he did it! I had pulled his from Steeplechase in the middle of last year, as in the regular times, he was always 2 seconds over, or 2 seconds under. I didn't like pushing him that hard, then we would get a bar or a missed contact, and he is not fast enough that he could have 5 faults + time. So now as a Vet he got his last 4 Steeplechases back to back. He is running so great right now, I am just thrilled with him.

The dead car battery:
I was in such a rush and I had my mom and another friend help me take my stuff in one load, I never went back out to see my vehicle ... and see that I had left my lights on ... thank you Geoff and Randy for the boost!

On the road home:
You would never know the roads were shit on the way there, they were a 2/10 on the way there, and a 10/10 on the way home!

Home by 5:30!!! How awesome is that!! What a day!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Jane and HER Jolly Ball

Jane likes a challenge.
She thinks that one day she'll get the ball out from the inside 
.... poor girl.

Just in case there was any doubt, the Jolly Ball IS Jane's.

The other dogs have no interest in the thing, they think she is nuts, and well, if the shoe fits ... she will play with this thing for hours, seriously.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How the other half live ... part 2.

"hmm this doesn't look so bad" says Gyp


oooooh ya that's the spot

How the other half live ...

Poor Kaleb and Gyp, stuck having to use the public bathing facilities AKA the "Waggin' Wash", lets just say, there is not alot of Waggin', but a whole lotta Washin'. They don't get bathed in the comfort of home like queen Jane. Grammy came with her camera, I am my mother's daughter afterall.

"the 2 for 1", G & K get bathed together, poor Gyp.

Kaleb sporting a faux-hawk 

Stars without make-up caught on Camera!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bathing a Terrier: 101

Terriers do not generally approve of Public Bathing facilities, they are above using Bathtubs the common dogs use, when possible bathing should be done in the comfort of home.

STEP 1: While Terrier is sleeping, gently lift the Terrier and proceed to the Bathtub. The Terrier will now be awake and aware of where she is going.

STEP 2: Place Terrier in the Tub. Do not give in to her evil glares.

STEP 3: Clean all the areas of the dirty Terrier, rub the paws, clean the goop from the eyes.

STEP 4: The other dogs in the house may become excited upon realizing the Terrier is in the Tub. It means only one thing ...

STEP 5: Zoomies!!!!!!!!!!

* No Terriers were harmed in the making of this blog post, for that matter no Border Collies or Flat-coated Retrievers were injured either, even after the Terrier emerged with the zoomies.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Signature Move(s).

The head tilt used to be Jane's signature move.
But as you can see, Gyp now has it mastered too.

"Wanna go-pher a walk?"

Is it just me, or do they remind you of the Butabi brothers from "Night at the Roxbury" ...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good Dog, Bad Dog

A friend sent me this yesterday, it is super funny!

Border Collies ... and Terriers ... gotta love em.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

As good as it gets.

... Gramma
... Car Ride
... Riding Shot Gun

... Gyp and Kaleb in their crates. Suckers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day

Here’s wishing you the top o’ life without a single tumble.
Here’s wishing you the smiles o’ life and not a single grumble.

Here’s wishing you the best o’ life and not a claw about it.
Here’s wishing you the joy in life and not a day without it.

- Irish Blessing

Monday, March 16, 2009

In Agility, there is a first time for everything.

* Warning, contains Agility Content, and this is a long ass post, I have broken it down into sections (Chapters ...) of the FIRSTS ....

1. Jane had to stay home this weekend, I pulled her from the Trial, a first.
She has a had a limp off and on, and was stiff in her back. I didn't feel she was 100%, as she approaches 10, recovery takes longer and longer, so I want to make sure she is 100%. Jane wasn't left out however ... she is the first to investigate the "Dog Bag" when I get home and help herself to one of the prizes the OTHER dogs won ...

2. Gyp gets hurt on course. A first.
Ok, maybe I added that in for dramatic effect, but I figured it would keep you interested in reading more ... Gyp ran good to great this weekend. It would have been all great had my handling been a little more on the ball. In one run Gyp FLEW off the end dogwalk to dive into the weave poles 30 feet ahead, leaving me in the dust in one run, it was pretty funny, and Gyp was oh so proud of herself. I was laughing the whole run which caused me to lose focus, so we made the best of it. I like when EVIL Gyppie appears once in a while - I love this dog.

Gyp needs one more Standard run for her Bronze Award of Merit - we didn't get it this weekend. We had three chances (see above why we didn't get it one run), the second Standard we had an off course - I stood there looking at my pretty dog dive into the wrong tunnel entrance, UGH. 

The third standard run is where she got hurt. On the fourth last obstacle she knocked a bar with her knee, and came off the course holding her leg up, waayyyy up. I thought she was going to die - or she tore her cruciate - you know I always think the best. Did I mention I freak out about these things? I had a couple people go over her and check her flexion etc., and with time she put her leg back down to normal with all weight on it. It was like someone smacked her in the knee (like Tanya Harding did to Nancy Kerrigan), but Gyp got over it with some nice massage and rest.

Luckily I was able to run her for her last two runs - I brought her out of her crate a couple times to see if she was stiff on it after rest, and each time she was OK, and other people thought she was OK to keep going too. I was more than willing to pull her for the rest of the day if I had too, the Q's are not worth my dogs health, thank you very much. 

She brought home 4Qs and 4 - 1st Placements in those runs: Masters Gamblers (90 points), Masters Jumpers (not a stellar run, but I am too hard on myself), Masters Team (the Tri-coloured Beeotches strike again!), and my proudest run was Master Snooker. I've never had a dog fast enough to go for broke - and try for 4 sevens - and try to finish the closing sequence. Another first for us .... 

3. We went for 4 "7"s in Snooker. A first.
 I can't take credit for the planning the opening sequence, Seanna helped me with it, it was nice of her to take the time. What a rush! the "7"s were Weave Poles (Gyps Fav), I am proud to say we got all the way to the 8th Pole in the closing sequence! In Snooker you need 40 Points to Qualify in Masters, we got 52! And a perfect run is 59 Points - we were just 4 poles short - since the time was up in the  8th pole!

4. Kaleb Qs 7 clean runs out of 8! You read that right ...
I don't really need to write more than that HAHA!! He literally got STUCK in the weave poles in one run and ended up popped out in the run he didn't Q in.

He Q'd in Gamblers and got his "Bronze Gamble" Title - for his 10th Master Gamblers Q. And Q'd in Standard 1 & 3, Jumpers, Steeplechase, Team (with our partners Lynda and Cavall), and Snooker!!

He ran great all weekend, and his energy, speed and enthusiasm was the same the first day as it was the second day. For my boy that just turned 7, I was really happy about that. He had some good placements with those 7 Qs,  I was really proud of his one Standard he placed 1st out of 12 dogs in his class.

5. I ran the whole 2nd day in my Chuck Taylor Converse shoes, not my cleats. 
And the best part, I didn't fall on my ass! Sometimes, I like to kick it old school.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I won

today a free coffee, tomorrow $10,000.

 i dream big.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lucky #7, Happy Birthday K-man

Today Kaleb is 7 years old. I am not even sure how that happened, I remember the day I picked up our puppy, like it was yesterday ... 

The day we got K, my mom and brother were the first to meet him.

We had met with the breeders a few months before his mom was bred and learned about who his dad would be - a dog in Sweden - Kaleb is a "test tube baby" as I like to call it. We also saw the pups at 3 weeks old on another visit. We were rather excited

... So back to the day we got the the dog otherwise known as the K-man ... I drove up myself to go get our pup, (half way in between our 7 hour drive). You'd think a lovely day in May, and a simple 3.5 hour drive would be no problem right? WRONG. 

Now if anyone knows Kaleb, they know he is a dog that never gives up - be it for good or bad. Even as a 10 week old pup he figured screaming in his crate for 3 hours would pay off (a taste of things to come). Our breeder picked the perfect dog for us, albeit I want to strangle him sometimes.

About 45 minutes into our trip - I saw a giant wall of dust, I thought to my self, oh must be a farmer in the field stirring that up. WRONG. It was a giant dust storm that lasted what seemed like an eternity (I would say 10 minutes), if you have never driven in a dust storm, think being in a glass of chocolate milk (except is doesn't taste as good), you can't see a thing, just brown, it is the weirdest thing, I didn't want to pull over to the side of the road in fear of getting rear ended. It was awful - and that was just the barking puppy, the dust storm was just down right scary.

Smooth sailing for the last 2 hours ... WRONG. Have I mentioned the FIRE??

Ya, FIRE. So about another hour into our drive - I see smoke. A lot of smoke. I keep driving the smoke is covering the road, and as I approach close I see flames, and a lot of grass on fire. What I couldn't see from the road was the tipped over truck with hay bails on fire. By the time I had driven through the smoke, the flames were jumping the road to the other side. On the other side of the smoke 2 cars has stopped, and in the distance the town fire truck was on its way.

So by this time my knuckles no longer have any colour or feeling, and I can't hear out of either of my ears (the puppy did that).

So we pull up to Pete's moms place ... the vehicle covered inside and out in thick dust, smelling like a forrest fire .... oh and a screaming puppy. There is something to be said for Kaleb's perseverance and the trip to go pick him up. Here's to many more years of barking and being obnoxious K-man! 

His mom Ramona turned 13 this week too, that is like 250 years old in flat-coat years.

Our FCR friend, Jazmin turned 11 on March 9th, and Aunt Judy got this great toy for Kaleb's birthday, he loves it and got to open it this morning (Jane really wanted too), thanks Judy!!

May the Force be with you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I believe in doG

... may Timbits fall from the sky ...

... may all dogs be healthy and happy, and live forever ...

... may all Agility runs this weekend be fast and clean ...

... may fishing come earlier this year, and may I catch one ...

... and for the love of doG, may Kaleb not to be so obnoxious ...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the look

... of love?
... of hate?
... of jealousy?

Jane is 13 pounds of complicated. 

She takes her job as "The Fun Police", very seriously ...

 ... It's a little something we like to call Jane-itude.

She heard that a "black dog" is having birthday soon and she is not impressed.

Monday, March 9, 2009

90 seconds of Gyp

Amanda took this video of Gyp this weekend. I hope you like the soundtrack, it is courtesy of the southern Alberta "Wind Gusts".

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My girlies ...

I didn't shoot with my new camera nearly as much as I would have liked this weekend, but I did get some practice shooting indoors, and reading, doing some more reading about this monster of a camera. I have taken maybe 40 shots with it so far. I was going to shoot outside this afternoon, but one minute without my gloves and my fingys were freezing, that windchill was brutal ... so we had a great walk, with no camera and photos.

This is my 52 Weeks for Dogs Image this week for FLICKR, and guess what I can't even take credit for it ... Pete shot this photo of Gyp. I would never get this lovey expression from her, she saves this look for her dad only. 

I did manage to get this sweet one of Jane - multi-tasking ... looking lovingly at me, meanwhile glaring at Gyp who was standing behind me with a ball in her mouth ...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sheep day! New Camera Day!

We had a herding lesson today, and Amanda took these photos of Gyppie (with my 'old' camera). Thanks Amanda :)

Gyppie is getting more confident and it is a cool to be able to direct her to which side I ask now. I learned more about my position in relation to Gyp and how I can help let her know she is correct - by getting farther away from her when she gets on the right track. We are learning together, though she is learning quicker than me I am pretty sure.

Figure 1. Away to me, good girl.

Figure 2.  Sometimes she does things her own way, hmm what's up here?

We are still working getting her lie down reliable - but alteast she isn't getting super pouty about it now. I just have to remember to say "Lie Down" and not use her name before "Gyp, Lie Down", when I use her name she should come back to me - and she tried too (but I want her to stay out where she is) - so Scott gave me reminders a few times - and I FINALLY was catching my self, and my the end "I" was doing better, hopefully I can remember that for next time. I think I need to write notes on my hand when I go out next time.

I got to try out my NEW Puppy AKA Camera when Amanda had her turn. So all the herding photos on Amanda's blog are with my new Camera, and so far so good, it will take some getting used too, but I suspect I will get lots of photos taken this weekend. 

Want to see the very first photo I took with my new Camera?? 

This is my favourite photo of the day, it's Pixel, taken with my OLD Camera by the way.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Introducing the newest addition ....

Here she is ... beautiful, black with a bit of white and very shiny. I'm pretending she is my new puppy, because I can't have a real one :(

Just like her predecessors the D100, and D200, she is the newest beauty to carry on the these great genes, she is the D300 (I am nicknaming her DeeDee).

She'll be showing up my others in no time. And by that I mean my other cameras, not dogs :). So why can I have 10 cameras and only 3 dogs, life is just not fair.

But just like a puppy, we have a lot of learning to do together, and if she is like most puppies, she'll have me outsmarted in no time .... let the fun begin!!!

My new puppy

I did it, I couldn't stand it any longer. I picked up my new puppy today. She is beautiful, black with a bit of white and very shiny. She's a heavy little bugger too.

She comes from a long line of greats, her predecessors are very well known world wide.

She'll be showing up my others in no time.

I can't write too much about it right now, I have to go play!

More to come later!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Party like it's 1999.

Well I accomplished something monumental this month (in my mind anyway), after 9.5 years my Student Loan is payed off!!! I graduated from College in 1999, and the payments began ... I remember thinking how far away 9.5 years was, and what I would be doing. Blogging about it never crossed my mind 9.5 years ago. I am having a party, really I am.

1999 was a great year: I graduated from College, I was offered a job, we moved to this Windy city, I could finally get a DOG, and do something called Agility (my replacement for showjumping)!

The best part of 1999 was we found Jane!! The day we moved I was looking in Newspapers (i know, i know) for Jack Russells. Good thing there was no Kijiji or we would have really been screwed. We even bought a book on the Breed, we were VERY well informed (sarcasm here). We knew not to buy from a Pet Store, though I will admit we did go look - OUR BOOK said that was not a good idea – as there was a thing called Puppy Mills, and Backyard Breeders. OUR BOOK said you should be able to see the parents and your "Breeder" should have you sign a contract, that means you have a good "Breeder" (sarcasm here, again). So that is what we looked for!

Sure enough after we weeded out the "Crazies" (sarcasm here, yet again) – we saw Jack Russells that looked like Bassett Hounds, and one guy even had two litters at the same time, with both moms and all puppies loose together in a shed, he didn't even know who's pup was who's. We did meet the dad, a real charmer - if you like your hand covered with puncture wounds. 

I just wanted any JRT at this point. We made a call to a nice lady who had one puppy left - she was taking deposits on this 3 week old litter. She said 4 or 5 people had turned he down because she was all white - and people want JRT's with colour. I didn't care. We went and looked at the litter, and quickly wrote a cheque - after I saw the mom, saw the contract, and this "Breeder" even had the dogs' pedigree, and a puppy pack for us to take! WOW!! We were reassured she wouldn't be coming home with us until 8 weeks.

... 2.5 weeks later Jane was home with us (do the math, she was a couple days short of 6 weeks)

The other owners "apparently" wanted their pups early, they were gone when we picked up Jane - that same day, so we scrambled all the things together we needed in a matter of an hour - a crate, a x-pen, a crude amount of toys, collar, leash etc...

We had gone and visited our pup a couple times during those 2.5 weeks prior, and we wondered why the mom was in a separate room from the pups and never with them when we were. We were then told AFTER she wasn't always good with the pups, and neither was Jane's brother who would beat the shit out of Jane and her sister when we were there, and we would have to grab them from out the corners to play with them. They lacked some serious social skills.

If I knew then, what I know now .... I would have never gone to look at this litter, but I also wouldn't have Jane, a dog who has taught me more about LIFE and dogs than I ever thought possible. She is far from an angel, and has a lot of issues, but dammit, I have done a good job with her. She can go into stores with me, walk down the street past people and dogs, ride in the car, travel by boat and plane, and never cause a fuss, she can in most situations be a normal dog, and at Jack Russell Terrier trials, she always gets gushed over how well behaved she is ... skateboarders and rollerbladers can STILL get her going however :)

Because of Jane, I have an obsession with all things dog - I do not like to fail, and it was NOT an option to give up on her. She is the reason I love to teach other people and dogs - if I can do what I've done with Jane - ANYTHING is possible, you just have to want it bad enough. She is the reason I have this blog, she is the reason I have an SUV, she is the reason I have Kaleb and Gyp, she is also the reason I have white sheets on my bed and an obsession with getting rid of those damn little white doghairs.

This post was supposed to be about my student loan Party, and now I have some wet stuff coming out of my eyes, rolling down my cheek.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kaleb the retired SAR Dog: A 2nd Graders Science Project.

TITLE:  How a Dog Uses its Nose. Feb. 28/09

ABSTRACT: Kaleb will show the Grade 2 kids how and why a dog uses his nose better than a human can, a dogs nose is a powerful scenting tool. The children will also learn about the power and wetness of a dog's tongue - this however, is unrelated to the experiment.

- Learn how a dog uses it nose, and what factors make it easier or harder
- Learn why it is better than a human nose
- See the dog work and search for hidden articles, and people by using its nose

EQUIPMENT: Kaleb, Sport Socks (for adding children's scent too), Scent Bottle (to check for wind direction), 4 innocent children.

The Kids scent up the Sport Socks

Pete shows how the scent gets carried by the wind, Kaleb is fascinated.

- If the dog comes running at you, be a tree
- Cover your face to keep it safe from "the Tongue"
- Hold on to your toques and mittens

OMG!! Rule #1, I said be a tree!!!!

Demonstration 1.
- 4 Children will scent up the provided sport socks and take off running in all directions and hide the socks in the park in various locations.
- Kaleb will be brought in afterwards to find the socks. He is let off leash and told to "search", he uses the wind to pick up the scent.
- Kaleb will alert by laying down on the article upon finding them.

Searching ...

Alerting ...


Demonstration 2.
- 4 Children and me, will go hide on the bushes and pretend we are lost
- We patiently wait to be found by Kaleb
- Kaleb finds us, and licks us all
- Kaleb returns to his dad to show and tell him what he found
- We are all rescued
Kaleb in the distance (you can see him coming), the kids loved it!

- All children were licked, some multiple times
- The dog found all humans, and all sport socks
- The Kids loved playing with the dogs afterwards, more than they enjoyed taking part in the experiment

4 tired kids, 2 tired dogs :)

- The Kids and Parents, oohhed-and-awwed at Kaleb working, and they would all cheer when he found something
- the Kids enjoyed playing fetch with the Dogs
- the Kids quickly learned that playing with Gyp was more fun than with Kaleb, as she drops the ball in your hand EVERYTIME, and Kaleb sometimes drops the ball to lick you in the face

Playing ball with Gyp

Playing Ball with Gyp and Kaleb

Kaleb running with the ball and kong ....