Thursday, April 30, 2009

my 3.

Gyppie girl, K-man, and Jane.

me 'n my three.
my first ever attempt at a self-portrait with my3 ...
I am amazed we all fit in the frame!
my only regret about this photo, sitting on the wet ground ...

in order of appearance: 
the nutjob, me, the sucky girlie, and THE top dog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

it just hit me.

I was looking on good 'ol facebook and a friend posted something that really hit me, and I had never thought of it before. "that at this point in her life, her dog Kes has been a 1/4 part of her whole life."

Jane is coming 10 in a couple weeks, and she at 10 has been a part of a 1/3 of my whole life. 

I would say the best 1/3 yet. 

I am happy and sad all at the same time when I think about it.

Getting old-er is a bitch.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The future's so bright ...

I gotta wear shades ....
It's amazing what 15 minutes and $3 can buy at the Dollar store ....

"I think I look even cuter than normal, but equally cross-eyed."

"I'm too old for this shit. I better get a Timbit for this."

There is no "I" in Team. There is a "U" in excuse ...

"Your dog only runs agility because you ask him/her too"
Have any of you heard this?

But is that a bad thing that my dog does Agility because I ask? Of course she does Agility because I ask - I've never seen a dog teach itself to Weave or learn a 20/20 Contact have you? If you have, please give them my email address so I can have a littermate or be on a waiting list for a puppy in 5 years ....

I have seen dogs teach themselves to miss their contacts and break startlines, steal toysfrom other people's training bags (Kaleb), if they don't know they are doing anything wrong, why wreck a good thing? Do you think these dogs are doing it for "you" or for themselves, I've dealt with this with my own dogs too.

I don't think I would want a dog that only pleases itself and does everything because "it" wants too. Isn't that why we teach reward systems, value for rewards, not to mention impulse control and motivational games, so we can work as a Team? It's a great deal I would say! They don't come to us being bred to do Agility with the instincts to do weave poles, read arm changes and know verbal directional cues (again pass my name on if you know of some who do), so it pretty much all comes down to us "asking" them to do it.

I think the 'key' is how you 'ask', and followed by being 'appropriately thanked', then followed by wanting to do it again because the first time brought great rewards! I am not 'making' my dogs do Agility. Can you 'make' a Terrier to do anything for instance, really? 

but "I", but "he", but "she" but, but, but ....
Rewind 14 years ... Grade 9, I was put in 'remedial' math, because based on my Grade 8 scores that is where I needed to be apparently. I hated math. I made excuses. I didn't try, I had no interest in it, at all, I was made to feel dumb. I counted the minutes until the class ended, well hey I was using math wasn't I? I preferred to use the skills I was good at, drawing horses in my math book.

Fastforward to Grade 10. Math class again, this time with the regular smart kids. But this time it was different, it was, dare I say enjoyable, I did my homework, and I understood what was being taught to me. I was thinking about this today and wondered what made the difference. For one it was my attitude, and more importantly, it was the teacher. You know what, that year I made the honour role, true my other four classes were, English, Art, Graphic Arts and Home-Ec, but hey, my Math mark didn't hold me back that much.

So on to Teachers .... they are the key. Or in this instance "We" are the key. I believe all my dogs enjoy training and learning, and they even like Obedience (could be like grade 9 math class if I let it be). My dogs each have their strengths and weaknesses in everything I do with them, some is based on natural ability, some is taught - but alot is based on what they can offer me and we work with that. Gyp and Kaleb could care less about Jane's cat toys, and Jane doesn't really care about bumpers, so I work with what makes them tick rather than trying to make them something they are not, and for me that has worked in training three very different dogs, breeds, personalities and drive levels. They are all successful in their own right, and have gone beyond a lot of things I ever thought possible.

The same things apply when I work with the BAD, NEGATIVE, or FEAR "issues" my dogs have or had (the difference in attitude between my grade 9 math class to my grade 10 class), I've made excuses, still make excuses, but it doesn't get me very far, so I TRY not too as much as possible, I try to use it as an opportunity.

• Don't dwell on the issues.
• DEAL with the issues, and get on with it.
• The issues DO NOT define my dog, or me.
• It is the GOOD that defines me or my dog.
• I don't let the past rule my future, or my dogs future.
• If you make excuses, you begin to define you or your dog based on that issue or issues.
• Excuses hold you back, and it makes it harder to move forward.
• Focus on the good, and let the rest fall into place.
• Work on the "issues" and the EASY stuff, becomes easier.

So that is all I have to say about that. Just some Monday morning ramblings of things that have been running around in my little brain, anyone have anything else to add??

Friday, April 24, 2009

me and my three.

A while back my friend Andy had us out to Blazingstar Ranch ;) to do some studio portraits. Thanks again Andy! I love them all!

The Three Amigos!

Behind the Scenes:
• Gyp was freaked out by the flashes
• Jane wanted the milkbone Liz had
• Kaleb wanted to catapault onto Liz (he eventully did), notice my hand is behind his back, holding his tail.

The things you do for a good shot!

- - - - - - 
On an Agility Note:
We're off to Outreach this weekend with Kim Collins, it should be FUN! We've learned so much from her and I have become a better handler and trainer because of the consistency she teaches.

What I am most proud of  from this program:
 No more flingy arm!!!; we have really good understanding of directionals; driving with confidence to where I'm going (no flingy arm); we've worked through the "I only want contacts and weaves" with Gyppie; the moving wait - hopefully no more melty Gyppie; and trying to get the best out of your dog, what ever that might be.

Don't aim for success if you want it; 
just do what you love and believe in, 
and it will come naturally. 
- David Frost

Thursday, April 23, 2009

a big dump ....

we were surprised to wake up to a big dump of snow this morning, is wasn't really cold, just snowy, we played in the yard, the dogs loved it! well 2 out of 3 of them....

gimme the ball, like, now.

got it. now keep that 'black thing' away from me.

my turn mama, i promise the ball is dry ....

... and the OTHER  big dump .... it was left by Jane, literally one step off the door. Apparently she wasn't as keen on the snow. Once it warmed up she was out frolicking with the others. But I guess she made her point at 6:30 am.

what you lookin at? i can shit where I want thank you very much.

The BEST dog photos, ever.

These are some of the MOST creative and inspiring dog photos I've ever seen. Not only is he a great photographer, he is amazingly creative and a photoshop master.

Incredible. I am inspired, I am going to tie Jane to helium balloons and she is she will float upwards - oh wait that was the power of photoshop :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Puppy Stealer

so, last time I was at Liz's, I tried to steal the puppies. Well in my defense they tried to climb in my vehicle ... but OK, I didn't discourage it.

can you blame me?
 they are some kind of cute ...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

mirror, mirror on the wall ...

Who in this land is fairest of all?

Reflections Challenge.
I loved this challenge, I thought immediatly of snow white and "mirror, mirror", I think I captured it well, this is almost exactly what I pictured in my head. I wanted to focus on the reflection of Gyp in the mirror, and have the "real Gyp" blurred, and Jane somehow in the background - illustrating that she is not ready to give up the thrown just yet.

It took 5 shots to get this, and after I saw this one, I stopped snapping. Gyp's expression is exactly what I wanted - and she IS looking at herself ... and Jane NOT looking at the camera sets the mood even more.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Agility ... it has its ups and downs ...

Another Sunday up at 4am to play Agility... on the road at 4:30.

 I am beginning to think I am nuts - Pete thinks I am, as he got up with me and I dropped him off in Calgary at our friend Jeff's and they went fishing for the day (we had way more success than him today :) ). Another two weekends in a row coming up of early morning travelling. Did I mention I put 13,000km on my vehicle a year going to Agility Trials and Training? ouch.

I had Kaleb and Gyp entered in the 4 runs today and Jane in 3. And I've uploaded some runs, and running three dogs makes for long write-ups ....

First up: Masters Standard - Kaleb and Gyp
A really great course and technical, for the most part I was happy with how I handled it, the end however was really FUGLY. It was set up for the dogs to read it as a pinwheel, but we just needed to do the 180 (not the middle jump), this was tough, the dogs needed to see something different from the handler other than supporting the pattern of the pinwheel, so I had to handle it with that in mind. I posted the video but I would have loved to delete the last 4 obstacles from the video, I guess it wasn't that bad, but I could have done better. Gyp was GREAT, and somehow with the fugliness at the end she had the FASTEST Masters time of all the dogs, imagine if I had handled the end better, her time would have been even faster - she ran it in 40 seconds (57 was the SCT). Kaleb too had a great run he placed 1st in his class of 9 dogs!!!!!

Next: Steeplechase: The Three Amigos
A cool course, not the most straight forward Steeplechase, but it ran really well. 

It's always a gamble entering Jane - will there be 2 sets of weaves - or 2 A-frames? Today there was 2 sets of weaves *sigh, not that she is a really bad weaver - she is just slow (due to my great training  8 years ago) :) I knew she would be fast as she broke she start line and took of without me - IT WAS AWESOME! I love when she does that! I LOVE FAST JANER!

Gyp again was super, this dog is just too ... I don't even know the word. We just click and we trust eachother. On this course I trusted she would nail a weave entrance without me, and she trusts I will give her the right direction. Did I ever say how much I love this dog? She is just so Gyppie.

My K-man came up lame on this run, if he balks at a jump and pops the poles twice after I resend him again, there is something WRONG - so we stopped I talked to the judge and we left the course, he was obviously stiff in the back right leg - he was fine in his first run of the day, so I'm not sure what is going on. I gave him a nice massage and lots of cool down. My poor boy ... more on this later

SNOOKER! Again, the Three Amigos participated
I gave Kaleb a good 10 minute warm up - lots of trotting and looking at his movement and flexion. We did 3 7s and the 2, he did good and Qd but after looking at the Video, he was just not 100%, again he is not "lame", but just "off". I pulled him Jumpers at the end of the day and he just got to hang out with me.

Gyp was Gyp .... we attempted the 4 7s again - it was the teeter. We got through the 4 7s - but it wasn't pretty .... then she bit the wrong tunnel entrance on #4 TWEET!  

Jane was super cute and we did 3 7s and the 2 - by the time she was over the teeter the 3rd time, I think she thought I was nuts! But it was a good run and she 1st and Qd!

JUMPERS: Gyp and Jane (kaleb was pulled)
I had a bad handling moment a serp into a push through, I over rotated a bit and Gyp balked at the jump and was called on a refusal, otherwise it was a beautiful run!

Jane had an off course .. so I made the best of it ... and I pinched her bum going into the rest of the tunnels on course, she loves that was she was so happy  and spunky coming off the course! There was a few people chuckling :)

So I have lots to work on with the gang, but most of all I hope Kaleb recovers soon.

Here are some videos, enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Working for a living.

Sometimes my job takes me out of the office (YAY)
Yesterday I got to shoot lots of People, Places and Things ....

Here are some Places and Things, the people I can't show yet, 
but I can once the photos are published.

The truck wasn't part of the shoot...
but I figured I would show pictures of him in his natural habitat :)

enjoy ....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kaleb is man enough to wear pink

I was asked if this photo could be used for a fundraiser for a 
woman who is a dog walker in New York, and who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
At the time my cousin was just finishing her chemotherapy from her 
breast cancer battle, she is now in recovery, 
here is hoping the cancer is gone for good.

This photo was shot last summer to cheer up my cousin,
and I was honoured to be asked to use it for this fundraiser, 
and I wish Lisa the best in her fight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Family Resemblance ...

Q: What happens when Gyp runs face first into the mud to get the toy from Kaleb?

A: Gyp comes out looking like a Badger ... with a mouth full of mud.

I laughed so hard I cried when I saw this photo. If I saw this dog at the river, I would RUN, FAST ... in the other direction! ! I've never seen her face look like this, and I hope for her sake it doesn't happen again! Her posture, expression and muddy-wetness just crack me up, her face was stuck like this because of the mud, seriously.

My poor, sweet, beautiful girlie looks so ... oogly. 

Just in case that last photo scarred you for life, 
and you forgot what "Pretty Gyp" looks like, here you go ....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

mud and water = fun!


more mud.

Kaleb waiting patiently for his turn. Sometimes they race each other for the toy, other times we practice being patient. This is not photoshopped, he does have 'some' self-control. 

See Kaleb gets a turn, and Grammy gets more muddy ...

mine at last!

i want the #$%^@#$ toy! "Little Miss Perfect" swears like a sailer, it's true.

haha mine, sucka.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

8 frames per second, ready set go!

Yesterday was my fist day of training outside YIPPEE GYPPIE! I did a wee bit of training with the dogs, a few tough weave entries for each dog, individual dogwalk and that was it. It is amazing what you can get done in 20 minutes with a couple pieces of equipment.

oh, and we did the table :)

My mom came out with me to help clean up the field, take 4 bags of garbage to the bins, and get things organized. The field is looking better already! Now to fill in those DAMN gopher holes ...

I also got my mom to be "a human tripod" for me ... 
I set up the settings and the shots and told her press the "black button thingy" (as she calls it) as the dog came into the frame ... lets just say it took a few tries to get a dog in the frame :)
 My new camera takes 8 frames per second, and we got some cool shots today ... enjoy!

Grammy AKA "The Human Tripod" and Jane

I didn't set up this one for my mom, it was totally candid, she did it all by herself.
Me and my Janey, I friggin love it.

Blingitty, Bling, Bling ...

My cowgirls are ready for the rodeo ... 
fashioned in their Cowboy Cool Canine collars, 
they are stunning, handmade and blingy! Aren't they gorgeous?

My little country bumpkin showing off her new bling

Only the most over the top bling fit for the Queen ... 
it's her early birthday present ya that's it.

We had to get something to match these new collars ...
a new RED truck!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


anywun wanna play wif me?
 i promise i won't slobber on you ...

.... haha suckers.