Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bright and Early

22/52 - 52 Weeks for Dogs

Part of my 52 weeks project is to showcase Gyp with landmarks or interesting structures in our city. It is hard to tell, but Gyp is sitting on only about a 10" ledge, what a good girl.
Today we set out bright and early to the photograph part of the remaining frame of the orignal hospital in our city. This spot is used alot for weddings, family photos as it is situated beside what is now a gorgeous museum, and to top it off, it leads to miles of walking trials, which all 3 dogs enjoyed after the photos today.

The coolest thing happened after the photos were done, I lifted Gyp down from the ledge, and before I had a chance to call her, she had ran over to a park bench where an elderly lady was enjoying the morning sun, Gyp hopped right in beside her for a snuggle. I apologized, and the lady was so nice and was more than happy to share the bench with her. I don't think she wanted her to go.

seriously, how cute is this?

There are a number of Senior Residences that border the park, so they got to meet quite a few new, older friends today. It is safe to say, they left a lot of smiles on people's faces.

Friday, May 29, 2009

What?!! still not smiling?!!

you'd be smilin' if you were as cool as the k-man....

Laura and I are still working on our technique.

Need to Smile??

This should help ....

K-man loves his rubber chicken, and since he is allergic to REAL chicken, he has to settle for this one :)

Wanna Play?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hangin' Out.

Gyp and I took a road trip to pick up my sister from the Airport yesterday. Gyppie even got to ride shotgun in the Truck, lucky girl, she loves to just sit and watch.

Dog is my co-pilot.

Mission Accomplished! Auntie L is here!

Gyppie was tired after her long day.

So was I.

We had the family over for some drinks and hung out on the deck.
Kaleb wanteed to flay fetch as always. He brings 2 toys just incase. A Ball and a pair of socks....

"Maybe if I stare at the ball, it will get thrown" ...
Sorry Gyp no fetch for a few more days.

"Back off Kaleb, this ball is mine!"

I think Jane might have been sneaking sips of my beer ...

Did someone say "gopher"?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bird is the Word

We had a nice day training at Blazingstar Ranch this weekend
.... dogs, ducks and friends! I hope to get K's last Junior Hunter leg this summer, so back into the field we go!

Kaleb and Donald ... duck that is. I took this with my zoom lens so he was not as close as he seemed, I would have been trampled if he was actually this close :)

I was very proud of him for honoring at the water. That is Judy's Roxy out there.

Kaleb likes to make a big splash ... 

the end result: soggy dog, soggier duck. There is nothing better than seeing a dog do what it was bred for.

Liz and Andy's, Tinbie with his duck.

Judy holds on TIGHT to Roxy as they wait for the bird.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

everything is gonna be alright, right?

... now if only I could convince myself of that.  

Gyp cut her pad at the river on Thursday, I have been pretty upset about it, and haven't written about it until now.

We have our Regional Agility Championships in 3 weeks, which means barely any training, if any, before our event, to give the cut time to heal - I hope it heals with no problems.

I am an 'everything happens for a reason' person, but this is really testing my beliefs. Perhaps this is preventing me from overtraining, maybe this happened instead of something far worse like a permanent injury. Perhaps it is taking the stress away I was having about planning the event, running all of my dogs, wondering how I am going to manage - because right now, that is the last thing on my mind. I feel I am being selfish, and I should be happy it is not worse, but we work so hard to train for this event, and I want to give Gyppie her chance to shine, because she deserves it, she always tries her hardest for me.

I just want a safe, speedy recovery. Gyp is no worse for wear, but we have to keep it clean and wrapped and let the healing happen.  

Now if only this sick to my stomach feeling and heavy feeling in my chest would go away. The multiple glasses of red wine, margaritas (thanks Jolayne) , Bud Lite with Lime, have helped to take the edge off, but I am really having a hard time with this. I figure airing this on my blog might make me feel better.

Friday, May 22, 2009

three of a kind

three of a kind
Originally uploaded by sarah ...

Gyp, Kaleb and Jane enjoying the sites, sounds and smells of a nice spring day. (yes that pink thing is Kaleb's tongue)

You gotta See it Big

Thursday, May 21, 2009

muttley crew ....

(l-r) Wicca, Tag, Gyp, Lucy, Maggie, BB, Pearl,
missing: K-man had the night off and Jane was in lock up
*also Stoker the sheltie was absent as his handler was home with the flu!

After our Regionals prep class on Tuesday we took a minute for a group photo. This is our group who will be representing Go! Dog! Go! at the AB/NWT Regionals next month.  

Amanda and I have been to many regionals, but for everyone else in our group, this is thier first time, and to top it off, we are co-hosting. It has been a ton of work so far, but the end result will make it all worth it!

Visit the Regionals Website here

If you think the dog in the logo looks conveniently similar to a Flat-coat ...
 you might be on to something :)

Visit our Go! Dog! Go! Blog here:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunburned+Tired = Great Agility Weekend

It was our first outdoor agility trial of the season - and last trial before Regionals. After the last trial I was feeling not super confident in myself, and I've had to go back and really think about our strength and weaknesses - and reevaluate that - and be HONEST about it. I ran in the right headspace for most of my runs, I am the issue, and I need to focus on myself and block other people and their strategies out of head etc etc, and try not to second guess myself. I need to do what I think is best for me and my dogs. I also ran Wicca in snooker, that was some kind of funny. Wicca and Gyp are VERY different creatures, and it was good for me to run her and vice versa, though they are equally fast, it pretty much ends there. YIKES! It really confirmed to do what is best for MY dog and Amanda's strategies are much different for her dog too - what works for me, may or may not work for her and Wicca!! Gyp came home with 4 Qs, and 1st places in those classes. K-man came home wth 5 Q's and ran really well in the heat!

We ran 3 Standards, and Gyp had the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest Masters Standard times of all the Masters dogs. She Q'd in 2 of them and dropped a bar in the last one (the fastest one), but I was THRILLED with her, and how I handled her for the most part too. I just went for it, no second guessing. I for the most part tried not overrunning and being to flingy. She placed 1st in her classes.

Kaleb Qd in 1 of his standards and placed 3rd of 11 dogs, which I was thrilled with!! It was his 35th Masters Standard Q I think! And in Kaleb fashion he had to say HI to the photographer to make sure she got his close-up .... His other two standards we had a missed contact a popped weave exit.

K, Qd in his Jumpers with a 5th of 11th I think. He was feeling the heat of the day, and I was really happy with his effort!

Gyp had a pretty good Jumpers, it didn't feel the smoothest, I am not sure if it was the course or my lack of confidence in the course - she took an off course on the second last jump (bad mama). But I have some things to work on based on this run!

I stress over gamble openings, and I have a new strategy for it (find flow and the points will follow, and stay CALM DAMMIT) and I am proud to say we had 58 points in our opening!! Wicca and Gyp tied for the most opening points! We had different strategies. Wicca did the 22 point mini Gamble twice - Wicca can take way more pressure than Gyp so Wicca can go right into those minis and do them back to back, I can't do that with Gyp, I need to build confidence in between applying that distance pressure - I know this now. So with Gyp I worked on building speed before hitting the minis and we did one 18 point mini and the 22 once, but got more equipment in overall. Interesting hey? Gotta know your dog and what works, and I hope I am on the right track for that.

We missed the final gamble by a tunnel entrance (bad shoulders pointing in the wrong direction - with both dogs DUH!!!)... but I was so thrilled with my opening I wasn't that annoyed at all!

SNOOKER 1 & 2:
The moment you've all been waiting for .... I ran Wicca, Amanda ran Gyp. I ended up with 28 points ... Amanda ended up with 7. We ran each others dogs, JUST that good LOL ... see the video for some good laughs ....

Our Snooker on day 2 was great and we got through to the end, and we had an awesome run that was really challenging for us THREADLES! AHH! K-man Q'd in both his Snooker runs, and was a good boy and worked in the heat really well!

Probably one of the best feeling runs I've ever had with Gyp. I just went for it, and did my best to stay infront of her the whole time on this course with front crosses, it took a bit of convincing my self I could get there, and we did it. She had the FASTEST time of all the dogs! But I REALLY pushed it .... and she missed the last A-frame contact for 5 faults (time), but was still 1st in her large class. I was thrilled! 

Our Go!Dog!Go! group did AMAZING!! Great runs, Titles and Q's galore! I'll update the GDG Blog when I have the updates from everyone! CONGRATS to ALL!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Canadian Agility Team ...

 Nope I am not on the Canadian Agility Team, but I am so proud to have been asked to design the logo and t-shirts. I love how it turned out, and I hope everyone likes it.

I asked if I could have a spot on the Team for designing it - smart eh? But I settled for a t-shirt :)
A little piece of me will be with the team in Austria, and that makes me very happy and proud.

"I designed the Canadian Agility Team logo, 
and I all I got was this lousy t- shirt" 

GO CANADA, kick some butt!

Support the Team and but lots of stuff:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The LIST ...

* note: areas of this photo have been blurred for privacy reasons LOL

Each spring I re-evaluate where I am training wise with my guys. The very fist seminar I took with Terry he suggested I make a list of 5-ish things for each dog, that I keep on a piece of paper in my pocket at a trial or a big event. They are my rules, and reminders for each dog essentially. I also have things I need to do for each dog's warm-up. The list helps me make decisions when walking a course and keep it straight in my head who I am running, and what each dog requires from me, and what I require from each dog. It works for me, it really does.

I have three dogs as you know, and I often compare them to being three different species all together, since they are so different as far as training, temperament and drive levels - not to mention size and body structure. I can make many comparisons, but this morning, zoo animals come to mind, bare with me:

Jane: the matriarch, probably the Queen elephant, the one that will go at her own pace and will run really fast in your direction, if she knows there is food coming her way, she is easy to train, but it has to be her idea. She brings out the senior discount card when ever she can also. If she knew I compared her to an elephant, she would probably stomp on my head.

Kaleb: the young chimpanzee that everyone loves to watch and laugh at. Then you realize that the chimpanzee is not a baby, but in fact, he is a grown ass man.  Though goofy, and fun loving, really easy to train, he just might have his own ideas as to how to 'perform'.

Gyp: The dolphin. Long nose, sleek body, very intelligent. Gyp has a playful side and is very easy to train, and she is pretty lighthearted, and soft, and did I mention cute? She also makes weird noises like a dolphin and is very social with her pals. She is a serious worker, but has fun doing it.

So as you can see, training at my place takes some thought and patience.

So back to my list ... it's time to make a new one, I have a new set of reminders, though some remain the same ... I spend half an hour last night staring at a blank piece of paper, trying to make my new list. It wasn't happening, though I know what I need to put on it. It is my private list, so I probably won't be posting it here.

But, a couple of things on last years list were: 

- drive deep into Tunnels, wait at the exits for him
- have fun!

- make sure I am at the end of contacts with her
- cheer her on

- send to tunnels and get in place
- trust weaves, don't turn shoulders for a cross until she is at the last pole

It's funny, this year my list has changed in someways ALOT, in and other ways not at all.. Something that stays at the top of list for all dogs is "TRUST MY TRAINING, keep my arms down, no flinging."

Happy Training Everyone!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The queen and her new thrown.

This Jane's Birthday present from her Grammy.
It is the most ridiculous present to date.
A Barbie Cinderella chair, for real. 

Would she be Cinderella or a Wicked Step-sister?? hmmmmm

and in this house, when one dog has a birthday, they all have birthday ...

Grammy got me some new balls, 'cause my other ones went missing.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, you filthy animal.

Today Jane is 10 years young. 

This is one of my all time fav photos of her.

Yesterday, she celebrated her last day of being a 'single digit'. 

She thought it would be fun to jump in my flower box when I turned my back to get more flowers for the pot ... she is very young at heart, and thought I should be aware of that. Age is nuthin' but a number.

She was happier than a Pig in Sh!t, I would say.

"i think i have something in my eyeball."

"is the mouse in here ..."

"must ... find ... the ... mouse"

Oh, to be a Terrier. Oh, to be Jane.

 ... Me, trying to salvage the flower box.

... Jane, plotting her next attack.

Happy Birthday, my dirty little dog.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sheep and Puppies, is there anything better?

My friends Jenilee, Cindy and I took the trip to Phantom Ridge Ranch  for a herding lesson with Louanne Twa this weekend. 

Su'nar, Gyp and Neena

First things, first ... Gyp performs "The Corgi Headlock"
 "Back off shorty, those are my sheep."

We have only ever been on Scott and Jenny's sheep. I wasn't sure how Gyp would be with the new sheepies. We worked in the big arena and Louanne talked me through some ideas for Gyp and really helped me with the lay down:  don't point the stick at Gyp's face and expect her to lay down while hovering over her, stand up and block her from the sheep instead - OK I get it know - sort of. Louanne did a great impression of it for me, and I tried my hardest not to bend over with the stick in Gyp's face after that, it was pretty funny - when people do impressions of myself it really sinks in haha. It worked wonders and she had a good lay down for the lesson without getting pouty on me. 

Thanks Jenilee for getting some great shots of us.

She REALLY wanted those sheep and took more pressure than she ever has before, it was really cool, the pressure didn't phase her, she wanted more and more. It was as if she was a REAL Border Collie or something ... she had a couple teeth flossing moments, but quickly settles back in to her job, and I used the momentum to my benefit.

I took these pics while Louanne worked Gyp

Louanne took Gyp for a few minutes to show me how to balance her to the 12 position better and keep her straight and teach her to straighten her self out too, it was really cool to see, she has a great eye for watching the sheep, dog and where she is going.

 I do not have that great eye for this - it is tough, but I am understanding better how to do it. So I tried my hand at it afterward and it was really neat to have Gyp respond so quickly off the pressure to straighten out, just by my body or even a little movement of the stick, side to side that I want her off of. Man is it hard to run backwards, watch my dog, watch the sheep and not fall on my ass!! 

To top off the day, we got to play with the puppies, Bracken and Craig. It was all I could do not to steal them. 

eeeeeew Puppy germs.

SMACK THAT! Gyp was amazingly patient.

Gyp was really good with the pups, sometimes she is a little too 'motherly', but I just have to realize it is OK for her to do, and the puppies were very respectful and Gyp was AMAZINGLY tolerant with them jumping on her as you can see! They had a blast playing with each other, and Craig was infatuated with Gyp. I think he thought she was a puppy too :)

... and they call it Puppy love.