Monday, June 29, 2009

A long life lived.

Ramona, the day we picked Kaleb up, June, 2002. 

Kaleb's mama, Ramona passed away this weekend. She was 13 years old, and three months. What a life she lived. 13 years is old for any dog, but for a Flat-coat that is really amazing. I saw last summer, and her spirit was as lovely as ever. She will be missed by all.

Ch Prairielight's Abrakadabra CDX, WCI, JH, AmWC.

March 8, 1996 - June 26, 2009

This photo and the one above, taken June 2008, when we visited last summer.

June 2007. Kaleb, Ramona, and his sisters, Ylva and Lily.

Ramona still retrieving at 12.5!

Ramona at 12.5 years old (Photos by Liz Saunders)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jaws, meet Jaws.

For a dog that hates water, it is hard to get her out of the kiddie pool, especially when there is a SHARK involved.

[Insert Jaws theme here for full effect]
du nuh ...du nuh ... du nuh ...

Jaws, meet your maker ... the REAL Jaws.

Be afraid, be really afraid ... this dog could be in  your kiddie pool ....

Jane might be a little toothless these days, but she's still got da stuff.

She got her Shark toy 2 years ago when we visited Van. Island, as you can see it was a big hit from day one .... 

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The Creature Strikes again ....

A toss going to Gyp... quickly got intercepted by the Crazy Eyed Black Creature from Cameron Lake.
Any guesses how this ends?

Does the creature catch it? 
or does he FAIL?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Crazy Eyed Black THING from Cameron Lake

Another rare spotting on Vancouver Island. 
It's the Crazy Eyed Black Thing from Cameron Lake. 

Though the creature has large teeth and is often heard barking and seen frothing at the mouth, they are friendly and harmless.

It is best to keep your distance unless you are prepared to get wet.

They are highly driven creatures, and stop at nothing to get what they want.

He met up with the infamous Border-seal, and they got along famously...

The Crazy Eyed Black Creature never misses the toss.

The Border-seal however, needs to finesse the skill ....

Monday, June 22, 2009

A rare animal spotted in the Pacific Ocean!

... I was fortunate enough on my vacation, to witness a rare spotting...
the elusive Vancouver Island, Border-seal ...

I learned that they are often seen with a wubba in their mouth.

The Border-seal realizes she has been spotted, but continues into shore.

... the Border-seal rides the waves into shore, it comes so naturally, they are often seen with their eyes closed.

the Border-seal has almost reached her destination...

ahhh yes, the land, and she spots a person to throw her Wubba again.

Stay tuned for more adventures, next up the "Crazy Eyed Black Thing" from Cameron Lake....

Its official, Kaleb has Beauty and Brains!

We had such a great time at the Specialty, it was busy, busy! Kaleb hasn't shown since '06 when he was shown in Altered at the Specialty, he was neutered in 05 after he got his CH. He was entered in Veterans 7 - 9 this time instead of Altered. I could NOT believe it when the the Judge picked Kaleb as the winner. I stood there in shock for a few seconds!!! I was truly honoured she picked him!! Then to top it off he made both cuts and was in the final line up for BIS! What a cool experience, to be among all those beautiful dogs will be something I will never forget. Kaleb also got 2nd in the Working Retriever class, that was super cool, as you can see he loves his prize!  

Just an hour before this photo, he had run 2 agility runs, and was soaking wet from taking a dunk in the creek!! 
I am glad he dried in time!!

the final line up!

Kaleb also finished his Rally Novice title with 2 4th places.  

He ran Agility and placed 1st and Qd in 7/8 Runs and finished those titles too.  

Since he placed in both Conformation AND Performance Events, he also got a "Beauty and Brains" Award.

What a boy.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Regionals a great success! Pinch me.

What a weekend. The fact that I am still awake boggles my mind as I have now been up for almost 20 hours. I may modify what I am writing if this makes no sense in the morning once I have slept. Regionals was great, better than great, it was awesome. I have had so many sleepless nights, worrying about all the details and what if's. I've said it a thousand times, but we have a KICK ASS group of dedicated people that made it happen. 

Lets start with Friday.
Gyp won the first round of the Steeplechase. She had an off course on the second, but still placed fourth in that round. She made it to the final on Sunday! K missed a contact and didn't make it to the final.

On to the main event ....
I am too tired to write too much, but too awake to not write, so I'll get right to it. I am just trying to absorb it all. I am so proud I kept my nerves under control this weekend. And I think with the stress of planning and helping run the event, running the dogs was a nice relief, and though stressful, I was looking forward too it, I do work best under pressure, this was a big test. And with Gyp's cut foot, Jane broken tooth, I think I was distracted and didn't obsess so much about running my dogs, at alot of points in the last month, it has been the last thing on my mind.

Gyp ran her heart out for me. I am so lucky to have this dog. 

Gyp ran 6 for 6.
Jumpers 1 - 1st Place
Jumpers 2 - 1st Place
Gamblers 1 - 2nd Place
Gamblers 2 - 1st Place
Standard 1 - 1st Place
Standard 2 - 1st Place

Gyp is the 16" Special Champion!! With 580 points!! OMG!!!!!!

I am still in disbelief. Mostly because I kept my head on straight, and I did not rush. I was pretty calm, for me anyway. Amanda said she even saw me take two deep breaths before starting my end gambles :) Perhaps I was too tired to rush...

She also had the highest points of all Specials Dogs, and we won a set of 12 weave poles!! 
And to top it off she won the 16" Special Steeplechase Final too!!

Then .... there is the man, the legend, the K-man. :)
I am NOT kidding when I say this was the best weekend he has EVER had. It was HOT and he is BLACK, and 7.5 years old. His energy was amazing all weekend, really he amazed me. really. really. for real. 

Kaleb ran 5 for 6. Well it would have been 6 for 6 but he dropped a bar in his Standard today, which I might add was probably his best run EVER. His class is competitive and I went in to it, hoping for top 6.

Jumpers 1 - 3rd Place
Jumpers 2 - 2nd Place
Gamblers 1 - 1st Place
Gamblers 2 - 2nd Place
Standard 1 - 2nd Place
Standard 2 - 2nd Place

Are you ready for this? 

Kaleb is the  16" Veteran B Regional Champion!!!! WTF!!!

Kaleb ended up with 550 (it think) points, Vets get more time, so his points were really high!!  Yep, you read that right. I am so proud of him I can't even put it into words. As much as I joke that he is a goof, dork, idiot and dum dum, I love this dog, like really love this dog.

So here is a photo so you know I am not lying ... and so I can see that it is true too. pinch me.

NOTE: I ended up pulling Jane this weekend because of her toother surgery 2 days before, she was not 100%, and in the heat I am sure she would not have wanted to run to best, so it was a tough decision to make, but it was for the best. Pete came to watch results tonight, and was only gone for 4 hours. There was a  nice 'present' in the basement for us when we got home, just to let us know how she felt about the whole situation.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

off to the races ...

Well I'm signin' off, I'll be back on Monday with updates, maybe sumthin' in between, but I doubt it.

I am so excited for this weekend I can hardly get the smile of my face! I looking forward to the event, seeing all the people and all the hard work everyone has been doing take shape today. 900 emails later, we are ready to ROCK and ROLL!

We have 70 volunteers throughout the weekend which is amazing. 3 rings of agility, 160 dogs entered, and 108 handlers.

This must be what a wedding must feel like :) minus the dorky dress. (sorry I'm not a wedding person)

I am anxious, nervous and excited to run my dogs too.

.... and great weather, pinch me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More healing thoughts needed.

she was acting funny yesterday, I checked her over last night, found a freshly broken tooth and swollen gums. she was up all night really uncomfortable, snorting, and licking at her mouth. she is still not feeling well today, and still snorting, but the swelling is down.

 surgery tomorrow. thankfully they can get her in right away.

the 2nd tooth out in 6 months, i hate getting her put under at her age. stress.

wish her luck.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gramma's curtains

23/52 - 52 Weeks for Dogs View On Black  

I put out a request for an Individual Challenge in the 52 Weeks Group,
and I got: "how about something staged and indoor? "

I don't have studio lights, but I have great natural light in my Kitchen. I hung this retro fabric (that will be the curtains in our 1974 Boler Trailer). The fabric is called "Patricia", which is my mom's name. Hence the title "Gramma's Curtains". I love how it turned out, thanks for Challenge, I look forward to more!

I took a few more of the whole gang ...

"oh please, are we done yet?"

"i want the baaaaallllll"


"is this cute enough for you?"

I can't wait to get the curtains made, they will look great with the new and improved interior. We have plans to re-do the exterior this summer, Burt is gonna look sweeeeeet! Just a few more weeks!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Agility Regionals & FCR National Specialty

One more week until the AB/NWT Regionals! It has been a monster of an event to plan for everyone, but I am so excited that we have such an amazing group of people from our group and volunteers pulling together to put on the 3 Ring Circus, I mean BIG SHOW! We have some serious Type 'A' people in our group, so no stone will be unturned! 

We are now in the every-last-detail phase, it seems everyone if thinking of everything, when will it end! I have had more than a few sleepless nights. Our handler bags are great, I can't wait to get my hands on one, there is alot of cool stuff in those bags, and the bags themselves are sweeeeet!! We have a great concession, fancy fencing for the rings, amazing prizes for Volunteers, a great Banquet event planned (with GREAT food), a great venue, really nice porta-potties, beautiful flowers to decorate the rings with, press release sent, great vendors and sponsors, and the list goes on and on and on ..... we hope everyone has a GREAT time!

I am still a bit nervous about running all the dogs and coping with the running of the event, but like I said we have an Army of people, so all is well! Here's hoping for a great event, and would it be too much to ask for great weather too?

Following the Regionals ... I need to keep my dog bag packed, and pack my own suitcase! We hit the road Tuesday morning for Vancouver Island. We are attending the Flat-coated Retriever Society of Canada National Specialty AND visiting my Grandparents, which I am really excited about, they love the dogs. K-man will be doing, Agility, Rally and showing as a Veteran in conformation, as well he will be showing in Sweeps and the Working Dog class. Gyp gets to come tag along and look cute.

Me, my mom, my bro, Kaleb and Gyppie are packing up and heading out in my moms car which should be an adventure in itself! She doesn't drive standard, and I do not want to drive 14 hours one way my self, thank you very much! So we are packing up the Matrix, I am sure it will be packed to the roof!! NOTE TO SELF: Bring lots of Windex to clean the nose prints off the windows.

Let the fun begin!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

opportunity knocks.

I met up to train with a couple friends last night at a local park, 
and well I did get a bit of Obedience, Rally, 
and Conformation work done,
I was distracted the whole time by the beautiful light 
and this field of dandelions.

The only thing more lovely than the light of a sunrise, 
is the summer light of a sunset.
I think I might go back tonight to take some 
more photos in this wonderful spot.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

how did I get 3 dogs, not a lot of choice.

So Amanda tagged me, you have to tell the story about how you got the dogs you have, I'll make this short and sweet:

THE YEAR: 1999
I wanted a Rottie (yes, you read that right). Pete wanted a Jack Russell Terrier.
We called the Ad in the newspaper, we met Jane at 3 weeks, she was the only one left, so we didn't have a choice I guess. No one wanted a white Jack Russell, we didn't care. she was home with us 3 weeks later.

THE DOG, THE MAN, THE LEGEND: Kaleb A.K.A. the K-man
THE YEAR: 2002
I wanted a flat-coat, Pete wanted one too for Search and Rescue, Kaleb is HIS dog afterall, so a year later ...

Kaleb's breeder picked him based on the qualities we were seeking: drive, working ability, etc (obnoxious wasn't on the list, I think they tricked us :) ), so again we didn't have a choice. We drove to get him at 10 weeks old.

THE DOG: Gyp A.K.A. Gyppie Girl
THE YEAR: 2006
We weren't looking for dog. 
I didn't think we could have another female in the house. 
I never considered a Border Collie as an option.
Amanda asked me to Foster a cute Border Collie she had, who was herding washout and was looking for a new job (just watch her over the weekend she said) almost 3 years later, she is still here :) Gyp came to live with us September 2006, at 21 months old. 

Gyp picked us. The moment Pete quit saying she had to go was when she layed her head on Pete's lap and looked up at him with those eyes. She is a daddy's girl all the way. 

It is Amanda's fault. We didn't really have a choice, she had to stay, it was love at first sight.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Did someone say A-G-I-L-I-T-Y?

Gyppie putting on her "feel sorry for me" face.

I am feeling a lot of relief today. Gyp's pad has made a super quick recovery. Looks like we are on track for the 2 week mark in healing, Thursday will be 2 weeks since the injury happened. Which leaves us 1 week to train before regionals. I'll take what I can get! 

She did nothing for the first 5 days - no walks, no fetch (still no fetch at this point), she did get depressed, I am pretty sure she was picking up on my stress and sadness.

Day 4 (i was traumatized and didn't take a photo until then) you can see it was swollen and the gash was pretty deep

 After the 5 days (still wearing a boot and vet wrapped foot), we started playing again (no fetch), going for short walks, practicing obedience etc. 

At the 1 week mark we started flatwork (Shadowhandling), and going for longer walks. Her foot was still seeping a bit, but it is part of the healing process, so I was still changing her bandage 2 or 3 times a day.

On day 9 I noticed the biggest change in the healing (foot still wrapped) we did some end behaviours on the contacts and some low jumps practicing her distance and directionals. We also worked 3 weave poles. We only worked for about 5 minutes in total.

Today is day 12!
Things are looking up, I will start to New-Skin her pad in the next couple days, but today  she is down to a bare paw in the house, and just a light wrapped paw when we go out today. I want to let it heal and toughen up on its own, and I am still being careful.

We are going to Agility class tonight, and I have a specific list to work on. Now that her pad is getting better, and I am not SO stressed about that.

... now I can start to stress about running my dogs at Regionals, in 10 days GULP :)

Day 12, the pad is back to a normal colour, and the gash has almost filled in (pads grow from the inside out)

Did someone say K-I-T-T-Y? 

.... Um no Gyp, I said A-G-I-L-I-T-Y!

(thanks everyone for all of the well wishes and happy healing thoughts for Gyppie, I really believe it helped)