Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Live life to it's fullest.

Kaleb has a motto:

"The only thing to take seriously in life, is having fun."

K is so fun to train - in whatever he does. He has taught me too lighten up, how can you not have fun (and want to strangle) with a dog like this? Come on. Everyone needs a dog like this at some point.

Just this week, I was belly laughing at him running around the Agility field with a bucket on his head - like, i mean over his eyes. SMACK into a jump he goes. Grabs the bucket keeps going ... seriously, who does that? Last night he discovered numbered pylons, and thought those were fun to run around with - the more people laugh, the more he does it ... He is 7.5 years old. But when he is working it is GAME ON. I love that about him. He rocked last night.

A friend of mine commented on how much she loves watching run Agility these days, as he is at the height of his maturity ... "Good goD, this is mature?" I thought.

Kaleb is a "unique" dog. Some might say "special". Hence the nickname ... Special K

umm..... WTF??

Jane has one word to describe Kaleb also ...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

City slicker.

Poor Gyp. Living in the city has taken its toll on her.

Today on our run just outside city limits - where we go all the time, Gyp spotted something in the distance, and if I didn't know any better, I might have imagined us at a herding trial, and she was doing a beautiful outrun (well 150 feet, but hey, I can pretend). I watched my pretty dog run confidently, low to the ground, all slinky-Border-Collie-like in the opposite direction from me, she would stop lift one leg, then go further. I could not figure out what was holding her attention. I didn't see sheep ...

I didn't call her back to me - she wasn't afraid, she was determined! Go! Gyppie! Go!

Um ... Gyp ... it's called "Hay", not like "Hey, you're dumb"...
it's "Hay, a Bale of Hay" that round thing is a "Bale", farm animals eat it.
Remember, you used to live on a farm too?

So ... she isn't the brightest crayon in the box .... that'll do Gyp ... that'll do ... sigh ...

Weeee look at me ... I can fly doo dee doo ... I love butterflies.

...Well, speaking of crayons, Kaleb isn't that bright either ...
"Um Kaleb ... Gyp has the ball, you can quit looking for it"

Jane has one thing to say ... "losers."

Monday, September 28, 2009

If the Collar Fits ...

A picture speaks a thousand words ...
or in this case, just one.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I get up, and nothing gets me down.
You got it tough. Ive seen the toughest around.
And I know, baby, just how you feel.
You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real

Oh can't you see what I mean?
Might as well jump. jump! Might as well jump.
Go ahead, jump. jump! Go ahead, jump.

A little 80's music video to start your weekend out right ...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot vs. Cold

We have had some wicked warm, dare I say HOT weather these last few weeks. I love every sweaty, dehydrating, sun burned second of it. It means one less day of cold until next summer :)

The dogs agree with me 100%
Winter means: no swimming, no outdoor Agility, wearing jackets and boots, warming up the car, scraping windshields. Sounds fun right?
(it was -34c on this day, the coldest day I recall living here. This photo is the only good thing to happen that day)

Kaleb likes the cold ... a little too much... disturbing isn't it?

I prefer to keep this image in my head ... green grass, blue sky = happy

keep the warm weather coming ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Results and Videos

I had to give Jane the limelight on her own one more time ... here are her 2 runs from the weekend :)
What a good girlie she is!! Happy Retirement Jane, let's go fishin'!!

Now I can talk about Gyp and Kaleb. They ran GREAT this weekend. Really they couldn't have been better or faster, my handling however wasn't as stellar, not bad, some improvements, but I had a few duh moments... but we learn from mistakes right?

Gyp came home with 4 Q's
2 Masters Gambers Q's and 2 - 1sts (tied for the highest points with Wicca on Gambler 1)

1 Masters Jumpers 1st and Q (FASTEST time of ALL the Masters dogs!!) I was really proud of this run, it was a tough course and I handled the best way I could.

1 Masters Snooker 1st and Q (highest points - tied with Kaleb ... of all dogs to tie with!!)

Our other non-Qing runs were really good too...

The Challenge class was AWESOME. Gyp was killing it out there, until I gave her a late cue and she took and off course on the second LAST obstacle DUM SARAH!! Still I was so proud of that run, Q or no Q!! It was not an easy course.

Our Standard was great too, she stepped on the chute coming off the A-Frame 5 Faults, but an otherwise nice run. After those 5 faults I really challenged my handling, and I'm glad you report it worked!! Again no Q in that run, but I left the course feeling GREAT about it! And my contacts are better since I am not saying TARGET too early.

Steeplechase I got greedy and lazy, and should have just done the damn cross. Instead I didn't support a jump and she turned with me and we got an off course. Otherwise a wonderful FAST run.

Sometimes you learn MORE from the runs you don't Q in, and that was this weekend FOR SURE, and I am glad I learned from that.

The K-man was on once again, he is on a roll these days. He Qd in 5 of his 7 classes.
Gamblers 2 - 2 Place and Q
Standard - 2nd and Q
Snooker - 1st and Q
Jumpers - 2nd and Q
Steeplechase - 1st and Q
Gyp was commentating in the background ....Kaleb tied with Gyp for the highest points in that run! They both finished to the end ... Gyp just did it quicker than Kaleb :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

My little girl retires.

photo by Wendy Devent

My first dog, first agility dog, and best teacher retired this weekend from Agility competition. I knew the time was coming I was just having a hard time with it. It means Jane is getting older and I don't like it one bit.

She was entered in Gamblers and Jumpers on Saturday, and she ran he little heart out, she Qd and placed 1st in both of her classes. It was like running Jane as a youngster she was so full of piss and vinegar. I'll have videos posted soon!!!

The after effects of her being stiff and having muscle spasms that are just not worth running her, and this has showed up in the last year. And it really opened my eyes this weekend. We came off the jumpers course and we were cooling down and heading back to our friends, and I had thought she had tripped, but her right back end was buckled underneath her. She tried to get up and she fell onto her side. I can't get the image out of my head, it was so disturbing and awful. Nothing like that has ever happened to her, and I hope it never does again. I sat her up and her whole back and right rear end was so tight, I managed to massage her and walk her out and all seems OK now. She has a heart murmer and it is quite strong, so I wonder if her heart can't pump enough blood to her muscles when they are fatigued, and it was really hot that day too, as well as her body can't get rid of the lactic acid build up which causes the muscles to spasm and cramp. In any case her retirement couldn't have come at a better time, that was her way of telling me. There is no denying that.

That night at dinner, my friends surprised me with an awesome book of greetings and Agility photos from over the years. As well as a cake with our photo on it and "Jane Retires to her Throne", it was so special, and I still can't stop tearing up. I read the book again last night and I just couldn't stop crying, it has really hit me now.

I love my Janey girl. She is the most loyal, loving little dog. Yes she has her issues, and will always be dog aggressive, but most people don't know this about her and have never seen it, because it is managed to the best of my ability. She was a dog that couldn't be in the same room with a group of dogs without trying to take their faces off, or walk down the street without snarling as a young pup. After a years of hard work she is a dog who ignores those around her and gets compliments on how well behaved she is in everyday situations, and she could even run at National Agility competitions with no issues.

We overcame a lot, and those who REALLY know her, know how much work it was. Our bond is so strong and different than my other dogs because of those early years, and the hours upon hours of building the trust and team we became, and it was worth every cookie. We trust eachother and most of all respect eachother, and I swear she can read my mind. We had 7.5 years in the agility ring together, and I am so grateful for that.

She was the first Jack Russell In Alberta with an ATCHC, she placed at all 6 AAC Regional events she ran in, she placed on the podium at a National Agility event, but most of all she always tried her hardest for me, even when she was stressed and I was stressed, and at the end of each day, she still cuddled under the covers with me in the bed.

We plan to spend her retirement years taking long walks, going for car rides, fishing, eating Tinbits, camping and playing with the jolly ball whenever her heart desires. I also hope to do some Rally obedience Trials when we can. She owes me nothing, I am forever in debt to her for what she taught me, and for what I could then pass onto others. Happy retirement Janey, you deserve it.

- 2nd Place 6" Veteran division AAC Regionals
- SILVER Award of Merit AAC Agility

- 2nd Place 6" Veteran division AAC Regionals

- 3rd Place 10" division AAC Regionals

- Jane recieves BRONZE Award of Merit from AAC Agility
- Jane placed 14th of 28 at the 2006 Nationals in Burnaby
- 2nd Place 10" division AAC Regionals
- APDT Rally Level 1 title and Award of excellence for her high scores

- 6th place overall in the 10" division at AAC Agility National Championships
- ATCHC, first JRT in Alberta
- 4th Place 10" division AAC Regionals
- AJRTC 2005 Trial Agility Champion

3rd Place 10" division AAC Regionals
- Competed at AAC Nationals in Montreal
- AJRTC Trial Agility Champion
- AJRTC Reserve Obedience Champion

2nd Place 10" division AAC Regionals

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good Morning

A perfect morning walk, followed by some meditation in the backyard. I would like to think Jane is visualizing her runs at the Agility Trial this weekend, but the truth is she is probably dreaming of fishing or gophers.

Did someone say Gopher?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Payback's a bitch.

... and she has back-up.

I have nightmares that one day the dogs will turn on me. I better be ready to smile ...

say cheese (click to see it big)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Diarrhea, Agility and a couple of ASSES.

We'll get the shitty stuff out of the way first ....

Nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea .... That is how my weekend started. Kaleb was really sick last week - no eating for 2 days, bloody stool a few days before. We were heading to Kimberley BC for an Agility Trial and I needed him to get to the Vet STAT - I didn't want to have him get any more sick. So an hour before we were to leave, the vet got him in (YAYAY), and like last year he has Gastroenteritis ... the tummy flu. He probably ate or drank some bad water ... I think it was from a smoked bone he had (never given him one like that - they normally get raw), and it gave him gut rot.

Anyways by Friday night, his appetite was back, and he was barking his head off and being obnoxious (I love my boy). He has lots of small meals over the weekend and that seemed to help too. And his guts seem back to almost normal now.

I wasn't sure I would be running him at the trial. So we entered the Gamble ring, and he was BACK!!! He nailed the Gamble and the rest of the weekend was icing on the cake. I was just so happy he was feeling better.

The Agility Stuff ...
Kaleb brought home 5 Q's
Masters Gamblers - Q 1st Place
Masters Standard x 3!! - Qs 1st Places - He also earned his 40th Masters Standard Q!!!!!
Masters Snooker (not sure of the placement)

Then on to Gyppie .... ups and downs ....
She started out running great, but by the middle of the first day she seemed off, I pulled her from a course and a few minutes later she started dropping a shoulder. So I pulled her for the rest of the day, and massaged, rested, and walked her. It was off and on. Not a major limp, just an intermittent shoulder drop. I couldn't find anything obvious. So the next morning I waiting to see how she was. She seemed fine the next moring so we ran our Standard, and she was great, no issues in warm up or on the course. About 10 minutes into the cool down her gait was off again. So I pulled her for the next 2 runs and gave her a full massage, rest and a few small walks. 7 hours after the standard was jumpers, I took her out for 2 small warmups to see how she was, and again, she was fine UGH. So I ran her in jumpers, and since that run, she seems fine again!

So I am not sure if she banged her leg, her shoulder or what. I know one thing for sure, her feet are a little tender from the hard, dry wood chips ... so fingers crossed all is OK

Gyp Qd in 3 of the 4 runs she ran.
Masters Standard - 1st and Qs x 2
Master Jumpers - 1st and Q (Second fastest Jumpers time)

Then on to the ASSES (Agility Spousal Supporters)...

Pete and Aaron (Jo's hubby), are officially, so we had to recognize. They've been to 3 trials in a row. Regionals, Nationals, and this trial, yep total

The biggest A.S.S., Ray couldn't make it this weekend, but he wasn't forgotten, he is the original A.S.S. afterall.
What a nice way to spend their 5th wedding anniversary ... in a tent trailer at an Agility Trial :)

Camp Go! Dog! Go! set up at the Agility Trial

This is a a great trial, we hung out, ate, drank played agility, and looked at the stars in the sky which were amazing at night. It sucks to pack up and go home after a weekend like this!

Out group did AWESOME, an agility debut, lots of Qs, lots of titles and 2 MADS! the GDG site will be updated soon with results! What a great group we have.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The odd couple

If you see a black Toaster pulling an Egg heading westward this weekend, honk and wave :) please don't point and laugh ...
We are off to Kimberley for their AAC Trial this weekend. I love this trial. It is small layed back, and the best part is staying right on Karin's property, drinking with friends, oh and playing Agility :) and the forecast looks GREAT this weekend! Fingers crossed.

Here is a photo of Gyp from Kimberley - her first road trip, back when she was being "fostered" 3 years to the day today, I had her about 10 days at that time. I had just bought her that pretty collar, and we spent the whole trip picking names for her, but I was fostering... After 4 hours of thinking of names, she ended up being Gyp afterall. She sure has matured since then. She looked so puppyish and hairless at 20 months old.

I'll have updates from the Weekend on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We went to the Crowsnest Pass this weekend with the fam who was visiting and had a nice day hanging out, hiking and letting the dogs swim. There was an old abandoned dance hall where we were, and if there is a photo opportunity, I'm gonna take it :)

It is a spooky place, but I loved the colours, textures and variety of materials of the place. It has been closed since the 1970's.


A nice group shot, notice how all the dogs are looking at the camera? Wanna know the trick? Throw a (tied) poop bag towards the camera - not on the camera :), as the camera is beeping just before the shutter clicks.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Really? You've never seen a Jack Russell floating down the river on a pink air mattress?

View On Black

Friday, September 4, 2009

Life's a beach.

What do you do when it is +34 C (95F) ... you go to the beach ... or the river in our case.

Jane LOVES to Sun Tan. And yes she does wear her SPF!
There is room for one more ... anyone want to join me?

Objects in this photo, seem larger than they really are ... or are they, Gyppie Big Feet.

Objects in this photo, are wetter than they appear, though he does look pretty wet ...

Did someone say my feets' too big?
On occasion Gyp gives the stink eye, she is a little sensitive about the big-feet thing.

Hey Grammy, I wanna ride on that thing, do you need help blowing it up?

I'll save you Grammy!!
Kaleb to the rescue, ya real helpful there buddy.

Stay tuned for Jane's adventure on the Pink Airmatress....

Happy Long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Art of Photography

Sometimes when I take a photo I have a vision above and beyond what I see in the lens. Most of my photos have some post-processing, usually just warming up or cooling down a photo, and a little unsharp mask (which gives me control to sharpen the image, though the name says otherwise).

I loved this photo when I composed it and clicked, the focus sharpest on the focal point, Gyp's eyes, AND Kaleb's head poking around was perfect. I felt it was a little cold and bland with the tones of that time of day. I wanted to mimic sunset tones, and warm it up since it is backlit already.

Here is the end result ... I added a bit of cyan to the blacks, and bumped up the yellow values, added some subtle red tones into the greens, the contrast in colours makes it POP. As well as I worked in 3 layers, adding 2 layers of subtle lens flare for more of a dramatic effect. I love how it turned out, so I thought I would share how I did it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm not a Border Collie person ...

That is a phrase I used to say, before I knew the breed, and before I had one myself. They really are amazing dogs. The same reason I love my JRT and Flat-coat - they are still bred for working ability above and beyond anything else ... depending on the breeder and their goals etc. of course. There is nothing like seeing a working dog work!

I can now say after 3 years of having a BC, and taking a bigger interest in the breed ... Are you ready for this ... "I AM A BORDER COLLIE PERSON" And maybe someday, I'll get a real one :)

I drive an hour or two for 30 minute herding lessons for crying out loud. Meaning I spend more time in the car than I do working my dog. And she will never be a competition herding dog, so I am doing it just for the pure joy of seeing Gyp floss her teeth and do something together that is new to both of us. The more I write this, the more crazy I seem, don't I?

Anyways ... I played hookie from work on Friday hehe ... to watch the Canadian Border Collie National Championships.

I was thrilled when I was asked to design the logo, it's like a little piece of me is there :) I was going to put Gyp secretly on the shirt, but Jenny had the same thought as me - who would want to see a Sheltie on a Border Collie shirt :) It looks just awesome on the t-shirts and hats they did up.

Here are some photos of my day at the Trial. It was fun to see the dog s and handlers work the course. I could not believe the size of the field. crazy.
Jenny Glen and Lad on the field, there is a tiny speck at the top of the filed on the left, that is Lad, see next photo for the zoomed in version ...

Lad is the dog just above the sheep on right, the dog on the left is the dog who brings the sheep to the hill from where the main flock is kept, just over the top of that hill.

Here is a close-up of the guy on the horse. If there is a horse, I take a photo, it's what I do.
Even these Border Collies couldn't believe how far it was, see the intensity ...

This is Vicky Close's Drift (the dog on the end on the previous photo too), he didn't make eye contact with me once, he had his eye on the wooly prizes!

Little Craig and even my brother were even baffled, they sat there in amazement like the rest of us.

Then Craig remembered he was a puppy and decided paper towel was the best thing ever. yum!

So we stuck some sunglasses on him, because we thought they would suit him.
What a great way to spend a day!