Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Brother is watching, and he is a big A$$.

A typical day at the park ... this time with some snow ...
Upon arrival, Jane surveys the perimeter. We are good to go. No dogs in the area.

then each of the dogs each survey the area, and as always big brother is watching ...

he is watching some more ...

can't a girl dig a hole in peace?
big brother is watching ...

Jane lookout!
oh Sh*t, Big Brother is COMING!

It never gets for Kaleb to chase Jane, and it never gets old for me to take photos of it.

Jane has been under the weather for the last few days, this was the last day she was feeling good - on Friday. I hope she is back to her chipper, spunky, bossy self soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

dog blog tired

this one's just right.
Originally uploaded by sarah ...

Nothin' much to write about ....

We had a great agility seminar last weekend, and we had lots of fun at our First Agility League last night too! I am enjoying teaching more than ever these days, some really great handlers and dogs in our group, we are so lucky!

On a side note ....Pete and I bought a new chair for our living room, Gyp approves.

She thinks it's her new bed, she is ALWAYS on her new chair, snoozing or just hangin' out.

aaahhh ...this one's just right.

....snooze away Gyppie, you've earned it.

maybe I'll have something more interesting to write about next week :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

You beg, and you shall receive.

For one lucky Terrier, her wish came true yesterday.

Jane would like to thank Michelle for the Timbits ... you whine long enough, you get what you want. I put the box on the fridge last night, so she could have her present this morning. The first thing she did when she got up was sit at the front of the fridge and WHINED FOR 45 MINUTES! She knew exactly where I left them, she probably dreamed of Timbits in her sleep.

What the F? Why is there only 1 left? The box says 10?
Where did the other 9 go?

OK, really? why is there already a bite out of it?

I guess I'll eat it. CHOMP. GULP.

* photos courtesy of my iPhone.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

my girl

my girl
Originally uploaded by sarah ...

Can anyone spare a Timbit?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jane's got Heart :)

Jane had her granny check up last week - I wanted to get a full blood panel done, have her anal glands done (poor girl). The Vet thought her heart murmur had worsened since a year ago - and she had her chest Xrayed at that time too - when she broke her tooth, they did other Xrays too. And with her collapsing in the heat this fall, I knew the heart wasn't pumping enough blood to the muscles. The Vet among other people also thought that could have been a fainting spell.

So we got her an ECG and chest radiographs - which do not tell you the same info as an ultrasound at all, but will show and really obvious disfunction, enlargement etc. The Vet was pleasantly surprised that the results came back better than he thought they would. Comparing her 2 chest Xrays, her heart looks to be the same size and he showed us how the image would show areas of stress, and growth, seepage into the lungs etc. and if the heart was enlarged it can also push into the trachea and other organs and even the spine, and her's looks to be good. He also showed us the radiograph from above. Also looking loosely at her spine, there seems to be no arthritis in her discs and they are evenly spaced and no growths - these weren't taken for that purpose, but he gave us all the info. he could, based on what he could see.

At a rough glance at her ECG, her heart is really strong - he said it beats as strong as an athlete's heart :) they also commented on her great physical shape and muscle tone overall. There is something they look for on the chart that shows the force of the beat, a certain spike on the chart (i think) and her's is really good. But the murmur is there.

Her blood panel came back not perfect however, there was a spike in her liver enzyme (6x) the normal, so we are going back in 6-8 weeks to see if there is a difference. At that time if there is not, we will be heading to the specialist in Calgary for an ultrasound of the liver and heart. But at this time there seems to be nothing crucially clinical to treat.

She doesn't need restriction in her exercise, but in the heat she will. She has always been sensitive to the heat, and it has gotten worse over the past few years. She isn't showing any clinical signs of coughing (which can be caused by the heart pushing on the wind pipe or seepage to the lungs). We are also switching her food, to a lower protein - not low protein, just a slight different balance, and monitoring sodium she might get, so we'll see if there are any changes.

Anyway I am sure there is way more I was told, and I might not have gotten all this info correct, but the important thing is Jane seems to be in relatively good health right now, and we'll see what the next couple of months brings with the ultrasound in the new year. I am relieved.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and wealth of information, I have learned so much, and I can now sleep at night :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

She loves me. She loves me not.

Jane is 13 pounds of complicated, and Gyp is 25 pounds of optimism. They have an interesting relationship, and through the eyes of Gyp, Jane can do no wrong ...

she loves me.

.... oooh ... she loves me not.

she loves me.

she loves me not.

she loves me.

she loves me not.

she loves me! she really loves me!

damn, she loves me not.

come a little closer Gyppie ... i love you, really i do ...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gambling Problem

So this weekend we had a really cool Gamble designed by Kim Collins and nobody Q'd - which rarely happens. So I thought we should set it up in class and see how people would handle it.

I know my mistakes with both dogs were due to my bad position and my forward motion to try to catch the dog out of the tunnel. But that just ended up pushing each dog over the off course jump faster, without a chance to even redirect.

I came into class with a new game plan. I explained the problems with how people tried to do the gamble including me! And we troubleshooted some ways to make it successful:

The most obvious way SEEMED to be turn the dog away to the wall, and back to the tunnel.
But they come out of the tunnel so fast on the right lead, they need to be on the left lead before taking the jump in order to turn that way. This proved to be REALLY hard while the dog was moving so fast out of the tunnel. Even with a wait, and re-direct it was pretty ugly and not efficient at all for us.

We learned from the first try to stop our body motion, and give the dog a wait if they have one, and with a big OUT applying pressure, and shoulders facing the jump, the dogs seemed to have no issue turning away and finding that jump, and it kept them on that same right lead without having to switch leads. We had to make the 180 pattern NOT look like a 180 so the dogs wouldn't take #5 from the back side, so we positioned ourselves to convince the dog to take the dummy but called them through the gap, but dummy and #5 caused lots of head checking and dogs taking one of the two jumps on occasion, even with just calling them into front.

The last scenario, we though would be the least successful. Using what we learned from the last 2 scenarios, we stopped our motion, and gave our dogs a wait or down (who could), sent them OUT to the far jump. We stayed in view of the dog in the gap between 2 & 5, gave them an arm change from L to R and rotate, and boom the dog came right in and it was an easy push back out to the tunnel.

We were surprised, but this scenario worked best for all the dogs ... big, small, fast, smokin' fast and medium drive. And even the big striding dogs were able to come in on the arm change and not read the #5 as the 180, we had to make the 180 pattern look different for the dog, and the arm change did that.

We each tried it this way a few times and were all successful!!

Now that I know my moving wait actually works now with Gyp in this situation (adrenaline induced excitement) - and doesn't cause her to melt anymore (we work ALOT on this at home with toys and sheep when she is herding), I'll be using it when I have too! K-man has always been good with re-directing, and that is pretty much how I have as many Gamble Qs with him ... he has a style of his own ... sigh

What a great learning experience ... sometimes things that are obvious don't work, and the things you think might not work, work better!!! Who knew!

Can we have a redo from the Trial last weekend ... I think we've got it now :)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Here are a few videos from the weekend.

Gyp's Masters Standard - it was her 20th Masters Standard Q!! I was proud of her Jumpers run too, the fastest of the day!! oh and her Snooker - which I was proud of because of the difficult weave entries, she is such a good girl, it blows my mind, how did I end up with such a sweet, willing dog? I tried to upload her Gamble, but it spontaneously combusted, so no Gamble run ... but you can watch Kaleb's instead :) nailbiting as always ...

In true kaleb style he had to pop his weave poles in the opening with me 5' away from him, only to DO THEM with me 21' away .... oh Kaleb, what a good boy! He always pulls it together when it matters most :) that's my boy.

* Jane fans, I would like to report her waistline is still small even after 2 days away, with 2 Gramma's visiting ...

The last trial of the year!

We had a great weekend at our last Trial of the year. The dogs each ran in 7 events and each of them brought home 5Q's!! What a great year it has been, I am so thankful my dogs ended the year on a highnote, and knock on wood, they will be as sound and healthy in 2010.

Masters Standard 1:
Gyp was having a smokin' run, she knocked a bar, it threw me off ... and I ended up missing a jump as I was no longer focused! duh!

Kaleb had a great run and Qd, it was tough, technical course, not a lot of Qs on this one.

Master Gamblers 1:
This was a tough end Gamble with a 21' send away over a jump behind a tunnel to the weave poles. Gyp and Kaleb were only 2 of a handful of dogs to get the end gamble. Gyp had 43 opening points and K had 30.

Masters Snooker:
This was a fun course with 2 set of 6 weaves and a jump in the middle for #7, essentially a serp with weaves! I attempted 4 - 7s with Gyp, she nailed some wicked hard entries, we missed our last set of weaves in our last 7 ... so we were still able to go finish our end sequence with more wicked weaves, and we got to the start of 7. 1st and Q!

I chose a MUCH flowier sequence for K, he took an off course jump in our closing and got tweeted! But he ran great and fast so I was super happy with his effort!

Masters Jumpers 1:
A cool course with a serp and lots of tunnel discrimination, and I got to run 3 dogs!! I went to the line with a tri-coloured Border Collie ... but it wasn't Gyp ... people were confused ... so I was for that matter :) A friend asked if I would like to run his lovely girl, Blue-eye Skye!! It was super fun, I got all my crosses in, she missed my serp cue, and knocked a bar, but what a fun dog to run ... very well trained :)

Gyp and Kaleb each Qd and had a great runs!

Day 2:
Masters Jumpers:
A wicked course with lots of challenges. It was a long course yardage wise. It really challenged me. I was super happy with this run, right off the bat there was a jump the dogs had to wrap after a tunnel. I stood my ground, cued my decel, and Gyp added a stride and popped over the jump nice and tight - no-super-Gyppie-launch!! I think that was what I was most proud of on that course. The other 17 obstacles were good too! Gyp had the FASTEST time of all the Masters dogs!! I so excited as there were lots of times within hers and some mega fast dogs.

Kaleb ran really well too. I pretty much ran him the same as Gyp, all the same crosses, sometimes I adjust it for each of them. He Qd and I was really happy with how he ran!

Masters Gamblers:
This was a wicked gamble. I went in confident to it ... but I got squashed like a bug!! I was in the wrong spot for K and TWEET, and I had no time to even re-direct Gyp out of the tunnel before she was over the wrong jump TWEET. Not 1 masters dogs got this gamble. We will be setting this up this week ... on a positive not both dogs had wonderful openings!

Masters Standard:
I was soooooo happy with this run, one of my best standards I have run with Gyp. Her contacts and my trust of them have improved and she stuck every contact all weekend, and most of the time I didn't even say "TARGET", which we have found if I say to early is bad and it also causes my body to slow down and her to slow down, so I say nothing and do my job, and let her do her own. She had the 2nd fastest time, only within half a second of the fastest dog.

Kaleb also ran great, he Qd and ran really nicely with a good time, though I could tell he was getting tired after a long week of hunting and 2 days of Agility. I'm glad we only had 7 runs in this trial.

I'll have videos posted soon!!!

Also, congrats to Kim and Bosley who got his Starters Agility Title and move-ups to Advanced, and to Jo and Tag who had a wonderful weekend - awesome handling, and a move up to Masters Snooker!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gyp, the Busy Body

so many gyppie's ... so little time.

We are off to our last Agility Trial of the year and I hope I can keep up with Gyp :)

Most of our group didn't get in to the Trial, and they have a huge waiting list ... but Jolayne and Tag; Kim and Maggie and Bosley; and me and Gyp and the K-man are heading up bright and early tomorrow! Should be a fun weekend.

Jane fans ... she is going to have a great weekend ... BOTH of her Grammy's will be in town .. she better not be fat when I get home ...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

All about Kaleb

Pete, Kaleb and I headed out for a morning of hunting. Just me and my best boys.

Kaleb does a few things when he is in pursuit of a bird
... he stalks ...

he points ....
he stalks. some more ...

he runs, and runs ...

Yes K, you did a good job!
We didn't get any birds today, but he flushed about 8 Sharp Tailed Grouse, but the season for those ended at the end of October, so they had to stay. He didn't seem to mind, he was just as happy at the end of the day!

I think these guys knew where the pheasants were, but they weren't talkin'

I can't believe you left me at home. You think the Timbits make up for it? If I don't get to go hunting next time, you'll end up like Ernie, remember that.

Monday, November 9, 2009

3 dogs. 3 VERY different agendas.

... all 3 dogs had a great weekend, as always, they enjoyed it for very different reasons ...

Jane and Gyp had a great day at Alta-Pete Farm on Sunday, some friends from Calgary made the trip down to have some herding lessons with their dogs too! It was great day!

Dog 1: AKA Jane
Ya, "I'm In Charge", my shirt says so.

Find sheep shit, and some possible dead stuff. Roll on it. Repeat as necessary.


what you lookin at? can't you see i'm rollin' here?

Discover what it's like to floss my teeth with wool, see what all the fuss is about.
mmm woolly goodness
grrrrr yoink grrrrrrr

ack, gag, gag, this wool is making me thirsty.

DOG 2: AKA Gyp
OBJECTIVE: Herd some sheepies
Gyp had her best lesson yet! She didn't get pouty or sulky at all, she was level headed and had FUN! She even layed down fast a few times, with no pouty face. Scott showed me some ways to increase the FUN and make more of a game out of having her switch sides. It worked well and she was very keen even when I applied the pressure. We worked with me on the fence, and the sheep between me and her. She would work up and down the fence line with me switching direction for her. It was fun and fast and she loved it! We did some baby outruns which she did good on, on both sides off of me. At our last lesson, she had a hard time on her "Away to me", she would default all the time to "Come By", this time I would say she was equal on both sides. YAY for Gyppie!
This herding stuff is fun :)

DOG 3: AKA Kaleb
OBJECTIVE: Get birds.

K and Pete had a couple great days hunting, I hope I can go next time, so I can get some photos! It probably looked something like this:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

1976, made in Japan.

I was inspired this week to bring out my k1000 (made in 1976, it was my mom's camera), first I had to remember how to load film, advance it, and rewind it ... I haven't had so much fun in a while ... how lame is that. I have to mention my K1000's light meter has NEVER worked, I still to this day go with my gut as far as exposures ... I went through years of school with this bad ass tank of a camera.

Not having shot with this camera in YEARS (since Jane was a pup), I realized how much I missed this camera:
• the rush of not knowing if what you took turned out (no preview screen people)
• not being able to post-process it
• shooting with only 24 frames
• and most of all, I missed film grain.
• The only other thing I wish I could have done is develop and print it myself, I miss that, I miss the harsh chemicals.

Anyway ... here are the best shots of my 24 frames ... you should be able to click on the photos to see them bigger, and see the grain. My fancy X thousand dollar DSLR camera has nothing on this old school metal monster.