Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Athletic Ability and Olympic Potential

Like people, some dogs have more natural athletic, physical ability.

Kaleb, was born a natural athlete.

i believe!, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Gyp too has what it takes.

chomp goes the mitten, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Jane, not so much.

catch! fail. :: 8/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

speaking of physical ability ... it's been 45 days since I hurt my knee, and last night I ran some of my first REAL sequences - probably at about 80% speed - which is twice as good as even a week ago. I need to trust my self on uneven ground again, and hiking in the Coulees a few times a week has helped. I'm still not pivoting and just running straight lines - I ran the speed circle about 6 times last nght, which was perfect to test my acceleration and speed and to see if could plant my foot for deceleration, and YAY no pain, just some stiffness! I iced my knee for the second half of class and it was good for the rest of the night. I left the arena feeling good last night. I'm in my 7th week of Physio and I'm excited with the results of that as well as my new Gym program. Fingers crossed for more and more improvement.

Monday, February 22, 2010

on the fence

on the fence :: 7/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

this was taken about 15 minutes before sunset, and I had to think fast as the sun was pretty much already gone at her level, 11" from the ground :) so I put her where the sun still was shining, and I love how it turned out.

"Im Queen of the World!!!!"

52 Weeks for Dogs :: 7/52

Friday, February 19, 2010

it's all uphill from here.

It's true. I'm a freak and I obsess about my dogs' health, all for different reasons, for each dog - Jane and her Gall Stone, Kaleb and the fact that he is a Flat-coat, and Gyp and her hips. After Gyp saw Dr. Devall at Western Vet in Calgary today, I will sleep well tonight. Amanda also brought Wicca, you can read about her experience on her blog. Amanda worries about Wicca's front end and back, where as I stress about Gyp's rear. They really are the yin and the yang, our pretty tri-coloured beauties.

I wanted to get a fitness assessment on Gyp to make sure I am doing the right things with her, see if there is more I can do, and have someone who REALLY knows structure, health, rehabilitation, alternative therapy and medicine - Dr. Devall is pretty much the best thing ever.

Gyp makes head turn when she walks in a room, and people generally gush over her sweet demeanor - I'm not just saying that, Amanda even agrees (eyes rolling) LOL. Dr. Devall was impressed with her fitness and structure overall, and how well balanced she looks physically, she has a lot going for her, her size and small bones in a compact body. She commented that she moves a little close in the rear end, but the movement is even. I was concerned with some movement I have seen in the rear and her legs get wide and go close together again after really heavy exercise - only occasionally it shows up, and she summed it up to fatigue because of the close movement, so to make sure she is well cooled down etc. but she didn't seem to heavily concerned by it.

I love that Dr. Devall is obsessed with dog weight, and although Gyp is only 25 pounds and 17.25" tall , and what I would consider THIN and pretty ribby, she say she could be thinner! I was surprised by that, but I will take off that one pound - easy enough to do. Other Vets would say she looks great, even friends of mine say our dogs are anorexic - looks like they will be getting thinner yet. She comes from a sled dog background is likes a dog in a mean lean hard condition.

She checked her super flexible owl neck, front end, all were in great shape and we discussed her hips, which is my big worry, I was really curious and slightly scared as to what she might say, and find. I don't want to do anything to hurt Gyp, and Dr. Devall said Agility was great for her, I'll take that. She made a couple minor adjustments to her lover back and tested the flexion of her legs and hips and applied alot of pressure to the hip area, and afterwards took a full series of measurements - measuring muscle mass and flexion, and she was happy with the muscle she has surrounding and protecting her hips, and as I suspected her left hip is slightly weaker, and sure enough extends about 8 degrees less than the other. And though I do balance disk work and a variety of other rear end exercises as part of our everyday life, she gave me a few new ideas, and to do more ball work specifically for her core and to mix it up as much as possible each day to keep her on her A game. Some more consistent inclined hill work is on the agenda, and walking backwards up inclines too. She recommended a Chris Zink video as well as Debbie Gross Sanders Strengthening video, which I just bought last month, which is cool.

We discussed supplements for Omegas, and she recommends only the 3's and to never mind the 6 & 9s. I've had my guys one Recovery for almost 4 years, and was wanting to try something new, so I wanted her opinion, and I will go with what she has suggested.

Gyp and Wicca ended their day at the spa with an acupuncture treatment, which they both seemed to enjoy.

It was really interesting day, and oddly inspiring and uplifting, and really great to know Gyp is in really good physical shape, and that there is more I can do to help get her even more fit and stay healthy. I will go back in three months fro a follow up and more adjustments if need be.

Looks like Gyp and I will be doing our morning physio exercises together, though I must say, my dog is in much better shaper than I am.

NOTE* yes, Amanda and I discussed blog titles before we posted LOL

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

all work ...

and no play, makes kaleb a sad boy.

all work and no play..., originally uploaded by sarah ....

it is walkie time yet, mama?

i've been crazy busy with work, and i was working on downloading photos from a shoot today and i looked over to see this. i had to uplug my camera and snap away. it's the little things like this, that can make a day much better.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Urban Myth or Truth?

According to urbandictionery.com (a VERY reliable resource on all things truthful...), you can find the meaning of your name. I thought it would be more fun to find my dogs names. Perhaps everything you find on the internet isn't a load of crap afterall ... or maybe it is ... poor Gyppie girl.

A Kaleb will make you laugh , when nothing else can. A Kaleb will make your face hurt from the amount of smiling you'll do. A Kaleb is the best kind of guy you'll ever come across, so if youre lucky enough meet a Kaleb dont let him slip through your fingers... you probably wont find another one. They are like an endangered species in the world of men.

Usually on the shorter side (But hey who doesn't love a shawty?!) Has a very bubbly personality, and all of a Jane's features are cute but not sexy. Often over thinks things and goes into a worried state. Sometimes a Jane is too careless about what she says. People often underestimate a "Plain Jane", but Jane's are not plain. They have many artistic abilities and love to express themselves through art or physical movement such as dance.

To be ripped off, or to get a bad deal; something that is not worth what your are giving for it; refering to gypsies who make their living off of swidling others.

... poor Gyppie :P

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Learning experience

This weekend, Terry Simons came to Lethbridge for his second year. It will be my fifth year working with him and as always I take a ton of info away, as do our students. He is a great instructor, person, as well as a great mentor.

He taps into what makes dogs tick - fast, slow, self-motivated and those that need a little extra oomph, and he has a great eye for timing. He figured out Kaleb for me when no body else could, and I still use what he taught me almost 5 years ago to get the very best out if him. I say it all the time, but a huge amount of credit is owed to him for that.

I guess that is what it comes down too. He gets the very best out of every dog and handler he is working with, they see that potential first hand, and it is inspiring as a team.

This weekend a little different for me though, since I can't run yet, I did small sequences where I could, was able to practice my directionals - since I got so far behind not being able to run, she was great, and I was impressed with her skills - but that is NOT how I handle my dogs - it is not the same connection for me. I had a couple friends run Gyp too, just so I could see her cute smile with other people. I was pretty deflated mentally on Friday after I realized what I could not do, the leg isn't moving as it should yet, I want soooo badly to run, and my body just can't yet.

Then Terry took Gyp on Saturday and ran her in a pretty tough sequence. She was brilliant. I wanted to do that - that should have been me handling her. He got the best out her in those 15 obstacles, she was sooooo happy. I couldn't get that out of my head for the rest of the night. That was my most memorable moment that day, I felt the adrenaline rush I get when I run her, and I was on the sidelines.

I had an epiphany.

Until I can run her again like that - full speed, no holds barred, there is no point even trying to half-ass it, and I don't want my dogs to wonder why I am not handling them normally, and I don't want them to get used to that. Yes I will work my distance, proofing etc, but as far as the REAL handling goes, that will have to wait until I am able to run in more than a straight line for 40'. I am so grateful he ran her. I feel good with my decision.

I pulled Gyp Sunday from the Seminar and it was hard choice, but the right one. And out of the 5 sequences they ran, I would have only been able to do 1 - and it would have had to been handled from pretty much one spot, relying on my directionals alone since I can't be there or get there. And she already proved she could take my direction that way on Saturday.

So I practiced something really huge this weekend at the seminar, something I am not good at, patience.

I'll be back, hopefully better than ever, it's just gonna take some time.

28 days and counting, tick, tock, tick, tock. Oh right, patience.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

a winter sunset

You can't beat the light of a sunset... and when it is -15c it is all the more beautiful ... the frost, the breath, the way the light catches the backlit snow. just lovely. it's amazing how walking the dogs soothes a soul, there isn't much better.

2 out of 3 dogs agree with me ...
kaleb concurs.

gyp too, agrees.

fuck this shit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fact or Fiction?

Yes Jane, it's true. "The bitch has her own book"

Gyp's 52 Weeks book arrived last week in the Mail!! I was thrilled with it! Jane, well she had other ideas ... hey Jane, you should really get off of Gyp's head and quit poking her eye out with your nails.

Don't worry Jane, you will have your own book soon. 47 more weeks to go.

Monday, February 1, 2010

need a quick pick me up?

this worked for me :)

I visited Alta-Pete farm last week, and besides the cute Border Collie puppies I wanted to steal, there was this little lamb I also wanted to take home.

Is there a cuter baby animal on the planet?