Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A girl and her dog.

I was lucky enough to do a shoot with a good friend and her dog this week. They have a great bond, love to have fun together, and are eachother's best friend.

a girl and her dog, originally uploaded by sarah ....

My goal was to capture them in earthy, whimsical, full-of-wonder, on-a-journey, down home settings.

Check out the gallery ... see it small, or click the arrow box for full size :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

k-man 23 days later

k 'n me, originally uploaded by sarah ....

k's favourite thing to do is "saddle up", usually when I least expecting it :) luckily i had my camera in hand when he did this, I'm amazed I actually got us in focus!

Kaleb continues to be more "normal" each day, he even got to go for 4 short walks to the park over the weekend :)

his patches are starting to fill in, and I would say his weight is almost back to normal.

He is back to doing the "Bucking Bronco", he is being really playful, and back to his trademark of barking at nothing ... it's good to have him back, it was pretty quiet around here. WOOF!

Friday, June 25, 2010


A couple of Regionals Videos of Gyppie, to the awesome tunes of Metric ... enjoy :) My video camera died on the weekend - I mean really, it's totally kaput. So luckily between Jo and Amanda I managed to get a few runs taped! Jo lent me her camera to download the vids, it's a painful process, so here are a couple ... It was neat to see the difference in my running and movement with Bar-Knee on, I look pretty normal ... for me anyway :)

I uploaded a couple of Tag's runs for Jo too ...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gyp and her swag

Gyppie the Champ, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Gyp won her division at the AAC Regionals for the second year in a row, I still can't believe it. She Qualified for Nationals at Spruce Meadows in August with 630 points over 6 runs. She didn't miss a beat all weekend, she ran 6/6 with 5 - 1st Placements, and a 2nd Place, what a great little girl, she always gives 110%, sometimes more if she's picking up my slack :)

She also came in 2nd in the Steeplechase Finals on Sunday, and earned her Steeplechase "Expert Bronze" (25 Qs) Title with 2 clean rounds on Friday.

Prom King and Queen, originally uploaded by sarah ....

It's true ... Gyp and Tag really are the perfect couple, the Prom King and Queen :)

Tag and Jo were our very first students when he was 16 weekes old, he just turned 5 years old and won the biggest Division of the event 22" Regular, we are so proud of him and his mama, he is her first Agility dog, what a Team.

I'll try to get some videos up soon, it's too bad I have a day job, geez it gets in the way sometimes :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

AAC Regionals = Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Pete said it best yesterday when I got home from Regionals.

"Well you sure put a lot of Blood, Sweat and Tears into this weekend, didn't you?" ... did I mention Pete is very observant?

Blood you say? Well first run of the weekend, a little Gyppie tooth made a little contact with my thumb, then leaked all over my pretty white Regionals shirt - I didn't even notice until afterwards. Apparently the taste of blood really gets Gyp going ... I have to add that Pete took it upon him self to scrub my shirt in the kitchen sink with a toothbrush to get it clean last night - really, who does that? I might add that it came clean too :)

Sweat. A lot of sweat.
5.5 months of sweat went into this weekend. January 10th I was on my ass with a blown knee. I didn't know until just over a month ago if I would be running Regionals at all, I was ready to pull my entry, or find a new handler. I've NEVER used my knee as an excuse, it actually made me work harder and put things into perspective. The first 3.5 months of the year, I pretty much could not run, so we worked LOTS of proofing and distance. And this weekend we reaped the benefits of that. Who knows if we would have improved that much without being forced into that as my only training option. It took 5 months of Physio and the Gym to get my Strength back and I've been running on my new brace Bar-Knee for 1 month and pushing myself to the max with it on in training and at the Gym so we can trust eachother :) I LOVE BAR-KNEE. Who knew you could love Carbon Graphite and Titanium so much?

We also put alot of sweat into running this weekend. It was smokin' hot in Edmonton, and everyone in our group worked their butts off, I am so proud of my friends/students/training buddies. My #1 reminder to myself running this weekend was "I can get there." And I did, barely at times, but still I did it. I have a warm-up ritual and a whole series of songs depending on my mood - sometimes I need to chill, other times I need more adrenaline, which really helps me too.

Tears, lots and lots of Tears.
I'm not a big cryer, but it's been an emotional rollercoaster of a year, and hell, an emotional month. I missed having Kaleb running, and it was hard explaining to people who didn't know, why he wasn't there. But I turned it around to a positive when people asked how he was doing and gave him lots of well wishes. Sorry to Tag, who I called Kaleb at least 5 times over the weekend :)

When I went to get Gyp for her last run of the weekend I starting crying, luckily I had my sunglasses on. I had to get my poop in a group.

I cried when I looked at the Aggregate on the first day and couldn't find Jo & Tag on the first, second or third page of the 22" Regular. I rescanned the pages and realized his name was in the #1 spot. It stayed there all weekend, and Jolayne and Tag won 22" Regular. I can't put into words what that means, but hopefully Jo will update her blog - and you can read Amanda's too.

Our students/training buddies successes are amazing, we see them from the time they come as pups or adults and are there for every successful and heartbreaking moment. We are there for eachother no matter what, and every person has something to offer for motivation and support. I cried for Lynne and Lucy who ran a great last standard, and we knew she easily qualified. I cried for Jan and Dave and the Sheltie girls they have worked so hard with. I cried for Amanda and Wicca who live on the edge in every run, her Friday Steeplechase run and Saturday Gambles, were a thing of beauty.

I hardly had enough tears left in me to cry for Gyp, but I did.

She really is an amazing little dog. Amanda is right when she says we read eachother's minds. It's a strange, wonderful, give-me-goosebumps connection that I don't have with my other two dogs to that extent. We cuddled every night in the hotel, she slept nudged up to me each night.

Gyp ran her 2 Steeplechase runs on Friday clean - with a 1st and 2nd of 14 dogs. She also earned her "Steeplechase Expert Bronze" Title, for her 25th & 26th Q. She placed 2nd in the Steeplechase Finals on Sunday.

Gyp ran her 6 main events with amazing Speed, Accuracy and Grace. She had 19 dogs in her division this weekend.

She earned over 100 points in each of her Gambles, even last year neither of us would have been confident enough to attempt the mini gamble twice as we did, and we did it this year. She placed 1st in each run.

Her Jumpers run were smooth and fast, it wasn't until the beginning of May that I had even attempted to run Jumpers, but we worked this past month getting our handling groove back. She placed 1st and 2nd (by .4 of a second) in her classes.

The Standards were not easy, and they were for the most part pretty technical and long. I was proud of these runs, we ran them the best we could - all or nothing, baby. She placed 1st in both with very competitive times.

This year ... she ran 6/6 - with 630 points, won her 16" Specials Division again. I thought we would never top last year's Regional - she ran 6/6 - 580 points and won her division.

I couldn't ask for more from Gyp, it's hard to put into words. We are taking a well deserved Agility break, and in a few weeks we'll build it back up for Nationals. Never in a million years did I imagine I would run on the green at Spruce Meadows, it's cheezy but it's my childhood dream from my riding days, but the dream is a little different now, it's with a dog :)

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Congrats to our amazing Go Dog Go gang pictured with Judge Patti Wilson.

I also have a public album on facebook if you'd like to see more photos ...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I can breathe again

My little Gypper and me are off to Regionals this weekend, and for the first time in a couple weeks I am excited for it - hanging with my friends, drinking crude amounts of wine, cuddling in the hotel bed with Gyp, oh right, and Agility :) It will be weird only running one dog!!

I've been in a constant state of stress and anxiety in the last 10 days taking care of Kaleb, and now I am finally coming down from it, it will be a nice weekend to get away from it all, now that he is in the clear I don't need to worry. Since January I wasn't sure if I would be running at Regionals considering my total ACL tear and a my ever nagging torn Meniscus, but thanks to my own hard work at Physio and the Gym and the help of "Bar-Knee" I'll be running, oh yes I'll be running - and I am thankful for that. I'm always ready for what ever life throws at me, sometimes though, it's just plain tough, but it's what you make of it, right? ....

It's bitter sweet leaving Kaleb behind, but I have him, and that's all that matters. Him and Pete will have fun hanging out on the deck drinking a few cold one's I'm sure :) Kaleb got to go for his first little walk - him and Pete went to the mailbox and Kaleb as always, carried the mail home. It's the little things, you know.

And Jane, well, her "out of town" Grammy is coming up for the weekend, need I say more?


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

5 Generations

Generations, originally uploaded by sarah ....

This weekend, I was lucky enough to capture 5 generations of a Weimaraner family, ages 14 to 7 months.

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When the idea came up to have all 5 generations together, I couldn't think of a better place to shoot than the University - a place of higher learning for the new generations to come. I loved the idea of grey on grey, and the clean lines of the dogs and the stairs.

quenched, originally uploaded by sarah ....

I am now taking summer bookings, despite my website still being a work in progress ... apparently my web designer has a day job :) and when that person is doing you a favour, the ones that pay take priority. What's up with that? :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Am I still irresistible?

Chicks did dudes with scars, right?

What about random bald patches?
Don't worry ladeez, the hair will grow back.
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Day 5

Kaleb continues to get better each day, he is now off the major amounts of medicine and just on one for twice a day for another week, and metacam for one more day. We've been introducing a small amount of his regular food (soaked) back into his wet food too.

He REALLY has to be on leash now for potty breaks, as he wants to play in the worst way. He is now back to carrying random objects around the house too, but still sleeping alot more than normal.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

the goof goes on.

the goof goes on., originally uploaded by sarah ....

Kaleb usually loves to bring us the paper from the front step, and races up the stairs with it.

Since his schedule is a little different now and he has to be carried up and down the stairs, Pete brought the Paper to Kaleb instead, Kaleb was thrilled!!

He even sat on Pete's lap for his favourite thing ever - a back rub!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

right where he should be.

right where he should be., originally uploaded by sarah ....

The mood around the house is pretty glum and quiet as you can see. Kaleb's new bed couldn't have come at a better time, Jane hasn't even been trying to lay in it :) It seems the girlies just know. They have been sniffing at him alot, even Jane wagged her tail and gave him a drive-by kiss when K came home. He is getting a little spunkier all the time. He is great about being carried up and down the stairs, and takes all of his medication like a good boy.

2010 has been a pretty strange year full of more downs than I like. Yes there has been some great parts of this year, I just need more of them right now. I hope the next 6 months is better than the first, the forever optimist in me is hoping so.

But sometimes I wonder if this shit happens just so I have something to write on my blog.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My worst nightmare.

My worst nightmare came true. Kaleb Bloated on Saturday night.

There was nothing different in his schedule that day, we trained Agility in the AM, field training in the PM, relaxed at home with the family having a BBQ, supper, watched TV, then bed. He woke us up half an hour after going to bed, he was retching up nothing, restless and wanting to keep laying down, and his tummy was feeling a little hard I knew right away what is was, I called the vet and literally 5 minutes later we were there. By the time we got there his tummy had ballooned, and Pete had to carry him, it happened that fast. The Vet had no doubt in her mind that is what it was too, she was great and acted fast.

His x-rays showed the twisting clearly. The vet gave him a needle through his stomach to pull out some air and relieve some pressure, he also had a tube put down his throat to get more air out, it worked as he seemed to get more comfortable and his tummy went down a bit too, but his gut was still twisted. And he was clearly in pain. He lived through the Gastropexy surgery to untwist his gut with no complications, his stomach was in good shape since we were able to catch it so soon. The Vet said another 2 hours and he would have been dead. His stomach was tacked to his rib cage, and we were relieved there has been no further complications yet, but the next 48 hours to 10 days are critical I guess. We are both totally devestated and it doesn't seem real yet at all that this has happened.

We were able to bring him home early because he was not settling down at the clinic when we weren't there - charging out of his kennel, pulling the nurses over when he was going out to Pee, he even started barking near the end of the day (we spent most of yesterday with him at the clinic). He was running on adrenaline, it is a very busy clinic, and he was excited and anxious, and he needs to rest and the vet agreed, it was either home with us, or sedation at the clinic. And he has been sleeping like a baby since being back. I work at home, so it is easy for me to accommodate.

We have an arsenal of meds he needs for the next 3 to 10 days, 4 times a day, and we check his temperature here too

Pete has to come home at lunch so he can carry him up and down the stairs to go out to Pee - which has to be on leash. He is keeping down water and eating bits of wet food, so as long as that stays the same we are good to go. He has an incision about 8 inches long on his belly and various bald patches all over him. Poor guy.
I am just glad he lived through this, I was NOT ready to say good-bye and I don't think he was either. Thanks to everyone who has sent nice messages for him, it means more than you know. Kaleb is alive because we were able to get in him quickly, and with the care of really good vets he is still with us. I am hoping for a full recovery, and he'll be back to himself soon. And if this time is like any other in his life, he doesn't give up easily :)

Here are some symptoms of Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), Bloat, if you don't already know:
  • Your dog retches from the throat but nothing is produced other than small amounts of frothy mucus
  • Your dog tries to defaecate unsuccessfully
  • Your dog adopts the 'Sphinx' position
  • Your dog's tummy goes hard and/or swells up like a balloon and is as taut as drumskin
  • Trying to bite, or worry, the abdomen
  • Your dog is very unsettled

CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is a true emergency - be prepared to drive to the surgery straightaway. The chance of survival decreases alarmingly if you delay getting the dog to the surgery more than 60-90 minutes after the first signs.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fit for a King.

Kaleb's new luxurious Bowser's bed arrived this week...

Did I mention it is Kaleb's bed?

this one's just right :: 22/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Jane was not leftout, she got her own matching throw for "her perch" where she lays, but Kaleb's bed is better I guess.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The thing holding my leg together.

Isn't he pretty? Yes he is PURPLE and kinda sparkly. He is filling in for my ACL, since it is now a goner, and he takes pressure of my Meniscus too.

Like everything I own he needed a name. He is now family ... seeing as he cost as much as 2 puppies. Not quite as cuddly and fuzzy, however.

He was affectionately coined "Bar-Knee" by a very witty friend of mine :) due to his purple colour and the fact that he is made up of bars to hold my knee together. PERFECT!

I also think "Er-Knee" could work, seeing as I have a Boler named "Burt" ... Burt and Ernie (Sesame Street, get it??), and it's funny that my brace is worth more than Burt the Boler ...

It makes me happy when I look at him, I almost want to break out in song ....

I love you, you love me
We're a great big family.
With a great big hug
and a kiss from me to you
Won't you say you love me too!

Sorry for putting this song in your head, but I've been suffering with it since "Bar-Knee" was named ... now it's your turn.

Perhaps he needs a new name?? Perhaps he is girl?