Thursday, December 29, 2011

12 months ...

Here is a slideshow I put together of Jane and Gyp's 12 Months for Dogs project on FLICKR, each month of the year is represented by a photo ... enjoy :) I love my girlies!!!

Stay tuned for Kaleb's 52 Weeks Slideshow .. coming soon ...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

never give up

never give up :: 12/12 Jane, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
Well we made it!! When I made the decision to do 12 Months for Dogs Photo project with Jane, a large part of me didn't think she make it to the end of the project due to her failing health. I am sooo happy have these 12 months to show that she made it!

janey and her grammy

I thought this was a great photo to end the year - Jane STILL mooching for food, still with the sparkle in her eye, though her little body is much more frail that 12 months ago - she is still the same dog. Taken on Christmas day (yes, we have no snow - it was +12C that day!!!), our whole family went out to the Coulees for a walk - even Jane who was carried most of the way in her bag, she loved every second of it - and so did the family!
Grammy Pat and her Janey

always stylish
Thanks everyone for all the kind words and comments over the year, we are looking forward to 2012 ... whatever it may bring!

Monday, December 26, 2011

merry gypmas

merry gypmas :: 1212 :: Gyp, originally uploaded by sarah ....

flying friends

We had a great Christmas. One of the best in years. I think it is just because I took time to really think about what it means. For me that is Family, friends and being with the ones you love (oh and the sick amount of food ... that my guts are now paying for). It really has nothing do to with religion or a belief beyond loving the one's you are with and taking time to appreciate them more than normal.

We had an awesome Christmas day walk with the dogs and family. +12 Celcius and no snow made it possible for Jane to come along for the long walk in the Coulees (she was carried like a Queen in her bag for most of it) As sad as it is, none of us really expected to be spending Christmas with Jane, so it was even more special that she is still with us ... fighting the fight. She was soooo spoiled and so loved this Christmas.

I took a bunch of photos and I'll post them soon. It was a very special day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


naughty :: 51/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

First he steals the Santa hat from me.
Then he pulls the pom pom off.
Then he runs off with it again, and pisses on it.

Merry Christmas jerk dog. ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

have yourself a merry little christmas

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.

And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Monday, December 19, 2011

everyone needs some down time ...

Well that time of year is upon us ... the time of year when I give my guys downtime. I try to give them 2 - 3 big breaks a year. This big break will be 6 weeks off Agility training. I know when this time is coming ...

I might need a break if:
- If I start to train for the sake of training, and if I don't feel I am training anything specific. It is hard when we have Arena time, to just want to go and play around "do little things" - but really is it a benefit? Is it making them better, or me a better handler for them?
- If I end a training session and haven't gained or learned anything - I need to have a break.
- I feel my dogs have been working more than having off days
- If I have big events coming up and me and the dogs need some time to refocus and refresh
- If I feel I am losing desire ... I don't want that to rub off on the dogs in any venue we take part in, I need to give them my 150% all the time - and can anyone really do that 365 days a year?

Off time of Agility doesn't mean we become couch potatoes and do nothing. It is really a time to forget about "that other world" and spend time doing other things - maybe learn a new trick or two, refresh some other skills. Also, making sure their bodies have some recovery time from the various impacts of the sport and keeping fit. Keeping up on all of our conditioning (that includes me!) - Long walks, coulee runs, Jogging (me & the dogs) Treadmill (mostly the dogs and a little bit for me - I work while they exercise :)), strength-training (peanut ball, pods, body resistance - active stretching). They get their weekly massages - now a little deeper if they need it, and so I can find any potential areas that might need more attention (clearly from the above photo - they hate it) This is just what I do for me and my dogs - and it seems to really work for us.

Gyp is also on a 6 week break from Therapy work - again I think she needs a break from it - it's not something that is physically hard, but I do think it is mentally draining on her - she sleeps like a baby after her visits.

I am looking forward to 2012! 2011 started out a little rough, but it turned out to be a pretty great year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

super score!

super score!, originally uploaded by sarah ....

(well much to her dismay she only got one)

must get timbit.

Grammy knows how to make a girl happy ... give her a box of timbits (well there was only one inside, but jane didn't care).

sniff sniff

O M G!!!


It's so nice to see her being feisty and having fun :) now if only I could teach her to share.

very sneaky jane ...

I love this f'ing little dog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

kiss attack ...

grammy!!! :: 49/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

I finally got some photos that captures Kaleb's love for his favourite person in the world ...

his G R A M M Y!

more grammy kisses

i wuv u GRAMMY!


she's down! attack!

she's down!

beware ... you could be next ...

Monday, December 12, 2011

She's Golden!

It was our last Agility Trial of the year, well actually day trial ... we ran 3 events. Gyp needed 2 more Standard Qs to earn her Gold Award of Merit in AAC and she did it in style - clocking the Fastest time in the event and he 2nd fastest time in the other Standard, she also brought home the most Gamble points. The Gold Award of Merit in AAC is when a dog earns 50 Masters Standard Qs and 100 Masters Games (out of Jumpers, Gamblers, Snooker, Steeplechase etc). I really loved the idea of earning this Award this year, but Gyp only ran in 4 Trials as she was out 7 months prior, so I was happy to have it happen whenever it came.

I Am very proud of her, and looking back on her trial year - though short, we had a great time. She won her 3rd Regional Championship in a row, her Challenge Title, and her Gold Award of Merit. I am looking forward to 2012 .. here's hoping for more good health and soundness!!

Kaleb ran too - he did awesome in his Gamble - only 7 Masters dogs got it, and he and Gyp were 2 of them. The boy can Gamble that is for sure! His standards were "enthusiastic" but not clean - I am very proud of him this year also. He tries his hardest out there for me, but I do see his age catching up with him - especially in the weave poles - he has slowed down in them and does not bend like he used too, we will take it as it comes, and keep up on his fitness and conditioning - he's been sound his whole life, so here's hoping for many more memorable runs in 2012.

And maybe, just maybe ... there will be a new fuzzy addition in 2012 ...

Here are her 2 standard runs from the weekend - I didn't record the gamble, though I wish I would have, it was a tricky one!

Monday, November 28, 2011

attack of the clones

attack of the clones :: 47/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
do you think the world could really handle 3 Kalebs?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

sitting, waiting, watching

Via Flickr:
the queen on her thrown ... the back of the couch to be exact. She was waiting for Pete to get home from work.

As you can see her belly looks big ... that is the fluid that builds up from the right side of her heart not pumping properly due to her Congestive Heart Failure. Each week she gets a procedure called Abdomencentisis performed ... she is a champ, such a trooper, never makes a peep and feels like a million bucks afterwards.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


* :: 46/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
*no cameras were licked in the making of this photo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honest dog, realistic mama.

This past weekend was a busy one. Agility Seminar Friday with Lynda Orton-Hill - which was an amazing 4 hours I might add. More on that later ...

Saturday and Sunday, Gyppie and I ventured into the Obedience and Rally rings. One Obedience and one Rally each day. It was her Obedience Debut! Again, this is not the venue we are most confident in ... but we are trying our hardest to be confident. I could have gotten greedy and entered her in all 4 Obedience Trials in a small hope we could win High Aggregate Novice for the weekend (and I am not joking when I saw atleast 5 people asked me why I didn't - and only 3 times I was asked what Breed she was :) ) - but knowing me, and knowing my dog, I didn't want to risk losing the JOY in the ring, due to greed - I am learning both of our limits to maintain the enthusiasm I am getting and wanting to keep in this venue. I know from past experiences that Gyp often can get a little spooky as a weekend goes on - and sure enough she did. Saturday - she was totally confident. Sunday morning was quiet and there was random banging and echoing ... she does much better with lots of noise, so there is nothing for her to get spooked about. We played and played, and she bounced back with no problem, but it was work to get her back, and we had to be in the ring in 15 minutes!

On to the good stuff ... Gyp's first CD leg felt GREAT! She was upbeat and I loved every second with her in the ring. She earned a 194.5 and HIC!!! Her second time in the ring on the Sunday was almost as good - but a couple dumb handler errors (saying sit - um confused with Rally DUH and 2 points off for bad leash skills AGAIN in the Stand for Exam bad mama!) She ended up with a 189!!

She was awesome in Rally earning her first 2 Advanced B legs with a 99 and a 98 under judge Judith Snowden. Both HIC's!

Thanks for the Video Amanda ...

Gyp also raced in Scent Hurdle, she only did 2 races and did pretty good, and was just getting in her groove - she was very enthusiastic - can't beat that! It was too bad there weren't more opportunities to race her that night, but oh well, maybe next time more teams will be there and she can run a bit more. I think she got her Scent Hurdle title, but I am not sure. No Nonscents did really good, and it was a fun relaxed race! I was in my PJs by 8, glass of wine, good movie and 3 dogs snuggling with me :)

And possibly the cutest part of the weekend was Gyp got to be a show dog - I'm not shitting you! She was asked by a friend who was one of the Junior Handler organizers if I would be interested in having her show with a Junior, since she is so good with Kids - the girl was about 11 years old. The girl just LOVED Gyp and had so much fun "training her" for the show ring - Standing and Trotting around, Gyp LOVED her too and didn't even look back at me when they trotted away to go practice. The dog didn't have to be a show dog, but had to be entered in either Obedience or Conformation to take part - since they are judging the kid and not the dog entirely :) I brushed her, got a friend to put a show lead on her, and they were off! I felt like a doting mama who's kid went off to College for the first time. It was adorable to see Gyp pretending to be a Show Dog - she took in all in stride - let the judge see her teeth, did her stacking, and down and back, didn't miss a beat ...

One of these things is not like the others ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

when's my turn, mama?

when's my turn, mama? ::45/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
i wanted to get a photo of K at Agility this year... we are now back inside training his favourite game. This weekend we were at a Trial and he ran GREAT! So did Gyp :) :) :) She had the most Gamble points each day, and had the fastest Standard Run on Saturday! Kaleb is coming up 10 and he still runs with the same oooomph he did as a young guy - he earned his 60th Standard and 2 Gambles this weekend . His times haven't slowed down hardly at all ...

He was waiting his turn ... I love his pleading look and the action in the background! He is such a fun dog, and always keeps me on my toes. Love this crazy old man.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Jaws, meet Jaws., originally uploaded by sarah ....

i needed a smile today ...

this photo is from a couple years ago, when jane had more teeth ... she is now missing the other 2 beside the gap :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

run potion #9

It's true ... Kaleb is getting old, and I am dealing relatively well with that reality. But you'd probably never guess he's coming up 10 years old. And he would never let you believe it.

I am very lucky that he has never (knock on wood ... hey K can I use your head?) been lame or off with an injury considering how much he does and the fact that he gives 'er no matter what.

Like any athlete, he gets very good pre and post care when he is going to be using that body of his for things nature intended (running, hunting, breaking through thick brush to hunt birds, swimming) and the things nature didn't intend (weave poles, jumping, climbing and decending the A-frame, slamming into me when he should be watching where the HELL he is going). He has gotten his share of chiro adjustments, massage, acupuncture over the years for maintenance, to keep him fit, limber and sound.

We have magic potion that seems to do the trick (again this is just for him coming up 10 years old, and it works) ...

General Conditioning
... for him at almost 10 years of age, it looks something like this ....He jogs on the "Tready" as we call it usually twice a week for 20min at a fairly good incline at fully extended trot, Peanut ball 2x week, stretching, massage, walks daily and jogging with me, swimming in the summer, a couple free runs a week and Agility training is in there too - but that is a minor part of his actual general conditioning. Agility is not his main source of exercise. We train really very little, and if the only exertion he got was on equipment, I don't think he would be very fit at all, seeing as we train for maybe 30-45 minutes a couple times a week. And that is over a few 2-3 minute sessions.

Kaleb takes CoQ10, Salmon Oil, and a joint supplement daily, yum yum. To prep for an event (hunting, agility) we start with Traumeel - a homeopathic anti-inflammatory a couple days before, during and after an event. This really seems to help with recovery, he hunted once this year without anything, and Pete even noticed he was more stiff the next day, when he hadn't been on it. He hunted for 3 hours straight on Sunday, and I prepped him for it - not stiff at all today, in fact he is annoying me with his antics!!

His Magic Cape
Next we have the Back on Track coat. I have been using this for a couple years now, and I really believe in these products. I use one myself for my knee. Kaleb wears it pre and post event and often in between runs at a trial for different periods of time. If you aren't familiar with them - look into it!

And his favourite thing of all ... Mama's Magical Massage.
Now that I have somewhat of an idea of what I am looking for when massaging, and massaging my dogs on a regular basis really keys me in to their bodies, I really find I can make a difference with his well-being. For those of you who REALLY know Kaleb, I will have you know I can relax him into a deep snore with massage. If that doesn't tell you it feels good, I don't know what does! He has a couple trouble spots I keep an eye on and make sure that those areas get extra attention, before and after he givs 'er in what ever it is he is doing, to prevent a possible pulled muscle or having that issue lead to compensation in other areas - again it's about prevention. It is really cool to see him loosen right up and the recovery time afterwards seems to be better because of that too.

... Kaleb getting veeeeerrryyyy sleeeepy ...

... and, Kaleb looking rather dashing at 9.75 year young, if I do say so myself.

mr.k, bird watching :: 44/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Here's to more fun and more running with reckless abandon buddy ... just try to stay clear of my knees ok?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kaleb's shadow

... looks a lot like a Border Collie.

Kaleb's shadow ..., originally uploaded by sarah ....


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

back to handsome

back to handsome, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
Halloween is over ... back to being handsome ... for a minute.

Monday, October 31, 2011

No Costume Necessary.

Happy Halloween, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Happy Halloween ...

... from the dog who is dressed in costume 365 days of the year ...

say ahhhh :: 43/52

Saturday, October 29, 2011

her day

her day :: 10/12/Jane, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
i love taking Jane out for her won excursions without the other dogs. She moves alot slower than they do, and this way it is just us, like the old days :)

Ii's nice to just hang out with her and let her do her "Janer thing" ... which involves sniffing, peeing on things and watching the world go by.

Hangin' with Jane

Where's the cookies woman? I'm not gettin' any younger here!

Friday, October 28, 2011

another little thing ...

OK a couple of little things ...

Jane, originally uploaded by sarah ....
Jane, feeling spunky ... and enjoying the little things like trotting through the crunchy leaves.

little miracles

There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.

- Albert Einstein

Somehow Jane keeps beating the odds ... keep on truckin' little Janer. keep on truckin' ...

Monday, October 24, 2011

my dogs ... love 'em.

Another weekend of Agility is behind us. I travelled up to Calgary Friday, had a herding lesson, taught 6 hours of Agility ... it was a gooooood day!

The pooches ran in 6 classes and they were great. It was the first indoor trial of the fall season - and the footing was sure different than what we were used too over the summer running in grass - very loose deep mix and my guys popped out of weaves, and also got stuck in the deep surface while weaving - interesting ... but anyway, they were great, and super fun challenging courses. I really pushed myself and I had the best time doing it. Gyp and Kaleb are so different - like almost a different species ... but I love running them equally ... it's hard to explain, but I love them both for their little quirks and unique personalities :)

Our group did so amazing, the more we all hang out, the more like family we are. It is really awesome. We all had a good group cry session over the loss of one of our own, Sniper. He will be missed, a great dog, taken too young. We are such a tight knit group, it is so nice to celebrate achievements with them, and when you need a shoulder to cry everyone is right there for you too. I've never been involved in such a cool group of unique and diverse people, and I am proud to call of them my friends - and their dogs are like extensions of my own.

Enough of the sappy stuff ... here are a couple runs from the weekend ... and for the record ... Gyp's Tug Toy still works just fine.

my name is kaleb :: 42/52

au naturale :: 10/12/Gyp

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Certified Kid Friendly

I know for some people it isn't important to have a dog that is friendly with everyone - but for me, it is VERY important, my dogs are in public places alot, as well we have a large family that has people of all ages. Some dogs you have to work at it with ... others seem to come that way. My dogs are a combination of a bit of everything, but I am proud to say, they are pretty unflappable in just about any situation I put them in - while knowing their limitations - ie. not putting Jane with small Children and being careful with other dogs. But in situations like pubic places, busy parks, elevators, other peoples homes ... they are pretty good.

Gyp was very shy when I first got her, and quite afraid of men. She has always loved kids and is very gentle with them - and if they can throw a ball - she will fetch ... it's quite simple really.

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to Certify for Children Pet Therapy. You have to be Certified already in the program a year, which we are, and I thought it would be fun to work with kids - she loves the elderly, but kids, as you know have a different energy.

The tests we have done for both certifications, are rather stressful!!! They really do a good job of testing dogs temperaments and how they deal with stressful situations.

The tests inlcuded:

Ring around the Rosie: 10 people including kids, singing and holding hands while circling us, then they all fall down on the floor at the same time. Gyp was curious, and went up to each person individually to meet them ... funny girl.

Play time: Kids playing on the floor with Toys and a Stroller, laughing and being loud, once again Gyp went up and met them all and tried to entice them to play.

Running at the dog: one at a time the kids ran towards Gyp then fell on the ground laughing or screaming .... Gyp thought it was weird - but just sat at my side and by the last falling child, tried to get them to play with her when they were on the ground.

Meeting the dog: the kids came up to pet her one at a time - of course she was fine with that.

Mob: we stood in the room, and all of the kids and people swarmed her, talking and petting, laughing ... again she thought that was pretty cool - hey kid, throw me a toy.

So we look forward to our next level of Therapy Dog work ... we will see how much we like working with the Kids, it will be much different than hearing the fun stories of the elderly, but should be just as uplifting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

she loves me, she loves me not ..

The love story of Gyp and Tag (her BBF)

i think she loves me ...

i do, i really think she loves me ...

YEP i'm pretty sure, how can she resist my charms? ...


OMG OMG OMG ... she does, she does!

And Acey (Gyp's BFF) decides to join in on the fun too ...

oh, seriously. rent a room you two ...