Monday, January 31, 2011

"Dog" is my Homework

I'm in the middle of my externship for the Canine Body Worker Course I took in October. I am really enjoying it, and learning so much with each dog I see, and my "feel" is really improving. I am more than half way through the required 20 dogs I need to work on and do assessments for. And I am done 1 muscular study - it is 5 views, dorsal, front, rear, and 2 side views (one labeling superficial and the other the deep muscles).

Jane was helping me this weekend and what a good helper she is.

She is great at holding the pages down.

Though I sort of needed that section ... I made do without some of it - I didn't want to disturb her beauty sleep.

HMMM maybe she is on to something? I wonder if I slept on the books if I would learn it all - hmmm learning by Osmosis, I might try that.

And Jane ... you are my next Muscular study subject - don't worry though, the highlighters are only used on your photos, though technicolour Jane might be kind of cool?

Seriously though, isn't she cute?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

my little dog ...

my little dog :: 1/12/Jane, originally uploaded by sarah ....

... a heartbeat at my feet.

It's been 4 months since her diagnosis of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) she is still having more good days than bad, and we cherish every one of them. She is enjoying the simple things like, car rides, cuddles and eating what ever the hell she wants (healthy choices).

She has had a couple near fainting spells in the last 3 days, which is awful and scary - and new. She gets winded so easily now and we have to be so careful not getting her too excited. But amazingly, she still has energy, is eating well, and still has the sparkle in her eyes. She is noticeably losing some muscle mass now, especially in her back end - though she has gained a bit of weight back in the last 2 months.

She also has a loose tooth. Our Vet won't take it out as she is too high risk and fragile, so she has been referred too 2 specialists in Calgary, but at this time we have decided to leave it be. Since we changed her food again, she is not biting at her skin and the tooth seems to not be bugging her like it was 2 weeks ago.

I can't imagine the thought of not having her by my side and waking up with her every morning. I'm not sure how to even go about missing her when she's gone, and that scares the crap out of me. This sounds strange, but I've never really lost anyone super close to me, my Great-Grandma lived to be 102 and while it was sad, she went peacefully in her sleep. My dad's, dad passed away when I was 3. Pete's Grandpa passed away when we were in College, and that was hard as I knew him well.

Wow that's a morbid topic for a Sunday, but I just needed to get it out.

So for now, we just love little Janer every second of the day :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

splish, splash i was takin' bath ...

i always crack up at how much my guys get really annoyed at bath time. For 2 dogs that love the water so much ... they sure hate baths.

why the long face? :: 4/52

i hate you.

are we done yet?


sleep with one eye open mama.

drip dry

Kaleb doing the "drip dry"

and finally .. the towel dry ...

towel dry

My guys were part of a very important photoshoot earlier this week, so they had to be sparkly and shiny for their time in the studio spotlight, it might start going to their heads. They were so well behaved it was awesome, they took their spots and happily smiled for the camera. Thanks to my "wrangler" Amanda, the shoot was a huge success- I think she should go pro with her mad wrangling skillz :)

Jane didn't get a bath for the shoot, she didn't smell like a barn.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fountain of Youth!

puppy face., originally uploaded by sarah ....

I think Kaleb has found the Fountain of Youth - I believe it's located in some snow and mud in Pavan Park. I think he's like Benjamin Button - and is reverse aging!

9 years going on 5 months ... I love this photo ... the only give away that is that bit 'o frosting on the chin. I thought this pic from the other day was just soooo cute with his Puppy Face! I get the Lady Gaga song Poker Face in my head when I look at this photo ... I want to sing... P-p-p-puppy face, p-p-p-puppy face!

This dog amazes me. I thought I would be pretty bummed about not running Gyp the last 2.5 months (who's counting), but I am focusing just on K and having a blast. He is running better than ever. And during the classes from 6 - 9, he didn't fade. I ran him a couple times in each sequence, and he nailed it every time - with mega-speed and oooomph. Even our students and training buddies were commenting on his drive and focus for the whole night. I've wanted to take it easy on his training and sort of cut him back, but if he is feeling this good and wanting to do it - we will!! He gets a massage when we get home and do lots of stretching the next day too, and he is seemingly spry and not stiff at all. I wish I could say the same about myself today - my Sport Conditioning class yesterday just about damn near killed me. Lucky for me I have a massage booked on Friday! YAY for me!

Boundless Energy, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Monday, January 24, 2011

she looks like an angel, but talks like a sailer.

Don't let the sweet little Gyppie face fool you ... there's a little bit 'o devil in there.

Aren't I the cutest thing ever? Look at my perky ears, and my pointy nose. Come on.
I'm Gyppie "do no wrong" and I get away with everything, and I never get in trouble, and old people love me.

her sweetness., originally uploaded by sarah ....

Oh, bitch, please!

Unclip this muther f*cking leash, from my muther f*cking collar.

Bitch! NOW!!!!

I MEAN IT! I WANT TO RUN!!! Iliospoas strain my ass!!! I'm fine woman!

GRRRRRR! This is my "i mean it face"

Fine then. I'm going to ignore you.

I hate you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter Winds

For this weeks 52 Weeks for Dogs Project I wanted to do something different - this song has been playing in my head all week ... Winter Winds. Kaleb didn't stop moving for close to an hour ... running huge circles aimlessly (meanwhile Gyp was stuck on a leash the entire time - she loved that - NOT)

Now to choose a photo from all of these that I took today for Week 3 of the project.

I love, love Kaleb.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

the K-man is numero uno x 2!

Kaleb was the #1 FCR in CKC Rally Obedience for 2010!

As well he was the #1 FCR in AAC Agility for 2010, for the 4th year in a row.
Considering he only did 6 Trials last year I am pretty darn proud of his comeback last year!

Good job buddy, here's hoping for many more good times together.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Feeding time...

Is it sad that is takes longer to prepare the dog's breakfast than my own? At Breakfast and Dinner this is what my counter looks like. And a couple inbetween Meds for Jane too.

It costs about $11 a day to keep Jane's ticker-ticking, and well, she is still doing great. She has gained back a little of the initial weight and muscle she lost - which she couldn't really afford to lose. Her new Cardiac food is working really well for her too to maintain her weight. She is also on a couple natural supplements CoQ10 and a liquid herbal remedy, that compliment rest of the shwack of meds. It's been 4 months since her diagnosis and we are thrilled she is still going strong.

Gyp is also an a few things for her Rehab and some permanently - 3 Chinese Herb variations, Ligaplex, and a new mobility/joint supplement and Robaxin which was just prescribed for her.

Kaleb is on a couple joint supplements and gets a bit of extra oil added to his food occasionally to help with his dryness. Nothing too fancy for the Iron Dog.

And me - well I take my happy pills, multi-vitamin and a giant horse pill of a joint supplement.

Hopefully with all this stuff .... we all live to be 150 years old - in human and dog years :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

another little thing...

Gyp, originally uploaded by sarah ....

As part of my goal to enjoy the little things this year ...

I love Gyp's pointy little "ski jump" nose (as my mom calls it) is one of my favs things about Gyp, well that and her overly large big feet.

Sometimes she looks like a puppy that never grew fully out of her little 17" body.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 has begun ...

distinguised gentleman :: 2/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

It was the first trial of the year this past weekend. I had K entered in just 5 runs. He was great - ran with his usual Kaleb flair, kept me on my toes and kept me laughing. He brought home a Q in Masters Gamblers and Jumpers.

the long road :: 1/12/Gyp, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Gyp had fun hanging out and making friends. It was awesome that Dr. Devall came out to treat her, she had some Acupuncture done, Laser and some adjustments, and is now prescribed with some muscle relaxants to help break the cycle of her muscle tightness - she also has a couple new Chinese Herbs to to try with the others she is already on. She still has a long way to go with her recovery, but all I hope is that she recovers.

together we look back. together we move ahead. together we are stronger.

It was harder on me than her, not to be in the ring together this weekend. But my need for speed was fulfilled thanks for some great friends who were more than generous to let me run their great dogs! I ran Wicca in Challenge - an amazing run, 2 bars but a smokin' fast run. I ran Tempete, Jo Gauthier's wonderful Belgian and we Qd in Jumpers, I got a quick lesson in running a dog with French commands, and off I went! What a rush! I ran Jolayne's, Tag in Steeplechase, and he was even nice enough to stick his newly trained 20/20 for me on the A-frame! I ran BB the cutest little sheltie and we Qd her Jumpers run - I wish I had a video of that run!

Here's a video of some of the scrambling around running other people's dogs :)

I was thinking this might be my last Agility trial until after me Knee surgery - meaning I would be back by June if it was just the Menisci repair, which I was hoping would be in February, so Gyp and I could rehab together :) I called the Ortho Surgeon today, and it looks like the earliest will be March, which sucks as I was finally getting my self psyched up for it. What ever will be, will be.... On the plus side, I get to Trial in February :) And I now to act on my new fitness program with a great new Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach I had a meeting with today - so excited for that, it should be a very cool experience.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life as Gyp knows it ...

Amanda blogged about Davie and his daily life, here is a little of what fills Gyp days ...

things are looking up...

wayyyyy up....

we're finding balance ...

taking a turn for the better ...

life is full of obstacles, but we can learn to work with them...

some obstacles are bigger than others ...

living life is all about being flexible ...

OK Gyp we get, you are flexible ...

no really Gyp, you are freaky, we get it you are really bendy.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I admit it, I'm in Therapy.

Yep it's true. My dogs are my therapy.

Each of my dogs has a way about them. Something they have a magical knack for as far as effecting my mood. And this year my new year's resolutions revolve around how my dogs have helped me in my daily life ... and to embrace those things.

Kaleb - well he keeps things light and fun, and has taught me to let loose and get goofy. And that you can still accomplish a lot with a big smile on your face, while having the best time of your life. Wake up everyday as if it is the best day ever. While he might not always take the route well travelled, we always get there, just in Kaleb style. And of course Patience. ya. He has taught me alot about that, because he tests it regularly.

Jane - well, everything is because of her. She has taught me how to care for something other than myself. Attitude is everything. Never back down, and stand up for what you believe in. In 11 years, I have never cried over anything more than I have cried over Jane. From the good to the very bad, we've been through it all.

Gyp - well this little inbred Kentucky girl is something special. I am calmest with Gyp, yet this dog has so much go, you'd think a Border Collie would drive me crazy. I am in a almost zen state when I am with her. It is like we read each others minds. She is calm, cool and collected. Except for when there is a flyswatter, flashlight, fishing rod around :) More than my other dogs, Gyp has a natural way of sharing this gift with other people. They love her gentle and kind nature. While she has been a very successful Agility dog in her short career, her Therapy Dog work is probably the most rewarding thing we do (OK well in a TOTALLY different way :)). She has a come a long way since being the shy introvert .. she is now a confident young lady :)

The St. John Therapy Dog Program was featured in an article in Lethbridge Living this month, and Gyp got to have her own photo shoot with some of her favourite people she visits. These photos are so special to me....

Thanks for reading ....I gotta go ... time to get some therapy ...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Real Kaleb.

So ... yes I am running Agility in my Sheep PJs ... I am trying to find ways to keep having fun and perk up my spirits ... you'd think running Kaleb would be enough wouldn't you ... he thinks it is enough ... the PRIVILEGE of being able to run him ... This dog really should have his own Comedy Show.

Thanks Amanda for filming this (and the dorky yet perfect music) it really couldn't have been anymore perfect ....

And for the record ... I kinda liked running in my sheepie PJs, so roomy and comfy ... it might be the only way to do agility from now on :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

- 2010. a year in point form.


- first trial of the year, knee goes BOOM

- drank lots of wine

- Jane is being treated for her recently diagnosed Gall Stone of all things.

- in physio 2x a week


- in physio 2x a week

- worked on distance and directionals with the dogs as I couldn't run yet

- drank lots of wine


- in physio 1x a week

- YAY I can hobble around an agility course, let's enter!

- Meet with the Ortho surgeon, he thinks is just a bad sprain

- WOW! Gyp earns her "Silver Award of Merit" despite her gimpy handler!


- Still hobbling and doing great at distance work

- Kim runs Gyp in Jumpers, nails it.


- MRI Results: Torn Meniscus, ACL completely gone.

- Bar-Knee!!!!!! The best thing to happen to me since a padded bra.

- Ran my first Jumpers courses since January, and if felt great!

- Entered the K-man in his first 2 CDX trials, no Qs but he did GREAT!


- Training hard for Regionals

- I can do front crosses again thanks to Bar-Knee!!!

- Kaleb gets Torsion (GDV) and has emergency surgery, I drink more wine.

- Gyp wins Regionals for the second year on a row, runs 6 clean runs. Second highest points of all open dogs entered.


- Kaleb is in recovery and getting back into shape

- Jane breaks a tooth, goes in to have it removed and ends up having a back molar abscessed and half gone. Three teeth removed. Scary because of her heart murmur.

- Kaleb makes his comeback at the FCRSC and FCRSAlberta Specialties .... what a comeback it was. Took Best of Opposite in the Regioanal Specialty show. Finished his RA with a HIC and some other placements in Conformation. Earns a Beauty and Brains Award.


- Kaleb enters the Agility ring for the first time at Nationals, in the pre-qualifier - and does it in 4 runs!! K places 19/56 for the weekend

- Gyp places 3rd in a very competitive class of 53 at Nationals


- Jane is diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure

- Kaleb earns his: Gold Standard (50th Masters Standard), Silver Snooker, Silver Jumpers awards

- in 2.5 trials since his torsion - and 12 Qs, Kaleb earns his "Gold Award of Merit", making him the first FCR in Canada to do so. What a guy.


- not alot going on - trying to regroup, no trialing, no agility training

- Gyp passes her certification as a St. John Therapy Dog!!

- Prepping Kaleb for the Open Obedience ring.

- Attend 8 day "Canine Bodyworker Certification Course" - and still currently working on my externship YAY!


- Kaleb is entered in 4 Open Trials and gets his first 2 legs!

- Kaleb earns his "Rally Excellent TItle" - and with a perfect score of 100 to boot!

- Gyp is off with an injury to be determined


- Kaleb earns his CDX!! I still can't believe it. I keep thinking I need still needs to do this.

- Kaleb is the #1 FCR in CKC Rally Obedience for 2010

- Gyp has an Iliospoas strain and is off Agility minimum 3 months.

- Jane is still doing well :)

- 2010 was a year of ups and downs, but the ups were plenty and we dealt with the downs the best we could.

- 2011 edition is in the making.

- thanks for reading.

i won't back down

52jane, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Jane's 52 weeks project has come to an end. What a year. What a dog. I love doing this project each year. It is a fun outlet for my creativity outside of my day job, which often drains my creative juices on a fairly regular basis - it's tough trying to be creative all the time, especially when it is your job. I am designing her book right now, but thought a slideshow would be fun in the meantime.

2011 will be Kaleb's year ... stay tuned :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

YAY! it's 2011 (insert sarcasm here)

Well as relieved as I am to have 2010 behind me, 2011 scares the crap out of me. While last year was he hardest year of my life health wise for myself and my dogs, this coming year will also be full of transitions, many I am scared to even think about. As much as I wanted to 2010 to be done, I am having a really hard time looking forward to the difficult things ahead this year. I can't even read peoples blogs about goals, because I really can't think of any, and it makes me sad. I just want to hide and remove myself from the dog world all together sometimes. But the support from friends is what keeps me going these days.

Jane's health. The unknown scares me and I just cherish everyday with her. 2010 started with a diagnosis from the Internal specialist in Calgary with a Gall Stone, having 3 teeth pulled in the summer and being diagnosed with CHF. It's been almost 4 months since she diagnosed and I don't know how many more we will get. I try not to think about it and so do what we do, day to day.

Kaleb is approaching 9, though not acting like an old dog I am realistic about it. I am so thankful he is back better than ever and my frame of mind changed after almost losing him, and I feel closer to him than ever before. We accomplished more together than I ever thought possible, he truly is an amazing dog. He has earned every big title possible that he can almost ever get - around 40 titles .... Where do we go next? He has nothing to prove, but as long as he is having fun and healthy, we will keep playing :)

And my Gyppie girl ... Out now 2 months and who knows how long until she will get back to training. We have fun doing her physio exercises, it is something for her to do and for us to do together. I miss seeing her run laps around in the field bounding through the tall grass. I am thankful we have the Therapy Dog work as it is some nice one on one time for us. She might not see the agility ring this year at all if the timing works how I think it might, and that makes me really sad.

And then there is me. It's been almost a year since I blew my knee - January 9th ... Not that I'm keeping track or anything. One year later and I still live with daily pain from my meniscus tear and compensation for no ACL. I am scheduled for surgery in February. The jury is still undecided if I will go for the full reconstruction of the ACL or just do the cartilage repair. 6 weeks vs. 6 months. Either way I am sick about it. I hated the feeling last year not being able to run, it wasn't until May that I could - but if I learned anything last year it was - I CAN FUCKING DO IT. All I know is the next month will involve me getting stronger at the gym in preparation for it. I hate the thought of not being in the agility ring, driving, walking the dogs etc. We haven't trialed since September and I only started trialing again in March - 5 months of trialing in 2010. It was a short trial year, but despite that, we were darn successful. I just don't want to relive last year, but it looks like I might have too.

I have Kaleb entered in a trial in 2 weeks and I am really having a hard time convincing myself to go. I miss running Gyp more than you can imagine. It might be my last trial for many months and I just worry I will lose the love for the game. I want to hide and avoid the whole experience, it is a really odd feeling and I am not sure what is going on with myself.

This isn't really the new years post I had in mind ... I'm going to look back at our accomplishments for 2010 - so many i am so proud of, and despite some adversity did more than we could have imagined!! It will help me to see it all written down in front of me. I didn't put the super positive spin on this post I was hoping too, I just need a few days to really absorb the past, the present and the future .... and reflect on it myself.

I want to make 2011 a year to remember ... enjoy the small things, and take time to stop and smell the roses.

Happy New Year to everyone :)