Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I want to travel with the Carnival.

We had an AWESOME time at Whoop-up Days ... 5 days, 11 shows and hundreds of kids licked by Kaleb. Gyp was hugged and petted by at least that many.

I think I want to travel with the Carnival and take the show on the road. How fun would that be ... Caramel Apples for Breakfast, mini-donuts for lunch, and pretzels and cotton candy for supper!!!

Here are a few highlights ....

Kaleb met his match :)

i'd like a turn, sir:: 34/52



Gyppie the Barrel Racing Dog!

I can only dream ... I guess it's back to reality ...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the carnival

the carnival :: 8/12 Jane, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
for the past 12 years, Jane's taken us on a roller coaster of an adventure ... and I've loved every fun, scary, heart stopping, jaw dropping, crap my pants, laugh my ass off moment ...

i love this f'ing little dog.

We are spending our week performing at Whoop-up days ... it's always a blast!! Jane got to have a sneak peek at the fairgrounds ... she isn't performing, but got to come hang out while we finishhed setting up :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

When life gives you lemons, do a Cartwheel.

Lately I've been in a bit of a slump. I love training my dogs, I love agility, but it seems I haven't trialed forever - since regionals in June. Our Group hosted our annual trial this weekend, and it was awesome. Just what I needed. I have been scared to run Gyp full out and train too much with her ... and Kaleb isn't getting any younger, and I am always worried about him too. This weekend I let my guard down and just had fun with my dogs, I left the worry at home, life is too short to live in a bubble - bubble's aren't very fun, and they are lonely.

Kaleb was awesome this weekend - he ran 7/8 and was just GREAT!!! Gyp was wicked too. She rocked her times and had the fastest Steeplechase and Jumpers times in the events. She was 5/7 this weekend. I'm back ... cartwheels might become a regular thing ... I love my dogs, I love this sport and I love our group ... the best damn Agility peeps around.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Better late than never. I'd prefer never. thanks.

I know the saying better late than never has many positive connotations ... but when it comes to Kaleb, and his aging ... I'd rather have never. He had his "Geriatric" I HATE THAT WORD check-up yesterday for a few things I was concerned about.

hitchin' a ride.

I don't want him to get old.
I don't want to see grey hairs.
I don't want to see him sleeping more than he used too.
(OK actually it is kind of nice to have him more quiet in the house :) :)
I don't want to see his skin so flared up he is uncomfortable and on mega antibiotics to clear up his seasonal allergies which came REALLY late this year.
I don't want to see his vision not sharp as a tack as it once was.
I didn't want to find out he has cataracts forming.
I don't want to see a specialist regarding the mass forming on his eye ball.
I don't want to keep finding lumps.
I don't want to wait for results from having 3 lumps aspirated yesterday.
I don't want to admit he is 9.5 years old.

crazy for water :: 31/52

I thought he had found the fountain of youth, I thought he was invincible, but I guess he is a regular dog like all of the others.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I am Certifiable!

After 6 months of practicum and hours upon hours of studying and hands on experience ... I am now a Certified Canine Body Worker! The education continues, and I am by no means an expert. I do think I have a good natural feel and a good eye. Thanks to everyone who lent me your dogs to practice on, I have learned so much.

I see the benefits with my own dogs, as they usually get one full massage a week and/or usually 1 or 2 maintenance and/or recovery massages before and after an event. I am looking forward to continuing practicing and getting better, and most of all, helping dogs feel and perform better. Kaleb gets stiff after a heavy workout, with massage he recovers much better, and is ready to rock again. The dog is 9.5 and still going strong, still muscled and totally sound.

diving in the oldman river.

Gyp recovered from her Psoas injury, and I was proud that when she was first injured, I was able to identify the muscle groups that were protecting the area, and had an idea it could be Psoas based on that (my feel for Psoas group is not well developed as it is so deep) but I can tell the symptoms and the areas that tend to gaurd. I also learned a ton about rehabbing, conditioning and the massage complimented the whole process. I am still careful with her, but as you know, she is back better than ever.

splish splash :: 8/12 Gyp

Little jane benefits too ... she gets gentle relaxation massages, nothing too deep to increase too much blood flow, she loves it.

unconditional love :: 6/12 Jane

So what is a Body Worker? And how can I help?

Performance (athletes) Dogs

Dogs have been an integral part of human culture for all of their history. As our culture has changed, the role of canines has evolved to fit our modern lifestyles. There are three basic groups of athletic dogs, recreational, competitive, and working. Recreational athletes are dogs that chase squirrels, dig holes, play race and chase with their friends, swim, play ball and Frisbee, and/or hike with their owners. Competitive athletes participate in events such as conformation, obedience, tracking, agility, lure coursing, and fly ball. Working dogs are involved in service work with people who have disabilities or medical conditions, do search and rescue, police work, and farm work such as herding. It is important for these active dogs to be kept well conditioned and fit. They are more prone to repetitive stress conditions and injuries. Proper massage can aid in muscular recovery after an active day, reduce fatigue and stress, and increase muscle tone. Massage can be used before sporting events or exercise to warm muscles and prevent injuries. It is also an important component in treatment of injuries.

Increased Muscle Tone

In the wild, dogs are constantly on the move, running, jumping, stretching and as a result are usually maintain good muscle tone. In our domesticated situations, they are usually confined to an indoor situation and develop many of the problems that we do from being sedentary. Inactive dogs are prone to premature aging, stress and anxiety, weight gain, poor muscle tone, and serious medical conditions. Regular massage can decrease the effects of an inactive lifestyle by loosing tight, constricted muscles and increasing range of motion in joints.

Provide Comfort to Muscles Injuries

There are times you’ll be called in on an existing case under veterinarian supervision or as part of the rehabilitation process following an orthopedic type problem or actual muscle injury. After the appropriate time for healing, you find massage, stretching, and the proper exercise can help the process along by encouraging the scar tissue to lie down in better pattern. Reducing any amount of scar tissue as it adheres to healthy tissue can help restore the muscle to better returning function.

Evaluation and Assessment Benefits

When we work with a dog on a regular, systematic basis with massage, we become familiar with all aspects of their bodies. Sometimes owners are not aware of changes that occurred in their dogs until they are very serious. Swellings, lumps, masses can be found and diagnosed early. Problems such as hip, shoulder, or knee dysfunctions can be recognized in their early stages and properly treated with veterinary care and rehabilitation. The development of sensitive touch can allow the dog to “tell” you when something isn’t right.

Increase the Range of Motion

A dog that moves better is more efficient in his stride. There is less wear and tear on the joints, ligaments and tendons equating to a longer performance life.


Socialization is one of the most important aspects of raising a dog. It teaches them to feel comfortable with people, other animals, in new and different situations. It lays the foundation which allow them learn new behaviors, be calm and relaxed, and to interact with their environment. Massage can be a important component in a young dog’s socialization training and can serve as a therapeutic tool for dogs who have been abused or didn’t receive proper socialization.

Adjunct to Other Treatments

Massage can be used in conjunction with other therapies in a rehab situation. It can used to enhance post-operative recovery, as a catalyst from sickness, as an adjunct in cases of shock and severe debility. It is also effective in the reduction of anxiety – whether from storms, trips to the vets and groomers or to a boarding facility. It can be used with pets that are grieving from the loss of another animal companion or owner.

Assess the Physical Condition

It’s easy to feel tight muscles on a dog especially when it’s unilateral. Subtle changes in texture, temperature and tension can be detected with the hands. Often subclinical issues are hard to recognize, but earlier detection can mean permanent damage is lessened.


Massage is a very effective tool for communicating with dog. Because they communicate on a non-verbal way, massage is a very effective way to deepen the bond between humans and dogs.


As dogs age, they are more prone to muscle soreness and joint problems. Regular massage increases flexibility, range of motion, and warms and soothes achy muscles. Massage also gives older dogs more quality time and tenderness.

Massage is used along with conventional and complementary health care as well as proper training techniques enabling the dog to perform at an optimum level. By itself, it does not attempt to cure anything.

Taken from Caninology

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Talk smack about me, just not my dogs ... Mmm k?

First off, I don't give a shit if you say something about me - as long as it is too my face and not behind my back. And for the record ... I also hate 2-facers, backstabbers and liars. Um hi my name is Sarah and I can see right through you. oh and P.S. we aren't in grade 6 anymore.

But whatever you do ... Don't say shit about my dogs (especially just to be a mean bully and to try and intimidate me). I can take constructive criticism - but just being a plain old bitch is not cool. Mama bear gets rather mad, well first she gets sad, discouraged then she gets mad - and eventually I try to laugh about it - but it still hurts. I need to learn to have a quick comeback for people like that and learn to call them on it, instead I tend to react to the bear spray and head for the hills and avoid confrontation. I suppose the mature way to react?? Not sure? But like any angry mama bear, one day I might just snap and chew off someones head.

Over the years I've had some very lovely things said to MY FACE (what do people say when it's not to face hmmm) ... About my dogs ... Here are a few gems ...

"there are way better Jack russells than Jane, xxxx is a better, nicer dog"

Says the person who heard about Jane getting attacked in the ring at Regionals "well I guess she got a taste of her own medicine"

Said to me at Nationals in Ottawa "if Kaleb can get the gamble, xxxx can" ... Sorry but your dog didn't get it ... Karmas' a bitch.

"See, now THAT is how you are supposed to do it with a Border Collie"

I am new to the sport of scent hurdle racing and Gyp is a total rookie (YES she is a seasoned agility dog - but this sport she is NEW) and we are still figuring the game out - I really enjoy it and so does Gyp. I don't want to feel like I am holding anyone back, and for part of the night I did. People are always surprised to find out she is a soft dog always looking for reassurance from me - they usually only see the one side of her (the CONFIDENT side) that I worked damn hard to get - its called trust and mutual respect (something human relationships seem to lack). The last statement was said to me during racing on Saturday night - our second race night EVER ... Are people really that awesome - people you thought were maybe even friends? It's been a couple days and I still have a bitter taste in my mouth. Hhhhm maybe some ice cream would help.

On a plus side, here is a photo of our Team from the weekend :)