Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fresh air and dogs ... Cures all!

This weekend started out shitty -on Friday I got the flu ... Chills, sweats, fever, weak and achy- I thought I was dying. All that good stuff.

Saturday I woke up feeling the same way but had to drag my arse outta bed for the Agility Fun Match we were hosting. With the help of lots of drugs and apple juice I got through it. I ran gyp in just the standard only to force my self to try to run when I couldn't - I like a challenge. We did it but holy crap I thought I was going to need CPR. I can home at 2 and slept on and off until 8 am this morning.

The sleep did me good ... I woke up this morning with no more Flu symptoms, just a head cold now.

This afternoon Amanda and I headed to Alta-Pete. The first hour was spent getting sheep from one area to another and then to the arena. We had a good game plan and worked as a team to get the job done.

Gyp had one moment that Jenny totally called and saw coming. Working gyp at the barn near the C A T s. she was actually trying to avoid going near them which was great - but couldnt help but look at them out of the corner of her eye and in that avoidance she also forgot about her sheep - her brain exploded and she froze. So I took her by the collar put her behind the sheep past the cats and got her to walk up. I ended it there. Gave her a break and Amanda was away getting a few more sheep to bring back. I brought Gyp back in this time she had a new attitude ... We worked on simple flanks past the cats on both sides and she was way better. We moved on after that as I was happy with how she worked through her obsession/avoidance confusion.

We took the sheep over to the arena. Gyp worked the sheep out the trees again - she loves that! I sent her through without me following her and she did just as I asked and Brit was as the Arena entrance waiting for the sheep and she put them right in.

We ended up with 4 lambs and 2 ewes. A bit different for us, but as I've learned in this herding game... It's never the same twice. So we made it work. Gyp commanded respect right away. They would not move off the fence and she stood her ground face to face with a ewe stomping at her she was able to move a bit, and rushed in on the ewe what seemed like just enough to make her move. It's really interesting to see that dynamic. Gyp kept a cool head after that and gave the sheep lots of space when she felt they needed it but wasn't worried about being right up on them in the panels, and didn't lose her cool. She amazingly managed to get them through the Y chute, the side panel and the L. She was listening really well so it was neat to see her respond when I asked ... And of course when my own timing was right which I still need lots of work with. I also tripped over my stock stick and my hand met with sheep shit as did my knee ... It was awesome ... Some good
Laughs. The "real life" farm work we get and the chance to work these sheep is absolutely an invaluable experience. We are very lucky city slickers. For the 4 hours we were out there ... I forgot I was sick :)

Fresh air, dogs, lots of sleep, apple juice, good drugs ... The ultimate cure all!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Roo, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
Roo is a 5 month old Australian Kelpie owned by a friend ... this is was his first time in the water - his Maiden Voyage so to speak ... he is an awesome confident little guy, and game to try anything.

If Kaleb does it ... Roo does it ...

Look ma ... I'm a flat-coat!

Roo assuming the position ... just like his Idol ...

and of course there is Gyp and her BFF ... of course ... 

Monday, April 23, 2012

City girl down on the farm.

Im a city girl ... But love being outdoors. I worked at the stable I used to ride at, for years ... Cleaning stalls, feeding, turnout nothing better than spending your days with animals. I loved going to my cousins farm as a kid (but being served Bess for dinner, the 4H cow they raised was a little too real for this city girl - did I mention I'm now a vegetarian - that meal changed me for life).

We are fortunate to live a hop, skip as a jump away from Alta-Pete farm. Amanda and I did some "real" farm work yesterday in preparation for working on our own while Scot and Jenny are away this summer. I love the practical work we get at Alta-Pete and PhantomRidge, it's a nice balance between working on trial stuff and other practical situations like learning to read sheep in the big field or lamb and ewe pens (which is hard!), starting to drive and getting sheep out of trees!

Just another day, down on the farm ....

Gyp working the Ewes and Lambs ... she thought that was pretty fun!

City girl unlatching the fence in preparation for being trampled by sheep. 

Alaska the fierce Guardian Dog admiring my blue shoes.

Pleat and Mike getting fresh with Gyp ...

OMG Look!! I'm driving the Quad! Everybody outta the way!

Gyp bringing the sheep out of the trees ...  

She continues to become more brave - it is really quite amazing to see. No more pouty Gyp. She's responsive and really keen - more keen than I ever thought she could be. Sometimes I pinch myself at how lucky were are to have the access to this type of training ... and the best trainers ever who are so encouraging with my little dog and her City girl!!! I never would have ventured into this otherwise. 

We have Agility Regionals coming up soon, and I REALLY need to shift gears in Preparation for that ... but man this sheep addiction is strong ... I get what the draw is now, I really get it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's here ...

My favourite time of year ...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I was going to blog

but Amanda pretty much summed up what I was going to say today ... from now on I will just copy and paste her relevant blog posts.

thanks for your time. have a great day. wow that save me alot of writing. Now what?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Random Happy Things.

It was my Grammas 80th Birthday this past weekend, my aunt threw her a surpise party with about 40 people - she lives about 4 hours away. She has congestive heart failure (her and Jane were kindred spirits :) :) ... her health is fading, but her spirit is FIESTY, I was so happy to spend that day with her. She's such a cool woman - her life story is quite inspiring. The guy behind me is my cousin that I had never met until this weekend ... long story. The guy beside me is the infamous Pete.

Here is a photo of my mom and I that I had never seen ... my Aunt (my dads sister) has a few albums of photos I've never seen of myself and my mom (and dad).

Most of the photos in the Album are of me with dogs ... here is Sheba and I - my best buddy (I have no Idea why Im dressed like Dorothy from Wizard of Oz - weird)

Sunday Gyp and I entered three runs in the Flashing Canines trial. It was a fun quick day. 3 runs before 1pm - my kind of Agility. The barn was cold and the surface was deep and loose (a wee bit hard to run in - for the humans and the dogs - thankfully Gyp adjusted, the bars stayed up and she adjusted her striding) ... oh the things we do for the sport ... Gyp ran great, and it took me a run to get the rust off. She ran a great Snooker and a Smokin' Jumpers pulling off a Q and the Fastest time in the event. Good job little Gypper! You make me smile ...

you are my sunshine :: 15/52

I'm really trying to hard to feel normal - lots of exciting things happening in my life which is great and helping me feel normal and helping me look ahead, I'm busy with work, planning Agility Camp, planning lessons ... but man, sometimes I swear I am still out of my body. My tears are getting to be less and less, but I just feel like something is missing ... will that ever go away? Sometimes my sadness overshadows things I should be happy about ... I don't even realize it until after that fact. sigh ...

And lastly ... funny how a nice gesture can make all the difference ... Today I got a nice call from our Vet - he called just checking in to see how we are doing lately, had some small talk, asked about Gyp, checking in on Kaleb (who by the way is doing great - he is nuts truthfully) - asking if we need anything. I think they miss us at the Clinic seeing as we were there once a week for 18 months. It was really nice to know they truly care ... I thought that was above and beyond.

Here's hoping for another HAPPY week ...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Parallel Universe

(a photo from Yesterday's lesson, me, Jenny, Gyp Togo and Alaska, getting our sheep)

It's interesting ...

Learning about herding and seeing the comparisons it to other dog venues I've trained and competed in is fascinating to me ... I am hoping I will benefit now that I am recognizing these similarities (less to remember maybe?? maybe more ...) ... I see this especially comparing Agility and Herding ... a few things keep coming up in both Sports ... coincidence?

"Keep moving"
"Your timing sucks, your're late"
"Let your dog do her job"
"Be sure to practice drills, and don't just run courses"
"Break things down"
"Watch your dog"
"Trust your dog"
"Watch your sheep" ... OK that one is just for herding
"Have you been drinking?"

My wonderfully patient instructors (wink) probably want to just shake me sometimes - but I get it - I want to do the same thing with some of my Agility students :) ... and I think I actually might have a few times.

The pointy finger follows me everywhere!!! Dammit.

Finding her entries without me ...

Just like every dog sport I've been involved in, the journey never ends ...

... The more I learn ... the less I know ...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

save me, please.

boys will be boys. :: 14/52, originally uploaded by sarah ....

Via Flickr:
Gyp had a fun Easter Sunday with her buddies ... 9 flat-coats and 2 rough collies. Tinbie was especially fond of her :)

We were trying for a group photos 9 flat-coats, 2 rough collies and Gyp :) Tinbie licked her head for the 2 minutes we were trying to get the shot - soooo tolerant ... thought this was too cute.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thank you Gyp

Thank you Gyp for being an honest dog, a sensitive caring soul and for being so damn cute.

This weekend gyp ran in scent hurdle racing - which was super fun and our team ran well and we have the team spirit, which i think should get extra points ... Think sparkly red wrist bands. Yes they rock. :) We debuted in excellent Rally also - I was frazzled and hopped up on caffeine ... Gyp was great ... I messed up 2 signs for our first ever NQ oops.

We had to be in the ring for Obedience in the afternoon and I needed to get my shit together for my dog - eat a good meal and take a chill pill. She had been getting spookier at the metal banging noises all weekend - then that worries me. So I warmed her up in a new quiet area and that seemed to do the trick. Played some barrel racing around garbage cans and just had some silly fun!! We went into the ring and she was great! She had one spooky moment in the ring when she stepped on a metal grate under the rubber mat ... Oh the joy of a sensitive quirky dog :) She worked through it like a champ and we played in between exersizes. She came out if the class with a 193 and a high in class earning her CD title!! Gyp is like an extension of myself and the two of us are so keyed into eachother it's scary. I swear we read eachothers thoughts. I would love to be able to say the same thing about Kaleb ... But really, who the hell knows what he's thinking! Anyway here are a couple iPhone photos of us with gyps High in Class and new CD! Open ring here we come!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good mornin

Waking up to this each day is pretty awesome ...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This is my life in pictures.

I've been watnig to do an Agility Camp for the last couple of years, stars are aligning. It's coming ... mark your Calendars: Aug 17-19 ... details soon! Featuring: Terry Simons, Anneli Hilton, Sarah Novak, Amanda Labadie, With special guests: Dr. Veronica Devall (Holistic and Rehabilitative Veterinary Care) and Kyle Connelly - Olympian/Coach (sport psychology).

We've been herding lots ... we are getting better.
Must get rid of the pointy finger.

Gyp is a good girl. I love her.

Kaleb is mental and disturbed - but makes me laugh daily - I need that, like when he finds headless babydolls on walks. He has a C7 neck issue we are trying to work out and manage. Full body rays, 2 sets of blood work, neurological exam, Acupuncture, Chiro, laser, massage = high maintenance dog.

Nothing like friends to make everything all better.

we are family :: 13/52

It's been one month since losing my jane. I think the first 2-3 weeks I was in such a daze it now hit me in the lastweek - she's really gone, I really fucking miss her. So much it hurts. I know life goes one, but damn. My random outbursts of tears are not becoming less frequent. This will get better right? Our house is still full of all the Cards and 6 bouquets Dead flowers. I just can't bring my self to put it all away ... baby steps. I can think about her and smile but sometimes I don't know if that will end in tears.