About Me

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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Friday, December 26, 2008

My Special Christmas Gift!

Well, I received a really special Christmas gift this year - a new grandson - my first - I already have a grandaughter, thanks to my son, now this is my daughter's baby.

She wouldn't be happy if she knew I posted this photo, but I think it's beautiful! She was in labor for 20 hrs , but she was a trooper & did it all drug free!
So, welcome to the world baby Quinn!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have Bed, Will Travel

Bizzie seems to think the floor is too cold for her delicate little bottom, so she keeps pulling her bed out of her crate & takes it with her to sit on... she's a funny little girl!

Here I think she's telling Cactus, if I can't see you, you can't see me...

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Happy Santas

Are we done yet?
I can't take it anymore!!

OK, it's dumb , but did you mention cookies? I'll do anything for a cookie!

Take this off right now, or I WILL bite you.

Happy Santa?

Well, it's been so cold here for so long, the dogs are all going stir crazy!

I thought I'd try to get some photos with the Santa hat, but the dogs had different ideas...

Bizzie isn't too sure she likes this..

Oh no, I'm tipping over!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Messin' with their heads!

We recently did some painting in the kitchen, where we have our canine condo in the corner. It used to be, big cages on the bottom for Cactus & Blast, little cages on the top for Bizzie & Boo. We moved things around a little & needed more room, so I changed the order of the cages - now it's Cactus & Boo on the bottom & Bizzie & Blast on the top. So, everyone's cage changed position!

Well, it's just hilarious when it's time for them to get to their kennels.. they're all flying in & out of kennels - is this the right one - hey what are you doing in my house - yikes, I don't fit!
Very entertaining for me!

Monday, December 8, 2008

DNA Results are in!

Well, just as a lark, I sent in a DNA test on Blast a couple of weeks ago. It's super easy - just like on CSI, you get a cheek swab & send it off. You can include a photo, but I chose not to.

I've had so many people comment on his breeding - must be part Border Collie, or Sheltie, or whatever. Not that it matters to me - he is who he is!

So, here it is, drum roll please....... he's a Papillon!

The results show he is a Level 1, which means he's likely purebred, at least greater than 75% papillon. So there you have it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Jail Break!

The kids were all in jail (or so they thought) behind the baby gate...

And then it happens! A jail break!

And the little ones were in awe! (That gate's 30 inches tall)

And then this is the face I see...

Honest, I won't do it again...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dana Pike seminar

Well, I did another seminar this weekend with Dana Pike - it was a foundation seminar, so lots of good stuff. I have enough information now to last me forever, now I need to spend the time on the training!

There were young puppies there as well as some older dogs who have holes in their training.

I took Bizzie & Blast & switched off with them. Blast behaved very well, but we weren't running sequences so he didn't get too excited. Dana had a novel way to teach the dog not to pull on the leash, so I'll certainly be using that. (kinda like using the reins when you're riding)

I've decided that Bizzie isn't allowed to accept treats from anyone but me now since she's become quite the little mooch, so we put that into practice this weekend - she really wasn't impressed that no one was feeding her, even when she put her "cute face" on!

Dana has a different concept to teach start lines, so it was interesting to see that & think about it.

Her rear cross instruction is very similar to Kim's, so nothing new there.

She teaches her contact behaviour in 2 parts, first run across the DW (A-frame) as fast as you can, she looks for how many strides the dog takes naturally on the A-frame, then she teaches the contact behaviour completely separately & then puts it together. Some of her dogs have running contacts & some have 2o2o.

It was a fun seminar, although I always seem to get sick after spending 2 days sitting in that dusty barn! Today it's a sore throat, etc...

Monday, November 24, 2008


We did our last outreach weekend of the year. I think I enjoyed it the best of all three.

Since I had all 3 paps there, I did a little with each, but mostly worked with Blast.

Some of what we did reinforced what I'd learned earlier, but needed reminders on - i.e. reward more often.... I have a better plan now for Blast to prevent his "blasting off" - note to self -be careful what you name your dog!

We did some acceleration/deceleration drills, rear cross drills, etc. which were all good.

We really only did 1 course, which I did with Boo, who was happy to run - it wasn't perfect, but when he really runs I"m pretty happy.

I now have some more ideas for training & proofing weave poles, since both Blast & Bizzie are still learning this skill.

It was a fun group of people & we had a nice time staying with friends Jan & Dave, who were wonderful hosts!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cactus is a bad girl....

I actually slept in this morning & when I got up what did I find but Cactus with a package of grapes on the floor, well, actually most of the grapes were missing... fortunately, the other dogs were still in bed sleeping with me, so they didn't get any grapes.

I called the emergency clinic & they told me to give her hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, so I did that twice & up came about 40 green grapes, still whole. No one really seems to know the effect of grapes on dogs, but my vet thinks the seeds are the toxic part. The emerg people said that grapes are only toxic to some dogs & they really don't know a lot about amount & the resulting damage that can be done to kidneys & liver. Pretty scary stuff. Hopefully she won't have suffered any damage.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Was Right! (for once)

I suspected something was going on with Bizzie - she just didn't seem herself.

We went to the vet today & sure enough, she has a urinary tract infection, so she's on antibiotics. I need to find ways to get her to drink more water... I'm thinking low sodium broth ice cubes... she's such a little girl, just a couple of laps of water & she's had enough - guess I'll just try to keep an eye on her.
I also put water on her kibble & give her some moist food. Hopefully she'll feel better soon.
I think that's a lesson in trusting your gut, when you think something's a little off with your fur kids, you're probably right!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Watch too much TV?

Well, Boo does. He loves the Telus commercials - the new one with the lemurs is his current favorite! I'm not sure why, but he sees every animal that appears on the screen - it's not the sound, it's the actual animal that gets him barking. Even if I'm watching TV in bed & he's sleeping, he must recognize the commercial music, cause he'll start growling right away. Oh, & he thinks Santa is some kind of hairy animal, likes to bark at him too.

Cactus notices the sounds if any animal barks on TV, but not the picture & Blast just barks at any babies crying - in real life or on TV. Bizzie notices nothing....

Thursday, November 13, 2008


well, just came back from a practice at the barn. There was no one there but us, which means lots of practice time... however, I'm finding that practice when no one's around is generally wonderful, but add in a few distractions & it's a whole new world! Now I have to figure out a way to add distractions gradually so that Blast doesn't lose his mind. Even Boo runs differently when no one else is around.

I tried a few new things today. For Blast, I used his ball as a reward & no treats, & it worked really well. He can really move through those weaves when he's focused. I did some work with deceleration & he followed me really well. Did all his contacts... in other words, he was great - now to bridge the gap between that & a real trial!

Bizzie really doesn't seem to be herself these days - not sure if she's still "hormonal" from her last heat - I remember it took a long time for her to get back to normal the last time she was in heat - she really wants to sleep a lot & she doesn't want to play as much. Maybe a trip to the vet is in order.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Blast & I went to class last night - i'ts been a little while since we did a class at the Spectrum...
Blast was so high, he just cannot control himself when dogs are running around. I tied him up while I walked a sequence & he barked his head off...

He tries really hard when he's focused, but talk about ADD! The only way I can keep him engaged when others are running is to constantly work on tricks & talk to him. He's an exhausting little fella to work with!

Bizzie did a class too, but I found that if I do more than a few obstacles without a treat, she just stops & looks at me, like - didn't you forget something? Hopefully we can work through this since she really loves to play agility, but she really loves her treats... maybe we'll try playing tug as a reward instead of treats all the time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CAA trial & tribulations

We entered the CAA trial this weekend, Boo in 2 Gambles, a standard & a jumpers & Blast in Gamblers on Sat & Jumpers on Sunday.

Boo had a good weekend. The first gamble he ran really well in the opening, getting 14 obstacles, which is a lot for him... unfortunately, he pulled out of the last weave pole in the gamble ( I probably moved out a bit in anticipation of sending him to the tunnel) so we didn't get the gamble, but really should have! He Q'd in the Standard round, which was a fun course with a few little traps, but he did well. Sunday's Gamble was a very awkward run - there was a teeter in the final gamble, so I thought well, we won't get this one... our opening was really ugly, Boo wasn't moving really well, & our plan fell apart, so we were 1 point short, & wouldn't you know it, the little guy did the final gamble, teeter & all perfectly! I was proud of him for doing the teeter at distance since he really hates it! The final class for us was jumpers, which we Q'd - it was a bit of a tricky course, we started off slow, but sped up, he really followed well & it was a good run to end the day.

Blast ran Gamblers on Sat, but he ran around distracted so only got 12 points & the gamble, but I wouldn't want him to move on anyways! It's not the Q I'm wanting so much, it's just for him to pay attention through an entire run! He didn't really zoom, but he just couldn't keep it together... On Sunday, he was in Jumpers, which was the last run of the day, so he was pretty excited to get out & run, so run he did... major zoomies after the first line - very frustrating! I really need to find a way to get him out every day where he can run full out for a while... unfortunately, our off leash parks are not fenced & I can't trust him enough...

Bizzie wasn't entered in this trial, so she stayed home. She's been scratching a lot, so I have her on some antihistamines for a few days, hopefully that will clear up the itching.

Cactus had a better weekend, although she did manage to do one of her signature fly-off's on the teeter! She Q'd in gamblers (after a re-run) & also in Standard.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Being sick Sucks!

Well, I've been sick all week, so not much practice happening around here, but the dogs have been playing lots!

I've been trying to do a few tricks with the dogs just to keep their little minds busy.

Blast loves tricks - he just loves to learn new things - he can now roll over both ways, weave between my legs, is learning left & right (I think he just guesses which is which!)

I can't for the life of me get Boo or Bizzie to lie on their side so I can get them to roll over... they're so little & quick, but we're still persevering...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

ASCA trial Saturday

We entered the ASCA trial this weekend, just for the Saturday - I entered Boo in Standard & Jumpers - no Q's for either one. I have been running from the startline with him & decided to try a lead out, which didn't work too well... in standard he ran right onto the dogwalk when he should have followed my cue to turn to the right to the jump, but I probably didn't support him enough, and in jumpers, he didn't run very fast (probably because I made him wait at the startline) and I actually called him off a jump - also my fault. I think we need to start practicing more again, since our timing is off & we didn't have any "feel good" runs.

Blast was entered in Gamblers - first run of the day - where he zoomed off once & came back eventually, so it wasn't our best run. Next was Standard, where he zoomed a little but came back, blew his contact on the DW, but did some good stuff - the courses I thought (& I wasn't the only one) were quite difficult for starter level dogs i.e. discriminations, & having to take the other end of the tunnel from a line of jumps, etc. Then he did 2 jumpers rounds, which are his favorite, & did well, had a couple of off courses, where he wasn't sure which obstacle to take, so he just chooses, but tried very hard & I was happy with those rounds.

Bizzie, Bizzie, Bizzie - what a naughty girl. Her first round she came into the ring, went back to bark at someone on the startline area, came back, ran around to bark at the judge (bad idea), anyhow it was quite embarrassing. The Judge came to speak to me after that & said if she does it again, I'm kicking her out - which I could agree with - people think it's cute when it's a little dog, but if she was a doberman doing that it wouldn't be so funny... I was not impressed with her. I thought about why she was doing this since the trial was at Wet Ck where she regularly practices, etc. so I didn't think that should upset her, but I only had a couple of dogs between Blast's run & hers so I rushed her from her kennel to the startline & I think she needed "a moment" to see what was going on. The next run, Standard, I gave her way more time out & about to see everyone, etc. & her run went much better, & although she didn't bark at the judge, she really gave her a look. Her first jumpers round was much the same, took an off course tunnel, which several dogs did, but didn't do too badly. Her last jumpers round was bad again, ran back to visit the timer, wouldn't come when I called her, so I raised my voice a little & the little brat barked at me! I'm glad she's not entered in the CAA trial, since we have work to do!

Cactus actually got a Q in the gamble, but in her other rounds, she blew a few contacts, as usual, & crashed through about 3 jumps, didn't even try to jump, but I think she couldn't stand the big leadout Wayne gave her & she just ran when he released her & didn't even take notice of the jump.

It was a fun weekend, quite relaxed, & with each dog I gathered more information about what we need to work on, and what doesn't work very well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Awesome Practice

I just got back from a practice at the barn.. what a great practice - there was nobody there, so I worked on some of the Kathy Keats jump exercises. Blast is such an awesome boy when there are no distractions - he was really good - did the exercises fast & correct, read all my crosses & was really focused. Too bad he can't do that in a trial setting.... I have him entered in the ASCA trial on Sat, so we'll see what happens.

Bizzie did pretty well too - she does go off to sniff the horse poop once in a while, but all in all she was a good girl. We worked on her weave poles, as usual. She still doesn't do well on off side, but if I stay behind her a bit she does better. She's quite funny - she starts to squeak when she gets near the end. I have to really watch her where the 2 sets of poles join or she gets confused & either pops out or does some fancy dance & ends up on the wrong side of the pole. Her jump work is getting better - she's starting to drive ahead more.

I ran Boo through the jump exercises a couple of times & he did well, but he didn't have enough speed to do the rear crosses that well, I had to slow down quite a bit so he was ahead of me.

I brought Cactus with me & worked on rear crosses with her. She gets so high I think it's hard for her to concentrate on learning new skills - we spent some time on getting her to settle down a bit & also to take her treats nicely - she drew blood last week grabbing a treat from me & that didn't go over too well!

To Stop or Not to Stop - the Sequel

Well, Blast & I have been working on his 2o2o on the A-frame this week. He really seems to be understanding what I want. He's offering it at class every time he has a chance. Next step is to get him to "assume the position" even when I don't stop, which he does sometimes, but still needs work. He's trying hard & we are having some successes, so I'm happy with my decision.

We played a fun game at our last agility class this week. It's called Double Dog Dare Ya!

You have 40 sec to accumulate as many points as possible - clock starts & stops on the table...

each piece of equipment is worth points - similar to gamblers - but every time you go over the A-frame successfully, your points are doubled! Great fun - unfortunately, I have a hard time estimating how much time I have since we were over time both runs!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Which one is the real Bee?

This is Bizzie surrounded by her Bee friends...

Poor Bizzie is feeling sorry for herself since she's in heat... she lays on the couch moaning.. I wonder if dogs get cramps? All she does is sleep, eat, and yip at the boys if they get near her!
I did manage to do a little training with her this week & she's still willing to work, so that's good.
She does awesome in training, but we need to add distractions so that she can focus a little better in an actual trial. I have her entered in the next CAA trial, so we'll see how that goes!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

To Stop or Not to Stop...

Well, I'm seriously considering scrapping the running contact on the A-frame for Blast - I know it's probably less demanding on his body, but I think it's too confusing to have a 2 on 2 off on the dogwalk & a running contact on the frame. He's started to use the Cactus method where he vaults off way above the yellow!

I know I probably haven't trained it properly - using the box method, but in class he's offering the 2o2o on the A-frame every time he gets a chance & he doesn't like to be wrong.. so maybe I should just bite the bullet & be consistent with what I'm training on contacts.... and after the Masters Gamble at the last trial, I see where it is sometimes an advantage to have a stop!

Any opinions?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Drum Roll Please..

And the Winner is.... Boo!

At the Training Troop Hallowe'en Trial Boo won the best dog costume with his clown impersonation! That's cause he was such a happy boy - not!

Blast was Crazy Frog but he had a hard time keeping his costume on...

Miss Bizzie had to stay in the car since she is in heat - and she had such a great costume, too... oh well, she can wear it next year.

What a fun trial it was - everyone seemed so relaxed on Saturday especially.
We had no Q's this weekend, but we had lots of fun - Boo ran well, but didn't get the gamble, I see a big training opportunity here for verbal directionals!

Blast did 4 runs on Saturday, which is the most he's ever done & he got better with every run - his jumpers round was really good, only 5 faults for running past a jump, it was a tough line for me to get in front of him, so he just ran ahead. On Sunday, he only had one run & kinda lost it & had a zoomie, but he did come back & finish the course with just 10 faults.
He was such a good boy, he got a new collar & leash!

Cactus did much better since Wayne has been growling at her! She won her Steeplechase class & got a Q! That's the first one in a long time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pre-Hallowe'en Howler

This weekend is the Hallowe'en Training Troop trial, so today we're getting stuff ready.

The costumes are done, whether or not we can keep them on the dogs is another thing.. of course Cactus doesn't want to dress up - it's so beneath her! She's been getting in shape for the trial by chasing Boo & grabbing his tail - it's really the only toy she likes!

Blast is the toy lover in our house - first thing in the morning he finds a toy & is so excited to see it! He throws it in the air & chases it! What a goofball! He's such a happy boy!

While all the fun is being had, the princess Bizzie is laying on her favorite chair trying to look pretty! She's grounded this weekend, but we won't talk about that!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Well, it was another busy weekend, as usual. Cooking dinner for 10 really cut into my doggie time!

We went out to Wet Ck to our club practice on Sunday.

Blast is doing better paying attention, but he did have one major zoomie which was probably my fault since I corrected his weaves one too many times - he can't take the pressure. I've been teaching him some tricks (which he loves!) to try to keep him busy & focused - at least that's the plan...

He did something rather odd at class last week - he limbo'd under a jump, but jumped all the rest. We put the bar down to 10" & he did the same thing.. and even left the bar up! Weird!

Bizzie did quite well - she's getting pretty good footwork in the weaves until she comes to the join between 2 sets of 6 weaves & then she takes little tiny steps till she gets the rhythm again - hopefully this will improve with practice. She still stops suddenly & stares at me every so often - I think she 's thinking - hey - where's my cookie? We have to deal with the cookie issue since at the last trial she ran off course after the first obstacle to try to climb up on the table to get her treats where I left them! She can be quite the little brat! Good thing she's cute!

I'm still resting Boo quite a bit - but he just wants to get out & run! He's running well these days, but now we need to work on tighter lines... always something!

I ran Cactus a little since Wayne couldn't come with us & whaddyaknow - she hit all her contacts, even when I kept running.... Hmmm... Now if she could just remember that the teeter is not a trampoline!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today I'm feeling bad for my daughter (who's 6 mo pregnant).
When she got home from work last night she noticed the front door looked funny - sure enough, someone broke into their home, (which is in a really nice neighborhood.)
Her first concern was Finnegan, her giant muppet aka Labradoodle, or the Pony as my mom calls him. He was locked in the laundry room - and just fine - some watchdog - she needed one of those "Yappillons"...

Anyhow, bottom line is the front door is damaged so they have to replace that, the thief stole their big screen TV, their other TV, all their Wii games, but not the Wii..., both their cameras, one was almost brand new & a bunch of jewellry with sentimental value, a custom pendant Kory made for Anita with a tanzanite from Africa, her great grandma's pearls, etc.
I feel so bad for them - they're both really busy at work right now & trying to get everything ready for the baby, & now they have all the hassle involved with insurance & buying new stuff...
Both sets of neighbors were home all day & heard or saw nothing!

I guess the moral of the story is be aware, hide your good jewellry, & make sure you have insurance!

Friday, October 10, 2008


We have a Hallowe'en trial to go to soon, & I have to come up with some costumes for the dogs.

Last year, Boo was a cowboy & won a prize, although he certainly wasn't impressed. Check out his photo!

Not sure what he'd like to be this year...

I have an idea for Bizzie - I went to Build A Bear & bought her a little outfit, but I'm not sure she'll cooperate & keep it on.

I had an outfit for Blast as well last year, but he got it off before we went 3 ft.

Trying to keep 3 dogs in costumes at one time is ... well.. like eating soup with a fork..

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Caught in the Act

Well, my better half, Wayne, has a sheltie called Cactus, who it turns out is quite a little sneak.

Tuesday morning Wayne left to go hunting & left Cactus loose in the kitchen - the rest of us were still in bed. Well, when I got up, I found Cactus standing on the kitchen table, munching on an apple (which was still in the bag). I'm not sure what possessed her since I always have a fruit bowl on the table & no one touches it.

The funniest part was she saw me coming & thought OH CRAP! but she couldn't figure out how to jump off the table! Remember this is an agility dog! Anyhow, we all got a giggle first thing in the morning...and she only ate one apple!

Poochie Mama & the Papillons

I've decided to get with it & try to start my first blog. Since I'm not one of those "young'uns", this may be quite a feat for me!

Although I'm now retired from my "paying" job, I'm as busy as ever trying to train my 3 dogs.

I have 3 Papillons, (in case you haven't guessed!) - Boo, my first, and who'd have thought he'd turn out to be the good boy! Blast is my second, who's a party animal rescue giant mutant boy,

and Bizzie Bee, the princess, who just turned 2 yrs old & I've had since a puppy.