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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun Match in Olds!

Yesrerday we drove out to Olds to play at a fun match. It was of course a great time with lots of food, good friends, & great dogs.
Lynda, who organizes this fun match every year has a young student who is maybe 9 or 10 yrs old. She was there with her big lame dog. Unfortunately, he was too lame to run at all, so I offered to let her run Boo for me. Well, what a surprise! They ran really well together - she's a great little handler & I was so shocked that Boo ran for her - he of the velcro variety for so long!
It really made my day to see the smile on this little gal as she ran masters courses with her rent a dog! She also ran another sheltie for someone (BJ) & did a great job with him as well.

Bizzie & Blast haven't had much practice lately, & it really showed. Bizzie was pretty naughty on the startline again, but she ran quite well. Blast was really worried, didn't want to play with his toys, & wasn't very focused on course. He really has a tough time with new surroundings.

Anyhow, a good time was had by all (thanks Lynda!) & we better get some practice in this week since we have a couple of trials coming up soon!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Only 2 more sleeps till Christmas Day!
We will be spending Christmas day with my daughter & her family this year. My grandson was a Christmas baby last year, so he will be one year old on the 25th! I just had to show everyone how cute he is!

As a treat, I bought a package of frozen chicken necks for the dogs - I've never fed them raw anything before, but they sure enjoy them! After that, I wrangled the dogs to sit under the Christmas tree for our annual photo - anyone who's done this knows it takes a lot of patience & a whole lot of luck! So, Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Blast, Bizzie, Boo, Critter & Cactus

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A scary morning

Well, I had a scary morning yesterday. Blast didn't want to get out of bed in the morning... very odd for him, since he's the one who wakes up excited to begin a new day.
He came downstairs & laid on the kitchen floor shaking - not a good sign. I couldn't see anything physically wrong with him - he went outside & did his business, no problem.
Anyhow, I took him to the vet where he had the once over. His temp was 40 & the concensus was that he's picked up a virus. No other symptoms except the fever.
He had a shot of anti-inflammatory medication & by the time we got home, he was already feeling better. Today, he's like a new man! Thank Goodness! I'll have to watch the other dogs to make sure they haven't picked up the same germ. It's good to have the crazy, playful Blast back!

Monday, December 14, 2009

December weather & this & that..

I think in my last post I referred to another trip to Edmonton for an agility trial - well, the weather didn't co-operate, the Hwy was closed & we didn't make the trip. Very disappointing!
It's been really cold & snowy here for some time now. We haven't been doing any training at the barn at all, so really, the dogs have been having a break from running any sequences or anything. We have been working on some tricks though.
My intentions were great as far as doing some training in the basement, but with several family birthday parties & Christmas coming soon, we haven't really done much.

I have had updates from the owners of Bizzie's puppies though (3 of them anyways), so here's a couple of photos of the pups at 5 months..

This is ZipR - the only black & white puppy -she
looks the most like Bizzie Bee. She is living in Victoria.

This is Pint - the smallest little boy - he looks a lot like his daddy, Leggo. He lives in Edmonton.
(photo taken by David Geertsen of Blackstone Images. )

This is Mika - she was the biggest puppy & is now living in Mexico!

The other puppy, Clifford, is living in Edmonton, but I have no photos of him as yet.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Agility Seminar

This past weekend I went up to Edmonton for an agility seminar hosted by See Spot Run & taught by Shannen Jorgensen.

Apart from the ugly drive up there (I think we just made it before they closed the highway due to unsafe driving conditions - ice, blowing snow, etc) it was a fun time. I had a great travelling companion in Lynda with her awesome kelpi, Luc. I took both Bizzie & Blast with me. Poor Luc, he worked so well, even though he's an intact male & there were 2 girls in heat there!

Bizzie was in the Starters/Advanced group & we did many short exercises focusing on things like "no motion cues", & teaching a "Switch" as well as directionals. I've always been a little confused about using Switch rather than a Left or Right cue. I think it is more clear in my mind now so that I can now start to teach it with the correct criteria in mind. Unfortunately, Bizzie came into heat right before we left, so she was a little "off" & not quite as focused as usual.

Blast was in the Adv/Masters group & we did more handling in this group. Some really tough courses that would rival any challenge course in AAC I'm sure! I was very proud of my boy! He did some really great things & was even tugging after his runs, etc. This is a big step for the boy who has so much trouble focusing & concentrating! (especially in a new location with dogs he didn't know!)

Next weekend we're up to Edmonton again, this time for a trial. Bizzie will have to stay home, so it will be good to see if Blast runs better at this trial since he will have more attention from me prior to his runs. Sometimes it's really difficult to have 2 dogs running in the same class, when you only have 1 or 2 dogs in between - I really think they get short-changed when that happens...

Anyhow, pray for good weather - it's not a fun drive up to Edmonton in a blizzard!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another trial!

What a great time we had this weekend. We didn't Q a lot, but that's not what matters most - all of my dogs had some really nice runs.

Boo ran in 2 Masters Std, 1 Masters Gamble & 1 Masters Jumpers. He missed the DW contact in the first standard, but Q'd the other one with a really nice run. He missed the gamble, but Q'd the jumpers run (he hadn't run jumpers since nationals)

Bizzie had an awesome first standard run - until she got zoomie & just had to take the chute!
(I tried to load the video but gave up after 2 hrs-will try to load on You Tube) OK - I finally got it loaded - under papillonpenny - Bizzie Std 1

This was the first time I've entered her in a full trial - 7 runs & she handled it well, although I could see she was much slower at the end of the day on Sunday.

She was a little distracted in the Gamblers run & didn't get the final gamble (no Adv dogs got that gamble!) although I thought it was do-able.

Both of her Adv Jumpers runs were lots of fun, although she took an off-course tunnel in both - wasn't that a surprise.. ha ha.
She had a really nice Adv Snooker run, was just tipping the teeter when the buzzer went - she was 2 points short of a Q (would have probably completed it but I had a brain fart). Then they determined that the clock was set incorrectly & we should have had 5 sec more, so we reran & Bizzie found something really interesting to sniff, so once again we were 2 points short.
Last run of the day was Starters Std & she was a little slow, but she paid attention & got her last Starters Q! She was a very good girl all weekend (except for not wanting to sit on the startline)...

The first standard run of the day for Blast was a good one... my friend Anneli ran him for me - I only had one dog in between Biz & Blast & Anneli has been giving me some tips, so we decided she should run him. He ran well for her, but left the table - otherwise it was really nice - even got his weave pole entry!

One of his adv jumpers rounds was really nice & he did Q it, the other round he took the same off course tunnel that Bizzie did, it was a difficult part of the course, & something I will be sure to set up in training!

His snooker run didn't go according to plan, so it was a short one!
He didn't get either gamble, but he was a little distracted - I need to plan a nice flowy path for him in the opening.

His last standard round he Q'd, so that was his final starters run as well! He did miss the weave pole entry, but other than that it was a pretty nice run... he's still running slower & more carefully, but hopefully the speed will come back (just not in zoomies!) Now both Biz & Blast are in Adv everything except snooker, where Blast is doing masters.

We had lots of fun - challenging courses, the trial ran smoothly, & I think everyone had a good time!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Fun!

Well, I should have known better! In my last post, I mentioned that Blast was paying attention much better & ignoring other dogs, etc... so, as a reminder to me that this dog training is a long & winding path, Blast was quite distracted on Saturday at the Sue Charlton seminar in Olds. Of course this is another fairly new arena for him & new dogs as well. I actually worked Bizzie a lot more but thought I'd give him a chance to come out & work a bit. He didn't want to settle in his crate, & was really antsy most of the day.

Bizzie did really well. I wasn't sure what she could handle since she's never done a full seminar before. Other than running off a few times to check out the other dogs, she listened really well, did some great distance work & actually did a few gambles! I was quite impressed since I've done little distance work with her. She held most of her start lines, which is what we've been doing a lot of work on. It sure hit home with me how much easier it is to do distance work with a faster, more driven dog than with a slower, less motivated dog (Boo). Of course with that also comes other challenges!

Boo didn't get to work, although I let him do a few weave poles during the break. He spent the day in his Xpen crying his eyes out - you should have heard him! OMG what a baby! I guess I shouldn't complain, at least he wants to come out to work now... it wasn't that long ago that he would have been happy to stay there & sleep!

Wayne took Cactus & they did some great work with placing rewards at the best place to take her focus off him, and always using a food pouch instead of feeding her from his hand.

Sunday was our CAA practice, so we did some short, fun jumpers courses & worked some gamble stations. Jumpers is certainly Blast's thing - he so loves to jump. Instead of trying to calm him on the start line, I rev'd him up a bit & he ran really well.

Boo got to work on his gamble skills, which are usually much better in practice than in trials (the power of the cookie!) He now will chase a toy & tug a bit (even with no teeth), which is something I've been working on with all the dogs.

Bizzie did very well again - caught her running behind me a couple of times, so will have to nip that in the bud! She did an awesome "out" to a jump on the far side of the DW, so that made my day!

So, it was a really fun weekend with lots of practice using all of the equipment, which is not something that we get to do all the time!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Take a Step Back

I had Blast at a training class last night (first time in a long time). This was a class of dogs that he hadn't met before. I didn't take part in the first half of the class, so I took the opportunity to work Blast on a few weave poles, & did some tricks & taught him a new one (put your head down).
He was very focused on me, listened well & paid no attention to the other dogs.... what? yes, he paid no attention to the other dogs. I just had to think about 6 months ago, he would have been pulling on the leash & wanting to go meet all the other dogs. We are always so aware of the behaviours we want, & then, when at long last we get them, sometimes we forget to celebrate the small victories! So today I am thinking that my "little" boy is making progress! Oh happy day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Training Troop Trial

Well, I'm pretty tired today after two full days of trialing 3 dogs. As usual, it was a fun time, complete with Hallowe'en costume contests, lots of cake & goodies & lots of great dogs!

Boo earned his Silver Award of Merit this weekend, getting his 25th Master Standard Q. This also requires 50 Masters Games, which he had already. He had a couple of nice runs, but I managed to screw up a few times, still having trouble with our timing. He also earned a Steeplechase Q.

I was happy with Blast's runs this weekend - he did the entire trial. We only managed one Standard Q, but he was much more focused (although slower) on all of his runs until the last one - Snooker, where his brain was elsewhere. He almost got the gamble, but missed the DW contact by inches - his contacts are still a work in progress... He had two 5 fault standard rounds, a 5 fault jumpers round, ran clean in team, & had 10 faults in Steeplechase, so I guess that's progress. My goal for the weekend was for him to focus, which he did for the most part. We've still got weave pole problems, he wants to avoid them, but once he's in them, they're pretty good.

Bizzie had an exciting weekend. We've been working very hard on her start lines & she did hold them for most of the runs. She broke when someone held her puppy up to watch her & she caught sight of that, but came right back. When I led out (quite confidently..) for Steeplechase, she ran past me like a bullet, but took the entire opening line correctly, which won her a prize from the judges for most memorable starters run! Other than her first run, which was gamblers, where she was like a little ping pong ball running from tunnel to tunnel, she stayed with me pretty well. She didn't earn any Q's, but she had some really nice runs. She's very quick, so I can lose her on course in the blink of an eye! Hopefully I can improve my handling so that we can work better as a team.

I really need to practice weave pole entries at speed for both my young dogs, it was a problem all weekend, but the footing is so deep, it's difficult for the little dogs, they're having to jump over mounds of shavings & it's interfering with their footwork.

It was a fun weekend - it's nice that the agility folks are very supportive of each other & always are willing to offer advice & support for each other. Thanks to those who have helped me out!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Finally some successes!

We did a one day trial on Sunday(fortunately indoors since it snowed!)
My dogs all had some brilliant moments!
Boo was entered in Masters Standard, Challenge, & Masters Gamble.
In the standard course, I'm finding our timing is off & I pulled him off a jump that I thought he was committed to, then I sent him off course - not our best showing! I probably need to practice more with the little fella, but I've been spending more time with the young'uns.
The challenge course sure was a challenge! I really liked it & other than pulling out of the weaves early, Boo ran it very well. I think there were only 3 clean runs!
Gamblers was awesome - we racked up 80 pts, did the mini gamble (12 weaves away from me to a teeter), & got the final gamble - I still can't quite believe Boo can get gambles now since he was such a velcro dog for so long!
Bizzie did the starters standard, Adv gamble, & starters Jumpers. She had a brilliant very fast start on the standard course, jumped onto the table & had a poop! Wasn't expecting that!
She did some good things in the gambers course, but the final gamble was really difficult & she blew her contact on the Aframe & it was over! (There were no Q's in Adv Gamblers!)
She redeemed herself with a lovely jumpers run - we're still working on Rear crosses & sending ahead, so I was very pleased with her run. And yes, Amanda, I promise to praise her more on course - I just find I have to concentrate really hard running her!
Blast did the starters standard, Adv gamble & Adv Jumpers. He had a pretty good weekend, a few problems in the standard round, but he did awesome weaves after the first attempt (this has been a big problem in the past); did some good things in the gamble, but didn't get the final gamble either. He aced his Jumpers run, so that was a great way to end the day! He really did much better staying with me - less distractions running indoors than outdoors I guess.
He actually seemed more relaxed between runs, I let him hang out with me for a while & he was actually tugging & playing, which he does all the time at home, but doesn't often do at a trial.
All in all it was a great day running fun courses & I got to see some great runs from some of my agility friends!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Learning to compete!

We just did the Kathy Keats seminar this past weekend, & as usual it was really great! Kathy is as much a coach as a trainer for us - she really gets into your head & makes you really want to go for it! She always has some surprises up her sleeve & this time was no different! We ran a couple of Worlds' courses & she had us betting on how our dogs would do.
The courses were tough, but boy, did the dogs do well! I intended to run Bizzie, and I did a couple of the patterns with her on Sat, but I thought Blast would benefit more from the Sunday session & he did pretty well. He can do some really great things, & then totally drift off - this then causes me to get upset & him to get more distracted. I think he really does try, but as soon as I hesitate, or seem unsure, he chooses to disconnect. So in other words, I'm probably causing most of his problem! (Except when he leaves me right at the startline - I'm not taking all the heat for that one!)
Anyhow, I really enjoyed the weekend, & I probably needed a kickstart to get back to training on a regular basis with some structure! Wish me luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another trial Weekend

We did the Medicine Hat trial this past weekend with mixed results. Running 3 dogs is quite difficult, particularly when 2 of them, who need the most attention before they run, are often only 1 or 2 dogs apart in the running order. I'm thinking maybe I should rotate trials with them so they get more attention from me when they need it.
Blast was hot & cold (just like the weather). He was really stressed & left the ring quite a few times. I only did half the standard course with him, & praised a lot, & that was better. He managed to Q his snooker & I just realized that that was his 3rd adv snooker Q, so he's now in Masters Snooker, which is just wrong!
Bizzie had wonderful moments & cheeky moments. She did get a Q in Standard (even after stopping in the middle of the dogwalk to bark at someone) and an Adv Snooker Q. She can be very fast & driven, but I can also lose her really quickly - having no visible boundaries to the ring didn't help our situation! But I know that's a training issue!
Boo was really running - I think he really likes the grass surface. He did have a couple of off courses, but he managed a Standard Q & a Gambler Q. The challenge course was very fun to run - lots of obstacles, many opportunities for an off course, but he just missed the weave pole entry out of the chute. Note to self - better work on those entries, we also had some missed entries at Nationals!
Wayne & Cactus managed 3 Qualifiers this weekend, Jumpers (what a smokin run that was!), Snooker & Steeplechase. Still can't quite get those Standard Q's.
It was a fun weekend, lots of great friends & we really enjoyed the pot luck!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Long Weekend

We spent the past 4 days in BC enjoying their wonderful weather.
We had a family event to attend in Creston, then moved on to take part in the Cookie Power trial in Kimberly.
We had a great time, but arriving late to do one day of trialing makes you feel like you're always playing catch up!

Blast & Bizzie had never been there before, so that plus spending 2 days in kennels & Xpens didn't help their confidence level. Both of them were very distracted on the first run of the day, which was a Standard round. The second obstacle was weave poles, which Blast can't seem to deal with at trials, so he left the ring to pee; Bizzie was all over the place, then bailed off the teeter & started limping. Not a great start to the day... Boo had a strange refusal at a jump, but he ran well for the 2 runs he was entered in. I sent him off course in Steeplechase, (second time I've done that recently!)

With Blast, we bypassed the weave poles for the next run & he seemed to be a little better, but much more distracted than normal. He had a refusal in the Jumpers & back jumped in Snooker, so we pretty much covered all that could go wrong! Bizzie was just entered in 2 runs, so she ran much better in jumpers & actually Q'd.

I'm getting quite discouraged with my training - or lack of - I need to get a structured program to follow since my dogs don't seem to be improving. Lack of a place to train regularly is a huge issue. And of course Bizzie is just coming off maternity leave. Maybe my expectations are too high. Sigh. We have another trial this coming weekend, so hopefully things will go better...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Practice, practice, practice!

We managed to get in 2 outdoor practices this weekend. Since the area is not fenced in, I was a little worried about Blast taking off, but he was really good. He stayed focused & other than his weave pole entries, he ran really well.

Bizzie had a good time, she ran quite well, but does still get distracted easily. I forgot how fast she is, & I remembered how out of shape I am!
Boo ran well, no major issues, he even ran for Wayne for one run!

Speaking of weave poles, a friend had his 24" weave poles there, so I ran all 3 of my dogs through them just to see if they'd notice a difference - Bizzie buzzed through them really fast & had no problem. Blast ran through them but not as confidently, & the same with Boo, but I'm sure none of them will have any problems adjusting to the different spacing. In the meantime, we'll continue to practice on our regular weaves.

I've signed up for the Kathy Keats coaching seminar in a couple of weeks, so I'm trying to decide if I should run Bizzie or Blast... I have run Blast in her past seminars, but maybe I"ll run Bizzie this time. That's the problem when you have 2 novice dogs at the same time...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Sad Day

Well, today the last of Bizzie's puppies is going to her new home. She's 9 1/2 wks old now, so I've become quite attached to her. I'm sure she is going to be an awesome little dog - she's very brave & smart!

I think Biz will be quite happy to see her leave now -Mika's been tormenting Bizzie by grabbing her ear fringes & yanking on them!

It's been great fun raising a litter of pups - I learned a lot, and I was very proud of my little Bizzie for being such a great little mom!

Here's one last photo of Mika! Such a pretty little girl!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wee Wed Trial

I was quite excited about the Wee Wed trial last night - it offered Starters classes, so it was a good opportunity to get Blast & Bizzie out for a run.

We hadn't been to Wet Ck for about 3 months because of the shavings that were so deep - I was worried about the little dogs getting wood chips in their eyes.

Anyhow, because it was so warm, they had the big back door of the arena open, but had barrels closing it off from the horses outside. Of course that was something my dogs hadn't seen before.

The standard course started off with a straight line heading straight for the back door ( I don't know why a straight line is supposed to be easier for starters dogs!! Not so for fast dogs with old handlers!) Blast ran first & did a lovely 2on 2off on the DW, then ran directly to check out the barrels & to see if he could get out the door... he did come back without zoomies, & did a pretty good job until the weave poles, which he thought he'd never seen before. He did finish off nicely, but it wasn't our best showing, that's for sure.

Bizzie, who hasn't done anything for 4 months due to having puppies, was back to her usual self - broke her start line & ran like crazy down the DW to the barrels, just like her brother. She had some great moments, was really fast - especially in that tunnel vortex where she had to get a couple more tunnels in, would not stay down on the table, but had a nice finish. So many opportunities for training!

I also ran Biz in the jumpers course, & had it not been for her stupid handler sending her over the wrong jump, she had a great run.

I took Mika along for socializing, she met lots of new people, barked at the dogs that got in her face, & had a good time watching some of the runs - she will be leaving on Sunday for her new home.

I have the dogs entered in 2 trials in sept, so I have lots to do before then!

I still have to figure out how to get Blast to weave at a trial - he does awesome weaves at home or in more controlled situations. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Mika is the last puppy to go to her new home - she'll be leaving on Sunday for her big trip to Mexico! What a fun puppy she is - she was the biggest pup & the first to do everything. She's now almost 9 wks old & she thinks she is one of the big kids now - she zips around the house, trying to get the big dogs to chase her, she is sleeping all night in her kennel, & she loves to be outside!

Bizzie's Back!

So Bizzie has been out of commission for about 4 months - 2 months pregnant & 2 months puppy rearing, so I was unsure of what she would remember about agility...

Apart from doing 6 weave poles in the back yard she has done nothing. Anyhow, I took her out to a friend's place where she had the Nationals jumpers 2 course set up for us to practice & Bizzie did really well. Other than our timing being off, I was very happy with her runs. She even held her startline! I have her entered in a couple of trials in Sept, so I was a little concerned about how she would run. Of course in a trial setting there are many more distractions & excitement,
so anything can happen. We'll try the Wee Wed trial this week & see how that goes!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mini Me

Bizzie had one black & white puppy - a girl called Zip-r.

She reminds me so much of Bizzie when she was a little puppy.

Here's Zip-r

Here's Bizzie as a pup, but a little older

Do you think they look alike?

Zip-r also has many of Bizzie's mannerisms - she makes a funny little panting noise when she runs really fast, & when she barks at you for attention, she slams her little front paws on the ground. Boy, I'm really going to miss this little one!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Puppy countdown

Well, the puppies are almost ready to leave for their new homes. They are so much fun right now (& so much work!) Who knew puppies could poop so much!
They love it outside, they love people & have met many new friends over the last week.
I have an Ikea tunnel outside & they love to run through that & tear around the yard.
I also borrowed a tiny wobble board from a friend & they play on that & have no fear.
Hopefully I've done everything I could to make sure these are happy, healthy, confident pups.

Here's some photos of them in the back yard..

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Love Puppies!

The puppies are 6 wks old now & are just full of energy!

Here they are wanting out of their pen.

This is Wee Willie with his Monkey

I think she fell asleep with the toy in her mouth

The little black & white girl is going to look just like Bizzie!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2009 Nationals is History

We just got back today from the AAC Nationals in Ottawa this past weekend.

It was a pretty interesting weekend - the weather was hot & muggy on Fri & Saturday, then we woke up Sunday to rain.
Thursday we did a warm up run & after all our teeter practice, (which went well), Boo didn't like the teeter, so we practiced it a few times. Unfortunately, we couldn't take toys or treats into the ring. (well, some did, but that's another story)

Friday we just did one Steeplechase run - Boo ran clean & placed 2nd; I was pleased with that since I know he doesn't like to run in the humidity.

Saturday, our first run was jumpers & we had a refusal when I didn't pull him in quickly enough to the tunnel, so he approached a wrong course jump, but he ran pretty well. Our second run was Gamblers, which has been our most difficult game to date. He ran really awesome, got the mini gamble twice & got the final gamble & placed first! Pretty good for a little velcro dog I thought! Our last run was the standard & it had a very tricky opening. It was a tunnel/ DW discrimination & just when I thought he had the DW he scooted into the tunnel - not a great start... he then missed a weave pole entry, which doesn't happen too often; anyhow we placed somewhere at the end of the class in that one. I was surprised to see that we were in 3rd place in the aggregate after day 1, even with the bad standard round.

Sunday, our first run was gamblers & it started to pour just before we ran. Boo did the first couple of obstacles, then ran into a tunnel & sat down - he finally came out & got 32 points, but the final gamble included the dreaded teeter, so he bailed, which didn't surprise me.

This is Boo after his first run!

Our second run was standard & he was clean until he ran right through the weave poles like he didn't see them, so we had 5 faults. Not too bad, since it started to pour again right before the little guys ran. We finally had a clean run in jumpers, but he wasn't moving very fast, so we placed 4th.

In the end, we placed 7th overall, not as good as last year, but respectable. We were very happy that our friends Amanda & Wicca placed 2nd overall since they are such an awesome team & really deserved it. I found the courses quite difficult compared to what we're used to, but I guess that's what Nationals should be!

This was our benching area on Sunday, after the rains - oh look - it's Shannen in a HAT!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Off to Nationals

We're off to Ottawa tomorrow for the AAC national Agility Championships! A trip like this requires a lot of organization - we now have 5 dogs + 4 puppies, & we are only taking Boo & Cactus, so we have to farm out the rest of the dogs.

Bizzie & her pups are going to stay with a friend - they are quite a bit of work these days, keeping their pen clean is the biggest challenge! Hard to believe they will be 5 wks old tomorrow! They are such little livewires, they're hilarious to watch!

Blast is going to a boarding kennel where he will get lots of walks, etc. He's been there before, so I'm hoping it won't be too stressful for him. He seems more irritable since I put him on Propalin for his bladder problem, so I hope he's all right staying there by himself (last time Bizzie went with him)

Critter is going back to the breeder's home where she has a pet sitter looking after her animals.

So today is the day where all the dogs get delivered to their respective temporary homes, we have to pack everything for our trip. etc...

So wish us luck at Nationals - Boo hasn't had a lot of practice this summer, so not sure how well we'll do... and Cactus, well.... let's just hope she doesn't think the yellow will burn her feet!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

Well, maybe a couple of days... the puppies are much more active now - their little personalities are starting to show. I clipped their nails yesterday - interesting how one puppy was happy to lay on her back & let me do her nails, the 3 others screamed & wiggled. I moved them to a bigger pen today to celebrate their 4 wk birthday!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Puppies are growing up!

These are the girls!

Well, the puppies are 3 wks old now. It's amazing how much they change in just a few days!

They can now walk on all fours, although they still stagger, tried eating from a saucer today for the first time, growl when you disturb them, & can scream pretty well when they want to eat!

These are the boys!

Bizzie is handling the whole experience really well although she did set one of them straight yesterday when they tried to eat from her dinner!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Two weeks old!

The puppies are now 2 wks old - they have their eyes open now & are starting to move around more.

Here are the boys..

Getting weighed!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bizzie's Babes

Well, the puppies are gaining weight every day. Today was a milestone - the girls have their eyes open! They are 12 days old now! The "big- boned girl" is the most active of the pups so far, she is almost a pound now! The others are only a couple of ounces behind.

Bizzie is a happy little mom - although she's wanting to stay out of the pen a little more to visit with me i.e. cuddle on my knee! She's getting her girlish figure back now.

Here are the girls - I think they have really interesting
colour markings!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Baby Face!

Eyes not open yet, but getting pigment in their little noses!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One week old!

Well the puppies are now 1 wk old! Bizzie is proving to be a good mum & everyone seems healthy. The pups are now between 8 & 11.5 oz. I've been experimenting with the whole whelping box set up. One of the puppies keeps getting over the side of the bed, which surprised me - they still don't even have their eyes open! Bizzie has settled down now & doesn't mind when I pick up her babies. (At first she didn't want anyone messing with her kids!)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who doesn't love a puppy?

Lots of color on these pups!

Black & white girl

Biz looks a little better now that she's cleaned up!


The babies have arrived!

This is Bizzie's first litter & she was due this Sunday. I did have a feeling she would deliver early & she did! The X-ray showed 3 puppies - yeah!
She went to the breeder's home on Monday night so she had some time to adapt to the new digs.

She was very big - gained 3 1/2 lbs - on a 6 lb dog! She came to agility class Tuesday night just to hang out & of course just had to run across the dogwalk (or should I say waddle across!)

Wed morning, she had her first puppy in Shannen's van on the way to work at the clinic! She looked at it like - what the hell? - but then mother nature took over & she figured it all out! I met Shan at the clinic so I could be there for the rest of the deliveries...

Puppy #2 took 3 hrs to deliver - it's huge! Biz was a trooper though. Puppy #3 just popped out really quickly. Thinking we were all done, we moved Biz to a clean cage, etc. & I went home. the plan was for Bizzie to stay with Shannen for a couple of days. An hour later I got a phone call - guess what - Puppy #4 just arrived! I think his name should be Bonus!

I only have photos of the first 3 puppies, but will update this blog later..
So, the stats are: 2 Sable males, 1 Sable female, & 1 black & white female.

Can you see the heart on the puppy?

Sunday, June 21, 2009


We have a new addition to our doggie family... her name is Critter & she is training with Wayne. He is so funny - he's madly in love with this little "critter".

We weren't really in the market for a new dog, but we babysat her a couple of times & that was it - we were hooked.

She has got to be the happiest little girl - loves all the other dogs & loves to play.

I chose the name Critter cause she often stands up on her hindlegs & she looks just like the little critters in the Telus commercials!

I had a hard time getting a photo of her since she's never still.. but here's a couple.

She's so tiny she can actually get right through that baby gate!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Puppy Love

Well, we all love puppies & Bizzie will be having hers in about a week!

She had an Xray today & it showed 3 good sized puppies!

Poor Bizzie is getting really uncomfortable, especially in the heat. She was almost 6 lbs to start & now she's over 9 lbs!

Here's a photo of her trying to get comfy on her favorite deck chair.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What a Weekend!

Well, Regionals is now officially over.

What a great event! The venue was wonderful, the weather was great (really hot!), everyone had fun!
It was a busy weekend for us since we had all 5 dogs there, including Bizzie who's due to have her puppies in a couple of weeks!

Boo ran really well - I am very proud of him! He doesn't like to run in the heat, so he did a great job giving his all for 3 consecutive days! He is now the 6" Special 1st Place Winner! Considering how he ran when we started this sport, that's quite an accomplishment for him!

He qualified in both the Steeplechase runs on Friday, even though he knocked the last bar on the first run (my fault for hesitating), and came second to Target in the Steeplechase final on Sunday afternoon.
We had a few glitches throughout the weekend, but he was happy & running & that's always my first concern. We had an odd off course on the first standard (my fault again...) and he missed his contact on the DW on the second standard course.
He had 2 clean jumpers rounds, so that was great!
In Gamblers, he ran the first one really well & got the final gamble; on Sunday, he got a nice mini gamble, which was a serpentine at a distance, but didn't get the final.

Blast didn't have a great weekend. I don't know if it was the heat or the stress, or just an upset stomach, but he had the runs all weekend & wasn't having much fun. I was up with him all night Sat night, he was vomiting & having diarrhea. Poor Boy. I pulled him from the competition on Sunday, I didn't want to stress him anymore. His highlight was getting the final gamble on Saturday! Pretty good for a rookie!

Cactus & Wayne had a pretty good weekend - they qualified for Nats, and Cactus got all her teeter & DW contacts! She still had a couple of her signature Aframe dismounts, but she held her start lines. They had an awesome jumpers round, which was really fast & furious!

What a great event the Lethbridge & Medicine Hat group put together! Oh, and Group C Rocks!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ready or Not....

Well, tomorrow we go to Lethbridge for the AAC Regionals.
Not sure we're ready, but we'll do our best.
Some of the practices I was counting on were rained/snowed out, & other stuff just got in the way...
Boo has been running not too bad, a lot depends on his mood! Bought him a new cool coat in case it's a scorcher - he doesn't like the heat.
Blast has been running well at times, but he's not consistent. Still having lots of weave pole entry issues, but we're just going for the experience; I have no expectations, we'll just go & have some fun.
We're leaving tomorrow, so today we load up the RV with half the house it seems, & we'll be on the road in the morning - staying at the Bridgeview RV resort, which I think is very close to the site. Pray for good weather!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wee Wednesday

I entered both the boys in the Wee Wed trial last night where we did a masters' gamble, a masters' standard & a steeplechase run. (Blast ran FEO)

I was so pumped after Blast's great runs last week, & now the smile is gone....
He did some good things last night, but also was quite distracted by the mini horse poop ( a nice appetizer he thought) & the close proximity of the start & finish lines to the dogs warming up.
I know he thinks his role is to keep me guessing about how he will run the course! Of course these were regional prep masters courses, & had some interesting challenges for us.
He continues to avoid weave poles in trials, so I really need to fix that. I find that he really doesn't like to practice in the back yard so we try to keep our sessions really short & fun.

Boo & I are struggling with our timing right now - he's not responding well to my HERE! on the course when he sees an off course obstacle he thinks he's supposed to take.
He was quite funny in the final gamble - it was 6 weaves going away from the line, call in to the teeter & send to a jump - not that hard... however... there were also 6 more weaves at a 90 degree angle from the first set (parallel to the line but further out) & when I called him in to the teeter, he went & did the other set of weaves as well & gave me such a look like he was saying, hey, I"m not finished weaving yet! He did manage a Q in the steeplechase which was a fun course.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Great Weekend

I'm still smiling ear to ear! I think Blast is growing a brain!

We had an awesome weekend in Medicine Hat - the weather was great & my dogs did so well!

Blast, my ADD dog, was such a good boy - he really didn't have any zoomies! I was a little worried since it was our first outdoor trial this year & he does get distracted very easily. He was the very first dog to run & he Q'd his first Starters Standard run! He then went on to get his Starters Gamble, Starters Jumpers, & 2 Advanced Snooker Q's! For me, the Q's & ribbons are very nice, but I was just so excited that he was listening & focusing & having fun.

You know, I was trying to figure out why he's now starting to pay attention... I started to think about what I've been doing differently... and I think I finally realized that for Blast it's all about the fun - treats are nice, but playing with a ball is more rewarding, so I've been training more with a ball & warming him up with his favorite ball.

Thank to Wendy from Paws on the Run Photography for the photos!

Boo also had a pretty good weekend. His Q'd 3 out of 8 runs, which is not his best, but he was running pretty well & he actually got a Masters Gamble - & not a really easy one!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Terry Simons Seminar

I decided to do the Terry Simons seminar on teaching distance.
I was originally going to take Bizzie, but she was busy, (ha, ha) so I did the seminar with Blast instead.
Blast usually does well at seminars, but starts to lose focus in the highly stimulating atmosphere of a trial. Anyhow, he did so well, I was very proud of him.
I really enjoy Terry's style of teaching, he is always very precise about the exercises & how to teach them & he's quick to point out what you are doing (when you think you are doing things correctly!)
This seminar was held on Friday, so on Sat night we had a practice & tried some tough gambles. I was so surprised when Blast did a difficult send out to the Aframe - he actually did much better than his buddy Boo, who has his masters gambles.... anyhow, that's another story..
So, my plan is to keep up with the distance exercises for all my dogs & maybe I'll finally have a dog that actually likes to gamble!


We've been dogsitting for a friend with a large Golden Retriever puppy - about a year old. I now remember why I have small dogs! This guy is a wonderful dog, very patient, affectionate, & playful, but he's soooo big! He jumps on my lap on the couch & I'm flattened!

It was very interesting to see the other dogs respond to this big muppet.

Blast wanted Rye to chase him, then tried to remind him who is the boss, puppy is so good, tries to get down really low, rolls over, etc. They had lots of fun wrestling.

Cactus, in standoffish sheltie style, just gives him an Elvis lip & leaves.

Boo just accepts him & when Rye & Blast are playing he grabs a toy & growls & shakes the daylights out of it!

Bizzie just returned from being bred (I know, I still think of her as a baby!) so if Rye even looks at her she's all teeth & yipping!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April News

I took Boo in for a dental last week & he ended up having 11 teeth removed! Poor little guy - they were loose & pulling them was the best solution.

We did half the AAC trial this past weekend until I got sick - it's really not fair to get the stomach flu & a wicked sore throat at the same time!

Anyhow, Boo Q'd in 3 out of 4 runs - just can't seem to get those Gambles! He did some great weave poles at quite a distance though - too bad that wasn't the plan! Sometimes I think if he doesn't see any cones he figures he can take whatever he likes!

Blast got a Starters Gamble Q, but that's not too surprising since he doesn't really worry about where I am. He ran pretty well, had a couple of off courses in his standard rounds, but he's trying hard. He still has a problem collecting to do weave poles... not sure how I"m going to fix that - they're pretty good in practice.

Bizzie didn't run as she is in heat - the little princess will be bred this time - hard to believe -seems she was just a puppy herself!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tuff Enuf to Run in Pink?

We had a pretty exciting time at the Olds "Cancer fundraiser" Trial yesterday! Most everyone was tuff enuf to run in pink - although the shirts this year were blue.
The dogs ran pretty well, Boo & I even ran Snooker in the dark! Yep, I think a transformer blew & we had no power for about an hour! So we opened the big doors at the end of the arena so we could see a little & we just continued! Fortunately, the power came on before the big "Dash for Cash" Steeplechase run.

Bizzie ran fast, but was a big tunnel suck, guess she'll have to go on a tunnel diet. I had several people telling me how entertaining her run was - now that's nice for the folks watching, but not so much when you're the one trying to keep her focus!
Blast had a major zoomie the first run of the day, which was standard, but he settled down quite well & probably would have Q'd in steeplechase if I hadn't screwed up - he did all the hard parts well & then I forgot to support him going into a tunnel... dumb mommy. I also had an oops in Snooker which he ran well too...
Boo Q'd 3 out of 4 - the snooker had too much mileage for him to get enough points; & we actually won money in the Dash for Cash! Yeah Boo!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Ears Have It!

3 papillons, 3 personalities, 3 different sets of ears!

Bizzie has very erect ears, kinda curly, very cute!

She has a funny look on her face here!

Boo has very big ears, with long fringes - nice when they're up, but he holds them at "half mast" if he's not excited!

Blast can't decide - he has one up, one down!
Or maybe he's too busy playing to hold them both up!