Friday, September 16, 2016

This blogging thing is hard

Blogging is getting harder and harder. I still love to write. And actually miss watching my thoughts come across the computer screen. But I'm busy. Lame, I know. I'm also unmotivated. Also lame. 

But I hate thinking about negative stuff, nevermind writing about it. So I'll spare you all my worries and real life issues and instead write about my new dog Jack!

Firstly, 8 dogs is a lot. I realise this. It's not my ideal number. But my old dogs are in pretty good health and I wasn't about to wait for them to die. 

Alright- Jack. 

I've been looking around for a few months for a started or trained sheepdog. My budget was small (I'm
Poor) so it definitely was a process. I mean if I had unlimited money or at least more money then I likely would have bought a trained dog almost right away. But back to Jack.

Jack is 10 months old and was barely
Started. Like, on sheep a few times. But he has a super nice pedigree and is cute.

I know, cute is not really a factor. :) 

Seriously though- I had him for just over a week to play around before I had to decide. In that week he really came along and showed me a lot of the qualities i like in a working dog. And he is a lot of fun. Also, fit into my household. 

So after some feedback from friends, I bit the bullet and bought a dog! 

Some things about Jack the Sheepdog
He is very intense
He is fast 
He has a lot of eye
He has a tendency to go wide on the right
He has natural feel for his sheep
He likes to stop on his feet

Some things about Jack the regular
Dog 

he loves toys and insists on carrying one during walks, in the house, and in the yard 
He is very silly and playful
He has no house manners and has 
jumped on the counter, peed on my
Bed, and is generally everywhere he's not supposed to be
he is smart and I've started doing some training with him to work on the above things. 
He gets carsick. Massive amounts of
Drool. Every. Single. Time. I hope he grows out of it.  
He and Siren are best friends. They play a lot and not in a weird border collie way. 
He is handsome. And cute. And I totally love him already 



Thursday, June 09, 2016

On Passion.


My passion for many years was agility. The training, the trialing, the feeling of running with my dog, the frustration of bad timing, or sloppy training. The exhilaration of a clean run, or a nearly clean run. All of it. The lows and the Highs. I loved it. 

I went to regionals, Nationals, and as many trials as I could get to. I trained every spare moment I had. It was my focus, my passion.  

Somewhere along the way my passion started dwindling. I don't know exactly when. Having to retire wicca was a big part of that, and just a year later having pixel injured as well... I started worrying about hurting my dogs and enjoyed the game less and less. For a while I didn't even have a dog to play the game with... Some big life changes around the same time and all of a sudden agility didn't seem so important anymore. 

I started herding around that time and very quickly that became my new passion. First Brit, because she couldn't play agility (she has back issues), and then Leo.  I get goosebumps still sometimes when I watch my dog figure out something on his own, or when everything is just so. It is a game like no other that I've done. When I am out in a field just me, my dog and sheep I feel At home. As I consider the purchase of another dog, I know I'm in deep... ;) 

But just because agility isn't my passion anymore doesn't mean that I havent missed it. The people, the sport itself, being active with my dogs. I've been working hard to get back into the game. I won't lie, it's been a struggle. Building back my own confidence took the most amount of time.  Last year a friend and I started a new agility based business and while I haven't trialed much (one, maybe two trials in two years?) Im getting closer to being ready. I'm making time for it, training at home and at our field. It's fun. I've always love the training and the problem solving part. 

Leo likes the game a lot. He is a good dog. He may never have the brain stamina for a whole trial but that's okay. I may not have enough for a whole trial either. ;)  Siren has started training and is a little pistol. She is sassy and quick and very eager.  They are a motivating pair- the enthusiasm they have is contagious! 

I will never be competitive like I was. I don't have the drive to be the best, or to push to be the best. I have no desire for the world team, or nationals. I've finally found the fun in training, now I need to be brave enough to enter and go to a trial. And still keep the fun and connection with my dogs. I'm excited to have finally got to this point. 

I'm an overthinker, and a procrastinator. So this has been a long time coming. My plan is to enter a few fall trials to get my feet wet, and go from there. 

I'm lucky to have great friends who encourage and push just enough to motivate me.  And so lucky to have such good dogs who are happy to work with me no matter the sport. ;) 


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

And the terrible blogger award goes to...

I have good intentions. I do. But somehow it's already the middle of May. 

My excuse is always the same. Busy. Just so busy. I'm so busy being busy that I sometimes forget to just be. It's a problem and has been this way forever and ever.

But I'm mostly happy. And that's important. I try to keep myself centered and look for things that make me happy. I sometimes feel like actual depression might be just around the corner. And then I'll spend a few days refocusing my energy on the positives and the sky is blue and the sun is bright. It's easy to be overwhelmed with life so I'm careful not to let myself slip. 

I love my house, I love waking up to the chirping birds, and falling asleep to the owls. The quiet in the middle of the day. The sight of the lake, the sound of the wind in the trees.  I even love the drive to the city everyday. It's my best thinking time. The move has probably been the best decision I've ever made for myself. 

The dogs are all fantastic- my very loud, excitable, often naughty band of misfits. Siren is a sponge and is learning things at an alarming rate. She is a lot of fun and if I ever get the motivation to do agility again she is the dog for the job. She is so fast! 
Wicca and Boone are definitely old dogs. Can't keep weight on either of them, and they can't come on long walks anymore. But they are happy with their bits of training and all the spoiling that comes with age. Brit is good- her nerve thing seems to be taking a break. Which is nice. She's been able to go for runs every day but we keep training to a minimum. I was hoping to enter her for her last two CDX legs in a few weeks. But she is reluctant to jump. :(  Leo is wonderful. I really adore him. He is quirky as all get out, but tries so hard for me. My goal is to run Open with him by the end of the summer. We've been training as often as we can (nearly every day!)
Vito is the same badass he always is. Never listening. Always stubborn. Good thing he's cute. And the princess (Pixel) is good. We've been training for some nosework stuff, and today I decided that we should go back to the rally ring. She likes the work and has been mostly sound. Fingers crossed it stays that way! 

Work is good. I am finally settled into a new schedule between work and classes and teaching. It's working and I feel like I've got time to breathe. There is still so much I'd like to do teaching wise, but there is just a limit to the amount of hours in a day! It's frustrating because I'd love to teach more and be able to help the general public more with their dogs but I can't stretch myself anymore than I already do. 

Family life is interesting, as always.  My mom is being transferred over to a long term health care facility. She's been in the hospital for a few months and finally there might be a bed for her. Her mobility is non existent. She is a shadow of her former self. I can hardly remember the good times. She is difficult, manipulative and we barely speak. The move will be good for her. Either push her to try a bit harder or give her a reason to really give up. The decision has always been hers.  I don't talk about her much- here or in life, but it brings me great stress and a lot of anger and sadness in my heart. My dad has moved to a new house finally. A fresh start with a cheery new house. I worry for him. All the time. He's so stressed out and is as dependent on my mother as she is on him. He spends hours every day with her.  The move was good though and In trying hard to get him some hobbies or something to do besides worry about my mom. My sister and her kids are fantastic. I love them to bits. Avery is going to be two in a few weeks. She is exactly my sister- all attitude and Princess. Nolen is getting so grown up. It is great fun being an aunt. :) And this is month 7 in a serious relationship. He has been so good for me. The first relationship I've spoken of. Because I feel like it could last through my crazy. Lol.  Right from day one there was a sense of calm and peace in my soul when I am with him. He makes me happy and has been excellent with the dogs. Pixel especially has really taken to him. 

Now that I've written a novel- I can see why my life is so busy. And I didn't even talk about sundog, or the hours of teaching, the time spent training, the issue of trying to prioritize my dog sport interests, the stress of life, and the fact that I really could use a million dollars. ;)


Here are some random dog photos from the past month or so. 





Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A Herding Update in Photos

We have driving. Lots of distance, lots of enthusiasm, and lots of forward.


We have pace. And Forward.

We have some style. And Forward.

We have open flanks! But not on the Come-Bye side... sigh.

We like fast moving sheep. Like Barbs

But he can move the other guys too.

He is such a good boy. I am looking forward to trial season!

Monday, March 07, 2016

Early Spring

It's an early spring around here. Like really early. The lake was starting to thaw around mid February. We haven't had much snow since January! 

The birds are chirping, grass is turning green, and the sun is shining and beautiful. 

I've been spending time Learning how to slow down. Staying home, just being. It may be the best thing I've ever done for myself. 

I feel calmer. Happier, and more focused. On the flip side it's really hard to let go of stuff- my responsibilities that I've passed on to others, private lessons, another training night. At this rate I might actually have a life soon! 

The dogs and my family aren't complaining. ;)


Friday, February 26, 2016

The Queen

Always in charge. Even in her old age. <3

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chaos

Pretty much every day our walks look like this. Full out fun. The dogs are certainly well exercised since our move to the country. Lol

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Growing Up Siren

Siren is going to be 6 months old in a few days. She is such a fun, easy, puppy! She just fits in the household like she's been here forever, and is one of the crew.

I've been mostly just letting her grow up. We do lots of running, and playing, and learning games, but haven't taught much in the way of actual usable skills. I like to let puppies be puppies. She hasn't seen a tunnel, or a jump bump, or anything really. She does lots on the peanut ball, and on the perch, and on her mat. She can do all the basic obedience stuff, and knows how to use all her body parts. She mostly recalls, and is always eager to learn stuff. We are working on some tricks this week. Her high five is pretty adorable.

Most of her life is spent just runnning wild like some sort of prairie creature. She loves to run, and hates to lose. I think she will be a really fun agility dog one day!







Friday, January 22, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Balance

In herding Balance is found by feel. You don't teach it really, the dog just learns by feel. It's natural for most border collies. Some dogs stop short, before hitting that magical sweet spot. And some overrun and miss balance all together. But with a bit of practice and training most figure it out. 

Balance for me- in my life- has been incredibly difficult. I don't feel as though I've found it, nor am I anywhere close to it. Sometimes I feel as though I've gone past balance, and other times I've stopped short.  I'm hoping that one day I'll find that perfect spot- the one where it just feels right. I wish that it came natural, because it's getting real old trying to figure it out myself. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

12 Years

12 years of Awesome. I love this dog more each day. She holds my heart. <3
Happy Birthday (yesterday) Wicca!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Phew.

We survived christmas. It was a lovely day with my family. I cooked, no one died. There was much laughter and excitement. A success I would say. 

I'm still on Christmas holidays. I go back to work on the 4th. So far I've been kept busy, tomorrow will be my first almost full day home. I have to come in for a meeting in the evening. But the day is mine. 

I'm not ready to do a post about the past year, or about what I hope the future will hold. I'm sort of in limbo right now about both of those things. Life sure can. E complicated sometimes. 

The other day I told me nephew that he better stop growing up. Because being a grown up isn't all that much fun. 



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Wishes

It's Christmas again. I'm trying very very hard to get into the spirit of things. I decorated my house, bought cinnamon smelly things, and torture my dogs every day for a Christmas themed group photo. 

It's like the Christmas cheer is just out of my grasp though. Frustrating, and like most things the more you want it the less likely it is to just magically happen. 

Christmas cheer or not, I am hoping for a quiet, happy, little holiday. Time spent with friends, family and myself. Time to catch my breath and get ready for what 2016 is going to bring. 

So Merry Christmas to those that still read my blog. I hope it's bright and merry, full of love, laughter and joy.  <3

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Everytime I read it.

Everytime I saw this quote floating around on facebook it stuck with me. So I stuck it on a pretty picture to put on my wall at home. 

Life is so full of Ups and downs and everything in between. I think all the good, the ups, the awesome, the fun are what needs to help us through the not so fun, the tragic, the sadness, the blue days and even the boring ones. 

<3


Friday, November 27, 2015

Learning Stuff

Siren is soaking up life and learning like a little sponge. She is so clever and is a total problem solver. She has great focus, and most importantly the "want" to learn. We are building up food drive (she didn't have any!) and her toy drive is alive and well. She loves to tug, and fetch, and kill stuff. We are working on impulse control and some basic dowhatiwantandyougetwhatyouwant. She is starting to figure that out. 

So far her challenges have been:
Focus. It's short. And she is easily distracted by "shiny" things. 

I don't want to. Already! So young to have these moments. But she is a terrier. So we play the i-know-you-don't-want-to-but-CAN-you games. And she is improving each session. I haven't been brave enough to see if it's working yet. When she throws the "I don't want to" in my face during a training session or real life we just end the game and I play with someone else. Soon I'll see if the training is paying... 

And that's it challenge wise! She is highly motivated and loves to be right. So it's super fun to train her. I'll try and video some trainingn sessions to post here so I can look back and say "LOOK!"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

In his dreams.

In his dreams this dog would work work work. All day every day. 

In real life I'm lucky to get to work him maybe two times a week. And that's with me living right across the road from sheep!  

Too busy. Too much real life. Too much work. It doesn't help that it's dark by 5. But I really do wish I could work from home, or something. So that I could work and train my own dogs more than I currently am. Not just in sheep, but in all things. 

In my dreams I suppose! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

She was a show dog...

Siren went to her first dog show. She had a fantastic time and made lots of friends. She was in the Baby Puppy Class- the only Baby Parson, and the only Baby Terrier. So we won a big ribbon, and got to go in the big Best Baby Puppy in Show ring.

She got better and better each time. She was very distracted the first go round (at the breede level) but by the end of the day she was like a little pro. So cute. She is a naturally good show dog- all attitude and is a great little self-stacker! 

We are going to do another one in January- and her breeder wants to take her to a Speciality in the spring. 

I loved her confidence and attitude. She literally bounced into the building. So fun.  




Sunday, November 15, 2015

Brit the Rockstar!

99/100 for her last Advanced Rally leg- earning her Rally Advanced title (officially this time!)

And she earned her first CDX leg!!!  It wasn't perfect- in fact it might be the lowest score I've ever gotten. Lol. But- that's what happens when you won't sit! Her sitter was broken- no sitting in heel, no sitting for front, no sitting for dumbbell delivery. Nothing. I suspect it was her way of coping with the stress of the ring. But it also could have been physical from the cement floor all weekend. Either way- sits or no sits. She got a qualifying score. Other than those sits she was great- perfext broad jump, great retrieves, solid stays. A happy dog 
;)



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Snow Fun

We got out first Snow yesterday. Today in the daylight it is beautiful. The dogs had a fantastic time on our walk this morning. There was much barking, and running, and rolling.