Monday, December 24, 2012

A Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Wonderful Winter Solstis...etc...

Hope you are enjoying your week whatever your feelings on the matter.  I am happy to be getting ready to see my family tomorrow, but sad with news of shootings from the east coast. 
Really trying to get into the spirit.  I'm off to the grocery to find crystal ginger.  If I find it I am making a delicious sounding pumpkin spice cake for tomorrows meal.  Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


We have a fun course set up at the field.  The course is built around a double box.  Since my accell/decel workshop, I've been out there playing with the dogs.  Even Olive gets to play with the jumps on the ground. 
This is my first time working her where I'm running as fast as we can.  Need to practice that alot.  She likes to turn, she doesn't like to go straight.  I'm using this drill with tunnels to get her excited about going straight.  The big deal about this set up is to toss in a ton of decel so your dog isn't just running from tunnel to tunnel but is actually listening to you. 
I've put up three of the drills I was working on, but the possibilities are endless.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Imagine piles of cookies...

Butter Cream.  Oh so good.  Oh so exhausting to bake.  These little cookies absolutely melt in your mouth.  Love them.

Toll House chocolate chip.  I love these without the chocolate chips.  Of the 3+ dozen, I made two individual cookies without chips.  Hmmmmm, heaven.

I also traded my sister for some toffee bars. 

Late last night I baked my last batch.  Butterscotch brownies.  Ah...well.  An epic failure.  They are not going into my cookie gifts.  The butterscotch brownies are headed to Kels office.  They won't care that they are a little too chewy and fall apart.  The office workers will fall on the brownies like lions to a kill.  I told Kel to be very careful when putting the plates of brownies out, he might get hurt in the excitement of the feed.

Sunday found me at a Kinderbox agility seminar.  Olive got to play real agility.  A couple of the exercises I couldn't finish because I was giggling in delight.  So much fun playing with Olive.  Best thing she did was turn nice and tight.  Worse thing is running the line.  Gotta work that acceleration with jumps! 

I also cooked Goulash (in the slow cooker), entertained my mom (thanks mom for helping with the cookies), and saw the Hobbit (LOVED IT!).  Gosh it was a very full weekend.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Here is the last of the Laura Hartwick drawings.  Little Olive.  The newest member of the Whiz kids.  Joy and happiness wrapped up in a little package. 

These silly little drawings have brought me such happiness.  Today the frames I ordered arrive.  I'll be framing the five this weekend and finding the perfect place to hang them. 

Thank you Team Small Dog.  I am totally a huge fan!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Thank you Laura Hartwick of Team Small Dog for each of my wonderful drawings!  You've done such an amazing job of capturing each of my super spectacular dogs.

Fin is at once shy, full of energy, cautious, hyped, worried, loud, and most of all she is my Finny Fin Fin.  I adore this little spit fire.  This dog gives it all she has.  During the day if she is not sleeping in Kels bark-o-lounger, she can be found lounging on the steps leading to the upstairs with a view of the front door and outside to the driveway.  She will alert us to any perceived danger, even if that danger is as innocuous as a bird landing on the front stoop.  She, like me, dislikes confrontation, however, go to leave the house without her and you will still hear her as you drive away. 

Fin gives her hugs rarely, but when you get a hug from Fin it is magical.  My speedy little girl is wonderful and I am very grateful that I flew to Florida and brought home this funny little dog 5.5 years ago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A few moving pictures from the weekend.

Standard:  A clean run.  This course was difficult for her for judging distance.  You can see her jumping wasn't the best, but she kept the bars up.  I am so proud of her for choosing to take the jump after the weaves.  You can see in the video that she started to go around it and had to make a decision to actually jump it.  Good girly!  I also LOVE her turn out of the tunnel to the dogwalk.  Super speedy and allowed me to drive ahead.  Late cross at the ending by me resulted in some wasted time, but it was enough of teamwork to get the Q.

TWO gambles.  I'm still giggling with the excitement.  There was much miscommunication but Fin was wild and out there grabbing all the points she could even when I was standing still not doing much.

Jumpers:  Not a Q, I sent her off course, but there is so much that is good about this run.  My timing in the opening - sooooo very happy with my lead out and following FC.  I could have run a little deeper to help Fin with the blue jump, but she saved me there.  I thought overall her jumping was great.  This was the last run of the entire weekend and it is good to see her still strong and happy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Maddie is the sweetest dog in the world.  Every day I thank the powers that be for allowing Maddie into my life.  Maddie is not an agility champion.  She only got one qualification in all my attempts to run agility with her.  But Mads holds a very special place in my heart.  I would be happy to take care of her for as long as she remains on this earth.

I've always said that Maddie is an excellent people trainer and should open her own school for "Proper People Training". She also somehow, runs the entire household. She quietly, consistently, always, gets her way. 

Now as she nears 14 years old, Maddie often is in her own world.That world includes squirrels but sometimes is quite confusing to her. She has been diagnosed with dementia, loss of hearing, and her eye sight isn't what it once was.  However, despite all that, if Maddie walks into a room and if she wants something the other dogs have, without any force or aggression, soon will get whatever it is.

When I first observed this force of will, I was sitting in a chair in my living room.  Rocky was laying at my feet chewing on a bully.  Mads walks in and sees Rocks chewing on the bully.  She looked at Rocky with what could only be described as a hopeful expression and wagged her tail.  When that didn't work,  I remember very clearly watching Maddie walk over to a toy that was laying on the ground.  This toy was one nobody wanted.  It had been discarded in the living room.

Maddie picked up this toy and started to play with it.  The intensity of the play increased.  Rocky stopped chewing and watched Maddie.  Maddie played harder and barked at the toy.  Rocky got up with the bully in his mouth, Maddie started tossing the toy around the room.  Rocky ran over to her (with the bully in his mouth), Maddie continued to play tossing the toy further and further and chasing it.

Rocky dropped the bully and chased the toy.

Maddie calmly walked over picked up the bully, lay down and started chewing.  Rocky stood there with the toy hanging out of his mouth and just looked at Maddie.  I laughed (not for the first or last time).

Maddie has taught me so much about enjoying life.  Love my Mads!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quick Update

This is another one of the wonderful artist drawings by Laura Hartwick of Team Small Dog.  She has captured Rocky's sweetness and love of his orange ball.  I love all my Laura drawings and can't wait to share Maddie, Olive, and OMG FIN!!!

This weekend was cold mornings, fast tough courses, warm middle of the day, and late cold nights.  Spent time with my best buds all sitting together and some of us pot lucked with hot chili, jabalia, and split pea soup.  Yum.   I'm lucky at these pot lucks.  My peeps like the bread from my local Nob Hill so that's what I bring.  Easy.

Fin ran really well.  A bit of early jumping in some of the courses with tons of distance between jumps, but very few knocked bars, and fun happy sheltie at the start line, and fun happy sheltie at the finish line.  Love when my Finster is happy.  I felt that for the most part I handled well.  I tried to remember to support her on the areas that I know are problems, but just go for it on others.  I was able to get to some front crosses that at championship 16 I would have been afraid to try (would caused Fin to crash), but at 12 we both seem to have more confidence.  Yippiiieee!

The big news is that Fin got TWO gamble course Q's!!!  TWO!  Gamble is the area of improvement I feel I can grow the most.  I just haven't been good at working the gambles.  Both gambles did lean toward Fins and my strengths, but getting the gambles both days just made the weekend that much more!

Came home very late Sunday and my husband met me out at the car.  He says, "Don't be alarmed when you go inside.  Rocky tweaked something and isn't feeling well."  Boy was he right.  Poor Rocks is looking old and feeling the cold.  Loads of massage from me over the next few days should put him on the road to recovery, but it is hard to see him so under the weather. The good news is that he is happy to eat (dish has to be elevated) and happy to it is just getting the tweak in his neck feeling better.  Sucks to get old!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Boy I've been busy!!!

First off, Laura Hartwick from Team Small Dog sent me my custom art for each of my dogs.  You'll be seeing it here as the days go by, but wanted to start with Tazz.  Each of her drawings have captured my pups personalities to perfection.  I get all teary eyed when I think about what an amazing job she did. 

If you are interested in your own art, please visit her custom art website and order yours.  I love purchasing christmas gifts for myself and there is nothing more special than a little 5x7 piece of paper full of personality.

Mine will all be framed and hang on my wall so I can see them every day...that way when I'm really tired, mad, or frustrated, I'll look at these lovely drawings and remember why I love my dogs.

In the meantime, I did not get the blog action day post done.  I had such great plans and absolutely no time.  Here is my suggestion:  Go get Nancy Gye's Alphabet Drills.  More exercises than you can even imagine and look for a post from me working one tunnel and 2 jumps.  Sorry it isn't more timely, but paid work is a priority right now.

Off this weekend for the last show of the year.  Then a 4 week break.  I can not believe Christmas is around the corner.  If you are in a giving mood, think about giving to my friends over at Dreampower Horsemanship.  They give so much to our community and work really hard.