August 31, 2008

A waiting game now

Darbi's boy Prime.  
He is fun, stylish and has a fantastic personality.  He pups share a lot of his great characteristics and most importantly...his incredible focus.  What a neat dog and I can't WAIT for the pups.
We'll ultrasound at about 30 days after the first breeding.

Just one of the pieces of water at Horsetooth Retrievers.  I trained with the group for 3 days and learned a ton.

Prime looking out for the next bird...the

August 28, 2008


A picture I took today of Prime.
Another breeding tomorrow morning and we'll hit the road home.

August 27, 2008

Fun Times

I had a great day at Horsetooth Retrievers in Colorado.  After ONLY a 15 hour drive, we arrived here last night.
Darbi met Prime this morning.  He really didn't introduce himself at all and the breeding was done whether Darbi liked it or not.
I then trained with the Horsetooth gang all day.  What beautiful property and what nice people!  Watching Prime and several of his offspring (as well as many other great dogs) run was a treat.  I took these pictures of Prime today.  More tomorrow.

August 25, 2008

I'm off!

She ovulates tomorrow.

I'm leaving tomorrow at 5 am.

We have a 14 hour drive.

First breeding Wednesday morning.

Gotta run and get ready to go, I just walked in the door from the horse sale and it's already 10pm!

More tomorrow night...

August 23, 2008

How could I forget??

My friend Amanda has a pet rescue.  She does fantastic work and I think she is a hero to dogdom.  So when Amanda asked me if I was available to go on a doggy run to pick up a rescue, I jumped at the chance to help.
Little did I know...I needed a crate.
Chaya (now called drooly by yours truly) POURED saliva out of her mouth the ENTIRE drive (over an hour).  I felt sorry for the wee girl as she is a sweetheart and was obviously carsick, but I was awestruck at the sheer amount of drool.
A pic taken with my iPhone while driving down the highway does not begin to give it justice.

On another note...Darbi has been making trips to the vet and she hasn't started the path to ovulation, but we expect her to start tomorrow.  Ovulation Tues or Wed is my guess. 
I'm in a hotel...I LOVE wireless internet.

Horse Sale

I'm off to the CTHS Yearling Sale in Edmonton.  Every year my friend and her husband bring out some yearlings from Manitoba to sell.  And every year I go to the sale to "work".  Horses are my first love, having ridden and shown them for close to 20 years.  It's nice to be back with them and all their smells.
This filly is one of the horses I will be working with this week.  Isn't she a beaut?

August 20, 2008

Wednesday Party

We're getting Air Conditioning today. Don't they look estatic?

Hey. I had two dogs and two party hats. As if I needed another reason!!

The aftermath of the party.

August 19, 2008

Keep Away

It looks like Miikka missed the day of Kindergarten where they learned to SHARE.

August 18, 2008

The serious one.

While Miikka is clowning around, Darbi can usually be found trying to solve the world's problems.
A picture of her from a couple days ago shows how happy she is to hear she's going to Denver next week.  
She probably thinks she's going to the Democratic National Convention though, and I don't want to burst her bubble.


My Miikka.

She marches to her own drummer.

I think the word to describe her would be "showboater".

Here she is while I'm trying to take a picture of one of her puppies last winter. Like I NEED to have a stick shoved in my face.

August 17, 2008

2008 Doggy Olympics

Synchronized Diving Competitiors

Ummm....Miikka...good style, but free-lancing not allowed.
And what is UP with those ears (excuse the pun).

Of course, another great photo by Liz.

August 14, 2008

Hide the Hoo-ha

It's a panty parade in our house now.

Darbi has a choice of lime green, pink or grey.  Grey is SO 1990's.

She's In!!

All the hoping and watching worked!!
A spot of blood this morning and Darbi is now wearing her fancy panties (pictures to follow).

Rough guesstimate is two breedings during the week of Aug. 25 - Denver here we come!!!

Pups due the end of October and home before Christmas.

Since I flat out refuse to take pictures of her hoo-ha, here is Darbi the last time she had babies in January 2006.

I'm SO excited!!

August 13, 2008

Soaking wet

As usual, my friend Liz has taken some great pictures of the dogs. It was a warm day yesterday and we had just finished training. What a nice way for everyone to cool off.

Tandem retrieving with a new friend.

Oh yeah...we're still "waiting" on Darbi, but she was very flirty with Liz's male Huxley-so here's hoping!!

August 10, 2008


The day after the field trial, we went to a recreational area with some friends and had a good day in the sun.

Blink of an eye

Now you see her.
Now you don't.

The dogs had a very good day at the trial in Drumheller this week-end...but I did not.  

A handler error on the water blind caused Miikka to be dropped and multiple handler errors in the last series occured with Darbi.  

Darbi ultimately got a Certificate of Merit in the Open.  I'm proud of my girls for trying so hard in the heat...I'm mad at myself for dumb errors.

August 7, 2008

A trend?

Pups from the Shaq x Miikka litter of 2007.

Maybe the puppy buyers from my litters wonder why all the dogs want to get on the couch??

Apparently cowboy movies do not impress them.

Little Miss Red Dot

Meet "Little Miss Red Dot". Now known as Bode. Bode is from the Tiger x Darbi litter of 2006. My litter notes state: "super fiesty & friendly puppy. Always in the thick of things. Loves to be held and cuddled."

She was a spunky little puppy who had tons of personality and spark.

We also decided that Red Dot needed to become a Calgary Flames fan when she was only 5 weeks old as noted in the picture below.

As you can see, we raise our litters as part of our family and they are often loose in the house with us. We built our curent house with NO carpet to be is all tile and laminate flooring both upstairs and down. It is easy to chase the little gaffers around with rolls of paper towel. When they learn to climb stairs, it becomes a new challenge to keep track of them all.

This is Bode now, living with her family in Toronto, Ontario. She is a much loved family pet and she spends much of her time at the family cabin on the lake (lucky dog). Her owner writes "What a great dog. I wonder how she would do if she were competing like her brothers and sisters. She has incredible drive but is wonderful in the house."

"I am sending along a recent picture, I'm a little concerned about her finding her place in the family. Ha ha."

Lucky dog indeed.

August 2, 2008

Real Job

Well. I'm off to do my real job tomorrow for a couple days.

Shift work sucks sometimes, but it has its great advantages as well.

See you when I get back and play safe. Meeting up with me when I'm in my uniform means you are NOT having a good day.

AND...good luck to my friends Sarah and Amanda-off to the Agility Nationals Monday!!!

August 1, 2008

I wonder?

Hmmm....I wonder where the dogs are?
Oh, that's riiiggghhhttt.  We built them a beautiful 2 bedroom indoor/outdoor condo unit, but noooo...God forbid they ever spend 5 minutes in it.
Spoiled rotten.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.

Crazy Aunt Miikka

Writing the blog yesterday reminded me of how close Miikka and Darbi actually are.
When Darbi had her pups in 2006, we kept mom and babes pretty isolated for the first week. Miikka was desperate to know what was going on (Little Miss Nosey), but we never let Miikka in the room where Darbi was to give Darbi her privacy as a new mom.
When Darbi started to spend a bit of time away from the pups, we let Miikka in the room one day to show her what the little guys were. Darbi didn't seem to care and we watched Miikka very closely to gauge her reaction. Miikka was obsessed with the little pups and right away wanted to mother them. From then on, Miikka and Darbi "tag-teamed" the litter of puppies. When Darbi was away from the pups, Miikka would baby-sit them. She would go so far as to lick bums and clean them off.
I spoke with Darbi and Miikka's breeder about this and he said it was safe to let Miikka be around the pups as long as she was always supervised. It became clear over the following weeks that she was as much a mother to them as their own mother.
What was amazing is that the puppies NEVER tried to nurse off Miikka. Usually pups have a very strong nursing instinct to nurse off everything that walks by...but they seemed to know that Miikka was "Auntie" and not Mommy.
Here are some old pics I found of Miikka checking to be sure bums are clean and playing with the pups and Darbi in Spring 2006.