January 30, 2009

Back home.

I'm home!
And sad to be back.  
I didn't say good-bye to my girls formally as it would have been too hard.  They are in very good hands and will be treated well.  It was very surreal to come home to an empty house and not have Miikka kick me in the head while sleeping on the bed.  I will miss them so much.
A pic of the field we ran in yesterday morning...4 marks run either as singles or as a combination.  Long mark was a flier pigeon which the girls really enjoyed.
Lost and Mini are the motley crew in the foreground.

We noticed the gate left open at the neighbours and the donkeys (I prefer to call them asses) escaped.  We had to use some teamwork to get them back in, but you can see them off in the field after their brief freedom.

A pic of another piece of water at Vinwood Kennels in Anderson, TX where Kenny winters.

A pic of Brad Clow running FC AFC Catalina's Pardon Me.  What a cool dog.

I made Brad take off Pard's collar so I could take a pic of him.  He is gorgeous!!

I'll post updates of Miikka and Darbi as they come in.  I'm sure Kenny will be hearing from me lots...poor guy.

January 28, 2009


Shhh...don't tell the rental company.  Seems the ditches are pretty deep in Texas.  Whoop-see.

Did a double water blind yesterday.  Girls are rusty and out of balance.  A little too watery and not too comfortable getting out yet.  It's been at least 4 months since they've done a water blind, so many cobwebs to get out.

January 26, 2009

2 days left

A picture of the great FC AFC Tangata Manu lining up for a blind.  At 10 years old, this dog is still going strong.  I've been following him for several years as his mother is NAFTCH FTCH FC Free Trade, who is also Darbi and Miikka's grandmother.  It is SOOOO cool to meet this dog and see him run in person.

After a set of land marks (with yet another flyer much to Miikka's delight), we ran a double water blind on this piece of water.

I'm not sure how I'm going to break it to the girls that the bed will be a distant memory for them in a few days.  They have been on Kenny's truck during the day all week to make the transition to life without me, but I'm still unclear as to how I'm going to get a bed into the kennel runs they're going to be living in.

January 25, 2009

Glad I'm not home

So I hear it is minus a gazillion degrees back home in Alberta.  Sorry about that.

So, here is a pic taken 15 minutes ago of a palm tree in front of my hotel.  Neener neener.

Miikka is blinking and Darbi is giving the "she beats me" look...but I think you get the point of the shot.

Here is a shot of Miikka coming in with a flyer.  Miikka loves birds, but she really, really, really loves fliers.

Kenny ran Miikka for the first time yesterday.  Miikka doesn't care who runs her, as long as she gets birds.

Both girls are still doing alright.  Darbi ran 3 of her best blinds in my memory yesterday, so we are already seeing HUGE improvement in a short time.  She's still a little unsure of the whole situation, but improving every day.  Miikka is Miikka-she thinks the whole thing is hilarious.

Today is a non-training day.  The girls and I did a little shopping (they sat in the truck) and now we're going to have a lazy afternoon. 

Texas is such a cool place, but things are a bit different here.  I like it.

January 23, 2009

More Texas

One of our set-ups today.
3 gunners in the field and you have to squint to see the long gun almost directly over the handler's head.

I HAD to get someone to take a picture of me in shorts.  It hit 80F today.  Will cool off for the next few days.

A pic of ONE of the pieces of water on some property near Montgomery, Texas.  The 2008 National Retriever Championship was held on this property.  It's pretty wild.

Both girls are good.  Miikka and Darbi are training like they would at home, so Kenny is getting lots of opportunities to see what their holes are before I leave.  Darbi is beginning to think that the sky is actually not falling and becoming less skeptical of the situation by the minute, and Miikka can't believe her good fortune to find out that she'll get lots of shot flyers. 

January 21, 2009

Safe and sound

Well, the girls are here...safe and sound.

I drove back to Houston to get them and they walked out of their kennels, stretched and carried on as if nothing had happened.  Dogs are so resilient and adaptable to change, that I could learn a thing or two from them.

They are now with me in the hotel room and hanging out, no worse for wear.  Can't wait to get training with them tomorrow.

Here is a picture of one of the pieces of water the group trained on today.

Kenny is the first pro I've trained with that has non field trial dogs of his own.  Here is a picture of his two dogs sleeping in the sun in the holding blind today...we didn't use the holding blind on this test, so as not to disturb the little beauties.  Jaskson is the Jack Russell and Lost is the Heinz 57.  Kenny found Lost, starving and seemingly abused and took her in and now she is a permanent fixture.  She is sweet.

The whole training group has a genuine love for dogs that I don't think I've seen the match of in the field trial world.

Another piece of water.

January 20, 2009


Where do I begin?

I dropped off the dogs at the Northwest Cargo terminal at 5 am and then left to go catch my flight.  I was on a different airline than them for an entirely different long, frustrating story.

I had a message on my phone when I arrived in Houston, that the baggage guys "forgot" to put the dogs on their flight and that they were still in Calgary.  After a 5 second meltdown, I called back as I realized freaking out and getting mad wasn't going to help the girls.

Long story short, they are right now at a boarding kennel in Calgary and will be on the first flight out of Calgary in the morning to Houston.  

THANKFULLY I called the boarding kennel to talk to them about the dogs and the owner knows mutual friends, so that gives me piece of mind.  She also said the girls were happy and seemed no worse for wear after spending 10 hours in a cargo centre.

Please keep fingers crossed for the girls tomorrow and hopefully I will have better news on the blog tomorrow night.

I'm going dog training without any dogs in the morning and then driving 1 1/2 hours back to the Houston airport.  I won't settle until I can see the girls with my own eyes.

I have many friends on stand-by for tomorrow am if things don't go well.

What a day.

January 18, 2009

Texas bound!

Miikka, Darbi and I are heading to Texas VERY early Tuesday morning to spend some time training with Kenny Trott of Horsetooth Retrievers.
Please keep your fingers crossed that our flights go off without a hitch and the dogs have a safe journey!!
Sadly, Darbi and Miikka will be staying behind to train with Kenny and I will be coming home without them.  I will miss them more than can be possibly imagined, but it is a great opportunity for them to work with a trainer of his caliber.
It will be the first time in many, many, many years that I will be dogless.
Check the blog for updates and photos from our trip while I'm down there, and I'll be posting updates of the girls as I hear news back.

January 7, 2009

The Girls

Little Harper (pink collar) made it home to Alaska safe and sound after a long trip to get there.  She has already settled into her new home.

Her registered name will be Elmingo's Violence on Request.

Here is a pic of Harper on the first full day in her new state.

And Meg (Yellow) has been home in Toronto with her new owner for a couple weeks now.  She has fit in wonderfully with her new family of humanoids and golden retrievers.

Jill is still trying to decide on a registered name for her.

The mat in the pic behind her says "A Dog Lover Lives Here".  Too funny.

January 6, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

A big Happy 3rd Birthday to the Tiger x Darbi pups!!!!

It is kind of ironic that the last puppy to leave the current Darbi litter is in the air to Alaska as I type this.  It is always bittersweet to see the puppies go, but watching the first Darbi litter grow and hear stories from their families at how loved they are, makes my heart warm.

Here are a couple of photos from the archives of the Tiger x Darbi litter of 2006.

Happy Birthday to:

Bode in Ontario
Shadow in Saskatchewan
Tigre in Louisiana
Yankee in Ohio
Emma in Ohio
Snooks in Alberta
Harley in Alberta
Adey in Montana

January 3, 2009


Introducing Elmingo's Cedar's Shadow "Shadow".

She is from the Tiger x Darbi litter of 2006.  The above picture is a spitting image of Shadow's mother.

As you can see Shadow hunts...a lot!  According to her owner she "lives to train and hunt".  She also achieved her Senior Hunter and WCX titles this past summer and will be running Master Hunter tests in 2009.

I love receiving updates about pups from previous litters and still keep in touch with almost every puppy buyer.

I found this cute picture of Shadow and her mother sleeping from the photo archives.