June 29, 2010


Went to a trial in Saskatchewan last week.

Ran the girls the first day and judged the Open the second day.

I thought I was having a decent day after the water blind with Darbi.  Nothing spectacular, but decent.  We got dropped.  I never mind getting dropped (for the most part), I just hate not knowing why.  Obviously the judges saw something they didn't like...I just wish I knew what it was.

Miikka, as usual, was the drama queen.  I had to make my first "walk of shame" running her.

The birds were shot middle, right and then left.  When the middle bird was shot, Miikka head swung over to the left hand bird and missed the right bird being thrown entirely.
After pinning the first two birds, she was a bit clueless on the long retired obviously.  I sent her and she went out to never, never land and got lost.  She ended up back in the middle bird.  I tried to handle, but she didn't stop and then I tried to pick her up (bring her in) to no avail.  So after much whistling and many "no heres" from line, I had to walk ALL the way out into the field to get her.

What a brat.  It made me giggle a bit though, as only Miikka can do.

June 23, 2010

Sick of her yet?

Anyone sick of Libby yet?
I'm not.

People who have yet to meet her ask if her previous leg fracture slows her down at all.

Let this picture be the answer.

Libby was mad that she was done after only 4 marks, so she ran around with her little lead in her mouth afterwards.

Kenny is the little dot to the left of his dog truck.  This is where I was throwing the puppy marks from and he ran the 5 puppies we have right now.  I wanted to throw so I could take a couple pictures of the cuteness that is Libby.

Another picture of the ranch near my house.  It is sure beautiful country here at home!

June 21, 2010

New QAA!!

Congrats to Matti and owner Tim on Matti becoming Qualified All-Age this past week-end in Lethbridge!
Matti is Elmingo's With One Twist (Shaq x Miikka 2007) and she got a second place in the Qualifying.

I had a great time at the Lethbridge trial.  I caught up with friends I hadn't seen in some time and was proud of my girls' efforts.  I judged the Junior the second day and I always have fun when I judge.  I am judging the Open next week-end in Saskatoon and I am looking forward to that assignment.  

Libby caught up with an "old" friend too.  This is Libby (right) with her litter sister Ping (blue dot) and they had a great time re-connecting.

Of course, most of the pictures I took looked something like this.

June 15, 2010


Libby (in the blue collar) had a special reunion with her sister Teah today.  Teah was "Yellow" from the same litter.  These girls had not seen each other since Teah left here at 8 weeks old.
They had a lot of fun playing and picked up right where they left off.

These two made me laugh and laugh.

Had a great day training on a beautiful property.  We did a pretty set of land marks on this land.

And ran this water blind.  Bumpers were at the picnic table up from the shore a little ways.

BUT...this is where we ran it from.  Dogs did very well, and then we turned around and ran a set of water marks.  Overall, a very productive day.

June 12, 2010

God's Country

I swear I live in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.  

Gorgeous hills and valleys with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop.

Today, while training, two moose walked through the middle of our test!

Here is another pond on the ranch I train on.

And one of the tests we did today.  Water blind past the white coat, onto the dike and into another piece of water.  The line was to the left of the coat.  The coat either pushed them fat into the water or pushed them away from the water.

After training we cut loose all 19 dogs and they had a ball swimming and playing.  These dogs all get along really well.  Here is Kenny with most of the herd down by the water.  It was a beautiful day today!

Sorry again for the iPhone pics...I keep forgetting my camera!

June 11, 2010

Libby Marking

Libby is marked most every day and she sure loves it!

Here she is training today...

June 10, 2010


Full day training in the rain today.  Yucky.

It wasn't as miserable as it was yesterday, but it still wasn't exactly balmy.

First off, we did this water blind.  BIG entry into the water and then over the point and across the pond.  Dogs then had to punch the hill quite a ways to the bumper.

A closer view of the blind.  My iPhone pictures are not quite as spectacular as my Canon.

Then a double and a blind in this field below.  

It is so pretty here.

This is just a couple miles down the road from where I live in Alberta.  This particular ranch has TWENTY sections of land I can train on.

Of course, with Kenny being up here, running these tests does take almost a full day when one throws in young dog marks for 5 puppies, yard work and 14 dogs to run on the "big dog" stuff.

June 6, 2010

Darbi WINS!

Darbi WON the Open at the Red Deer Retriever Club yesterday.
It was pretty fun.  She ran her guts out.

Pretty emotional for me, as any win is.  Darbi is my first trial dog and we have had many ups and downs together.  She has suffered for my many mistakes as a rookie handler and trainer over the years.

Kenny has made a big difference for both of us.  After I told him that Darbi won yesterday he said that when he met me over a year ago I wasn't ready to win an Open, and neither was Darbi.  He pushed both of us hard, and we are a better team for it.  Darbi is now running better than she ever has and I am hopefully becoming a better handler.

I think this picture is fitting for Darbi's win.  Here she is resting at the hotel after her long hard day.  We ask so much of these dogs and they give us their hearts and their guts.  A sleep on the hotel room bed was the least I could do for her.

Darbi is a pretty nice trial dog, but she is my buddy, my house dog and my bed hog first.

A congrats goes out to Darbi's son "Turq" who has now finished both Derbies he has run with a JAM at the Montana Retriever Club this week-end.  He is sure a fun young dog and he shows lots of promise in training.

As for Miikka, she ran kind of poopy all week-end.  She just came out of season, so not sure if that is the cause, as it sometimes can be with females.  Oh well, she still made me laugh and that's all that matters.

June 2, 2010

We'll miss you Fanny

This is devastating.

"Fanny" passed away last week.

She was only 5 months old (Libby's littermate) and there are many pictures of her on my blog recently.

I got permission from her owner to post her story and it is my wish that everyone can learn from what happened to Fanny.

Fanny went into distress immediately after swimming in a pond in Ontario and died shortly thereafter at the vet clinic.

In her owner's words:
"When Fanny went into stress I took her to my vet less than 10 minutes away.  The three vets on duty dropped every thing and tried to save her; they x-rayed her, gave her an ekg, went on line to an expert, but there was no saving her. She died once and they revived her but warned against doing it again as there would be brain damage for sure.  She was breathing very shallow and being aided with oxygen when it became apparent that she wasn't going to recover I let them euthanize her.  She died in my arms. I brought her home and buried her in my wood lot with my other dogs that have passed over the years.
She was a wonderful pup and I had high hopes for her.  I think there will always be an empty spot in my heart now that she is gone."

It is our belief that Fanny died from Blue Green Algae poisoning.  Blue Green algae is a very poisonous toxin that grows in some water in hot and dry conditions.  I had heard of it, but never knew a dog that died from this personally.  It is early in the year for Blue Green Algae, but Ontario had experienced some soaring temperatures just prior to Fanny's death.

Another puppy died shortly after swimming in the same pond a week before Fanny did and the vets are now guessing it was Blue Green Algae that killed them.

An autopsy is being done on the first pup and Environment Canada is doing water testing on the pond the puppies were in.

Please, if you have never heard of Blue Green Algae, look it up and educate yourself.  There is lots of information on the internet.

Little Fanny has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but we will never forget her.

My heart breaks for her owner and everyone that loved her.  My heart just breaks.