August 28, 2012

More congrats!

I just got word that two of Miikka's kids finished FIRST and SECOND in the Qualifying at a trial in Canada this past week-end.

Congrats to "Eider" (NMH Elmingo's Pacific Eider MH ***) and NEW Qualified All-Age "Maggie" (Elmingo's In Hot Pursuit ***).  Both pups are from a Shaq x Miikka breeding.

Way to go!!!

August 27, 2012


Kenny and I took a much deserved holiday.

We went to a field trial.


I decided Darbi needed one more shot to qualify for the Canadian National since she was running so well.

I want Darbi to retire while she still wants to do this and we're thinking the Canadian National (or the last couple trials of 2012 in the US) will be a fitting place to do that.  Obviously it's a very emotional decision for me as she's my first dog and got me in to all of this mess in the first place.

Kenny and I drove up to Brandon, Manitoba to run 3 Opens in 4 days with two dogs...Darbi and her daughter Meg (Elmingo's Prime Suspect).  Of course Miikka came along for the trip.

My best friend lives close to Brandon, so it was a great chance to see her as well and make a real holiday out of it.

Running this trial was a vacation to us.  We only had 3 dogs, visited with old friends and met some new ones.  The trial was small (20 dogs in the Open) and the contestants had great fun, along with the judges.  There was a tail gate party every evening.  Kenny came up as a supportive husband, and not a dog trainer, and I think he thoroughly enjoyed sitting back and just watching dogs.

People at Canadian trials don't take themselves too seriously and I love that.  There is great camaraderie for the dogs and handlers alike and we sincerely cheer each other on.

For anyone who hasn't run a Canadian trial, you don't know how much fun you're missing.

In Canada, one needs a placement to qualify for the National.  Darbi decided to give me an ulcer and wait until the LAST Open to qualify.  And she didn't just qualify, she WON!!!  She tried her heart out on every test (yes, even the water blind!) and seemed to know her momma was counting on her.

Meg was not to be outdone and finished all three Opens with two RCMS and a THIRD place!  Meg went 12 for 12 series and I was so proud of her!!  Darbi went 9 for 12 and finished one other day with a CM.

And on the left in the below photo, Darbi's daughter "Shadow" (Elmingo's Cedar's Shadow MH WCX QFTR) WON the Qualifying the same day as Momma won the Open and 1/2 sister Meg was third in the Open.

Smiles all around.

Kenny was pretty happy as he knew the drive home would be an extra long one had Darbi not qualified.  I believe I saw him at the truck thanking Darbi personally after the placements were announced.

My best friend and I spent the day off from trials getting a pedicure...and I tried to choose a lucky color.  If you look closely, I think it worked.

Best story of the week-end though: they needed a test dog for the first series of one of the Opens and didn't have one.  I volunteered Miikka, but announced that she had been out of training for two years.  I ran the same test as the contestants did...a triple with two retired.  She smoked it!!!  After she picked up the third bird, all I heard was a familiar voice from the gallery: "You ARE NOT taking her out of retirement!!!".  My loving husband at his finest.

August 20, 2012

Darbi & Ahti

Proud mother and her daughter (Elmingo's Tic A Tee Boo - Prize x Darbi 2011).

It takes a village to get Darbi's ears up.

Cheyenne Trial

What a great week-end for Elmingo pups!!

My little Ahti WON the Derby at the Cheyenne Trial.

Yes, I know I posted recently that we're not sure if Ahti has got what it takes to be a competitive trial dog...and we're still not sure.  But we decided to put her in these 5 trials in a row so she can see what she's training for.  It is obviously working.  She finished the last three derbies and she's training better and becoming more consistent.

Every dog is different.  While some dogs need 5 trials in a row like they need a hole in the head, some thrive off of it.  It's up to us as trainers to read what each dog needs and work off their individualities.  Some people complain that pro trainers have a "program" and if a dog doesn't fit in that "program", then they go home.  I beg to differ.  The good pros are not like that.  Period.

And while Darbi's daughter WON the Derby, Darbi's son Turq got SECOND in the Amateur at the same trial!!  Way to go Turq!!

Peanut was not to be outdone.  Her son Zink finished FOURTH in the Qualifying at the Cheyenne trial, and her kids Eider and Matti finished FIRST and THIRD in the Qualifying at a trial in Canada!!

Way to go everyone!!

August 16, 2012

Peanut's Bumper

Miikka loves her bumpers.

Give her one bumper and she'll entertain herself for hours.

While Darbi is happy rolling around without one.

Best friends.

August 13, 2012

Tired and happy

What a long week-end.

One thing for sure, it is a huge effort to put on a field trial and it does indeed take a village.  I could not have pulled it off without the help of many people.  Thank you to everyone.

The Centennial Trial mostly went off without a hitch and I have to say that I'm glad it's over.

I decided to only run Darbi this week-end as to focus on the trial.  I felt scattered every time I went to line with her, as I didn't get a chance to really watch test dogs, analyze tests or concentrate on the task of running a dog.

Well...Momma D took good care of me and we got FOURTH in an 86 dog Open.  It was amazing.  She was stylish, fun and showed her warrior heart.  She had a hunt on the flyer in the last series and that was her only bad bird of the trial.

The icing on the cake was that Kenny WON the trial with a dog we train named Danny.

The last series of the Open was a quad with three retired and Danny did it perfect.

Miikka's son Zink (Elmingo's Little Man) WON the Qualifying!!  Way to go Zink!!

And Darbi's Kids Ahti (Elmingo's Tic A Tee Boo) and Sleuth (Tartan Mystery Man Of Elmingo) both Jammed the Derby!

The idea of running Ahti to let her see what she's training for is really working!!  I didn't get a chance to see her run (Kenny ran her as I was too busy), but I hear she was a little trooper.

Miss Libby ran a brilliant first series and land blind in the Open, only to pick up the poison bird on the water blind...AGAIN.  Now it's a worry.  She's only two and 8 other dogs picked up the poison bird, including some very nice Field Champions, but we don't want it to become a bad habit.  There's always something to work's never ending...and this one is glaring at us in the face with her.  We can cast her off poison birds easily en route to it, but if she can SMELL it running's game over.

I'm exhausted and will have a nice rest today...and thankfully we have a bunch of tired dogs here too.

August 5, 2012

Fort Collins Trial

Yet another week-end, yet another field trial.

It's the big stretch of trials here in Colorado and we're working hard.  Next week-end is the Centennial Trial and Kenny, I and other wonderful people are putting it on.  We still have some work to do this week to get ready, but have most everything prepared.

It was a fun and successful week-end for us.

Boomer got THIRD in the Open, Qualifying him for the US National.  I just love this dog and we're honoured to be able to train him.

Momma D got a JAM in the Open too, with me!!!  She ran terrific and it was so much fun to stand beside her.  A little wiggle here and a little wiggle there precluded her from a placement, but that didn't matter to me.  She was into it, she was working hard and she showed us she most definitely still wants to do this.  A hunt on the long retired in the first series was her biggest fault, and we knew that even though she did awesome in the last series, it was still hanging over our heads.

And Darbi's son Turq also got a JAM in the Open, not to be outdone by his mother.

Otto, the little (not so little anymore) puppy I raised (and sold to a client) WON the Derby.  It's been so much fun seeing him grow up and develop into a wonderful dog.  He has a bright future.

Darbi's young kids Razor and Ahti both finished the same Derby with JAMs.  So proud of those two for completing this difficult Derby!!  And their littermate Sleuth was THIRD in the Derby last week-end, also in Colorado.

Libby ran in the Open...and we're very proud of her!  She did the first series as good as any dog we ran, completed a very difficult land blind in fine fashion...and then picked up the poison bird on the water blind.  I can't say we were too upset...she's young and she's learning...however, it was a bratty move on her part.  Overall, we were very pleased with her performance.

Good week-end all in all!!!