We left Winnipeg last Sunday morning right after Brodie finished his elite run. Our border crossing was very quick and uneventful and we powered through to Menomonie Minnesota where we crashed for the night. We hit the road Monday morning at 6am determined to make it to the Canadian border before dark so we would not have to spend a scary night in Detroit or Flint Michigan. We spent Monday night in London Ontario before heading up to visit Sean and Catherine in Meaford on Tuesday.
We were so blessed to have incredible weather all week and our dogs got along famously with Phoebe, their newest four-legged addition to the family.
They live on an amazing 100 acre parcel of land with pastures and a wonderful forest. Every day, sometimes twice a day, we walked all the dogs off leash on a 3+km loop (I’m sure they did 3 or 4 times that distance). They were in puppy heaven running, wrestling and just being free to roam.
For our last two nights we stayed in a house right beside the Meaford harbour. This was my view as I walked the dogs in the morning
On our last full day in Meaford we got to visit Sean’s fire hall (he is a volunteer firefighter) and watch him as he helped out welcoming the public to family fun day as part of Fire Prevention Week.
Catherine made us a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner, in fact she spoiled us all week with so many wonderful vegan meals
We went for one last family dog walk this morning before we headed off to our next stop. Look at the amazing fall colours.
Games night at the Manitoba Scent Detection Trial is over. Thanks to our awesome Teams partner Michelle and Neuman, Brodie and I got our 3rd Q and earned our Teams Title. I think that makes us the very first to get all 4 Games Titles 🏅🏅🏅🏅.
Spirit earned her Distance Title giving her her 2nd games title. She completely surprised me by earning a Q in Speed. Anyone who has seen her search knows that speed is not her forte….slow and steady is her mantra. We called the last hide with just a millisecond to spare.
Thank you to all the volunteers, hosts Michelle & Diane and our Judge John-Marc Dugas.
We had a great weekend at the Alert K9 trial in Pilot Butte Saskatchewan. We started with Games on Friday night. The first component was speed, the only Q Brodie needed for his third Games title and the championship. He nailed it. According to the latest stats as of 2019SEP08, no one has 3 titles yet so he could be the first dog to attain a Games Championship but we won’t know until the updated stats are available. We were lucky to be paired up again with Darla and Jetta in Team which resulted in our 2nd team Q. Spirit ran both distance and aerial and Q’d in both.
Brodie and I did Elite on Saturday and Sunday. Our streak of passing 2 of 3 components continues. So close😉. No teams passed elite either day.
Big thanks to host Christina, her amazing volunteers and Judge extraordinaire Kathy Hansen.
We spent the day at See Spot Run participating in a C-WAGS scent trial. We had a great day sniffing and hanging out with great people. Brodie was entered in three rounds, one Level 2 and two Level 3, and he qualified in all of them. He earned his Level 3 Scent Investigator (CW-SI) title.
Spirit ran in two Level 3 rounds and qualified in both.
After Spirit’s emergency surgery on Tuesday, we never thought we would be going to Red Deer to compete in the Little Nose that Knows/Canine Coaching Sporting Detection trial. The Vet said we would be surprised at how quickly Spirit would recover but we never expected to be going to a scent trial 4 days after her surgery. We waited until 4:30am Saturday morning to make our final decision. Spirit was happily eating, peeing and pooping so we decided to go so that Brodie could play.
Brodie competed in Elite on Saturday in the biggest group of Elite competitors that I have ever seen. Unfortunately not only did no team title, not a single team passed even one of the three components. Sunday was a much better day. Several teams passed 2 of the 3 components but we were the only team that passed the first two components and had an opportunity to title if we got the third one. Brodie was doing really well. He found two hides in the exterior search where there can be 0 to 3 hides. We had less than 1 minute left in our search and he pawed at a picnic bench and I blurted out Alert so fast….sadly too fast because immediately I knew that it wasn’t a hide it was a distractor. Lately Brodie has started pawing at distractors (which is his alert at source) so I have been trying to wait to make my call to make so that I can be sure that the rest of his body language also leads me to believe that it is the hide and not a distractor. It was so disappointing being that close to a title and missing it. Ironically I think the Judge was even more disappointed that I was. He came up to me at the end of the trial to tell me what a wonderful partner Brodie is and how well he searches for a young dog. We ended up with a 2nd place in Interiors and a 3rd in containers.
Over the weekend, every time I came to take Brodie out of the car for a search, Spirit got all excited thinking it was her turn. It broke my heart to see how disappointed she was when I said Brodie’s name instead of hers.
Sunday afternoon we had the games searches. Brodie was entered in Speed, Distance and Team and Spirit in Aerial. Brodie passed the Distance search to earn his Distance title but just missed the Speed component which would have given us a Games Championship. Our partner in the Team component false alerted early in our search so we were done for the day. The Aerial component was run last. I went on the walk through to see the search area and discovered that all the hides were hanging up against a wall and they were all at Spirit’s nose height. I spoke to the Judge and told him about Spirit’s surgery and how she really just wanted to get out and “play”. I said I would just let her walk slowly by the hides and not worry about passing or failing…just giving her a positive end to a crappy week. We were the first team. She strutted down the side of the building wagging her tail and walking with the classic Berner prance. It was so wonderful to watch her. To my surprise she went straight to the hide and did a brilliant indication. She was so proud of herself. It was her 3rd qualifier in Aerial so we walked away with a Title.
Many thanks to Samatha and Kristina for holding the trial, all the amazing volunteers as well as Judges Jean-Marc Dugas and John Mairs.
We have been on quite an emotional roller coaster this past week. All of a sudden Spirit could not put any weight on her right hind leg. There was no warning, no obvious accident or injury that could explain what happened. Our Vet checked her out and thought that the problem was with her spine. It was likely putting pressure on a nerve. We got pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs and an appointment to see a Chiropractor. A couple of days later Spirit started throwing up repeatedly and refused to eat or drink. The only time this has ever happened was when she had an obstruction in her intestines almost 3 years ago. We took her to the Vet again and sure enough x-rays showed two masses. We started with barium and X-rays to see if there was any movement of the objects. The last X-ray of the day showed some movement so we decided to take her home for the night and come back in the morning for another X-ray. She had a rough night. It was very clear that she was dehydrated and getting weaker so they decided to do surgery ASAP. They had to make two incisions to remove each object which turned out to be chunks of bone 🦴. They sent me these pictures of her in recovery and one of the bone chunks.
Update 2019SEP03 It has been a week since the surgery and if you didn’t notice the shaved spots on her front legs for the IV’s you would never guess that anything had happened. She is her happy, smiling, tailspinning self again.
Brodie received his SDDA Aerial Games title (SD-GA) in the mail today.