We ended our racing weekend on a high note. Not only did Brodie qualify in all four of his Sprinter runs but he set a personal best of 45.51kph. The icing on the cake was that he hit 500 points to earn his CKC Sprinter title.
He got to enjoy a post race massage from his Dad
We had to top yesterday’s ice cream cone reward so he got a whole frozen bunny leg. It was definitely a huge hit
I’m so proud of my little man. This morning he earned his CKC Chase Ability Excellent Title (CAX) at the Alberta Lure Coursing Association’s Hot Doggin’ trial.
Here is a video of his winning run. At one point he actually caught the lure in his mouth and did a 360 degree spin. When he realized that the rest of the lure was still moving, he spit the piece out of his mouth and took off in hot pursuit again. Gosh he loves this sport.
What do you do to celebrate such a wonderful accomplishment….an ice cream cone from McDonalds of course 😉😂. He inhaled it.
Brought Brodie along with me for our Sunday morning group walk. We passed by a big, beautiful grassy off-leash park that only had 2 dogs in it so I took a chance and let him go for a run. Of course, he found the one mud pie in a low lying area and made the most of it.
Good thing we remembered that the nearby lake has a doggy entrance otherwise I don’t know how I would have got him home for a bath without having to wash the inside of the car too.
It’s Brodie’s turn to get a new title in the mail. This is his CKC Chase Ability title that he earned at the Alberta Lure Coursing Association’s June 7th trial.
Yesterday we got up bright and early to drive to Calgary to participate in the Shiba Inu Club of Canada’s Scent Detection trial at the beautiful Spruce Meadows. It’s a good thing that Spirit went first because the temperature soared to 30C later in the day. She found the hide in 10.61 seconds earning her Scent Detection Instinct Title (SDIN). By the time the Novice teams started it was unbearably hot outside. We started with containers and Brodie had it sourced from the start line so we finished in 8.19 seconds. By the time we ran the exterior searches, the search area was in full sun. Thank goodness he found it in 33.54 seconds. We finished with the interior search inside the barn. Brodie found the environment very “smelly-licious” and wasn’t as focused as he should have been. He found the hide in 33.54 seconds. Only 6 teams passed all 3 searches to earn their Scent Detection Novice Title (SDN) and thank goodness we were one of them. The majority of the teams failed on the hot exterior search. It is very difficult for dogs to scent when they are panting so hard. At the trial 2 weeks ago 20 teams passed the Novice test so the heat really appears to have been a factor at this trial.
Big thank you to the Shiba Inu Club of Canada, the volunteers and Judge Kelley Ladouceur for a great trial.
Is it any wonder that I don’t sleep well 😉😂🐾🐶🐶🐶❤️❤️❤️
Photo Credit: Bev Holoboff
On Friday night we braved pouring rain, thunder and lightning so that Brodie could participate in a CKC Chase Ability run. We didn’t get home until almost 10pm and didn’t get to sleep until closer to midnight by the time we had unloaded and reloaded the dogs.
Our alarm went off at 3:15am so that we could drive to Calgary for Spirit to compete in the first CKC Scent Detection trial in Alberta. Her first two runs were perfect. On our third run we heard the dreaded “I’m sorry”. She has a bad habit of alerting at the fringe of odour rather than following it back to source. Too bad, we headed back to Edmonton with 2 qualifying ribbons but no Novice title.
Sunday morning we were up at 6am for a 45 minute drive east of the city to attend the final day of the ALCA speed demons trial. Brodie ran 2 Sprinters and 1 CAP. He managed to get two new personal bests on his Sprinters. He is the fastest male Golden Retriever in Canada running 42.33 km/hr. There is one female Golden who is faster than him at 42.5 km/hr…..so close!!!
At the end of his last Sprinters run he slid through a muddy slough and came out looking like this
Brodie qualified in all 4 of his runs this weekend.
This past weekend we drove to Calgary so that Brodie could chase some more plastic bags at the Foothills Gazehound Club’s trial. He did 3 Chase Ability runs and qualified in all of them. We get so many comments from the sighthound owners about how unusual he is for a Golden…..they think his running style is closer to a greyhound. Maybe that explains why he is so fast. In 2018 he was the 3rd fastest Golden (fastest male), with a speed of 40 km/hr. At his first Sprinter run this year his speed was 42.11, moving him very close to the fastest Golden in Canada, a female who ran 42.41. Thank you to Mike Johnson for these amazing pictures.
Enjoying a post race massage
On Friday and Sunday we participated in Alberta Lure Coursing Association’s Sprinters and Chase Ability Program races. Brodie ran two CAP and 2 Sprinter events and qualified in all 4. With his CAP Q on Friday he earned his Chase Ability (CA) title.
Big thank you to ALCA for putting on a wonderful weekend despite all the weather challenges.
Today we spent another great day at See Spot Run competing in Brodie’s 3rd and Spirit’s 2nd C-WAGS trial. Brodie did two Level 2 and two Level 3 runs and Q’d in all 4.
Spirit did two Level 2 runs which gave her her 3rd and 4th Q to earn her Level 2 Scent Detective Title CW-SD.
Thank you to Anneli of See Spot Run and Judges: Robbi Bitner and Dana Gallagher.
On Sunday we went to our first Chase Ability practice of the year to prepare for a trial in a few of weeks. We wondered if Brodie would show the same enthusiasm that he had when he first tried it in October. No need to wonder….he is still obsessed with chasing and catching that plastic bag. As we sat in the car waiting for the previous group to finish their runs he was vibrating and chirping
He is virtually uncontrollable when he see’s it flying across the field. We had a harness on him with a leash clipped to the front and another clipped to the back and both of us holding on for dear life as we moved towards the field. Bev captured these beautiful photos of him. You can see the intensity in every muscle in his body and the sheer joy of the chase.
We attended our 2nd CWAGS scent trial today. It was hosted by Anneli Hilton of See Spot Run Doggie Daycare and Training Inc. Brodie earned 2 more Level 2 Q’s which earned him his first CWAGS title of Scent Detective CW-SD. He was far less distracted by the environment this time.
Spirit participated in her first CWAGS trial. See qualified in both of her runs with very focused and thorough searches. Very proud of my girl.
Well it’s official. We received our 2019 Iron Paws medal today for the 2 dog sled category. Even though the weather wasn’t the greatest (damn Polar Vortex), we really enjoyed the challenge. Looking forward to doing it again next year.
Samantha Freschette of Canine Coaching just posted this video of the first ever SDDA games trial that was held in Innisfail on February 22nd. At the about the 2:16 mark it shows Brodie doing a beautiful indication on the distance search and immediately after that is him indicating on the aerial search. There is also a great group picture at the end. It was such a fun trial.
Yesterday was the first day of spring and the first day of the 100 by Summer Dog Walking Challenge. The idea is that between the 1st day of spring and the 1st day of summer you and your dog(s) walk 100 miles. This is the 4th annual challenge but the first one that we participating in. Day 1 finished and we logged 6.5km. There are still a few days left if you want to sign up.
The official video from the 2019 Iron Paws race. There is a picture of Brodie and Spirit at 2:07, Spirit and I at 2:37 and my wipeout at 4:07.
We spent St. Patty’s Day at our first C-WAGS scent trial. Anneli and everyone at See Spot Run were so welcoming and friendly.
Brodie and I did one Level 1 and two Level 2 trials and we qualified in all 3. It wasn’t very pretty. He was so distracted by the environment (doggy day care) that it was a constant struggle to get him focused and sniffing.
We were very grateful to win a Judges award for qualifying in all 3 runs at our first trial. We got this pot of “gold” as our prize.
Thanks to our Judges, volunteers and See Spot Run for making our introduction to C-WAGS so positive.
So proud of both of my “kids” for doing so well this weekend. They spent 3 nights and 4 days cooped up in a kennel in the car or a small hotel room. When we got home last night they burst into the house, running and jumping all over each other so happy to be home and free to move. This is the first time we have done 3 days at a scent trial. By noon on Sunday I had run out of steam and had no energy left. I’m afraid I was the weak link again.
Brodie was great in containers. We received a perfect score….which I don’t think I have ever gotten from Judge Jean-Marc and we got 2nd place. I love trialing under him because he always challenges and tests the teams and I learn so much to help us improve as we move forward. We started out great in our Interior search. Brodie found the hide in the first room and I was ready to call finish and then second guessed myself and decided to check one more area again. Brodie pawed at the rug and I quickly called alert just as my head was saying “NOOOOOOO” that wasn’t his normal alert behaviour. We NQ’d. We still had Exteriors to do. Since we no longer had a chance to title, I decided to try running Brodie without going for an extra pee break to see if I could successfully interrupt his marking behaviour. Exteriors are particularly challenging for an intact male that is obsessed with marking. This search area was even more challenging because there was so much pee-mail already there. He found the one hide and as we were just finishing up the last few feet of the search area, he marked. It was so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to yell NO. A very valuable experiment. I am really going to have to work on teaching him the difference between peeing on a walk and not peeing when wearing his search collar. I’ve got my work cut out for me that’s for sure.
Spirit had a great container run and finished in 3rd place. Unfortunately we NQ’d in interiors because she alerted too far away from the source. It was a tough call because of the drafts and the pooling of odour. Most dogs indicated in the exact same place as Spirit did. Even the judges expressed some regret about the hide placement but once they had NQ’d the first team they had to be consistent and NQ everyone else. If we had approached the hide from the opposite direction, she would have alerted at the source first before encountering the pooled odour. We had the same problem in Exteriors, she alerted at the top of the post and not the base. Ironically, one of the articles in the exterior search area was the same shoe from previous day that so many dogs false alerted on, and ironically Spirit hit on it again. There is something about that shoe that fooled so many teams. Very odd.
Tilly photo bomb
It was a great first day at the trial. Both dogs did so well. Brodie went first in Elite. We started with exteriors…darn cold and windy exterior search. The area was also full of dog pee, it was an incredible challenge to keep Brodie from responding to the pee-mail. We managed to qualify and finished 2nd. Containers went really well and we finished in 2nd place again. Then came the dreaded interior search. Brodie narrowed in on the scent quickly but his silly partner jumped the gun and called the alert too quickly. If I had just waited 1/2 a second I would have been able to give the judge the exact location when I heard the dreaded “where?” Instead I was off by a couple of inches. There is so much added pressure when you have passed the first two and know that you need the 3rd component to title. Hopefully tomorrow I will remember to stop and take a breath before calling alert.
Spirit ran in Excellent. We started with the container search which she passed and finished 2nd overall. Then came our interior search. We had 3 rooms to search, two of which where bathrooms. She was very uncomfortable going into the stalls in the men’s bathroom. By the time we got to the ladies bathroom she was shaking and dropping to the ground in fear as we approached the first stall. I did my best to comfort and encourage her. This is the first time she has shown any fear in a bathroom. Thankfully we made it through all three rooms and finished 1st overall. Now the pressure was on. If we passed the exterior search she would not only earned her excellent title but her Championship as well. Alas it was not to be. She alerted on a shoe and we heard the heartbreaking “no'”. We later learned that the first 4 dogs all falsely alerted on the same shoe. We still have tomorrow to hopefully pass the exterior component and earn the titles.
We, or should in say I earned one more title…..”most dramatic”. When I got over the disappointment of Brodie missing his elite title because of my mistake, I blurted out “yeah that means we don’t have to search the urinals”. Turns out the joke was on me. In Spirit’s trial, not only did she have to search the men’s bathroom but also the women’s. The judge even put a hide on top of one of the urinals. No face smooches for her until I can scrub her muzzle. YUK!!
Well it looks like that beautiful sunrise this morning was a good omen. We just finished competing in the first ever SDDA (Sporting Detection Dogs Association) Games trial hosted by Canine Coaching. We started with the Distance component and we found the hide in 35 seconds. Then we moved on to the Aerial search and we nailed it in 25 seconds and came in first overall. Next was the one minute Speed search. 20 containers down a hallway and into one room. We found the 3 hides in 56 seconds and came in 2nd overall. Last and most terrifying was the Team search. We were paired with a total stranger and her dog and only had 2 minutes to chat before trialing to come up with a search plan. We started out strong with each of us finding a hide quickly. Sadly the other team false alerted so we were all disqualified. So pleased to walk away with 3 Q’s. Brodie worked his little heart out for me today…so proud of him!!
My handsome, sweet boy is 2 years old today. Man time flies. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful golden in our lives. We spent the morning doing a 7km canicross at -20 Celsius which felt quite mild compared to the -30 to -40 it has been for the past few weeks. Look at the frost icicles on his chin.
The passage of time:
Well my first Iron Paws has come to an end. We did pretty good considering we got very few points over the last two weeks because of the damn polar vortex. Overall we finished 75th out of 296. In the 2 dog sled category we finished 7th overall. The Edmonton Regional Group finished 12th overall and Team Spirit came in tied for 2nd place in our region. It was great to meet so many people in our area that love to get outside and play with their dogs. I definitely plan on doing another Iron Paws.
It has been almost 2 weeks since the dogs have been able to go outside for anything more than a potty break or a brisk 1km sprint. I can’t remember the last time we had such an extended cold spell. And the wind makes it even worse. Sadly we recorded no mileage or points for the final week of Iron Paws. It looks like there might be a slow improvement in temps coming in the next week.
Finally got the dogs out for a quick off leash run. They were so happy to stretch their legs and run free.
Because of the cold, I am falling behind in my training for the 1/2 corked marathon. I forced myself to bundle up and head out for a brisk 4km this morning. The temp with the windchill was close to -40.
Look what arrived today. It is a plaque acknowledging the Elite title that we earned at the Sniff and Tell trial in Picture Butte last October.
This Sunday we are supposed to start our training program to prepare for the 1/2 Corked Marathon in May. Unfortunately Mother Nature has decided not to cooperate. The forecast calls for temperatures around -24 degrees celsius and who knows how much colder it will be with the wind chill factored in (just checked and it will be -41 with the windchill…yikes!!!!). I decided to start our training program a few days earlier to avoid Sunday’s chill. Brodie and I did a lovely 7km canicross on Thursday morning using all our new gear…..Brodie’s pulling harness, bungee leash and my canicross belt. Everything worked great together and was so much easier on my back.
Brodie’s belly and legs were filthy by the time we finished but his cooling rolls in the snow did a great job to remove the worst of it.
This week’s Howladays challenge is to show you and your dogs relaxing and enjoying a movie together. Unfortunately it is hard to fit all three of us on our love seat but we tried.
This week’s Howladays challenge is a little different. It says “Stage 4: Heroes week. Feel free to interpret this however suits your fancy, and don’t forget to share your vision.” I am not sure that hero is the right word but these dogs are my world. They mean everything to me. Before Brodie and Spirit I had never done any dog sports. Now our lives revolve around driving to various classes, practices and trials. They make sure that I get out and about every single day. They give so much but ask for so little in return. They may not be “heroes” in the traditional sense but they are my heroes.
Since our crash on Sunday I have not been able to do much and now it is getting very cold (-20C and even colder in the evenings) so I doesn’t look like we will get much if any sledding or canicross in this week. But we rocked this week’s challenge. We had to take pictures of our team catching popcorn….now this is our kind of challenge!!!
Kicksledding this winter has been fun but painful. I’ve had a few spectacular wipeouts. First run of the season…I made it through the entire run without wiping out. Got to the parking lot and the dogs took a sharp corner to get to Don and I ended up with one ski caught on a snow pile covering a curb and flipped on my right side. Don was so busy laughing and videoing that he forgot to catch the dogs and the sled as they ran by.
Today was my best wipeout ever. We were 1/2 way through the 4km run at Blackfoot. During a steep downhill run, Spirit stopped to gobble up a frozen ‘poop-sicle” on the trail. The sled caught up to her and was going to hit her so I bailed. Got the tow rope and one of the sled skis tangled around my ankle as the dogs took off running again. Big boo boo and fat ankle. Hope this won’t end my Iron Paws season 💔😟 (and yes that is dog hair all over my socks….can’t vacuum with a boo boo right?! 😂). I am hoping that at least I can get some sympathy points…maybe some spoiling and extra attention from the skinny guy. A girl can dream?!??!?