Category Archives: Spirit

Puppy enrichment day

Spirit and Brodie had a nice off leash run and swim today. Unfortunately that also meant they both had to have a bath because they were filthy and smelled like “swamp thing”.

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NACA 2018

This weekend both Brodie and Spirit competed in Rally Obedience at the Northern Alberta Canine Association (NACA) trial. I’m so proud of both of them.  On Friday Brodie got his third qualification for Rally Intermediate and earned his title.  He is now known as Copppermoon Lighning Bug CGN, RI, SD-S (SP).  We moved up to the Advanced level for Saturday and Sunday.  That means he now competes off-leash and there are toys and food used as distractions on the course.  Both kryptonite for my boy.   The second day he spotted the food bowl and squeaky toy while we were still sitting and waiting to start our run.  I knew I was in for trouble.  A few seconds into our run he took off and ran and got the squeaky toy.  Very proud of myself.  I called him back to me and asked him to give me the toy and thank goodness he did.  The audience was in stitches.  I think I earned brownie points when I put him in a down stay and walked across the course to put the toy back where it belonged.  He held the stay and then we resumed the course as if nothing had happened.  Little brat!  He completed both runs successfully and earned 2 qualifications towards his advanced title.  Sunday was also the Golden Retriever Specialty.  I was so surprised when the ring steward gave us an  an extra ribbon (green) and a beautiful leather leash from the Golden Retriever Club of Alberta for high score in a rally trial.  Here’s my handsome boy with all of his swag and a closeup of his new leash.

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Not to be outdone by her younger brother, Spirit also had a great weekend.  On Friday she got a perfect score of 100 for a high in trial in her first ever Intermediate run.  On Saturday she was working towards another perfect score but was spooked when a dog in the adjacent ring doing obedience, ran towards us.    We lost 2 points because she got scared and ran to the end of the leash.  I was so thrilled with her.  She has a history of being reactive and very uncomfortable around other dogs but she didn’t bark and she recovered so quickly and finished the course in style.  So proud of how she handled herself.  In her final run on Sunday she got a 97 and a 4th in trial.  That means she earned her Intermediate title and is now known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RI   SD-A.

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A very big thank you to Judges Gail Carroll and Shawn Kelly.

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Filed under Brodie, CKC Title, Rally Obedience, Spirit

First CKC Title for Spirit

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I signed Spirit up for 3 days of rally novice just to give her some experience in the trial environment. She can get anxious and reactive around other dogs so I wanted her first trial to be somewhere relatively close to home giving us the opportunity to just take her home if she was overwhelmed. She amazed me. There were only minor signs of stress and I was able to quickly focus and redirect her. Not only did she successfully complete her trial each day with a qualifying score, she earned her Novice title with scores of 92, 96 and 95. On Friday she also got a ribbon for Second in Class. She is now officially known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RN . Not bad considering we just finished our introductory rally course a couple of weeks ago. Yahoooooooooo  Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.

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Snuggle Bunnies

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This is a typical morning in our house…although usually Tilly is also snuggling somewhere in the mix.  I have over 150 lbs. of hairy children draped across my body.  Good thing they are comfortable…..who cares if I am.

 

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Xmas morning in the Dog House

This is Christmas morning in our house.  Wally has always been the one to deliver the cards but now Brodie wants to help too.  Gosh I love my fur kids.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

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Filed under Brodie, Spirit, Tilly, Wally

My Scenting Stars

BrodieStartedSPWe drove to Red Deer today to participate in a Sporting Detection Dog Association (SDDA) trial.  Spirit was entered in the Advanced Working Dog category.   I have been introducing Brodie to scent detection, and since he was coming along for the ride,  I thought I would enter him in the Started category so that he could get some experience being at a trial.  Dogs have to be at least 6 months old to trial so we were lucky that Brodie hit that milestone last week, just in time to participate.  It was a bit of a hectic morning because they decided to run the Started and Advanced at the same time.  Brodie was 10th to run in the Started Division and Spirit was 8th in Advanced.

Brodie had his Container and Interior Searches first.  Just before they called us, Brodie yelped and lunged towards his backend as a wasp bit him.  Poor little guy.  He kept walking in a circle trying to reach the spot, obviously very upset.  The Judges offered to let us take a break and come back later but I decided to just go ahead since this was only a learning experience for him.  To my complete shock and amazement it took him only 8 seconds (3 minute time limit) to find the correct container and we got a score of 29/30 (we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  The Judges were as shocked as I was.  We had a minute to gather our composure and he started the interior component.  Again, he found the hide in only 37 seconds (5 minute time limit) with a score of 39/40 (again we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  I had to run back to the car, drop off Brodie and grab Spirit for her first run so I didn’t have any time to really digest what had just happened.

Spirit did Containers first.  She found the first hide quickly and I got all excited, rewarded her and walked away.  The Judges just stood there staring at me.  After about a minute of awkward silence they said, did you forget that there is a second hide???  Dummy me, having just completed the Started search that has only has one hide, I completely forgot that Advanced has two hides and a distractor.  We got back to searching and Spirit indicated on another container and when I called it the Judge told me she was wrong.  Dang it.  I messed my girl up.  Interesting note, there were 30 dogs in the Advanced category and only 4 found the 2 hides the rest false alerted like Spirit.  Makes you wonder if there was some contamination in the search area.  Spirit immediately moved on to her Interior search.   She found both hides in 1 minute and 7 seconds and we scored a perfect 80/80.

Once again, I ran back to the car, did another quick dog switcharoo and raced backed to do Brodie’s exterior search.  Unfortunately we were late and missed our turn so we had to wait and run last.  The exterior search was comprised of 3 tractors.  The hide was hidden underneath the middle tractor.  It took my amazing little boy only 1 minute to find it (5 minute time limit with another amazing score of 29/30 (I lost 1 point for my handling hindering my dog).  One of the Judges was the founder of the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta (SARDAA).  She was so impressed by him.  She told me I have an amazing, young working dog.  What a wonderful compliment from a very knowledgeable and experienced handler.   I thought Brodie was just going to have a fun play day practicing searching and he ended up get his Started title.  Because we got all 3 components at the same trial, we also get an SP designation (special). And the news only gets better, we actually finished 3rd overall and got a big basket of SWAG.  Last but not least, because we got an overall score of 97/100, our title will be at the gold level.  WOW!!!!!  Big thank you to Judge Jane Book and shadow Judge Mary-Ann Warren.

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Brodie’s haul: Green ribbon for 3rd place overall, 3 qualifying ribbons for containers, interior and exterior, purple Started Level Title ribbon with the SP designation and his basket of goodies.

We had a long wait before Spirit got to do her exterior search.  By then it was very hot and sunny, not good for a big, hairy black dog.  She really struggled.  Dogs can’t scent when they are panting heavily.  We used the whole 5 minutes and she didn’t find the hide.  Even when the Judge told us where it was, it took two passes for her to find it and alert on it.  No worries.  I’m still very proud of my girl. Thank you to Judge Doug Theeft.

Each dog got a ginormous knuckle bone when we got home.

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Filed under Brodie, Nosework, SDDA, Spirit, Sporting Detection

The beauty of winter

I can’t say that I am a big fan of winter, but sometimes I just have to stop and appreciate the beauty.   We live in the prairies so we normally have very low humidity.  For the last several days we have had lots of fog and hoar frost.  Each day the frost gets thicker and thicker.  Here are just a few pictures I took of the amazing ice crystals:

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Diablo Ninebark flower cluster

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Hydrangea bloom

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Rose hips

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Rose hip cluster

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Jackmanii clematis bloom

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And last but not least,  hoar frost on my big girl Spirit during our walk this morning.  She looks like she has giant white eyebrows.

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