Category Archives: Spirit

Xmas Countdown Has Begun

Day 1

They have been staring at this box for more than a month now. The time has finally come to open Day 1 of their Doggy Advent Calendar. Looks like freeze dried lung and it was a big hit.

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Happy Barkday Spirit

It is hard to believe that Spirit is already 8 years old. It is even harder to think about the fact that the average life span of a Bernese Mountain Dog is 8-9 years. Yikes!!!

Spirit got 2nd in Class at the 2022 Bernese Mountain Dog Specialty in Calgary
Tailspin’s Winter Themed litter 2014NOV29
11 weeks old (2015FEB14)

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Rally-O here we come again

It has been over 4 years since the last time the dogs and I participated in Rally Obedience. In fact, Brodie was 18 months old when we last trialed. This past weekend we took a big leap of faith and participated in the Lloydminster Kennel Club’s fall trial. Brodie’s very first Rally trial was in Lloydminster when he was only 7 months old.

My goal for this weekend was to have each dog earn their Advanced title. I am thrilled to say that not only did they meet my goal they exceeded it. Brodie Q’d in 3 of 4 runs, earning his Rally Advanced title and 2 Q’s towards his Rally Excellent. He also had a perfect score of 100 on his first run and a high in class (HIC). His NQ was completely my fault, I had a total brain fart melt down and failed him miserably.

Spirt was the big star this weekend. She Q’d in all 4 runs, earned her Rally Advanced title, 2 Excellent Q’s and 3 HIC. We went home with $80 in prize money for the 4 HIC.

There were a group of Berner breeders sitting together near the Rally ring. When Spirit was strutting her stuff around the Rally ring one of the breeders asked “Any one know who’s dog that is? She is a wonderful performance dog”. It just so happens that Spirit’s breeder, Tailspin Bernese Mountain Dogs, was in the group and she took great pleasure in saying “Why yes I do know who that is, she is one of my dogs”. A proud breeder moment brought to you by my big, shiny, black and beautiful girl.

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Filed under Brodie, CKC Rally Obedience, CKC Title, Spirit

Fall in Edmonton

Took the dogs for a much deserved off-leash run this morning. Although Edmonton’s fall colour consists primarily of shades of gold, there are a few trees and shrubs that turn a magnificent red or orange. Stopped for a photo shoot to capture the brilliance.

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Spirit is a Master Champion again!

I have been really bad about posting about our trialing adventures lately but this one is a big deal. My big shiny black girl did a thing today. Spirit earned her SD-MACH2 with 9 of the 10 titles in her second MACH at the gold level (scent detection master champion x2 which requires a combination of 20 advanced and excellent titles). She is the first Bernese Mountain Dog to earn this title and, according to the latest published stats, she is the 7th dog to have ever achieved it. I have to admit that I was beginning to wonder if she would ever earn this title. She is not a speedy searcher so we have timed out numerous times. 

Thank you to Judge Doug Teeft and all the amazing folks at Mojave Dog Sports. I would not have this funny goofy girl without Coreen Johnson and Steve Johnson of Tailspin Bernese Mountain Dogs. 

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Filed under Nosework, Scent Detection, SDDA, SDDA Champion, SDDA Title, Spirit, Sporting Detection, Sporting Detection Dog Association

Spirit Got Mail

I think CKC may be finally getting caught up on all of their outstanding performance titles. In stark contrast, CWAGS issues titles within weeks of them being earned.

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Filed under CKC Title, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Scent Detection, Spirit, Tracking, Urban Tracking

First Puppacinno

I think they like it. LOL

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Urban Tracker

So Spirit did a thing today. I’m so incredibly proud of her for passing her CKC Urban Tracking Dog test (UTD) today at almost 7 years old. It wasn’t pretty and she struggled for a very long time at her second corner but ultimately we made it to the magical leather glove at the end. Thank you to our amazing Judge Donna Brinkworth, our track layer and friend extraordinaire Susan Dueck, my training partner Leslie and our coach/trainer Mary Ann. And of course thank you Coreen and Steve of Tailspin Bernese for sharing this big, shiny, goofy black girl with me.

Our amazing volunteer track layer and friend Susan

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Great Weekend Sniffing

We spent the past weekend in Olds Alberta at the Canine Coaching SDDA trial. Both dogs had a great weekend. Although Spirit had retired from SDDA more than 2 years ago, she came back this weekend without missing a beat. On Saturday so got an advanced title with 3rd place in exteriors, 2nd place in containers and 1st place overall. Sunday morning she ran in Advanced again and got 3rd place in interiors, passed containers but we timed out in exteriors. Sunday afternoon she tried Excellent and got 3rd place in exteriors and 3rd place overall. So proud of her. She got a Mickey D’s ice cream cone to celebrate her achievements.

Brodie ran in Elite on Saturday and Sunday. No title for us (or for anyone this weekend which is not that unusual for Elite). On Saturday he got a 2nd in Exteriors and Containers (we finally broke our container jinx) and Sunday he got a 2nd in Interiors.

It was so nice to reconnect with so many handlers that we haven’t had a chance to visit with in over a year. Overall and fantastic weekend.

Am I your best boy?
It’s right here
Nailed the nose at source alert

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Filed under Brodie, Nosework, SDDA, SDDA Title, Spirit, Sporting Detection Dog Association

Tracking Fun

Took the dogs out early this morning for some tracking. Brodie did a 300 metre field track. The crop was taller than him and filled with dew and seed heads. The yellow seeds turned Brodie into a “ golden” Golden Retriever instead of a cream coloured one. Both he and I have thousands of little seeds in every crack and crevice of our bodies and my clothes. My pants were so wet from the heavy dew that they were weighted down and moving towards my ankles as I ran through the field trying to keep up with Brodie 😂😆

Yellow seeds cover his head and chest
Indicating his final article
Seed encrusted boots

Thank goodness we have a high powered dog blow dryer to get these seeds off.

Spirit ran a 700 metre urban track that was aged for 75 minutes. Unfortunately for the second time this week, just before we started to run the track, huge industrial lawn mowers went right over our track and articles. After a few expletives, I decided we would try and run the track anyway. She struggled for the first 200 metres weaving widely back and forth but eventually we made it to an area that hadn’t been mowed and she got back on track. So proud of her for handling this very tough puzzle and making it to end successfully.

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Filed under Brodie, Spirit, Tracking

We are having a heat wave!

Relaxing in the shade

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a crazy dog lady. There is almost nothing I won’t do for my critters. Case in point…..for the last 2 mornings I was up at 4am so that I could lay some urban tracks, let them age, have the dogs run them and back home by 8am. This morning it was already 26 degrees Celsius by 08:30. That’s crazy. No more tracking for us until the morning temps are below 20C.

The dogs sure enjoy their stuffed frozen zogoflexes when we get home.

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It’s Official Spirit is a Tracker

We finally got our official title certificate from CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) for Spirit’s Tracking Dog title that she earned last September. I guess we can be grateful that it only took 8 months….some people have waited almost 2 years to get theirs.

Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit

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More C-WAGS Mail

Brodie and Spirit got mail from C-WAGS today. Spirit earned her Level 1 Ranger Ace title which means she earned 14 qualifiying runs (4 runs for the Scent Ranger Level 1 title and an additional 10 runs to get the Ace). This is the first time Spirit has earned a title before Brodie. Brodie earned his Level 4 Super Sleuth Title (4 qualifying runs).

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Filed under Brodie, CW-ScR1A, CW-SS, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Spirit

Friday Baking and Proofing

Cookies, dog treats and bread dough oh my

Friday, sourdough discard bake day, started with some delicious fermented sourdough pancakes for breakfast (we snarfed them before I had a chance to take a picture). Then came chocolate chip cookies and liverwurst dog treats.

There is also a pail of sourdough doing a bulk rise before I bake my bread tomorrow.

Spirit is impatiently waiting for her treats to cool.

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Filed under Cooking adventures, sourdough, Spirit

Wheel Dog League

With Iron Paws wrapping up this week I was sad our pulling time was coming to end. Not any more. We learned about a new group called Wheel Dog League. Now we will continue to have all the motivation we need to hit the trails. We can earn titles and participate in challenges. We’ve logged our first few runs and earned our first badge

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Filed under Brodie, Fitness, Spirit, Wheel Dog League

Happy Valentines Day

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Happy Gotcha Day Spirit

2015FEB04

I can’t believe that it was 6 years ago today that Spirit joined our family. She had such a fearful and stressful drive home with us that I thought we had broken her. She shivered, drooled and sat frozen with fear the whole way home. She even refused food (for those that know Spirit, food is the most important thing in the world to her). I took her straight into the backyard and once I put her on the ground she quickly recovered her composure and inhaled any and all food offered to her. I knew we had a fearful puppy but it was comforting to see that she also recovered quickly. She has grown into a big, shiny beautiful black girl.

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Winter Wonderland

We have been blessed with the most wonderful, mild winter temperatures for the last week…..sadly that is about to end. We took advantage of the winter reprieve to get out as much as possible with the dogs.

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Filed under Brodie, Spirit, Uncategorized

She’s a Tracker

This morning Spirit and I participated in a CKC Tracking Dog test put on by Wild Rose Tracking Club. I am over the moon proud of my big, black hairy girl. Out of all of her titles and ribbons, this one means the most to me. She is just shy of her 6th birthday so that makes it even more special for a breed with a average lifespan of 8 years. We were very lucky and had first draw but I pulled track #6….the last one. The weather forecast was for a cool, very dry and windy day with gusts up to 50km….the later the track the stronger the winds.

Only two of the 5 teams before us were successful so I was pretty nervous at the start. Spirit started well but about 80 metres into our track her head came up with her muzzle up high obviously air scenting, her body went stiff and she started racing back and forth in front of me. It clearly wasn’t a loss of track/turn indication, she was anxious about something that she smelled in the air. It took a while but I got her focused and back on track. From then on it was a blur. She was head down and pulling like crazy. I had to run most of the way just to try and keep up with her. She did a beautiful down on her leather and just like that….it was all over.

Big thanks to Wild Rose Tracking Club, their track layers, volunteers and Judge Greg Martin.

This is how Spirit likes to celebrate her titles:

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C-WAGS Back 2 School Trial

We had fun today at See Spot Run Doggy Daycare & Training Inc’s Back to School C-WAGS Nosework Trial. Thanks to Anneli Hilton and Judges Robbi Bitner, Deb Proc and Christina. Both dogs Q’d in Ranger 1 and Ranger 2 and Don Ho made his debut as a timer.

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Filed under Brodie, CWAGS, Nosework, Spirit

Toppl Day

Spirit had a great morning tracking and Brodie got to play disc dog. Now they get to enjoy a frozen Toppl with a sardine stuck in the middle. Mmmmmm

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We got C-WAGS Mail

Both Brodie and Spirit got some bling in the mail. They both earned their Scent Ranger Level 1 titles. For the first time Spirit actually beat her brother by earning her title with 4 straight Q’s whereas it took Brodie 5 trials to earn his. Spirit also earned her Scent Detective Ace title which required 14 Q’s. Both dogs just love to play scent games.

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Filed under Brodie, CW-ScR1, CW-SDA, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Spirit

Sniffing Time

Another great day at See Spot Run doing C-WAGS nosework. Thank you to Anneli, our Judges and the wonderful volunteers. Both Brodie and Spirit Q’d in Level 1 Ranger and Level 3.

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More C-WAGS Fun

Another fun day playing C-WAGS nose work. Not a stellar day for either dog but it was nice to be out with fellow dog sports people having fun. Big thanks to Anneli Hilton of See Spot Run Doggy Daycare & Training Inc, our great Judges Deb, Robbi and Christina, the wonderful volunteers and fellow competitors.

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Filed under Brodie, CWAGS, Nosework, Spirit, Uncategorized

Father’s Day C-WAGS Fun

We spent this morning at See Spot Run having some fun sniffing. The dogs both did great passing 7 of 7 runs. Spirit earned her Level 1 Scent Ranger title (CW-ScR1) and her scent Detective Ace title (CW-SDA) and Brodie also earned his Level 1 Scent Ranger title.

Big thanks to Anneli, the Judges and volunteers.

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Filed under Brodie, CW-ScR1, CW-SDA, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Spirit

Blind Track

We did our first ever blind track today and  I am still flying high hours later. It was 283M and had 2 articles. It felt so weird not knowing where the track went and trying to trust and read Spirit’s body language. There was a cross wind that confused her in a couple of places but she was able to work out the puzzle. So darn proud of her ❤️🐶❤️.

 

 

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We are Sniffing Again

Corona_CWAGSWe went to our first nose work trial since March.  It was a C-WAGS trial hosted by See Spot Run Doggy Daycare.  It was so nice to be around our “dog people” again.  It was a small trial and everyone was very careful to practice social distancing.  The host had everything setup so that you didn’t have to touch any surface or door and you could get in, search and leave the building without coming into close contact with anyone.  Really well organized.  We haven’t done any CWAGS practices and only one SDDA in two months so I was very surprised to see how well they just jumped back into the Sport. The dogs  qualified in 6 out of 6 searches.  Spirit did a Level 1 Ranger, two Level 2 and one Level 3 search.  Brodie did a Level 1 Ranger and a Level 3 search.  Big thanks to our Judges, volunteers and fellow search teams for a great day.

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Filed under Brodie, CWAGS, Nosework, Spirit

Cheezie Afternoon

IMG_8143

Look at all the dogs focused on Don’s cheezie with puddles of drool falling from their jowls.

I love throwing goodies for Spirit to catch.  She is such a piggy that she overreacts and misses all the time.   Brodie on the other hand rarely misses no matter how bad the throw is.  This is a great slow motion video of one of Spirit’s epic fails.

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Filed under Brodie, Spirit, Tilly

The Dogs are Tricksters Now!

We got a bunch of mail today.  Both Spirit and Brodie got their Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Trick Dog titles.  We still have to learn a few tricks to get their Excellent titles.

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Filed under Brodie, CKC Title, Spirit, Uncategorized

Honouring Sophie

IMG_0553Last summer we learned that Spirit’s Mom Sophie had been diagnosed with Histiocytic Sarcoma, a very aggressive and incurable form of cancer.  She put up a brave fight against this horrible disease until she crossed over the rainbow bridge on October 16th just days short of her 8th birthday.  Her family posted this picture of her on Facebook and shared with everyone how much a part of their lives Sophie was with her loving personality.  She was also the foundation bitch of their kennel.  It just touched my heart.  When we got home from our vacation at the end of October, I immediately started working on a wall hanging to reproduce this picture.  I recently gave this fabric mosaic to Coreen and Steve of Tailspin Bernese Mountain Dogs to honour their beautiful girl Sophie.

SophieMosaicGCH Werlwind’s Playing With Fire

Sophie Oct 25/2011- Oct 16/2019

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Filed under Mosaic Quilt, Quilting, Spirit, Uncategorized