Category Archives: Spirit

Snuggle Bunnies


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.


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.



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:




Diablo Ninebark flower cluster


Hydrangea bloom


Rose hips


Rose hip cluster


Jackmanii clematis bloom


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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Filed under Garden, Spirit

Family Moment

I love it when we can start our mornings out on the deck enjoying our morning coffee/tea together.





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Filed under BlogPaws, Spirit, Tilly, Two legged family, Wally, Wordless Wednesday

Happy Canada Day



Tilly death stare


Say goodbye to the Canada Day headband

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Filed under BlogPaws, Spirit, Tilly, Wally, Wordless Wednesday

Puppy Heaven

Last weekend we went to Patty’s acreage to have some fun and give Spirit a chance to meet some new dogs and people and give her the first real opportunity for an off leash run.  She is a bit of a timid little girl so I wasn’t quite sure how she was going to react.  I was prepared just in case she was overwhelmed and decided to take off in the opposite  direction.  I have to give credit to the power of a group of wonderful dogs.  She was totally relaxed and immediately joined in with the group.  She made appropriate play signals and I never saw any fear or anxiousness in her body language.  It was truly a beautiful thing.  After our walk we all headed inside to enjoy a meal together.  It is wonderful to be able to have a house full of dogs and never having to worry about any dog aggression issues.


The gang….6 two legged and 6 four legged adventurers (David the missing camera man)



A tired and content puppy



Taking a wee nibble of Boomer’s jowly cheek



Hope and Wally relaxing after a beautiful afternoon outdoors



Did I mention that Spirit was exhausted….



Tilly looking rested and relaxed because everyone took turns carrying the princess….she sure knows how to work a crowd.



Spirit kept trying to lick Wally’s tongue


Beautiful, shiny black Hope

Beautiful, shiny black Hope

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Filed under BlogPaws, Spirit, Tilly, Wally