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.
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.
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!!
Just for a little winter fun and motivation, I have signed up for the 2019 Iron Paws Stage Race. It is a 6 week virtual sled dog race. The whole idea is to get you and your dogs out and active and meeting up with local like minded people. It also includes some fun challenges that you must do each week.
For our first week we have been challenged to create a magazine cover featuring our team. This is what I came up with:
We accumulate points by participating in races, going on group training runs and participating in regional events. As long as we do at least one run per week we should earn a medal at the end of the 6 week program. The real reward is the time spent and memories made with your dogs.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep motivated during a cold Alberta winter so I am hoping this virtual race and meeting up with other Kicksled/canicross/skijor/bikejor teams will keep us going out and about.
To start our New Year off on the right foot and accumulate our first points, the dogs and I did the Running Room 5km Resolution run as a canicross team.
We received two new official titles in the mail today. Brodie got his SD-MACH (Sporting Detection Master Champion) and Spirit got her silver level SD-E (Sporting Detection Excellent Title). They sure love this sniffing game. So proud of my “kids”.
Yesterday Brodie and I took a dry land pulling clinic at the Nordic Ski Club in Fort Saskatchewan. Dogs with any kind of obedience training have a hard time transitioning to pulling while in harness and he was no exception. We did manage to get him to pull me on the scooter a few times. My hope is that he will like this pulling game so that he can join Spirit and I kick sledding this winter. Thanks to Marc Debrule for the great pix.
This morning I took Brodie out to the country to give lure coursing a try. He loves playing tug and runs like the wind so I thought he might like this sport. Boy did he like it. He didn’t even need a lesson. When the lure started to move he was off like a jet and he didn’t stop until it did.
I tried to get video of his sprint but he flew by so quickly. On our way back to the start line, it took all my strength to hold him back when he saw another dog take off on her run. I can’t wait until we get to play again.
This is his second run. Twice the distance as the first one
On the weekend we participated in the Cowichan Valley K9 Noseworks scent trial on Vancouver Island. Brodie had a great day on Saturday, He qualified in both Excellent Amateur Interiors (2nd place) and Containers. With those 2 qualifiers he earned his Excellent title.
Spirit struggled a bit but she qualified in Advanced Working containers with a 2nd place. We were really thrilled to learn that we were chosen as the Judge’s favourite team.
Sunday was complete opposite of Saturday. Spirit qualified in all 3 components and earned another Advanced Working Title. She also got a first place in containers and once again we were chosen as the Judge’s favourite team (different Judge).
Brodie didn’t qualify in any of his runs. Our exterior search was particularly interesting. He was so focused on whatever scents were in the environment that he completely ignored me for the entire 5 minutes before we timed out and were disqualified. The Judge and her assistants were in tears from laughing so hard watching me trying to get Brodie to engage with me. I had a good giggle when I was given my score sheets and saw the Judge’s comments……
Thank you to CWV9 for hosting a wonderful. A big thank you to Judges Jane Book and Kathy Hansen and all the wonderful volunteers.
This morning I was awake at 4am to get ready to drive to Red Deer to compete at the Little Nose That Knows/Canine Coaching SDDA trial. The trial was held at the Sunnybrook Farm Museum. We are so lucky that businesses like Sunnybrook support SDDA and allow us to hold trials there. Both Brodie and Spirit competed today. Running two dogs at the same trial can be a little hectic but I was very lucky because their searches didn’t overlap today. This was Spirit’s first trial in almost a year. We had to cancel several trials earlier this year because she was having trouble with her eyes. I was a little nervous since we had been away from the sport for so long but she was a wonderful. She qualified in all 3 components and got her advanced working stream title. She came in first in interiors with a perfect score of 80/80, second in containers with a 57/60 and got a 50/60 for her exterior search . The icing on the cake was finishing first place overall in the advanced working stream. So proud of my girl. With an overall score of 187/200 she earned a Silver title.
Not wanting to be outdone by his big sister, Brodie had a smokin’ day at the trial too. He Q’d in both excellent containers and exteriors. He would have got his title with SP designation but his Mom got too excited and called the alert too quickly on the last interior room search. If I had waited 2 seconds longer I would have been able to tell the judge exactly where the hide was instead of being off by a few inches. For only 18 months old he just rocked it. It was a tough trial and no one earned their excellent title. We were thrilled to find out that we placed 2nd in containers and first in exteriors and we were the only team that qualified in exteriors.
Thank you to all the amazing volunteers, Judges Paul Dyer and Ryan-Ann King Smith and to Little Nose that Knows and Canine Coaching for hosting another great trial.
We made another trip to Red Deer todayto compete in a scent trial hosted by the Little Nose That Knows. Brodie had a great day in his advanced trial coming in 2nd in interiors and vehicles and finished first overall. He got lots of ribbons and swag. Thank you to Judges Ryan-Ann King-Smith and MaryAnn Warren and to Kristina Sveinson and Samantha Freschette for all their hard work organizing the trial.
I can’t believe that Wally, our old Goldie, is celebrating his 17th birthday today. We are so very blessed to have had him in our lives for this long. His favourite treat in the world is a Timbit so every year on his birthday he would get one for each year. As he started approaching his double digit birthdays we began cutting the timbits in half. This year we cut them in quarters and then gave him one whole one to make 17. As usual, he inhaled them all.
We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday driving back and forth to Camrose to participate in the Battle River Canine Association rally obedience trial. It was a very tough weekend for Brodie. As a 13 month old, teenage intact male, this was his first exposure to a smorgasbord of intact females and he lost his mind. I’ve lost my sweet, calm and focused boy. He has been replaced by this wild child who has zero interest in his Mom. I’m heart broken but I knew it was coming. Hopefully this phase won’t last too long.
Friday was a complete disaster with a NQ in advanced and then we got excused from the ring during his Intermediate run because he decided to have a poop in the ring…totally out of character for him. Saturday was a bit better. We squeaked by our Intermediate run with a 73 qualifying score and a 4th in trial ribbon. Sunday I saw a brief glimpse of my sweet boy and we walked away with an Intermediate score of 88, our second Q and a Second in Class ribbon.
Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.
Last week we took Wally to the Vet because he was vomiting and had bloody diarrhea. He has a sensitive digestive system and he gets these tummy troubles every year or so. We were not panicked but at his advanced age (16 year and 10 months) we wanted to get things settled and resolved quickly. As we were waiting for our appointment we were shocked to see that one of his testicles had ballooned in size. It was not like that the previous day. It was 11.5 inches around and the size of a softball. We went from being mildly concern about diarrhea to being panicked about an extremely fast growing tumour.
At his age surgery is extremely risky but leaving the tumour posed its own risks. We made the very tough decision to go ahead with surgery. I’ve been stressing and having nightmares for the last few days but for some unknown reason I felt strangely at peace when I dropped him off this morning. I got a phone call two hours later and he was alive and well. The Vet said that he gave them a bit of a scare when they tried to insert the tube down his throat and encountered an obstruction. They found a dangling tumour (he’s sure it is benign) that they had to remove before they could start the planned procedure. They kept him all day so that they could keep him on IV fluids to flush the anesthesia drugs out of his system as quickly as possible. They sent me this picture to show me how well he was doing all snuggled up in warm blankets.
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.
We 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.
It always shocks me how quickly a puppy grows and matures. Here is photo proof. The first picture was taken the day I brought Brodie home (2017APR16). The second one was taken 4 months later when we celebrated Brodie turning 6 months old. I wish they could stay small and snuggly a little longer.
Little Brodie is 16 weeks old and of course Wally turned 16 years old in April. They may look very different, my old man is a rich copper and the other is a silky, soft, creamy white but they are both gentle, sweet souls…..true Goldens !!!
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Our little golden boy Brodie is 3 months old today. He is growing so fast. He has more than doubled his weight in the month that we’ve had him. No matter how bad he is, I just take one look at that face and my heart melts.
On Sunday morning we participated in the annual First Responders Half Marathon. We have McMullin staying with us again so he and Brodie came out to cheer us on. They were a big hit. Everyone wanted to stop by and say hello to the pair.
As I was approaching the end, Don handed me the “boys” so that they could cross the finish line with me.
Brodie also helped Laura and Heidi cross the finish line.
Our little Brodie is settling in nicely. He is a little afraid of Spirit’s larger than life personality and is very respectful of my beautiful oldie Goldie Wally. Unfortunately he is like an unruly, annoying little brother with poor little Tilly. We have to keep rescuing her from his grip.
I can’t stop taking pictures of his sweet little face. Each image is cuter than the last.
Yesterday I got up at 3am to head to the airport for a very special trip to Victoria to meet this cute little boy. He is the newest member of our family. He is an English type Golden Retriever and I am in love!!! There were 11 puppies in the litter but by the time I got to the breeder’s home all of them had already been picked up by their new families. There were only 3 left in the house, a little boy and girl that she was keeping for her breeding program and our little boy. We got black boy….also known as “the bruiser”. She picked him for me because he is a very active little boy and needed an experienced family to manage all that energy. Yikes!!!
I got to enjoy the day hanging out with the puppies and then flew back last night. When I got to the Victoria airport all the Westjet ticket agents were swooning over that cute face. They had seen so many puppies leaving in the last two days that they immediately recognized him as another one from the same litter. He was so pooped that he fell asleep on a chair in the departure lounge.
He was wonderful on the flight back to Edmonton….except for one small problem….farting. It was so bad that I thought he may have pooped in his carrier. The women beside me got mad at her husband because she thought he was the culprit. We all had a good giggle when I told her it was Brodie.
I finally got to bed just after midnight. Our first night wasn’t too bad. I only had to take him out once but he was wide awake at 6am. Needless to say, I am wiped today. Here is the whole 4-legged family.
He has already had a busy morning and is now crashed on the kitchen floor…I wish I could join him for a nap.
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It may be grey and dreary outside but our lives are filled with sunshine today. Our beautiful golden boy is 16 years old today. The average life span for a golden retriever is 12 years…..we are incredibly blessed to have shared our lives with this amazing boy for 16 years. He had a delicious birthday breakfast of fresh ground turkey with pumpkin and fresh berries. Then he got to lick the empty pumpkin can. We have a long standing tradition of using Timbits (Wally’s favourite treat) to celebrate the big moments. On birthdays he would get one Timbit for every year and when his puppies were born he would get one for each baby. When he started getting into double digits we had to start cutting the Timbits in half. Later today he will get his 16 Timbit halves.
We had an early birthday celebration at Patty’s acreage on Thursday. We had a lovely lunch and nice walk on a beautiful, sunny spring day. We even managed to avoid Wally rolling in the horse and cow poop which he loves to do (as you will see below in the picture from his 11th birthday celebration at Patty’s).
Wally, Boomer, Stark, Hope, Spirit and little Tilly
To commemorate the big day I put together a series of images of Wally from 12 weeks to 16 years old.
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