Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September


I love September, it is my favourite month of the year.  The weather is cooler, but not cold.  There is a crispness in the morning that I love.  The colours are breathtaking.  I wish it could stay September.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Happy Birthday !!

Brad and I out at supper tonight ♥
Happy Birthday to me!!

Today I turned 54, it was one of the best Birthdays I've had in a while !  Last year I spent it at the Vets office with Tate, he became very ill and we were all very worried, but here we are a year later and he is still kicking!  
For the first time in a long time Brad wasn't working either, that also made it a better day, less lonely.  Although my wonderful sister Debra drove up here all the way from Sherwood Park last year to surprise me, she arrived at midnight!  She knew I was alone and sad over Tate so she came to cheer me up!

Sibley is here , a Flatcoated Retriever puppy from Lync's breeder, she has been loads of fun and Lync has really enjoyed having another Flatcoat to play with.  She goes home tomorrow and we will miss her.
Brad and I went out for supper tonight,  we celebrated both of our Birthdays.  His was on the 15th but he was working.

My Birthdays do make me sad at times however, remembering past Birthdays, so many friends and relatives that I used to celebrate with have passed away now.  One Birthday in particular was very very sad, my cousin Judy passed away.  She was only 42,  it was horrible, she had a brain aneurism.  I hope she is watching and smiling down on me this year, I miss her so much.

Well the day is over and so is my Birthday , almost :)   Here's to a great year full of health and happiness.

Monday, September 15, 2014

This and That

Kort and Lync on our walk today
I keep starting and stopping writing a new post, frustrating when I get like this.  It's hard to explain, but I am going through a feeling of unrest, unsettled, just not quite right.  I fight it as best I can, by walking, keeping busy with the dogs and stuff like that.

I am almost positive I will not be going back to work, too many things going on with me,  for some reason I feel like I always need to defend myself to people because I am not working, it bothers me.  I shouldn't have to feel that way, why do people think I need to work?  Most days I can barely get out of bed, mornings are so incredibly bad.  It sucks.  It takes me forever to get moving properly.  I am coming up on a year that I have been off work, it has been difficult financially but we are making it work.  I actually get major anxiety even thinking about working.  I am not writing this to justify myself,  just some thoughts that were going through my head.

I had Kort's thyroid checked last week and it came back as normal which was great.  So now comes the hard part of trying to get weight off of him, he weighs 78 pounds, last year at this time he was about 55 pounds.  He must get this weight off, I can see he is uncomfortable and he can't jump properly in Scenthurdle.  That is his only activity right now and I want him to continue to be able to jump, but he won't be unless he looses weight.  He has spondylosis which is another reason why I must get the weight off of him.  I am going to try to continue feeding him raw, just less portions.  My vet say not to ever drop below 8 oz of food at each meal, if you do it starts doing weird things to the body.
I have increased his exercise from what we were doing, I am now including Coulee walks everyday, there are lots of hills to climb so that is good exercise for both of us! And it helps me mentally too.

Tate is doing amazing!  He is in wonderful shape, has a nice weight.  He is still climbing up and down the stairs by himself, at times he is a bit unsteady but he won't let me help him so I just let him figure it out.  He hasn't had a seizure since July 18th whoo hoo!  I didn't think he would make it through the summer, now I am thinking he will even see his 13th Birthday which is in April.  I take him on our walk at night and he loves it, he trucks along pretty quickly on the first part but does slow down on the last part, it is only about a half hour walk so as to not overdo it.  Kort and Lync have already had a longer walk during the day so I don't worry about them having to slow down for Tate.

Lync is awesome, just so much fun!  Tonight I am bringing him to Scenthurdle practice in Kort's place.  I think he will enjoy this sport and I think he will do great at it too!

That's about all that's been happening around here, hopefully I will post again sooner rather then later :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Tragically long long long post about the National :)

Lync shows off his ribbons, sadly there wasn't a rosette for his 1st place win

 My first Flatcoat National is now over and I have so much to report.....

Day 1 , first up was the National Sweepstakes, it was judged by Dinah Baggentos, a breeder of Flatcoats.  There were 3 dogs in Lync's 12-18 month class and he placed 2nd.

Later the same day was the judging at the all breed, this was a Booster for Flatcoats and it was wonderful to see 50 Flatcoats entered from all over!  The judge was Doug Windsor, also a breeder judge.  He gave Lync 1st in the class, there were 2 of us entered, the other dog was the one that had beaten Lync in the morning in the Sweepstakes.  Lync was acting up in the Winners Dog judging, he even laid down on the ground at one point and wouldn't stand still, he kept jumping up on me, silly boy!

Day 2, this day did not start out so well!   I was unpacking and arranging my tent, looked over and saw Flatcoats in the ring!  I quickly picked up my catologue and saw that they had started judging at 9 am, not 9:45 like I thought, eek!  I grabbed Lync and ran.  When I got there I asked if I had missed Lync's judging, the judge was wonderful, he said " you are lucky, I was just about to do Winners Male, come on in!  He let me bring Lync in, we were the only 12-18 mo dog however.  I had no bait & still had on my sweatshirt over my skirt!  Then it was time for Winners, I asked people outside the ring for bait and got some , Lync showed beautifully, what a good boy he is and I am very thankful I have never done this with my collies, I never would have been able to just run to the ring as I would have needed to do hours of grooming!

At 1 in the afternoon our National began!   100 gorgeous Flatcoats were entered!!
There were 6 dogs in Lync's 12-18 month class.  Lync placed 4th.  The judge had him in 3rd, then gaited us around again and moved Lync's litter brother up to 2nd place, which bumped us back to 4th, still a fantastic placement in a National!!

The judge liked Lync, I watched as he looked at him, then back to another dog, then back to Lync, then to another dog, comparing them.  He asked me how old Lync was, I told him he just turned a year. He looks it.  He is going through a bit of a geeky stage right now, his legs are long, he is thin, and loosing coat, but he is a showman and the structure is there,  however on this day the others were more put together, including his brother Higgs.  The funny thing is that Higgs was the geeky one at the American National, now it's Lync's turn !  I am not worried, I see the potential, Lync is going to be awesome!

That night we had the National barbeque and silent auction.  I bid and won a couple of Flatcoat books.  The judge spoke too and gave his thoughts on what he saw that day.
The Flatcoat people were so friendly,  many coming over to say hi, introduce themselves, and ask about Lync.  I felt very welcome and not out of my element at all.

The day was tough,  it poured rain, buckets of rain!  When I was showing it was baking hot, but most of the Specialty was rained upon.  It made take down difficult as everything was soaking wet, I didn't want to pack all this wet gear in my van!  We all ended up taking the dogs down to the lake for a swim while there was a rain break, hoping it would all dry, most of it did.
I was very tired by the end of the night.

Day 3, today was the Working Certificate tests!!! My first Flatcoat, my first WC test and I wasn't at all nervous!  I was very confident in Lync.
It was so much fun to learn the ins and outs of these tests.
Lync was about the 5th dog to run.  Land retrieves were first.  1 mark was 50 yards away to our left and the other was 75 yards away straight ahead.  The gunners do not yell "hey hey hey" like we do in training, rather they fire off a shot into the air with a gun and it is loud!  The duck was then thrown by the gunner into some light cover.
The 50 yard mark was first.  Lync shot off, found his duck and ran back, came over the line and dropped his duck, yikes! He should be delivering to hand, which he does in training,  I did some encouraging and he picked it back up and brought it to me.  The 75 yard mark was next, off  Lync ran, sniffed around a bit , found his duck, and as he crossed the line he spotted Liz and Larkin coming down the hill,  I think he was going to go show Liz his duck but I manged to retrieve it from his mouth before that happened, success on land!

Area of the first land retrieves, you can see the gunner and the first mark to the left and the 2 judges sitting to the right, if you look you can see the 2nd gunner way off in front of the judges
After all the dogs ran their land marks we all drove over to the water area.  The pond was a beautiful nice small pond, not too much in the way of cover except this big ass log sticking out of the water.
We climbed down a small embankment to the shore to send our dogs.  The first mark was 60 yards I believe, off Lync went without hesitation, found his duck and turned to return to me but then veered off to his right even though I whistled and called out to him, there was no stopping him, he was going to check out that damn log!
I am serious when I say it was big, he gets to it and all I can think of is he is going to let go of his duck and then we are screwed, I was wrong, he climbs up on the log and crawls over it , never letting go of his duck omg!! he then heads straight for shore and returns to me, shore running is to be discouraged and is not tolerated in the higher levels, he brings his duck and drops it yet again, this time he feels it is necessary to dry it off by licking it, I had to repeatedly tell him to fetch, which he did, bringing me the duck but it slipped from my hands, I got him to pick it up again thankfully.

Mark 2 is 40 yards away,  something else new to us both, a boat in the water with the gunner sitting in it and throwing the marks from there.   Lync heads out, briefly looks at the boat, retrieves his duck then swims off to his left into the bull rushes and out of sight, geez Louise dog!  Moments later he comes out from the cover up the road and the judges encourage me to call him, so I yell out, "Lync, come to momma!!"  hahaha, I was having fun :)  he brought me his duck to hand, what a feeling,  my first retriever I have trained has gotten his WC, in his first trial,  just 1 week after turning a year old,  I was so proud!

The club then put on a lunch of hotdogs, chips, & watermelon, we all sat around and talked before it was time for the ribbons to be presented.  My smile was soooooo big when they called out Lync's name, followed by whoops and applause by all the exhibitors,  I am still thrilled by this accomplishment.

Area where we all stopped for lunch and the ribbon presentation

After an hour it was time for the 2nd Trial, if Lync had been ready he could have moved up to do his WCI, but there was no way!, so we did the WC again, why not, it was paid for, it was good practice , and it was fun!!!

I am glad I did do it, it was much tougher then the morning trial.  The land test area was not nicely mowed like the first, it was a totally natural environment of tall grass, shrubs,  and uneven terrain.  The first mark was 75 yards and went down a hill, the dog really had to search the area for their mark.  Also the WCI and WCX tests were there in the morning so there was duck scent there from the other ducks, even though we weren't in the exact spot.

It is my turn to step into the blind and Lync is wired, he was pulling me like an idiot, there is a hill, there is a rock, Lync pulls, my foot catches the rock, down I go with an earth shattering face plant!  So hard my hat flys off my head, bad boy Lync!  I recover, and carry on to the blind.

Lync is booting it down the hill to the first mark, he had to search, took him a few minutes but he found his duck and returned quickly but dropped it about 5 feet from me.  He had brought it over the line thank goodness, if he hadn't that is a fail.  I was still trying to get him to pick it up and deliver it to hand but there was no way, the judges finally just told me to pick it up.  In WC this is still a pass as it was over the line.  The 2nd retrieve was 50 yards and pretty much a copy of the first with Lync dropping his bird and refusing to pick it up, ugh, must fix that for sure!

On to water, there were just 3 of us!  Lync, Larkin and Blue.  Lync was second to go this time.  I had Darren walk Lync down the embankment for me,  I didn't want a face plant repeat in the water.

The 1st mark, which was 40 yards,  is the one thrown by the gunner in the boat, it is close to the bull rushes so not in the open,  the water is full of weeds.  Lync had no trouble at all,  finds his duck and swims back but heads to shore off to my left, no excuses this time, just inexperience, but it must be fixed, he needs to return to me.  He has never never done this before.  The only thing I can think of is the gallery was over there, is it possible he was heading toward them?  I am not sure, but he needs to look for ME and return straight to me!
Moving on to the 2nd mark which is 60 yards, Lync gets it, swims mostly to me in the water, veers over to his left, finds a bit of shore, runs it, back into the water, then back to the shore to drop his duck.  This time it is not even close to being over the line, I am trying everything I can think of to get him to bring me that damn duck.  He would lick it, look at me, go back, lick it some more , pick it up, drop it, I was just beginning to think it was a fail when the dog that was due to run after us got away from his handler and ran over to us, Lync ran after him but came immediately when I called him, he has the best recall!  I just ignored the other dog and his handler catching him and yelled to Lync, "fetch!!", he runs over picks up the bird brings it near me and I scoop it out of his mouth , the judges and gallery shout with joy hahaha! true story! 
I am thinking that Lync , being the greedy guts that he is, was scared the other dog might steal his bird, that's why he picked it up :)

Area of the 2nd trial water retrieves, we started in behind that truck,  the 2nd mark was in the area where you see the reeds
 Anyway, I was thrilled to death with 2 passes!!!  I am looking forward to training for my WCI which I will try for next year at some point.  First we need to fix the dropping of the bird,  the not returning to me when in water, and the biggest thing is the next level is all off leash.  Lync needs to walk beside me at heel, sit in the blind quietly, wait for the release from me before going out to retrieve and he needs to do a land honour of the dog after us going out to retrieve his first duck.  Lots and lots of work but I can't wait to get started!

If you have read to here thank you!!  I know this was the longest post I have ever ever written , but I wanted to remember everything single thing so needed to write it down.

Lync with his WC ribbon !!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ready for the National!

Tomorrow is the big day, first leg of my journey to the Canadian Flatcoat National in Kamloops BC.

I am very excited and I hope to finally meet the people I have been Facebook friends with but never met .  I will be driving half way tomorrow and staying overnight in Golden BC.  I think for myself, as well as the dogs, it was the best decision.  I might do the same thing on our return trip but will wait to see how I feel tomorrow, whether I think I could have actually made the trip in one day.  Besides I have never liked to be rushed, I want to enjoy myself, see some scenery as I have never traveled this way before!

Going to dog shows is what keeps me sane, having them to look forward to seems to keep my depression at bay. 
I am mostly packed, rearranged my van yet again, I have even packed some things already.  Today I need to go get a few snacks for the trip and the hotel room, cookies, liquorice, cheese, and coolers or wine of course !

I am grateful to have all 3 dogs to bring with me, I love having them around, Tate did so well at on our last trip that I am anticipating no trouble this time either.
 
Lync will get his bath & groom tonight .

I am bringing my computer with me this time so expect lots of posts and updates!