Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Not So Little Budlet

My precious nephew, Ben - no longer my little budlet.  Think I'll save that for his high school graduation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


On days like today I greatly appreciate the amount of work groomers do everyday.  No baths or blow-outs today, just nails, teeth, ears and brushing. I did do a little scissoring on Gus, Eli and Ava to keep their coats where I want them for upcoming shows. And it was all Smooths.  My shoulders, arms and fingers are in knots and on fire.    So to groomers everywhere and to Sahra in particular--HOW DO YOU DO THIS EVERY DAY?? 

Friday, December 7, 2012


This is Declan's championship photo from November.  I think he is pretty happy to be done playing show dog.  Time will tell if he has any aptitude for obedience.  He has shown good basic skills in herding, hopefully later next year he can continue that training.  And there are a couple of lovely ladies in his future too. In the meantime it's long romps in the yard, walks to the mailbox, a good bone to chew on and belly scratches. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

End of Fall

I don't know what the calendar says about when Fall ends and Winter begins but I know winter is just around the corner.  Today the first load of cattle left the farm.  Yep, cows arriving=spring begins and cows leaving=fall ending. 

On the dog front, Lena has moved on to new beginnings.  We did our part together, learned some basics and worked through some minor issues and I am happy to know she is off to more wonderful things to come.  I'll be taking Ava and baby Theo into Cedar Rapids tomorrow for some social time.  Theo is definitely ready to go to his new home.  Cruz made huge strides today with his first day of wearing his harness.  So far so good, he is relaxing on a dog bed right now after walking around with it on.  Tomorrow I'll see about attaching a short leash to it.  Once he can walk easily on a leash with the harness I can comfortably have him neutered and he'll be ready to go to his new home too.  Cruz will need a very special place to go and it will probably take a while to get him there, but we are making big strides together so I'm not complaining. 

Until next time...

Monday, November 19, 2012


You read it correctly!  Declan is now CHAMPION Oak Knolls Riverton, HIC!!  He earned 2 points going Winners Dog/Best Of Winners on Sunday at the Minneapolis KC in Shakopee MN.  That puts him at 16 points with 2-four point majors under a total of 8 judges.
I would like to thank those that made his championship possible, or as I said to Sahra, "sometimes it takes a village to finish a dog".  First to his breeders, Amy Ross, Brian Elwell, Peppi Anstett and Rachel Anstett--I thank you for breeding such a fine dog and especially to Amy and Brian who said, "sure, take him home" when I asked about Declan as a puppy.  Thank you to Amy who piloted Declan to his majors and this final win and to John Jola for putting his first points on him.  Without my friends to help me show when I can't my dogs would not get finished and just wait there are more coming!  :-) My heartfelt thanks to all of my friends and supporters who have been there to cheer Declan on and offer words of wisdom, a shoulder to cry on, and the abundance of laughter and good times in getting him there!

Without you all--it would not have been possible!

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Get The Picture

Okay Becky here ya go--more pics of the boys-Gus and Eli

The Collie Assisted Living Facility Crew

Biscotti (b.8/7/04) and his mom Shortcake (b. 4/21/00)

One of our winter visitors, Carly-age 8, daughter of Jenny and the much loved Toby

The other winter visitor Jenny, age 12.  She was decidedly unhappy with the whole picture taking venture.  After being "tortured" she came into the house and found her favorite doggy bed.  After a snack of course!

Jenny and my Tori-age 9 (b.6/21/03)

Tori, "Is she done yet?"  Jenny, "No, just keep ignoring her, maybe she'll get the hint."

Sweet Shortcake or "Grandma" as she is affectionately called

As close to a group shot as I could get.  From left to right:  Tori, Carly, Jenny getting ready to walk away, Lemmy, Shorty and Biscotti.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Despite the problems with my knees and the days that it has been near impossible to walk across the room, the dogs are making progress in their training.  Lena the MWCR foster has become a nice dog to walk with the use of the Gentle Leader.  It is the first time I have ever trained a dog on one and while I wouldn't make a habit out of it, in this case it works perfectly.  Lena and her future owners can enjoy nice walks.  Her recalls are better as are her licking habits.  Now if I can get her to sit on command I will be happy.
Gus and Eli are also making nice progress.  Gus is like a bull in a china shop and is just too joyful for himself.  He is doing pretty well on getting my version of the stack and bait with some distance pretty consistently.  I think he will be a dog that needs the polish worn off of him prior to entering the ring, at least for another 6 months of so.  By then his brain should be fully engaged.  He still has some issues with jumping for sheer joy, but "off" is in his vocabulary at least 60% of the time.  And, ta-da! he can walk on a loose leash right next to me.  No more pulling, lunging or dragging.  Sorry dude-you are too big to be silly on a leash.  Your humans are too old and brittle for that! Just kidding Becky!  Eli is the sweetest boy, so much like his daddy in personality.  Eli is ready to roll in the ring as soon as the time is right.  He has grown and is maturing nicely, although definitely is more like his dad in body than his mom and brother.  I adore him and am sad that I may not get the chance to actually take him in the ring.
Ava is ready to roll as well, just as soon as Declan gets that pesky last point to finish his Championship.  She has come together and has a great body, and I do so love her head and expression.  I apologize in advance for those who will be showing her, she is a fireball and I can't train that out of her.  We started working on sit today so I can get her ready for Rally.  Rally I can handle, at least on a good day. 
Speaking of obedience, Spice and I did a quick run thru today to see where she is at mentally.  Oh how this gal loves to work!  Did a bit of polish work on her swing finish and front.  I switched up my arm position on the heel and it is working much better, she doesn't heel as wide this way.  If all goes as planned (and how much really does?) she'll be getting that CD in 2013.  Heck, I've got time, and I can still do obedience since there is minor running, maybe we will actually dink around with open. 
I have some huge regrets about agility.  I just don't know if I will ever run a course again, not to mention all the work that goes into training.  I am hoping the ortho at the U will have some answers that make that possible again.  Ava would be such a great dog for agility. 
To end on a positive note, Theo the puppy from Lolli and Reid, had a lovely and fun filled first time in a collar and on a leash today.  What a goofy boy!  He is about 80% reliable in his housetraining, 100% in his crate now and once his leash work is done he is going to make someone a very sweet, snuggly, lovable companion. 
Tomorrow Cruz and I tackle the harness...
Until next time...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Winter Dogs

The winter dogs are here!  Jenny and Carly arrived on Thursday and settled in like they own the place.  Okay, so that is mostly Jenny.  She is 12 and put herself right in the oldies pack.  Carly, her daughter, pretty much just hangs out where she is sent. With their arrival the balance of color around here is pretty even.  Sables and tris with just a hint of blue.  Life is good at the Collie Assisted Living Facility.
Today is truly lovely for a November day in Iowa.  70's and a stiff wind, but warm and the dogs enjoyed a long day outside.  I did my usual Saturday run to the library and took Hobbs and Spice along.  Right now is "ahh" time.  Dogs in various crates and rooms enjoying new bones.  Not exactly peaceful with the grinding noises, but it's music to my ears.
Until next time...

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Cruz is one of the Hobblets here at the farm.  He is just one of those really soft dogs that takes everything to heart and is a slow emotionally maturing dog.  For the past 5 months he has been just hanging out being a dog and not having much asked of him other than the very basics in good manners.  I started him on chamomile twice a day in his food and ten days ago started him on a calming blend of essential oil as well as using a diffuser of the same oil near his crate.  I got a bit teary eyed this afternoon when we had a breakthrough.  He has been great about seeking attention when I'm sitting but not when I'm standing and he won't interact with myself and other dogs at the same time.  Today in the yard surrounded by the other young and definitely rambunctious dogs, Cruz actually joined in the group milling about my legs for attention and petting.  He even pushed a couple of the dogs away to get closer to me.  And he jumped up on me for pets, wagging his tail and then let me rub and pet him from tip of the nose to the end of his tail.  It seems like such a small thing, but for Cruz it was a joyous day of firsts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Sunny Day

I found my good camera!  And it is working!  So what better way to spend some time but taking pictures of the dogs.  Here are a few for your entertainment.

Biscotti-age 8, the oldest boy of the group

Biscotti (L), Declan, Lemmy (R)

Cruz, age 8 months--Yea I know, I need my ears done again..gads!


Harold (L) and his buddy MWCR foster dog, Lena

Two of the old gals, Lemmy (L) age 12, and Tori (R) age 9

Lemmy doing what she does best.  Laying around, waiting for the time to go back inside so she can lay on the sofa.

MWCR foster dog, Lena--Looking for her Forever Home


Tori - my MWCR foster failure--just could not part with this one

Spice, out of coat and I'm afraid there are a few burs in there as well

Monday, October 29, 2012

Things That Made Me Smile Today

It truly is the little thing that make me smile. 

No wind today so I burned both garbage and some of the dead weeds and long grasses behind the garage that have been trying to creep into the dog runs. 

Blue sky with floaty white clouds to view on the long, slow walk to the mailbox and back.  Add to that the joy of having Hobbs, Ava and Tori along.

A serviceable, easy on the gas car for a trip to the library to pick up a new title from a favorite author.  Add to that the joy of having Spice ride along and sharing a small french fry.

Foster dog Lassie burping dog cookie in my face. 

The buzz saw snoring of a contented Lemmy dog. 

Watching 12 year old Shortcake "bounce" along the fence "chasing" the tractor that is plowing the field.  Pretty sure she can't see it clearly, but she knows the sound a tractor makes. 

Having enough LP for the winter and being able to turn on the heat when I want it. 

A full pot of hot coffee and seasonal Pumpkin Spice creamer..umm..

A yard full of Hobblets being kept in check by Spice and first Lt. Tori

Life is Good...

Friday, October 26, 2012


It might be Fall.  The calendar says it should be and today it is nearly winter-y outside.  The air is just a bit on the brisk side this morning, the sun is out, the sky that pale, crystal blue color that speaks more of winter than fall.  A sure sign that we haven't tipped into winter is the arrival of gravel trucks bright and early this morning.  I wonder when the sight of fresh gravel for the farm became such a joyous event.  Oh yes, after the last two downpours left a miniature version of the Great Lakes in the lane. 
With a predicted high of 45 degrees today and the ever present breezy conditions out here it is time to tidy up the smaller building so I can do training this winter.  The building is unheated and the floor is packed dirt but to polish up conformation basics and rally it will do nicely.  I need to move a few dog houses around and want to finish the chain link by the house so I can use that remaining kennel panel to put a fifth indoor/outdoor run in the garage.  Time to bundle up and get it done.
The big question is - Will I be able to find my winter mittens???

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

More Hobblets and Other Stuff

Gus and Eli (formerly known as Manning) have been here for a while now and having 4 Hobblets around is like watching a day long action movie complete with stupefying stunts.  Thankfully, Declan and Gus get along fine for the most part, so the only dog that still can only play with girls is Hobbs.  Since Hobbs is almost always attached to me I do not believe he really cares who he goes outside with, it's not like he out very long.  Gus is learning to be a good indoor dog including "wait" and "off".  Off is especially important given his size.  He is stunning and I haven't seen such a big goofy blue dog since my Ripley.   Eli is just sweet.  Sweet sums him up perfectly.   Ava thinks having more bros around to play with is great.  Cruz thinks it's all a bunch of hooey.  On the Cruz front, the addition of chamomile to his regimen has helped him settle and increase his confidence.  I am hoping that at some point soon he will be confident enough to be available to a companion home.  Gus and Eli will head home in another 30 days. 
Foster dog Lena has recovered from her spay.  I think she probably came out of anesthesia completely recovered, but that's Lena.  If only I could harness her energy for good instead of evil.  Just kidding!  For a dog that was raised outside with no concept of manners or how to listen, she is doing very well.  She is crate trained and had only one accident in the house, she no longer requires being covered to eat and can chew a bone or play with a toy with the older dogs around without an issue.  I suspect her guarding behaviors were due to lack of training and having to fight for everything she got.  She knows "wait" at the door and at her crate door, "kennel up" to go into the crate and gets "off" about 65% of the time without needing a reminder.  Walking a leash proved to be more my issue than hers, I just don't have the strength anymore to handle a 60lb, semi out of control pulling dog on a simple buckle collar.  Did I tell you that Lena is only part Collie?  And that the other is German Shepherd and Aussie?  She is gorgeous but has a decidedly un-Collie personality.  So I am using a Gentle Leader with her instead.  We are still at the stage of getting it on her and adjusted.  Baby steps with Lena continue.
I am sad to say that two of the dogs have had to go to new homes and thankfully their breeders were kind enough to take them back to re-home them.  So I said a sad good-bye to both Trace and Charlie.  I don't like to think about it too much, it makes me too sad.  Harold has a new home the first part of November and Spice and Biscotti are on the bubble--still waiting on very very special homes for them. 
For your viewing here are pics of Eli, Gus and Lena.
Eli (Northern Oaks Maiwae MVP)

Gus (Northern Oaks Anstett Sole Survivor)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just Stuff

I am kind of bored today although there is always plenty to do.  It is getting close to that 95-100 degree mark today and even the wind is hot.  At 6 a.m. it was glorious, cool with a light breeze and I took advantage of that and hung my laundry out.  By 9 a.m. it had turned much warmer and everything was dry.  This is good because with Cruz around you cannot hang out laundry and expect it to stay on the line.  I do believe he "inherited" this trick from his buddy Charlie.  Charlie, Cruz and Ava are the terrible trio.  Toss in a little of the Trace naughty streak and that is just trouble.  Trace is short, I mean he is a corgi, it's not like he is very tall, ya know?  But despite his height challenges he has figured out yet another way to escape the yard.  I fixed all the potential ways to dig under the fence, to unwind chain link gates and to push the front gate apart enough to ooze thru, but I did not count on his ability to take flight and use his nose to push up the side gate latch.  We have now had two night escapes or escapades depending upon your outlook.  After being out in the middle of nowhere for four years I have ceased to panic about open gates anymore as house is so far off of the barely traveled gravel that traffic is not a concern.  Getting lost in the corn-not really a problem as the entire planting area is surrounded by fence so they have to pop out somewhere and really no one truly bothers the cows enough to warrant fear of getting kicked or trampled.  My worse fear is that they encounter a skunk (ugh!) or some bigger wild animal that may cause them harm.  I was worried that Shortcake would wander off and that would be a pain to find her since she is pretty hard of hearing now and gets "lost" in the yard.  Speaking of Shortcake, age is taking it's toll on her and the vet put her on a trial of Rimadyl since she seems rather painful.  I think it is beginning to help some.  Since she still enjoys life-barking at the tractor, mealtime and can still take down a dog that is misbehaving I hope to have her around for a while longer. 
Knee update-still sore, swollen and lacks mobility, but I can at least sleep now without having it elevated and am able to be up on it longer periods of time without terrible pain.  Another doctor visit in two weeks and likely a different brace.  Running a dog around the ring is impossible at this time, which puts a huge damper on continued agility and herding training.  Although I may have to suck it up and get back out to John's a few times this fall, poor Charlie is just dying to herd, or maybe sleep on the bed--it's a toss up. :-)
Next week I will have the pleasure of having a couple of extra dogs for a couple of weeks.  Gus and his lil bro Manning are coming down for some training time.  Ava is doing really fab on her conformation work and is finally finding some sort of focus.  I want to get her started on rally training now as I have no idea when her head, body and mind will all align for the show ring--haha! 
Until next time...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hobblet News

I am ecstatic to report that the first "Hobblet" has finished his championship!!  Big congrats to "Riggs" who is pending AKC confirmation, Ch. Anstett's Rigmarole--bred by Peppi and Rachel Anstett, Amy Ross and Brian Elwell and owned by his adoring mom, Mary Johnson.
This makes the first Champion for my darling Hobbs (Ch. Anstett Oak Knoll Olympic Grafitti) with 2 more pointed from his first and second litters and puppies waiting in the wings to hit the ring this fall. 
Above are some shots of two of the Hobblets here on the farm, the blue girl is Ava (Allstar Maiwae Glen Clova) and the tri boy is Cruz (Northern Oaks Maiwae Wide Receiver).   As you can see photo ops, ear taping and general play time is exhausting.
Until next time...