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.