About dogs and dogsports! Most often in images...not words! In memory of Zephyr...my heart dog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Bit of Down Time

I know blogs are really supposed to be about words, about having something to say....I think for me, images are often the better option.

I like to enjoy my dogs without the pressure of feeling like I have to prove something. I like to learn how to improve upon my own skills and weaknesses as well as my dogs weaknesses. Being aware of them will only help us improve and stay well our whole lives. It's all about the journey.

I've been spending far more time this fall on the trails then training agility or anything else. Zephyr is almost 10 years and as much as he's still good to go, I seem to enjoy the quiet of the trail more then the ring these days. He's been out to sheep a couple times this past month too which was really nice. I've missed those times when he was young and we used to work sheep.

I just spent a weekend at a 2 day Chris Zink seminar. I took my young dog Zen rather than Zephyr as I had questions and she has a whole life of using her body ahead of her. What an amazing seminar. SO much information, lots I have already been doing with the dogs, and then lots of new stuff to work on to fix some issues, or at least help with. Good thing I don't get upset at peoples opinion of my dog...so many refuse to think there could be any flaw with their dog and get far to upset at any mention that it may not be perfect!! How can we improve if we think that way. I would recommend going to see her, worth every penny.

As winter looms, we will continue to hike every day as usual, agility has moved indoors and maybe by spring I will feel more like spending time competing again with my red dog.

Zephyr out working sheep, looking at a goat that was not in the frame :)
Enjoying the fall colours

Mr. Hot Pants :)

Beautiful Red Dog

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Autumn Light

I love the light this time of year....even in B&W without all the golden glow, I still find it so beautiful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coming into Autumn

Webster's Falls
Fall is here, although we have been lucky to have some really nice warm weather. There really is no better time for hiking and any other outdoor adventures in my mind.

Zephyr has been a little off since Kirya passed away almost 2 weeks ago, but we've been keeping busy to help the healing process. We've been able to do more child free hiking as they are back to school which has meant some nice hilly, rocky trails.

I've also had the chance to put Zephyr back out on sheep. He really is such a good boy. I used to love taking lessons and renting sheep, then doing some small trials. It was nice to get back out with him again after so much time off. Hopefully I'll be able to get some nice shots this fall of him, that is one thing I never did get when we used to go all the time. I wasn't able to get photos of him working while I worked him this week, but here is a shot I took of Kate, who is owned by the sheep farms owner.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Goodbye Kirya

My Tribute to Kirya

It was with heavy hearts on Friday that my husband and I said goodbye to our Kirya. She had been on a decline all year but this past week she was really having more trouble and no longer seemed happy. By Thursday night we knew we had to make a decision. She was 2 months shy of her 14th birthday. She had a wonderful life.

My husband was there for Kirya's birth, the birth of Kirya's puppies and was with her until the end. He owned her parents and grandparents. Many years ago with major life changes she was the one collie that he decided to keep...what a good choice.

Never have I met such a gentle dog as her. She always took life in stride, content to share her life and space with new dogs and then children. You couldn't for a better dog to help raise puppies and children. She did pet therapy for years, first with myself then with another woman. She was so wonderful at this work, not only because of her quiet way but her breed seemed to bring out a lot of memories in people. She was a very special dog.

Thank you to our vet for all his support and kindness. Kirya seemed ready to go and left so peacefully and quietly.

We miss her already.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where Our Heart Leads Us

Just a couple photos from this summer. I love taking photos of Zephyr....handsome boy so eager to get in front of my camera.

People talk about "heart dogs" and I understand what they mean.....Zephyr would be just that. I feel lucky to be on the path that he has taken me on. Always such a patient and giving teacher, up ahead waiting for me. Thank you Red Dog.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer FUN!!

Well the hot weather is finally here, and there is so much to get out and do with the dogs. We have been enjoying agility training at home, looking forward to Nationals in August as well I hope to get out to some local sanctioned trials this summer.

We recently joined the Superdog team for a demo and will be doing several more demos this summer, both for Scholars in Collars where I teach part time and for Art of Dog.

Thank you Jean for this shot!! Spit flying!!

Most importantly we enjoy time just hiking, playing and swimming!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Few Silly Dog Tricks With Zen and Zephyr

Just playing around and having fun with the dogs:) Basic tricks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fun Times at Regionals!

I have been neglecting this blog as well as Zen's ....sorry!! Things have been good with Zephyr since my last entry way back in February. As usual we have been out for our daily hikes and I was able to get the agility equipment out the beginning of May so we have been doing a bit more training too.

Last weekend I took Zephyr to the Ontario Regional Agility Trial to try to qualify to Nationals again. He qualified no problem as well he qualified and ran in the Steeplechase finals!! That was a rush, so much fun. We also had several top ten placements in the regional courses including a first place jumpers run.

I took Zephyr just with the intent of having fun and enjoying something that we both love to do together. I am just so happy that he is still here with me. Last year when I found out that he had cancer I wasn't sure if he would be here this year. After surgery I didn't think he would play agility again. His recovery was so good that he has had no problem coming back to the sport.

He is now in 16" Vets, I know he could still jump higher but why ask that of him....not only did he have surgery last year but he is also 9 1/2 years old. After 3 days of competing he was getting a bit tired I could tell that his reaction time was just slightly slower (hard to tell on these fast dogs). Also on the third day he couldn't get his frame contacts, he was jumping off early. Although he wasn't moving stiff or short in the front I wonder if fatigue was setting in. He did have major surgery on his chest with much tissue removed so it would make sense.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend with my friends and my dogs!
More videos from the weekend at my YouTube channel.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back in the Ring

This past weekend Zephyr and I started back to the trial field with our first agility trial since his surgery to remove a cancer tumour last year. Three out four runs clean!
I have dropped him down to 16" Double Drop Veterans even though the 22" probably would not be an issue just to be on the safe side as he had a fair amount of tissue removed from his chest. (He used to run 26" regular when he was younger). He is running well, SO happy, still fast and no soreness or stiffness after. We will enter a few more trials this winter and spring and then head to regionals the end of May and see how he holds up over 3 days.
I wasn't even sure if he would be able to walk normally last year let alone do agility again....amazing. I'm just happy he's alive but this is just a bonus for us both!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Zephyr!

Zephyr turns 9 years old today! He is feeling good and happy! After thinking I might lose him to cancer last year, this birthday feels extra special!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Regionals Photos

I finally got around to ordering my photos from the 2010 AAC Regionals. All photos were from Len Silvester at TTL Photos, he always does a super job! The last photo of Zephyr and his spit over the A-frame is one of my all time favorites of him doing agility, it makes me laugh!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

All That's In There

I've just had the great fortune of getting a 30 generation pedigree on my dogs and all the stats. on the inbreeding in their lines. Just out of interest as my dogs are not breeding dogs. But isn't it interesting to think of all the dogs that came before yours and how their genes affect your dogs.
Thank you to Chris over at Border Wars for this and the great conversation about borders collies and breeding.
If you have never read his blog you really should as he has MANY very thought provoking articles about border collies, breeding and the culture surrounding them. Lots of food for thought.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun In The Snow!

Zephyr just loves the snow! To run and play in it, he wants to be out there all the time!He doesn't even seem to mind the frozen whiskers and snow covered face He loves to play fetch anytime of the year even in the snow, having to dig it out of drifts.

Of course Zen never gets a turn unless I take the ball from Zephyr and give it to her....which I do :) Zephyr is very patient, for the most part following her around (she LOVES gettng him to chase her, as it's the only way he'll play and pay attention to her). When he's had enough of this game he'll put the pressure on and she'll spit the ball, making him happy once again!!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

52 Weeks of Zephyr

Happy New Year to everyone! A morning shot of Zephyr when we finally had some sun! I am thankful that 2011 is here and I am hoping it will be a better year than last. Last year was dealing with loss and health issues for our dogs. I guess I should be happy that it is the first year in so many of owning dogs that we've had all these issues to deal with. Nothing short of stressful both on an emotional and financial level.
Anyway one good thing that did come out of it all is a year long photography project that I did with Zephyr. One photo taken each week to represent that week. Often the photos were not the best ones that I took of him, but they spoke of that time. It was a hard project at times to push on with in light of our struggles but I'm glad I did. Here is a slideshow of it...enjoy!! SLIDESHOW