Thursday, December 19, 2013

To agility or not to agility?

I love agility. I really do!  However, I have not been committed to training my dogs at all in the last couple years. I am not sure why this is the case, but my motivation has really fallen off. I guess, sometimes when you hit inertia, it is easier to stay there.  So, once I quit attending classes I stopped really doing any work.  Last winter, I thought maybe I would train a bit on my own.  I went maybe 3 times; I rented a great space to use but even that wasn't enough to inspire me. I did some work in the yard but it was tough; once the snow sets in, I cant say that I am all that motivated to work on weaving,

So, I thought maybe I would try something new. I called a local Obedience trainer but they didn't return my call.  Frustrating!  Then, I contacted the Local Retriever Club, hoping to train Reason in retrieving. They hold practice times at 9AM on Sunday AM's.  I have just been asked to assume responsibility for the 9AM mass at my church, as well as playing piano for the 11AM.  So retriever classes are totally out as I am committed to doing music at St. Mary's. I am not prepared to take time away from that at the moment.

I ended up sitting with it for a few days and really pondering what I want with my dogs.  The reality is that I have trained Spike to a point where it is wasteful to not continue.  He has several titles:  he is Spike SJATD, FD-CHs, ADC, SGDC.  The first title is his therapy dog credentials. The second is flyball and the last 2 are agility. We are 3 legs short of his advanced games dog title (out of 9). I want to do that. I want to continue to run Spike. I have started training both Murphy and Reason. There is no reason (haha) to not continue this work with them.  Really, I have no excuse to not train Sophie in nosework either; this is a sport that she will LOVE and be able to do with no mobility issues at all.

I made my decision yesterday officially.  I am taking my 3 dogs back to agility classes and I am prepared to work HARD with them. I also have LOADS of work to do on myself as I am so incredibly out of shape at this moment. But, it's a turning point for me, I believe. I am starting over, allowing myself to find the fun and joy in an incredible sport where I get to play with my dogs. I love working with them and this is an exciting decision to make.

So, watch out world; Spike and I will be trialing this winter for sure. Reason and Murphy may well trial as well!  It's a good, good place to be!

Monday, December 16, 2013

I wonder if I should be concerned...

I brought the cats home a present today. I think they like it!  I wonder if I should be concerned or worried??

Can cats OD on catnip??

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Life is so complicated sometimes....

I have been away from this blog in so long I doubt I have any readers left. I'm tired of promising to write and not do so. Or promising to start reading blogs again and not doing it. So, I am just going to jump back into the swing of life and show you bits of what has kept me going and busy over the last months...

First, it started with this little black bundle of fluff...

This is Ryder.

Then, these two quickly followed.

This is Ophelia.

This is Oliver. 

They all have a story behind them but I want you save that for another day. Just know that Ryder, Ophelia and Oliver have captured my heart, the dogs attention and they have begun to rule the house with their quick to strike out at a wayward Murphy, should she decide to chase.  It's been interesting integrating 3 cats who all arrived within about 2 weeks of each other into a home where dogs have ruled supreme forever.

Spike has reacted to the cats with curiosity then a shrug of his shoulders as if to say "I guess they are staying.  I'm afraid of them, but if I don't get too close, I'll be fine!"  Sophie is more interested in their food than in the kittens themselves. Reason hasn't even seemed to notice them. Murphy is the only one who seems to a have a death wise as she pursues them and they tell her off with a quick hiss and swipe of the paws.  I have to admit, I am worried about Murphy and how she is responding to them; her freedom is restricted in the house now and it's been a little rough.

In other news, I have started teaching some piano lessons this year. I am loving being back in the world of music, of playing and even of accompanying again; I play weekly at mass and that is great.  It's going so well, I am going to attempt to teach out of my home this next year. I am wavering on how to make this work out--- do I renovate my garage and create a fantastic studio?? Or renovate my front porch and create an all season space so I can keep the dogs out there and actually gain some room?  Big decisions!  In the meantime, I am going on a cleaning binge and I plan to overhaul the whole house. You know, be ruthless and get rid of stuff as I have realized that my house is small and I have stuff.  Lots of stuff.  So, the fun begins. I just have to decide where to start.... It's time though!!

Anyway, I have to admit its nice being back at the blog.  I think it won't be so long between postings again.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Sir Paul McCartney

I saw Paul McCartney this week. What an experience!!  I will never forget being part of a crowd of nearly 40,000 singing "Hey Jude" with him. Amazing...

Photos to share the experience with you all too!

The crowd and the stage.

My friend and I- we went down together.

More of the crowd. I have never seen Mosaic Stadium so full in my life.

The stage view we had. Not great seats, but it didn't matter. The energy was high, the crowd was great and Sir Paul does a show that is amazing!

Sir Paul

His funky piano. I tried to get decent close up pics but it was hard. Sorry for the quality, but it gives an idea of what this amazing experience was like.

I have some video of it too, but I am not sure whether I will attempt to load the clips or not; they are large and I am a bit nervous of copyright laws. In any case, I will never forget Sir Paul singing some of my favourites- Let it Be, Yesterday, Hey Jude, Helter Skelter, and mostly Blackbird.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I have missed blogging. I have no excuses about why I haven't blogged, but I can tell you this;  I miss it.

So, here goes... an attempt to revive this old blog and get back to it!

I just spent 7 days on a little vacation to Alberta, without the dogs. It was great; I spent time with my parents then I went to Brooks, to visit an old friend, Al.  We haven't seen each other in about 4 years and it was so good to see her, to get caught up on life and to learn a few new things along the way.  Seriously, Al is a pretty wise gal; I doubt she is even 30 yet, but she is darn smart and taught me a few lessons about budgeting and meal planning. I will share those another day, but for today I just want to share some photos of the trip.  Oh, and you can meet Al yourself by heading over to her blog.... Al's PolkaDots and Paisley.

In the morning before I left, we drove out to Dinosaur Provincial Park to hike in the badlands. I haven't hiked in a long, long time and for me, this was a pretty serious adventure. It showed I am out of shape but it was pretty amazing and I loved it!

First of all, I had a nearly 5 hour drive, but some of the scenery was absolutely spectacular and I couldn't help but photograph it.

Somewhere, in the middle of nowhere, Alberta.

 Pretty canola, all yellow in the field... love it!

The rest of the photos are images from Dinosaur Park.  We hiked up through these hills on a trail that is marked for people to walk.  There are several throughout the park and we chose a middle of the road difficulty one. I loved it; so beautiful!

I know this post is very "photo" heavy but I fell in love with this area! I haven't had a real holiday in years so it felt so good to get away and actually just do something for me.  I can't leave it this long ever again.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pink Boots and Metaphorical Life Lessons, thanks to um, well Dog Poop.

I have beautiful pink rubber boots. At least they WERE clean. Now they have been broken in and used to clean up the yard.  I will spare you the pictures as I should have taken a photo of the boots before I went to the yard!

It's the first really beautiful day we have had this spring- like REALLY beautiful, wear short sleeves and sweat hard while cleaning the yard.  I couldn't help but smile and think, yeah.  Life is good!  Even though I have a tiny yard that has been under snow for 6 months, and also own 4 dogs. Yeah. That's LOADS of presents out there for me.

Despite the presents and the fact that they are starting to smell a little, I still couldn't help coming back to my life. I just spent 5.5 days at a Retreat; a renewal seminar. It was 5.5 days of what I consider to be my personal hell but also my personal heaven. We spent the whole time in intensive group therapy.  I needed it more than I could have known. I have long kept parts of myself isolated from the rest of me; I prefer to keep my personal life away from my professional life for example. Or my spirituality away from my dog world. But, I am tired of that. Time to integrate the blogs all down into one and be integrated.  I learned that this week.

I also learned that I CAN clean up my own personal messes and have a happy, whole life. It is possible to work through what I have to work through and smile through the tears. It's good. I couldn't help but think I am metaphorically cleaning up the dog presents in my own life as I am physically cleaning the yard.  Life is good.

So good, I even asked my doctor about going off all my meds. It might just be time to spread my wings and see if I can fly.  Or, face my anxiety without medication. Or, face my IBS (newly diagnosed and on a very strict diet for- no more gluten, no more dairy and I have a gut that feels GREAT!).  Anyway, face my IBS without meds. Just dietary interventions.  I think I can do it.

I think I can lay on my back and watch my kite fly high in the sky, proudly.  Yup, lessons learned from therapy.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Simple things bring simple pleasure

It has been a very emotionally moody sort of day.  I went to Oprah last night and was motivated, inspired and taught about finding one's purpose in life and living in it.  That high was quickly squashed with the bombing of the Boston Marathon.  I have no words to describe the grief I feel for the people affected.  Another tragedy in a complex, unpredictable world.

 But when I struggle, I come back to the simple things in life.

Spring. My dogs. My yard. My piano.

All these things help me slow down and refocus my attention into living gratefully in the moment.

So, when I had an opportunity to catch my dogs wandering and sun bathing in the weak spring sun, I had to try for photos.  We still have TONS of snow, but it's coming along.  And, with that realization is the joy of knowing my yard will soon be full of green growing things.
 (And, the horrifying realization that I have a winters full of clean up to do. You do the math:  4 dogs, 1 small yard, no cleanup most of the winter= NIGHTMARES! Ha, ignore any potential sightings of doggy doo doo in the pictures, I promise you all I will start the massive clean up tomorrow).

Sophie, coming in to say hello through the window. Yes, there is NO screen there. Yes, the dogs wrecked it last summer. Yes, I am crazy enough to put one back this summer. 

Sophie loving the sun beam.  (Please ignore the winter gunk to be cleaned off my deck. This is getting scrubbed down and refinished this summer.  It needs some stain for sure).

Reason, wandering around sniffing on the snowy half a yard.

Spikey, lying in the sun, by the tunnel.  Sorry he is hardly visible, but he avoids the camera at the best of times.  Murphy is next to him the grass, out of sight of the camera. She was avoiding me at this point; she had just tried to jump through the window and come in but was forcefully stopped by a spray of water to her little face and she marched off, out of sight to pout indignantly. 

Another image of my long but narrow lot.  

Spring is coming, I am sure of that.  And, with anticipation, I am filling out the first of my trial entries for the outdoor agility season tonight. There is a simple joy and hope in that.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sleeping Beauties....

My girlies, napping....

Murphy..... so sweet when she is sleeping!

Sophie in the chair- (ignore the mess!! :) )

Reason, in a rare moment when she has stopped moving, all sleepy on the back of the couch.

Love my girlies!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We're BACK!!!!

Hey all!

We are back.  My apologies from the unexpected hiatus in my blogging world; I had no intentions of taking a break but I guess I needed it.  After Mango passed, then another dog blog friend (one of the very first I made!), Sophie Brador also crossed the bridge, I kinda felt like I lost my desire to blog.  So, I stopped.

I think it's time to come back; I have to admit this is an intensely crazy, busy time in my life but I am thinking I would like to get back to this old blog and to the friends I have made along the way.  I've missed you all!  And, unfortunately, I deprived you all of cute baby Reason pics along the way, too!

Anyway, there's no sense rattling through my busy, but mundane last few months.  Instead, I'll show you what the dogs and I have been keeping busy doing the last few days.  We were hit by a HUGE blizzard on March 20, the first day of Spring and I had a quilt started that I thought deserved to be finished over the evenings when we couldn't go out and do much. Too much snow.  I'll show you pictures soon of my front yard. It isn't pretty!

Alright, back to it... the quilt.  And, the dogs, enjoying the quilting time. :)

Sophie and Murphy, curled up on top of the quilt, in progress along with my fabric bin of scraps.  It can't possibly by comfortable, but they stayed there for a long time.


Sophie, in the midst of chaos created by Reason. My house WAS clean, really... one loose puppy in the house and all mess breaks loose, ha!

The whole clan, in their usual spots.  Murphy and Reason, balanced on the back of the couch.  Sophie and Spike, always the more sensible, lying on the pillow and blankie.  I do manage to squish in there between Spike and Soph. It's the perfect spot for Rease to nap with her head on my shoulder. 

The new Rag Quilt- it hasn't been washed yet, and I haven't notched all the seams yet so they fray, but it's all sewn up at least!

All in all, it's a good way to spend a Blizzard- hunkered down with some movies, a quilt to make and my favourite dogs in the world.  Life is good.