The Dogs Who Started It All

Spike is the original Black Dog.  He's is my overachiever dog. He does everything I ask him to do, and he does it well! Spike has several titles, including SJATD (St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog) and his FD-CH S (Flyball Dog Champion, Silver for 1000 pts) and his SGDC (Starters Games of Canada). He has run flyball, done some rally obedience and is currently working hard in agility to get out of the Starters Level (we are 1 Q away!)

I rescued Spike from the Bonnyville Humane Society, July 2006. He had been there for 5 long months and was a mess of a dog. That started me on a journey to learn how to break Spike out of his shell and teach him to be a dog again. Spike and I have learned and grown together through this journey and I've loved every moment of working with him! 

Spike is a sweetheart of a dog; he's gentle, loving, very cuddley. And, yet, Spike has a very protective edge to him; he's clearly my dog and takes his guarding of his girls very seriously! He is very eager to please, lives for training and running, and he loves to play with his soccer ball. Spike is a gem of a dog and I am so grateful I found him!

Sophie is my purebred, CKC registered Black Labrador Retriever. Her registered name is Starcarla's Queen of Hearts, but Sophie suits her better. Sophie's birthday is April 21, 2007. She is quirky and more than a little strange, but lovable. Soph embodies everything a lab is supposed to be; she's loving, dedicated to people, eager to please, easy to train (now that she has the ability to focus for more than two seconds) and lives for retrieving and food. Yup, she's my incredible stomach of the family; she's eaten everything from raw pizza dough (trust me, NOT a good idea! That one involved an emergency call to the vet), dehydrated vegetable matter, garbage, toys, stuffies, tennis balls, socks, chocolate, coffee on a routine basis... the list goes on. Sophie is my going concern as she's always into something she can eat! 

Soph was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia, just past her second birthday. I have spent the last years learning what I can do to alleviate her pain and improving the quality of her life. On the journey, we've tried acupuncture, stretching, peanut ball work to improve her core strength and now chiropractic treatments.This has been the most successful!

So far, Sophie has no titles, but we've dabbled in Obedience, Rally Obedience and Agility. I retired her at the age of 3, as I couldn't manage her intermittent lameness, but now that I've discovered chiro treatments, there's greater hope Sophie will be able to maintain her mobility for a long time to come.

Murphy is the odd ball of the family in so many ways. Murphy is the latest pooch to be added to the Black Dog Crew. Clearly, while she's not black, she's such a quirky dog, she fits the pack beyond what I could have imagined!  She is a purebred Jack Russell (even though there's been lots of discussion about what else might be bred in there). She is ALL terrier, that is for sure; she has a mind of her own and is stubborn in training. Murphy is working on attention and focus in her training, at the moment but it is slow work!  She comes when she feels like it, sits when she feels like and I'm learning what it means to work with, live with, and train a terrier. Murphy is training to run agility at the moment, and I am aiming to begin trialing with her the summer/fall of 2012.  Murphy was born February 2, 2010.