Thursday, January 26, 2012


Lupine desperately wanted her turn while we were photographing the younger dogs.  Well, I think she mostly just wanted some treats!

It's hard to believe that she will turn 9 years old in a couple of months.  She is enjoying scent hurdle racing and is training in Utility and we hope to get in the ring in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Puffin's Turn

Puffin is just 6 months behind Cava and turned 18 months old on January 7th.  So she got her own photo shoot as well.  

Is this right?  Puffin takes her jobs very seriously.

Look up....way up!

Wag, wag, wag.....

Not surprisingly she looks less mature than Cava and she will probably take longer to mature both physically and mentally than Cava.  We love her soft, gentle lines - and those are adjectives that are equally fitting to her temperament as well as her body shape.  Her training is also coming along well, although it is sometimes hard to remember that she has not has as much training as Cava and sometimes we expect her to know more than she does. Once she learns something, it sticks, so we have to be very careful what we teach her!  We taught her to wave as a puppy and she tends to default to that when she's not sure what we want.  She has been known to give a very nice wave to the "judge" on the sit-for-exam exercise! 

Cava at Two Years Old

Cava turned two years old on January 9th.  We try to keep photographic records of all of our dogs as they mature, so we had a Cava's "two year" photo shoot last weekend.

Too bad she's pulling a face in this one!

Her tail never stops wagging

Concentrating hard on standing still

Nice tongue!

We are very pleased with how she is growing up.  Physically, she's a powerful female with a nice amount of substance but still very feminine.  Mentally she is a clever dog that keeps us on our toes but her bubbly attitude makes her a blast to train for obedience and fieldwork.  Her obedience training is coming along very nicely.  She can do all of the Novice exercises and many of the Open exercises, but is not quite ring ready yet.  For her, the biggest challenge is concentrating when there are people around to visit with!  But we are slowly conquering that.  She has learned the basics of scent discrimination with wooden articles and has a good start on learning utility go-outs.  In the field she is becoming a steady and sensible worker and just needs more experience in different situations.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Field Trip

The dogs got to accompany Liz on a work trip to the Waterton area last week.  They enjoyed finally having some snow to roll and play in.  

Tracking "something", elk perhaps?

It was very windy!

We found elk poo!
The Waterton townsite was full of mule deer as usual

This one made me laugh!  It must be a losing battle to try keep deer from eating the trees and shrubs.

Puffin posing in front of Waterton Lake (which is still partially open)

Oh yes, and it was very windy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scary Times

On January 4th, we suddenly found ourselves in a lot of smoke.  High winds were fanning a prairie fire to the west of us.  It started out near the Buffalo Jump, but quickly crossed Highway 2, heading west. The worst part of it was that we couldn't really tell how close or far it was. While we are on the other side of the river from the fire, fires can easily cross the Oldman River when they are fuelled by 120km/hr winds (that exact scenario happened near Lethbridge at the end of November).   At about 3pm we got a call from the MD of Willow Creek, telling us to be ready to leave our home if required.  Fortunately we can easily get all 4 of our dogs and the cat in our van. We packed a few important things and waited.... (missing obedience class in the meantime).   Well, we didn't exactly sit around, we wet down the west side of our house and yard, moved the barbecue propane tanks far from the house and removed some firewood that was stored under our deck.

The smoke plume just south of our house

Puffin does not seem too perturbed by the smoke

Thankfully the fire was put out at nightfall, still quite a few km from our place and amazingly no homes were destroyed (although quite a few outbuildings and barns were).   We have had an exceptionally dry, warm and windy winter so far, which creates a very high fire hazard.  Hopefully we will have some snow to cut down the fire risk soon.

Looking up the river valley

New Year Greetings

We have been "bad bloggers" of late and have some catching up to do.   First of all, we'd like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year!

Tinbie spent Christmas with his sister, Teva, because our young girls were in season.  It made for a more peaceful holiday all around and Tinbie had a great time. Here are a few photos of the dogs taken over Christmas.

Our winter has been very warm - here Puffin is snorkling in a few inches of water sitting on top of the river ice.