Monday, December 28, 2009

More Dixie

Dixie is starting to relax here. The border collie is showing in other ways now. She is still not quite trustworthy in the general population. She is more vocal now and desires to be with the humans more and to be more active. Dixie has had some better encounters with the little dogs, but still holds too great an interest in the movements and activities of the woolly cairn mix. And it's not like he moves fast or often.

She loves toys ... LOVES toys, but is protective of them with the other dogs. She has no issue with humans taking toys, although sometimes you must play a waiting game with her before she'll relinquish her ball. More to come as we get to know this girl.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 2009 - DOG OF THE MONTH!!!!

Merry Christmas from the River Runners!

We thought we'd take December's Dog of the Month spot to introduce you all to a little girl that's recently joined my household. Dixie is a 16 month old border collie mix (with a wee bit of heeler) that is a failed cattle dog. Rather than allowing her to live her life on a tie-out so she wouldn't chase cattle into the fences, her owners chose to rehome her. She's a lovely girl, and has been learning some quick lessons on living indoors and in the city. We have lots of learning to go, however, including *not herding/chasing the little dogs in the house*.

This is Dixie:

She loves balls, toys, anything really ... if you throw it she will fetch it. She won't always bring it back right away ... yet. She crates well ... it's her safe haven in the house ... settles nicely out of the crate (but only when the little dogs are away, so far). She has a soft mouth and silky coat. She loves snuggles and dog beds (and joining folks on the sofa, apparently).

Because she has such a strong desire to herd the little dogs, she won't be staying with us permanently. We will work with her to gain her trust and focus and to, hopefully, desensitize her to the smaller dogs, but it may be best to find her a home and a job where managing access for all the dogs isn't the permanent solution. If you know of anyone that would like a quick learning, keen to work border collie mix for agility or to try your hand at herding sheep, keep Miss Dixie in mind. Dixie is scheduled for her spay on January 5.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dog of the Month

November's Dog of the Month is Trixie!
Trixie is a beautiful and playful gal who has been with the River Runners for three years. It was October 2006 when Trixie started her first classes alongside her friends Benny, Lilly, and Daisy who still run in the club with her.
Trixie is an SPCA special adopted by Ang & Chris, and she has added much to their lives both in the way of cuddles and entertainment. Trixie is a very sweet girl who can do many impressive things beside flyball, like playing dead, dancing, and of course, fitting successfully into the lap of her favorite humans, despite her size.

While Trixie was a slow starter in flyball, early on she showed her drive for the ball (which you'll never see in her mouth, as she likes to carry a little ball, and in a mouth her size, it disappears), and has proven herself to be a very teachable dog who aims to please her beloved handlers.

Trixie recently became a big sister to a human baby brother and has already formed a special bond with him. Even going from being an only "child" to sharing the attention of her favorite humans, Trixie has welcomed Fenton with much graciousness and many kisses.

We are excited to share the racing lanes with this beautiful gal and look forward to seeing her win many more titles, and even more hearts!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 2009 Dog of the Month

Dog of the Month

It is with extreme sadness that I write this.

A good friend lost her best friend today. For those of you that have had multiple dogs, you know that each one holds a special place in your memories, never to be forgotten, impacts you in some way. But you also know that there will be those rare few dogs that not only hold a spot in our memories, but also in our hearts. These are Heart Dogs, and they are truly marvelous animals.

Sam is a Heart Dog. Forever staking claim to a small piece of his owners heart.

Very recently, Samson, an 11 year old Border Collie, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma. A large tumor had formed on his heart. He spent a number of happy days at home with his family after the diagnosis, but collapsed today and was helped to The Bridge.

My heart breaks for his "mom". Know that, as much as Sam has taught you and touched your life, your efforts and dedication to him matched step for step. Heart Dogs have no past-tense. They live as long as the heart they have touched continues. Sam is an amazing dog.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September, it seems, has caught us dozing.
Dog of the Month has not been chosen.
Let us rather take this space
To salute all dogs that love to race ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 2009

Dog of the Month

Still a green dog in flyball ... a few paltry points away from that first title, Millie is what people don't expect from an american eskimo. Sweet, soft mouth, great with kids, and loving the game, she's a fast little up-and-comer on the River Runners flyball team.

Found by her owner, Lisa, while attending a country wedding, Millie wandered out of the brush loaded with ticks, but otherwise happy and healthy. A few days' search found the owners, but they never made any attempt to claim her, and after a month or two of half-hearted rehoming efforts (though most of us knew it from the start), Millie was home to stay with Lisa and her two other canine companions, Daisy and Monty.

She's been training and has had a couple of opportunities now to strut her stuff in flyball. We're all very proud of this little girl, and see stars in her future.

Watch for Millie at a tournament near you!
and yes, please come say hello. She'd love to meet you!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dog of the Month

For July's dog of the month we've decided to do something just a little bit different. This month, our special little guy/gal is not a club dog. Instead, we'd like to draw your attention to this little gal!
Chi is a mixed breed youngster who was in the River Runner's last set of puppy classes. Always a pleasure to work with, Chi has amazing focus for a puppy. The little girl is fabulous! At the beginning of the six week course Chi was not too fond of tennis balls... but running and jumping? That was her cup of tea! On graduation night we decided to see if the puppies would work away from their handlers and asked that the dogs be sent over one jump to the chute to grab a ball before returning back over the jump. Miss I-Don't-Like-Balls fired away from mom, grabbed her tennis ball, and fired right back! It became quite clear that after only six weeks, Chi knew the game. Her ability to think and work make her an exceptional youngster who will (hopefully!) be a FANTASTIC flyball dog one day!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

No, Really!

Puppy class IS the best!

Friday, June 26, 2009

JUNE 2009 - Dog of the Month


Okay, he's not a flyball dog.
Trained, yes.
CRN obtained, yes.
Even reached tournament warm-up stage ... BUT ... no runs, no points.

A wonderful dog, nonetheless, and happy to be part of the cheerleading section.

His favourite things are canine playmates, smelly sloughs, romps through tall grass, a stand of trees and brush to run through and investigate and, well, I'd hang a sign on his neck, but I don't have to ... he makes it quite obvious: PETS & BELLY RUBS ALWAYS WELCOME! Oh yeah, and me. I'm also a favourite thing.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Most exciting thing in this world...

... is puppy flyball!!!! Is there anything better than puppy class? I think not. Just sayin'.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The adventure begins...

The Epic adventure, that is!

So ends our "Name that Jack" game. Now to just wait impatiently for him to age three more weeks...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

MAY 2009

Dog of the Month
Flyballing since 2004

hanging out, being beautiful and making us smile since 2002

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Whole Nine Yards

The War of the Woofs!

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

H.G. Wells in The War of the Worlds

The Eve of War

That's right! We've been watching you. Studying you, and just a short time ago, we called you to war! The battleground had been chosen. Groundwork had been laid. An environment suited to all. Anticipation charged us as we poured in from all directions. This would be a memorable showdown.

As warriors and generals scurried about readying the field of battle, selecting the most advantageous positions from which to advance and retreat, more came. More positions were taken, more plans were drawn and the battleground took shape. They were traveling quickly. Great distances were covered reaching the site, and all warriors would need to be fresh for battle. So as the last of them trickled off to their camps, the lights were doused and the battlefield was secured.


Awakening early still weary from travel, these adventurers and warriors prepared for the day ahead. Perhaps yet unaware of the scope of this venture, they practice their battle rituals … donning their camp colours, loading their bodies with energy and their weapons with ammunition, leaving little bits of propaganda behind to spur the imaginations of those yet unmoved. This would be a glorious day for war!

Once again, they arrived at the battlefield. Positions had been clearly marked, rules of war confirmed, judges in place. “Judges in war?“ you might ask. Yes, this war has gone on before. There are rules and judges. But that has never lessened the intensity of the fray. Once again, this war would rock the grounds.

Conflict raged for two days. Warrior cries carried in the wind, drawing more players in and sending some running in other directions. Lights flashed, whistles were blown, flags raised and dropped, booty won and lost as we rushed in and out of the field. Finally, exhausted, some gains, some losses, the clash was halted. A truce called … until next year.

Next Year! At the War of the Woofs we’ll be ready. We’re watching you. Studying you. We’ll be ready for you.

The Dogs of Woof Wars

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rainy Wednesdays

are just tops. For napping.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flyball Years

A job that keeps you running fast
And makes you smile is not a task
Those spheres of Joy
The perfect Toy
My flyball years have been a blast!

By Samson the border collie, FM (retired)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coming to a Warman near you...

Is Woof Wars 2009!

Has everyone remembered to mark their calendars? May 9th and 10th the River Runners are hosting their annual flyball tournament out in Warman (Saskatchewan). The action is all day, all weekend! Okay, well, I can guarantee it's from the early morning until the late(ish) afternoon. There is NO admission, so come out and watch and see what this great little sport is all about... noise. Okay, not just noise (although there IS a lot of it). It's always enjoyable to sit down and watch some racing. The fast dogs and teams are always fun to watch. The dogs that aren't quite as good are just as entertaining, and those who haven't quite 'committed' to the sport yet are a hoot!

Alternatively, you could just wish us well! Hosting a tournament is a stressful thing. May we all come through with cool heads, happy hearts, and 10 fingers. A few points would be nice too. I'm not too far off that FM (okay... only 671 points off )(not that I counted or anything *whistles to self* Nope, no counting here)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Name that Jack!

New toys for a new puppy!

That's right... a new puppy! Come June I will be joined by a little Jack Russell Terrier out of Red Trail Terrier's Isis and Oakley breeding. I have yet to pick which little boy is mine, but mark my words, one of them is!

So it's time for the name game... what fits a little roly-poly Jack puppy? I have a Bentley already... do I want another people name, or something fun and unusual?

If I go for a people name, the little man will be Hayden. Bentley and Hayden... it just works. But there are so many great options that are fun and cute to call out on the flyball lane, while still being good strong names.

On the list right now:
  • Ender
  • Epic
  • Damage
  • Grumble
  • Spud

Okay. I'm not saying that Spud is a 'strong' name... but it certainly is fun. There are a lot of good nickname options there: Spudnut, Spudders, Mr. Potato Head, Spuddy Boy... the list goes on. Thoughts, comments, concerns? What would YOU name a little 'terrier'ist? Is Spud too embarassing to call out in a crowd of people? Is it dangerous to name him Damage? What if he lives up to that name? Will I ever wear a pair of shoes without holes again? Do I learn to live without socks now, BEFORE the dog has a chance to destroy them all? Oh the questions...

Help me out! Cast your votes to the side ---->

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What the Dog Did...

See these? These are 8 delicious, chocolate, chocolate chip muffins with chocolate fudge icing. MmmmM... What's so important about them? Well, other than being delicious, there should be around 20 of them, because that's why I made. Didn't feel like having anything to eat, thought to myself... "what, what would hit the spot?"

Well, the answer is ALWAYS something sweet, so off I trucked downstairs. After slaving away for an hour I left the muffins on the counter to cool, waiting patiently for that perfect moment to try the first one... when it's still warm, but the chocolate chips don't resemble molten lava. Came downstairs and who was enjoying my muffins?

Well, she was of course. Kit was standing in the kitchen totally surrounded by chocolate icing... although there was a noticeable lack of muffins and wrappers. So I dove on the floor with paper towel wiping as much icing off of it and Kit's face as I could get. Step #2: PANIC. The dogs stomach was round with muffin-y goodness. So I called up a River Runner pal who jumped into her car with some peroxide, and while she was in transit Kit ate some blackened toast in hopes of soaking up some of the toxins.

Anyway, in the end it took three people to hold the dog down and get the peroxide into her. She was mighty suspicious of our insistence that she MUST drink this substance... as she should have been. Fifteen minutes later she was all puked out and pretty sure she hated all of us. I mean, who wouldn't hate the people who denied them chocolate-y goodness?

She seems fine now. Sleeping on the couch without any signs of chocolate toxicity. No panting, not lethargic... just really really content to have her evening nap after scaring the pants off of her aunty.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dog of the Month - April

Is my Sophie!
(Sophie (left), sitting with her sister Lilly)
Okay, so she's not MY Sophie. She's Emily's Sophie, but that doesn't mean that all the River Runners don't all love her to death. Sophie started flyball... some time ago. Emily, a junior handler, has shown great skill and patience working little Soph-a-Loaf through her lacsadasical Wal-mart greeter stage to a height dog who knows her job, enjoys the game, and is a great asset to her team. Sophie, and her sister Lilly, are both a joy to work with.
This weekend Sophie successfully ran a full tournament making it to her FDX and beyond, and proving herself a solid little height dog who is both enthusiastic and capable. I had the pleasure of boxloading for Sophie's team this weekend, and couldn't help but smile everytime I saw Sophie running down the lane towards me. Why? Because she smiles back. I don't know whether Sophie loves the game, or just loves pleasing her Emily, but she is the happiest little dog. She did a FANTASTIC job, posting awesome times and helping her teammates amass points. The River Runners are all very proud of Sophie and Emily, and always enjoy the time they spend with these two.

Hotdoggers Tournament -

This weekend, the River Runners took two teams to Lloydminster for the annual Hotdoggers tournament, competing in both the Regular and Open divisions.
It went so well! (puffs with pride)
We may not be the fastest team, and we may never come in first... but success isn't necessarily a 16 second run. Our dogs ran well, our times were awesome, titles were won, and personal bests were accomplished. In fact, we quite often posted times of 21 or 22 seconds which means that not only were our dogs fast and accurate, our handlers were right on the mark with their passes. In fact, both teams posted times of 20.___ seconds (sorry, can't exactly remember), almost breaking out of their divisions.
As well, our Open team had the pleasure of running with two great dogs, Zoom and Bones. This is a shout-out to our new friends! Thanks for all your help guys!
My personal success? Ben kept to his lane and didn't bite me once. Maybe I won't give him to you after all... Like I said, it's the little things. I'd love to hear what everyone else felt was their proudest moment, so post'em if you've got'em. Brag it up, guys!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Sheep skills... we has them!

We had a FANTASTIC time today at herding. I think I can speak for everyone when I say go check out Dogs Tale Ranch. You'll have an awesome time.
Like Romeo: He thought the sheep were most awesome, and he did a terrific job. For such a little guy, he doesn't lack confidence. I believe the trainer referred to him as 'dynamite'. That he is, that he is.

And Sam, Sam did this: Which sorta looks a lot like standing around. He did some snacking too. This isn't to say that Sam didn't get a lot out of the trip. Even if he didn't find the sheep too entirely interesting, he sure as heck liked being there, and got to show off his gentlemanly ways and a beautiful right heel ;)

And Kit, well, she did this:

(The sheeps! The sheeps! They is gonna EEEEAT ME!!)

That's my big brave girl.

But not long after that, Kit did this:Which was far closer to what we wanted, and it got better from there. She's got some skill. We're happy. Trainer seemed happy with her as well. She'll be continuing.

Herding was a ton of fun. There's something awesome in going out there and taking part in the activity that these dogs were bred to do. It's a whole different mentality. In flyball and agility we're training our dogs, and they're working for us... but ultimately it's still playing a game. Herding ... is different. We dropped our border collies and sheltie in there, and THEY did the WORK. And they knew how to. Kit certainly seemed to understand that this was a serious job. Obviously there is a ton of work and finessing to do with a stock dog, but our dogs proved to us just how much of that is THEM, not us. In fact (as i wasn't running a dog I can say this), I think it was the handlers that held the dogs back, not the dogs ability level. Sure, as handlers we have a role in the project, but our job is to influence the dog to influence the sheep. They just need to know when and where.

Proud, anyway.