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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

River Runners are Goin' Herding!

A few of us River Runner are heading off this Saturday to A Dog's Tale Ranch ( to try our hand a little sheep herding. Could be interesting...
This guy's going:Some of you might know him. Samson used to play with the River Runners, but retired after his FM because of health concerns. He's 11 now, but that doesn't mean he won't be interested in some sheep. He's representing the older dogs, who can still be taught new tricks.

This kid is going as well:

That's Kit. She's a new member of the group, and will be debuting on the flyball lanes this season. She's just over a year old. She's representing the young crowd, WHO NEED TO KEEP BUSY AND OUT OF TROUBLE. (go lay down already Kit!)

And last but not least,

This guy's representing the Sheltie-vrse:

You'll know him from that popular blog, Life is Better With Sheltie Hair. Romeo already has his Herding Instinct Certificate. I expect he'll have some mad skills.

I'm not taking the bojack, that'd be a mess. He's got the border collie *oh... sheeps* mentality, but the jack *kill kill kill* attitude. I, myself, will be in attendance though as the groups videographer. Here's hoping for a fun filled afternoon!!