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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Duffy's Serpentine Track-May 15, Olds College

If you would like to see Duffy and I on our serpentine track, here is the Youtube link.  Thanks Donna for taking the videos and posting them!!

Part 1:

For some reason Part 2 doesn't want to download from a link in my blog, but it is available from the Youtube sidebar when you watch Part 1.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Olds tracking seminar-May 14-15, 2011

This was my first introduction to tracking, and of course Duffy's too!  We LOVED it!!!! He's such a smart dog and Donna Brinkworth, the instructor had some really nice things to say about him. We were a group of 14 on the 1st day and 12 the 2nd.  The first day we were at the Prescott farm NW of Olds for the  TD and TDX section and Pam was a a wonderful hostess, plus she and her dogs Sting and Trixie participated too.  The 2nd day we were in town at Olds College for the urban tracking portion. We all did a whole lot of walking those 2 days!! The weather was a real challenge--true it didn't rain or snow and the fields were dry, but the wind was just awful, gusting up to 80 km/hour and it felt pretty cold. People wore hats and gloves and multiple layers of clothing both days. And plotting maps of the tracks, was a real treat in that wind!! The sun beat down the first day and partly on the second, so most of us got a wind and sun burn--me especially.  My poor nose took quite a beating!! But the dogs dealt with the wind just fine!!

There was a variety of dogs, but more German Shepherds than any other group. We also had a yellow Lab, a Weim, a Viszla, a Dalmation, an Aussie girl named Mike--she was just the sweetest dog, Duffy fell in love with her, Donna's 2 border collies as demo dogs, and of course Duffy the Collie.

The more experienced trackers did some demo work--like Sue and her Dal Potter. He just about drags her down the field, he has so much go, go go!! Some of the attendees are dog trainers too and had some good ideas to add to the seminar.

Duffy and I had the opportunity to do a scent circle and L track on Saturday and a serpentine track, a transition track, and clicker train on indicating an article on Sunday. After the seminar was over on Sunday, we also the chance to have portraits done of our dogs by Kathy Holowaychuk. She also had taken pictures during the 2 days. Check out her website to see some of the pictures and portraits--including 2 of Duffy.  It's a work in progress, so more will be added. Look under  Gallery--Olds Seminar.

Dave fed me steak on Friday night, got in a pizza for Saturday, and did a lamb roast on veggies Sunday night!! What a guy!! It pretty much made me forgive his lack of cleaning skills!! Hahahahahahaha!! There was a BBQ Saturday night at Prescotts--but after 9 hours in the sun and wind I had such a bad headache, I was feeling sick to my stomach.  I didn't have any Motrin or Advil with me, so I excused myself from the BBQ and went home to dose up on Advil.  Thus the pizza supper!

I came back to Edmonton yesterday, stopped at the EG to see my dad, and discovered Duffy had a loose poop situation in his crate. I knew things had gone too smoothly!!!!So the first thing I had to do was hose down the crate, wash the mat, tear up and throw out the piece of carpet on the bottom of the truck bed. The joys of dog ownership!! Then I went next door to visit for a couple of hours, play with Winnie the dachshund, and have an amaretto on ice!!

Donna and Chris and Cooper

Tracking is tiring work! Owen and his mom were there on Saturday, but he had a cold and wasn't feeling too well, so they went home early and didn't come back on Sunday. His dog was a border collie cross named Daisy--she was a cute, friendly girl!

Kathleen and Mojito--I love that name, I love mojitos!!

Some of the group--backs to the wind, trying to stay warm!

Donna and Jet doing an UTDX demo at Olds College

There's Potter the Dalmation--look at him pull!

Susan and Potter

I can't wait to start in on practising with Duffy and eventually laying some tracks.  Some of the ladies are from Edmonton, so it would be great to get together and do some tracking. It was a great weekend and such a welcome change from my burdens here in Edmonton.  I need more of this!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

22 years!!

It's our 22nd anniversary!! We got married May 6, 1989 at Ft. Edmonton Park--where else would a person with a Master's degree in Western Canadian History get married?? It was a small wedding, only 40 guests, but I never wanted a big wedding, ever!!
McDougall Methodist Church--built 1871, the first building built outside the walls of Ft. Edmonton. Built by John McDougall of the famous McDougall family of Methodist missionaries.  When I was young, this church stood beside the big brick McDougall United Church that was built in the 1930's.  When I was 14, my friend Brenda and I took a tour of it and I decided then and there, that was the church I wanted to be married in.
My father and I starting down the aisle.  My dress was similar to the styles of the 1870's and 1880's.  The train was bustled up to look even more like that era.

Dave and I signing the register.  The church is filled with photos and memorabilia of the history of the Methodist/United Churches.

The reception and supper was held across from the Methodist Church on 1885 Street in the replica of the Jasper House Hotel.  The original is still standing on Jasper Avenue. but it's kind of run down--to put it mildly!!! Our minister, Rev. Alston is standing in front and introducing us--he  was a wonderful man and minister. Ten years later he married my friends Jacqueline and Kevin!! To Dave's right is his Best Man, Bill Phillips and to my left is my Matron of Honor, Debbie McGinnis and her daughter Shauna--you see the top of her head.  Debbie made her own dress and Shauna's and they were just lovely and in the style of the olden times too. Over on the far side, you can see my mother.

Gee we were young!! Well, younger!!
Happy Anniversary Sweetie!!! ♥♥♥♥

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guess who's 3 years old today???!!!

I can hardly believe that Duffy is 3!! He's still the wild child sometimes and can be somewhat of an ass on occasion, but I've almost grown to love those quirky ways!! Hahahaha!! I think he will always retain some puppy type ways, because that's just who he is--and I'd hate to see those silly moments gone completely.  He's adored by many of the residents at the Edmonton General, little kids think he's the best, he laps up attention--no shrinking violet there--and I have the best goof ball doggy friend in the world!!

One of Duffy's talents--untieing shoe laces!!!

                        Happy birthday Duffy Doodles!! We love you!!!!♥♥♥♥

Monday, May 2, 2011

Election night and other news!!

Another federal election has all but come and gone and it looks pretty clear that it's a  majority Conservative government of 166 seats under Harper, rather than the minority that he had. But, BUT, the BIG news is that the NDP (New Democratic Party) are the opposition!! They have, at this point, 104 seats, to the Liberals' 34. They have never, ever, seen these numbers of seats.  Did I say never, ever!!!  It has always been the other way around with the Liberals in the 100+ and the NDP in the 30's. Alas, Lewis Cardinal, the NDP candidate for my constituency, did not defeat the incumbent, Laurie Hawn :( 

The Green Party got their first ever MP--their leader Elizabeth May--in Vancouver Island's Saanich-Gulf Islands riding.  But the leader of the Liberal party--Michael Ignatieff lost his seat, and in all likelihood will end up being removed as leader from the party.  That party will have to do some serious rebuilding for the next election. And the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Gilles Duceppe, lost his seat, his party suffered a crushing defeat, and he has already resigned as leader.  Quite the surprise with that party gone just like that.

My own opinion of it all, is that there is really little difference between the parties when all is said and done, and none of them tackle the truly major issues that exist around us.  And it's the same everywhere. Maybe I should have voted for the Pirate Party!! Yes there was a candidate on the ballot! Arrrrrrr!!

On the local front, there was a natural gas leak next door last night. I was wondering if we would all be evacuated and whether I should pack my jammies and a tooth brush.  Several ATCo trucks showed up, and sounded for the gas line and marked it, then the jack hammer started up to break up the lane paving and Jack's driveway--by this time it was 1 AM.  Then Welder Guy arrived (let's hear a round of applause for welders!!!!) and he was still working at 3:30 when I woke up again to the sound of his welding machine revving up and down. When I got up at 7, the workers were gone, a metal plate was lying across the lane, covering the hole, and another one was on Jack's driveway, and appropriate signage warned people of the plates--like slow down!! Thank goodness there was no evacuation needed, and nothing and no one went up in an explosion. I have always been impressed with the people that work for the natural gas companies--at the merest hint that there might be a problem, they are right there. And thank you all those guys that work anytime of the day or night to fix the gas lines!!!

My other lesser bit of news is that I got into a bit of a donnybrook, so to speak on FB--again!! Haha!!  A FB friend from Norway, who posts wonderful pictures of her 2 big collies and all the activities they do together in the lovely wilderness of Norway, posted a couple of pictures of her 2 boys who had caught a hare and were dividing up the spoils. A lot of people clicked a 'like' but one or 2 didn't care for the whole thing.  One in particular was quite aghast and disgusted about it and figured she would have to block the Norwegian, because her grandson looks at her FB page.  So I posted that this certainly was a species appropriate diet and that we should be careful not to sanitize our dogs to the point we forget they are essentially wolves--citing the amazingly close DNA percentage.  She replied that she had a pet, not a wolf!! Hahahaha!! Talk about failure to understand the concept.  It went on from there, but most of the posts were between her and Duffy's breeder!!! I was quite surprised--and happy--that he waded in and mentioned how he knew a number of people raw feeding their dogs, that she should look into the info available, that kibble was a convenience food for people to use, etc. She had said she never heard of anyone feeding raw--she lives in New York.  In my only other post, I mentioned that I go to a vet  clinic that supports raw feeding and that the Norwegian gal lives in a rural area and dogs are more likely to be protective of their territory against intruders and more likely to kill small animals for food too.  Her last post was that she had nothing more to say about the topic, and was hiding the posts and pictures, and, "thanks for sharing YOUR opinions..." (her emphasis).  Okay then!!

Why are people so reluctant to think of dogs as carnivores?? They have no problem with cats wandering around killing mice and birds, but the very idea that their Bowser might eat meat and yikes, could even kill an animal to eat if he had to--and all hell breaks lose!!! And because their vet has never suggested it, they couldn't believe that a dog could and should eat a species appropriate diet. Oh the horror of it all!!! Sheesh!! It seems that a lot of people have gone far away from the basics of life and the reality of nature.  When more people lived on farms, you didn't get this sissy, wussy look at things, but now with so much of the population urbanized, they think everything has to come out of a bag and a store--even for their dogs.  And as usual, when the idea of a species appropriate diet is presented to them, they go on the attack, rather than ask questions. Oh well--maybe one day!!

Time to change the TV channel--election winners are blathering on and on!! Good night!