Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Evie! (and the Western Lakes Trial)

Thursday, April 25th, 2024

As I’ve posted about here, Evie has been a bit challenging for me. She’s not giving me a hard time, she’s having a hard time as they say. We have struggled with connection, focus, and trial stress/excitement leading to zoomies and visiting. We did several months of FEO.


With loads of help from Sue (including her pointing me to Jess Martin’s Focus30 course), I feel really positive about how things are headed with her.

Sometimes I should also listen to my own coaching. I tell my students all the time not to fix things, then I go and fix things. Then we disconnect and anything good that had been happening is undone. I am so glad I video everything because it’s absolutely stark.

Here’s what happens when I fix things:

Here’s what happens when I don’t:

Evie Excellent FAST:

Evie Time2Beat:

Nothing I Can Do….

Monday, April 8th, 2024

…a total eclipse of the…sun?


Thursday, January 27th, 2022

Puppycam is up

The Embiggening!

Friday, December 17th, 2021

Just over two weeks to go and the puppies are in their most rapid growth phase. Alice is notceably bigger than last week. Eating very well, going for walks, content. She is a happy pregnant dog. She has a little bit of egg white-like mucus which is normal at this stage. She’s big enough that she has to fidget a bit to get comfortable, but overall she’s doing great.

This weekend we will get out the whelping box and get set up, do an inventory and see what we need to replace.

Getting close now!

Tamarack Lake AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

I’m so glad Sue started videoing early yesterday, so I can see what I’m doing and, more importantly, what I’m NOT doing. Until the video got messed up in transfer, you could clearly see Alice is seeking connection multiple times at the start of Jumpers and I don’t give it to her. It’s easy to forget how little mileage she has, and how much more connection and support she needs from me. She’s a working dog down to the bone and that’s a really good thing. I need to do better for her. I’m rusty too obviously, especially since I should have recognized how tricky that tunnel (right lead through the rocket launcher) to weaves (left lead and collection) sequence was for a green dog. I didn’t cue a lead change and should have recognized that was needed. So many little things I need to be aware of. I so love this little dog, I see shades of (grandma) baby Nina here. AND HOW ABOUT THE LAST HALF OF THAT JUMPERS RUN!!!??

Zhora earned QQ #133, won Standard and came second in Jumpers. Running her is like putting on comfortable shoes and we’re getting our mojo back.

Alice Time 2 Beat (I didn’t get to walk since there was a mislabeling of the running order, so it was a disaster and I didn’t do our usual warm up and connection routine):

Alice Excellent FAST (ZOOM):

Zhora Standard (QQ #133, first place):

Zhora Jumpers (QQ #133, second place):

Ten Days Old!

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

They are making noises that are almost barks now! They are also getting HUGE. There will be a point in the not-too-distant future when Alice is nursing more than her bodyweight in puppies. I can tell she is starting to ramp up her milk production (and milk production works on a strict supply & demand basis, so that means there’s increased demand obviously, since the puppies are growing). Usually around week 2 and again around week 4 is when the demand makes a jump. The dam’s appetite increases (Alice has been getting four meals a day of her usual ProPlan Sport kibble, plus some tripe and canned food, plus mother’s porridge to support lactation), and then I’ve been leaving a bowl of kibble out with her overnight just in case (I NEVER free feed my dogs as a general rule, but it’s a different story during lactation, if they start getting behind in terms of calorie intake when the demand on their bodies is high it can be really hard for them to get ahead of things again). Just the last day or so she’s been eating the whole bowl of overnight kibble, whereas before she’d just nibble at it.

While I’ve been giving her some calcium with each meal (I use Doc Roy’s Healthy Bones because it’s a balanced calcium/phosphorus supplement), around 2 weeks and again at 4 weeks tend to be the critical times for the risk of eclampsia, so we will be watching her closely to be sure she is getting adequate calcium.

As I’m sure I’ve said before: puppies who are comfortable are in a loose pile, puppies who are cold and huddled together, and puppies who are too warm are spread out. The heating pad is under the bedding in the middle of the box, and as you may have noticed, they’re almost never on it. It’s chilly here and our house is set at the same cool temperature it always is (other than the first couple of days when we crank up the heat a bit). Vallhund puppies tend to be quite cold tolerante (like adult Vallhunds are), and in fact they prefer cooler temperatures!

One of them HOWLED last night because he was stuck away from the rest of the litter. I try to let them sort things out for themselves most of the time, but if they sound genuinely distressed you bet I help!


Friday, September 11th, 2020

So she was at 2.5 ng/mL on Tuesday Sept 8 and jumped to 11 ng/mL yesterday September 10! That means she likely ovulated on Wednesday! Ollie is coming to visit us tonight. Fingers crossed all goes well!


Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Yesterday Lobo (Alkemi Beowulf del Roble LS) has become the first Swedish Vallhund to earn the Draft Dog title, and just the second small dog of ANY breed to earn this title through the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America. What an amazing accomplishment for Lobo and his owner Jan Robles!! (Lobo was also the first Vallhund to earn the Novice Draft Dog title).

And then today Lobo earned his Advanced Novice Draft Dog title! Jan has made Lobo an incredible ambassador for the breed.

Nina Is The Best Grandma

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

18 Days Old

Monday, October 9th, 2017

You may have noticed some minor changes in the whelping box since yesterday. I’ve added some rolled up towels and facecloths under the bedding to give them some topography in there. The biggest ones are spending more time than I’d like lying on their bellies, and I want to be proactive about getting them off their chests and up on their feet.