Monday, November 30, 2009

What great weather for the end of November! Linda and I were able to get in some tracking using our favorite fields.

I had a chance to talk to the land owner's son-in law and he graciously said that the recently posted No Trespessing signs certainly did not apply to us! During hunting season he has some issues with people taking advantage of the situation but knew that we always respect their property, pickup any trash we do find, never leave a trace we were there and stay out just before they are ready to hay. A little respect goes a long way in building good neighborhood relationships.

Hopefully Spring and Lucy will be able to get "certified" for tracking before the snow flies, otherwise we will have to wait until after the winter snow melts.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

End of Year Progress Report

Well, it looks like we are about done showing for the year. Although there are shows in December they have moved them from Boston to Rhode Island and that is just a bit too far just before the holidays. However, we did end up with a VERY successful year.

Carina - CT CH PatchMtn C Pepper N Paisley RE OA OAJ NF NJP NAP RD CPC PAC
Passed her Variable Surface Tracking test to earn her Champion Tracking title
Qualified in 3 straight runs to earn her Novice Preferred Standard Agility title
Qualified in 3 straight runs to earn her Novice Preferred Jumpers with Weaves title
Qualified in an Open Jumpers run to earn her Open Jumpers with Weaves title
Qualified in an Open Preferred Standard and Open Preferred Jumpers with Weaves to start on that title

Corey - Am/Can CH Blackthorn Coreopis of Patch Mt TDX RN NA NAJ Can TDX
Qualified in Novice Jumpers with Weaves to earn his title
Qualified in an Open Standard to start on that title
Earned 2 Rally Advanced legs toward that title

and for Linda
Maeve - CH Patch Mt's About Time VCD1 OA
Qualified in Open Standard to finish her title
Qualified in 2 runs towards her Open Jumpers title
Qualified in her first Excellent Standard run to start on that title
Most important - Maeve's agility runs have all been clean runs!
AND - she took a big part of the year off to have a litter of wonderful puppies sired by Corey

Violet - Am/Can CH Blackthorn Violet of PatchMt TD NA NAJ Can TD
Passed her Tracking Dog test for her title
Qualified in Novice Jumpers with Weaves to finish that title
Qualified in 2 Open Jumpers with Weaves to start on that title

Lucy - PatchMt
Earned all single points necessary towards her Championship title, several with Best of Winners awards.

And several dogs either bred by us or co-owned have also done equally as well.

Daisy - CH Blackthorn's Flower Power - came back from having a litter of puppies to go Best In Speciality at both of DCSNE's shows, had several more Best of Breed wins and numerous Group 1 wins.

Jenna - coowned by Linda and Dawn Eliot-Johnson was Winners Bitch at Southern New England Speciality for her first major.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Role Models

Do adult dogs make good role models for puppies? People will frequently get a puppy as their current dog gets older. One reason is they hope the puppy will follow the older dog's good examples. Aren't we always hopeful? Spring has learned to sit patiently at the back door next to her father when it is time to come in. Wait and some one will eventually come and open the door. Better than her Grandmother Carina who jumps on the door and stares in! But - I can't say Corey is always the better role model. Running through the house when you do get let in, chasing after your wild man father isn't what I would prefer. And, how about these photos. Sitting and laying on the back of the couch so you can keep an eye on Mom while she is in the kitchen. The back of the couch is now flatten out to make a perfect size bed for a puppy to curl up on.

But, with Grandma Carina along ALL new things are fun, safe and exciting. Greeting new people and dogs is easier with the comfort and support of the world's best dog and people friendly Carina.

Of course, Carina has also taught Spring to chase the horses up and down the fence line - with the horses bucking and inviting the chase the whole way! Maybe when the time comes Carina can be a good role model on the horse riding trails, though.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Agility in the Dark

Well, I've been trying to get Carina and Corey on the agility equipment at least a couple of times a week. With it getting dark so early that can be a challenge. The lights make it possible, but there sure are lots of shadows!

Here is Carina practicing her contacts. When we compete she actually does "running" contacts, where she isn't required to actually stop and touch the end of the obstacle. BUT, in training I do make her for reinforcement. Otherwise they can get much worse when actually on the course. Because Carina already has so many titles, I'm not sure how much I'll push her for more. I would like to finish up her Open Preferred titles in both Jumpers and Standard, but not sure if Excellent is in the future or not. I'll have to listen to how she works over the course of the next few months. ALL our activities need to be fun for all of us. IF it's not fun, we aren't going to do it. Of course, going for trail rides will always be fun for all of us - maybe even Roxie the paint mare!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to Agility Training

Except for last Thursday the weather here in Maine has been wonderful. Clear days with temps in the 50's to 60's. Finally got a chance to mow the agility training area one last time (I hope). Now we REALLY have to practice for the Springfield trials in a couple of weeks. All the dogs have the hardest time with the weave poles, all for VERY different reasons. Carina's back gets sore, Maeve just goes TOO fast, Corey is picky about the base of the poles and Violet says 12 is just too many. Since my husband originally put up outside lights so I could ride my horse in that area, we can now convert to nighttime agility work. Depending on many factors we might try to make some indoor trials over the winter. Its hard to plan and commit because travel can be such an unknown during the winter months.

And, Violet has been bred, thanks to the wonder of chilled, ship semen. Now fingers crossed that all the hard work and planning pays off. We'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Here is Violet standing by the pond. She is officially Am/Can CH Blackthorn Violet of Patch Mt Am/Can TD NA NAJ.

Violet is now in heat and will be bred over the next couple of days. Because the sire is not a local dog we will be doing her using artificial insemination - which sure requires lots of work and planning.

We'll keep you posted on how things proceed. Fingers crossed that the breeding takes and we have puppies!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Here are a couple of pictures of Spring! First is her learning to follow where I go, hopefully on a loose leash. Not actual heeling at this point, for any number of reasons, but not getting in the habit of blindly pulling and going where SHE wants to go.

And then one of her stacked. Either her tail was slightly down or wagging so fast it was a blur. Linda thought the one with her tail slightly down was the best choice!

And she has gone off to Camp Gagnon with our very good friend Marie for a week of doggie play and socialization. Marie runs a boarding, training and grooming business so Spring will have more exposure there, not least is spending house time with 3 other dogs and a bunch of house cats. Maybe she will learn NOT to chase the barn kitty all the time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How They Grow

Here is a picture of Maeve at 4.5 months.

Last night Linda and I went to the local high school to practice our urban tracking. Because it gets dark SO early we were very pleased with how well lit the parking lots were. We'll be practicing work on blacktop and cement until the snow starts to accumulate.

While waiting for the tracks to age we brought Spring into the school and sat in the foyer. She got to met several new people and even ran the halls for a bit with a couple of very nice teen age girls. She can never get too much good socialization.

And, then, we wondered just how much she is maturing. We love to show our puppies early, but wonder if Spring will really be competitive this winter. So, here is a picture of her mother at the same age. Tonight at puppy class we will take a stacked picture of Spring for comparison.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Urban Tracking Dogs

Here are Maeve and Linda participating in the Dog Tracking Club of Maine's Urban Tracking Match. The match was held at the University of New England campus in Biddeford. Beautiful location, but sure was windy along the waterfront.

Maeve did an excellent job considering she has only been working on hard surfaces and around school grounds for about 6 weeks. The average training time to be competent in an urban environment is about 2 years, so we still need some work, but she was looking good!

And, Spring went along for the visit. She still needs to be out meeting new people and dogs at every opportunity we can get. Kids in Halloween costumes was a real adventure, but she did wonderful.