Backing Up

I recently “guest starred” on Kyra Sundance’s podcast for Do More With Your Dog. It sounds like this will be a regular thing so I will try to post when new episodes become available!

You can get this week’s podcast here (it’s number 68).

We chatted about a lot of things but one of the main ones was “back up.” There are a lot of different ways to accomplish this, as we discuss in the podcast. You can listen to hear some different methods or watch a few ways here:


Swimming with Field Spaniels

A friend of mine who lives in Iowa is from Michigan near us and has family that she comes to visit each summer. Last year we got together with her and her Field Spaniel Famke and her late Great Dane Flirt at a very large, cool dog park about 40 minutes from our house. This year we got to see Famke again as well as new Field Spaniel Favor. We will see them next weekend at a dog show as well!

Famke (brown) and Favor (black) are lovely girls – Famke is a conformation Champion as well as having obedience, rally, barn hunt and lure coursing titles and Favor is getting started in all of these things! More on Field Spaniels here.


We brought along Jeni, Kelinn and Bauer – Snoopy unfortunately has had an upset stomach and has been throwing up and not feeling so well, and we didn’t want him to get anyone sick either. So he stayed home with my mom’s dog who we are babysitting right now.


We even managed a group shot which was hard with lots of other dogs trying to get in their business while they did their “stays.” I wasn’t paying much attention and overexposed the white dogs in the shot but it still looks nice!


After romping around the main part of the dog park for a while we went over to the lake where they have a dedicated dog dock. Jeni and Kelinn enjoyed wading in the mucky shallow water near the dock but the spaniels and Bauer were happy to jump in. Bauer has never been a big swimmer so his sudden interest in spending all his time swimming was a pleasant surprise.


After a good swim we went back to spend some more time running around and drying off. The dogs enjoyed playing ball, rolling around in the grass and met some HUGE Newfoundlands!


Everyone had a great time and was totally wiped out by the end of it. The fluffy crew is all passed out around the house now while Snoopy and my mom’s dog (Poppy) wonder why everyone is being so boring.

(Formally) Introducing Tri-Star Kelinn

Kelinn 6 months

I alluded to this a few posts ago… but I figured it was about time to make the official announcement that Kelinn is staying. While we WERE planning on getting another Icelandic Sheepdog this year, Kelinn was not exactly our plan (in fact the litter we were going to get a puppy from was born yesterday!). But the best dogs are never planned, right? (literally none of our dogs were planned…)


Kelinn is just over six months now, and blowing me away every day. He is different than Jeni in many ways but we are learning to communicate with each other just like Jeni and I had to learn. He is very willing to please with great natural focus and a love for just doing things… doesn’t really need a reason, he just wants to do stuff. He already has his Canine Good Citizen title and his Rally Novice title and a leg of his Rally Advanced, which we hope to finish in early July. I joked to his breeder that I would get 50 titles on him in his lifetime but at the rate he’s going that actually doesn’t seem so ridiculous. We’ll continue with rally and obedience as well as getting into conformation when he’s matured a bit and agility when he’s fully grown and able to jump.

I have high hopes for him as a performance dog but I’m also enjoying him a lot around the house. He’s a great boy and we’re happy he’ll be sticking around.


Today I’m participating in the “Thursday Barks and Bytes” blog hop… Check out the hosts at 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

New Rally Titles

One of the most exciting things that happened during my little hiatus was getting Rally Novice titles on both of the Icies.


If you have no idea what rally is, you can learn more about it here, but basically it’s an obedience class where the dog and handler work together to accomplish multiple “stations” that have basic tasks usually involving heeling patterns or sitting/downing/standing in some way.

You start with a score of 100 and are deducted points for mistakes you make – you get a qualifying score if you score about 70. To get a title, you need three qualifying scores in that level. I entered Jeni and Kelinn in four Rally Novice classes for the weekend – two on Friday and two on Saturday.

Both of them absolutely exceeded my expectations! Especially considering Kelinn had just turned six months old (dogs aren’t eligible until they are six months) and Jeni has always been a bit stressy in the ring and reactive to other dogs. The lowest score any of them got all weekend was a 93. Kelinn got first, third and first, and Jeni got second, first and fourth.

Both of them got their RN titles in three classes with ease!

Here are a couple of videos of their novice runs:

The next level after RN is Rally Advanced, which is similar to RN but with more difficult exercises and also off leash. I have ring nerves with Jeni off leash and kept having visions of her getting stressed and going after another dog, so I figured we would end on a good note and let her be happy with her RN title. Kelinn on the other hand, has excellent focus and though there were some RA exercises we hadn’t practiced I figured it didn’t hurt to move up and try!

He blew me away with another first place and a 94! Now he has one leg of his RA title and we are going to attempt to get the last two at a show fourth of July weekend.

I’m very proud of both of my silly pups and can’t wait to continue in obedience with Kelinn especially!

More from Canada

Anybody who has even one dog knows how difficult it can be to travel with your pets. Let alone four dogs, and crossing the border into another country. We are very lucky we have my in-laws’ cottage available to us and we can bring the whole crew with us (though Legolas got left at home – he doesn’t like to travel and certainly doesn’t get anything out of it like the dogs).

It’s not something we get to do very often, and this was our first time this year doing anything that resembled a vacation, even though it was only two days. It was Kelinn’s first time up there – he accompanied us on a few trips into the boardwalk/beach town and was awesome, and enjoyed the beach but was weirded out by the waves. So far he hasn’t shown much inclination to being a water dog.

The other three enjoyed their time out with us and everyone was completely passed out by the end of the weekend. The border agent when we were crossing back into the United States actually made a joke about how tired they looked.

Here are a few more photos… Bauer and Snoopy didn’t get any love in Saturday’s post so how could I leave them out?


Beach photos and a return

So I’ve been noticeably (hopefully?) absent for a few weeks now… lots of stuff happened and almost happened (we almost moved to California!) but in the end everything has settled down now and we’re back to normal life (as normal as you can be with five dogs).

I’ll throw up a few posts next week to play catch up but for today, I have a few fun photos of the Icies in Canada on the beach. The dogs, Chris and I are up at our cottage in Ontario and everyone is enjoying it. Snoopy and Bauer are here too, but last night we just took Jeni and Kelinn (who, by the way, is officially staying now) down to run on the beach so here are a few shots of them!